Summertime/ C’est l’été

syndicatereading

Adishatz, Hello!
Our spring was busy & rich with a great tour of the UK. You can find videos & pix on my facebook page, Pierre Joris’ blog & more links below. We are now almost ready to embark on a long summer transhumance filled with many exciting stages — see short & longer term dates below. Meanwhile, let me fill you in on our publications.Bi-Valve : Vulvic Space I Vulvic Knowledge — which includes a cd, texts &17 colors plates of my paintings & digital photographs — is OUT! The recording features Michael Bisio on bass & we had a jolly good time recording it at FastSpeaking music w/ Ambrose Bye. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result & koudos to Lori Anderson-Moseman (Stockport Flats), who not only made it beautiful but was ever so supportive thru out the process. Get your copy while they last: here.

Also out, Pierre’s Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj —for which I designed the cover— is just out from Chax press, you can get it here, & in case you had missed the announcement: Poem for the Millennium Four: The University of California Book of North African Literature is also out and available here.

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
July 19-27 

Poetry Festival in Sète, France
NP: Voix Vives de Méditerranée en Méditerranée
Daily performances throughout the festival.
See detailed program here

July 29-August 5
Gascony

NP & PJ: Artists in Residence in Gascony for the NY’OC Trobadors project.
NY’OC Trobadors, is a collaboration between artists based in France and New York.  Save the date — Saturday November 23rd 2013 — for a full day on/of Occitan culture that will bring the riches of southern France’s troubadour tradition to the American public. This unique gathering of bi-continental poets, musicians, singers & translators will present panels, a fully staged bilingual (Occitan-English) multimedia performance and talks about the bilingual anthology of Occitan poetry we are working on. Texts, poems & song lyrics spanning the 11th century to the present will be presented. This event will be at Poets House co-sponsored by City Lore & d’Artagnan. We still need funds to make this event possible. City Lore is taking donations here)

 

August 5-31
Bourg d’Oueil 
(our Pyrenean base)
NP: Continuing work on a series of paintings & writings specific to the location
PJ: This is the first summer in 10 years he has no deadlines so he will write new work!
& together we will start editing our documentary project on poet Gerrit Lansing.

 

September 1-15
Paris
September 5th:  NP & PJ Feature readers at Paris Lit Up series
more readings TBA

October 10-22
Southern California Tour:
Los Angeles:
October 16th : PJ reading at Otis
October 17th: PJ Round table on Translation at USD
More TBA

November 6-9
Brussels- Belgium
University of Brussels Symposium on Alice Notley & Pierre Joris.
Details TBA – Readings by both PJ & NP

LINKS:
CCA Launch of Diwan Ifrikya – Glasgow Scotland (Photo Monique Lemos)
DOMOETICS – Edinburgh Scotland (Photo Chris Donia)
Nicole at Tibor de Nagy Gallery – NYC
Nicole at The Huntarian Gallery  – Glasgow Scotland
Pierre at Dia Foundation – NYC
Nicole at MoMA – NYC
Pierre at Walt Whitman’s house  – Huntington Station NY
Fortino Samano (the Overflowing of the Poem) review – by Belle Gironda & NP

IN PROGRESS:
IMG_7522.1
Working on a short documentary on poet Gerrit Lansing .
Here, filming in Gloucester in June 2013 with Miles Joris-Peyrafitte as cinematographer.

 

Spring Schedule: NYC, Bard College, London, Wales, Scottland

Below is our busy Spring schedule.
For all the clickable links go to: Spring schedule
If you are smart phone savvy then : voilà le QRCode!

Happy Spring to y’ll & we sure hope to see you here or there.
PJ & NP

Spring Schedule pix

Low Glycemic Dunch Deluxe

tofupudding

I am getting the hang of cooking low glycemic index meals —more on that coming up, since it will be the focus of my cooking for a few months. The menu featured today is my best so far. It happens to be vegetarian but I can assure you that it will satisfy even the staunchest meat eater. The delicate flavors & the filling qualities provide total satisfaction.

veggiestew

Fragrant Chickpeas, Veggie & Shitake Stew & Turmeric Slaw

Sauté 1/2 onion finely chopped in organic Olive Oil
add the following chopped vegetables:
2 leeks
2 celery ribs w/ tops
1 red bell pepper
2 Jerusalem artichokes
1 cup of shitake mushrooms
2 cloves of grated garlic
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 1/2 cup of soaked & pre-cooked chickpeas (soaked over night, boiled once and let sit for one hour before use in stew)

Turmeric Slaw

turmericslaw

If you have read the previous post you know that I have beautiful turmeric from Hawaï. This coleslaw recipe is a low glycemic slaw variation that work quite beautifully with the Fragrant Chickpea Veggie & Shitake Stew.  It is only slightly different than the one featured in Passion Cabbage.

