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Going Greek

We’re adding new items to the menu slowly but surely, and the newest addition is our take on the Greek salad. This is the dish that took the longest to get just right. Those are deep fried trumpet royale mushrooms on top, it’s got olives, tomato, fennel, cucumber and feta in it, and it’s drizzled with preserved lemon mayonnaise. And over on the side are bright pink pickled onions that people forget to mix in with everything else but trust us, you should. It’s better that way.

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Cooking with Electricity

For a variety of reasons we’ve been operating without gas since we opened three weeks ago, but now it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel and we may have gas sometime before the end of the month. So it seems like a good time to introduce the band, and honor the various cobbled-together pieces of kitchen equipment that have been turning out the food so far. First up, there’s the induction range. This amazing piece of equipment is what we’ll be using instead of gas burners and it operates by generating a very small electromagnetic field that heats any metal that comes into contact with it. Put a metal pot or pan on it and it heats up almost instantly, but it won’t heat up flesh or dish towels, causing them to burst into flames and burn down the restaurant. It’s a miracle of modern science, although it’s a bit finicky: we had to send two of them back before we got ones that wanted to work in our space.

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Next up there’s Senor Fryer, the deep fat fryer we ordered from, if I remember correctly, BedBathandBeyond.com. As strong as an ox, it fries with the strength of a gas fryer but is much smaller.

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There’s Mr. Electric Grill that makes truffle toast like there’s no tomorrow, grills mushrooms and melts grilled cheese croutons.

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Finally, there’s the EZ Bake Oven, courtesy of Amazon.com. It can bake like a maniac but is teeny tiny and can only cook a little bit of food at a time.

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Although Debbie, our pastry chef, chooses to do most of her baking in her tiny apartment, the rest of what you eat is cooked on these mighty countertop appliances, all of which resemble nothing more than particularly expensive childrens’ toys. Until the gas comes on later this month, this is all we got, but so far all of it is working out great and it’s been an adventure to turn out so many covers every night with what are basically home appliances.


F is for “food,” also “fun”

Sometimes in the midst of all the critical commentary about what “organic” really means, the goatee-stroking about the politics of eating locally, the hair-splitting over the proper way to prepare this or that dish, the plywood reports, the Deathwatching, the gossip, the cattiness, the pomposity, snark, sarcasm, industry insider-ism and general attitude some folks have when they write/talk/post about food, it’s easy to forget that first and foremost food should be fun.

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This picture’s swiped from BoingBoing. It’s the place that Mark Frauenfelder‘s five-year-old daughter set for herself at dinner when he allowed her to set the table and it reminded me of how much fun food and dinner and eating and snacks and all that stuff was when I was a kid.

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So don’t be surprised if you show up at Dirt Candy for dinner and get three teacups with your meal.


The Great Divider: Pappardelle

If we’ve discovered one thing it’s that nothing divides diners like our pappardelle. Thick, rustic pappardelle pasta is usually served with stews or hearty sauces made of wild boar or hare, the kind of thing you eat after a damp morning tramp through the mountains in late October when you can see your breath and your face stings from the cold. Since we don’t serve wild boar at Dirt Candy we decided to tweak the dish and keep it hearty but make it slightly sweet. We added raisins to the tomato sauce, which sweeten the dish, then we top it with roasted cauliflower and pine nuts. Only, instead of just throwing in some pine nuts we take them, dehydrate them, roll them into sheets, let them dry and crumble them on top so that they look like pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but instead of the sharp bite of the cheese you get the soothing, subtle flavor of pine nuts.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Ricotta Fritters

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Pastry Chef, Debbie Lee, just got the ricotta fritters up and running on the menu. Those are the fritters on the left, anchored with green tomato marmalade, and on the right that’s a scoop of lemon olive oil ice cream with a dried tomato chip on top.


Destroy all Vandals!

We were a bit worried about our menu box outside Dirt Candy. It’s a gorgeous piece of plastic, hand crafted by artisinal plastic workers deep in the mountains of Brooklyn and we had to pay for it with a bag of gold dust and a magical chicken. But East Ninth Street, where we’re located, is a lovely, quiet neighborhood and we figured that it would be fine.

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No such luck. Three days after being installed, late on this past Saturday night, some little twerps broke it free from the ground, cracked it into pieces and threw the pieces up and down the block. We’re figuring out a way to get it back up and to make it twerp-proof, so consider this a temporary setback, not a permanent defeat. And rest assured, little vandals, this menu box is going to come looking for you in the night. It won’t sleep until it’s found you, and when it does, neither god nor man can save you from its wrath.

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Our menu box. RIP…for now.

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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