Dinner: Wednesday, May 6, 2009

photo-71After lunch’s feast just a simple salad tonight, please. To mixed greens I added three newish food obsessions, and one old stand-by:

Half a container (4 oz.) of Wakim’s Foods garbanzo salad (Bristol, PA). It’s just garbanzo beans, spinach, olive oil, lemon juice and some other herbs, but it’s so damn good. 

The end of a jar of goat feta in olive oil from Patches of Star Dairy (Nazareth, PA) that a friend picked up at the Union Square Greenmarket. There’s a certain tang the goat’s milk gives to the feta that just kicks it up a notch.

photo-21Diced Medjool dates from Russ & Daughters. Just like candy. Better, in fact. I’m eating some chocolate right now as I write this and I think I’d prefer the dates.

On top of all that, I added a fried egg, cooked over-medium, which I then cut into bite-sized pieces with my knife and let the last molten bit of yolk drip all over everything. Super delicious.


Saturday: May 2, 2009

photo-111Eggs, eggs, eggs! 

I had the Scottish smoked salmon from Russ & Daughters; I had the onion; a friend had the bread, the creme fraiche and the ramps.

This friend might be more about ramps than he is eggs, his case being ramps — which are a leek/green onion-looking vegetable that tastes like a sprighty garlic and green onion — are purely seasonal, a signal of spring, and that they actually can’t be cultivated. 

I say: Yes, they are delicious. But are ramps worth the obsession? I don’t know. Back to the eggs. …

photo-121photo-13I’ve had this egg dish before of scrambled eggs, caramelized onions and lox many a time and it’s just such a nice balance of salty, creamy, just a touch of the onion, which is so mild and sweet at that point. Fantastic way to begin a Saturday (even if this post is a belated (sorry!).

Bonus: The Cheese That Might Kick My A**

photo-9Milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sure let’s throw butter in there for good measure, it’s true: I’m a dairy girl at heart.

And to qualify my cheese consumption, if I am a dairy girl, then I am a cheese fiend. I estimate I get at least a third or more of my calcium strictly from the sort of cheese that is sold by the pound ($8 -$28 per lb) and has an inordinately high saturated-fat-to-ounce-ratio. Doesn’t stop me (sorry, Mom). 

Back to the cheese at hand (anyone get the Snoop Dogg reference?), which is staring me down just outside the periphery of my field of vision of glasses, which means I can’t really see it too well at all. 

I’ve run into so few cheeses over the years that are personally complicated that if I even sample it before purchase, it’s really just to have a sneak-preview taste. (See the March 30 post on Murray’s, selecting the “strongest cheese in the case”.)

photo-7I am a sucker for cheese with an ashen layer in the middle, so today I picked up a quarter pound of a raw milk Morbier, the selling point being the little placard that reads: “Vegetable Ash separates the morning and afternoon milkings.” Quaint, right? No. Pungent and spicy and is only manageable in small doses  — to be able to enjoy it, I had to cut that small piece (top) into 4 or 5 bits.

So the question is not does this cheese knock my socks off? Yes, and I mostly don’t mind. More surprised. But what the hell am I going to actually do with a quarter-pound of it? 

COST: $3.50 of wonderment
PREP TIME: My cheese-consumption lifetime

Lunch: Friday, May 1, 2009

Love, love, love Russ & Daughters.


photo-3It’s so perfectly New York. The gorgeous smoked fish, the chocolate-dipped everything, the cheeses, the fresh-squeezed juice and premium dried fruits — makes me look at the rain outside and get impatient for summer and park picnics and all the good food and merriment that goes hand-in-hand. 

photo2I love the “Super Heeb” sandwich, which is horseradish creme cheese, whitefish salad and wasabi-flavored roe that are both so pretty and green and crunch so squeakily and give the whole thing a nice kick.

So how surprised was I to see that the Heeb and Super Heeb ($2 worth of the wasabi roe to make it “super”) have been renamed to the Heebster and the Super Heebster — what?!! LOL

There is some brilliance stirring here: Lower East Side (Jewish) institution enters 21st century, realizes is surrounded by cute young things with asymmetrical haircuts, decides to embrace the new LES culture, makes hipster pun yet remains true to heritage.

Not a bad model for neighborhoods everywhere which are evolving and changing: If you’ve got a good thing going, you don’t have to change. But there’s no reason you can’t some have fun with it. 

COST: $25 splurge
PREP TIME: 5 minute walk!  

Drool-worthy photos of fish and more after the jump: 

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