Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fennel: What's For Dinner

Picture sourced from: Johnson's Back Yard Garden


Last night I made a dinner that used fennel in two dishes, Iron Chef style. There were fennel seeds in the sweet Italian sausage and I used a small fennel bulb two play two parts in the meal. Half the bulb went into a Cannellini bean and sausage dish from Mark Bittman's Food Matter's Cook Book and the rest went into a salad conjured from my imagination.

The flavors of the main dish were hearty and simple. The sausage was broken up and browned; to this, I added, per the recipe, garlic and red crushed peppers. Then I added the greens with the zest, and lastly the beans. I loved how everything played together. The beans were silky and mild against the liquorish crunch of the fennel. The dish was rounded out with the less assertive, Brussels sprouts,which were tender, but still firm, creating a nice foil to the beans. The sausage speckled the dish with a little decadence. It was all very nice. I was proud that the addition of the fennel and lemon zest really worked with the recipe.

To complement the main course, I threw a salad together.

What I used:

half of a small bulb of fennel, slivered
a sliced apple
olive oil
lemon juice
black pepper (I would have preferred white pepper)
sea salt
Parmesan cheese, shaved
dry dill, a dash

Put fennel and apple slices in bowl. Squeeze a little lemon juice, dust with seasoning, including dill. add a judicious amount of olive oil, only to barely coat. Mix with hands gently. Serve on plate and dot with olive oil and shave the cheese over the salad. Yum!!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Michael Symon Inspired Last Night's Dinner

Picture source: Cooking Channel




Sometimes you follow a recipe and sometimes, you don't. I watch a lot of cooking shows because I love food and I love to learn. I often do go to the show's website to grab the recipe, but sometimes just a vague idea sticks around and inspires me. A few weeks ago I watched the chicken episode of How to Cook Like an Iron Chef. When it came time to make dinner last night I plucked this idea from the air: Chicken legs, fingerling potatoes, leeks, braise and I think it was inspired by this.

This is how I brought everything together. First I put salted water to boil, actually Joey did that for me. Then I cut the two leeks and four small potatoes. The leeks were cut lengthwise and then in half to create a nice surface area for searing and I left them about the length of the potatoes. The potatoes I only cut lenthwise and then par-boiled them. I warmed some garlic slices in olive oil before starting the searing, I removed them when they were starting to get golden and put them in a bowl.

Joey cleaned the chicken and I dried and seasoned it with salt and pepper and a very fine coating of flour. The chicken was seared first, then the leeks, then the potatoes. Lastly, I placed everything in a large deep pan, including the golden slices of garlic and added chicken stock, covering it only half way. I seasoned everything with a pinch of oregano and salt and pepper. I let it simmer away until everything was super flavorful and tender. It was a rich and hearty meal and even though it tasted like a million bucks, it only cost about ten. Now that's what I call a bright idea!

Is there a pea in my pancake?!?

Sourced from: Gourmet.com




Do you ever feel like you don't eat enough vegetables? I feel like that all the time. I love vegetables, so this weekend I decided to squeeze them into my breakfast. I made pancakes and left out the sugar and instead added, a littl garlic salt, oregano, cheese and some cooked peas I had in the fridge. It was yummy! Go to gourmet.com to get inspired to make your own version of savory pancakes.

Frank and Katie's Baked Ziti

This is just a snap shot of all the great food!




Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Above is a picture of the baked ziti Frank and Katie made for their fabulous holiday party. It was a Christmas weekend filled with delicous food and lots of friends and family. What did you eat for Christmas? What was your favorite meal this holiday? Please share.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

They Draw and Cook

Remember this clickable post? Go here to see an entire blog doing this and doing it really well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Katie's Christmas Treats!




Picture sourced from: Glorious Treats

Our big idea today comes from guest blogger Katie Dowden. It looks pretty and delicious! See below how to put it together:

Heat oven to 350 F.

Arrange your little pretzel waffles on a baking sheet, lined with wax papper.

Top with a rollo and remove from oven when melted.

Then top it with a salted pecan.

Let some of the best flavors of the world join together (chocolate, salt and nuts!) and eat them up!

