Friday Lunch October
The 4th Friday of each month beginning in the Fall & continuing until Summer is in full flower, we at J.A.S. enjoy carrying on our “upper left hand corner” version of Friday Lunch. Origins of this tradition are deeply rooted at Galatoire’s an icon of New Orleans. In NOLA …. every Friday …. lunch is a no-reservations, no menu, send your “person Friday” to wait in line for your table, get your work done by eleven, meet for cocktails & lunch at noon, be in proper shape to head home by 5 o’clock (yep) and shower for your 7 o’clock dinner reservation. Yes, this happens every Friday in the Big Easy.
At J.A.S. we have a few things to take care of and Fridays are no exception. However, there is certainly something to be said for taking a moment to share good food, nice wine, conversation, laughter and sense of occasion inspired by our friends in New Orleans. Our regular lunches are typically taken at intervals when time allows… between phone calls, before meetings & as quickly and efficiently as possible. Two or three people may happen at the table chatting over left overs or taco truck cuisine. The lunch table sees a slow trickle of colleagues in casual and efficient lunch mode. But we set the table properly for Friday Lunches and look forward to them each month with relish, enthusiasm & anticipation.
Prepping and cooking typically begins early in Kim & Joe’s kitchen under the watchful eyes (but only one hand) of the Chinese kitchen god.
Cooking may begin the night before (as in the Teurgoule dessert for October) & there is always a little cheerful chaos . The Schneider Boys awaken to a special aromatic alarm clock wafting to the upper reaches of the house. Savoring the smells from the highest point in the kitchen before running off to school
The rest of the morning is spent in a warm kitchen piecing together the flavors, textures & colors to share with friends & family in the midst of a busy work day.
Just the notion is satisfying. While the dishes cook, we pen the menu & choreograph the transfer from kitchen to table.
Sometimes there are recipes to follow… often there are not…. mostly dishes are riffs or inspirations built upon a phrase or the season at hand…. Usually it is all of the above. There may be guests or guest cooks. There may be dogs and flowers from the garden. Each Friday Lunch arrives with the promise of a trinket to brighten an otherwise regular day of the week.
Roasted Milk-Poached Chicken w/ Black Figs & Fennel Sausage: (original inspiration for this dish comes from Manger a food blog as beautiful to read as it is to look at)
- 4C Milk
- 8C Water
- Fresh Bay Leaves
- Fresh Fennel Fronds
- Salt & White Pepper
- Chicken pieces
- Pearl Onions
- Fennel sausage sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- Fresh Fennel Bulb
- Black figs (fresh or dried) halved or whole depending on ripeness
Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In large pot bring milk, water, bay leaves, fennel tops, salt & pepper to a boil. Poach chicken pieces & onions for 10-15 minutes. Remove chicken & onions from poaching liquid & reserve liquid for roasting.
- Leave poaching liquid on low simmer to continue reducing while rest of dish is assembled.
- Brown fennel sausage & poached onions until golden & set aside.
- Assemble roasting pan …. Arranging chicken, onions, sausage, figs & fresh bay leaves.
- Baste with 1C of poaching liquid. Keep reducing the liquid and baste a few more times during roasting as desired, needed or inclined.
- Roast for 60-90 minutes until chicken is done.
Green Beans & Truffle Oil Dressing:
Blanche cleaned & trimmed whole green beans only long enough to barely cook through and brighten their green.
- Run under very cold water to stop cooking.
- Toss with truffle oil dressing – equal parts olive oil, truffle oil & fresh lemon juice with salt & black pepper to taste.
Teurgoule & fresh fruit still life:
- 8C whole milk
- 150g rice
- 180g sugar
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- Mix Rice, Sugar, Cinnamon & put mixture into a baking dish or terra cotta fire proof bowl.
- Pour milk over rice mixture.
- Cook in oven for 4-5hrs until top is caramelized & brown.
- Serve warm.