Nope. Wrong. We don’t do the wave at 24 Willie Mays Plaza.
This last week was cray. I got food poisoning from eating my own raw biscuit dough on Sunday and it lasted through Monday, I got two fillings on my lunch hour on Tuesday and I spent Wednesday and Thursday nights giving myself paper cuts and cursing the person who invented cheap binders. I even missed my book club — le sigh. With all this crap going on, I didn’t cook much and fell back on my two stand-by meals for dinners: “boiled water” with a poached egg and baked eggs. Put an egg on it!
“Boiled water” is exactly that — boil four cups of water in a heavy, semi-covered pot with five lightly crushed garlic cloves, a bay leaf or a bit of sage for thirty minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. To serve, place two slices of day old bread in a shallow bowl, pour broth (minus the garlic and herbs) over and top with a poached egg. It is warm, satisfying and super easy.
For Sunday dinner, I made short rib pot a feu from the Zuni cookbook and made strawberry-rhubarb compote/preserves that I served with the biscuits whose dough deeply offended my GI tract.
Short Rib Pot a Feu (adapted from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook)
4 lbs short ribs
2 quarts chicken or beef stock
2 small yellow onions, root ends trimmed, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
4 black peppercorns, lightly cracked
1 small branch fresh thyme
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into inch-long pieces
2 medium leeks, trimmed, cleaned and quartered lengthwise
1 medium celery root, peeled and quartered
2 white turnips, peeled and quartered
1 parsnip, peeled and quartered
Season the meat with salt and let sit at room temperature for at least two hours. Fill a tall stock pot with cold water (enough to cover the ribs) and set over high heat. When the water is warm to the touch, add the meat and a teaspoon of salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer for two minutes, drain and rinse the meat in cold water and wash out the pot. Place the meat back in the clean pot and just cover with stock. Add enough cold water to completely cover. Bring to a simmer and skim any foam. Add the onions, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and the thyme and stir. Cooked uncovered at a steady and gentle simmer for one hour, occasionally skimming. Then add the carrots, leeks, celery root, turnips and parsnips. Add more stock or water as needed and simmer for about another hour, or until the meat is yielding but not soft. Take the meat out of the pot and slide it off the bones. Cut thick slices across the grain. Serve with chunks of the vegetables and a splash of broth.
I kept the leftovers to make a beef an onion gratin, but I couldn’t keep anything down for a couple days, so I didn’t get to try that out.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves (adapted from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook)
1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and in 1/4-inch slices
1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 1/4 c. white sugar
splash of water
splash of lemon juice
Combine rhubarb, sugar and water in a sauce pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice and continue to boil, keeping an eye on the mixture and stirring occasionally, for about half an hour. Add the strawberries and continue to boil for another fifteen minutes. Serve over fresh cream biscuits and topped with fresh whipped cream.
I got a migraine to end all migraines yesterday and spent the night catching ten minutes of sleep between finding a position for my head that would make me feel a little less like I was dying. I’m talking a shivering, barfing, sweating, hallucinatory dream-inducing migraine. It was horrific. I even let Ted sleep on my pillow/head because purring sort of helps managed the throbbing pain. I know some people who listen to techno music during a migraine to focus on riding out the pulsing. These things are no fun, man.
When I come out of a migraine, I am always fucking starved. I felt it lifting around mid-morning, just in time for the monthly outing of The Restaurant Club at work. We went up to a Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown and I housed a fried pork chop with rice and a fried egg. Then we all got egg custard tarts at Golden Gate Bakery. We lucked out and got a batch fresh out of the oven.
We’re taking eight jillion depositions in one case and the transcripts and exhibits have been sent to our offices all over the country and they are proving impossible to track down. Prepping materials for upcoming depositions has left me more exhausted than an office job should, so I’ve been making really easy, cozy dinners. Tuesday I had pre-made tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Wednesday, I roasted a chopped up sweet potato and served it with a poached egg and a mixed herb salad with just olive oil and salt. I ordered saag paneer from my favorite Indian restaurant last night, but I only managed to eat one samosa, a piece of naan dipped in yogurt and half a mango lassi before the migraine made me all Weekend At Bernie’s.
I’m super behind on New Yorkers, but I really, really liked this article on children of the “disappeared” in Argentina. It was heartbreaking and impossible to put down. I’m also currently reading Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, but since Lane isn’t working super late hours anymore, I have less time to read. I mean, duh, I’d rather have him home during hours than I’m awake, but I do really enjoy a completely quiet apartment and a book to jam through. Anyway, I’ve never read Lethem before and I’m pleasantly surprised. He’s like Paul Auster lite. The main character suffers from Tourette syndrome and I’m pretty convinced that his verbal tic, intense outbursts of bizarre word association, seriously influenced my migraine hallucinations last night. Brains are super fucking weird, you guys.