Habeas Brulee » My Restaurant http://habeasbrulee.com Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:04:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.21 Jack is Closed (but you can vote for our pie on Sunday) http://habeasbrulee.com/2009/11/20/422/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2009/11/20/422/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2009 14:33:44 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=422

I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that my occasional restaurant, Jack, is shutting down. Due to increasing incompatibility with the venue, we can no longer continue to hold our monthly restaurant nights. It lasted almost two years, and has been an amazing experience. Next, we try to write a book proposal, I suppose. (Though if Palo Santo wanted to take us on as dessert consultants, we wouldn’t complain! We should be so lucky.)

We’re still in mourning over the loss of the restaurant, in a sense. It was a huge part of our lives. But I don’t doubt that the next wacky project is always just around the corner. Compiling long to-do lists of project ideas is my forte.

The good news is that in the meantime, we’re taking our suddenly free weekend as an opportunity to finally join the local cook-off scene. (For those of you elsewhere in the world, here’s the thing: NYC has a burgeoning cook-off scene that has really gotten huge over the past couple of years. Crazy, huh?)

This Sunday we’re going to compete at the 1st Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off Benefit. Come on out, eat delicious pie, and vote for us!

2008: Chile Lime Sweet Potatoes with Spinach Clove Yogurt
2007: Cranberry Quince Sorbet
2006: Cocoa Nib Caramel & Almond Butter Nougat Bars

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Menu for Hope: Dinner for Two at Jack: an occasional restaurant! (Prize # UE03) http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/12/15/menu-for-hope-dinner-for-two-at-jack-an-occasional-restaurant-prize-ue03/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/12/15/menu-for-hope-dinner-for-two-at-jack-an-occasional-restaurant-prize-ue03/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2008 19:13:09 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/12/15/menu-for-hope-dinner-for-two-at-jack-an-occasional-restaurant-prize-ue03/

It’s time for Menu of Hope again! What is Menu of Hope, you ask? Well, here’s a FAQ. In sum, Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising event hosted by Chez Pim. Last year, Menu for Hope raised nearly $100,000 to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry.

From December 15-24, food bloggers from all over the world will be offering food-related prizes for the Menu for Hope raffle. You can buy raffle tickets to bid on these prizes. Tickets cost $10 each, and you may buy as many tickets as you’d like for any one prize or for multiple prizes. At the end of the nine-day-long campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim.

You can learn about all the other East Coast prizes at Jaden’s East Coast USA regional listing, and I encourage you to bid on not only dinner for two at Jack: an occasional restaurant (Prize # UE03), but many of the other prizes as well! They’re not only for a good cause; they’re just plain tasty, too.

As Pim explains:

Once again we’ve chosen to work with the UN World Food Programme. WFP is the world’s largest food aid agency, working with over 1,000 other organizations in over 75 countries. In addition to providing food, the World Food Program helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good.

With the success of last year’s campaign to support the school lunch program in Lesotho, we are going to continue our support to the same program. During the duration of Menu for Hope V, we will be posting updates from the kids and the farmers we supported this past year.

If you weren’t around last year for Menu for Hope 4, let me explain a bit about why we are supporting this particular program. We chose to support the school lunch program because providing food for the children not only keeps them alive, but keeps them in school so that they learn the skills to feed themselves in the future. We chose to support the program in Lesotho because it is a model program in local procurement – buying food locally to support local farmers and the local economy. Instead of shipping surplus corn across the ocean, the WFP is buying directly from local subsistent farmers who practice conservation farming methods in Lesotho to feed the children there.

Now, let’s get to the point; you want to know what I’m ready to put on the table. Well, here it is: Dave and I are offering dinner for two at Jack: an occasional restaurant (Prize # UE03). We serve elaborate, multi-course meals at our exclusive restaurant once a month at the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope (Brooklyn, NY, USA).

Dinner for two would normally cost $150, but we are offering it as a prize for the low low cost of $10 raffle tickets through Menu for Hope this year. Not only that, but we’ll add seats for you to any Jack dinner you like, even if it is listed as sold out on the website. Given that we’re already sold out for January 24, 2009 and almost sold out for February 21, 2009 already, and March is a special book release dinner, winning this prize may be the only way for you to get into Jack for dinner before April of next year!

So, go bid! You’ve got until Dec 24 to buy your tickets. Just go to the FirstGiving Menu For Hope site and follow the instructions (as described below). To be in the running to win dinner for two at Jack: an occasional restaurant, you’ll need to enter the code ‘UE03′ in the ‘Personal Message’/'Your Comment’ section.

To Enter

If you’re interested in buying into the raffle, here’s what you need to do:

1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope at http://www.chezpim.com/blogs/2008/12/menu-for-hope-2.html

2. Go to the donation site at http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhope5 and make a donation.

3. Please specify which prize you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’/'Your Comment’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code. Of course, you all want dinner for two at Jack: an occasional restaurant (Prize # UE03), but don’t forget – you can buy as many raffle tickets as you want, for as many prizes as you want!

Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for UE01 and 3 tickets for UE03. You’d write that as: 2xUE01, 3xUE03.

4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we can claim the corporate match.

5. Please do NOT check the box that hides your email address from us. We need to be able to see your email address so that we can contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

Check back on Chez Pim after December 24th for the results of the raffle.

Thanks for your participation, and good luck in the raffle!

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Moroccan Inspired Pork Shanks http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/#comments Thu, 08 May 2008 14:38:12 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/

Just a few announcements here, as I share the recipe for the pork shanks we served at Jack last weekend.

If you’re a blogger of any sort living in NYC, you should come join us at the Brooklyn Blogfest tonight. It will be held at (hold you breath, wait for it, wait for it…) the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope – yes, the very same fabulous location where Dave and I hold our restaurant nights twice a month.

I’ll be there to help set up and participate. I was interviewed for a video of Brooklyn Bloggers that will be played at the event. And, most importantly from your perspective, I’m sure, we’ll be giving away samples of Dave’s brilliantly fantastic homemade marshmallows in a selection of flavors – kahlua, lemon/rose/almond, and Aztec 3.0. I think our plan is to have about 200 bags of marshmallows to give away, so with an expected turnout of closer to 300 people, you better get there early if you want marshmallows tonight!

And speaking of the our restaurant, the May 24, 2008 menu is finally up.

Okay, back to the recipe. These pork shanks were loosely based on some of the fruity tagines we’ve eaten. Since Morocco is an Islamic country, making what basically amounts to a pork shank tagine is probably unheard of in traditional Moroccan cuisine. Sure is tasty, though!

2007: Amaretto Brownies with Saffron Creme Anglaise and Bee Pollen Spice Mix
2006: Paprika Sticky Rolls

Moroccan Inspired Pork Shanks
2 pork shanks (about 2.5-3 lbs)
A bit of oil for browning
for the braise
1/2 tsp saffron threads (1 big pinch)
1 C hot water
1 tsp ground ginger
2 2-inch-long cinnamon sticks
1 tsp csipos (spicy) paprika
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 preserved lemon
1/8 C tomato paste
to finish the sauce
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 C coarsely chopped dried apricots

Set aside the saffron threads to steep in the hot water.

Brown the shanks by searing them in a little oil in a hot pan on all sides.

Pull the pith and flesh from the preserved lemon and discard. Rinse the peel well. Stir it and the rest of the braising ingredients into the saffron water.

Braise the shanks in the saffron water mix over low heat until meltingly tender, or just pressure cook for 25 minutes on high and then release the pressure by natural release. (Can you tell how much we love the pressure cooker we got this year? We can braise things the slow way, but we both have day jobs, after all.)

Once the pork is ready, remove the meat from the cooking liquid and set it aside to cool a bit. Strain and defat the liquid.

Start to build the rest of the sauce by sauteing the onion in a bit of oil until brown. Stir in the garlic, apricots, and degreased pork cooking liquid.

Cook the sauce for 20 minutes or so. In the meantime, to make service easier you may want to pull on a pair of gloves and pull the meat from the bone, since each shank is big enough to feed several people. This is optional, though.

When the sauce is ready, pour it back over the pork.

I like to serve this with couscous and cucumber salad.

2 C couscous
Olive oil
Cold water

Rinse the couscous in about 6 C cold water. Drain the water, and leave the damp couscous spread out in a roasting pan to absorb what remains for about ten minutes. Rake through the couscous once it dries, breaking up any lumps with your fingers.

Steam the couscous over broth or water for twenty minutes. I use a bamboo steamer set over a water-filled wok and lined with a paper towel before pouring the couscous into it. Leave the couscous uncovered as it steams.

Pour the couscous out back into the roasting pan. I like to wear nitrile or latex gloves for this step to protect my hands from the heat. Cover your hands in olive oil and add cold water slowly, raking the couscous and breaking up any lumps with your fingers as you do so. The couscous expands more from the cold water it absorbs during the raking than it does from the steaming. The oil you are rubbing into the couscous helps keep the grains separated. Add enough cold water for the couscous to stay damp and absorb, but not so much that you soak it. For 2 C couscous, I tend to add about 1 – 1 1/2 C cold water.

At this point, you can set the couscous aside covered with a damp towel for at hours before finishing it with a second steaming. If you do so, just pick up at the next step whenever you like. Otherwise, just set it aside for 10 minutes, uncovered.

Rake the couscous again to remove any lumps and return it to the steamer. (Make sure you still have enough water in the wok below.) Steam twenty minutes, uncovered. Remove from the steamer, work in a bit more cold water if you like, rake out any lumps with your fingers, and serve.

