January 25, 2008

Stuffed Cabbage – EatingWells Old School

According to my southern brother “We always had the sweet-and-sour version with raisins, most notably from the wondrous kitchen of great-aunt Pearl. Her family hailed from the much-fought over region of Galicia, which is now part of Poland — I think — but back then was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

She also made sweet-and-sour salmon with raisins as well as pickled, jellied calves’ feet (p’cha), which was not a big favorite among the younger generation.

Mrs. W’s mother makes a savory version (Mrs. W’s father is Polish), the traditional galumpkis (pronounced ga-wump-keys, but I just call them ga-lump-keys).

Regardless of the origin or recipe, it’s great food for a cold day!”


January 8, 2008 Del Posto

Del Posto Ristorante


Last week I went to Del Posto, Mario Batali’s Chelsea outpost, with a friend from California. Despite our table upstairs, which was somewhere between Siberia and no where, we had an enjoyable meal. We ordered a fantastic bottle of Tenuta Friggiali Brunello di Montalcino 1999 ( Sangiovese). For the first course we shared two pastas – spaghetti with crab meat & Garganelli al Ragu Bolognese. For the “secondi”, I had Cacciucco – Italian fish stew consisting of several different types of fish and shellfish cooked in wine, tomatoes, and chili pepper (photo). It was excellent but a little too much oil for my taste. For the dolci, we had the Budino di cioccolato – chocolate pudding, chocolate streusel and whipped cream. The food was good, but I would not say great. But the service was – there when you needed something, not when you didn’t.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS – The kind Great-Aunt Pearl use to buy.

My Great-Aunt Pearl use to buy these from the Jordan Marsh Department store in
Providence. If you like muffins, you got to like these.

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups
1/2 cup milk
1 pint blueberries
Sugar for the top

Shortening may be all vegetable solid shortening or all butter or all
margarine or a 50-50 blend.
Clean and rinse berries; pat dry.
Grease muffin cups well, including the top, and flour lightly (or use
paper liners).
Beat shortening with sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Beat in eggs.
Mix dry ingredients and mix in alternately with the milk. Fold in berries.
Batter will be very heavy.
Fill muffin cups to top. Sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake in pre-heated 450-degree oven 5 minutes. Lower heat to 375 degrees
and bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until they test done. Cool and
remove from pans.

For a history of Jordan Marsh, please see

January 5, 2008

Saturday night we were invited to our friends’ apartment for dinner. Mark, an executive chef most recently at the http://www.hotelgansevoort.com/, made a delicious meal. He purchased most of the ingredients that morning in Chinatown http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&q=chinatown+new+york&ie=UTF8&ll=40.716802,-73.996611&spn=0.007969,0.014162&z=16&iwloc=addr&om=1and
After a glass of Chablis and a vegetable spring roll, we were treated to
Chinese vegetable chow fun
Caramelized spicy beef (he used prime hangar steak which was particularly tender)
Sautéed baby Chinese broccoli
Finally, we had Bosc pear & cranberry crisp with oatmeal almond streusel.

Having dinner with friends at home is really EatingWellsLivingWells. This was no exception.

New Year’s Eve 2008

Happy New Year!

We had a small get together with friends Monday night, ringing in the new year with EatingWells. We started the evening with a glass of my son’s special aperitif – The Pink Panther – Champagne with a splash (really a dash) of pomegranate juice.

We made fondue with a mixture of Appenzeller, Emmental, and Swiss Gruyere cheeses and served with some delicious “stirato “ baguettes from Sullivan Street Bakery. http://www.sullivanstreetbakery.com/ These seem to have the right amount of chewiness without being too light or too heavy. Our friends brought homemade cod cakes and stuffed mushrooms with spinach and mozzarella. The kids had chicken wings, mini pizzas and tacos.

For desert we continued with the dipping theme and had a special “Argentine” chocolate fondue served with fruit (the stirato bread tasted pretty good in the chocolate). My brother, as usual, baked some macaroons and apple cake with dried fruits.

All of the food was well matched with the Proseco, Champagne and Cabernet Sauvignon from California.

It was a great way to start 2008 and a good time was had all.