Weekend Eats (and Drinks) – Deluxe Edition

My weekend got off to a less-than-auspicious start, owing to train delays and missed connections. We had planned to meet friends for Indian food and an 8:30 showing of Food, Inc. at the Avon, but by the time I finally got home, it was late and I was in no mood. Enter Mike to the rescue, chilled Martini in hand. We had takeout.

peachy keen

The rest of the weekend shaped up much better than I could have imagined, with the arrival of many things we’ve been waiting for – the first of the season peaches, squash blossoms, and probably most exciting of all:

Poulet Rouge

Yes, it’s a chicken. But this is no ordinary bird. Pat told us a while back that, in addition to his usual tasty chickens, he was raising a heritage breed called the Poulet Rouge. They were finally available at the Hope Street farmers’ market on Saturday, and we were thrilled to bring one home.

check out those gams

Kathleen Purvis has a good primer in Gourmet on what makes these birds different than your standard breeds, so if you’re curious you can read about it there; I’m here to tell you that as far as the flavor goes, we were wowed.

Dinner:  July 18, 2009

We wanted to keep the prep and cooking as simple as possible so we could really taste the difference, so Mike just salted it, cut it “leaping frog” style, and grilled it. I made one of my favorite grilled bread salads to go alongside, with peaches, basil and a balsamic vinaigrette. The chicken was the star, though – intensely flavorful, rich and juicy, noticeably moreso than regular varieties. I expect a Poulet Rouge would hold up really well in the smoker, and we’re both itching to try coq au vin or riesling with one of these birds when cooler weather rolls around. Try one – you’ll be hooked.

Sunday breakfast at home

And then there was Sunday. A big cooking day.

mmmm lunch

Behold: grilled pizza perfection. Post will be up this week.


A little muddled basil made our gin & tonics extra tasty.

squash blossoms

firmed up


It’s just not summer until I’ve made fried squash blossoms. I still make mine the way Derrick instructed, dipping the stuffed blossoms in flour, then buttermilk, then flour again, and while this is still my go-to breading method, I have my eye on Anita’s version.

Dinner:  July 19, 2009

This time, however, I served the squash blossoms with some sliced heirloom tomatoes, a chilled basil custard, and a scattering of arugula and opal basil leaves. Did I mention I like colorful plates?

the Asbury

Speaking of color, our pre-dinner cocktail was as delicious as it was bright and beautiful. Who knew tequila and Campari would marry so well?

Summer Snow

The grand finale, and grand it was. We grabbed the last piece of Summer Snow from Matt‘s table at the farmers’ market, and he recommended pairing it with gooseberries. We grabbed some from City Farm, and finished out our weekend with this cheese and fruit course. It was pretty damn brilliant.

(As always, click the photos for a little more detail.)

7 thoughts on “Weekend Eats (and Drinks) – Deluxe Edition

  1. oh, man — those squash-blossoms look awesome on the tomatoes. How beautiful!

    I haven’t made my version since that first summer – Cameron’s hatred of squash (which I share) extends to the blossoms, so they have to wait until I have a solo weekend to indulge! 🙂 I do make that mole that goes with them, though, all the time — it’s great on/with lots of other things.

  2. Jennifer,

    Picked up that camera and so far am loving it. Weekend eats and drinks look good. I’ve found that tequila works a little but better with Aperol than Campari but it probably depends on the brand. What kind of gin do you guys prefer for your tonics and martinis.

  3. Jennifer Hess says:

    Anita – Thank you! I run pretty hot and cold on squash, but I can’t get enough of the blossoms. And now I am even more eager to try the mole from your version! 😀

    Max – Oh, I’m so glad! I’m intrigued by the Aperol, and I think we still have some around. (In case you’re curious, the drink Mike mixed for us, the Asbury, is blogged here http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/2009/07/asbury.html). As for gin, I’d say Beefeater is our house brand, though we like to keep a few others around when money allows – Martin Millers is a favorite, as are Plymouth, Junipero, and Hendricks.

  4. Wow! What a glorious weekend of eating and drinking! Courgette blossoms are always so beautiful. I’m a bit sad I didn’t grow any myself this year.

  5. That cocktail sounds great. I’ve kind of always looked at Aperol like a rookie Campari (less bitter, sweeter) but as I’ve enjoyed it more it found a little place in my heart. Love all the gins you mentioned Plymouth is my house brand. If you ever get a chance check out Bulldog which is really nice and not too expensive. Bol’s Genever is simply stunning (Genever gin is a whole different ball game than london dry and Old Tom) it won best new product at Tales Of The Cocktail and makes one hell of an old fashioned.

  6. I don’t know about murder, but I would do something seriously wretched and above the law in return for that plate of heirlooms, stuffed squash blossoms, and basil custard. i wasn’t sure what a perfect dinner looked like until now.

  7. One of my friends (if you check the site, she’s The Test Kitchen) did Squash Blossoms the other night — I linked her to your earlier post, and Anita’s post about them. Also, I’m obsessed with how lovely they are. Absolutely beautiful.
    I know you used to live in Brooklyn — do you have any ideas where to get some Squash Blossoms for less than an arm and a leg in The Fair Borough?? Greatly appreciated!!!! 🙂

    And of course, as always, it looks lovely. 🙂

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