The Truffle Oil Diaries: Potage Parmentier

The best thing about the return of the chilly weather to our fair metropolis is the ability to start making soup again (even though I have air conditioning, the thought of making a bubbling pot of something when it's not below 60 outside makes me a little faint). After spying some beautiful leeks at my market, I decided it was time for the first batch of leek and potato soup (check out my recipe here).

And what did I drizzle on top? Truffle oil.

Yup, it was good. It made me want to expand the flavors in the soup for next time, too. Perhaps stir in some frizzled lardons after puréeing? Or some really deep other mushroomy flavor? Oh, the possibilities...


Hot Peppah Jelly 2010

Thanks to the extra-super-long Thanksgiving weekend, the first teeny-tiny batch of KK & Nanita's Hot Peppah Jelly has finally made its appearance! Thanks to a perfect hot pepper–growing summer, the 2010 batch is some crazy, intense stuff. More is on the way in the following weeks, so if you're looking for the perfect holiday gift, contact us!


Where Does This Sheep Meadow Manhole Cover Go?

I've crisscrossed Central Park's Sheep Meadow countless times, but never before noticed this manhole smack-dab in the middle of it. Where does it go? Is it a magical portal to another part of town? The door to another level of the park? Access to some kind of secret late–nineteenth century mechanical system that feeds the grass?



Pic O' The Week

It's been a wild and crazy week, so I'm finally getting around to posting this photo from last Sunday's gathering in Fort Tryon Park to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776. I'm especially proud to have captured the smoking guns, and I also wonder...what's so intriguing to our brave soldier on the right? 


This Weekend in NYC: The Quidditch World Cup

One of the best things about New York City is that the world eventually comes to us. This weekend's arrival: the Quidditch World Cup. I'd read a few articles about how the fictional Harry Potter sport has become an actual thing happening on university campuses. I couldn't decide if it was a good idea or a jump-the-shark moment, so as the QWC was basically in my neighborhood, I decided to go check out what the heck these kids were up to. The answer? Having a good ol' geektastic time. (Though I still can't figure out how they aren't in an enormous amount of pain from running around with broomsticks between their legs...)

It's actually a contact sport--there was a good amount of tackling going on.
And therefore a first-aid tent.

A snitch is captured...
...while another taunts the crowd.


A Video Interlude

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Martha Stewart
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

My apologies for being so quiet lately--I've been busy working on someone else's cooking project. I'll be back in to normal in a few days, but in the meantime, I thought I'd tide you over with this hilarious clip of Martha Stewart and Stephen Colbert from last night's The Colbert Report.


Branching Out @ Bánh Mì Saigon

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Bánh Mì Saigon's yummy--and cheap--pork sandwich, and every time I go in, I'm drawn back to its spicy, flavorful goodness. But in the interest of trying new things, I've finally branched out.

I pondered the menu and almost chose the paté option, but I ended up going with the meatball bánh mì ($4), figuring I'd leap into the world of mystery meat. I'd imagined the meatballs would be some sort of Vietnamese-inspired something, but instead, they seemed to reflect the Asian/Italian fusion going on in that neighborhood (Bánh Mì Saigon's new location is at the crossroads of Little Italy and Chinatown on Grand Street between Mulberry and Mott). The meatball recipe seemed to be traditionally Western, and matched with some sort of cooked tomato, layer #1 was very reminiscent of an Italian-style sub. Topped with the traditional Vietnamese veggies, it was one heck of a crazy combo, and while it was OK, I'm not sure I was a fan. It was a kind of flavor confusion that never really won me over...

The best part, though, was that for whatever reason, the bread was fresh and warm. It's always good at Bánh Mì Saigon, but on that particular day, I truly lucked out.

Bánh Mì Saigon, 138 Grand Street between Mulberry and Mott.


Coney Island Favorites Get The Boot

In addition to the wonderfully disturbing Shoot the Freak (the demise of which I tweeted about yesterday), 8 other longtime establishments have lost their Coney Island Boardwalk leases. According to The New York Times, the beautifully retro food stand Paul's Daughter (pictured above) is out. Founded 41 years ago, many of you might remember it as the former home of the Astroland rocket, which lived on top until the amusement park closed in 2008. Also gone is one of NYC's diviest dive bars: Ruby's. It was truly skanky, but I had a couple of beers there once, and I loved its old-school boardwalk vibe.

The freak takes a break.
Paul's Daughter in 2007.


The Truffle Oil Diaries: Sautéed Potatoes

Researching creative ways to use truffle oil, I have discovered that, apparently, its aromatic wonderfulness doesn't last for very long. Time to get crackin'!

Craving a truly satisfying potato moment, I decided to approximate something similar to the truffled French fries that have been showing up on menus around town. I cut up a potato, tossed the slices with a tablespoon of olive oil and some kosher salt, and threw them into my handy-dandy cast iron skillet. I slowly browned them over medium-low heat, turning every so often, until they were fairly brown and a little crunchy. Before serving, I tossed them with a generous drizzle of truffle oil.

I was content. So, as far as the Truffle Oil Diaries go, while it's not the most spectacular way to get one's truffle fix, this idea's a super-easy keeper.