Tag Archives: kitchen

Recipe: Panzanella

As summer draws to an end and the evenings start too cool, I am reminded of one of my favorite pastimes:  outdoor dining.  When visiting my friends Betsy and Drew in London last month, I had the pleasure of eating Panzanella with them in their garden.  We were joined by Liz, my gallerist who also happened to be visiting from New York.  Thanks to Betsy, I am able to share with you here her surprisingly simple yet very tasty recipe for bread salad.

You will need a large bowl and a small bowl.

A one or two day-old baguette (preferably a loaf that’s tasty to begin with!)

INTO THE LARGE BOWL:

Tear the bread into bite sized pieces, and

drizzle flavorful olive oil over the bread bites until you coat them lightly, use your hand to stir the pieces around.

INTO SMALL BOWL

-really ripe tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces

-finely diced celery (only if you love celery- which I do!)

-one garlic clove, finely minced

-sherry or balsamic vinegar (whichever is of better quality and better tasting)

Look and see how much olive oil you used and let that be your gage as to how much vinegar you use.  If you are not a “by sight”cook, about two tablespoons should do it.

Add more olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper.

Mix the tomatoes and seasonings with your hand so that you can squeeze them a bit (what fun)!

COMBINE the tomato mixture with the torn bread.

Cover this with a plate or lid of some sort and allow to sit for an hour, or for as long as it takes to get the bread soft and toothsome.

Before serving add freshly torn basil leaves (a handful) and some cubed fresh mozzarella cheese.

Adjust salt, pepper and possibly add some piment d’esplette before serving.

Also, as this is a leftover salad, add any olives, fresh squeezed lemon, grilled fish, hard boiled egg or lettuces.

This makes a fabulous accompaniment to cold roast chicken or some other tasty bird.  Enjoy!

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Txikito

This Basque restaurant, which is in its second year, was opened by the chef couple Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero.  Chef Raij, born to Argentinean parents living in Minneapolis, learned the value of good food at an early age from her mother who is an excellent cook.  Raij believes that cooking is its own language, and that making food for someone can be an expression of love.  After meeting while working at the Spanish restaurant Meigas in the late 90’s, she and her husband, a native of Bilbao, travelled to Spain where she was deeply impressed with the lifestyle and culinary culture.  Delivering the experience of the convivial family table was important in creating a menu that is the couple’s signature version of traditional Basque cuisine. Pictured are the “Pulpo” octopus carpaccio, and the signature special “Txanquetes” salad with baby arugula and poached egg.  When dining out, the couple enjoy eating at Degustation in Manhattan, and Franny’s or Roberta’s in Brooklyn.  240 Ninth Avenue  www.txikitonyc.com

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Apiary

Chef Scott Bryan worked in the New York kitchens of Gotham Bar and Grill, Bouley, Le Bernardin and Lespinasse, and was the executive chef and co-owner at Veritas for years.  As one would guess, he is extremely assured and yet he is completely unpretentious.  He believes in clean, pronounced flavors that stand alone, and says that there should be no more than two good ideas on a plate at a time.  When asked about the restaurant business, the chef will tell you he was hooked from the get-go.  He finds in cooking an exciting mix of creativity, improvisation and adaptation where one receives instant feedback, or gratification, for the hard work.  When going out to eat, Chef Bryan likes to frequent places like Sushi Yasuda, Shorty’s .32 in Soho, or his old haunt Le Bernardin.  When eating at home, he prefers to keep it simple and might make some pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe.  60 3rd Avenue www.apiarynyc.com

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6th Street Kitchen

You may remember chef Gregory Torrech from our our first meeting at Brown cafe (over the body of a suckling pig).  As of a month ago, he is the chef at 6th Street Kitchen where he has brought his progressive American cuisine using seasonal ingredients.  He and his crew of four work in an open kitchen overlooking the dining room.  The best seat in the house, in our humble opinion, is at a small counter which faces the kitchen where one can see the action first-hand.  The BBQ Lamb Ribs with cole slaw is the most popular dish.  Once home after a long day at work, chef Torrech will often eat cereal topped with granola.  We’ve been told the brunch menu may soon reflect this comfort food by including a home-made granola.  Some day, Torrech intends to dine at chef Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago.

The owner of this restaurant, chef Chris Genoversa has been in the business his entire life.  Asked to elaborate upon his tagline for the restaurant “simple food for complicated people”, he says that he prefers “to serve his favorite foods based on season and availability of product”.  He wants “to strive for a loyalty to technique and the integrity of our ingredients”.  The evening we met , Genoversa could be seen opening bottles of wine, greeting newcomers and helping to serve the guests.  507 East 6th Street  www.6thstreetkitchen.com

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WD50

Chef Wylie Dufresne opened WD50 in 2003, and his Modern American menu has been constantly evolving ever since.  In his kitchen, 14 employees work full time.  He says that he and his crew are constantly trying to understand as much as possible about food in order to cook in an informed way.  When spending precious time with his family, Chef Dufresne loves to cook simple meals such as roast chicken and mashed potatoes.  When dining out, he and his wife like to go to Ssam Bar.   50 Clinton Street  www.wd50.com

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Satsko

Seven years ago, Satsko Watanabe left a career as a computer consultant to open this sake bar and restaurant.  Having no background in the food industry, she drew from her experience as a someone who loves to cook and entertain.  She incorporates the traditional cuisine of her native Japan with ingredients such as brown rice, olive oil, avocado and cilantro and attributes her Westernized style to the fact that she has lived in New York a long time.  Satsko is a neighborhood bar and restaurant with a local and friendly crowd.  Two marriages,  three engagements and counting – in the words of Satsko “people meet people here”.   There is a crew of two working each night:  one in the tiny kitchen and one behind the equally small bar.  They are open for dinner nightly, whereas the latest and second Lower East Side location will be serving brunch as of this coming weekend!  207 East 7th Street www.satsko.com and 245 Eldridge Street

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The Babin-Wolfson kitchen

A beautiful cold summer borscht, made  from a New York Times recipe with fresh herbs from the garden.

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