Ingredients:
Finely chopped green cabbage/onion/celery/fennel bulb/ cilantro/
Dressing:
Fresh grated ginger / turmeric /1 clove of garlic
juice of 1 Mayer lemon
soy sauce
mostly sesame oil
a little olive oil
flax seeds

Tamarind Tofu Pudding with Minty Blueberry Purée

Finally a tofu pudding that is really good! I have been trying for months & at last here is one worth sharing. First I made tamarind paste with wet seedless (not totally!) tamarind. Tamarind doesn’t have a super low glycemic index but first, little is used & second, it is supposed to be very good for the liver. The process is a little tedious but worth the effort since it can be used in many other dishes —e.i: simply add to goat milk yogurt, morning cereals or to make the famous Pad Thai.

Tamarind paste process:
Soak one 14oz package in equal amount of warm water. Let it sit for a few hours. Once rehydrated work it with your hands to remove veins & seeds. Blend in food processor until smooth; keep in a glass jar in the fridge. For our purpose you will need only one or two tablespoons.

Pudding:
Put the desired amount of tamarind in a small pan, add a little water, heat to medium heat & add 1/2 package of plain gelatine; let it sit.
Meanwhile, in the food processor add:
1 package of organic silken tofu (1lb)
1 sunlime juice (this is a new kind of lemon that appeared at the ParkSlope foodcoop, if you don’t find it mix lemon & lime juice . The sunlime looks and tastes like an hybrid of the 2)
Freshly ground  cinnamon & nutmeg
Few drops of stevia (careful — too much gives it a terrible taste)
Add the tamarind mixture to the tofu mixture and blend thoroughly.
Pour in glass ramequin & let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Serve with fresh blueberry mint puree (blend fresh blueberry & fresh mint in food processor, strain and pour over the set pudding)

tofupudding

Bon appetit & keep healthy!

Mirage & More

N.P  from “Bi-Valve” Series:  “Concha Brava”  2011

Hello to you all!
How have you been since the “Infinite Views”? I have not been able to post & you will find out why below. I hope to be able to post while in New Orleans as I would like to continue the series I started there:  Temps/Oralité #I & Temps/Oralité #II. Pierre & I will be there for a week during MARDI GRAS!  On Thursday April 23rd Pierre Joris, John Sinclair and his Blues Scholars, & I will be reading/performing at the infamous 17 Poets Series!

Thursday February 23th 7:30pm
17 Poets Series
The GoldMine Saloon
701 Dauphine,
Corner of St. Peter and Dauphine
French Quarter
New Orleans

After the reading we will take a few days to travel to the Bayous. Pierre as been commissioned to write a libretto for a choir project coordinated by Donald Nally & involving the composers Chris Jonas, Joby Talbot & Gene Coleman.  The topic of the project is about the BP Oil Disaster, & Pierre is trying to meet with communities of various ethnicity  that have been affected by the spill.

There are two projects that have kept me away from the blog: the first one is Bi-Valve, a series of texts, paintings & recipes. The painting above is part of it. If you miss the Nola performance save the date for the New York City installment:

NICOLE PEYRAFITTE : BI-VALVE SOLO
Monday April 23rd
Evolving Voice / Evolving Music
107 Suffolk Street
Clemente Soto Velez – Educational & Cultural Center
New York, NY 10002

And the second project is cinematographic:
Late last fall I was commissioned by the Friends of Basil King to produce & co-direct with Miles Joris-Peyrafitte a 22-minute film depicting the intimacy between writing and painting in Basil King’s work, called BASIL KING: MIRAGE.
The camera will focus on drawn and written lines, and on images of his paintings that are reflections & counterpoint to a number of consequential periods in King’s life: his childhood during WWII in England, his four on-and-off years at Black Mountain College, his relationship with other writers such as Frank OʼHara and Paul Blackburn and with painters such as Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline…
Watch the 1 minute trailer  below:

 
Basil King: Mirage Trailer
  on Vimeo.

