As hipsters trample over each other to snatch the first overpriced signs of spring--ramps, really?--you'd be better off sauntering to a farm stand that features sorrel, a tart lemony green, and a superb companion for fish and shellfish, particularly the richer ones. (Speaking of richer... with scallops at $25 per pound, a sprightly sorrel sauce can be a good helpmeet in stretching those expensive nubbins a little further.)
I started the sauce by scorching two lovely fat chopped shallots to death, as, at the time, I was busy pulling the veins out of the sorrel leaves. (Rinse the leaves, Lightly pat dry. Fold the leaf in half, lengthwise, then pull the vein out. Annoying, I know, but it must be done. Now is the time to saute the shallots. Some butter, some neutral oil, add the shallots, and cook, stirring from time to time, until soft. Throw in the sorrel, then wonder where it went. Add some heavy cream, and give it another stir. Whiz in a food processor, or with a blending stick, until smooth, with flecks of green. Adjust for seasoning. This keeps without separating but it is, after all, dairy, so use within a day or two.
*Please note that sorrel rhymes with quarrel, not with the surname of acclaimed television writer, Buddy Sorrell.
Wide egg noodles are among my very favorite things...particularly with butter, especially with butter and breadcrumbs.Yesterday, I seemed alone in this, as I schlepped from store to noodle-free store, up to my ass in slush. Pasta yes, noodles no. A clerk in one upscale market showed me to the noodle section. All gone. Given the allotted space, I assumed that some lucky shopper had purchased the sole bag of noodles. Another such market didn't carry noodles at all. Am I that downmarket in my taste? Next stop, the newly tarted up and confusing Key Food, where there is a dazzling array of all things eggy and farinaceous.
Obviously, I'm not going to provide you with a recipe for noodles, as most of you know you way around a kitchen, although I have doubts about one who seems to subsist solely on popcorn.
Stew is pretty flexible. I was out of (or couldn't find in the uncurated museum that is my refrigerator) beef stock, so went with chicken and a touch of caramel coloring, courtesy of Gravy Master, which has been saving cooks' sanity since 1935. I used 3/4 pound of chuck, cut into smallish cubes, and dredged in flour seasoned with salt and pepper (and a pinch of Aleppo, if possible). Over medium-high heat get a good brown on the beef without overcooking, four minutes or even less. Remove the beef. Add a chopped large onion and a clove or two of minced garlic to the pan. Cook until soft, a minute or two. Put the beef in the pan, some sliced carrots, if you'd like, and add four cups of stock and a healthy slosh of red wine. Pour yourself a glass.
Cook for at least an hour, feeding it more wine from time to time.
Given that there is no starch is the stew, which at this point resembles soup, it's time to add a thickener. I was out of Wondra, which has featured on the message board for these many weeks, so I mixed a tablespoon or so of all-purpose flour with a couple of tablespoons of stock until smooth. In to the pot, repeating if necessary. Toss in some frozen peas at the last minute.
Arrange as attractively as possible. Strew with chopped parsley, which I sure as hell wasn't going back out to get. What do you think this is, Posh Nosh?