This recipe is one of those vegan recipes you can put in front of any carnivore with no need to specify. Not because it tastes like meat, but because it is gosh darn delicious!
A vegetarian friend told us about Vegucated, a documentary that made him turn vegan. We put off watching the documentary, knowing that it would motivate us to make the switch, too. After we finally watched it, Jon and I looked at each other and said, “We have to, right?” I won’t go into detail, but I will tell you that if you are an animal lover, then even cheese is not really that cool. Animal cruelty aside, don’t even talk about global warming if you eat meat. The amount of energy it takes to make meat, from the water and petroleum based fertilizers to grow the animal feed through processing the final “product” is astounding. Why can’t we just live in ignorant bliss?
So now we are vegans! (That was a sarcastic exclamation point.) Well we are vegan-ish; we are not perfect. It’s been difficult to retrain our brains but we are surviving and Jon is really a vegan whiz chef. The idea to make these Baja Style Oyster Mushroom Tacos just popped into his head. As a tough fish taco critic, I think these are a lot better than fish tacos. And that isn’t the vegan talking.
Baja Style Oyster Mushroom Tacos
• Make a beer batter with some flour and beer, salt and pepper. The batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter and not too watery. Coat oyster mushrooms in the batter and deep fry in vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.
• Top with chipotle mayo, which can be easily made by mixing some mayonaise or veganaise with canned chipotle peppers or chipotle sauce in adobo.
• Top with corn salsa, made with chopped red onions, red peppers, corn, tomato, cilantro and lime.
• Top with fresh shredded red cabbage.
• Serve on your choice of corn or flour tortilla.
Greenpoint, you are so spoiled! Now it will be even more difficult to figure out where to go for dinner or a cocktail because there has been an explosion of new places! Can’t keep up? Here is a brief rundown of all the open and soon to be open bars, restaurants and coffee shops in the hood. It’s kind of insane, right?! Let us know in the comments if you have tried any of the new places and what you think. Stay tuned for in depth reviews!
Officially Open in Greenpoint:
Achilles Heel (180 West St) We saw it finally opened on Instagram via @mfade. Tarlow considered the history of the Greenpoint waterfront when he designed the menu and space. According to Grub Street, Achilles Heel is “a café and bar meant to evoke the always-open grocery and drinking spot that once sustained Greenpoint dockworkers at its West Street address between 1900 and 1960.” Grab a coffee and a fresh snack sourced from Marlow & Daughters on your way to the Ferry and enjoy an afternoon Hemingway Daiquiri or a glass of wine near the piano after a long day at the office. Coming soon… a New England Style Clam Chowdah!
Torst (615 Manhattan Ave) A fancy beer bar for beer nerds. This spot was great for an after work beer and a delicious cheese plate. The beer list is extensive and the tapping system is state of the art. As described on Gothamist: “Tørst offers a selection of 21 draft and 200 bottled beers, including rare, international brews not seen before now in the States … the guys installed a custom-built draught system called the Flux Capacitor, which allows individual draft lines to be temperature and pressure customized for specific beers, plus a system that allows for four different temperature controls.” Like I said, it’s for beer nerds.
Jimmy’s Diner (92 Calyer St) Formerly Calyer, Jimmy’s Diner #2 has opened up literally overnight! This photo sent to me by Paulie Gee. The menu will be similar to the Union Ave location. Get ready for mac n’ cheese, fried chicken and perhaps some key lime pie?!
Spina (107 Franklin St) It’s a flower shop slash coffee shop and get this -the coffee is BLUE BOTTLE! Spina’s main business is social event planning, but after a visit to Italy and San Francisco, owner Paul Tsang and his partner Vanessa Chinga-Haven decided to start serving coffee in the new Franklin St space because, “coffee is aromatic and flowers are aromatic,” Paul told Greenpointers. How lovely. Continue reading →
I have been working on my hummus game for years and it has taken me quite some time to perfect my recipe. I’m ready to share it with you. My personal hummus recipe is a hybrid derived from traditional middle eastern recipes blended with my own flavor preferences. It can be categorized as smooth and nutty with a tangy kick.
While on a daily Greenpoint exploration I stumbled into the recently opened, 3 Roots (159 Franklin St). Not only did I discover a deliciously fermented beverage similar to Kombucha called Jun served in 3 test tubes, I met former investment banking slash fashion world survivor Samantha Hew, who escaped the corporate world and found her purpose in opening a juice bar in Greenpoint.
I don’t know if it was the Jun or the heart to heart with Samantha that left me with a pep in my step and a sense of inspiration. There is a particular electric-like quality in Samantha that I’ve noticed in others who risk it all and pursue their passion. And it’s contagious.
Samantha chatted us about dietary choices and life:
Greenpointers: What is your favorite comfort food? Samantha: My very own chicken soup. I put lots of spice and herbs so it’s the best soup that you can buy anywhere!
Greenpointers: Why call it 3 Roots? Samantha: I have two lovely sisters and we are three girls in the fam, hence the number three. As for Roots, that’s just a kool sexy word and I want 3 ‘ROOTS’ to be the place where my life can begin to unfold and grown deeply as a woman.
Greenpointers: What was life like before 3 Roots? Why open a health cafe? Samantha: I was in the corporate world, slaved for several fashion companies and investment banks, ten years of my life doing something I didn’t enjoy doing at all. Why not a health cafe? I have a culinary degree from the famous French Culinary Institue, 2005. My heart has always been with food and the kitchen.
