Good Lookin' Cookin' | Jason Sobocinski's Crispy Ahab Balls

Friday, November 16, 2012 8 comments

For years now, I've had the softest spot in my heart for New Heaven, ahem, Haven, Connecticut. It's a little rough around the edges, but in the center, it's filled with glorious Gothic architecture, my favorite manageable museum, the Yale Center for British Art, a pack of the most fun and talented guys I've met in eons and some of the best food to ever touch my lips. Frankly, it's a lot like a cheese croquette. 

Jason "The Big Cheese" Sobocinski - one of those fun and talented guys - owns Caseus, the least healthy and most delicious cheese-based restaurant and shop in the Northeastern U.S. And in great news for all Nutmeggers, he's now whipping up his own creamy concoctions in his newest venture, The Mystic Cheese Company. In search of the great white whale he's named his first fermented, curdy offering, Melville. This insanely rich & buttery cheese works perfectly with a simple croquette recipe. If you can't find Melville, as it's just coming out in CT at select artisan cheese retailers, try a super runny robiola instead.

Crispy Ahab Balls

4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp AP flour
1 ripe Melville
pinch Salemme chili flakes or cayenne
1 quart canola, grape seed or peanut oil for frying
2 eggs beaten
1 cup AP flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Kosher salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper

In a small sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter and add the 4 tbsp of flour. Stir to combine and add in the ripe Melville. Stir to combine and add the pinch of chili flakes and just a bit of kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper. Remove the mixture from the pan and into a bowl and allow to cool in the fridge until firmed up. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap to hold it. This can be done a day ahead.

Heat the oil in a deep pan or sauce pot to 350 degrees.

Using three small bowls place the 1 cup of flour, the 1 cup of panko and the beaten eggs into each bowl individually.

Using a teaspoon scoop out about an inch sized ball of the cooled and firmed Melville, flour, butter mixture. Roll with your hand to create a nice ball. First dredge in the flour, then the beaten egg and last into the panko.

When all of the mixture is made into balls and coated with the flour, egg and panko you are ready to fry.

Place one at a time into the preheated oil and allow to fry for 1-2 minutes or until they are a deep golden brown and crisp.

Allow them to cool slightly on a paper towel to drain or metal rack. Garnish with sea salt & any fresh herb of your choice.

Best Served with a dry Prosecco & fresh apple slices and a few friends.

HHH Holiday Shopping Guide 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012 3 comments
This year, I'm stockpiling my fantasy holiday presents for all of you on my Tumblr page where things look glorious and white and floaty. Just click on the items and it'll take you right to the store.
Thanksgiving Destination: Tokyo

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1 comment
A few weeks back I saw a great deal for flights to Mexico City. That totally didn't pan out, but I became obsessed with getting out of Dodge. Italy is pretty far from Dodge, I thought, but those tickets, too, didn't seem so cheap after I plugged in my dates. By this time, though, I was practically shaking from my need for an eject button. So, within an hour, price be damned, I'd talked myself into Tokyo. We've been dying to go for decades and we just finished the book, so why not?, I rationalized. Also - it will be incredible for Crimbo presents. Let us know of your favorite spots! We're going in with a bit of laissez-faire approach: we will get lost regardless, so it's best to just explore and discover without any pressure (for the most part), we figure. Some loose destinations are plotted below.

Stay tuned for lots of pics - and follow the action semi-live on Twitter @hollisterhovey and @porterhovey from Saturday on.

View Tokyo in a larger map
Good Lookin' Cookin' | Alison Altomari's Tri-Colored Roasted Potatoes

Thursday, November 15, 2012 No comments

To ring in the holidays this year, I've asked a few friends who know their way around a kitchen to help us navigate our own with a tiny bit more grace and flavor. First up is Alison Altomari, the culinary mind behind the beautiful blog, a la Alison. We met years ago at my healthcare communications job and she's since gone on to live one of the most enviable lives on the books: working in a restaurant in Barcelona, globe trotting far and wide and now exploring northern California - and cooking and taking beautiful photos all along the way. 

She came up with this recipe while food shopping at the Monterey Market in Berkeley. It's the total trifecta of holiday recipes: delicious, beautiful, and easy as hell - and only one pot to clean! 

The trick is high heat. Since the potatoes will be nestled up against each other, they will steam a bit. To get a good crisp on the potato, cook at 425. The house will fill with a wonderful smell of rosemary. 

Tri-Colored Roasted Potatoes
Makes 4 servings

-1 large/2 small sweet potato
-1 large/2 small russet potato
-1 large/2 small purple potato 
-fresh rosemary sprigs
-Extra virgin olive oil
-coarse salt
-fresh black pepper

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/4"-1/2" thick slices. Place in a bowl and pour some extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of coarse salt (kosher or sea salt will do), and a bit of black pepper. Toss to coat. Lay the potatoes out in the cast iron skillet alternating colors, and laying out like fish scales. Slip a few sprigs of rosemary in the skillet and roast for 35-45 minutes, or until golden crisp and tender. 

Anthropologie + Hovey Design Pt. 2 | Our House in Your House

Monday, November 05, 2012 3 comments

We're so excited to unveil our second Hovey Design collaboration with Anthropologie: a mural of our living room for other people's living rooms! It's got my 1940s portrait of a British man and his pipe, our vintage badminton and tennis racquets, the ceramic ottoman that our parents lugged all over America, our carry-ons from Seize Sur Vingt, Dad's Scottish military prints, my 19th century top hat box from the Constantinople days, the marble slab that Grandpa Pete rescued from a Nebraska bar, my Hermes saddle belt, my old pith and wicker polo helmets, the German anatomy chart we found in Copenhagen and a taxidermied gator, swan and scarlet ibis.

Damn You, Sandy

Friday, November 02, 2012 No comments

Porter and I were almost embarrassingly unscathed by Sandy's terrible wrath (thank goodness). It's utterly heartbreaking to see the destruction and how powerless we are - literally and figuratively - in the face of mother nature. Our hearts go out to everyone who was affected. We're all reminding each other to donate, but it's worth repeating. Do it. Hope you and your families are all safe and sound.