I brought home a couple of beautiful eggplants from the Greenmarket the other day, and although I usually fry them, this time I immediately decided to cook them in the oven. I discovered how easy it was to make a no-fry, eggplant parmigiana in one pot, in less than 45 minutes. You just need five ingredients, so they’d better be high quality. I used my cast iron pan, but you can use any oven-safe pot.
Biting into a gooseberry is almost like biting into a tomato — there are tiny edible seeds suspended in a sweet, acidic gel. Why, then, do I like gooseberries but not tomatoes? Perhaps because the gooseberry is related, botanically speaking, to the tomatillo and not the tomato. In any case I don’t think I’ve ever seen them at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket before today. To my delight they affixed a small piece of netting to the top of the container so I could take it to go without gooseberries rolling all over the place.
When I visited Vietnam back in 2004, we were warned not to drink the tap water. This warning extended to beverages with ice in them, as well as to fruits that may have been washed in the water. We were there for a few days before we realized that plenty of fruits we found there had outer husks or peels, and that those fruits would be safe to eat. This is when I first discovered things like longans and dragon fruit. Since then I’ve pounced on opportunities to eat usual tropical fruits when I find them here in NYC but there’s nothing quite like eating them at the source, where they’re as fresh and delicious as you can get. When my sister and I were in Singapore and Malaysia in June, we made sure to eat as much fruit as we could find. (You may recall my eating fresh durian.) In the basement of Singapore’s Chinatown Complex we found the fruit section, and picked up some fresh lychees (a first for my sister) as well as bell apples, a first for both of us. The lychees were wonderfully sweet and juicy, though the bell apples were hardly sweet at all.
Editor’s note: Our LA contributors (Sandy Lee and Susana Fung) got an early taste of what to expect at this year’s LA Street Food Fest, happening tomorrow at the Rose Bowl. Photo by Susana Fung
The LA Street Food Fest is back for the 3rd year this Saturday, July 21. And it looks to be better than ever. Over 100 food trucks and restaurants will be on hand, from the “gourmet” variety to the local loncheros to special guests all the way from Baja. Their offerings are ranging from ice-cream served alongside chicken and waffles to cola-glazed Berkshire pork to poutine and moqueca (Brazilian fish stew). Booths from well regarded restaurants such as Picca, Spice Table, Sotto and Short Order will be on hand as well.
Taking place at the Rose Bowl, a limited amount of tickets will be sold, which should stave off the crush of the hungry crowds that have overwhelmed other such events. Ticket price is $45 for regular admission. It is all-inclusive, thus the food and the samplings of cocktails, tequilas, and beer are all incorporated into the cost. A VIP option is also available for $65.
Of course the goal for a food event that brings together such diverse eats into one centralized locale would be to try everything on hand. But if it’s not physically possible to eat everything in sight, dishes not to be missed include:
Hansik Truck/Moo Dae Po II: LA Galbi
Flavorful, smoky Korean grilled meat perfect for the outdoor locale
The Grilled Cheese Truck: Cheesy Mac & Rib
Rich and cheesey goodness
Lazy Ox Canteen: Paella
Chef Perfecto Rocher is a third-generation paella maker from Spain that has spent time working under Chef Ferran Adria of El Bulli
Kings Row Gastropub: Curried Al Pastor Port Belly with Fresh Naan
Tender meat atop naan accompanied by a curry sauce with avocado, red onions, and pineapple
Get the chicharron taco with meat if available. Crispy pork skin. Is there anything else that needs to be said?
HAUS: Spicy Chicken Dukboki
Juicy chicken with a hint of sweetness grilled to just the right temperature.
There are certain foods that you should never have to buy; one of them is salad dressing. I know that the term “vinaigrette” may sound intimidating, but it’s easy to put one together in 30 seconds using ingredients you (should) already have in your pantry. All you need is vinegar, mustard, salt, and oil, plus a container with a tight lid.
You are probably thinking to yourself, “Where are the measurements?” The beautiful thing about this is that you don’t need to be precise at all. Depending on how much dressing you need you can make more or less, using rough approximations of amounts. A traditional vinaigrette uses a ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar, but as you can see in the video above I didn’t worry too much about that.
For the record, I used red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, kosher salt, and olive oil. Once you know the technique you can customize the vinaigrette however you’d like. Try using lemon juice instead of vinegar. Add some finely chopped herbs. There’s no limit to what you can do.
The video was shot by Donny and features a cameo appearance by our friend Louie. Enjoy!
Two days ago I got an email inviting me to a special preview of Paper Magazine’s Super (Duper) Market. Starting today, 7/13/2012, and running through Sunday, the Market brings together several artisan food makers from New York and beyond. One of the great strengths of the Super (Duper) Market is that it brings in many vendors that don’t usually come to food events, like the restaurant Brucie, who was sampling some of their excellent homemade mozzarella. Also significant is the fact they brought in some West Coast vendors, like Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream. I finally got to try their Secret Breakfast flavor — bourbon with cornflakes. Also delicious: the red velvet danish from Red Rooster in Harlem; the enormous sno-ball from Imperial Woodpecker; sour cherry saltwater taffy from Salty Road; spicy food from Taste of Ethiopia; and strawberry basil pie from First Prize Pies.
Super (Duper) Market — 410 W 16th St, NYC
Get your breakfast tacos at The New Amsterdam Market!
It’s been a long road for my friends at Lonestar Taco. Around June last year they had a preview party that showed off what they envisioned Lonestar Taco to be. Ever since then they have been doing events here and there but nothing really permanent.
So, finally when they announced that they will be one of the food vendors at The New Amsterdam Market, I was thrilled for them. Yes! I can finally get my breakfast tacos on. This past Sunday they had a tamarind pork belly special and when I heard “pork belly” I had to run down to try it out. It was super good and the pork belly was tender (thick slices too) and really love the tamarind flavor. I also had the chorizo and egg, which was just as delicious. There’s something really wonderful about eggs and tortilla eaten together.
Please head down to the market on Sundays and get yourself a taco (or three).