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Recipes Gone Wild: Dan Valen’s Risotto with Asparagus, Leeks, and Shell Peas

Rainy days and Mondays…sigh… Let us consider today’s weather as an answer to yesterday’s summer-y heat and a reminder that it’s still spring, friends. I only wish I liked my raincoat more. In other news, Recipes Gone Wild is about to go on summer vacation! But in case you still want a little cooking inspiration, worry not. We at Greenpointers will still be putting up lots of recipes in the coming months! So anyway… I attended my first BBQ of the year the other weekend, where I ran into my neighbor and friend Dan. He’s been promising for weeks to send me his risotto recipe, and surprise, surprise– he came through! Loaded with fresh green veg (I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver lately and that’s what he calls vegetables), this recipe is insanely delicious and will knock the socks off of you and whoever is lucky enough to dine with you!  And if you run into Dan (perhaps at one of the local beer shops), I’m sure he can give you some great ideas on what beverage to pair with this dish.  Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Awakening’s Spring Energy Smoothie

 

Feeling like a bit of a sloth this morning? Suffering perhaps from a case of the Mondays? I concur. It’s more than a little tough to feel energized knowing that you’ve got a solid work week ahead of you. Memories of leisurely bicycling, beers with buddies, ice cream in the park, strolling in the sunshine, and other weekend-ish whims linger as you fill up your “world’s best” (fill in title here) mug. No time for daydreaming now. Time now to focus, to work, to make the donuts. How can one muster the energy and positivity in a healthy way? Thanks to Karolina Gumpert of Awakening Café (on Manhattan Avenue), I’ve found a lovely way to get that healthy boost. A bit of background about Awakening if you haven’t popped into this little spa and café yet, they’ve got a wonderful fresh juice and smoothie bar as well as an extensive menu of wellness services such as craniosacral therapy, Reiki, sound therapy, and yoga. I recently ran into Karolina from the café, and she recommended this lovely recipe to me as an energizing way to start the day, so I whipped it up in the blender and gave it a go. Delicious and clean-tasting, this nutty, vegetal, sweet treat was supremely satiating as well. A nice, clean, and simple start to the week! Now, I beseech you. Go forth and blend! Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Adina Grigore’s “It’s Spring So Let Your Skin Know It” Mask

Yesterday morning I decided to go for a run along the river, and I thought to myself Oh hey! I think it’s warm enough to don my shorts today!  After finding them in the bottom drawer buried under sweatshirts and long johns, I put on my running shorts, laced up my sneakers, and ran out the door. Down the sidewalk I bounded, happy to feel the sunshine on my skin for the first time this season. Along the way, I stopped to tie my shoe, and, in doing so, came face to face with my bare shins. Gasp! They were looking pretty shabby and neglected—pale, dry, and in need of some TLC. After wrapping up my run, I wrote to my friend and neighbor Adina Grigore (of S.W. Basics) to ask if she had any good skincare recipes to get me glowing again. Well of course she did! And in no time I had a recipe for a gentle exfoliating mask made from simple, basic ingredients (and on a sidenote, it actually sounds like it could be good on a slice of toast!).

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Electric Gourmet Supper Club

When it comes to food, I gravitate towards the simple and familiar. Hand me a bowl of rice and a side of kimchi and it’s a happy belly. I can be that Korean.  But when an invitation to the inaugural Electric Gourmet Supper Club promised “high vibrational, local, living food prepared with love,” I was all too ready to step outside my comfort zone and broaden my gustatory map.  Four courses of living food that vibrates with love?  Let’s dance.
It’s as if Kerry Jones, a former personal chef to the Hamptons crowd, opened her doors and found a place for you at her table, offering “clean and righteous” food — all the pleasures of new, indulgent flavors without the post-meal, Boy-I-need-to-detox regret.  Plus, there’s a strong emphasis on the use of local ingredients and vendors. Continue reading

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RECIPES: SUMMER IS STRAWBERRIES

They sell gigantic and often tasteless strawberries all year round at the supermarket, but when the local farmers start wheeling and dealing these heavenly berries, I go insane. Often over $4 per pint, local strawberries seem pricey, but they are so worth it because they taste like they have been ripened in the sun not like they have been sitting in the refrigerator section of the produce isle. There are so many things you can do with these little treasures.

I have been on a jam rampage. Straight out of the 1970 Blue Ball Book of Canning, I make the trusted and true strawberry jam recipe, but I half the amount of strawberries and 1/4 the amount of sugar and it comes out great.

Strawberry Jam
2 Quarts Crushed Strawberries
3-6 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Lemon Juice (optional)

Slowly bring ingredients to a boil then fast boil it, stirring often, for 40 minutes until it passes the jam test. Hot water boil for 10-15 minutes in sterilized ball jars.