The film will be premiered on September 22nd at the event celebrating Basil’s Arc: The Paintings & Poetics of Basil King. Meanwhile the Committee of the Friends of Basil King is raising money in order to finish the movie.
We made the trailer to give you a little taste of the film & if you would consider a donation (big or small — every little bit helps) you can DONATE HERE. Donors will be invited to the premiere. More info at: http://www.blog.basilking.net/

 Voilà for now & looking forward to “Laissez le bon temps rouler!”

 

Infinite Views

This summer has been very wet & overcast in the Pyrenees. I love being here no matter if it rains or shines, but some hikes require clear skies to be able to experience the 360 degree panoramic view of the Pyreneen mountain range. My friends Lori & Tom were visiting from Ithaca for a week, the skies were scheduled to be crystal clear for two days — perfect timing to get out & to the summit!

To be able to see the sun rise over the mountain range, wake up call is at 4:30am  so we can leave the house by 5am. We are on schedule, a thermos of hot coffee, goat cheese, bread & a nice croustade from my favorite bakery in Luchon (rue Nérée Boubé) are all in the backpack. Hiking shoes & stick on hand, I slam the door shut, start walking towards the car when a sharp pain enters my foot: a roof nail punctured my sneakers and my foot!

Back to the house to remove shoe, nail, socks and notice that the puncture is not too bad. Once thoroughly disinfected, bandaged and foot secured in the hiking shoes I’ll be fine and can begin the journey. We drive to the port the Balès, park the car and start the hike in the night. The moon is already gone,  the sky still very bright with stars. I am granted 3 beautiful shooting stars that I truly welcome as a healing omen after the nail in the foot!  We will not make it on time on the top to see the sun break over the mountains but still I want to get to the top to get the full view. Lori is more eager to take picture of the rising sun from the Peirahitta (you can listen to the song I wrote about that place here) plus she is concerned about my foot — which is a bit sore, but the overpowering drive to get up there and experience the view that my ancestors have been looking at for thousand of years is irresistible.

 

We are on top of the Mont Né mountain at 2147m or 7049 feet high. The sun is just above the horizon the colors on the peaks are spectacular, the sun diffuses strokes of light slowly revealing the contours of the  mountain range’s layers. A true sense of infinity.

In Pétéram We Trust!

In the county of Luchon (where I was born and raised) we are really serious about Pétéram. Pétéram is an ancient local dish made from a combination of tripe (intestine & pluck), lamb  & veal feet, ham, carrots & onions. During my last visit  home I had to have my fix of Pétéram; so one Sunday, part of the family took off to the village of Oô, where the restaurant “Les Spigeoles” serves one of the best Pétéram. Jean-Pierre Oustalet, a friend & the chef-0wner of the establishment, is a very creative man always up to something fun. Recently he printed a series of t-shirts  with  the motto he coined himself: “In Peteram We Trust!”.

peteram t-shirt

This summer a Flemish  TV from Belgium came to film Jean-Pierre’s Pétéram for one of their shows. Though the video is in Flemish & French I urge you to watch it: Touristique: de pétéram.
Tripe dishes are cooked around the world (list here), and as we know
these less desired cuts were left for the poor. It was the same for Pétéram, I don’t think it appeared on restaurant menus in Luchon until the 20th century and my family restaurant was certainly one of the first to offer it. Though I don’t know the exact etymology of the word, one can read its the humble origins through the Gascon language  : petar— French translation: “crever” or in English:”to die” or “to be famished” and hame— in French “faim” or in English “hungry” Thus Pétéram can be interpreted as “a dish for the famished” or as a dish that will kill hunger! Then again this may be an invented etymology (much work remains to be done on the Gascon language, and especially certain of its regional versions, such as that spoken in the Luchonais.) On the other hand, to quote my husband, the poet Pierre Joris, “are any etymologies really ‘false’?”
I used to make Pétéram when I was working at the family restaurant (other posts related to the family hotel here) and though we received “clean” tripe from the butcher, the smell was still strong and the tripe would require extensive blanching in order to get rid of the offensive smell. I got used to it and it didn’t bother me, except this one time. In the late fall of 1981, I had to cut a big pile of intestines and honeycomb for my Pétéram and  that time, for some reason I was to discover a few days later, I couldn’t bear the smell. T
wo days later I found out I was pregnant with my son Joseph. Throughout my pregnancy I had to stay away from tripes.

