Recent food snaps

November 23, 2014 § 1 Comment

Dinner at Drew Nieporent’s Batard in Tribeca – at 4 courses for $75, one of the best deals in NYC

Tete de cochon

Octopus “pastrami” with pommery mustard and new potatoes

Pork belly with onion and baby vegetables

Caramelized milk bread with blueberries and brown butter ice cream

The fried chicken large format lunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar – 1/2 Southern style, 1/2 Korean style with fixings and baby vegetables

After a long day of work, a dry Riesling and free oysters at Lelabar, which is slowly becoming my second, more booze-filled home

Brunch with old high school friends at home…a rare chance to cook up a storm, including this classic broccoli salad with bacon, slivered almonds, cheddar and grape tomatoes

Brunch at All’Onda near Union Square, with a small-portioned but highly flavorful spaghetti carbonara

Bordeaux Under One Roof event for City Harvest – a before and after (when people starting putting half-finished bottles in their bags)

A 2007 Etna Rosso (from the year I graduated high school) at Lelabar with their triple cheese panini, possibly my favorite grilled cheese in the city.


Fatty ‘Cue

September 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

Damn, just saw that these photos were taken on June 28…boy, am I behind.

Anyway, this was a meat-centric dinner with Laura and Katie at the amazing Fatty ‘Cue in West Village (just a couple blocks from my summertime apartment), one of Zak Pelaccio’s many awesome restaurants. By the way, I liked this a lot better than Fatty Crab, which was still pretty good in itself. Lament the lack of greens and fiber all you want, but at the time, we were in the mood for juicy, Asian-influenced barbecue and little else.

Ham, jam, butter and bread

Toasty pretzel rolls served with rosy, fatty ham, a condiment called cincalok made with itty bitty fermented shrimps, and dry-fish-dusted butter. So many funky elements in one starter…

1/2 pound deep-fried bacon with sweet and spicy salsa verde

Yes, you read that right, and it was bleeping delicious. Slightly charred pork belly with layers of fat and lean meat, paired with a picante, acidic sauce to balance everything out.

Heritage pork ribs with Indonesian long pepper, fish sauce, and palm sugar

Incredibly tender and running-down-your-arm juicy…Pelaccio emphasizes palm sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice as the holy trinity of Southeast Asian cooking and it comes across the most in this simple-looking dish. The best part was tearing meat off the rib with our sticky fingers and dragging it through that sweet, sweet jus.

Fermented sausage with asparagus, ginger, chili, toast and poached egg – more funk (in a totally good way)

Lamb shoulder with yogurt dip and grilled pita

For a primer on Southeast Asian cooking with Zak Pelaccio, Bon Appetit has a pretty cool feature which you can find here

Fatty ‘Cue
50 Carmine Street
New York, NY 10014

Ruth Reichl’s blueberry crisp

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s back in the 40’s here in Ithaca (darn you Mother Nature!), but I’m protesting the cold weather and making spring-ish desserts. Using this simple, easy recipe from Ruth Reichl on GiltTaste, I was able to pull a bubbling, heavenly-smelling blueberry crisp out of the oven within an hour with minimal mess and effort.

I only had regular frozen blueberries, which I defrosted and drained before using for the crisp. Other small modifications: mixing the blueberries with a teaspoon of cornstarch to better soak up and thicken the juices, adding a few drops of good vanilla extract to the topping, along with a handful of old-fashioned oats and flaxmeal. This recipe would probably work equally well with strawberries, raspberries, even apples. It’s a great dessert to pull together when you’re in a tight spot, since you’re bound to have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. Slivered almonds would be an awesome addition as well.

Good vanilla ice cream with this dessert is a must. I can’t wait to eat leftovers tomorrow for breakfast.

Blueberry crisp

1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups brown or white sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 handful old-fashioned rolled oats (optional)
1 tablespoon flaxmeal (optional)
4 cups of frozen blueberries, defrosted and drained
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

Preheat the oven at 375. Combine melted butter and sugar, and stir in the sugar. Add salt and cinnamon and mix. Slowly incorporate the flour, until you have a dry and crumbly mixture. Mix in oats and flaxmeal if using.

Pour the mixed cornstarch and blueberries into a well-buttered pie plate (I actually used a loaf pan) and sprinkle the crisp topping over the blueberries. Use all of it, even if it seems a little excessive. This topping is that good. Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is nice and golden. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Kale chips

March 25, 2012 § 2 Comments

A quick and simple recipe for kale chips – a crispy, salty snack that’s actually good for you! This is how to eat your greens.

Baked kale chips

1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 F. Rinse and thoroughly dry the kale, and then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss in the olive oil so all the leaves are evenly coated. Sprinkle generously with salt. Lie the pieces in a single layer on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crisp.



Shredded chicken for anything

February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve finally started using my dutch oven and have gotten into the habit of cooking chicken or beef for the week to incorporate into my meals. Case in point: these shredded chicken tacos from the NY Times, which I downsized a bit.

For the tacos, I heated up some corn tortillas and loaded up on toppings like fresh guacamole, salsa, and cheese. Another great use is saving the cooking liquid and letting it cool so you can later skim off the fat that’s solidified on top with a spoon and use the leftover “broth” as a base for spicy soups. I even mixed the broth with fresh lime juice and then tossed it with the chicken, salad greens, cubed avocado and sliced red onion to create an impromptu Tex-Mex inspired salad, bringing me back to the days of the Guacamole Greens salad at Sweetgreen in Washington, D.C. Who says chicken has to be boring and bland?

Shredded chicken

4 chicken thighs
1 onion, quartered
3-4 smashed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste (be aggressive with the seasoning)

Combine all ingredients in a pot and add water to cover. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Partially cover and lower heat so mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until the meat is very tender. Remove from cooking liquid and cool. When the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and shred meat with fingers. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve as you like.

Easy salsa fresca

February 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

Chips and salsa have to be one of my favorite snacks. I can usually just eat it as a full meal. Usually I get the standard Tostitos brand salsa in medium spicy, but today I was craving something fresh and zingy. Plus, I had a large cartoon of grape tomatoes that were looking the worse for wear and needed to be used pronto.

This recipe is highly customizable and based on personal taste. I used handfuls of diced grape tomatoes, diced red onion, red pepper flakes (normally I’d use jalapeno but didn’t have any today), chopped cilantro, a couple squeezes of lime juice for acidity and brightness, a light drizzle of good olive oil, and salt. Cilantro-haters can cut the herb, chili heads can add more spice, and you could probably also add some other fresh-tasting vegetables like cucumber or watermelon. The possibilities are endless for this quick, easy, and healthy afternoon snack.

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