Katie's verdict: "Amazingggg"!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting Fresh with Creme Fraiche

Sourced from: wasabimon.com


Joey and I used creme fraiche to make tacos last week. Since then I've been looking for creative ways to use it.

Here are some great ideas:
1. leave the milk out of your eggs and make a scrammble with it. This makes decadent eggs.
2. Mince a clove of garlic, two sun dried tomatoes and mix with creme fraiche. This makes a great topping to add to many dishes, like soup or a spicy meat dish.
3. Swirl a spoonful into your oatmeal.
4. Spread over a warm tortilla and sprinkle with salt.
5. Stir into any vegetable puree instead of cream.
Any other ideas?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Goals

Picture source: sandfarmohio.com



Grub Street has compiled an unholy, and mouthwatering list of the best pork dishes in the city. How badass would it be to hit up every one of these 35 joints in 2011 to taste their claim to fame? Click here to go to the slide show.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's For Dinner Tonight?



Tonight is the holiday dinner for my company. We will feast on Morton's steaks. I'm excited! What cut of meat should I get? Morton's has a nifty little tutorial on how to choose. What do you think dear reader?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who Shall You Play Today Dear Egg?

Picture sourced from southernliving.com


I woke up today and I had no bread for breakfast. I have been eating eggs over easy, with toast, but that was not a possibility this morning. I did not fret though. Eggs are like the best actors, ready to transform into new characters and play a new role when they are called to.Today my eggs would be a little fancy, a little cheesy and not quite so fragile and runny.
I broke two eggs in a bowl, added a dash of salt, dill, and oregano and gave the whole thing a light stir. I decided I would make an omelette. I added a little water and gave it another stir. Meanwhile I melted butter in a pan over medium heat and then added the eggs and inside I put a little Parmesean cheese and three basil leaves, from the leaves I have frozen. It was great. You should try it out!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tomatillo Salsa, Encore

Yes, eating this is messy, but also tasty.


There was a lot of tomatillo salsa left over from last week, so Joey and I made skirt steak with some nice fixings. You can go here for the recipe. It is from Michael Symon's How to Cook Like an Iron Chef.

Look at what a great job Joey did grilling!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Live To Eat

Picture sourced from Apartment Therapy


Eat to live or live to eat? Most of us, at least in spirit, take a side on this question. Sure, in a pinch I've eaten crap to get me through a meal, but that is not my philosophy on food. We get a limited amount of meals before we die and I want as many as possible to be damn good, if not straight up devine. Do you feel me?

Lunch is always such a challenge for me. I don't want to spend a lot of money but I want to enjoy what I eat and part of that is eating something exciting and eating something with vegetables.

Lately I have been posting about some of the things I eat for lunch. Today I ate the last bit of my fake hominy soup and another tuna sandwich, if you're curious. What will I eat tomorrow? More tuna because I usually make enough for a week of food and then move on to the next inspiration. How about you? What are you eating for lunch? Does it stir a lusty passion inside of you or does it mearly keep you from passing out? Are you hot for one particular meal or do you change it day to day? Do you bag it or buy it? Would you change anything about your lunch habits? I, if you're curious, am very happy with my current set up: prep ahead, bring ingredients to work, assemble at work, rotating items week to week.

If you want some ideas to jump start some creativity, head over to Apartment Therapy. They have a great post on sandwich ideas. Any way, whatever you're eating I hope it brings you much health and happiness. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Crazy Tuna Sandwich!!!


I am eating a yummy tuna fish sandwich! You want to know what's in it? Ok cool, I will let you know.

Crazy Tuna Sandwich


For Tuna salad:
Tuna fish
Two teaspoons of capers
A little minced Spanish onion
A little fresh basil
A little fresh cilantro
Tablespoon of pesto
A splash of apple cider vinegar
A dash of sea salt
A serano chili I pickled a few weeks ago (because I am awesome like that)

You'll also need:
Sprouts
Mayo
Rye

I put a little mayo on one slice of bread, then added tuna salad then a layer of sprouts. It's like a party in my mouth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pasta Inspiration

Although I could have let the sauce reduce a bit, the flavors were spot on.

