Lobster Pot Pie (Talula’s Table Preview)

31 12 2009

We recently went out to Kennett Square to check out Talula’s Table, a gourmet food store with a deli and unique dinner service once a night at an 8 to 12-person farm table. Reservations for the 9+ course meal are few and far between; eventually we will make it there for dinner. This time, though, we grabbed a lobster pot pie to take home:

I love me a good meat pie, of any type. There’s something about the simplicity of the ingredients and the way you feel like a kid on Christmas when you first break into the crust to see what’s inside. The lobster shape in the crust added to the whimsical nature of the pie.

The lobster as meat was a nice diversion from the usual chicken or beef pot pie as it created a light feel with not too much oiliness, but the main attractions were really the crust and the veggies. I feel that as long as the crust is flaky, buttery, and brown (which this was) and the filling is tasty and thick (which this was) the meat is really just icing on the cake (which this lobster was). Matt and I shared one pie ($18) for dinner and I couldn’t even finish my half.

More in a future post on Talaula’s Table, and hopefully 2010 will bring the farm table dinner.


Holiday Cheer

28 12 2009

Matt and I have been eating nonstop since last week. I didn’t take pictures of all of our food, but here’s a sampling:

Lamb stew

French Onion Soup

My mom’s homemade cookies

On today’s menu: cereal.

Leg of Lamb

21 12 2009

Matt was inspired (partially by My Big Fat Greek Wedding: “You don’t eat meat? OK, I make you lamb.”) when he concocted this dinner. Leg of lamb was on sale over the weekend and we couldn’t resist trying to roast one for the first time.

400 degrees for 90 minutes
4.3 lb. leg of lamb
1 Can of lentil soup, drained
5 cloves of garlic
apple cider vinegar
deli mustard
black pepper, sea salt, mustard seed, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, smoked salt (all ground together with mortar and pestle–we didn’t measure)
Brussels sprouts
artichoke hearts (I was like, “Wha…?” but they were good)

I thought everything was delicious but Matt was a bit disappointed with the lack of lamb-flavor of the lamb. We also concurred that the deli mustard slightly overpowered the other herbs because of its processed qualities. The lentil soup, Brussels sprouts, and artichoke hearts created a nice side dish blend, and the couscous-from-a-box never disappoints. Matt made lamb stew with the leftover meat–that’s another post.

Versatile Brown Sugar cookies

20 12 2009

I’ve been planning to try this recipe for brown sugar cookies for a few years, ever since I found out that my dad used to actually make these when I was little.

Preheat oven to 350.

1 cup shortening, melted
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp.vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cups + 4 T flour

Mix all ingredients together (batter will be thick). Drop or roll into a ball.

Bake until brown (about 12 minutes)

Because the cookies were a tiny bit bland, I added chocolate chips to half of the batter:

This recipe is an excellent base for a cookie that could have endless possibilities.  I made a second batch yesterday and added some rolled oats. I also used butter instead of shortening this time, which changed the taste a little bit (more creamy) but made the cookies a bit more crunchy. Next, I’ll try coconut.

Blue Ox Bistro

17 12 2009

On a whim, Matt and I stopped at the Blue Ox Bistro for dinner last night. Located in downtown Fox Chase, it may not be a place people will go out of their way to get to, but it is the nicest bar in our neighborhood. Daily specials include 1/2 price appetizers and $3.50 drafts from 4-7. Good selection of drafts–I had the last of a pumpkin ale (on the house) and Matt tried a Tucher, which was a light Bavarian blend.

Split pea soup for me ($6):

I wished that the sundried tomatoes on top were ham or bacon, but it was a nice twist. The soup was creamy with an excellent blend of herbs.

Next came the Wurst Platter ($17) and cheese fries ($6):

Matt’s wursts looked perfect and he affirmed the taste. These fries are like gourmet McDonald’s fries. Thin, chewy, crispy, light on the grease, tasty. These are amazing fries, and the melted non-goopy cheese is unique. If I can’t have Whiz, I’ll have this.

While we were sitting in the bar, a steady stream of diners and friends came in and out  In the cold, the Blue Ox is an ideal choice to cozy up and get some German comfort food. In the heat, sit in the beer garden out back. We’re glad to have the Blue Ox just a few blocks away from home.

(All photos taken with an iPhone.)

Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti 2007 Le Orme

12 12 2009

Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti 2007 Le Orme

Retail: $11.99

Grape: native to Piedmont

This was disappointing.  Matt shuddered at his first taste.

I tasted some grape juice (although Matt thinks I’m crazy because he associates grape juice with sweetness, which this wine did not have).

We both detected bitter black cherry and a burnt hot quality that was not pleasant.  It was sharp on the nose with hints of tar, wood, earth, and rusticity.

After sitting down with some Italian sausage and beans, Matt decided that it needed food to be palatable. I found it surprisingly easy to drink despite its bitterness–probably because I prefer bitter tastes over any other.


5 12 2009

Tiffin opened in our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and we couldn’t be happier. This is easily the best Indian food in the area and we feasted on take-out last night.  This could potentially become a regular indulgence.

Onion Bhaji ($2.95). Crispy, tasty, filled with mashed chick peas.

The cilantro mint chutney was a little bit spicy, a little bit rock n’ roll. Perfect.

I love the colors of Indian food, and the Butter Chicken ($11.95) made for a vibrant still-life model.

I had the Lamb Roganjosh ($11.95) warmed up for lunch the next day and it was just as delicious left over.

And again with the colors. I’m excited to taste and photograph everything on the Tiffin menu.