Winter seems to be upon us and with the drop in the barometer, everyone begins to crave soups, stews, long braises and meat in general.  Needless to say it’s been a busy week here at The Shop!  Our minds have certainly been focused on Thanksgiving and we have been busy preparing poultry stock, taking turkey orders (get yours in by Monday the 12th!), making brine and making plans for gravy and stuffing and other goodies.

With all of the hustle and bustle and the relief of the election being over, it is easy to forget that many people in New York and New Jersey are still without power, heat, water and food.  All the proceeds of our New York Steak sales this week will be donated to the NYC Food Bank.

Without further ado…here’s what we ate last week!








Sunday: We had a group of friends over for our quarterly MENU night.  Once a season, a group of us get together at our house and everyone brings produce and other ingredients from the market that appeal to them.  One person is assigned to bring the secret ingredient.  As people arrive, their groceries are displayed on the dining room table and once everyone has amassed, the secret ingredient is revealed.  We then create a 5-7 course MENU that uses the secret ingredient in every dish.  Our pantry is comprised of the groceries on the table and the staples from our cabinets.  This time the secret ingredient was SQUASHES! Our MENU ended up looking something like this:

  • Fritto Misto with Red Kabocha Squash, Sunchokes, Potatoes and Sage Leaves
  • Cabbage and Delicata Squash Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Ricotta
  • Green Kabocha Squash Soup
  • Risotto with Butternut Squash and Squid
  • Spaghetti Squash with a fresh Tomato Sauce
  • Sausages and Squash Puree
  • Apple and Squash Tarlets with Whipped Cream

Monday: I made a Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque with some of the leftover Butternut Squash.  I sautéed some onions, added cubed butternut squash and green apples and sage and covered it for a few minutes.  Then I added some vegetable stock and let it steam until the squash and apples fell apart when poked with a fork.  I put all of it into a blender and pureed it until it was smooth.  Back into the pot it went, added some salt and a touch of cream and served it with a dollop of creme fraiche and a fried sage leaf.

Tuesday: I am testing turkey recipes out for a BerkeleySide article that is coming out soon.  Tonight I made a Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Cranberry Sauce, Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Spinach.  Delish!  I can’t wait for T-Day!

Wednesday: Lamb Burgers with Red Onion served with toasted Pita, Affi’s Aubergine spread (I love this stuff!), Pomegranate and Mint Salad, and Greek Yogurt with some Cucumber and Mint added.  Our friends Carrie and Ryan and their little Lobster Elsa were the only trick or treaters we got… More candy for us!



Lemongrass Beef Stew

Thursday: I tried out my first recipe from Charles Phan’s new cookbook Vietnamese Home Cooking.  I made Lemongrass Beef Stew and it was quite good.  Served it over some rice noodles and we were stuffed!  Here is a link to a really cute blog that has the recipe written out accompanied by illustrations.

Friday: More Thanksgiving recipe testing.  This time I braised a turkey leg and thigh in apple cider and poultry stock.  I served it with Shaved Brussels Sprout and Apple Salad and Fried Sweet Potato Chips.  The recipe will make it into the BerkeleySide article.  Just as we were finishing up dinner, Ryan showed up with two slices of Pear Galette still warm from the oven!  What a treat!

Saturday: We went to Benchmark Pizzeria in Kensington.  Peter and Melissa Swanson just opened this Pizzeria three months ago.  Pete was “Pizza Pete” at dopo in Oakland for many years and before that worked at Oliveto under Paul Bertolli.  The food was great; our antipasti platter was delicious and the pizzas were divine!  We also had Strauss SoftServ ice cream for dessert.  I highly recommend you check this place out!

Sunday: We had our Holiday Cooking Class at The Local Butcher Shop, so we snacked on Turkey, Duck and Roast Beef for dinner.  It was a great class and we look forward to doing another one this time next year!

Have a great week!