Jean Pierre Oustalet’s Pétéram is as good as it gets. He achieves the difficult task of making a tripe dish light. The texture of the tripe still firm but tender. The sauce, in which the tripe have cooked for over twelve hours, release the rich and comforting aromas of all the ingredients. The creamy potatoes that have been added late in the cooking provide the perfect starching effect. Some places serve it as a first course, though we had it as a main course. We had soup to start with, then a plate of artisan salamis & cured ham, followed by the Pétéram as the main course. Then we had a slice of delicious mountain cheese, a slice of apple pie and voilà! we sure were full and happy! Below are a few pictures of the fun outing where you can see my parents : Jean & Renée Peyrafitte ( 88 and 81 years old!) in the gorgeous village of Oô. This village is also very dear to me because I premiered my performance The Bi-Continental Chowder /La Garbure Transcontinentale there in 2005. One of the reason is that one of the main Romanesque female figures featured in the show is from the village;  you can hear the song related to it here.

The recipe is a translation of the family recipe transmitted by my grandfather Joseph Peyrafitte & typed by my mother Renée Peyrafitte:

for 5/6 people:
1 lamb stomach & 6  feet 1 kg veal honeycomb & 2 feet
3 carrots whole
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 ham bone
1 bouquet garnis of thym, laurel & parsley
1 cup of ham prosciutto like— diced
2 onions
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 quart chicken stock
1 kg potatoes
Hachis (50 gr garlic & 50 gr fatback grounded together)
1/3 cup Armagnac

Blanch and scrape the tripes thoroughly. Cut the stomach & honeycomb in trips of about 1 x 0.5 inches. Place is all in a stew-pot with a ham bone.
Add 3 whole carrots, the bouquet garnis, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 cup of ham, 2 onions whole, salt, pepper & a touch of nutmeg. Add wine wine & chicken stock so tripes are immersed and “swimming”.
Bring it to a boil, cover the pot and let cook for 10 hours, one hour before serving add potatoes peeled and quartered.
When ready to serve add hachis and the Armagnac.



Three Sisters Soup

I am back from a wonderful trip to the Pyrenees and a short visit to Paris. I arrived just in time to dive into the kitchen to prepare our Thanksgiving dinner. Husband, older son & daughter in law had been very efficient on getting all the necessary ingredients. They also took charge of brining & smoking our 14 lbs organic turkey — it turned out delicious. Joseph —the older son— made the best oyster dressing he ever made for us; he has been improving the recipe we have used for a few years and I will pass it on one of these days. I will not get into all the details of our dinner as I have a few deadlines coming up, but the one thing I will share from our  2010 menu is our Three Sisters Soup. There are many ways of making this soup, and I have made it many times, but I do think this year’s version is the best so far.

First, a little light on the origin of the name. The soup is named after the Native American technique of growing maize, beans & squash together:

Three Sisters (agriculture)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Three Sisters are the three main agricultural crops of some Native American groups in North America: squash, maize, and climbing beans (typically tepary beans or common beans).

In one technique known as companion planting, the three crops are planted close together. Flat-topped mounds of soil are built for each cluster of crops. Each mound is about 30 cm (1 ft) high and 50 cm (20 in) wide, and several maize seeds are planted close together in the center of each mound. In parts of the Atlantic Northeast, rotten fish or eel are buried in the mound with the maize seeds, to act as additional fertilizer where the soil is poor.[1][2] When the maize is 15 cm (6 inches) tall, beans and squash are planted around the maize, alternating between beans and squash. Milpas are farms or gardens that employ companion planting on a larger scale.[3]

The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants utilize and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, which helps prevent weeds. The squash leaves act as a “living mulch“, creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which the body needs to make proteins and niacin, but beans contain both and therefore together they provide a balanced diet.

Native Americans throughout North America are known for growing variations of three sisters gardens. The Anasazi are known for adopting this garden design in a more xeric environment. The Tewa and other Southwest tribes often included a “fourth sister” known as “Rocky Mountain bee plant” (Cleome serrulata), which attracts bees to help pollinate the beans and squash.[4]


2009 Native American dollar reverse with Three Sisters on it

In the past I made three different soups and served them together. This year I decided to make only the back bean and the butternut squash soups and serve the corn as a garnish on top. This added a pleasant texture to the dish.

Black Bean Soup:
I had some cooked black beans in my freezer. I sauteed one diced onion, added one jalapeno, salt, and a dash of Melinda sauce (for the chipotle pepper taste), added the beans and water. Let it cook for one hour.  Then I blended it with cooking liquid. The consistency should be a little thinner than a smoothie.