If you’re unsure about anything, don’t risk it, check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation or Ball’s Fresh Preserving.

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Talking Shit with Brisketlab

From the Brisket Lab Website

48 hours ago Daniel Delaney’s paypal had a balance of $0. Since then he has sold 2500lb of brisket at $25/lb. Do the math. It’s a lot of money to make in 2 days for someone when asked, “What do you do?” jokingly answered, “Nothing.”

The Smoker

But Daniel, who started VendrTV, has been up to something called Brisketlab. After driving an 18ft smoker from Texas to Brooklyn, he devised a genius marketing plan with a “strong viral backbone” and essentially brisket mind-fucked everyone.

“I didn’t disclose a lot of information… and the way that the copy was written, it was very lavish: ‘I’m forming an underground smoked meat guild. I’m recruiting tallow loving carnivores.’ It was very colorful. But also very ambiguous. That combination drove a lot of interest. Folks had a sense they had to shit or get off the pot. They had to act quickly.”

I shat. Daniel used the fundraising platform Launch Rock. When I logged in there were 800lbs, the next day when the likes of Brooklyn Based and The Brooklyn Kitchen were tweeting all over it, only 7lbs were left, then none. As we ate biscuits at Marlow & Sons, Daniel received email after email from disappointed brisket lovers, “Is it too late?” For now, it is.

Don’t worry, Daniel isn’t stopping at 2500lbs and plans to open a restaurant in Brooklyn, so there will be plenty brisket for everyone. In the meantime he has corralled a drooling bunch of “brisketeers” who will be the first to taste and critique his brisket skills in 100lb increments at over 25 pop-up events over the summer, which he envisions ”underneath bridges and on rooftops and on a boat.”

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RECIPE: PAULIE’S OVERNIGHT SAUCE 4 WAYS

When I was lucky enough to attend the Paulie Gee Christmas party and have dinner with the man himself, I was able to use the skills I learned in my interviewing class to find out how he made his delicious red pasta sauce. (note: this is not the sauce he uses on his pizza.)

“Oh man! This is so good. How do you make this?”
“It’s raw.”
“Are these San Marzano tomatoes?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Paulie, Come on. I need to know what kind of tomatoes these are.”
“It’s a secret.”
“You have to tell me!”

(My interview method is called: The Whiny Interrogation.)

As I rolled my eyes and grumbled and complained, he explained the simple recipe. It was the easiest sauce I’ve ever made, and maybe one of the most delicious in its simplicity.

The key here is vidalia onions, the ones that look squashed. They are so sweet and mild you can eat them raw. (Paulie can’t.)

Sautee one chopped vidalia onion with a few cloves of garlic (Paulie doesn’t use garlic, I did.) in olive oil. (I added red chili flakes, too.) Transfer to a bowl. Over that add a generous amount of fresh basil leaves, which steam from the heat and release a lot of flavor. Then add your tomatoes – I used 2 cans of San Marzano whole tomatoes, which I find to be superior to other canned tomatoes found in the grocery store. I used a food mill to crush them and remove the seeds.

Leave the bowl covered on the counter overnight, and depending on whether you want the onion and basil in there, you can put it all through the food mill again before you make your pasta.

What I love about making this sauce is all the other dishes besides pasta I can make with it.

One of the most simple dishes I make is cauliflower stewed in tomato sauce. In a pot, saute garlic and olive oil and red pepper flakes. Add enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pot, then add pieces of cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper. Add some tomato sauce over the cauliflower and some water to the bottom of the pot. Cover and let it steam for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. At the end, add some grated Parmesan cheese. This can be eaten on its own or, if cooked down a lot, can be used atop pasta.

Another great way to use the sauce is to stew greens with beans. I love white beans with escarole and chick peas with spinach. I like to make this even more oniony, so I saute more onions with garlic and, of course, red pepper flakes. Then I add a can of beans. Once those cook down for a few minutes add your green. Season with salt and pepper. This is one of my accidentally vegan dishes. After I cook it, I say, “and it’s vegan, too!” I’m not vegan, but I have friends who are.

The next day I love to poach an egg in tomato sauce. This is so easy. In a small pot, pour in some sauce and let it heat up a bit. Crack an egg in, season the yolk with salt and pepper and cover. Lower the heat and after 5 minutes you have a warm delicious saucy egg that is great topped with cheese and served with Italian bread. You can poke it to see how runny or firm it is.

And if you do happen to use the food mill to remove the tomato seeds and the onions bits, you can use that to top pizza or bruschetta!  There are five ways to use the sauce right there!

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