Thursday, January 5, 2012
I spent the last two weeks in New York, with Domenico, Sophie and Emma. Most of the time was spent with my sisters and their families, but I did manage one girls’s night out. Melissa, Alice and I ended up at the John Dory Oyster Bar, where I’d never been. Arriving with a slightly horse voice (I’d been talking too much I guess) I immediately ordered a hot toddie, which I guess soothed me enough to continue nattering away for the next two hours with friends. It’s quite a scene there, and I think I nattered louder than I should have, since buy the time I left I had completely lost my voice.
But while I lost my voice, I gained a recipe. Win some, lose some, right? While Alice took over wine ordering, I completely left food choices to Melissa. A satisfyingly stupendous tower of oysters was followed by my newest obsession: bottarga stuffed carta da musica.
Although Melissa had, in theory, ordered this dish for Alice (who doesn’t eat oysters) I had a hard time not gobbling up the whole thing. So simple, yet so incredibly delicious. Crisp cracker, sweet, fatty butter and salty, fishy bottarga.
Three ingredients: carta da musica, butter, bottarga. Genius.
Carta Musica with Bottarga
2 pieces of Carta da Muscia*
Softened sweet butter, the best you can find
Bottarga (from tuna or mullet)**
Make sure the butter is super soft, since the carta da musica is very delicate and can break easily. Thickly spread two pieces of carta da musica with softened butter.
Slice the bottarga as thinly as possible, and layer it atop one buttered slice of carta da musica. Don’t be stingy. Carefully lay the other cracker on top, butter side down.
Serve. It’s a bit of a crackly mess to eat, but worth it.
*Carta da Musica (yes, it means music sheets) is the super thin unlevened cracker from Sardegna. Also called Pane Carasau, you can substitute any other paper thin cracker. But just make sure it’s very thin.
**Bottarga are the dried egg sacks from mullet or tuna.
John Dory Oyster Bar
1196 Broadway (at 29th Street, in the Ace Hotel)