marcella’s chicken cacciatora

As I wrapped up my traditional weekend pancake breakfast before going to work at Moore Brothers in New York on Sunday, I scanned through my copy of Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials Of Classic Italian Cooking,” looking for the right inspiration to go along with the bottle of Corte Gardoni Bardolino I had in my refrigerator. We close earlier on Sunday nights, and I knew I’d have time to make something a little more extravagant, so I settled on Chicken Cacciatora, a dish I’d never done before but had always been intrigued by.

Following Marcella’s recipe as diligently as I could, I washed […]

the “all-chateau signac weekend” part-2

Sunday the clouds came in – a little too chilly for outdoor dining, so, back indoors with gorgeous veal chops from DiBruno’s, roasted potatoes, asparugus, and garlic bread (a little piece of nostalgia) – all washed down with the magnificent Château Signac Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Chusclan “Combe d’Enfer” 2010 (which is easily the best ever produced on this estate).

Generous, ripe black fruit backed with fine, silky tannins and vibrant minerality. A perfect foil for the veal!

first out-door meal of the season

A beautiful Saturday evening, and our first meal outdoors this Spring.

Whole-roasted Branzino, and the first of the “All-Chateau Signac Weekend,” starting with the Château Signac Rosé Dona Clara 2012 – a drop-dead, gorgeous rosé from the Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages of Chusclan.

This is bone-dry “saignée” (a bleeding of juice from red wine) which just dances on the palate. Particularly good with whole-roasted fish (in this case, garnished with thinly-sliced, roasted orange slices), fresh, crusty baguette and lots of olive oil.

Spring Ravioli with Ramps, English Peas and Shiitake Mushrooms

This is a favorite quick recipe that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish, requires very little prep, and is a great lighter springtime dish.

Spring Ravioli with Ramps, English Peas and Shiitake Mushrooms

1 lb. Your favorite fresh ravioli (in this case it was house made mint and pea ravioli from Eataly)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
7-8 Ramps (or 3 cloves of garlic if out of season)
1/3 lb. fresh English peas (or substitute frozen peas if out of season)
1/4 lb. fresh Shiitake mushrooms

1. Bring a substantial pot of water to a boil.
2. Heat olive oil and butter in a […]

bourgueil and the empty skillet

Decisions, decisions. A magnificent Middle-Loire Valley red wine – the “Expression” St. Nicolas de Bourgueil from Joel Taluau, an empty skillet, potatoes and carrots pan-roasting off to the side with duck fat (and apologies to my cardiologist…)…ah, what the heck…duck breast it is! Wowser!