Greenpointers: Is there a specific dietary philosophy behind 3 Roots? Samantha: I believe in moderation and balance. There is no one diet for anyone, much less one way to do anything in life. Simply put, you feed your body what it needs, it gives you what you want and 3 Roots is here to create that partnership. You and your body.
It is a big world out there. I am always inspired by all different kinds of cultural diets from French to Indian. 3 Roots definitely has ayurvedic influence, thanks to the manager of 3 Roots, Jess Lee. She has taught me all about ayurvedic teaching. Continue reading →
Greenpoint is blowin’ up, and we all know it. Case in point: Alameda (195 Franklin St,) opened by design gurus the Haslegrave brothers, is their first brick-and-mortar space. Evan and Oliver’s design company Home is responsible for the interiors of The Manhattan Inn and Paulie Gee’s, so we certainly expected the old-school charm of rustic wood accents and loads of exposed brick in this new space.
Upon first glance, Alameda pops in a way that other Greenpoint examples of the Haslegraves’ work doesn’t. Clean white walls adorned with glossy white tile open the space up infinitely, and are accompanied by nautical detailing in both the light fixtures and molding. In fact, a gentleman seated next to me at the bar remarked that the space felt like it should be on Tatooine. It felt like drinking in the below-deck bar of ship from the future that I was absolutely going to sail upon one day. I felt home.
The cocktail list at Alameda is perfectly curated, with several standouts utilizing different liquors in their most elevated incarnations. My personal favorite was the Roberto Burns, a smoky mezcal delight with a generous orange rind strip served over a single ice cube. This drink is like sex below deck.
A friend enjoyed the Pita Amour, a lovely tequila concoction served up with a lime wedge. Petite, clean, and delicious.
The Phil Collins, a gin and Lillet stunner, could’ve nearly been called a salad; it had so many fresh accoutrements, including mint, lemon, and lime. An ideal summertime cocktail, folks, and I trust you won’t forget the name.
The edibles menu pleased us very much, as did the prices. Though a $17 foie gras breakfast sandwich is on offer, most items are more moderately priced around $10. A standout item on the current menu is a roasted fruit and goat cheese sandwich on baguette, the perfect combination of tang, crunch, and tender fruit without the syrupy sweetness of most jams. Along with the $9 cheeseburger (which feels like a grown-up version of In-N-Out,) their killer cocktails, and the spacious bar area and actually comfortable booths we have a winner here. Or, as I have been describing it to all my girlfriends, “our new GPT go-to.”
If you’re shopping for your produce locally you likely have seen ramps. If you have a great ramp recipe – please share in the comments below!
If you’re like WTF is a ramp and what do I do with it? – we can help.
Ramps (Allium tricoccum) look like grassy greens and are in the wild onion family. Interestingly, they grow native in the east of North America (SUPER LOCAL!) but have a short growing season, which makes them special. Flavor-wise they have a subtle onion garlicky flavor.
Ramps and butter are where it’s at. A quick recipe is to sautée ramps in butter and serve on bruschetta (which is fancy for sliced and toasted Italian bread or baguette.)
Here is another quick and easy recipe for Ramps With Polenta and Mushrooms:
Bring 3.5 C broth (veggie or chicken) to a boil. In the meantime sautée a handful of ramps in butter or olive oil and salt and pepper. Whisk into the boiling water a cup of polenta and the sautéed ramps. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 15min and stir often. Meanwhile, sautée shiitake or crimini mushrooms with fresh or dried sage in butter. Serve the polenta in a bowl topped with the mushrooms. Add more salt pepper and olive oil or butter to taste.
Single People: I know, recipes are biased towards family-sized portions and cooking just doesn’t always make financial sense for one person, but take-out is expensive, too and will eventually make you broke and overweight. So here’s one solution. Buy one of those family-sized packages of chicken breasts and make this package of meat your bitch for the next three or four meals, all for about $20. First we’ll BBQ, then we’ll make a sandwich, then we’ll make salad and finally a simple soup.
First, wash your chicken. Run it under the faucet for 15 seconds and wet the entire surface and dry with paper towels. It makes for safer and better tasting chicken. Rub a little olive oil and a lot of salt & pepper on both sides and under the skin. Grill (or fry on a nonstick pan) on medium to high heat for about 6-8 minutes per side. Brush on BBQ sauce on top of one of the chicken breasts right towards the end of the grilling. Flip it a third time just for a minute, brush the sauce on the other side. Remove from grill and eat one of them with rice and some steamed veggies. Continue reading →
The corner of Driggs & Monitor has seen a slew of passable but not extraordinary restaurants come and go over the years, including the most recent closing of Donia, which had good food occassionally. There’s been talk of a Korean restaurant taking over and today I saw they put up a sign that says: “Little Dokebi, Korean Street Food, June!” Greenpoint has almost no Korean food, excluding Mrs. Kim’s way on the other side of Greenpoint and hipster hotdogs that have kimchi, so I am very excited to see this. They’ve totally gutted the inside except the tile floor, so it looks like they aren’t half-assing it, so let’s hope it’s really good and sticks around for a while. Otherwise it should go back to what it was seven years ago when it was just a coffee shop open three hours a day that also sold pot.