Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

Forgive our recent absence. Much going on. . . moving house and hurricanes . . . Still, Cafe Drake found time to decorate a bit! We'll be back with you in a few days. Promise.



Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Oh no, it's just a fat cat named Lloyd Page.

A haunting portrait of Lloyd.

Lloyd loves his spooky new friend, a Halloween gift from his grandmother.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Another Quick Masterpiece

Short on time this Fall but still craving a wholesome and satisfying  cool-weather dinner? Take our lead by cooking a bunch of broccoli rabe with peppers, onions and garlic. Toss while hot with boiled pumpkin tortellini, dress with plenty of olive oil and cracked black pepper and douse all with grated Parmesan. All we needed was a side salad of late season, sliced beefsteak tomatoes and red onions.

Ah, Those Lovely Leftovers

Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before BUT Cafe Drake loves our leftovers. From a dinner with Jen and Ben we had lingering fresh crab salad, lightly dressed with just a spoonful or two of mayo and lots of lemon juice. Perishable after 48 hours in the fridge, said crab made a gorgeous lunch the following day, nestled on a bed of baby arugula and cilantro leaves. A meal isn't complete without carbs, hence the Ak-Mak crackers in the upper right corner of above photo.

We've already admitted that the roast beef from the same dinner was too dry, but it moistened nicely on a toasted kaiser roll dressed with leftover jus and olives and pickled jalapenos. Cafe Drake's version of a quick and condensed muffaletto sandwich.

Octavio Fenech and Ben Terziani Find Something Fishy at Cafe Drake

Roasted Veggies

Panko and Spice-Crusted Hake Filets

Ben and Octavio dine amidst towering stacks of moving boxes.

After visiting with our guests Lloyd retires to a box of linens for a post-fish dinner nap.


PESCO-VEGETARIAN DINNER WITH OCTAVIO AND BEN

Aperitifs

Broiled Eggplant and Tahini Salad
Roasted Cauliflower and Red Peppers with Ras el Hanout
Baked Hake Filets with Garlic and Za'atar Crumble
Caramelized Onion Rice Pilaf


Maple Sugar Cookies
Calvados

Monday, October 01, 2012

Sweet & Hot White Fish Curry

A super spicy curry like this one deserves both rice and bread to soak up the sweet heat.

A good side dish with fish curries is always okra - Cafe Drake braised these whole in a sauce of yogurt, ghee and assorted spices.



GUJARATI STYLE FISH CURRY

While Gujarat is a heavily vegetarian region in India, the area's predilection for dishes both sweet and fiery hot works beautifully with firm, less delicate flavored fish such as cod. Trust me you'll want to make this one. If the number of chilies employed is too intimidating, reduce by 3 or 4 and serve with plenty of heat-absorbing rice. Additionally, the brown sugar and meaty fish go along way toward balancing the fieriness. 

You'll need to start with 15 dried red chilies. If you can find the Kashmiri ones they are less hot but equally flavorful. Grind the chilies along with 2 T. tamarind paste and 3 cloves of garlic in a mini-processor or blender, adding a few drops of water as needed. Now add enough water to achieve a pouring consistency, much like a thin pancake batter. Season with salt to your taste.

Add the mixture to a medium-sized skillet and bring to a boil. Stir in 2-3 T. brown sugar and add about 1 1/2 pounds of chopped, white-fleshed fish (cod or plaice for example). Immediately reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook until fish is just done to your liking. Serve hot and garnish the curry with 1 T. coconut oil, spooned over the top.

Last Meals in Brooklyn

Jen and Ben joined Cafe Drake for an old-fashioned Sunday supper of roast beef during these final NYC days. We learned that our skills at classic Americana cuisine may need further honing but a good time was had by all, not least due to enchanting company and seriously special vino contributions from J&B.

Browning a large pot roast

Cooking onions prior to deglazing pan

After two hours of roasting in a low oven with beef broth and red wine, Cafe Drake added a variety of potatoes, carrots and turnips to the mix. Roast another hour.

A typical antipasto selection at Cafe Drake, followed by fresh crab salad.




Meals now are served in the living room, surrounded by packed boxes ready for the moving truck.