JP Eats Food Blog. Welcome to my food (and wine) blog. I am very lucky to enjoy good food and wine pretty frequently. I also spend a good deal of time learning and experimenting with both. The point of this blog is to share some of that with you as well as help me remember foods, wines, and little bits and pieces of information I pick up along the way. I rarely take pictures in nice restaurants, so most of what you see here comes from my kitchen, my friends' kitchens, or various casual and local hot spots. You can hit the archive, or never miss a post with rss.



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Lobster and truffle fettuccine, a new favorite of mine. There are two versions - full on indulgent (expensive) and quick and relatively cheap. This is quick and cheap, and it’s still seriously good. The wine is Aubert chardonnay, a love it or hate it wine (though, I think most of the haters haven’t actually tried it, but I digress…) that’s a perfect pairing. Here’s how to make the quick/ cheap version of this:
Get and thaw frozen lobster tails from a trusted source—one larger tail per person should do. Start cooking your pasta. Cut the tails at the joints into even segments, season with salt and pepper, then sear for 1-2 minutes in a really hot pan with a bit of oil, turning once. Remove the pan from heat, and spoon out as much of the oil as you can. Add one of those 3oz packages of D’Artagnan (or similar) white truffle butter, and swirl it around to melt. Return to low heat, and once the butter is melted, add half a cup heavy cream. Remove the lobster and set aside. Add the cooked pasta, combine, and, if needed, add up to a cup of the pasta cooking liquid to get the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Top pasta portions with lobster, chives, and parmesan.

Lobster and truffle fettuccine, a new favorite of mine. There are two versions - full on indulgent (expensive) and quick and relatively cheap. This is quick and cheap, and it’s still seriously good. The wine is Aubert chardonnay, a love it or hate it wine (though, I think most of the haters haven’t actually tried it, but I digress…) that’s a perfect pairing. Here’s how to make the quick/ cheap version of this:

Get and thaw frozen lobster tails from a trusted source—one larger tail per person should do. Start cooking your pasta. Cut the tails at the joints into even segments, season with salt and pepper, then sear for 1-2 minutes in a really hot pan with a bit of oil, turning once. Remove the pan from heat, and spoon out as much of the oil as you can. Add one of those 3oz packages of D’Artagnan (or similar) white truffle butter, and swirl it around to melt. Return to low heat, and once the butter is melted, add half a cup heavy cream. Remove the lobster and set aside. Add the cooked pasta, combine, and, if needed, add up to a cup of the pasta cooking liquid to get the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Top pasta portions with lobster, chives, and parmesan.

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Posted Wednesday March 19, 2014 (link) | lobster | truffle | pasta | wine | aubert | recipe

Simple fish tacos at home. After having lived in San Diego for a few years, I love a good fish taco. If you start with good fish, it’s so easy to make them at home I’m embarrassed that I don’t do it more often.
For these fish tacos, I lightly dusted flounder filets from Blue Moon Fish with salt, cayenne pepper, and wondra flour, then really quickly cooked them in a nonstick pan. Sometimes I’ll do a more substantial batter, but I often prefer them this way for a lighter, healthier meal that highlights the fish more than other flavors. On a corn tortilla from Hot Bread Kitchen (I was surprised at how good these are, actually), I added some cilantro-lime mayo, fish, shredded green cabbage, tomato, and a bit more cilantro and lime. I then finished them with some hot sauce a friend brought back from the Caribbean.

Simple fish tacos at home. After having lived in San Diego for a few years, I love a good fish taco. If you start with good fish, it’s so easy to make them at home I’m embarrassed that I don’t do it more often.

For these fish tacos, I lightly dusted flounder filets from Blue Moon Fish with salt, cayenne pepper, and wondra flour, then really quickly cooked them in a nonstick pan. Sometimes I’ll do a more substantial batter, but I often prefer them this way for a lighter, healthier meal that highlights the fish more than other flavors. On a corn tortilla from Hot Bread Kitchen (I was surprised at how good these are, actually), I added some cilantro-lime mayo, fish, shredded green cabbage, tomato, and a bit more cilantro and lime. I then finished them with some hot sauce a friend brought back from the Caribbean.

