I am on vacation 12/15 - 12/25 but noteworthy NYC posts
When you’re in the greatest food city in the world, you
may find it difficult to narrow down an itinerary. I will resort to heads or
tails to set me off in the right direction. Can you think of a better system?
What are we planning to do?
Who knows better than Zagat’s New York City Food Lover’s
Guide and Michelin to give you at least a thousand choices only to conclude
that you are coming back next year for at least two weeks instead of one. NYC
has far too much to offer- especially in the way of food - to cut it short.
And, as a food lover, there is only one thing to say…
New Year’s resolutions to follow. NYC bring it on!
a history. Scholars support that Bibimbap started from the ancestral ritual of
mixing food offerings in a big bowl before partaking in it. Does this make eating
Bibimbop a spiritual experience? I like to think so as I savor every bite of
this signature Korean dish. It’s one of my favorite dishes.
It is not only beautiful to look at but it can easily be
adjusted for different tastes and seasoning levels.
Honestly, this recipe is pretty tough to screw up. On a
scale of 1 – 10, I would say that this is an easy 4.
Anyone, including my 12 year old neighbor can make it. I
put her to the test this past weekend.
Whatever the experience is for you, it is sure to challenge
you to perfect this recipe and it can be perfected.
I have made it with scallions and peanuts with great
results. In fact, whatever I put in this recipe worked.
Bibimbop is a also a great way to use
leftovers. Other than the red pepper paste and rice, everything else can be
I’ve tried it with both pork and chicken
but this mixture was just made for beef.
Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and cooked
sticky rice and cook the rice for several minutes until the rice sizzles. Place
a serving of rice in a big bowl.
Here is where you can show your food
styling skills. Arrange a small amount of each prepared vegetable including
bean sprouts and beef over the rice. Drizzle with a little sesame oil. Top the
dish with an egg fried sunny-side up with toasted, sesame seed. Serve with red
pepper paste sauce…any one you happen to love!
Preparing The Vegetables and
Julienne the carrots into match sticks.
Sauté in a lightly oiled skillet for 1 - 2 minutes over medium high heat,
sprinkling salt and pepper to taste.
Generously sprinkle salt over sliced
cucumbers and set aside for 10 - 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid. Toss
with 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion, 1 clove garlic minced, 1 teaspoon sesame
oil and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds.
Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water
only until wilted, 30 - 40 seconds. Drain quickly and shock in cold water.
Squeeze out water. Cut into 3-inch lengths. Toss with 1 tablespoon of chopped
scallion, 1 clove garlic minced, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and salt and pepper to
Cut into tiny pieces. Mix in 1 tablespoon
of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon
of rice wine (optional), 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion, 2 cloves garlic
minced, and a pinch of pepper. Marinate for 20 minutes.
Sauté in a skillet for 2 - 3 minutes over
My brother-in-law Dan makes really
good pickled green beans… but it is a process.
This is a quick refrigerator version
and makes a delicious addition to spicy Bloody Mary’s during the holiday
haricot verts (in eason) or green beans.
C white vinegar
4-6 bat leaves
Divide the green beans among
the two jars. You don’t need to cook them–just trim them and wash them.
I added two bay leaves to
each jar, 1-2 cloves of garlic, and divided the seeds between the jars.
Bring the vinegar, water,
salt, and sugar to a boil. Once the sugar and salt has dissolved, pour the
liquid over the beans–easier to divide if you use equally sized jars. Top off
with boiling water until you reach the top of the jar.
Cap the jars and
Wait a week but if you break
into a jar early...enjoy! They will still taste great!
Another variation of the Wedge and the
homemade dressing literally made this salad.
Bon Appetit and where’s my steak to
go with it?
the Bleu Cheese Dressing:
1/3 cups mayonnaise
3 tablespoons cup vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup dairy sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup smoked blue cheese, crumbled
In a medium bowl, whisk together
the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, sour cream, milk and garlic until smooth. For a
thicker dressing, omit the milk. Stir in the blue cheese crumbles. Serve immediately,
or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
1 head Iceberg lettuce, well cleaned
Candied Pecan Pieces
Make sure your lettuce is
very cold. Pull it from the fridge just before serving and work quickly to get
it on the table still cold.
Remove the root end from the
bottom of the head of lettuce. Slice the lettuce half, then into 4-6 wedges
(depending on your preferred size).
Top with your favorite
toppings and drizzle with homemade Smoky Bleu Cheese Dressing.
Cream Pie Cupcake
You can make your cupcakes
unique just by using a few signature extras.
This recipe originated in
1855 and was popular back in the 60’s.
It is still one of my all
time favorites even though I never had a taste for it growing up.
Here is a link to the
highest ranked page of this blog with over 100,000 hits.
We love these cookies and
remember you can do them with chocolate wafers too.
Petite carafes are great for serving
individual portions of wine and look beautiful on the dinner table.
I’ve looked for the perfect one for well
over a year. Ended up that my local restaurant had one all along and sold it to
me last week. Just goes to prove that the neighborhood you live in offers the
simplest of solutions. Just ask your local chef.
Now…back to the hunt for my next
A Lot Like Christmas
Wisma worked for over a year to
perfect this pizza recipe. It’s a lot like a flatbread and in this case with a
little tomato sauce and mozzarella. All ingredients are locally sourced.
Love it? You be the judge. I'm a huge fan of the white pizza/
Speaking of pizza, I bought a new
pizza stone. Did I need one? No. This was definitely a splurge…but worth it I
I was convinced that I needed one
after I had two pizza’s cooked on the stone at my neighbors and then went home
and cooked one on my old pizza stone. The difference in taste was astonishing.
