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Photo Friday: Highs and Lows

January 19, 2018

It’s been a while since the last Photo Friday on the FLB. And since then I’ve eaten a lot of things. Some of them I even photographed.

Today’s the perfect day for something like this, because last night was the first of the Rascal + Thorn Dinner Series. I’ll have more thoughts on that soon, but last night was a late night. Surely the official photos from the event will eclipse the snapshots I took on my phone. But these pictures are mine.

Of course, I don’t eat this well all the time. In fact, it’s a rare treat. So, included in today’s batch is one particular lowlight. Let’s see if you can find it.

Since we were just talking about The Best of the Capital Region, how about sharing a picture of the wings which have never cracked the top three of the Times Union’s annual poll. The amazing medium wings from 20 North Broadway in Schenectady. I ordered these for Little Miss Fussy and now she thinks that all wings are this good.

Was it mere chance that the grain of the jamon serrano lined up with the grain of the wood serving tray? I don’t think so. Regardless, this delicate canape of pork, fish, and truffle was a delightful first bite from chef Brad Kilgore.

Little Miss Fussy is getting into baking. Kind of. Awesome Amy sent her a baking kit, and every now and again my daughter has been delighting us with fanciful mini cupcakes.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that Indian Ladder Farms isn’t outside grilling. They are continuing their weekend cookouts, and I was lucky enough to get a slice of corned ham, german potato salad, and brussels before they ran out. It was amazing to see how packed the place was on a snowy Saturday. Apparently the secret is out.

Under the red neon sign, a cheese slice from Pizza King in Schenectady still is all about the crust. That crust. Man, it’s a thing of beauty.

I don’t know what I did to get a piece of beef as amazing as this. Maybe if I’m really lucky, and I can get Michael Lapi to reveal some of the techniques that went into the preparation. Some food one can cook at home. Others are best left to the professionals. I found this one particularly satisfying.

In Pennsylvania they make a dish out of ham, string beans, and potatoes. They are simmered in ham stock, and the green beans are simmered until they become totally soft. It sounded totally unappealing to me until I tried it, and found that this is surprisingly delicious.

We don’t have a dog. There are no backyard chickens. Composting is a goal, but it hasn’t taken root in the Fussy household. So leftovers need to be eaten. And when there are just a few bites of remaining ham, string beans, and potatoes, you do the best you can to extend it into a facsimile of lunch.

SHU Chinese Restaurant in Guilderland has a cold dish called “Mouthwatering Chicken”. I have to tell you that after having eaten this dish, looking at the picture below is totally making my mouth water. And I know it has nothing to do with the picture itself. It doesn’t look like much. But it reminds me of the unique flavor profile, and now I want some. Badly. Seriously, I don’t know what they put in this, but I’m starting to think maybe it should be a controlled substance.

This is not a Cuban sandwich. It’s not on Cuban bread. It’s not even a medianoche, which you can make on a potato roll. But it is a grilled cheese sandwich inspired by the Cubano. So it has swiss cheese, a slice of ham, a slice of roast pork, a few pickles, and a shmear of yellow mustard. There’s no reason to overthink this, load it up with more meat, or tinker with the perfect balance of textures and flavors.

Meet Mr & Mrs. Smith. They are also a cold dish from SHU Chinese Restaurant in Guilderland. That’s a thin slice of tongue right in the middle, and it’s surrounded by slices of tripe. Do not be deterred by the names of those proteins, and do not be scared by the hue of the chili oil. This is a surprisingly accessible way to get into offal.

Beef confit? There were some leftover fatty bits from the prime rib roast that my father-in-law made. Remember, we don’t waste things around here. So I rendered out the fat, and scooped out the meaty shreds that remained. They made a great garnish on a winter soup of celery root, white beans, and potato.

One of my son’s favorite dim sum treats are these crispy rice rolls. This one comes from Hong Kong Bakery and Bistro on Wolf Road in Albany. It’s really one of the best things on their dim sum menu. Actually the entire rice roll section is dynamite.

It was either this week or the last that I was berating someone about looking to buy strawberries in January. Well, my apologies. It turns out they are totally in season right now in Miami, and chef Brad Kilgore brought some up with him to the Rascal + Thorn dinner. More on this dish later, but let me tell you how nice it was to have a bright taste of summer on a freezing January night in Saratoga Springs.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. albanylandlord permalink
    January 24, 2018 3:01 am

    Somehow the corned ham (?) and pizza were my favorites. That crust looks so good…

  2. Kathy permalink
    January 24, 2018 1:44 pm

    The Mouth Watering Chicken is addictive! After reading your post, I got it last night to go – it is a large portion. Every time I thought I’d had enough….back to the fridge I went for more. Until, alas, the whole container was abolished!!! ;0)

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