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Posted Monday July 2, 2012 (link) | fish | blue moon fish | recipe

A couple of big, beautiful black sea bass filets from Blue Moon Fish, just out of the oven. With fish this good, simple is better. These were seasoned with salt and pepper and dusted with Wondra flour, cooked skin side down for a few minutes, flipped, and finished in the oven for a few more minutes. This technique is great for producing delicious, crispy skin.
A few tips: 1) make sure the fish is as dry as possible before seasoning. 2) Use Wondra flour—this technique comes from La Bernadin, I believe, and really works well. 3) Press the fish firmly into the pan when it first goes in to keep the skin from curling. 4) Finishing in the oven instead of on the stove top takes the skin to the next level of crispiness without drying out or overcooking the flesh.

A couple of big, beautiful black sea bass filets from Blue Moon Fish, just out of the oven. With fish this good, simple is better. These were seasoned with salt and pepper and dusted with Wondra flour, cooked skin side down for a few minutes, flipped, and finished in the oven for a few more minutes. This technique is great for producing delicious, crispy skin.

A few tips: 1) make sure the fish is as dry as possible before seasoning. 2) Use Wondra flour—this technique comes from La Bernadin, I believe, and really works well. 3) Press the fish firmly into the pan when it first goes in to keep the skin from curling. 4) Finishing in the oven instead of on the stove top takes the skin to the next level of crispiness without drying out or overcooking the flesh.

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Posted Sunday May 20, 2012 (link) | fish | blue moon fish | recipe | nyc

Cauliflower Risotto

Cauliflower risotto has a delicate but wonderful nutty flavor that goes very well with fish or scallops, pork, or chicken. If you’re serving as its own course, I’d suggest roasting some florets and scattering them on the risotto. Please note that I’m writing this recipe assuming you know the basics of cooking risotto. If not, find a recipe for a basic risotto and make sure you understand the process before trying this.

Ingredients:

1/2 Head of Cauliflower, stalk and florets
4 Cups chicken stock
1 Large shallot
2-4 Tbsp butter
1 Cup Arborio rice (or your risotto rice of choice)
1/2 Cup aromatic but not overly oaky white wine
1/4 Cup grated Grana Padano
1/4 Cup chopper parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Make a basic cauliflower purée: add the cauliflower florets and 2 cups chicken stock in a small sauce pan and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the stock. Combine florets and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the stock in a blender and purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2) Combine the reserved stock from the cauliflower with the remaining stock and let it simmer on a back burner.

3) Give the shallots and cauliflower stalks a course chop and lightly sauté in 2 tbsp of butter until tender but only barely browned in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes.

4) Add the wine to the pan and cook until reduced, 1-2 minutes. Add stock 1/2 a cup at a time, cooking until absorbed until the rice is nearly but not quite al dente. When you get to the point where you would normally add your last 1/2 cup of stock to finish cooking, instead add 1 cup of cauliflower puree and cook until done, 1-2 more minutes. It’s critical that you don’t wait until the rice is done to add the puree in which case the rice will definitely be overdone and you’ll have pasty mush.

5) Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, parsley, and 1-2 tbsp butter if desired. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Posted Sunday March 25, 2012 (link) | cauliflower | risotto | recipe

Homemade “Philly” cheesesteak. You should never have left over prime dry-aged ribeye, but if you do, this is what you should do with it. As much as I love a real cheesesteak, it’s hard for them to compete with one like this made with a very high quality steak, slow cooked onions, and good Gruyere. It’s easy too. Just slow cook or very slowly sauté the onions in a nonstick pan until caramelized. Add the ribeye which you’ve sliced thinly against the grain. Once the ribeye is browned, move everything into a rectangle roughly the size of your sliced open bread and top with thinly sliced cheese. Press the bread down on top and let cook for a minute to melt the cheese and warm the bread. Use a spatula to get everything out of the pan in one piece. So good.

Homemade “Philly” cheesesteak. You should never have left over prime dry-aged ribeye, but if you do, this is what you should do with it. As much as I love a real cheesesteak, it’s hard for them to compete with one like this made with a very high quality steak, slow cooked onions, and good Gruyere. It’s easy too. Just slow cook or very slowly sauté the onions in a nonstick pan until caramelized. Add the ribeye which you’ve sliced thinly against the grain. Once the ribeye is browned, move everything into a rectangle roughly the size of your sliced open bread and top with thinly sliced cheese. Press the bread down on top and let cook for a minute to melt the cheese and warm the bread. Use a spatula to get everything out of the pan in one piece. So good.

