Recipes Gone Wild: Grandma Ethel’s No-Bake Chocolate Matzo Layer Cake


Drop those yeasted baked goods, my friends, because tonight Passover begins! This very important week on the Jewish calendar, sometimes referred to as the “season of freedom” (what could be better?!?) and “festival of  the matzo,” is a sacred commemoration of the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery by the Egyptians 3,300 years ago. So in honor of Passover, I’m cookin’ with Matzo, that blank-canvas of a cracker—thin, crunchy, and, toasty, ready to absorb any flavor combo you throw it’s way .  While talking to Greenpointer’s own Gina Pollack at our Spring Market yesterday, she described to me this chilled, no-bake chocolate matzo cake that her Grandma, Ethel Harvey, used to make for the family…and I new we had to share it! Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Yuka Miyata’s Pork Hiya-Shabu

This week’s lesson in language, and cooking for that matter, comes from Greenpointer’s own Yuka Miyata, who you may know from our Greenpointer’s markets (like the Spring Market happening next week Sunday! Y’all should come by for food, fun, crafts, and more). I asked Yuka what she likes to cook when the weather gets warmer (and veggie-roasting season has ended), and she answered my call with this beauty of a recipe for Hiya-Shabu— a chilled take on shabu-shabu made with thinly-sliced pork, infused with refreshing ginger and scallion, sprinkled with shiso leaves and drizzled with a soy-sesame-ginger-herb sauce. Whoa… Yum! Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Indian Upma with Oats

Happy spring, and happy Monday, Greenpoint. I’m resolving to be healthy and renewed after a shameless and somewhat regrettable Saturday night binge on freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, prompting a fairly intensive trip to the fruit stand Sunday morning. No more excuses about not cooking now that my fridge is officially bursting at the seams with all sort of fresh, beautiful produce. The change in season’s got me all excited to try some new things in the kitchen, and after some digging around on the web I came across this twist on one of my old favorites– upma– a savory Indian breakfast porridge studded with diced veggies, cashews, peas, and spices, traditionally made with semolina, but made here with rolled oats instead. It’s got all the ingredients you need to get your day started on the right foot– healthy, delicious, and honestly kind of awe-inspiring. Make a big batch and enjoy it reheated as the week goes one.  This dish’s flavors are bright enough to shine for days. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Lucky Luna’s Kimchee + Nori Bloody Mary

Last Sunday, the weather was so gorgeous, and for the first time in months I wasn’t daunted by the thought of leaving a roughly one-block radius. Jen G and I were both up for trying something new, and decided on brunch at Lucky Luna, by McGolrick Park. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Yana Gilbuena’s Sinuglaw

Spring meditation exercise: Close your eyes. Picture yourself clothed in billowing white linen, ocean waves spanning before you, skin kissed by rays of golden sunlight. One hand holds a frosty piña colada, the other a frivolous periodical. You gently rake your outstretched toes through the warm, white sand. Ahhhhhhh, Key West. Wish you were here, my friends… SMACK! Yeah, I slapped you. Snap out of it! A) You’re still in freezing-cold New York and B) since you’re still in the city, I’m guessing you don’t have time to meditate. But one lucky Greenpointer, Yana Gilbuena, of the Salo Project, has escaped frigid NYC and is in that crazy city of Key West, kicking off her 50 states/50 dinners series tonight! In celebration, she shares with us her recipe for sinuglaw–a spicy ceviche of pork belly, cucumber, fresh tuna, and spices– a dish native to Davao, Philippines. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Julia Turshen’s Sweet Potatoes with Red Onions and Pancetta

What’s more warming and comforting than a pup snoozing beside you on the couch? Trick question…nothing!  But I can tell you what comes close. A big bowl of roasted sweet potatoes fresh out of the oven. This week’s recipe comes from local food writer and cook, Julia Turshen, who shares with us one of her favorite ways to prepare this tasty orange tuber—with pancetta and soft, melty red onions. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Jen G’s Bloomin’ Bread

