Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Fall Snack

I went on a little scouting mission this weekend in NYC in search of  delights for a gourmet food story I’m working on, but also to enjoy some new treats at the New Amsterdam Market, a food and farmer’s market located by the old Fulton Fish Market (exit guys with hooks over tables of fish guts; enter guys with ironic t-shirts pouring mango kombucha). I’d heard great things about the market since it opened and it did not disappoint: There was beef jerky, rabbit sausage, grape shaved ice, crab sliders, lobster rolls, hearty loaves of bread, sea salt caramels…all from small and local producers. Stone Barns was also there, plus Z Food Farm from Lawrenceville, NJ who had the most amazing selection of potatoes (I bought a couple of pounds of his purple Peruvians to roast with lots of garlic–delicious). The most popular vendor by far was the mushroom seller, I believe their name was Wild Gourmet Food from Fairlee, VT. Their stall was a mob scene. Despite the expense ($2.00 an ounce!) I bought a little brown bag of chanterelles. Alas, they did not disappoint. I sauteed them in a tablespoon of brown butter with a finely chopped shallot and then stirred in spoonful of creme fraiche, a big squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley, then served this rough and creamy mushroom ragu over farro spaghetti. I swear it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. You should feel free to splurge on some wild mushrooms (right now!) as well and make the same thing. I promise it will be worth it.

But I digress…

I also stopped by the Jasper Hill Farm stand to splurge on their amazing Jasper Hill Blue Cheese–one of my favorite cheeses of all time. So earthy and funky and luscious. I brought it home and spread it on a piece of olive bread from Sullivan Street along with a slice of prosciutto and a spoonful of apricot fig chutney from The Girl and the Fig ( a very nice gift if and when you’re looking…)

It was the most delicious handheld nibble ever. So autumnal, with the tart chutney, the pungent cheese, the earthy olives, and the fat of the ham. But the best part was when Belle, who was sitting next to me, started eyeing that funky wedge of splotchy blue cheese and said, “I want to try that”. Now, she can be adventurous at times (she slurped her first raw oyster at 2) but not always. She won’t even try my Caeser salad, and I KNOW she’d love it if she did (here’s my version HERE). But something about this artisanal Vermont cheese was calling her name. I gave her a slight warning about its powerful blueness and then slathered some on toast and handed it over. She loved it. Went back for seconds like a happy little mouse. It was amazing. So it kind of proves that just having weird and interesting food around—not pushing it on them but just having it out—can lead to some interesting developments in your kids’ food journey. I think it actually helps if you don’t even say anything about it. Just put the item on the table or counter, keep your mouth shut, and back away slowly. Let them discover it on their own. You never know…

3 Responses to Fall Snack

  1. Cindy says:

    Amen on the kids and food thing.
    And BTW I’m totally jealous of your food writer life. That is one fine looking collision of foods.

  2. Juan says:

    That sounds like a pretty good success. If you can get the kids hooked on blue cheese early then you know that they will end up liking other gourmet stuff further down the road :)

  3. Kate Deans says:

    It’s the simple things in life, is it not? Quality food, family love and imagination. It’s all good.
    My mom, Betty (who was a fab-oo cook and always up for trying new and innovative recipes. A student of James Beard and Julia) taught me that broiler oven doors stay open a crack, never closed. Sounds like you got that one nailed!
    Live and learn, Toots- and….. I’ve decided to move in….. Move over Therese!!!!!!!!!!!!

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