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Posted Wednesday December 14, 2011 (link) | cheesesteak | recipe

Filet mignon with black truffle butter. Filets are generally not as flavorful as other cuts, so I usually serve with a flavorful accompaniment such as a gorgonzola butter or green peppercorn sauce or wrap them in bacon. To really punch up the richness and flavor, you can cook the steaks sous vide with a tablespoon or two of truffle butter in the bag. Since the steaks cook at a low temperature, the truffle flavor doesn’t degrade nearly as much as it does if you cook it into a sauce. After the steaks have been cooked to your liking in the water bath, plunge them into ice water for 10-20 minutes to bring the core temperature down so that you don’t overcook them when browning. Then quickly sear them in a very hot pan. Serve with a disk of fresh, room temperature truffle butter on top.

Filet mignon with black truffle butter. Filets are generally not as flavorful as other cuts, so I usually serve with a flavorful accompaniment such as a gorgonzola butter or green peppercorn sauce or wrap them in bacon. To really punch up the richness and flavor, you can cook the steaks sous vide with a tablespoon or two of truffle butter in the bag. Since the steaks cook at a low temperature, the truffle flavor doesn’t degrade nearly as much as it does if you cook it into a sauce. After the steaks have been cooked to your liking in the water bath, plunge them into ice water for 10-20 minutes to bring the core temperature down so that you don’t overcook them when browning. Then quickly sear them in a very hot pan. Serve with a disk of fresh, room temperature truffle butter on top.

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Posted Wednesday December 7, 2011 (link) | steak | truffles | recipe

Goat cheese agnolotti with maitake mushrooms. The theme since Thanksgiving (I cooked elsewhere this year so no posts—sorry!) has been simplicity. Luckily in NYC we have access to such incredible ingredients that simple can still mean delicious. Yesterday, I stopped by Eataly and picked up these great looking agnolotti and mushrooms. Maitake have such an exquisite flavor that (in my opinion) they do best when prepared quickly and simply. Here, I quickly sautéed them (4-5 minutes over medium heat), added a bit of base tomato sauce and brought to a simmer, then tossed with the finished agnolotti. 20 Minutes start to finish including boiling water.

Goat cheese agnolotti with maitake mushrooms. The theme since Thanksgiving (I cooked elsewhere this year so no posts—sorry!) has been simplicity. Luckily in NYC we have access to such incredible ingredients that simple can still mean delicious. Yesterday, I stopped by Eataly and picked up these great looking agnolotti and mushrooms. Maitake have such an exquisite flavor that (in my opinion) they do best when prepared quickly and simply. Here, I quickly sautéed them (4-5 minutes over medium heat), added a bit of base tomato sauce and brought to a simmer, then tossed with the finished agnolotti. 20 Minutes start to finish including boiling water.

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Posted Monday November 28, 2011 (link) | pasta | mushrooms | eataly | recipe | nyc

Terrible iPhone photo of really good curried striped bass. I thought this was worth posting because it’s so easy and delicious. Start with a nice piece of striped bass (mine was from Blue Moon Fish). Season with salt and pepper and sear it in olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium to medium-high on one side for about 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat then dust the uncooked side with the curry powder of your choice (I used Madras, just make sure to use a really high quality curry powder). Wipe the excess oil out of the pan, flip the fish, dust the cooked side, and move the pan to a 450 degree oven for 5-10 more minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet.

Terrible iPhone photo of really good curried striped bass. I thought this was worth posting because it’s so easy and delicious. Start with a nice piece of striped bass (mine was from Blue Moon Fish). Season with salt and pepper and sear it in olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium to medium-high on one side for about 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat then dust the uncooked side with the curry powder of your choice (I used Madras, just make sure to use a really high quality curry powder). Wipe the excess oil out of the pan, flip the fish, dust the cooked side, and move the pan to a 450 degree oven for 5-10 more minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet.

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Posted Sunday November 27, 2011 (link) | striped bass | blue moon fish | recipe

Pork neck medallions and sweet potato puree. Another adaptation from the Eleven Madison Park Cookbook, and this one is a winner. The Mangalitsa pork from Mosefund Farms was cooked sous vide for 24 hours, then transferred to an ice bath for four hours. Half-inch medallions were sliced, lightly dredged in flour, then quickly seared. The sweet potato puree is luxurious and rich; potatoes are sweat in butter, simmered in cream until soft, and pureed until smooth. As an aside, I love that the EMP cookbook has a complete, alphabetized section devoted to purees.

Pork neck medallions and sweet potato puree. Another adaptation from the Eleven Madison Park Cookbook, and this one is a winner. The Mangalitsa pork from Mosefund Farms was cooked sous vide for 24 hours, then transferred to an ice bath for four hours. Half-inch medallions were sliced, lightly dredged in flour, then quickly seared. The sweet potato puree is luxurious and rich; potatoes are sweat in butter, simmered in cream until soft, and pureed until smooth. As an aside, I love that the EMP cookbook has a complete, alphabetized section devoted to purees.