Have you heard about this big sports game thingy tomorrow? As you can see by my drawing, I’m not much of a football fan. I thought a bronco was a bull. It’s actually a HORSE! Oops. I still don’t know what the activity of tailgating involves, but, as I’ve mentioned before, I am a definite fan of sporty snacks. Buffalo wings, nachos, queso, tater skins, fiery hot Cheetos, the obligatory platter of baby carrots and onion dip– I welcome it all. But Greenpointer’s own Jen G recently introduced me to a new addition to the world of finger foods. Do you remember the Bloomin’ Onion, made famous by Outback Steakhouse? Well its time you meet its distant cousin: Bloomin’ Bread. No deep-fryer required, it’s essentially a loaf of bread sliced so that it opens up like a chrysanthemum made of carbohydrates and cheese. You might say it’s a real game changer, a tasty touch down, perhaps even this years snack MVP? Enough already…let’s do this!

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Recipes Gone Wild: Beth Lewand’s Random Green Gratin

Before becoming a Greenpointer, I was a Williamsburger, living near the bridge with a lovely French lady and her feisty kitten, whom we’ll call Tache (to protect the innocent). In what I understand as a typically French behavior, my roommate would not refrigerate her stinky cheeses, but rather would let them ripen, over the course of a week or so, atop the counter. Just like his caretaker, Tache the kitten was crazy for blue cheese in the way that most cats are crazy for catnip, and daily I’d hear my roommate cry out “Tache!!!! Nnnnnnnoooooooon!!!” upon finding her frommages pilfered and devoured by that mischievous fur ball. Poor Tache simply couldn’t resist an odiferous, bloomy blue. But where is this whole kittens and cheese tangent going? When I asked Beth Lewand of Eastern District if she’d like to help me think if something to cook this week, she sent her beautiful Random Green Gratin recipe, enhanced with ripe, tangy notes of firm and soft cheeses, a dish that no kitten could resist. Plus, if you know Beth, then you know she’s really into kittens. Can’t blame her. Kittens ‘n’ cheese. The epitome of the good life. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: Gouda Times with MacKenzie Smith

Phew! I thought the weekend might never come, but it’s officially almost here, bringing with it the things that make all that hard work worthwhile.  Time for cooking real dinners (as opposed to opening a can of hominy and digging in with a spoon), time for fresh pretzels at the beer store, time to sleep in and go to the gym, time to just…enjoy. You see, life’s short. Keep your chin up! Have a mimosa! Eat a grilled cheese! And whenever I see that grilled cheese social pop-up sandwich board magically appear in our neighborhood, I’m happily reminded to do just that. I asked the lovely MacKenzie Smith of Grilled Cheese Social to share with me one of her very special sandwich recipes this week, and she answered the call with a list of ingredients that harkens back to my midwestern roots… it’s the Gouda Times: a Wisconsin-themed brat-and-gouda grilled cheese on a pretzel roll with spicy mustard. I can hear my “a”s getting more nasal-y just reading the recipe.  Oh ya, you betcha! She also identified her power animal as a dachshund. A fierce breed! I was actually bitten on the face by a dachshund at the age of five.  Now let’s grill some cheese.
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Recipes Gone Wild: Miso Tahini Soup

Hey– is anyone else feeling lately that they’ve really gotta squeeze back into their pre-December clothes? Ahhh, January. The new year, the new resolve to be healthy. This time of year presents the perfect opportunity to get back into the kitchen and make some healthy food, and nothing satisfies in this cold weather like a big bowl of soup.  It’s warming, hyrdrating, comforting, and, generally speaking, a really nutritious option for those wanting to detox a little after weeks of nog sluggin’ and beer chuggin’. Holed up in my apartment, hiding from this week’s bracing cold winds, I searched for a soup recipe that would utilize the pantry staples I had on hand…which wasn’t much really, and an odd mix of things to boot. I came across the following recipe for MisoTahini Soup on, and thought Huh, now there’s a couple of delicious flavors that I wouldn’t have thought to combine. And how delicious a combination it turned out to be! Continue reading

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