Decided on a staycation in New Orleans this week for my hard-won week off. What a delight to live in a city where just participating in the social fabric feels as though I have gone far away (from work). Of course this week is a little better than average for NOLA—it is Jazz Fest—which brings a sense of purpose and renewal to the culture as we attempt to show off all our strong notes—crawfish monica, Dr. John, Walter Wolfman Washington, Oscar Donahue’s jazzy jewelry, Mardi Gras Indian second lines, and how to dance in the mud.
In the spirit of vacation, in addition to Jazz Fest, this week we’ve gone to the Saenger to see Alton Brown perform on Food as Science.
Last night we went to Tipitina’s to enjoy Galactic.
Intentionally couched in the birthplace of jazz, I’ve been enjoying this new book on the history of jazz by University of Cambridge press by Anna Harwell Celenza, Jazz Italian Style, which provides numerous scholarly insights on how the influence of jazz during the first and second World Wars added to the conversation between American culture and Italian culture, with its inherent tensions during the time of fascism; also she paints a portrait of the unique psychodynamic significance Sinatra took on for the bereft post-war crooner generation of women in the 1940s-50s. I’d say this book goes well with a Negroni and the accompaniment of John Boutte with a side of keys.
Perhaps also with an italian-style dinner.
Adapted from Food and Wine
6 cups Basic Chicken Stock* or good-quality store-bought stock
2 large eggs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups leaf spinach (about 2 ounces), thinly sliced
1 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over moderate heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and cheese. Slowly add the egg mixture into the hot stock, stirring constantly, until the eggs are just set, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken and peas and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and basil and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Basic Chicken Stock
Adapted from Food and Wine
One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, quartered (or I just use the bones and skins of one I’ve already eaten)
2 medium white onions, quartered
3 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 celery ribs with leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves
2 parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
6 black peppercorns
In a large stockpot, combine 4 quarts of water with all of the ingredients except the salt. Simmer over very low heat, partially covered, for 8 hours; skim the surface of the stock as necessary.
Strain the stock into a large bowl and season with salt; discard the solids. Let the stock cool, then refrigerate. Skim the fat from the surface before using.