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Posted Monday November 14, 2011 (link) | mangalitsa pork | eleven madison park | recipe

Roasted duck with lavender, honey, and asian spices, from the Eleven Madison Park Cookbook. The duck might not be the most creative or magnificent item on the EMP menu, but from a shear eating pleasure perspective, it’s probably my favorite. I’ve been cooking from this cookbook for a couple of weeks now (I’ll post some thoughts about that soon), and this happens to be one of the simplest recipes it contains. All you do is air dry the duck, rub it all over with honey, season it, stuff it with fresh lavender, and roast it. Easy. Well, sort of. A few things make it trickier than that:
First, the recipe as printed in the first run of the cookbook is misprinted—it says to cook the duck for a total of 18 minutes at 375. Oops. But that’s OK, I have a Thermapen for a reason.
Second, the size of the duck matters if you want crispy skin and properly cooked breasts. At EMP, they use Moscovy ducks that I’d estimate to be 6lbs. My little Lola duck from Hudson Valley Duck Farms was too small for this recipe, but I knew that so I compensated by using a bit of high heat at the end to crisp up the skin. My results were really good… the flavors in this recipe are wonderful, but I didn’t get to EMP level crispiness. Maybe this will be incentive I need to finally buy a blowtorch? We’ll see what happens next weekend with a bigger duck.
Finally, what to do with the legs. At the restaurant, they carve the breast at your table, then haul away the carcass. A minute later, confit legs in creamy mashed potatoes show up. Obviously they’re not the same legs that were on your bird. So what to do at home so that you don’t waste half a duck? On my little duck, I took it out of the oven when the breast was 135. At that point the legs were only 150-155. So, after carving off the breast, I returned the rest to the oven for another 20 minutes or so until the legs were done and had a second duck course. A second duck course is never a bad thing!
Anyway, like many of the recipes in the EMP cookbook, this is a starting point for a fantastic dish you can make at home. After a couple of weeks of eating lots of duck, it should be locked in.
Update: It only took one more try. Use a 6lb Moulard duck and make sure your oven is set to convection. Take the duck out when the breast hits 125F. Unbelievable recipe.

Roasted duck with lavender, honey, and asian spices, from the Eleven Madison Park Cookbook. The duck might not be the most creative or magnificent item on the EMP menu, but from a shear eating pleasure perspective, it’s probably my favorite. I’ve been cooking from this cookbook for a couple of weeks now (I’ll post some thoughts about that soon), and this happens to be one of the simplest recipes it contains. All you do is air dry the duck, rub it all over with honey, season it, stuff it with fresh lavender, and roast it. Easy. Well, sort of. A few things make it trickier than that:

First, the recipe as printed in the first run of the cookbook is misprinted—it says to cook the duck for a total of 18 minutes at 375. Oops. But that’s OK, I have a Thermapen for a reason.

Second, the size of the duck matters if you want crispy skin and properly cooked breasts. At EMP, they use Moscovy ducks that I’d estimate to be 6lbs. My little Lola duck from Hudson Valley Duck Farms was too small for this recipe, but I knew that so I compensated by using a bit of high heat at the end to crisp up the skin. My results were really good… the flavors in this recipe are wonderful, but I didn’t get to EMP level crispiness. Maybe this will be incentive I need to finally buy a blowtorch? We’ll see what happens next weekend with a bigger duck.

Finally, what to do with the legs. At the restaurant, they carve the breast at your table, then haul away the carcass. A minute later, confit legs in creamy mashed potatoes show up. Obviously they’re not the same legs that were on your bird. So what to do at home so that you don’t waste half a duck? On my little duck, I took it out of the oven when the breast was 135. At that point the legs were only 150-155. So, after carving off the breast, I returned the rest to the oven for another 20 minutes or so until the legs were done and had a second duck course. A second duck course is never a bad thing!

Anyway, like many of the recipes in the EMP cookbook, this is a starting point for a fantastic dish you can make at home. After a couple of weeks of eating lots of duck, it should be locked in.

Update: It only took one more try. Use a 6lb Moulard duck and make sure your oven is set to convection. Take the duck out when the breast hits 125F. Unbelievable recipe.

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Posted Sunday November 13, 2011 (link) | duck | eleven madison park | recipe