15 July 2010

Canal House Cooking

Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton were two gals with cool food careers. Hirsheimer was one of the founders of Saveur magazine. She was a food and design editor at Metropolitan Home. As a photographer, she takes classic and inviting images of food and its surroundings. Hamilton worked at Martha Stewart Living, Cook’s Illustrated, and at Saveur. She co-founded the Restaurant Hamilton’s Grill Room and served as the executive chef. So what did they do when they decided to leave the corporate magazine world? They started a magazine/book kind of thing.

As an editor of a literary magazine, I follow the comings and goings of literary start-ups, so why not do give recipes the same treatment as short fiction or poetry. Hirsheimer and Hamilton rented a studio in a red brick building on a canal, added a couple of small stoves, some pots and pans and a bit of olive oil and Canal House Cooking was founded.

Basically, they meet in the morning, make some coffee, tell each other what they had for dinner and then cook all day. Sounds like a plan. Three times a year, they publish a magazine in the form of a literary magazine that is chocked full or seasonal recipes.

From Issue #1

Potato Salad “Buttered” And Lemoned

Assemble the salad while the potatoes are still warm allows them to absorb the flavors of all the “fixins”.

2-3 pounds potatoes, any variety will do
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup rally good extra-virgin olive oil
Rind from 1 preserved lemon, chopped
Chopped fresh chives or parsley

Peel the potatoes if you use a thick-skinned variety or if you simply prefer peeled potatoes for this dish. Put the potatoes in a large pot of cold water generously seasoned with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until they are tender. Drain.

When they are cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes and arrange them on a serving platter, “buttering” one side with some of the mayonnaise as you work. Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil, season them with salt and pepper, and garnish the potatoes with the preserved lemons and chives.

Not only do the girls cook, but they lift a glass, too. And the population of Lucindaville loves to lift a glass. Here is a libation from the current Issue #4. The recipe was sent in by a supported to help with a deadline. Though, it might just make you miss a deadline or two.

The Arturo

Pour 1 tablespoon real maple syrup and the juice of a hand-squeezed, fat, thin-skinned lime into a glass. Add 2 ounces Mount Gay Eclipse rum and stir to mix. Fill the glass with cracked ice then float Zaya Grand Reserva rum or Rhum Barbanbcourt (15 year) on top.

If you subscribe to cooking magazines, here’s one without the ads, just great recipes and beautiful photos. Check out their website: thecanalhouse.com.

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