Monday, October 20, 2008

Eat Me

I'm afraid my taste in cookbooks is somewhat formulaic. I seem to like cookbooks by idiosyncratic New Yorkers who aren't afraid to swear prolifically in their books and pass on lots of tricks for making, essentially, interesting comfort food. The first example of this genre is the Les Halles Cookbook my new acquisition is Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin.

Shopsin has for 30 year or so run a funky little restaurant in the East Village that serves hundreds of dishes, made to order soups, all kinds of eggs, burritos, burgers, salads, you name it. The kind of stuff I like to eat but don't necessarily know how to make well. It is a family operation and a community edifice; slice of pre-gentrification NYC; a contemporary McSorley's Wonderful Saloon.

Now, I haven't eaten at Shopsin's, nor, for that matter cooked anything from it yet, but it is definitely an approach to cooking that appeals to me and should help add variety and flexibility to my cooking, which will soon have to deal with more customers in our kitchen.

In other news, I smoked a brisket for the first time today. It came out pretty well, but I think it would have taken about 36 hours to cook in the smoker, so I put it in the oven to finish. Dad brought up some chunks of cherry wood which was a welcome change from Hickory.

2 comments: said...

How about that brisket?!

What worked for me -- I haven't seen this technique before but it makes sense -- is to finish the brisket as a shallow braise. Moderate oven, open pot, rotate the meat after every 30 minutes.

A good long smoke will give you great flavor, and the combination of open pot and cooking liquid will ensure that the meat winds up at the temperature you want (about 190).

Guy said...

Are you expecting visitors for the holidays or another rugrat?