What I made earlier this week was based off of this recipe from Jamie Oliver's website. I did not have time to get into pasta making that evening, especially without a pasta machine, a food processor, or even a rolling pin, so instead I made sauce.

When I finally do make pasta, I might actually buy the rolling pin, but I will probably hold off on buying the other two things. I can't wait for that day! I would love it if you joined me.

For this particular night I just used store bought pasta. I bought five boxes on sale a few weeks ago, so I have to use the reserves. I also set aside the excess basil, wrapping it up and putting it in the freezer.

I did make some slight deviations on the sauce. I bought whole tomatoes because they were on sale and I used crushed red pepper flakes because I could not find a fresh one, and lastly, I stuck a bay leaf in the sauce while it simmered because I have a huge container of bay leaves I need to use up. I also used mozzarella balls, because I love them with a spicy sauce. In the end, it was a quick awesome meal. Try it, and you will see.

Obsession!

I am obsessed with making my own pasta. Doesn't he make it look easy? Joey! Will you let me borrow your food processor this weekend?!?

Tomatillo Salsa

picture sourced from Thedailygreen.com


Did you go to the market last week to get things for a special dish and now you're stuck with a bunch of some kind of herb you don't know what to do with? Last night, having to use up some cilantro, I was inspired to make a salsa, which Joey and I ate with grilled cheese. It was so good, I can't wait to make it again.

What you need:

Enough shucked and washed tomatillos to place in a large microwave safe plate
A bunch of cilantro
Dry oregano to taste
salt to taste
A serano chile
two garlic cloves
a small red onion

Cut four slits into each tomatillo. If you haven't already, remove and discard any part of the fruit that looks bruised or like it's going south. On your plate position all the tomatillos in one layer and add a little salted water to the plate. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile clean the serano, remove the seeds for a mild salsa,or leave in for fire. Open it lay it flat and heat in a toaster oven until it puffs up.

Clean your cilantro, keeping only the leaves, and set aside in a colander.
Next slice your garlic and onion.

When your tomatillos are done, add all the stuff above and put in food processor. For a smooth salas, process in small batches. We ate this warm, but you can also cool it in the fridge before serving. It was muy rico.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coming Soon


It's like your eyeballs are in my mouth!


Sometimes it's awesome when you have a messy sandwich and you have to eat in pieces. I really loaded on the chickpeas today and it made my sandwich harder to eat, which made me eat it slower and really savor it. I am telling you, you have to try it out!

Anyway, I wanted to alert you that I came up with a yummy spinach pasta recipe last night and, after a few tweaks, I will post it. The flavor is perfect, but I need to find the right pasta shape and decide how much spinach I want to put in and if I want old or young spinach. Looking forward to working it out.

What did you eat for lunch today?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Success!

You can see the steam swirling off the bowl.

It worked. My instincts were spot on. The stew came out bursting with flavor and texture. I changed some stuff up, but I got the idea to make this from Mark Bittman's The Food Matters Cook Book. The recipe is for Quick Posole, although what I made is not that since it didn't have hominy in it.

This is what I put in my stew:

Three pork loin chops, center cut bone out, about a 1/2 inch thick

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1 large onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

3/4 tbsp Cayenne powder

1/4 tbsp Mrs. Dash

Large head of kale chopped, stems removed

two radishes and the leaves of five stems of cilantro

1 can of creamed corn

1 heaping cup of cooked beans with broth

Step 1. Brown the pork chops and season with salt and pepper in pan.

Step 2. Remove chops and drop in garlic and onion, saute until soft, then add Ms. Dash and cayenne.

Step 3. Add the corn, beans, Kale and all broth you have. With combo of broth and water, be sure to add two cups of liquid to pot. Leave it alone for a minute.

Step 4. Add the chops and cook until boiling.

Step 5. Remove the chops, cut up return to pot.

Step 6. Serve with chopped radishes and cilantro, tortillas if you wish.

Check out that texture.

I hope that you'll take the time to try this out. I think this is a great thing to make if you have some left over beans in the freezer. You don't need to though, and I know a lot of people don't have beans in their freezer. You could easily throw this together with a can of beans and chicken broth, yum! You could even make posole, if you find that elusive dry corn.

