Plating Challenged but Full of Flavor

We said these weren't pretty plates . . . but so much joy still from a plate of Indian leftovers courtesy of weekend house party - dhokla with raita, onion relish, rice, chickpeas, spinach and fenugreek leaves, pork vindaloo.

Open the pantry at Cafe Drake HRV and you'll always be confronted with at least 2 jars of our favorite spaghetti sauce, Rao's Marinara. A recent supermarket special in Saugerties had us grabbing up enough to last the year.

Chicken Thighs marinated in a spicy vinaigrette overnight, roasted with caraway and cumin seeds and finished with crunchy fleur de sel. Jealous of our crisp as a cracker skin seen above? It's simple. Just pat the chicken very very dry before baking at 375 degrees F. Don't brush with oil, butter or anything else.

These adorable Sugar Pie pumpkins are sprouting up everywhere in the Hudson Valley this week. At only a buck each Cafe Drake HRV brakes for roadside vendors and loads up. They store well in a cool location outside of direct sunlight and are perfect not only for desserts but soups, stews, stuffing et al.

Messy but marvelous: a large whole wheat pita brushed with olive oil and sprinkled lavishly with za'atar, toasted until lightly crisp and decorated with homemade baba ganuj, fresh pumpkin stewed with red chilies and onions, roasted vegetables and leftover pork stew.


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