"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Good Eatin Food

I put a lot of things off until the off-season–books, movies, tv shows, cooking. I want to watch The Wire this winter. Got a bunch of books to read. And yeah, I’ve got time to cook and nerd-out in the kitchen. Cold outside, warm and tasty inside.

So I’ve now got time to dick around and look at recipes.


Last weekend I made beef short ribs for the first time. I know lots of cooks love that piece of meat, there’s at least one short ribs recipe in just about every cookbook on my shelf, but I’d never gotten around to it. It was delicious. I used a lot of fresh thyme which has been my herb obsession of the year (previously, I went on a tarragon kick that lasted at least two years).

Here’s a good recipe for short ribs from the sabermetricians of the cooking world, Cooks Illustrated. The good people at Saveur got it going on too–dig their 15 ways to make a burger.

And here’s some other random stuff that caught my eye:

Paremesan Parsnips.

Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo.

Fennel, Sunchoke and Apple salad.

Korean-style Pickled cucumbers.

And here’s my man, Jacques:

Happy cooking…not to mention eating.

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1 ms october   ~  Nov 14, 2009 6:31 pm

how'd you like the beef short ribs alex?
i have made them a few times - found a pretty good recipe from gourmet magazine. good to make them for a day like today.

hope you get to the wire and enjoy it. i watched it when it first came out and own the dvd set (some of the few dvds i own) and have seen each season multiple times. i absolutely love the show. you'll see the erick aybar as snoop comp too :}

2 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 14, 2009 6:42 pm

I liked the short ribs. Found it hard to fuck up, just cooked the hell out of it, slowly, and it was yummy.

I'm stoaked to watch THE WIRE simply because of all of the raves. I mean, I don't recall hearing so many people whose opinion I respect go ape shit over a show in a long time. No lie, I've had seven or eight people tell me that it is the best show of all time. Not their favorite, the BEST, end of discussion. And all sorts of different people, from all different places. So that's got my attention, and I figure I just need to watch it.

Only trouble is that it is a committement. You can't go into it casually. But it's a long winter. So I'm downski.

3 ms october   ~  Nov 14, 2009 6:54 pm

haha, yes, hard to fuck em up - just season them a bit and cook them slow on low and they turn out pretty good.

i concur that the wire is the best show of all time to me. it is a commitment, as there are a lot of shows to get through, but i found that having each show at about an hour helps you block off the time better than a longer movie. as i said i have seen each season multiple times. i watched it when it was first came out on hbo (so i watched one episode every sunday night) and then bought each season individually on dvd - and every time i bought a new dvd i would start over, so i have seen the first season quite a lot. it is a lot like a novel so i think you will appreciate that aspect of it. the characters and plot really build over time. i am probably a little nutty about it, but i could talk about the wire all day. after i catch up on some things in my netflix queue that got ignored during baseball season, i'll probably re-watch the wire again. there is so much to it, little, little things that i may have overlooked in an earlier viewing get noticed in another viewing.
anyways, i hope you enjoy and it lives up to all the raves to you.

4 vockins   ~  Nov 14, 2009 7:01 pm

I bought a whole chicken to try fried chicken for the first time. My wife stole it and roasted it. It was probably better than I would have done with the frying.

5 The Hawk   ~  Nov 14, 2009 7:05 pm

I've been watching The Wire for a while now, going through the DVDs at a leisurely pace. It is a great, great show. I wouldn't compare it to a novel or a movie because one of the best things about it is it is very much of its medium, kind of like Watchmen (hence that comic book's difficulty in being translated to the big screen). I don't know if it's the best TV show ever but it's got to be one of the best.

I don't like to cook.

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 14, 2009 7:41 pm

Ummm... Is this Bronx Broilers?

7 thelarmis   ~  Nov 14, 2009 7:44 pm

food. my favorite! ... NOT!!!

[6] Bronx Broasters!

well, time to nuke an organic burrito before i head out to my gig...

8 thelarmis   ~  Nov 14, 2009 7:45 pm

[5] i've been getting into Criminal Minds lately.

the hot blonde's name (in real life) is AJ Cook. now that is one time i would LOVE to cook! ; )

9 thelarmis   ~  Nov 14, 2009 7:47 pm

speaking of cooking and stoves...

i wonder if we'll see Mike Cameron in CF for us as a 1-yr stopgap for Ajax...