For dessert I made little chocolate cakes, which I have stored for the next dinner party I attend. The cup cakes I made are for Laura's place already, so invite me over! You'll get an awesome treat!!!!!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Usurper of Hominy

Picture source: Wikipedia


I am making a hominy pork stew tonight. The only problem is that I could not find hominy in the supermarket yesterday. Instead I am going to use two parts creamed corn and one part cannellini beans I had previously frozen from a sausage and white bean stew I did last month. I am hoping that the young creamy corn will provide the flavor and the earthy, starchy beans will contribute texture. They should also contribute flavor. I believe the beans will be like a supporting player, working also as a stock. Both the corn and beans combined should mimmick what the hominy, a dry corn, would have brought to the stew. What I am really making, then is a savory corn and bean porridge with pork. I'll let you know how it goes and keep searching for the hominy. If anyone knows were I can get it do tell.

Clickable: Spicy Chick Sandwich Idea


Hey all,

Are you sick of eating turkey yet? Turn to the chick then! Chickpea I mean. This sandwich is easy on the wallet and packed with a ton of flavor and texture. You can make it fast by getting all your stuff at the supermarket or take it to the next level and make your own bread and hummus, for a real treat.

It is a wonderful surprise as an appetizer or a nice change of pace from grilled chicken lunches, so take in the inspiration and run with it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Crusty Pie

I have made pie at least a handful of times. When I lived in Memphis, I used the food processor as shown in the video below from the NYT. I now, however, use a pastry cutter because I no longer have a food processor and it works just fine.

I don't make pies often and every time I do, I do feel a bit of panic and a need to do research on how to make an optimal crust. This time around I mixed some new knowledge with some old. I had known to roll out the pastry with plastic wrap. Like the video, I had read about flouring the surface I would roll it out on. I picked up the trick of rotating the pastry dough 1/8 each roll. That is a systematic way to ensure your dough doesn't stick. You'll see Melissa advises another way to do that below.

I found that starting with the plastic covering most of the pastry dough was good, and when the dough was pretty large, opening it up so that the plastic wrap is only on one side of it works really well. Basically when the disk is very small, it is in the center of the plastic wrap with two sides folded over, like a book jacket. As the disk flattens out, you open up the plastic wrap entirely. The plastic wrap makes it very easy to transfer the crust onto the pie pan.

By far the best thing I picked up from my research this time around is to keep everything cold. I mean litterally, put your fat in the freezer for a bit. Chill your tools and bowl, even the flour. It was a great tip that I got from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook. Thanks ATK! They also said to grate the fat, which helped and you can do that very easily when your fat is frozen.

I think that the best tip in this video, is to let the chunks get bigger than pea-sized. I had a bit of a tricky situation gathering it all into a ball b/c the flour and fat were initially not incorporated enough. Lastly, YES! I affirm that the best crust is a pork fat/butter combo, so just do it.

Thanksgiving, Almost Here. Yay!

I have been slowly doing preperations for the big day since early last week. Can you tell I am excited? I will dish all about it after the big day. I saw this great SNL skit with Anne Hathaway at Vulture. I present it in honor of the impending gastronomic feats you'll all perform this Thursday. Enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Cook, I Eat, I Write, I Listen

Hello out there my loyal readers,

I hope your palates are dancing and your bellies are full on this fine Friday morning. How are you all doing? How is life treating you, and most importantly, what do you want to see more of on Petunia Eats? I aim to please, so let me know. Do you like the Clickable posts, do you want more local reviews, more recipes? Are you keen on Randomness Attacks posts or do you want the focus on food?

Thank you for following Petunia Eats! And now, in celebration of all you weekend warriors ready to get your eat and drink on soon, I dedicate this Morning Bender's song to you. I saw them last night in concert and they are great live. It was fun and the tickets were free. Go to The Alternate Side for your chance to win free tickets. You don't have to join, and there is a good chance you will win. I have won many times.

