salad

SALAD TAWK: SELAMAT PAGI’S BALI URAP AKA PAPAYA SALAD


I know that I do a lot of salad shit tawking, but that is only when it is insultingly offered as a side to a burger. As if in my self-destructive eating mindset I want to be reminded of my downward spiraling food choices. Shut up and give me fries!

That being said, I do specifically seek out certain perfect salads in Greenpoint. Salads that discreetly champion the getting old and dripping with pork guts offerings that cater to our bacon crazed foodie culture.

Selamat Pagi’s Bali Urap AKA Papaya Salad is utterly perfect and I make the walk all the way to the “other side” of McGuinness just to eat this salad. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: TKO ‘Buttermilk’ Salad Dressing

Illustrations by Libby VanderPloeg

I’ve had buttermilk on my mind ever since my friend sent me this clip of the now semi-famous rambunctious ruminant–’Buttermilk‘, a Nigerian dwarf goat playing with her friends. ‘Buttermilk’ plays by her own rules, sure, but what was foremost on my mind as I thought about her was where does she get that energy!? Oh, to have the where-with-all to bounce about with carefree abandon like a tiny, short-legged goat on a Maine dairy farm. What would it take? Hard drugs? I say hard to get!

Perhaps something as easy as a summer salad with homemade dressing can give me “the Buttermilk bounce.” So I mixed up this spicy buttermilk dressing, covered my salad with it, and went on a rampage. I ran out the door and down to Transmitter Park where I chased a flock of pigeons around for ten to fifteen minutes (with zero fatigue, mind you), then zipped up to the corner, stole a frozen Snickers from the deli just for the thrill of it (I don’t even LIKE snickers), then bought all my Christmas gifts for 2013 (I could no longer pass up those beckoning summer sales on Franklin St). Finally, I ran over to the basketball court, “buttermilked” my way into a game, slam-dunked the rock, ran home, and reorganized my cutlery.

Knockout Buttermilk Dressing. Go on. Try it. I dare you.

At a glance: Buttermilk is a good source of protein, calcium, potassium, and B12. It’s actually fermented milk, usually made by adding lactic acid to regular milk, so you’ll be getting some healthy probiotics with every serving, which can aid with digestion.

Ingredients:
⅔ cup non-fat cultured buttermilk
½ avocado
½ cup fresh basil leaves
2-3 tbsp. fresh jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. sea salt

Directions:
With an immersion blender or in a food processor, combine all ingredients until mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Add more salt to taste or jalapeño for kick.

Makes 8-10 oz. Keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.

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Foodis Operandi: Chicken For Singles

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

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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.

Continue reading

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Plunders and Blunder of Shopping Therapy and Gift Giving (to the Japanese)

Midtown sucks, we all agree. I try to be in and out, but when I have to wait around I seek a haven; a quiet place or I go to therapy, shopping therapy. It’s slim pickins’ but when I need a snack and reading time I head to Fika, a swedish espresso bar, with great coffee and pastries, including chocolate balls, great macaroons and my favorite sandwich, avocado with arugula, red onion and cream cheese on raisin bread.
And when I need to get a brain fix I head to Argosy, a 3-story fetish shop for used books and old prints.
On the bottom level you can find prints from $3, like that sweet flamingo (bottom right). I also picked up that Brooklyn Amusement Park poster (top left) from the late 80s for $10. The other two, a graphic novel with a dude chain sawing a tree (top right) and a weird Russian canned food print (bottom left) were $20 each. Pretty cheap for awesome artwork!
After a ride back home on the G train, which made me wonder they leave one door half open in each car when you wait at Court Square, I realized maybe it’s to keep the A/C inside. The MTA being energy conscious?
The plan was to go to Vintage Modern for the We See Stars trunk sale, but since the train ride was supersonic fast, I mosied around The One Well and chat with Kerry.
I wanted to buy a gift for my friend’s girl who is visiting from Japan. The problem with shopping for someone else is you always find things for yourself.
“That is totally normal!” Kerry assured me, so I bought these pearly pink old lady earrings ($28), which weren’t clip-ons, hallelujah! And for the lady friend I bought this adorable flower bowl ($12).
Then I headed over to the trunk sale and scored those arrow earrings ($18) and ate a gallon of potato chips. See that spread! Erica, the jewelry designer, also sells at the Dekalb Market on weekends.
Jon met me down the block for dinner at EAT after he ate a hot dog. Lucky! Our salad had the most delicious honey vinaigrette. Seth told us how to make it: just whisk together honey, oil and apple cider vinegar with a little salt. Magic.
While there I started unraveling all my wares from my shopping spree.
“Well I had a lot of time to kill!” I reasoned.
“So you shopped. You are such a good American,” Jon said.
“Look how adorable, right? She is going to love it!” I said proudly showing him the flowery bowl. Then I turned it over.
“MADE IN CHINA! I can’t give this to her!”
Every year, my parent’s friends, the Watanabe’s send us Christmas presents from Japan. As a kid (and as an adult) I beg to open all the origami wrapped gifts. When we turn them over we find the “Made in China” sticker and laugh, even though the gifts are always gorgeous. Meanwhile, we probably send them gifts made in China, too. Or worse, Canada!
Without thinking too hard about the history of far eastern diplomatic affairs or mass consumerism, I bought her the slate colored handmade bowl from Eat instead ($7), which is Made in Brooklyn and I happily kept the cute little Chinese bowl for myself.
Oh the blunders and plunders of gift exchange with the Japanese! Now hide my wallet and hope today is payday!

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RECIPE: SOUTHWEST SALAD REDUX

I love go-to recipes that are as easy as cutting out them of the newspaper. Growing up we always ate NY Times Stew, which was a stew recipe my Grandfather found in the 60s, which is still a weekly Sunday dinner item my Mom makes. Recently I came across this NY Times Southwest Sweet Potato Salad recipe and it’s now in the weekly meal rotation.

Any great recipe can be made with substitutions. It would be too complicated explain why, but we had 50lb of brussels sprouts and carrots that we were inventing ways to eat before they rotted. Instead of using roasted sweet potatoes in this recipe, I substituted roasted brussels sprouts and carrots and it was just as good, if not better! This is a salad that is hearty and you don’t get bored in the middle of eating it. Plus it is so easy to make!

Southwest Carrot & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Roast a bunch of carrots & brussels sprouts (or peeled sweet potatoes) in a pan coated in olive oil, salt and pepper at 425 degrees until tender. Set aside to cool.

Chop a red onion, a red pepper and a bunch of cilantro.

In a blender combine a few jalapeños, 1-2 limes, a few garlic cloves, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

In a big bowl combine the chopped red onions, red peppers, cilantro and roasted brussels sprouts and carrots, along with a can of drained black beans.

Cover in the jalapeño, lime, garlic dressing.

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