Just, You Know, Using Up Leftovers

August 6, 2012

This is not a cooking blog. There are enough people who write about food so well and my pictures are not beautiful, but we’re taking a momentary detour in that direction. My apologies.

Yesterday was the kind of Sunday I feel like only happens in movies. It started out overcast and drippy (sometimes the fog here gets to be too much for itself and becomes tangible water droplets), and we had nothing we really had to do. No important errands, just a paper to read, Olympics to watch, and a crossword puzzle to tackle. On Friday night we went to a buzzed about restaurant, where they served savory, fresh corn pancakes straight off the griddle. We happened to have a lot of leftover corn from last weekend, and different salads and sautes had run their course–pancakes seemed like a good way to go.

So yesterday morning I woke up, got some Blue Bottle, picked up some cornmeal and buttermilk and made these. They were delicious, with slightly sweetened mascarpone cheese (also left over from last weekend), fresh peaches (courtesy of the farmers market, where I worked on Saturday–more on that later), and maple syrup. So good. Gone too fast. No pictures.

Well, once I had buttermilk in the house (usually it’s a page turning ingredient for me, but for some reason right now, I feel confident and wasn’t scared off) and Scott was watching the Phillies game for a few hours, I decided that we should make fried chicken for dinner (isn’t that a logical thing to do with buttermilk?). I’ve been intrigued by Thomas Keller’s version for a while, so away we went into fried chicken land. Well, first there was a trip to buy some chickens and lemons and bay leaves for the brine (I brined!). Once we got the chicken in the brine, we went for a crazy gorgeous run (the sky had cleared), came back and then the chicken happened, and man, it was so good.

The view from our run

The picture in ‘Ad Hoc at Home’



Thomas Keller’s a notorious perfectionist and his recipes always have a few more steps that are inconvenient, and they often use a lot of dishes, but it’s so, so worth it. This chicken was unbelievably delicious–crispy, not at all greasy, well-seasoned.

This also leads me to something I’ve been working through in my head. I think my relationship with food has changed since moving to San Francisco. It feels more like fuel, than like the uphill battle that it used to feel like. Maybe it’s the amount of time spent outside, or the consistently cool weather, but it’s nice to have food feel like an adventure. Next challenge: fava beans.


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