FOOD TO HAVE ON HAND …at all times for yourself and for Guests

People always come over to eat.  It doesn’t matter if it’s 9am or midnight, there’s people dropping by.  For a meal. For a drink.

Here are some staples that I think every kitchen needs for the owner and for guests.  Most of the stuff can be stored.  No reason not to have it.

DRINKS: I don’t have anything but water and wine, but hey, nice sodas in glass jars, San Pellegrino Limonatas, San Pellegrino.  Or just lemons and sugar and tell them to make lemonade. lol

EGGS: speed to taste to health ratio…scrambled eggs wins.  nice runny fried egg on ANYTHING. yeah.

CHEESE: Lots of it. Different kinds.  Burrata.

COFFEE: good stuff.

GOOD BREAD: Good crackers. Grissini. Not the nasty stuff.

PICKLES: Pickles last indefinitely.  Mustard. Sun-dried tomatoes.

DUMPLINGS: another thing that can be prepared on a lazy sunday in front of the TV, frozen, and tastes good reheated.  Raviolis, too. […]

Today's schedule

My food schedule today…


7am: Pick up 50 pounds of duck legs.  15 pounds of Hudson Valley Duck Fat.

Go to mexican market to get parsley, thyme.  I cure the duck with parsley, thyme, bay leaves I foraged, black peppercorns, and some other secret ingredients. […]

Uni pasta

Test test! I’m testing posting on the blog from my phone, so here’s two pictures with rough instructions. As with most simple recipes, the quality of ingredients is paramount to the final dish, so get top quality everything. The pasta I use here is rustichella bucatini, the Uni is Maruka from San Diego (larger than[…]

Eleven Madison Park

e16I’m pretty sure that a meal at Eleven Madison Park, the number 5 restaurant in the world (not that it matters) was the perfect bookend to an awesome week and half in NYC.  I believe the opening was Da Wong with Quintarelli’s wines.  Eleven Madison Park has this beautiful entryway.  Is this called a courtyard?  And actually, I’m still here so I have time to go to Donut Plant.e27Leave it to the fat jello looking guy to hand out food stars!e14the plate is an empty canvas, much like the courtyard, and small bites were the start of the meal.  e15the first bite was a familiar flavor in an unfamiliar vehicle.  green apple, cheddar, in a cookie.  sweet, savory, creamy, perfect crunch.  An awesome start.


"Hookup" Ragu

wild boar legs and shoulders marinating in wine & aromatics & herbs

There’s a few principles that I use whether in a duck ragu, a wild boar ragu, or oxtail vaccinara.

1) I like to use the best quality meat in my ragus (all of my dishes, really).  I see chefs doing expensive pop ups using commodity meat.  I don’t personally get it.  For me, an animal has died so we might as well source the best ones.  That’s why I love the flavor of wild, and grassfed, and so on.  End of rant 😉 .

2) Intensify the natural flavor with bone and long cooking times […]

Buccella Winery

^that is a cup on the custom label on the custom bottle. It is supposed to provide the perfect mouthful of wine.

January 2012

There are some places you go for the view, the romanticism of the view, the birds and butterflies and listening to the chirps and flutters in solace.  Or with someone.  Well I guess that’s not completely fair to say, because you are never alone if you’re with a glass of wine. 🙂

Much like restaurants, I prefer less decor and better food if one had to choose between the two, I prefer good wine to good views, though if you’re drinking enough of the former you may have more of the latter if you know what I mean.

As for vineyards and the Winery “experience” IMO no better tasting “experience” than Quintessa’s in Napa, and once per day at a vineyard is okay with me.  Give me wine and no BS.

Buccella fit this bill exactly(boo-kel-ah, it’s Latin, not Italian, meaning “mouthful”), and had been on my list of places to go for a while, if not solely for the reason that the maker also works on Scarecrow…one of the amazing Napa cult wines up there along with Screaming Eagle and Harlan.  Buccella’s tasting room is in an industrial park in downtown Napa, and for whatever reason when I called, I had no idea it wasn’t open to the public.  How we managed to be so fortunate to score a tasting on a Saturday (when they are only open M-F) bewilders me, but I won’t ask questions, just tell you that the wines were delicious.

Erin came on a Saturday to tell us the Buccella story, pour us the Buccella wines (4 bottles, one sauvignon blanc, a delicious Jam-smelling Merlot, 2 Cabs, one from a single block.  She worked at Harlan among other extremely noteworthy wineries, and was very pleasant as a host.

{Prices, Tasting, & Purchasing}

-The price range is unavailable for the Sauvignon Blanc (sometimes a free gimme for wine-list members, but otherwise can’t be purchased – production low), $70 for the Merlot, $110 for Cab and single block cab $195.
-Buccella’s name mean mouthful, and since we dominated 4 bottles, nothing could have been truer. It wasn’t 4 – 1 oz pours, it was 4 bottles! Yes, they were empty by the time we left.
-If you want to buy bottles, they are available in 3-packs or more; not available by the single bottle.

After Buccella, I watched that amazing 49ers game, and the day could not have been more perfect 🙂

I just spoke a mouthful, but really I wish to have more Buccella.

4 entire bottles for 5 people? Linning. […]