10 thelarmis   ~  Nov 14, 2009 7:50 pm

i'm listening to a jazz-funk-soul-r&b cd on blue note records right now.

it's by Brother Jack McDuff.

what's it called?

"Down Home Style" and the cover is of a southern 'down home' style meal. it's all about the food today here at the Banter!

hopefully i'll get home from the gig early enough to wash it all down with adult suds, but it's not looking likey...

11 Bobtaco   ~  Nov 14, 2009 8:03 pm

I mainlined the entire The Wire in about four weeks.

Love Deadwood & Mad Men too.

Those are the three best of the last decade, imho.

12 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 14, 2009 8:33 pm

[10] Awesome!
thelarmis, I have been recently really digging a guy named Phil Cohran, big-band composer from the 1960s, very unique. You should check him out!

Never seen the Wire, Sopranos, Lost, 24, 30 Rock or Deadwood. Everyone has insisted I watch the Wire and the Sopranos but as has been mentioned, the commitment is daunting..me and the lady do watch Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Desperate Housewives (I know, I know, but it's better than you may think..)

13 unmoderated   ~  Nov 14, 2009 8:44 pm

maybe i'll finally get to The Wire. We're in a TV show lull at the moment.

14 Emma Span   ~  Nov 14, 2009 8:51 pm

Damn, I can't wait to talk about The Wire with you, Alex - and I guess it's possible you won't like it, but I'd be stunned. You better blog about it, too...

15 Emma Span   ~  Nov 14, 2009 8:53 pm

[13] You won't regret it! (Sorry, the Wire turns me into a crazy evangelist. I can't rest until I've successfully hounded everyone I know/virtually know into watching it).

16 Yankee Mama   ~  Nov 14, 2009 9:05 pm

Ok, that does it. I'm going to commit The Wire.

The other day I made osso bucco which I served with risotto with champagne sauce and roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta. It's hard to screw up osso bucco as well.

17 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 14, 2009 9:07 pm

Is The Wire ONLY on HBO, or can it be found elsewhere?

18 ms october   ~  Nov 14, 2009 9:18 pm

fantastic, we can talk about the wire during the off-season. the only hard thing is making sure i don't reveal something someone hasn't seen yet, but i haven't done that yet.

[17] all 5 seasons are out on dvd. you can definitely get from netflix or blockbuster or any of those types of places - maybe check your library too.

19 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 15, 2009 9:22 am

I'm going to make a duck today for my kid's birthday party.
I don't like that it's a dark and wintry and baseballless world, but at least there's duck.

20 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 15, 2009 9:26 am

[2] I haven't seen the wire (yet?) but I can't imagine it's *better* than Deadwood. Maybe as good, but I don't think it can possibly be better. Deadwood is my gold standard not just for television, but for drama. I think Deadwood rises to heights where it's every bit as good as Shakespeare or Sophocles.

Maybe one day I'll watch the Wire to see what all the fuss is about.

21 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 15, 2009 9:28 am

[3] Ok, Ms. O, you've convinced me. Let me get through Madmen season two, first, then I'll give it a whirl. Remind me if I forget, ok? :)

22 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 15, 2009 9:31 am

[15] H aha ha h ha ha ah ah ah ha !!!

Ok, ok!!


23 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 15, 2009 11:53 am

The Sopranos will always be my favorite, but The Wire is probably the best of the decade.

I love them both, but Tony and Carmela have my heart.

24 The Hawk   ~  Nov 15, 2009 12:55 pm

[23] The Sopranos was more inconsistent, but nothing can beat it at it's heights. Personally I don't take too any points off for a little inconsistency if you're trying different things, which the Sopranos did and which the Wire didn't. The Wire is by far the more conventional show - I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but the two series go about their business is very different ways; different goals, different methods.

25 Just Fair   ~  Nov 15, 2009 1:01 pm

I kinda wiish I had The Wire still sitting on the back burner,waiting to be watched fof the first time. Needles to say, I loved it, too. Ms. O was was the first to pick up on my Snoop reference. : ) As for now, the old lady and I can't get enough of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It's only for folks with warped senses of humor: and we quailify so it's all good. We are also still on the first season of Mad Men. That show is something.

