Friday, July 27, 2018

Cooking Again - 2

Spanish style shrimp with toasted pasta
Fairly close on the heals of the meal described in my last post, we had our new friends Marianna and Nigel for dinner.

I was a little time constrained, so I recycled the hummus tahini from earlier in the week (actually I made new chickpeas and added the refrigerated tahini sauce). See my previous post for photo, which is close enough.

Accompanying that was my home-developed ricotta, sun-dried tomato and lemon zest spread.

Bobby Jay's ricotta, sun-dried tomato and lemon zest spread
For dinner, we started with my own corn soup, served with crushed hazelnuts and a few drops of hazelnut oil,

Bobby Jay's corn soup
and continued with Spanish style shrimp with toasted pasta, a great recipe from America's Test Kitchen that I have made often. See the picture at the top.

Dessert was an apricot galette. Here I used Gordon Hamersley's recipe for peach galette (from Bisto Cooking at Home), but substituted pistachios for cornmeal in the dough, substituted apricots for peaches to take advantage of the former's short season, and topped the fruit with coarsely chopped pistachios. Despite being a bit crumbly, the apricot/pistachio mix was a success.

Apricot galette with lots of pistachios
A good time was had by all, and a leisurely at-home meal provided ample time for bonding with our new friends. In the end, this is a major reason for cooking at home.

Bobby Jay

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Cooking Again - 1

Due to a rotator cuff injury and subsequent surgery, my cooking has been pretty simple of late. However, physical therapy and exercise have resulted in much less pain and much better range of motion, so I have recently undertaken two dinner parties for friends.

Our first party, for our friends John and Peter, commenced with three hors d'oeuvres: smoked duck that I buy from a farm at the farmers market on the Upper West Side on baguette toasts with hot mango chutney,
Smoked duck breast with chutney
Israeli style super creamy hummus tahini from Zahav, a great cookbook by Michael Solomonov,

Israeli style hummus
and my new favorite thing: toasted halloumi cheese served with olive oil mixed with copious amounts of za'atar (sorry, no photo).

For a starter, I made a salad of unripe peaches soaked in a little salt and sugar, with mint, black pepper and olive oil, from Food52 Genius Recipes, a simple but delicious go-to recipe.

Minted peach salad
The main course was a chicken tagine with two lemons -- regular and preserved -- from Elizabeth Bard's charming Lunch in Paris (this is a recipe from her husband's Tunisian brother-in-law),

Tagine of chicken with two types of lemon
accompanied by whole wheat couscous with dried cranberries and toasted slivered almonds.

Dessert was mini blueberry pistachio galettes made with dough containing pistachio nuts, and with pistachios added on top (recipe from Stephanie Le at, which I served with homemade lemon verbena ice cream.

Mini blueberry and pistachio galettes
All went according to plan: I'm back!

Bobby Jay

Monday, July 23, 2018

Paris -- Restaurant Jean is No More

I have written several times about Restaurant Jean in Paris, one of our reliable favorites. I'm sorry to report that, after numerous personnel changes in recent years, and loss of its Michelin star,  Jean has closed.

Bobby Jay