Friday, October 23, 2009
There's Something About Meatballs, and A Sweet New Year!
Wow. So I just looked at this blog and realized it has descended into a PR arm for the book and there is NO FOOD on the first page!!! That is Very Bad, and this will correct it.
Greetings from Seattle-- a lovely town full of delicious food. BUT... you know, after eating out for 6 days straight now I gotta say, I just want some home cooked goodness, you know? Last night at our singing at Third Place Books Hostess with the Mostess Wendy Manning arranged for a staff member (ROCK STAR) to make food from the cookbook for the signing. I thought I was going to dissolve into a puddle of tears when I smelled the Overnight Chuck Roast, Rice Pilaf with Garlic Yogurt and Potato Salad!!!! Delicious.
And speaking of delicious, this post has been sitting around waiting to be written for about a month! Shame! Italian Meatball dinner on Rosh Hashanah weekend. Brilliant! And the tomatoes, chard and herbs??? From MY GARDEN!!!!! Below, the invite.
Hello again, hungry kiddies!
Maybe I flatter myself, but I want to get a few more of these in before I go away on Book Tour! The Musical! (see: Jazz Hands.) Seriously, the publicity machine for Forking Fantastic! Put The Party Back In Dinner Party (by yours truly and Zora) is really ramping up and before you know it, we will be drinking endless martinis on jet planes, arriving in baggage claims sloppily calling for our "handlers", trashing hotel rooms, removing our clothes at book signings, and auctioning my signed brassiere off for cab fare back to the trashed hotel room.
So in light of what MY future holds, and how much I know you will miss me, I thought we would partake in a good old fashioned red checked tablecloth dinner this Saturday night. Karl and I recently had dinner at a much revered place here in Astoria called Trattoria L'Incontro. I had Ossobucco over gnocchi, he had meatballs and spaghetti. As good as the ossobucco was, it couldn't hold a candle to those meatballs; they were ridiculously delicious-- tasted like someone's mom had made them. Then just last weekend I had the fine pleasure of being with Scarola at her little Fire Island hideaway and Sunday night she made her "Sunday Sauce" as Nick (another real Italian) called it. I carefully watched her marinara and definitely learned something so I could foist it upon you. Here is what I am thinking:
Chicken Liver Crostini (in my lifelong goal for mine to be as good as Michael White's, I try again)***
Mussels and Clams with Preserved Lemon, Wine, Garlic and Chili Flake (and Crusty Bread!)
Herb Salad from my garden!!
Pasta with Meatballs and Marinara
Tomato Salad with Red Onion, Capers and Anchovy Vinaigrette
Chard and Cauliflower with Sherry Soaked Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts
Some sort of desserty thing. (honestly, after those little fried peach pie things from last week's dinner, I am still in dessert coma)
Usual Rules Apply. First 20 rsvps get the seats, $35 + a bottle of wine gets you in the door. No cancellations after Friday at 5pm, I gotta make some meatballs! Address with confirmation.
This was the "fun" side of the table. They were so self entertaining, I didn't even need to get over there! God-- does my backyard ever look more beautiful than this? I think not.
Cauliflower-- roasted with olive oil, then tossed with Chard (from my garden!!) that I sauteed with garlic, sherry soaked raisins and chili flake. Very southern Italian and fucking good!
Tomatoes-- mostly from my garden, with red onion, capers, and a vinaigrette made of rice vinegar (very soft acidity) a touch of sherry vinegar, garlic, salt,pepper, olive oil and ANCHOVIES. Tons of em mashed up. Sooooooo good. I could eat this all day long.
Clams and mussels with smoked paprika, white wine and garlic. An old friend-- sort of standby that never disappoints. Sort of like that special booty call person in your life.
Oh Michael White... I will discover your chicken liver pate secrets YET!!! This time, I sauteed them in butter and sherry, and then did a redux with port and sherry and added a little sugar, a little vin santo and tons more butter. I think next time I add marsala.
More tomato porn...
Toasted pine nuts-- these were supposed to go on the cauliflower.. and then I forgot. So I think we just ate them. They would have been great on the cauli/chard, though too.
Oh you unphotogenic little anchovies.... I know how beautiful and special you are!!!
Karl, my loving husband, documents my debut as a farmer. I grew all of that, yo!
Oh...my Austrian ancestors would be so proud... If only I could roll proper pastry too!
Golden raisins, soaking in warm sherry. Yeah.
Roasted cauli, waiting to be united with sauteed chard
Meatballs!!! Veal, pork and beef meatballs. Combined with a paste of garlic, red onion, herbs, bread crumbs, eggs, and olive oil. Sooooo moist and delicious and full of flavor.
Ohhhhh broccoli raab, you bitter bitter mistress, you. How I love thee.
Meatballs in the raw. Hot.
Another lovely and successful evening. I have no recollection of dessert-- oh wait-- i do too. It was apples baked with cinnamon and butter, finished with bourbon whipped cream. You know, in honor of Rosh Hashanah. Thanks to all, and to all a good night!