I’ve been pretty loud and clear about my love of Lucky Peach magazine published by McSweeney’s. I wrote about it here in late November but at that point I had yet to cook from it. (We also hadn’t sealed the deal for the Toro Bravo Cookbook with McSweeney’s, fall 2013, at that point…) Now that I’ve cooked from it — and now that issue number three has hit the shelves — I’m putting photos of a couple of the things I’ve made here. That’s it. Oh, and go get yourself a copy if you don’t have it already. It really just keeps getting better and better.
When I first started writing about food professionally in 2003 I turned to Nigel Slater and his writing in The Observer and I loved his voice. A lot of food writing can wax poetic and favor form over the content but Nigel Slater’s writing never does. It’s honest and I’ve really enjoyed reading him over the years. If you haven’t read his memoir Toast I recommend it. It’s a wonderful book and I had fun reviewing it for Culinate way back when. (While putting this post together I learned that a film based on it starring Freddie Highmore and Helena Bonham Carter aired this past Christmas on BBC1 and at the Berlin, Taipei and Warsaw Film Festivals. Can’t wait to see it!)
I purchased one of Nigel Slater’s newest cookbooks — Tender — pretty soon after it hit shelves last spring in America and I’ve enjoyed cooking from it ever since. (It was published in two volumes in the UK in 2009; in the US by Ten Speed Press in 2011, the second US volume Ripe comes out this April.) The book is part recipe and part narrative — giving you background into Slater’s London home garden that he broke ground for in early 2000 and maintains with his partner.
Chapters are based on ingredients sourced from Slater’s garden and cooked in his kitchen so it’s homespun and inspiring and feeds right into my Yard Fresh ways. I love this book and I hope that you will too. Here are some of the tasty foods that I’ve cooked from it lately…
I planted my peas over the weekend even though I usually wait until early April. It’s been so warm that I thought I’d give it a shot. While planting them I noticed that the nettles are all coming up around the front porch along with the rhubarb and all the tiny oregano, peppermint, sorrel and lemon balm.
I bought a bale of straw last weekend at Urban Farm Store and weeded a few areas in the front and then covered them with it. Next weekend I’ll do the same in the back and plant some borage and arugula. I’m so happy that spring is on its way. I’m really looking forward to gardening this summer especially now that we cut down the old apple tree in the backyard. It’s bittersweet because we really loved that tree but it was old, hollowed out and threatening to do some structural damage. We’ll also get a lot more backyard sun light now that it’s gone.
Hope you’ve been getting outside more now that it’s been so nice. Here are a few of the tasty things we’ve been cooking and eating lately…
Yard Fresh Pt. 19
Yard Fresh Pt. 18
Yard Fresh Pt. 17
Yard Fresh Pt. 16
Yard Fresh Pt. 15
Yard Fresh Pt. 14
Yard Fresh Pt. 13
Yard Fresh Pt. 12
Yard Fresh Pt. 11
Yard Fresh Pt. 10
Yard Fresh Pt. 9
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Yard Fresh Pt. 6
Yard Fresh Pt. 5
Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1
If you haven’t heard already these two fine looking fellows — co-owners of EaT Oyster Bar on North Williams — are set to open another Cajun/Creole restaurant in the Pearl this summer called The Parish in the space that used to house In Good Taste. According to a recent press release:
“The menu at The Parish blends urban New Orleans cuisine with the country-style Cajun cooking. Focusing on locally sourced ingredients, the menu will reach beyond seafood and oysters to local wild game birds, rabbit, and even a whole pig. The co-owners have strong ties to the oyster farmers in Oregon, CA and Washington and will continue to offer fresh raw oysters year-round with a shucking bar and a new retail oyster program. A section of the menu will include classic southern dishes that won’t change such as BBQ shrimp, Seafood gumbo, Shrimp Étouffée, and an assortment of po’boy sandwiches.”
Here’s what Tobias had to say to me recently about The Parish, which is set to open this summer…
Why the Pearl?
We like it because of it’s central location for the Metro area. We’ll have close proximity to the central business district providing access to business luncheons as well as after work meet-ups. We’re also excited about the opportunity to expose our concept to people who live on the west side of the city and the suburbs to the west who don’t generally head to the east side of the city.
So you’ll be selling oysters wholesale and retail?
We will have an oyster wholesale center to service downtown restaurant customers as well as a retail oyster basin up front to sell directly to the public.
What are a couple menu items that you’re really excited about?
Our Duck Confit Gumbo (served with a crispy Confit Leg on top) is really good, we’re also going to be doing some great hot apps and oysters off the grill that will be visible up front by the oyster bar.
Can you give me some details about the space?
It will have a large visible oyster bar with other fresh seafood available. There will be some nice booth seating and a nice big bar where we’ll have local wines on tap by the glass, several local beers on tap and serving some great cocktails from the pre-prohibition influence that Portland has become famous for. To reference this tradition we’re referring to the bar as Bar Vieux Carre or “The Old Quarter” or a common name for the French Quarter in NOLA. It’s also a Tennessee Williams play set in NOLA.
Will there be live music at The Parish?
We’re planning on having a classic Jazz Brunch on Saturday and Sundays maybe music will happen other nights, but we don’t have plans for that quite yet.
Number one thing that you’re looking forward to with the new restaurant?
Getting open and presenting the space to our city as a showcase Creole restaurant and oyster bar. We’ve been strong proponents of oysters for many years with EaT and before. We’re very excited to update the concept of an oyster bar using our Farm connections to showcase the best oysters from the NW and beyond.
The Parish (and Vieux Carre Bar) opening summer 2012
231 NW 11th Street, Portland, Oregon