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
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
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!
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
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.
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 101cookbooks.com, 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
Happy snow day! Correction: If I was a school kid I’d be having a happy snow day. Then things would be different. I’d still be in my pajamas, burning my mouth on Poptart no. 2 while watching unusually extroverted adults talk about their weird problems on daytime television. Or I’d be buckled into a snow suit, arms capped by giant mittens smelling of wet leather, in search of something icy and steep to hurl myself down. With a red nose and frozen toes, my next mission would be to find a hot, sugary beverage. When I was a kid, we always had a box of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa in the pantry, the variety with the freeze-dried marshmallows in it–mighty tasty as I recall. But these days I like to make hot cocoa from scratch. It’s a little less sweet (depending on your recipe of course) and, in my opinion, even more tasty than Swiss Miss. But you don’t have to be totally gourmet or sophisticated about home-made cocoa. You can doctor it up in a myriad of fun ways (e.g. mexican spices, pumpkin pie spice, peppermint, et al.), but my current fave is this: S’mores Campfire Cocoa. Nothing conjurs up fireside fun like a blazing-hot s’more, right? So put on your Woolrich socks, slide into the kitchen, and get that broiler crankin’.
Christmas 2013 came and went, leaving in its wake a half-dead potted conifer, a low-level hangover (or maybe it’s a cold?), a deep appreciation for stretchy pants, and a half-full jar of duck fat, reaped from the preparation of one fantastic Christmas meal. Our day of feasting culminated in a dinner of Muscovy duck breasts, seared first to extrude some of the fat, and finished quickly in the oven, then topped with a drizzle of balsamic-fig sauce, and served with a parsnip purée and crispy, roasted brussels sprouts. It was one of the best meals I can remember. And now I’m left with the task of putting all of that luxurious, gamey duck fat to good use. I racked my brain, and cupboard, for an inspiring ingredient, when lo– from the pantry shelf glowed a jar of golden kernels. And that’s how I came around to duck fat popcorn– like ordinary popcorn but with a luxurious secret. So light, so airy, but satiating enough to be eaten for dinner, if you’re one of those people, like myself, that sometimes wants to eat popcorn for dinner. Continue reading
City of Daughters offers specialty cocktail goods handcrafted by cocktail experts from Elsa in New York City. And these same folks will be opening a bar in Greenpoint this month called Ramona (113 Franklin St).
Their product – Elsa’s Rose Hip Grenadine – will instantly enhance and refine your cocktail experience – making it the perfect gift for cocktail lovers and budding mixologists on your gift list this year.
Don’t settle for just any grenadine. Using the highest quality, natural and organic ingredients, City of Daughters has infused homemade pomegranate syrup with a delicate blend of rose hips and petals to create the perfect addition to any home bar and kitchen.
And if you need some cocktail creation inspiration they have graciously shared some fantastic cocktail recipes on their website, like the simple Jack Rose.
- 2 ounces applejack
- ¾ ounce Elsa’s Rose Hip Grenadine
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
Shake with ice; strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon or lime wheel.
Staying warm can be ruff. Err, rough…rough! May I suggest not leaving the house this weekend, save for going to the store to get some hibernation provisions? Isn’t there a football sporting game or something on the tv? I might not be one for sports-watching, but sign me up for crashing on the couch with sporty snacks anyday. You want to get cozy, don’t you? Pick out a movie, put on your slippers and your warmest sweater, and while you’re at it, put your dog in a sweater too. No, not Mr. Fuzzy Buttons. I’m talking about your hot dog! Continue reading