26 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 15, 2009 1:55 pm

[24] yeah, I always felt that even The Sopranos weakest episodes were still amazing television.

I love The Wire, but its a plot-driven show where The Sopranos is all about the characters. Thats not to say characters aren't important to The Wire (they definitely are) just that there were lots of episodes of Sopranos where "nothing happened" (even though plenty happened)

27 ms october   ~  Nov 15, 2009 2:52 pm

[24] [26] i loved the sopranos too and it definitely explored territory that was extremely fresh. i think the themes of the wire spoke more to me though.

raging one thing i would day about the difference in the characters in the two shows is in the sopranos the characters were sort of at battle so to speak with themselves and in the wire the characters were often at battle with institutions which for some led to internal battles. the various institutions were major characters in the wire.

28 thelarmis   ~  Nov 15, 2009 3:16 pm

[12] cool. i've never heard of that big-band guy. yesterday and today, i've been listening to the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. Elvin's big brother was a big band mastermind!

i've never seen any of those tv shows either. and i'm not interested in them. that said, i've been told i'd love that show Curb Your Enthusiasm. i think that's the show i've been told i'd love...

29 The Hawk   ~  Nov 15, 2009 3:20 pm

Yes the density of the world of the Wire is really like nothing else, and though the characters are amazingly well-drawn (I'm watching season 4 and I don't think I've ever seen better kid characters, for example), they are not as layered and deep as the Sopranos. Similarly Sopranos had some great stories and twists but nothing really approaching the complexity of the The Wire. Definitely an apples and oranges thing.

I really feel Mad Men has picked up the mantle of TV greatness. There are a couple other current shows I love, but Mad Men is truly special.

30 Eric   ~  Nov 15, 2009 3:29 pm

I've just gotten into the Wire --- most of the way through the first season. But I'll just jump on board and say it's totally worth getting into. I've been blown away so far.

31 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 15, 2009 3:44 pm

[29 et. al.] Yes to Mad Men, yes to Sopranos. I agree Sopranos is uneven but at its best, nothing's better. The scene when Tony grabbed AJ in the parking lot, hugged him and told him he loved him was as good a climax as you'll ever see. It was a moment seven seasons in the making. The release of seven seasons worth of emotion. Amazing.

I'm just starting season two of Mad Men and I agree, it is truly special. Among other things, it's just so original. Also, the production values, attention to detail in set, character, mood, development, all of it. It's great.

Oh, and as to kid characters, I think you'll find the most authentic ones in French cinema. They really have a flair for children.

32 Evil Empire   ~  Nov 15, 2009 5:34 pm

I liked the Sopranos mostly but sometimes the writing seemed downright silly -- like when Christopher Moltisanti wanted to produce a zombie mobster movie. That just seemed too dumb and unbelievable for words.

33 The Hawk   ~  Nov 15, 2009 6:17 pm

I'll also come right out and say I loved the Sopranos finale

34 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 15, 2009 6:27 pm

FYI: From ESPN -
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu told The Seattle Times that initial reports about bullpen coach John Wetteland being hospitalized Thursday for suicide concerns and mental health issues were highly premature.

"A lot of things got blown out of proportion," Wakamatsu told the newspaper. "He had a domestic dispute—an argument. His blood pressure raced, and obviously his wife called the police. The next thing you know, it's about suicide. It had nothing to do with that."

Wakamatsu added Wetteland is doing great and is back at home.

(Sorry to talk about baseball.)

35 The Hawk   ~  Nov 15, 2009 6:59 pm

[34] Wait, that's about baseball?

36 RIYank   ~  Nov 15, 2009 7:01 pm

I'm watching afternoon football. And let's just say that I am still trying to figure out what it is that Joe Buck is good at. (I do like Troy Aikman.)

37 The Hawk   ~  Nov 15, 2009 7:54 pm

Looking forward to the Colts/Pats game. As a Jets fan I really have no rooting interest, since the Jets are useless no matter what happens, but it should be a good game.

Also looking forward o spring training.

38 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 15, 2009 9:40 pm

If anyone is interested in more food chat, more TV talk, a bit of baseball talk, there is a nice post on Granderson at:

39 unmoderated   ~  Nov 15, 2009 9:59 pm

OK, starting the wire tonight.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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