September 11, 2007

A 9/11 Tribute from a foodies point of view

I'm tired of the sad and ugly side of all this. I wanted to remember good memories on this day. Long ago I bought the Windows on the World Cookbook because I had been there and it was such an awesome place. Its hard to come by this cookbook these days so apparently I have a collectible, but I would never sell it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
From Publishers Weekly This cuisine is as haute as the location of the restaurant complex known as Windows on the World, situated at the top of Manhattan's World Trade Center. Delicate portions of such fare as scallop of salmon with soy beurre blanc and azuki sprouts, and sauteed Hudson Valley duck liver with truffles, exquisitely presented in color photos, will delight the gourmet. Zraly, wine director of Windows on the World, which stores 60,000 bottles on its premises, guides the reader through the intricacies of wine selection with refreshingly down-to-earth humor. His Ten Commandments of Wine and Food include: "Thou shalt not take out a second mortgage on thy home to enjoy a good bottle of wine." The graphics are as fresh and light as the food, with New Yorker cartoons added for spice. Executive chef Reiner, who inflexibly uses ounces and pounds rather than cups and tablespoons ("Every serious cook has a food scale at home") may have a point: only serious cooks will attempt many of these dishes; others may prefer to make reservations at Windows.

I add this to my collection of my top ten favorite cookbooks. Apparently its not very available anymore. I couldn't find a picture online so I had to scan mine. I bought this cookbook many yrs. ago because I went to Windows of the World restaurant atop the World Trade Ctr. I simply adored that restaurant. It had a great view, great service, great food and wine. Yes it was expensive and yes it was a treat. But its a treat Ill never forget as long as I live. YES, this place was that SPECIAL. For those of you that have had the pleasure of eating there, you were lucky. For those of you who never got missed one of the great wonders of the world.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I decided to do a special blog for 9/11. It of course saddens me like it does everyone for what happened. But its the day after my birthday and every yr. now they show days and weeks of the tragedy and it depresses me so much. I just cannot watch it. I cry still every time I see the buildings fall. My footsteps along with millions of others were there. I have seen other things happen in the world ,but this became personal to me. I have been there many times. I adored every meal I ate there. The views were none like anything I have ever seen. To eat dinner looking out a window that is so high up that airplanes fly below you is strange and beautiful. Looking out the window looking over all of NYC, especially lit up at nite was wondrous.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
So I wanted to do a different blog for this. One of good memories. Not all of us want to remember all that happened over and over again. It doesn't mean we forget. It doesn't mean we don't care but I believe in finding the positive in everything that happens. I cannot see the positive in reliving watching all this over and over. We must be the Phoenix that rises from the ash and move on ....even better. I have good memories of this building and NYC. I don't want to forget that.

I was there once when they tried to put up the inflatable King Kong on the Empire State Building. There I sat, it was across from me while I ate. And there was King Kong flapping in the breeze because they couldn't keep him inflated lol.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We have slipped the hostess extra cash to get us a seat by the windows. Its really high up.....I mean scary high up but I loved it!! We did this once and had a few others with us who .....didn't want to sit there after we gave them extra to get the seat. I took their seat then and we stayed. It didn't bother me. And I have a fear of heights too but somehow sitting there.....its like a picture .....or a movie. It didn't feel real so it didn't scare me. Ill always remember it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We have taken clients there from other countries too for business, but we have gone there mostly for just the pleasure of it all. We went once in a limo with my brother and his girlfriend and his buddy and his girlfriend since all of us girls had a birthday the same month, as a special treat. We stopped to get champagne to drink on the way up. I remember the driver stopping for gas and as we opened the back door, champagne bottles were falling out. Too funny. We had the most wonderful dinner that nite, topped off by dancing in NYC at a club called Tuesdays. It was a special nite that Ive never been able to do like that again.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Ive always loved food altho I wasn't always a chef or maybe I was I just didn't know it! But one dinner there I had was Venison medallions with pomegranate seeds. I love venison so whenever its on a menu Ill order it. This was simply delicious, tender, with a sauce I thought was perhaps a demi glace and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. I wanted that recipe. Now you have to understand this place wasn't like your every day restaurant. We had waiters and then a Capt. (and plan on tipping everyone too!) I asked the waiter if it would be possible to get the recipe for me. The poor man looked at me in Horror! He wandered off and I figured uh oh.........ain't gonna happen. ....sigh. The Captain returned and we talked. I told him Id like to know how to make this, I have an idea and its sooooooo yummy. Would the chef perhaps give me the recipe? The Captain also looked a bit freaky but said they were really busy at the moment and when there was a lull he would try to ask. Again I figured.......ain't gonna happen. But it did! It was sauteed venison medallions topped with a venison demi glace as I suspected. I thanked him for the info and told my ex better tip him good he just did battle with the chef, and then I laughed.

I don't live on the east coast anymore but my family does. Whenever I would fly home I would know I'm almost there by looking out my window on the plane looking at the skyline . When I saw those big towers I knew I was home. Newark airport is just across the water from it. The first time I flew home after all this .......out of habit I looked for it. There was this big gaping hole where it used to be and I started to cry. Even now as I type this ......I have tears. It meant home to me. Even tho I lived in NJ. you could see those towers from all around the area. My brother works in Newark, NJ. He was there that day and was horrified at what he saw. They sent all the employees home that day. Even my dad who lived an hr. from there could see the smoke from it where he lives.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This was a hard blog to write because while I was strolling online for great pictures of my memories all I could find were tons of the tragedy and it just brought tears and sadness. So enjoy the pictures because that is all gone now and all we have is pictures. And know that this was an awesome place in this world. So in honor of this tragic day I am posting the only chicken recipe I could find in this cookbook. I guess when folks came to the restaurant they wanted things that were very special and chicken didn't sell well.

(I do special Chicken Tuesday blogs on another site, this was todays blog there.)


1 lg. stalk of broccoli
2 double chicken breasts (4halves)
salt and pepper
1 oz. butter
1/2 oz. shallot, finely chopped
1 oz. brandy
4oz. walnut halves
12oz. heavy cream
1 0z. unsalted butter

1.Trim the broccoli close to the florets; use only the florets for this dish. Steam florets for 1min. and refresh in cold water; set aside.
2. Wash and pat chicken dry. Cut into large chunks. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
3.In an 8-10in. skillet, melt the butter over med. to high heat. Add shallot and chicken and saute quickly, browning the chicken. Add the brandy, let it warm for a moment then flambe'.
4.When the flame subsides, remove the chicken to a serving dish. Arrange the broccoli around the chicken. Place the walnuts in the skillet and cook 1min.
5.Pour in the cream and cook at a quick boil till the sauce is reduced to half. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter.
6.Pour sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

No comments: