Mirepoix 3.3

  • Mirepoix 3.3
  • Trader Joe's Upper West Side Opens Sept 20 Trader Joe's Upper West Side Opens Sept 20
  • Early September Greenmarket Shopping Early September Greenmarket Shopping

Mirepoix 3.3

Mirepoix -- From the French, a mix of aromatics that provide the savory foundation of a recipe. From The City Cook, a periodic report on things that have been collecting on my desk.

Two weeks ago I couldn't make it to my Greenmarket and by the time I got back last weekend the season had changed: already there were fewer tomatoes but in their place were the first apples. If you watch the changing seasons through the lens of cooking, it's easy to see autumn as the start of the year. I am glad to say goodbye to this summer's exhausting heat, but not yet its bountiful produce and so seeing the dwindling tomatoes, I spent part of the Labor Day weekend canning six pints of them. These were added to the five quarts of tomatoes and four pints of sour cherries I'd already put on my shelves to be mid-winter rewards.

If canning is not something you want to do, or if you don't have the space to store the canning gear or the filled jars that result from a few hours in a steam-filled kitchen, then consider this: if your freezer is big enough to store a few pint-sized containers, make your favorite tomato sauce using end-of-summer local tomatoes and freeze it in meal-sized portions.

Here's how to make 4 pints of a simple and versatile tomato sauce:

Ingredients: Easy Tomato Sauce

6 to 8 pounds of local tomatoes -- choose ripe, unblemished ones
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced very thin
Pinch of salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes

The sauce can be frozen for up to six months which means you can have a taste of late summer in mid-January!

New York Market News

Besides canning tomatoes, my other Labor Day weekend mission was to visit the new Batali/Bastianich Italian market, Eataly. I discovered that several hundred others had the same idea: on Saturday afternoon the line to get into the new 50,000 square foot market/food hall stretched half of the store's West 23rd Street block and continued around the corner up Fifth Avenue. I'm not great at waiting on line so I decided to instead spend the afternoon walking The High Line (highly recommended if you haven't yet made a visit:  TheHighLine.org). When I manage to get inside Eataly, I'll let you know what I find.

Other major market openings that are pending include:

After so many years of New York being desperate for good supermarket shopping, gaining all these new markets is wonderful news for the city's home cooks. These stores will add convenience, choice and great prices to the rich tapestry of our small purveyors and specialty merchants. Lucky us.

Gourmet On The Newsstand

This week Condé Nast is bringing back Gourmet Magazine. Sort of. They're producing a newsstand-only special edition called Gourmet Quick Kitchen. The price: $10.99. And no advertising. With 81 recipes, a look and feel that will make you miss the once great Gourmet, and edited by a real food publishing pro, Kemp Minifie, it's the first of what is said to be three special issues that will be sold at select newsstands as well as the Condé Nast Store. I've added a link below.

What I've Been Cooking

This summer's heat has been a disincentive to cook for even the most motivated of us. I've alternated between being a minimalist (just how briefly can I have the stove turned on) and defeated ("what the hell, how much worse can it get if I roast some duck?").

As the weather cools, my cooking will again change as I become more enthusiastic about spending time in the kitchen. But summer temperatures aren't entirely gone so I thought I'd share some of the recent meals I've cooked. These include dinners just for my husband and me, but also ones for company:

Back To School

The fall is a wonderful time to head back to the kitchen and also try something new once you get there. If you need some inspiration or a few tips or an introduction to an entirely new cuisine, think about taking a course.

Many of New York's best culinary and wine educators are kicking off their fall schedules, as are some of our specialty merchants like Murray's Cheese that also regularly give classes.

So if you need a bit of a push to get cooking again, think about taking a course. It's always fun and you get to eat your homework. In the Kitchen Sink section of The City Cook we have a list of excellent cooking schools in New York but if you live somewhere else, do a little research and I'm sure you'll find choices where you live, too.

The City Cook -- The Book

My book is on track for mid-November publication and a few early reviews have come in and are posted on Amazon. The cover will be unveiled soon -- I hope you like it half as much as I do -- and more details will be available in the coming weeks. I promise to keep you posted and will also be keeping a diary of my experience as a first-time author at Facebook.

More soon!




EatalyTrader Joe'sFairwayWhole FoodsUrbani TrufflesLobster Place, TheMurray's Cheese Shop

External Links

Newsletter Sign-Up

Good: Like Chicken Soup




The City Cook Newsletter

More Columns