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Menu for May 3, 2008 at Jack http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/27/menu-for-may-3-2008-at-jack/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/27/menu-for-may-3-2008-at-jack/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2008 17:20:03 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/27/menu-for-may-3-2008-at-jack/

I just wanted to announce that we just posted the menu for our May 3, 2008 dinner at our occasional restaurant, Jack. You can check the Jack website for more information.

Here is the May 3, 2008 menu:

Ramp Udon Soup
bacon consommé, asparagus tempura

Roasted Marrow Bone
radish watercress salad, toast

Pan-Seared Red Snapper
soupy saffron rice, braised leeks with hazelnuts and balsamic vinegar

Moroccan Inspired Pork Shank
apricots, couscous, cucumber salad

Sour Cherry Twist
almond, matcha, cocoa nib, saffron, sage

Click here to make your reservations now.

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Lemon Sage Sausage and Hungarianish Sausage http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/16/lemon-sage-sausage-and-hungarianish-sausage/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/16/lemon-sage-sausage-and-hungarianish-sausage/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2008 19:23:57 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/16/lemon-sage-sausage-and-hungarianish-sausage/

I don’t have much time to write out these recipes for you today, what with planning for my occasional restaurant, Jack, taking up all of my non-lawyering time right now. We are busy making sure we have all the plates we need, picking up linens, and working out some menus for months down the line. It an incredibly exciting process for us!

So, yes, it takes up a lot of time. As Prince Humperdinck said in the movie version of the immortal S. Morgenstern’s The Princess Bride, “I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.”

We are having a soft opening for which no reservations are available this weekend, and I’ll try to take a few photos then. Our real opening night is April 12th, and I’ve been really, really enjoying watching the reservations start to come in.

Life sure isn’t boring.

So, rather than leave you entirely high and dry, here are a few photos and recipes for some sausages I made earlier this winter. Dave’s holiday present to me this year was a meat grinder and a sausage stuffer, and these two sausage batches were made in my first bout of playing with my presents.

If you need some advice on the mechanics of making sausage, you can check out Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman, or just google around.

The basic idea is: cut up your meat and fat into small cubes and marinate with your seasonings in the fridge over night. Put your grinder, bowl, and meat into the freezer until quite cold. Grind into a cold bowl sitting inside a larger bowl filled with ice. Again, get the meat and your stand mixer bowl very cold, then beat the ground meat with cold liquid to bind and emulsify it. Cook sample patties to taste the flavoring until you’re happy. Stuff into casings or use as patties, whichever you prefer.

The recipes below have my notes on both the seasoning proportions that we actually used, and the way we’d make them differently in the future.

Lemon Sage Sausage
2.42 lbs pork shoulder butt and fat
19 g kosher salt
3 g black pepper, coarsely ground
20 g fresh sage, minced (we used 14, it wasn’t enough)
9 g garlic, minced
17 g ginger, grated
1 lemon worth of zest (we used 2, it was a little too much)

Hungarianish Sausage
2.42 lbs pork shoulder butt and fat
10 g edes paprika
10 g csipos paprika
2 g black pepper, coarsely ground
41 g roasted garlic (roasted in lard)
19 g kosher salt
3 g allspice (we used 4, it was just a little too much)

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Jack: my occasional restaurant http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/13/jack-my-occasional-restaurant/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/13/jack-my-occasional-restaurant/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2008 14:38:08 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/13/jack-my-occasional-restaurant/

This is my secret project, unveiled.

Dave and I are starting an occasional restaurant named Jack at the Brooklyn Lyceum here in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC.

Our first dinner will be on April 12, 2008.

We are open for one seating per night at 7pm on Saturday nights, every other week or so. Our fixed multi-course tasting menu changes each time. Menus and dates are posted in advance on the Jack website, BYOB, and reservations are absolutely required. Our cuisine is eclectic, innovative, and very tasty – well, if you read this blog, you know that part already!

The Brooklyn Lyceum is a miscellaneous arts space in what used to be Public Bath #7, which now houses theatre, opera, a batting cage, gallery space, aerial silk and yoga classes, and more.

It’s this huge, crazy, magnificently insane sort of a building. We are using the upstairs space for the restaurant, which is a giant floor-through room which often houses theatre, open mics, and the batting cage.

We’ll be creating an intimate space in that hugeness by way of theatrical lighting to create the dining area, letting the rest of of that marvelous room just fade away into darkness all around.

Our tasting menus will each have 5 announced courses, but there will generally be a few extras thrown in as well, of course.

Now that we’ve gone live, I’ll probably update here whenever we post a new menu, and after each dinner to let you know how it goes. And of course, I intend to share some of our recipes here after we serve them as well. I won’t let this blog get stagnant, I promise.

So, please go check out Jack: an occasional restaurant, join us for dinner, and spread the news!

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