Our 2012 Eat More in Queens mission started with a group dinner with my friends at SriPraPhai. It seemed like I was the last in the whole wide world to eat at SriPraPhai and I’m glad I did even if that meant riding the 7 train during rush hour.
There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be trekking out more to Queens, heck I (with Howard) even took a road trip up to New Haven for a day just to eat pizza (well Mo drove). The dinner was great and I’m looking forward to my next meal there. Though funny thing, I wanted to order a Pad Thai but no one would let me! It’s THE dish that I use to help me rate a Thai restaurant. Okay fine in the case of Joya, their Pad Thai is alright but their chicken green curry is where it’s at.
Check out what we ate after the jump
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So I made mussels with a green curry broth the other night but I couldn’t eat a whole 2lbs of mussels by myself. What to do with leftover mussels? Have you ever had an oyster omelette? I decided to make a mussel omelette. I whisked 2 eggs and added some of the green curry broth for extra flavors. Seasoned the eggs mixture. In a hot pan add oil and add the mussels. Cooked them for a minute and poured in the eggs. I flipped it, or tried to, once the bottom was set. Once I flipped it, I turned off the heat. I didn’t want to over cook the thing. I ate it over rice with a nice squirt of sriracha.
Also I added some frozen peas just for the heck of it.
I had high hopes for the Greenmarket this morning, in part because I haven’t been in a while and in part because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having. Unfortunately there was the usual mid-winter mix of root vegetables and hearty greens. I stopped by the Ronnybrook Farm booth for some butter, saw a small stack of this Camembert cheese, and impulsively bought it. Then I went to the next booth over and got myself a baguette. I brought both home and had myself one hell of a mid-winter breakfast.
I should really eat more fish but mussels are so much easier to cook, not to mention way cheaper. This time I made it even simpler. My usual way of cooking is oil, garlic, onion, add mussels and hit it with chicken stock. Last month I had made a jar of green curry sauce by combining green curry paste, soy sauce and palm sugar. I love making ready-to-use sauces, great for cooking and marinating.
Get a pan hot, add oil and add mussels. Stir. Pour about 3/4 cup of the green curry sauce and about the same amount of liquid (I used water). Stir. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Check mussels after 3 minutes, cover back up and cook longer if there are any that aren’t open. Scoop the mussels out and leave the broth in the pan. On high flames, add a big tablespoon or 2 of creme fraiche and some chopped scallions. Stir to melt the creme fraiche. Taste it. Add more curry sauce if it’s too weak. Let the sauce reduce a bit. When done, pour sauce over mussels and sprinkle some chopped scallions. Serve with toasty bread.
When my folks came into the city last week, we took a trip to the American Museum of Natural History, which I had never been to (hey, I grew up with the Smithsonian museums less than 20 minutes away). Of course it fell to me to pick a place for lunch, and I settled on Kefi, only five short blocks away from the museum. Kefi’s lunch menu is relatively short, and they helpfully mark the vegetarian options for people like me. We got an order of Greek Spreads, advertised as enough for two but more than enough for three — but only enough pita bread for one. I got the enormous Chickpea, Eggplant, and Bulgur Fritter sandwich, served in a wrap like a gyro. The fritters were much softer than I expected, with no crispy outer shell, but they were very flavorful. Even better was the lemony yogurt sauce that dressed the wrap. Unfortunately the Greek salad on the side was not so fresh tasting, and the potato chips were merely mediocre. I’d go back to Kefi for dinner, but only if I was already on the Upper West Side.
Kefi — 505 Columbus Ave
I was looking for places to grab dinner before seeing my friend, Molly, in her 1st off Broadway show “The Broken Heart” at The Duke on 42nd St. While going through the Serious Eats site I found Guelaguetza, a tiny Mexican grocery store with a kitchen in the back. Sounded like my kind of place and so I met up with my friend there.
I got an al pastor and a lengua taco, both for $2.75. The al pastor taco was pretty good, a little sweet with a hint of fruit. Oh but the lengua taco…yum yum yum. I have always been critical about the size of the lengua chunks when I get them in taco form. Usually they’re too tiny to really enjoy them but Guelaguetza’s version were just the perfect size.
– Guelaguetza, 526 West 47th St between 10+11th Ave
Here’s a quickie snack for ya. Saute a bunch of spinach then scramble an egg (I added chili flakes and salt). Slice a brioche bun in half and toast only 1 side (so it’s still soft on the other side). Then put the spinach and egg in the bun to make a tasty and quick sandwich.