Butternut Squash Soup:
I peeled a butternut squash and cooked it in salted water. Meanwhile I prepared a bechamel sauce:

Béchamel sauce
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk

Melt the butter over low heat in a heavy sauce pan. Add all the flour, move away from heat and stir briskly until smooth. Add the milk & put back on the stove, stir continually with a wire whisk to prevent any lumps —this is a basic sauce that you can use for many other recipes like macaroni and cheese, or any other gratins, lasagnas etc.

Once the squash is cooked, blend it in a food processor with enough cooking liquid to obtain a  thick consistency. Return to a pan and add as much bechamel as you like. Season with salt & pepper.

Corn kernels:
In a pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 2 cups of corn kernels, salt & pepper. Glaze them until golden and a little crunchy.

Keep your soups and the corn warm — I do keep everything in a chef pan double boiler mode— prepare the other garnish: cilantro, whipped cream & finely chopped jalapenos for the people who can handle it.
Once you are ready to sit down to dinner set up your plates.

1- Pour the butternut squash soup first.
2- The bean soup in the middle of the squash soup
3- Add a dolop of whipped cream, cilantro, chopped jalapeno and voilà!  & bon appetit!

Troy-Ithaca: Quelle Journey!


I am not sure what is the final mileage the 21st century Odysseus,  A.K.A. Douglas Rothschild, ended up walking along small roads between Troy (N.Y) & Ithaca (N.Y) but it should be pretty close to 170 miles in 8 days! Congratulations to Douglas & to Anna Moschovakis & Matvei Yankelevitch (both active members of the Ugly Duckling Press Collective).  This is how it all began for Pierre Joris & I, but it had been in the brew for a quite a while when Anna Moschovakis sent out this email in June :

A few years back, Matvei Yankelevich and I had some idle idea that it would be fun to make a film of Douglas walking from Troy to Ithaca. It just seemed obviously like a good thing to do. This summer — soon, in fact — we’re going through with it.

We’re calling it an Experiment in Potential Documentary. But you could also call it a Constraint-Based Happening. In any case, the basics are simple:

— Douglas takes one week at the end of July to walk from Troy to Ithaca, on backroads determined primarily by the “walk” function on a GPS mapping software.
— Douglas wears a mic the whole time, so that all of his speech — including talking to himself, if there’s any of that — is recorded.
— Friends of Douglas’ join him for portions of the walk. He will know which people have been invited (though we will add some surprises too), but he won’t know which people to actually expect or when.
— People who can’t join in person can indulge instead in a desultory phone conversation with Dug as he walks.
— Much of the proceedings are filmed in HD video and with a variety of other means. Douglas, too, has a camera. Visitors, too, are handed a point-and-shoot video camera to employ as they wish while with Dug.
— The journey culminates at a Banquet and Poetry Reading in Ithaca, co-hosted by Catherine Taylor and Stephen Cope at an arts venue, to which the local community will be invited.
— Homeric overtones may be explicit, implicit, or cast aside altogether — though certain episodes dear to Douglas (e.g., the trip to the underworld) will be incorporated and we will ask each person who joins Douglas to bring a copy of the Odyssey (in any translation, or in the original) and to read a portion of it to the camera.

We hope YOU can participate in some way!

With many others Pierre Joris and I did. I will not tell you about the details of what happened because that is Anna & Matvei’s potential-in-the-making documentary project: they have 58 hours of audio and 11 hours of video recorded. Let’s hope they can gather all the necessary resources to play with it.  Meanwhile I just wanted to share the menu and pictures of the banquet — for the Chanterelles episode click here. The Banquet took place at the house of Wylie Schwartz, overlooking Cayuga lake and food was coordinated by Catherine Taylor, Stephen Cope, Anna, Trevor and myself, while many others helped with logistics and goodies.

At around 6:30pm —& after shooting his bow-oar through a dozen  axe head— Odysseus arrived at the banquet dressed in fine clothes, oar still in hand. A lovely band (sorry was busy cooking didn’t catch their name) greeted him and played throughout the banquet. As the sun went down Odysseus Rothschild (or Dugysseus, as Pierre called him) told us the tales of the journey. Hermes read beautiful messages from far away lands like Brooklyn, we also heard Homer’s writing in Greek, songs and passages of Charles Stein translation of  The Odyssey until deep into the night & after moving the party twice with our last being the harbor of Catherine & Stephen, until the wee hours, I don’t remember what time we left!


