After many weekends of Brussels sprouts, potatoes, carrots and kale, I finally saw asparagus at the farmer’s market. I love kale but it’s nice to finally have something new. Luckily, I had some stuff in the fridge to fix myself a quick lunch. Check out my recipe for an asparagus, shrimp pasta with miso paste.
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So Chinese New Year is finally upon us. The year of the horse begins Friday 1/31 and my friend and I decided to host a Chinese New Year dinner. I’ve been thinking about what to cook and stuff. Trying to plan a meal that will be reasonably priced yet feeds 12 adults is hard.
But while planning this dinner, I thought about Peking duck. Duck is expensive so I thought, why not chicken instead? So I came up with this great idea of using chicken skin instead of duck skin and called it PARK SLOPE CHICKEN (well cause I live in Park Slope)! And then I can use the meat for the three cup chicken dish. Done! This weekend I decided to try it first and it came out pretty good. I had wanted to use 5 spice on the skin but I totally forgot to buy it at the store. So this version is just plain old salt and pepper. And it was super simple to make the cracklings, stick it in the oven for 40mins and it came out perfect.
So check out this recipe…
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Ever since the weather got cooler and it wasn’t INSANE to turn on the oven, I’ve been roasting a lot of stuff. I mostly roast big chunks of meat but lately I have found much join in roasting veggies. In the past, whenever I roast veggies it’s usually carrots or potatoes, as a side dish. But ever since I had a pasta dish at Allswell that had roasted red cabbage, I was hooked.
So now, every Sunday I would walk down to the Park Slope Farmers Market, pick up some veggies and roast them. It’s quick (well 30mins or so), easy and mighty delicious. I have put together a small list of veggies everyone should try roasting.
Continue reading “Tis The Season To Roast All Your Vegetables”
With cold weather approaching, it’s time for big bowls of soup. Way back in March, when it was chilly out, I had a huge amount of kale and some potatoes from the Greenmarket, and I got the idea to make caldo verde. Caldo verde is a traditional Portuguese kale soup I’ve seen Emeril Lagasse make on tv many times. But could it be made vegetarian? Looking at his recipe online, I was surprised to see that with one exception, which I will get to later, the dish actually was completely vegetarian — he calls for the use of water instead of broth. I knew then that it was possible.
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Even though it’s September it still feels like summer out there. Here’s an easy Asian-style cucumber salad, inspired by similar cucumber salads I’ve had at Biang! and Spicy & Tasty.
I used kirby cucumbers, but any kind would work. Cut them into large-ish chunks and put them into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 7 cloves of raw garlic, a drop of sesame oil, a dash of soy sauce, some chili flakes or chili oil, a sprinkle of salt, and at least a half of a cup of rice wine vinegar. Blend it all until smooth — because of the raw garlic, the mixture will emulsify. After blending taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed. If it’s not salty enough, add some more salt. If it’s too salty, add more vinegar. When it’s just right, pour the blend over the cucumbers. Now the hard part — cover with plastic wrap and put the bowl in the fridge for at least half an hour. Then feel free to enjoy. If you’re going to keep leftovers, put the cucumbers into an airtight container. Bonus: there will probably be liquid left at the bottom of the bowl after you eat all of the cucumbers. This dressing is a great ingredient to use; for example, fry up some eggplant until golden brown and then pour some of this liquid into the pan. Th eggplant will soak it up like a sponge, giving it an acidic, spicy, salty kick.
You may remember that in 2012 the best meal I ate all year was the lunch I had with my friends Jeff & Eva when I went to visit them out on Fire Island. I went out again this year, and once again we had a perfect lunch. One of the things I liked most about this lunch (besides the fact that it was delicious) was that it was such a weird mix of ingredients, but they all worked together. After the soba noodles were cooked Eva rinsed them to cool them off, then mixed them with lettuce, raw chopped carrots and tomatoes, some goat cheese, a simple vinaigrette, and a few chopped hard-boiled eggs. This was all tossed together until the cheese and dressing coated the noodles. Then she added a chopped avocado and tossed again, letting the avocado coat the noodles as well. A little bit of salt and pepper, and the salad was done. The balance of textures and flavors was spot on, and the salad was perfect for a hot summer day. Thanks to Jeff & Eva, for another great meal and another great day!
So the other day when I wrote about finding hot peppers at the farmer’s market, I mentioned I would write about how to cook with them safely. The truth is there are a few simple steps you can use to get a lot of the heat out of these peppers without setting your mouth on fire. I picked up a single naga bhut jolokia at the Union Square Greenmarket — one of the hottest peppers in the world, according to the Scoville scale. The Scoville scale is a measure of how many parts of water you have to add to the chili to dilute it enough not be spicy. For reference: a bell pepper is at zero, jalapeno is around five thousand, habaneros are around two hundred thousand. The naga is rated at around one million. I love spicy food, but that’s just ridiculous. So how can you cook with something so hot, safely?
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