Monday, May 21, 2007

Meet Your Meat

Brooke Parkhurst 5-25-06 NYC029.JPGLike a kid in a candy store… or a downtown girl in the ”Jeffrey” shoe department…
I just can’t get enough of Pino Cinquemani and his Sullivan Street butcher shop! I feel like I’m always wiping sawdust off of my heels. Is it a crush on the big boy from Castofilippo, Sicily? Has my palate officially been spoiled by the grass-fed sirloin and lean bison? Anyone, anyone?
Check out my latest episode, MEET YOUR MEAT, to get acquainted with the man behind the chopping block and all of his best cuts of meat. Come back tomorrow and Wednesday to learn how to pair your stellar sirloin with a boldly flavored, Catalan salad. Lean meat and deconstructed romesco… mmmm… makes a girl smile. I’m feeling that B-vitamin rush all the way down to my fingertips. Wait, or is that Pino?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Two Lives

subway 2.JPG
Riding the subway to Per Se . Mmmmm… love the duality of my New York City life… 
Chef’s Tasting Menu for Belle
“Oysters and Pearls”
Salad of French White Asparagus, Hop Shoots,Green Almonds
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Poached Brooks Cherries, Frisee

Crispy Skin Fillet of Dorade, Garbanzo Beans, Confit of Cuttlefish
Pan Roasted Maine Sea Scallop, Globe Artichokes, Sweet Carrots
Liberty Valley Pekin Duck Breast with California Strawberries
“Cervelle de Veau,” Laurel-Scented Pain Perdu
Rib-eye of Veal “Roti a la Broche,” Potato Gnocchi, Cepe Mushrooms
Hoja Santa Cheese with English Cucumber and Grilled Tomatillo Salsa
Apricot Sorbet
Per Se “Tarte au Chocolat Noir”
(Back to PluckU wings and a thrifty Sicilian red tonight?)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Instant American Dream

Cafe.JPGDonny Deutsch thinks I’m living the “instant American Dream.” At least that’s what his producers made him say last night as we squared off on his CNBC program, the “BIG IDEA with Donny Deutsch.” Booming, baritone Voiceover Man declared,
“A Southern girl next door learns how to make it in the Big Apple and take her dreams out into the wo-o-o-o-rlddddd.”
B roll: Me in a big white dress, armful of roses at my debutante ball. Granddaddy and I enjoying an aperitif at Casa Botin. An aerial shot of the Northeastern United States…what? It was all very dramatic.
Donny quizzed me about my book (“Belle of New York, 2008), “the biggest talent show on earth” (the internet) and how I got started (a little site called “Wonkette”). I wasn’t shy about declaring my admiration for Nick Denton, internet genius and founder of Gawker Media. A handful of his editors—okay, the majority of them—may love to hate me but I respect the operation and Nick’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Who else took their turn on the couch? What other “instantly famous” web celebs had the pleasure of gazing into Donny’s eyes, inadvertently licking their coffee and red wine-stained teeth as they stared at his BriteSmile? The illustrious cast of characters included a Yale grad who creates Mento and Diet Coke fountains, a stand-up comic who sings about shoes and a hot little lady by the name of Amanda Congdon who has her own ABC News webcast and a production deal with HBO. Indeed—a motley crue.
Above picture is meant to redeem last night’s “trekkie hairdo” (observation courtesy, Mamma) and overall ghastl

Monday, May 7, 2007

Southern Comfort

The season is upon us. Wham bam, two wedding weekends in a row, one smack against the other. For one girlfriend, I jetted (okay, I flew three hours in what was essentially an upright fetal ball position on a Delta commuter plane) from New York down to the Gulf and back up again only to turn around and speed off (or creep along the eastern seaboard at the pace of a Schwinn, courtesy Amtrak) to the Maine-New Hampshire seacoast for the wedding of another. Low-hanging lanterns, raw bars, difficult-to-identify spring buds and California “Champagne” abounded. Restrained elegance. There might have been fifteen years and variant levels of estrogen in the bloodstream differentiating my two lady friends (the Yankee bride was glowingly, unapologetically 5 months pregnant at her nuptials) but they both knew how to pull off their memorable evenings with aplomb.
But a party’s not a party if Mamma’s not there. She and her cast of “wedding friends” (yes, these people are a subset) remind me that “Steel Magnolias” is not some histrionic take on Southern quirk and culture but a damn fine portrayal of what really goes on in our backyards and on our front porches. At the Yacht Club wedding celebration down South (“yacht” definitively needing to be sandwiched between a pair of quotes like pimento cheese between two slices of crustless white bread), I saddled up next to the whirring Bushwacker machine just a moment too long. I missed Mamma’s opening harmony. You see, I was too busy tapping my thigh, enjoying the altogether pleasant sound of Kahlua and “151” rum being rhythmically folded into vanilla ice cream and half-and-half to hear the “Drifters” lyrics escape into the dense twilight air.
“This magic moment, so different and so new was like any other, until I kiss you…” Mamma, in her dusty rose and black pantsuit, was doing a duet with the lead singer.
But back to that alcoholic Dixie milkshake of ours… Tacky and a godsend, that’s how I’d describe it. I suppose that it’s okay I didn’t hear Mamma at first because those moments standing, sipping next to the big steely machine might as well have been a therapy session; my shoulders descended from up around my ears down to their proper place, my brow unfurrowed, my mind stopped racing and asking New York kinda questions (i.e. “Does that agency really merit 20% of gross net earnings?” “Is in-house publicity sufficient or do I need to hire an independent contractor?” “ConEd CAN’T raise electricity 17%–I need my manicures!”). I was utterly content. 
Sucking down my weekly calorie allotment, I looked over at the over-sized Southern boys next to me—deep-sea fishermen, big game hunters, lawyers—acting the same. They stopped talking about the marlin and the ten-point bucks that got away and considered the new wallpaper in the guest bedroom, the delicate remoulade sauce they enjoyed with crab cakes last weekend at the Club.
Alcohol and dairy—the teat of southern comfort.
“And then it happened, it took me by surprise, I knew that you felt it too, by the look in your eyes… Sweeter than wine, softer than the summer night, everything I want I have…”
Sweeter than wine is right. Dust off the blender and make this absolutely decadent, over-the-top milkshake your first warm weekend out in the Hamptons (or on the fire escape!). Channel Mamma and tipsy wedding receptions on the bay.
8 oz cream of coconut
4 oz coffee liqueur
2 oz black rum
2 oz creme de cacao
8 oz half-and-half
vanilla ice cream
Combine all ingredients in a blender with 2 cups of ice and blend until creamy. Enjoy (and don’t plan on being hungry for dinner)!