Clickable: Stir-fry Idea


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Souffle Fever


Hey everyone! I'm not sure if you're up to speed on my current affection and love for the ever impressive souffle. Two weekends ago, at Joey's request, I made a chocolate one and it came out perfect and delicious. I'm not saying this to brag, at least not entirely. I'm saying it to let you know that souffles have a very good work/reward ratio. The work is not too intensive, you don't need a lot of differnt ingredients (just a good number of eggs) and with a little patience and attention you come out with something impressive, beautiful and delicious. Hostesses of the world this is your secret weapon!

My one tip for you is that you butter the ramnekins with reckless abandon, it will really help your masterpiece rise. Oh, actually, one more tip I got from a cooking show, run your thumb around the rim after you pour the souffle in before baking. Both of these things, along with dusting your buttered ramnekins with something the eggs can grip on to, will help with rising.

If you would like to use the recipe I used, go to Food Network. Please note that you can bake this in a large dish, as I did, but your baking time will increase. I baked it for 40 minutes in an electric oven. I would recommend giving it about 30 minutes and then checking it. Souffles are not as fragile as you would think. I checked on mine twice while baking and it did not deflate. Also, you want the very center to not be completely set. Okay, go forth, bake with love!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Last Month's Pork Ragu al Maialino!


Affirmative. I was roasting porky at this hour.



Doesn't the rosemary look like seaweed?



You like the look of that pork? I know I do.



This is Joey's plate. I think he liked it!

I got the fabulous idea to make a pork ragu from the New York Times. I did not follow the recipe to the letter, as cooking times varied for me. I had to roast the pork about an extra hour to get the meat to really fall off the bone. I used a small grained Himalayan salt; I believe when you salt the pork, it would be better to use a large grained salt, such as kosher or sea salt. My pork was a bit on the salty side, which in part was due to the salt I used to brine it, but also because I was too zealous when I seasoned the stock. I tend to favor salty foods, so it was still tasty to me, but I will dial back on the salt in the future. Next time I would like to make the pasta too. That would be bad ass!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Creamy Carrot Soup


I wanted to make an Asian inspired noodle dish with chicken, vegetables, buckwheat noodles and an improvised peanut sauce. I felt like it should have carrots in it and I decided to get those huge carrots pictured. It was great because the carrots were so large I was able to slice them into paper thin circles that looked quite fetching in the dish. I saw though, that I would need one carrot at most, so I quickly decided that I would also make carrot soup. I finished making it today and it came out sweet, creamy and subtly spiced.

Here is what I used:

About four cups of cubed carrots, about a 1/4 inch in length
An inch of minced ginger
A serrano pepper, quartered and hulled
A cup of chicken stock

For later:

A pint of light cream
A quarter cup of maple syrup

I am guessing the measurements here, as I eyeballed the whole thing. Basically I prepared the vegetables and cooked them with the stock in the slow cooker for a few hours until the carrots were so tender they offered no resistance to the poke of a fork. In the morning I put the cooked carrots in the fridge.

When I came home I poured the vegetables into the blender and pureed them on high, afterwards blending them on the slow function. I also took out the cream and let it rest outside of the fridge for a bit. I wanted to avoid shocking the cream with the heat when I warmed up the puree.

Then I pressed the puree through a sieve (a.k.a my colander). After that I poured it into a heavy pot and lit a very low flame beneath. I poured the cream over it and then the maple syrup. I stirred it gently until just incorporated, covered and let it heat for about 15-20 minutes. When the center of the pot was just bubbling I turned off the heat. The texture was completely smooth, creamy and sweet, with a savory finish that barely hinted at the bite you normally expect from chillies and ginger.

The idea here is really basic, but no less delicious for being so. I hope this inspires you to make a creamy vegetable soup, whether it is your own or your take on this. Enjoy!



The vegetables before I added the stock and turned the slow cooker on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Parmesean Cheese Souffle



I caught an episode of Five Ingredient Fix on the Food Network this weekend and was inspired to make a souffle with a ceasar salad, making the dressing from scratch. It was pretty easy. The picture above is not my souffle, but looks very similar to the one that I made. Joey was a big fan. You should try making it. It was pretty simple and tasted great!

Also, I wanted to let you guys know that the Grub Street fair was pretty awesome, if crowded. We had a lot of tasty treats. We enjoyed food from quite a few vendors, including, Pies and Thighs and Luke's Lobster.

