ahoy, maties.

Above: cook's treat. These are the onions that were marinating with the buttermilk, Tabasco, and chicken (onions which I then fried, post-marination). Below: my chicken.

Not bad, let down a little by a too-thin crust and not-so-great chicken (I got it from the halal place across the street, very cheap, but I think I may have gotten what I paid for). But I think my seasoning was almost right. There could have been twice as much black pepper in the seasoned flour, and twice as much Tabasco in the marinade, changes which I will make to the recipe now.

Regarding crispiness. OK, we ate the chicken four hours after it was fried, but the coating was a little disappointing in this respect. I may try a bit of cornmeal in the dredge, a la Lee Bros., if there's a next time.

Due to seating logistics, I didn't get many pictures of the food after it left the house. Mara made some petite and authentic buttermilk biscuits which were devoured in toto.

I don't even know if that's a real language, but it was a true pleasure to see your average homely biscuits getting so much love as an exotic foodstuff. They were being treated almost as laboratory subjects (OK, let's see what happens if we try a biscuit with butter and honey, OK now one with barbecue sauce and butter, OK how about one with just barbecue sauce, mm-hmm, yes, etc. OK, Re-test!). That's the nice thing about petite biscuits: you can eat 6 of them.

Unfortunately we have no pictures of them (happily, KK does). Nor of my last-minute smoked mackerel rillettes (fine), the corn salad (mmm, also fine, not the best ever, I miss jalapenos), homemade pickles (way undersweetened), mojitos (yum), or Nanou's coconut-raisin-thing (right up my alley). The dessert we do see is a refreshingly light nectarine and ginger cake via the KK (that I wish I had some of right now, it would be perfect with coffee). Thanks everyone!


smoked mackerel rillettes.

150-200g smoked mackerel, skin removed
about 1 cup of finely chopped chives
4 tbsp sour cream or creme fraiche OR 2 tbsp sour cream and 2 tbsp softened butter
10-20 good grindings of black pepper (unless your mackerel is already pepper-encrusted)
juice of half a lemon
1-2 tbsp prepared horseradish, depending on strength (optional)
possibly salt to taste

Combine everything thoroughly with a fork. Chill for at least an hour. Serves 4-6 as an appetizer spread on crackers or buttered toast.



Anonymous said...


Is that your dog? I spotted the dog on one of the pictures on Klary Koopman's blog. It was as if I saw my own dog, so I was wondering if it might be a brother or sister. Our dog was born in Ruigoord as a daughter of Bella.


MEM said...

Esther, hi!

It isn't my dog, it's the dog of Pete the Vulgar Boatman. His name is Toby, he's 9 years old, and he was born on a farm in Suffolk, England. He's Jack Russell and whippet mix...and he's the sweetest thing around.

Sorry that there's no relation, that would have been nice!