Wednesday, November 7, 2007

NY special

I awoke late last Saturday morning, grumpy at the thought of trekking down to the the Ferry Building to navigatie swarms of self-professed foodies (I know, I know–I'm one of them). So I stuck close to home and met Kat at the Noe Valley FM, where I perked up after buying a few of these über-apples from Hidden Star Orchards. The sign called them the "New York Special," and they're lovely. Smaller and tangier than a Fuji, these are really crisp and juicy–perfect with the peanut butter of your choice (please, please don't tell me it's Skippy).

Update, 11/10
Purchased a few more at the Ferry Building today, and found out they're a Braeburn-Macintosh hybrid. My friend Beth tasted one and exclaimed "Wow, that's tart! Is that how you like 'em?" So I'll rephrase my previous description: they're small and crisp, juicy and tart -- almost like a green apple. But I still say don't defile them with Jif.

Update again, 12/15
The New York Specials are still being sold by Hidden Star at the NV and FB markets, and have reached softball-sized proportions. That also means they're sweeter and a tad less crunchy. Anyone want to start an apple-off?


jib said...

I tried to convince Collee to go apple picking with me this weekend to get some real NY Specials, but I think the season's over. Hey, I gots me a beautiful romanesco and some "cheddar cauliflower" at the farmer's market yesterday- give me some ideas!

jib said...

Thanks for the yummo recipes. I totally should have roasted the cauliflower, but in a fit of hungry laziness, I steamed it, then pureed half of it and added yogurt, cumin, a tiny bit of goat cheese and water and reheated with the steamed florets to make a quick soup. I'll have to try your stiry fry method next time the market's doing the romanesco + cauliflower for $5 deal.

eek said...

Romanesco is my all-time favorite weird veg. I bought some in Trastevere--in Rome!--with Lolo last December, which we brought to an art-student potluck that ended with her strolling home wearing a towel as a scarf. But that's another story. The pointy green marvels have yet to arrive at farmer's markets in CA, so I'm molto envioso.

Here's what I usually do: slice the cauli into bite-size florets (chop up the stems too), the smaller the better, IMO. Chop some garlic, heat it in olive oil (in a large skillet) with a pinch of red pepper flakes, and add the veggies before the garlic browns. Stir everything together so the cauliflower picks up the flavor of the oil. Again, before the veggies brown, add some liquid (start with half a cup, add a little more if necessary): I've used water (with plenty of salt), veg or chicken stock, and on one surprisingly delicious occasion, half a can of flat PBR. The idea is that you let the liquid cook off, imparting its flavor and steaming the cauliflower without turning it to mush. Once it's reached the crisp-tender balance of your choice, toss it with spaghetti and grated pecorino cheese.

Or, if it cooks past your preferred texture (or you're in the mood for something smooth), throw the well-cooked cauliflower into a blender/food processor and puree it up. If the flavor is boring, add some tahini and lemon juice or a tablespoon of browned butter.

You can also try the brussels sprout method described below, but roast at a lower temp (375) and be sure to add some herbs of your choice. Florets cooked in this manner also make a great puree. Lemme know how it goes...

Anonymous said...

Good words.