<Insert ritual apology for not posting recently. Anyway, nudged out of my torpor by a pleasant crossing of the streams in my Twitters. The cinetrix got us Ottolenghi's Plenty a while back, and it's inspiring. I have not done it full justice, but seems like one of those books that comes along and actually changes how and what you cook. So, it was a pleasure to see that one Mr. John Darnelle had joined me on the bandwagon:
While you wait for the UPS man to bring your Sweet & Sassy Mix, you might give this giardiniera receipt from G&G a whirl. The Cochon muffaletta is the truth, and may, in some situations, edge out the legendary Central Grocery standardbearer. Some of these situations would include wanting to sit down while you eat, having this sandwich on a Sunday, etc. The puree at the end seems smoother than you want, but in terms of sandwich architecture, makes some sense.
As for the title of this post, some may wonder - is it still the G-Funk Era? Until Warren G tells us different, the G-Funk Era it remains:
It is, as it happens, the key ingredient in the Only Sandwich That Matters, commonly termed the Muffuletta or Muffaletta. That guy who rapped w/DJ Code Money spelled his name different ways too. To create the muffuletta not on Decatur St, and indeed, not even in the 504, would be a literally Promethian feat, if Prometheus had had the good sense to steal a delicious and robust sandwich from the gods.
So, Craigie on Main is open again tonight with a $39 special -- one better than a .38 special, for sure. It's interesting that placees that I know of that are open are neighborhood focused* (COM, Northern Spy in NYC), while the places that are shut, (too many to name) are not, by and large. It's not as if the Spies or Maws' guys are foraging lichen in the snow for tonight's meal, but it does raise a question about restaurants that is broader. We've all been talking for a long time about food miles, and foodsheds, etc. True enough, but this food does not a) cook itself or b) eat itself. If we care about sustainability (a strong maybe, maybe?), it seems worth it to add where cooks and servers come from, and how they get to the restaurant, and where customers come from, and how they get to the restaurant.
A restaurant that's not snowed in today got me thinking about this back in December. At my last meal at Husk, it seemed as if a large proportion of the patrons were eating there either as their first stop after getting off an airplane, or their last stop before getting on an airplane (there was luggage to be wrangled in the foyer). I like Sean Brock's food, and I'm glad the restaurant is successful, and is getting the buzz it warrants. However, given Brock's local focus, it's ironic that the equation has shifted from flying the food to the people to flying the people to the food. I guess what I'm trying to say is, Hold On Loosely:
*Yes, COM is expensive, and NS ain't cheap, but then, they're located in pretty pricey neighborhoods. Indeed, the great thing about the $39 special is that it gives a chance for folks who are within walking/mushing/XC distance to eat in a non-birthday/anniversary moment.
For the Cod, Hunter S. Thompson's suicide note is a propos. The next two weeks hold nothing but incessant repitition of the world "Harbaugh," seasoned with higlights of especially inspirational club stabbings. But two chefs the Cod admires have similar SB specials in the pipeline:
But I digress. In addition to emails from disgruntled parents of fucking technically grownup college students about assaults on their special snowflakes' self-esteem by the Cod or his comrades, the email has been blowing up with desperate pleas from every last merchant the Cod has ever dealt with, imploring the purchase of electronic gift cards, for which there is still time. (I am reminded of the joke where the Catholic priest says "Yes! But is there TIME?") What a shitty gift. Seriously, just go to the ATM and pull out the amount of cash you might put on a gift card, and stick it in an envelope.
But, if the sleigh is a little light, and you want to do something, get after All Hands On Deck, a cookbook to benefit Red Hook, the which was ravaged by Sandy (and is the new home of Rick's Picks CEO Rick.) It has cocktails and dumplings and all kinds of good stuff in it and the $ goes to help businesses that got drowned in Sandy. Is it a rival of Cooking up a Storm, considered by some to be the Citizen Kane of hurricane relief cookbooks? Gamble $15 and find out!
What with some years at a day job 'Fessering, the Cod has many grasshoppers to be proud of. One familiar to regular readers here is Penny Pascal, noted for her Peerless Photoshopping. Ms. Pascal has found a far more worthwhile project than putting Alice Waters' head various places as the Cod directs. Having stumbled across The Playboy Host & Bar Book, our intrepid hostess is in the midst of a mixthrough of each and every cocktail described therein. Among other things, our hostess will likely consume more blended whiskey than any 20-something bachelorette this side of Jinx Kragen, and how could that be bad? Follow along here.
File under "no brainer." If you are Gothamically challenged, the Cod his own self will be celebrating the birthday of his biological host by shucking 100 Island Creek oysters at Nick's, in Clemson, SC. There will be a jar for Rockaway relief.
Sarah Sprague, who writes the only football and food stuff on the internet you should be reading, mentioned that she was looking forward to The Cod's annual spate of Grinchy posts about shit you don't need, variously bundled as The Twelve or So Days of Crassmas, or, more generally as Williams-Sonomadness. But like Target or my nieces, it's hard to wait for it to be Christmastime, especially when FOC Ms. Skeen drops some knowledge something like the Pancake Plate.
It's not just a solution to a problem that does not exist; it's a solution to a problem that's almost impossible to understand. They are pancake plates. You may have been bumping along eating pancakes off of regular plates, but, you see, these have a little reservoir for excess syrup.