French brand Emile Henry is made of Burgundy clay which evenly and slowly
distributes cooking heat to the center of the stone. The pizza is cooked evenly
and not even the edges were overdone.
$49 I’ve spent lately …less my 10% cooking class discount and $25 gift
certificate, I was out of pocket $19.
a great gift for anyone that is a pizza lover like me.
Photo Sculptures are a fun way to
display your best-loved photos - especially in the kitchen.
I look at this one every day of my
son when he was young. It never fails to make me laugh and feel like he is
ready to jump out and give me a mega-hug when my recipes turn out less than perfect
the first time around.
been doing a lot of hugging lately.
write about products, it’s on my own dime. I either like them or I don’t and no
one can pay me to think otherwise.
of trend-setting designs has put Pillivuyt porcelains in my kitchen.
just once and you’ll be convinced that with great results in baking, this is
the only dish to use in the oven.
Island Vanilla Cream
Getting the best out of the vanilla
bean? I LOVED this soda….and I NEVER drink soda!
I’ve tried at least a half a dozen
recipes and not one was even close to Gerhard's version.
I know...lot's of whipped cream and light on the pumpkin.
Maybe it’s the Mexican in my
soul but tucked away in a tiny corner of my kitchen, I have a little altar to
Our Lady of Guadalupe. I’m convinced she puts the magic in my cooking. In fact,
since I put this little altar in my kitchen, I am fearless. I will try
have a friend who talks to Annapurna, Hindu Goddess of Food and Cooking almost
daily. Crazy? Seems his cooking has improved immensely since he started up
these conversations with her over two years ago.
you get your cooking inspiration from, celebrate them. Make a permanent place
for them in your kitchen.
I know these oils have magical
power every time I use them… or maybe it’s the thought that inspires me to cook
much-loved dishes that even I can’t explain.
I was inspired to make some new
recipes this year for Thanksgiving – with the exception of my stuffing which
always turns out fantastic with a mix of sausage,fresh herbs and white wine. In
fact it is so good I am always digging in with a fork the minute it comes out
of the oven.
I bought a fresh turkey (www.schauls.com), brined it overnight then washed it off the next morning.
I rubbed Williams Sonoma Turkey Paste on the outside and baked it. I also took
Colicchi of Craft restaurants in NYC and Las
Vegas advice and basted the bird every 15
MAGIC – that’s what it was. This was
the best turkey I’ve ever cooked and the meat was so moist.
My favorite leftover? I love a mix
of white and dark meat slathered with plenty of Mayo. In that sense, I am very
I threw a salad together with
ingredients I had in the refrigerator. I never measure them. I eyeball for the
number of guests that I am having. Try it. It will come easy with practice.
I topped this tasty salad with Litehouse’s Pear Gorgonzola dressing which only has 1.25 grams of fat per
tablespoon and is DELICIOUS!
Pear and Pomegranate Salad
Head of Lettuce, chopped
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh Cauliflower, chopped
1 Pear, thinly diced
Sprinkle with Pomegranate seeds
Sprinkle with Candied Pecans
2 slices Bacon, fried and crumbled
and Cranberry Galette
I made this in our pie class last
Sunday. This free form pie with cranberries and apple slices is a stunning
finale for a holiday meal. You can also use pears and pears do not require
I really loved this recipe because
it does not have much sugar so you really get the true taste of the fruit.
8 large Granny Smith apples, about 4
lb. total, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into
Sugar for dusting (optional)
Crème fraîche for serving (optional)
To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt. Scatter the
chunks of butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds until the butter
pieces are the size of small peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour
cream and ice water. Drizzle the mixture over the dough and pulse until the
dough is smooth and clings together. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, in a large fry pan over medium heat, combine
the sugar, water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the
sugar dissolves. Stir in the apple slices and simmer until the apples begin to
soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple slices to a
Add the cranberries to the liquid in the fry pan and simmer until they start to
pop, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to the
bowl with the apples. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil the liquid
until reduced slightly, then spoon over the fruit.
Position 2 racks in the middle of an oven and preheat to 400°F.
Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each half
into a round about 12 inches in diameter and transfer to separate baking
sheets. Divide the fruit filling equally between the pastry rounds and spread
it in an even layer, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border uncovered. Fold the border
over the fruit, pleating the edges to form a rim. Lay the butter slices over
the exposed fruit. Dust the pastry rims with sugar.
Bake the galettes, rotating them 180 degrees at the midway point, until the pastry is golden brown and
the apples are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and
let the galettes cool completely on the pans. Serve with crème fraîche. Makes
two 9-inch galettes; serves 10 to 12.
Speaking of pie recipes, look at the
one our instructor did last weekend and look at my sister's pie the left.
that tell you who I should be taking a pie lesson from?
I seldom dress up any more so when I got an invitation to
the Ritz for their new holiday breakfast I jumped at the chance to dress up. It
felt good after religiously living in my Nike workout gear for months on end.
The last time I was at the Ritz we found this great bar
with high, white leather back chairs. It was the perfect place to catch up but
you were still in the thick of the action to do the best thing to do at the Ritz…people
watch. It’s almost better than the airport.
The holiday breakfast was in that same bar and the atmosphere
was terrific because it was all dressed up for Christmas too.
This was not an inexpensive brunch but the superb quality
of the food made it well worth the $25 price tag and if you make friends with
the omelet chef, you’ll get a mega dose of your favorite recipe and wonder how
you can possibly eat it all in one sitting.
And for an after-breakfast indulgence: To the Spa for a
Bamboo and black sesame body indulgence…a creamy scrub with black sesame seeds
(hey, don’t you eat those?), powdered bamboo and organic oils. Revealed a totally new me.
Come to think of it, I could totally get use to this puttin’
on the Ritz lifestyle!