Monday, May 18, 2009

the hatfields have no fued here...

I hear Karen and Quinn Hatfield are taking over the new Red Pearl Restaurant space just a few blocks east and one block north of their endearing but oddly shaped cubby on Beverly Dr. What is it about those two always with their eye on the habitats of Asian cuisine. Wasn't their current abode previously the home of many a steamy pork stuffed orb and tamari sodden green beans? Now they're moving into the ridiculously red pan Asian now defunct last ditch effort of the Goodell's who also opened the late Mason G. I waited for almost 2 hours at that place for a plate with the tiniest piece of sea bass I've ever seen and a virtual sea of (get this) parmesan foam.... yeah. Luckily they sent us over to unrecognizable and totally forgetable cocktails that knocked us way past tuesday so who's crying here. Not me. Anyway, I love that the Hatfields are getting a bigger and more glamorous place to hang their shingle because well, I love that their the Hatfields. And Their food is really spot on. And I spent the sweetest evening there with my mother last year oohing and ahhing over everything. There was a carrot gnocchi amuse-bouche that brought both me and my mom to silence - momentarily. A feat none the less. I'm looking forward to more, bigger, better but hopefully just as homey as before.

Friday, May 15, 2009

pickles, eggs & rye

My dear and much admired brother (ICL) Tony Cross sent me home from last weeks trip to San Francisco rested, loved and baring the fruits of his recent labors. Fresh kitchen pickles and a newly baked loaf of rye bread. He is a fascinating man, Tony is an extraordinary musician, a naturalist-hiker-leaf-presser, a published writer, an uncanny photographer and perhaps best of all a connoisseur of artisan green teas, handmade pickles and homemade breads. Yay for me and mom and sis (especially sis since she lives with him).

Beckoning back to a time when sharing canned goods, fresh bakery and items from one’s own kitchen garden was simply the neighborly thing to do I have to say I relished waking up in their sunny guest room, padding into the kitchen and seeing on the counter two loaves of bread wrapped in cheese cloth, one marked Rye for Romy and one marked White for Joan (my mom who I was to see later that day). Tony had left these for us before heading off to NY. He had already turned me on to their new dinner of choice pickle cheese sandwiches the night before so I knew about the crisp, vibrant pickles in the fridge, slightly sweet and not too vinegary. This morning I stumbled on to my own perfect American breakfast…

Pickles, eggs and rye toast.

Now this easy little meal is simple and yummy but lets be honest what makes it exceptional is that the ingredients are special. You can’t do this with goods from your last trip to Trader Joe’s or even Whole Foods. This breakfast has to be prepared from fine ingredients, ideally organic of course, made with love and care preferably by someone else who loves you.

Pickles Eggs & Rye

Rye bread
Two eggs
5 or more sliced homemade pickles
15 small sugar plum tomatoes
olive oil
maldon salt
cracked pepper

  • Slice into a freshly baked loaf of rye bread and toast two pieces
  • Using an iron pan, turn flame to medium, add a spray of olive oil and a pat of rich Plugra butter.
  • Toss halved sugar tomatoes (one thing that you can get at TJ’s – organic always so good) into the butter and fry (pardon sauté) for 2 -3 minutes.
  • Throw bread in a toaster oven or under the broiler until golden brown and crisp on both sides.
  • Push tomatoes to one side of pan.
  • Crack two farm fresh organic eggs into the butter.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Cover loosely so the tops of the eggs cook or flip the eggs in about 2 minutes.
  • Butter toast, plate eggs and tomatoes along side of the eggs and toast.
  • Place pickles on plate or directly on top of eggs.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper grinder.
  • Eat.
  • Yeah!