As I promised last post, I am adding a quick note about a cake I made last week. I had wanted to enter the cake in a competition, but the frosting came out a bit grainy. It was my fault for having bought the wrong chocolate and then trying to fix it with granulated sugar. I gambled that the sugar would melt with the chocolate but the chocolate melted much faster. I may actually go with a totally different frosting next time, as it was perhaps too rich for a three layered cake. I guess that's why they call it devil's food cake. When I make this cake again I will try a lighter chocolate frosting.

On a final note I present you readers with a perplexity I encountered while baking this cake. As with all butter cakes, one must beat the sugar and room-temperature butter together to make a fluffy base, to which yolks are later added and other wet ingredients. Then dry ingredients must be gently mixed in. The less you mix, the more moist, hence better, your cake will be. Yet, if you are very gentle, with a thick wet-base as devil's food cake, how do you prevent flour bubbles? I had to bake this cake twice. The first time the cake was very moist, but it had little pockets of unmixed flour. The second cake had virtually no pockets of flour, but was also drier than the first. How do I keep the moistness and get a perfect texture?

It took Maybelle three days to eat this, it was so rich.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm Still Here

Hey guys,

I have some food stories to share with you soon. I haven't had time to write them. I just wanted to check in, say hello and alert you to the Grub street fair tomorrow. I'll be posting on a yummy pork ragu soon and the joys and pains of baking chocolate cake, as well as, the fair, so check back often. That's all for now. Have a great weekend!

I leave you with an awesome podcast from The Moth I heard today, Juliet Wayne & Brad Lawrence: GrandSLAM Stories. It is about love and I really enjoyed it. If you like listening to stories, you'll love The Moth Podcast. I Hope you check it out. I will catch up with you all soon!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oh Monday!

I am taking a quick work break to give you the Artic Monkey's Mardy Burn. It played on Pandora as I was plugging away at forms and faxes and I went over to Youtube to replay it twice more. Check it out. It's a good, short song.

Shilla Be Serving You Some Good BBQ

Lauren with a creamsicle tasting treat at the end of our meal, complements of Shilla

This past weekend I had the good fortune to be a part of Lauren's birthday celebration. Happy birthday girl! Lauren had a Korean BBQ dinner in little Korea. We went to Shilla, which I had been to one time before with Lauren. The first time I went, we were conservative in our order, placing two meat orders for four people. This time we put in three meat orders for four people and ordered stir fried rice, which was a much better spread. Everyone left happy and Satisfied.
The meat was very juicy and flavorful. I enjoyed the beef and the chicken, thigh meat only, recieved very high praise from everyone. We even had shrimp on the grill. The waitress cooked, cut and served it all for us. Lauren told me that the side dishes change every day. Unfortunately, I did not like a few of the complementary plates this time. It might just be that my palate is not experienced enough in Korean food to appreciate the delicacies, but the deep fried greens with tofu and the bitter herb, somewhat like collard greens, was lost on me. I missed the fish cakes they served last time, but was happy they served the pickled cucumbers and the potato salad.

The beef bbq with various small plates. The potato salad and pickled cucumbers were on the right. They are gone!

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Little Piggy Got Roasted

On July 10th of this year the New York Times published an article that has left me dreaming of roasting a whole pig. This past weekend at Atlantic Antic Joey and I shared some pulled pork from Jolie and it was so awesome to see the little roasted piggies all lined up. Over at Gothamist they posted a video of the Fatty 'Cue guys smoking their pigs and it is a thing of beauty. You guys know that Fatty 'Cue made the list, so I hope this entices you to check it out.



How the Pig Gets Smoked at Fatty 'Cue from Gregory Stefano on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Michelin Copies Arlette

Okay, not really. We do, however, both have lists of places to eat and those lists meet up at certain places, meaning that we can rest assured that Michelin is to be trusted. Right, that's how the logic goes on that one? You can head to Grub Street to see what is on their list. Here is the list Joey and I have compiled. What do you guys think? Am I missing anything here, should something be omitted? Opine damnit! My taste buds need to know.

