I’ve had Balinese food on my mind ever since a recent dinner at Selamat Pagi, near McGolrick Park. I’m in love with their menu, maybe in part because what they offer is so different than anything else I’ve found in Greenpoint lately—bursting with notes of galangal and lemongrass, spicy and herbaceous, with sweet, funky fish-sauce undertones. These flavors bring me back to Chicago, where I first tasted Lula Café’s Tineka Sandwich, a grown-up, savory take on the classic PB, made with Indonesian-spiced peanut butter and layers of juicy, crunchy, bright vegetables. A memory quickly turned into a craving, and so I created this rough approximation of the Lula original, starting by mixing up a spicy peanut butter, spreading it on whole grain bread, and then topping with some veggies and herbs I had on hand. Easy, delicious, and unusual. If you’re not used to imagining peanut butter without the jelly, it’s time to think outside of the jar. Peanuts are a great base ingredient to build on, and can easily go in directions both sweet and salty (Pad Thai, anyone?). So give this sandwich a chance, tiger.
Sicilian cuisine is mostly a peasant food and back in the day meat was for rich folks. A Sicilian dish called Caponata, which references capons (castrated roosters) is actually a delicious and totally vegan sweet and sour eggplant stew. Thank God because I never want to eat a castrated rooster.
I grew up on fava beans and cauliflower lentil stew. As a child, my father packed Broccoli Rabe sandwiches in my school lunch plastic bag, which was a hard one to explain to the PB&J crowd.
So it’s his doing that I love vegan food. Sicilians are the original vegans, before that was cool.
Broccoli Rabe Sandwich
Cut off the woody ends and soak a bunch of Broccoli Rabe in water (this removes any sand and dirt)
In a pan, sautee garlic and peperoncino (hot red pepper flakes) in extra virgin olive oil
Add the Broccoli Rabe – it can be wet because the water helps it steam
Season with salt and pepper and drizzle more olive oil on top
Put a lid on the pan so the Broccoli Rabe steams
Turn the heat off once it is soft and let it cool a bit
Pile it high onto semolina or any kind of Italian bread
It’s best when the bread is soaking with olive oil
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
While shopping at the Farmer’s Market, I cannot resist fresh eggplants! There is nothing better than to simply slice and fry an eggplant and eat it, soggy with olive oil, on a piece of Italian Bread. When I fry it in little chunks, it’s perfect on red sauce with spaghetti.
When I see these little itty bitty purple eggplants, I have a mental freak out. My Japanese friends taught me the simplest and easiest way to prepare them. Continue reading
I went to The Meat Hook to get the the good meat, the kind Jon jokes that they “hug to death” and I saw pints of pulled pork next to pints of BBQ sauce and in my periphery I spotted potato rolls. No brainer.
He didn’t ask for Pulled Pork Sammies, but when he sunk his teeth into these delicious little suckers and washed it down with a cold beer on the side, Bolognese wasn’t on his mind.
Sometimes, when you’re cooking for 2, it makes total sense to buy prepared food. The entire meal cost about $20, which is way cheaper than buying a pork shoulder and much cheaper than going out to eat.
It’s really satisfying to sit down to a beautifully “plated” and delicious meal, even though I didn’t make it from scratch because I wasn’t deliriously tired, I wasn’t scrutinizing my creation and I didn’t have a sink full of dishes looming.
I think I learned this sandwich from a German person. It seems like something German people would eat. Maybe it’s the pumpernickel bread. Either way it is the most delicious (and vegetarian) sandwich ever!
The first time I had it, it was with your standard grade european radish, but here I used daikon slices, which I find every week at the Greenmarket.
Simply butter pumpernickel bread, top it with cheddar cheese and any type of radish. It’s fresh, crunchy, buttery & cheesy. (Note: the fresh oregano is just a green garnish to pretty up the otherwise uncolorful photograph, but it might be delicious on there, too!)
If you have any great recipes to share, please send them to greenpointers (at) gmail.com. The goal is to make a Greenpointers Community Cookbook, the spiral bound kind your Mom has, but with illustrations from local artists.