Sunday, November 15, 2009

David Chang in my kitchen

I'm enjoying the Momofuk(y)u book. A lot. *

Last night I quick-pickled some pretty enoki mushrooms and put them on a salad of escarole with avocado. And dressed it with his "Octo" vinaigrette, whose creation he credits to Kevin Pemoulie...though I guess, like so many things, it's hardly original. But certainly, I'd never dressed chicken with it. That comes next...

I deep-fried chicken pieces sans batter, to see what would happen. Meh. Batter is better. But for this utterly delectable vinaigrette I think I will roast the chicken next time, get the skin dark and crisp, then carve it, platter it and then dribble on this deliciousness. Or serve it with butter lettuce leaves with sauce on side? Or bake chicken pieces at very high heat, say 450', for about 50 minutes.

This frying thing was unnecessary and I didn't get the dark colour I was craving (and that is so beautifully photographed in the book and wrapped in my teeth at the bar at Noodle Bar)...

'Nother thought: bacon press. Half the food they seem to cook is squished beneath a bacon press. If you don't know, it looks like an old fashioned pre-electric iron (made of iron, get it?). Must get one. Helps with the char and the crispy.

Vince is out running across the Brooklyn Bridge and round Battery Park. We walked out of BAM's Inside Out at interval. I booked balcony seats online yesterday on the spur of the moment after seeing a picture on the website of airborne people...A circus meets deep thought (at least in the programme notes) that left me feeling editorial and wanting to take a big fat sharpie and edits reams of it. Zzzzzzzzz. Some great physical stunts and talents but lacking direction and coming off as deeply self indulgent. Instead we had more coffee and apple strudel at Thomas Beisl! Yes, the service was just as bad. The strudel was a stunner.

I have got back into my abandoned 100 sit up and push up regime and have had a stern talking to from myself. So it'll be back to the tennis wall on the LES over lunch break. Exercise in the awful New York summer seems futile. Winter is a much better story.

Dinner, you ask? Well, ah, actually...


I bought a lot of fancy cheeses on Friday and it is time to slay them. So, cheese, bread, red wine.

Octo Vinaigrette:

2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
1/4 Tsp finely chopped pickled chile, or 1 fresh bird's eye chile, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar [I used apple cider]
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1/4 Tbsp sesame oil [instead of these oils I used walnut]
1 1/4 Tbsp sugar
Black pepper

Mix. Keeps 4-5 days in fridge. Put on everything.

It's worth buying the book just to learn about the slow-poached eggs. Poached in their shells.


  1. There are days when I wonder how I ever lived without my bacon press -- it makes so many things so much easier and more delicious.

  2. WOW...that looks really good. I don't know, the deep-fried chicken is definitely working for me. Hopefully one day WE'LL get to cook together! We could make a dozen different kinds of Vietnamese sandwiches!

  3. Girls, I'm a colonial... please help me a bacon press like those flat-bed hot plates used to "singe" wraps?

    And any vinaigrette that has the words ginger and garlic in its receipt has me.

  4. P.S. I do like the new "me" photo!

  5. Hmm, you asterisked the Momofuku book but didn't explain the pun, maybe you should? I would. Too much of an otherwise handy thing, especially swearing, is too much, period. :-)

  6. melanie...are you that melanie? :-)Can't wait to get one...

    Thomas! That would be fun...deep- fried works in theory for me but I couldn't get them dark enough this time, without batter.

    Dinahmow, and the explanation was especially for colonials (I'm one too, as you know. Actually, so are the Americans, I'm one of those too!!!!). Where was I? Oh yes: What does "flat-bed hot plates used to "singe" wraps?" mean.

    Thank you, too. That pic is at Clifton Beach, Cape Town, on the occasion of our first wedding anniversary :-)last year.

    Beence...the previous post about the book essplained the Fuk(y)u...
    I know, I know...

  7. When confused -- Google. I was and I did.
    The thing I called a flat bed hot plate is(apparently) a bacon press.


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