Luke's Lobster
Fette Sau
Fatty 'Cue
Comadore
Salty
Riverside Cafe
Mercadito
Al di La
Blue Ribbon
Scarpetta
French Bistro on Franklin(Le Gamin)
Pauly Gs
Five Leaves
Frankies Spuntino
Freemans
Manhattan Inn
Traif
Lamb and Jaffy
mesa coyocana
Acapulco (for a bite or take out when near your apartment)
Jimmys Diner (fried chicken!!!)
OTT
Christies (Polish food)
Cafe Colette
Osteria il Paiolo
Empanada Mama

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fried Oreos Highlight of Atlantic Antic 2010

This past weekend at Atlantic Antic,Joey, I and friends experienced the pleasure of drinking outside and eating food that is very bad, and thus, oh so good! Like the trooper he is, Joey started off the day with fried Oreos, which won a little patch of realestate in my heart. I am posting a low-tech but sweet video on how to make them. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Joseph Albert's Night Time Astronaut Dropped Yesterday

Hey all! Joey's first full length album is complete. Below is a performance of one of the songs on it, Ask Amy. I believe you can now or soon will be able to purchase it on itunes. He will have CDs available at a forthcoming CD release party. I wil post with more info as I hear about it. Congrats Joey!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Clickable: Yummy Sandwich Idea





When I lived in memphis I used to make this sandwich. Click on my scrap paper for details.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Basil Chicken Tacos with Relish and Cream

Do you know how when you buy basil it smells so good and is such a lovely and bright addition to your meal, but a little goes a long way? Inevitably, you put the rest of it in the fridge and two nights later half of the basil is brown and dying? Yeah. I hate it when that happens. Thus, the other day Joey and I blended up the basil with garlic in his food processor. We ended up using it to make Southwest Potatoes with a poached a egg on top.



It was a great meal. We followed Bittman's lead, but made it better by using the basil puree as the oil base and then, also using some fat rendered from a wonderful smokey bacon from the Meat Hook (thanks Sean) to brown the potatoes. At the end, we used the crumbled bacon on top of the dish before finishing with cilantro and lastly the egg. I don't have pictures from that meal, but trust me, It was awesome.

At home I made my own basil puree in a blender. It is a lot harder to do it in a blender, so if you are going to, put very few leaves at a time and be prepared to use more oil. As a slight aside, Bittman just wrote an article on the wonder and awesomeness of food processors.

The second puree was just basil and oil. Today I finally got to use it and what I made was so good, I am sharing it with you.

Making the chicken

thin cut chicken cutlets (1 per person)
basil puree (olive oil and basil pureed together)
Adobo, salt and pepper to taste

I followed a loose interpretation of another Bittman idea to cook them up, basically using the puree as a moisture seal for the lean meat.



Making the relish

For the relish, and really the whole idea of having tacos this week, I was inspired by a show on the food network. It's one about using just five ingredients to make things. I don't know what the name of the show is. Anyway, the show was more of an inspiration than a directive and I just used what I had.

Equal parts diced yellow onion, green pepper and radishes
Lemon zest and dry cumin

I felt pretty ingenious when I put this together. I knew that I wanted to add a lemon flavor to the relish but I did not want to add a lemon, oil combo to it because the cutlets are packed with an olive oil infused stuffing. Instead I took my peeler and shaved off some zest and diced it up and threw it in the bowl with the vegetables and then sprinkled the whole thing with cumin. I chose cumin because if I had fresh cilantro, I would have put it in.



Making the Cream

This was the easiest part and I also got my inspiration for making this from that cooking show. I took polish cream, which is basically just like sour cream except that the reduced fat version still only had cream in it rather than stuff like corn syrup (yuck Breakstone's). Anyway, I took a spoonful of that and mixed it with a spoonful of Salpica Habanero Lime salsa. Both are really good on their own, so their marriage was the perfect edible proof that opposites attract. The creamy cooling flavors mixing harmoniously with the acidic, smokey ones, perfectly topped my happy little tacos.

Success!

I am posting more pictures on Facebook, if you want to check them out. I hope this inspires some of you to try this at home.



Friday, September 10, 2010

The Ghost Who Walks by Karen Elson

Hey all,

Almost the weekend right? Well let me dedicate this to the end of summer and all the romance it still has to offer. Enjoy! Happy weekend lovelies.


