Last weekend Suzen and I had an official “urban weekend.” Rather than go upstate, we decided to enjoy the city.
Saturday was a bike ride up the West Side from Tribeca to the George Washington Bridge. Well, we did stop at 97th Street with a flat. You should know that on 96th Street, just uphill east of Broadway by two doors, there is a lovely bike shop, who will patch or replace, install, lube and get you on your way again.
Sunday, we saw the Monet’s Garden exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. There are few months left to see this homage to water lilies.
And we finished the weekend with our first visit to Astoria, Queens, famous for its United Nations array of restaurants from around the world. Astoria is famous for Greek food and we had a lovely meal [restaurant to be blogged soon!]. Being Irish, my favorite dish was potatoes, but not Irish style. We had Greek lemony potatoes, rich in lemon and oregano flavor. [I’m told oregano is Greek for “joy of the mountain.”].
I searched the web and found this version of a recipe for this fine side fare for your table. Here we have the potatoes, lemon juice, oregano, and a healthy amount of lamb stock.
This recipe scales easily. If you are having a holiday weekend feast this Labor Day, then the perfect accompaniment for that roasted chicken or sausage is this zesty potato dish.
Greek Lemon Potatoes
Yield: serves 6
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes or 3 pounds other waxy potatoes, peeled
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 (14 ½ ounce) can chicken broth or 2 cups lamb stock
Peel potatoes and cut them in half (from medium size potatoes, quarter if large). Let them stand in water while preparing sauce.
Combine all other ingredients in a gallon size “zipper” bag, and shake to combine.
Dry off the potatoes, and put all of them in the bag and let marinate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Put the potatoes and marinade in a large casserole, preferably a white Pyrex, approximately 13 x 9 x 3 inches oval.
Roast for 1hr 10min, turning occasionally. You’ll want to check for doneness starting at about 50 minutes.
There should be plenty of sauce left over after roasting.
Optionally, you can put these under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp them up just before serving.
Garnish with sauce and parsley.
Source: Anthony Gougoutris at food.com; photo by Lorac
On our trip to Bread Camp in Maine, Suzen and I stopped at her cousins’ organic dairy farm in China, Maine.
That is Spencer and Page, Suzi’s cousins, there in the group shot. And that is Suzi petting the calf. Her cousins have 130 head of Jersey cows, with 65 milking at any one time. That youngster was one of fifteen been cared for in one of several barns on the rolling acres.
“He’s cute,” I said.
“He’s adorable,” Suzen said.
“We should name it,” I said.
“That’s sweet,” Suzen smiled at me.
“Let’s call it Veal,” I suggested.
The smile was gone.
We ate a lunch there in Maine with everything fresh from the hen house and the vegetable garden. Real food and as local as you could possibly be, short of having the garden in your living room.
And we left Maine that day generously loaded with food, including eggs and potatoes. The next day we were back in New York City, which can really seem to be very, very far from Central Maine. But Maine memories were abundant when Suzi took the eggs and potatoes and crafted this lovely frittata. I don’t think a chemist could really tell you why the combination of cast iron and egg works so well, but it does.
As our lunch ended the day before in Maine, I got a little irritated. Suzen was sympathetic as Spencer and Page describe the life of dairy farmers: 5 in the morning until 10 at night, seven days a week. It all sounded so burdensome. Now, I wasn’t born in New York City and I do try not to come across as one of those know-it-all city types. But as the conversation around the table continued, I lost my patience. I had the New York City answer to their workload.
“For Pete’s sake,” I said, “all you have to do is dump those Jersey cows and get real union ones. You know union. Five days a week. No weekend work.”
First Spencer then Page got up from the table. Suzen trailed behind them. But not before I got another look.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium russet potatoes, about 1 pound
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced onion
- ¼ cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and patted dry
- ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese (optional but great)
In a large cast iron or nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, turning as they brown, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook over medium-low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cheese until blended. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and cook until the eggs are set on the bottom and around the edges, about 4 minutes. With a spatula, lift one side of the frittata and tilt the pan so the raw eggs flow under the set edges. Repeat at least twice at different places around the edge until the egg is no longer runny.
Cover the frittata, reduce the heat to low and cook until set, 10 minutes. If you prefer the top browned, preheat the broiler, then set the (ovenproof) skillet under the heat just until the top is lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
To serve, loosen the edges with a spatula and slide the frittata onto a platter or turn out, browned side up by inverting the serving plate on the skillet and turning the frittata out. Serve warm, or at room temperature, cut into wedges. Serve with a nice green salad.
Source: Adapted from The Good Egg by Marie Simmons