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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shouldn't You Just...?

Compose a selection of vibrantly colorful rubber watches in an egg carton that whimsically mimic dyed Easter eggs--in anticipation of the approaching holiday?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Next Magazine - Rayuela's Hamachi Ceviche

Dive into Rayuela chef Máximo Tejada’s wasabi-spicied ceviche!

Hamachi Ceviche
12 oz hamachi, cleaned and sliced into 1 oz pieces
1 grapefruit, cut into segments
1 orange, cut into segments
1 tsp wasabi oil
½ avocado, diced
¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
3 sprigs scallions, chopped
2 cups grapefruit juice
6 lemongrass stalks, chopped
1 tbsp of fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp lecithin

For Citrus Vinaigrette:
1 lime zest
1 lemon zest
1 orange zest
1 tbsp Champagne vinaigrette
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp shallots diced

1. For lemongrass-ginger foam, combine grapefruit juice, lemongrass and ginger and bring to a boil. Strain and cool. Add lecithin. Blend until mixture turns into a foam.
2. Marinate hamachi in citrus vinaigrette mixture for 2–3 minutes. Set aside.
3. To assemble, garnish hamachi with segmented oranges, grapefruit, avocado, cilantro and scallions.
4. Top with a spoonful of lemongrass-ginger foam.

Rayuela is located at 165 Allen St (btwn Rivington/Staton Sts). Visit for more info.

First published in part in Next magazine.
Photo credit: Gustavo Monroy

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Vegetarian French Country Supper

In honor of my third year of blogging, I made another cassoulet in reminiscence of my first post. This version was vegetarian--in fact the dinner I pulled together was mostly compiled by and neglected any meat. My guests hardly noticed!

I find it such a meditation and very satisfying to set a beautiful table--I was so happy with this one. The last few weeks had been hectic and as my schedule was calming down, I found relief and respite in blissful out of pocket time, some days in advance, to create an appropriate setting for a Vegetarian French Country Supper. It took about three wonderful, solitary hours of creation to figure out, as I sorted through our things and considered what was going to be served, while listening to the soundtrack I had arranged to score the evening for inspiration.

This menu I found online thrilled me, as I imagined a picnic somewhere in a secluded wood.

Waddling ducks and strutting roosters played their parts in the brass fixture and napkin pattern outfitting our bread warmer alongside a few bottles of sturdy red wine.

Other curious carved wooden birds flocked about!

Bodum glass canisters filled with herbs such as ground mustard and chives anchored the table as the centerpiece, with an old paint-by-numbers woodsy scene underneath. Footed bowls with flour and eggs added farm-felt rustic touches while the birds looked on.

Place settings furthered the woodland country feel, in green-and-white checkered picnic napkins with a pine cone on each plate, antique British silverware, and water glasses colorfully embossed with curly vines and flowers. Amber Patrician Depression glass plates made amiable companions amidst the thicket of tall wooden Scandinavian candle holders.

Individual zucchini, lemon and ricotta galettes became a singular time saving tart created from ready made crust. Golden and gorgeous, isn't it? We dug in with abandon and I at least made it without a lot of fuss.

Baguettes glazed with honey butter were perfect for dipping into the cassoulet...

And here we are after the addition of toasted bread crumbs on top of the main event, our cassoulet!

LinkI couldn't bear the thought of making the Milk-and-Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake suggested to finish out the menu--between the chocolate genoise cake and mousses it is practically an all day affair when tightrope walking across compromised counter space in a New York apartment. But it hardly felt like settling when it came to more quickly made Crepes Suzette from an issue of Food And Wine via master Jacques Pepin.

Behold the once flaming, now subdued Crepes Suzette resting in the hush of candlelight before the knives were quite bared to devour the dessert dappled with apricot jam, orange zest and butter!

Click here for the link to a Vegetarian French Country Supper from

Thank you for reading Evenings With Peter! Happy Anniversary and do enjoy!

Soundtrack: Duke Ellington: The Great London Concerts; A Table For Two; McCoy Tyner, Nights of Ballads & Blues; Lounge Jazz, HMV Collection; Dexter Gordon, Ballads.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Next Magazine - Bacon Lick Cocktail

Since everything goes better with bacon and booze, rare in NYC shrewdly combines them both in this bloody good cocktail.

Bacon Lick
2 oz Absolut
4 oz tomato juice
3/4 oz beef broth
4 dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 spoonful of horseradish
2 grinds of fresh black pepper
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
squeeze of fresh lime
bacon salt

Combine ingredients in a beer pint. Shake and pour over ice into a bacon-salt rimmed glass.

Rare Bar & Grill in the Hilton New York Fashion District hotel (152 W 26th St, 212-807-7273). Visit for more info.



First published in Next magazine.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Play Reading - The Mousetrap

If you've been trailing me closely, surely you can bear witness to the nefarious things that I've been up to in the last few months, to be unearthed here and here. So whodunnit? We all did--with another play reading, that is. This time it was Agatha Christie's classic mystery The Mousetrap, which is celebrating its 50 year run in London's West End. My friends and I took it on recently over an appropriately murky evening just perfect for...a murder. A tangled web of clues set the scene tableside, including a pair of mysterious gloves, strands of purloined pearls, kitchen shears and an overturned brass candlestick as well as a flickering candelabra.

More evidence from the scene of the crime. I drew the picture of the lead pipe!

And we definitely ate, too--cider roasted vegetables, fish pie, duck pot pie and figgy pudding for dessert rounded out the table. Despite a particularly dreary incident that occurred last year over dinner involving a duck serving dish, a friend suggested that I bring it out again and make something new in it, to create a different memory instead of just throwing the whole thing out. So here's the proud, plucky fellow below, much happier this time, stuffed to the pin feathers with duck pot pie.

Take notes on the carving of the Native American referencing "Ten Little Indians" and the clock nearby in a nod to "The Seven Dials Mystery." I also drew the fingerprint with large whorls.

Tonight's Menu
Duck Pot Pie
Fish Pie-- an absolutely delicious facsimile from Baby's favorite restaurant in London, J Sheekey (and I daresay a better recipe!). We used a half pound each of salmon, tilapia and shrimp for our fish
Cider-Roasted Vegetables from Real Simple magazine

Figgy Pudding courtesy of Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet via

It all turned out to be a veddy veddy British evening, quite suitable, in tribute to Agatha Christie, the grande dame of the murder mystery. Don't you find...???

Soundtrack: Ambient Thunderstorms; Chopin Nocturnes; British Bands Play Noel Coward.