The Ghost Who Walks by Karen Elson

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cleo Lacking Buds, Enjoying Solitary Life


Remember Cleo, my friendly office plant? At one time she had a bulbous flowery appearance. Then she grew a mustache. After that she got a little depressed and her leaves started to fall off. I began to give her water every day and she bounced back into a windy, long-limbed creature. She hasn't grown any blooms in a long time. Does anyone have any suggestions or advise on this?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Let Me Make You Smile

Do you know StoryCorps? You should. If you don't, check it out. Now they have little animated shorts to go with the stories. I hope this brightens your day.

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday!!!

Hey Folks! It's Friday again. Horray for the weekend!! The weeks just seem longer and longer these days. I wish the weekends would stretch out too. There is always so much to do and enjoy and so little time--so get out early if you can and drink a toast to the last days of summer. I give you Tokyo Police Club's 'Breakneck Speed' as my own little celebration for the end of the work week. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heaven on Plate, If a Little Late

Back in March I went on a kick where I was obsessed with the tiny slow cooker that Maybelle gave me. Over a three day period I created a simulacra of a meal I had with Joey, or rather that he had on one of our first dates. We went to Mesa Coyocana and I had tacos, he had enchiladas and we shared cactus, which I loved. It was a really amazing night except for when the runner left us guacamole and we decided it was complementary, which has happened to me at the wonderful Mercadito Cantina--only to be later blamed as the cause of our neighbor's delayed appetizer by a catty waiter.

Anyway, Joey gave me a bite of his dinner and it left me hankering for a full plate of my own, so I set out on my adventure. Below is a picture diary of the process.



I started by making a pot of beans with aromatics. Of course, the beans were cleaned and I added salt to taste, but pretty much what you see is what you get. All you need is about a medium low heat and patience. You want your beans to be velvety not gritty, so take your time and taste often.



The next day I cooked a nice fatty pork shoulder in my little slow cooker. It fit quite nicely in the pot. The idea is quite simple here too. I took a generous amount of adobo and applies as a dry rub. Then I cut up green peppers, onions and dropped garlic cloves in. I also added water and covered it. This cooked all day and night until the pork fell off the bone. Before heading to work the next day, I put it in a new container and stored it in the fridge.



The following day I took out my spices to create the sauce for the enchilada. I had done this sauce before and had taken it from one of m cook books. I decided that it was too thin in it's original form so I added tomato sauce to get the right consistency.



The trick to the sauce is too heat all of the dry ingredients until they are aromatic. This whole endeavour is an exercises in patience. Heat oil, garlic and then spices. Then add can of tomato sauce and vinegar. Leave a comment if you want exact proportions.



I then went to gather all my materials to put together the enchiladas, including the pork that gained a nice golden hue over the many hours of slow cooking.



Putting together the enchilada was a cinch. I heated the oven and then dipped tortillas in the sauce and then added beans, pork and finished them with a smoked cheddar.



I kept it simple and just did an overlap wrap. I poured some more sauce over the enchiladas before putting them in the oven.



I had a nice system in place while I was making them. I would pop a few in the oven and then wrap them in aluminum foil. I planned to keep a few and to give some to Joey, since he played a part in my inspiration.



Here is a close up of the enchiladas when they were done. I really enjoyed them. I will probably make them again when the weather gets cold again. Let me know and I will set some aside for you. For all the work it takes, it doesn't make sense to make a small batch!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comparison Shopping

I saw this over at Vulture and thought it was really pretty awesome. I got a camera for my birthday, so I don't need a new one, but can you guess which one I want now?

Canon 7D vs. Barbie Video Girl from Brandon Bloch on Vimeo.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Genius Love

I was visiting Radio Lab and I really loved their last post. Malcom Gladwell talks about the lucky breaks and essential ingridients that make a genius possible. Do you think he's on to something? I have to say, I think he's spot on.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vulture Reports on Odd Combination


Someone mixed the XX with Biggie. Sue likes peanut butter and tuna fish together. They don't seem to go together, but hey, it might float your boat. I mean, before you hate, try it out. Likewise, you should check out this odd music combo.