The Village Nibbler
By John McGarvie
Two weeks ago, I asked readers for advice on tasty recipes for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. While waiting for ideas, I turned to the timeless Fannie Farmer Cookbook, the first cookbook I use to find answers to basic cooking questions, be it the simplest way to prepare brussels sprouts, or what to do with leftover turkey. My edition, the thirteenth, lists 25 recipes for using cooked poultry! Most are listed as chicken dishes, such as chicken pie or creamed chicken with vegetables, but the book advises cooks that turkey can be used in place of chicken in all of the recipes. Some call for heavy cream, which many people are careful about consuming. Yogurt can be a great substitute.
Here is a tip for cooking string beans that I picked up from the master chef, Jacques Pépin. I have found outstanding string beans this fall at the green market at Abingdon Square in the West Village, which is open every Saturday. Normally, I would drop them in boiling water for three minutes or so, until the string beans were bright green and crunchy. A little salt, a dash of pepper, and I was happy, until one night, when I learn from Chef Pépin on his PBS series that too many people, including top chefs, undercook string beans. In his opinion they need to cook at least five to seven minutes. I took his advice, and discovered for myself: String beans are much tastier when they cook those few minutes longer.
Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! Last Thursday, November 17th, was the third Thursday of the month, the traditional day that this young French wine arrives in wine shops. The 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau is light and fruity with a floral nose. It is priced around $10, and a nice wine to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I uncorked a bottle last week, and savored it with my new love, a gorgeous hunkof stilton blue cheese! Ever bite into a piece of cheese where taste, texture and aroma are in glorious balance? Thats what I found in the Colston Bassett Stilton, an artisanal English cheese that the Citarella on Sixth Avenue claims is the best stilton made. (It sells for $12.99 a pound.) Stilton is a traditional English made blue cheese, as opposed to Roquefort, which is a traditional French-made blue. Miss Fannie Farmer advises people to take any cheese out of the refrigerator one-half hour before using, to get maximum flavor. I find I cant always wait that long for something so heavenly. It is a pleasure worth all the guilt.
A new restaurant, The Place on West 10th Street, located at 142 West 10th between Greenwich Avenue and Waverly Place, opened on November 15th. West Villagers may already know the name. The original restaurant, The Place, has been a local fave at 310 West 4th Street, between Bank and West 12th, for nine years. I have dined there a number of times and always enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. The owner told me the restaurant is so popular he could not accommodate all of his customers, so he decided to open a second location. The restaurant space on West 10th Street became available when Marco closed a few months ago. Cuisine is Mediterranean and modern American. (212-462-2880; theplaceny.com).
The Lobster Place, a fishmonger, recently opened 252 Bleecker Street at Cornelia Street. It is sandwiched between Amys Bread and Murrays Cheese, and it is two doors from Faiccos Italian Specialty Market. Who could ask for anything more? Shoppers never have to leave the nabe! The Lobster Place is the second seafood joint on Bleecker Street. Fish, the restaurant and retail market, has been at 280 Bleecker Street, at Jones Street, for a number of years.
Know of any other new specialty food shops and restaurants opening in Lower Manhattan, especially in the ever changing East Village? Let me know and I will pass along the information. Email that and all other comments, tips, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.