Menu:
Cheese platter: Syrian cheese, brie, local cows milk hard cheese, grapes, hummus & pita, lamb burgers, marinated olives, garden greens, feta salad, cucumbers, white & purple carrots, (from Anna & Trevor’s garden), artisans breads, baklava and plenty of ouzo, wine & other liquids to wash it down!

Eric Paul brought an amazing sausage from a local Ithaca’s charcuterie. We owe thanks to Lori & Tom who let us take over their kitchen to prepare the lamb burgers.

Epilogue:
The poets have decreed that Odysseus can now rest. He met enough people and told them all about oar & sea. A shrine has been built & sacrifice have been  performed. He is all done & can now return safely home, write more poetry and travel for pleasure as it pleases him!


Tchakchouka

I assisted Pierre in making Tchakchouka, a dish he remembers from his time in Algeria. It is a kind of ratatouille — but to me it is the better dish. The recipe appears in many Mediterranean traditions. I have found Algerian, Jewish, Tunisian,  Moroccan & Kabile recipes, all have pretty much the same ingredients with variations of meat or eggs — at times coming close to the famous huevos rancheros! We made two versions: one with eggs and another without, which we served with lamb chops.  You can eat tchakchouka hot, luke-warm or cold, as you prefer, or as the weather suggests. You will not regret the effort and can make big batches of this super delicious fragrant summer dish. Don’t wait, make yours now!

Tchakchouka

Tchouchouka

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
2-3 green & red peppers,  roasted, peeled & sliced
1 cup of water
Paprika, ground coriander seeds
Fresh coriander & parsley chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 eggs (optional)

Recipe:

*Roast the peppers over your stove. When charred wrap them in newspaper. Wait until they cool off & then peel them, discard seeds, cut lengthwise into thin strips.

*Dip tomatoes in boiling water for one minute. Remove & cool, then peel, seed & dice.

* Heat the oil over a medium flame in a deep skillet. Stir in the paprika & ground coriander seeds and let cook slightly to color the oil, about 10-15 seconds.

* Add the onions, sauté until onions are translucent and wilted but not browned, about 4 minutes; add garlic, cook for another minute or so.

* Add tomatoes and bring to a rapid simmer. Add peppers, parsley & fresh coriander, water and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes. Add more water as needed.

* If you want to add eggs, form four small indentations in the simmering peppers to hold the eggs. Crack eggs, one by one, into a small bowl and slip each egg from the bowl into an indentation.

* Cover and simmer another 10 minutes or so until eggs are cooked through.
Voilà! & enjoy!

Tchakchouka


Grand Central Station Oyster Bar

I always look forward to go eat at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station (New York City). The  food, the decor, the dishes & even the waiters make you feel it could be 100 years earlier. You can always rely on the freshness and the great variety of the oysters, but what fascinates me the most is their signature dish: the Stew / Pan-Roast. I like to sit at the counter as near as possible to the fixed steam-sleeved swivel pots. There, a dexterous cook prepares your pan roast to order. The Ur dish is the Pan Roast made with oysters — though today also made with cherry clams, scallops, shrimp & even lobster— then butter, clam juice, Heinz Chile Sauce —spicy ketchup—, toast points, Worcestershire Sauce, celery salt & heavy cream are added to the pan. The mixture is brought to a boil, swirled onto your plate and once it has been generously sprinkled with paprika it is brought to you piping hot with a few packages of crackers. The Stew Roast is pretty similar minus the point toast and the Heinz Chili Sauce and I must say I prefer that version. I haven’t made it at home yet but below you will find one published in the New York Times in 1974. It is a really very easy and quick to make once you have the ingredients.  Anyhow as I said before a premium destination for Pierre and I and when we went last week I recorded our impressions:
Listen to our  live impressions at the Oyster Bar
!

1 August 1974, New York Times, pg. 32:
OYSTER PAN ROAST
8 freshly opened oysters
1 pat of butter
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
A few drops of lemon juice
1/4 cup oyster liquor
Celery salt, a dash
Paprika
4 ounces cream
1 piece of dry toast (if desired)

Place all but the cream in a deep pan and cook briskly for a minute, stirring constantly. Add cream. When it comes to boil, pour over toast in a soup plate and serve

ps: Before or after the Oyster Bar do not miss the “whispering gallery”.