Monday, July 9, 2012

"Real" Baby Carrots Roasted with Thyme and Garlic

Carrots roasted with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil at 450F for 20 minutes. Sliced garlic and thyme tossed in and roasted for an additional 3 minutes. Simplicity at its best.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tuna Ceviche

I'm forsaking the local and seasonal mission of this blog, but it's cold and dreary here in New Hampshire, and given that its my first post in quite some time, I wanted to post something bright and cheery. Besides, spring is only three months away...

Tuna Ceviche
Serves 2

  • 1/2 lb tuna fillet, sliced against the grain in 1/4-inch slices
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • tortilla chips
  1. Put the tuna in the freezer for 15 minutes so that it becomes firm (so that it can be easily diced). 
  2. Dice the tuna into 1/4-inch cubes and add to a medium bowl.
  3. Add the lime juice and onion to the bowl with the tuna and stir the ingredients to ensure that each piece of tuna is covered with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the tuna from the refrigerator and stir in the avocado, cilantro, and sea salt. Serve the tuna on a bed of tortilla chips.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Saveur's Second Annual Summer BBQ in NYC - June 27, 2011

I had the good fortune of getting invited to Saveur's Summer BBQ last week at The Frying Pan in NYC.  The weather was perfect for being boatside on the Hudson enjoying a bounty of grilled meats from some of New York's top toques and refreshing drinks courtesy of Ommegang Brewery and Grey Goose Vodka.

Things started out favorably with glazed pork belly sandwiches from Marc Murphy of Landmarc and Ditch Plains.

The lamb burger with basil mayonnaise from Sean Rembold of Marlow & Sons was a highlight for me.

 No BBQ is complete without some grilled corn. Hill Country did a very nice job with theirs.

While grilled sausages are also a summer BBQ mainstay, Missy Robbins of A Voce upped it a notch with her grilled lamb sausages. These reminded me to add A Voce to my list of restaurants I would like to try.

Geoffrey Zakarian served up a pretty standard plate of saucy ribs from his new restaurant, The National.  While the ribs were low on the excitement spectrum, they were still pretty high on the taste spectrum.

John DeLucie's (The Lion, Waverly Inn)  lamb ribs were a bit too fatty for me, but it may have just been that I was too full by the time I got to them.

Unfortunately, I was much too full before I spotted Marco Canora's smoked lamb ribs.  I am sad that I did not try one of my favorite chefs' dishes, especially one that looked this good.

Marcus Samuelsson and his crew from Red Rooster were there cooking a fabulous blackened catfish with fried caper slaw, a dish I was pleased to have once again after enjoying it only a week ago at his restaurant.  I have been told by some that the photo of Chef Samuellson is equally satisfying as his catfish.

Alex Guarnaschelli served some nicely cooked—but too sweet for me—BBQ shrimp.

Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen prepared some massive brisket sandwiches topped with potato chips.  Although one of these guys made me too full for much of anything else, it was a lot of a very good thing.

If only food served on boats could always be this good!  Kudos to Saveur for an outstanding event.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 2 - June 12, 2011

This weekend marked that most wonderful time of the year in NYC with the Big Apple BBQ Block Party, a 2-day meatathon in Madison Square Park featuring some of the country's top pitmasters.  This year's festival was as mouthwatering—and as crowded—as ever.  I attended the second day of the event, and had the pleasure of stuffing my gullet with what in my not so humble opinion was the cream of the crop of the event.

Pitmaster Ed Mitchell of Wilson, NC was in town for the event once again, serving his divine pulled pork sandwiches (with cracklin'!) and—new for this year—smoked turkey.

To get my rib fix, I went visited tent for Memphis' 17th Street Bar & Grill.  

 The Salt Lick from Driftwood, Texas, offered up brisket and sausage that were well worth the wait in line.

As it does every year, Eleven Madison Park offered Mint Juleps, glasses of bourbon, and good music.

Pitmaster Bob Lilly of Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, Alabama, smoked some amazing pork butts.  The line to the Big Bob stand was by far the longest of any at the festival, but I'm glad I waited it out.

Finally, Jim 'N' Nick's is always a go-to for some excellent smoked sausages.

And with that, I can't wait until Big Apple BBQ Block Party 2012!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Springtime at Union Square Greenmarket

Ramps, asparagus, and fresh flowers.  What more can you ask for? And spring only gets better from here on out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mako with Fennel and Cherry Tomato Sauce

In just a few month, I will be a broke student, so I have started to be a bit more thrifty when it comes to my food purchases.  The other day, I went to the fishmonger looking for a firm, meaty fish that I could serve with a sauce I intended to make with some fennel and cherry tomatoes I had on hand.  Swordfish seemed like the obvious choice, but when I saw mako, which the fishmonger's sign described as "similar to swordfish," for half the price, the budget-conscious half of my brain told me to give the shark a try.  While I'm not completely sold on mako—the texture of the meat is not quite as firm as that of swordfish nor is it as flavorful—the bright tomato and fennel sauce more than made up for it and made me thankful that I still had a few extra dollars in my pocket.

Mako with Fennel and Cherry Tomato Sauce
Serves 2

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and diced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed
  • 2 6 oz. mako or swordfish fillets
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. 
  3. Add the onion, fennel, and fennel seeds to the saucepan and season with salt.  Cook until the onion and fennel soften, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Pour the vinegar into the saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Let the vinegar evaporate completely, about 1 minute. 
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes to the saucepan.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes burst, 3 to 5 minutes.  Taste the sauce for seasoning and keep warm over low heat while you cook the fish.
  6. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the fish and cook until they are golden on one side, 1 to 2 minutes.  Flip and cook until golden on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Put the skillet in the oven and cook until the fish is just cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Do not overcook the fish.
  9. Serve the fish immediately, topped with a generous amount of the fennel and tomato sauce.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bucatini with Pancetta, Fava Beans, and Tomato Sauce

Bucatini is my favorite dried pasta.  Nice and thick—about twice as thick as spaghetti—,it has a wonderful texture that allows a sauce coat each tube perfectly. Although bucatini can be difficult to track down, I was fortunate enough to spot some at Eataly.  The traditional method of serving the pasta i is all'Amatriciana, and I decided to go a similar route with the tomato sauce and pancetta, but it being the beginning of spring after a long, harsh winter, I couldn't resist tossing in some blanched fava beans for good measure.  The beans added wonderful texture and color to the buttery tomato sauce and al dente pasta.

Bucatini with Pancetta, Fava Beans, and Tomato Sauce
Serves 4

  • 2 lbs fava beans, shelled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup simple tomato sauce (I used Marcella Hazan's)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb bucatini
  • grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the fava beans and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the fava beans with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl of ice water.  Once cool, peel off the skins of the beans and set aside.  Keep the water at a boil.
  2. Add the bucatini to the boiling water and cook for one minute less than the package suggests. 
  3. While the bucatini boils, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and cook until it begins to crisp, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and let it cook until it is fragrant, about one minute.  Add the tomato sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the fava beans and taste for seasoning. 
  4. Drain the pasta and stir it into the simmering sauce.  Let the pasta and sauce cook for another minute, stirring to ensure that the pasta strands are coated by the sauce.
  5. Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.  


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