Sunday, August 30, 2009

New post about my New Post!

Attention dearest readers: I am soon to be a professional cook! I've been hired to work the garde manger (read: salads and apps) station at Mercer Kitchen, a restaurant operating under the purview of the Jean-Georges empire. My feelings on this are: EXCITED! grateful. hopeful. jittery. OK, just flat out NERVOUS.

But really, really psyched. My hours will be wacky. My life will be abnormal, for a time. But I'll be sure to continue blogging when I can, probably interspersing more journalistic elements alongside the usual cookery.

So, be sure to tune in and enjoy the ride with me!

PS: Vesta, a small Italian trattoria in Astoria (catchy...) serves up some spectacularly hearty brunch, for a very agreeable price. Here you see the "hangover pizza," schmeared with tomato sauce, topped with pancetta, sausage, potatoes, and two fried eggs. The foreground pictures a small skillet of fried eggs, asparagus and wild mushrooms over creamy polenta, with a side salad. All produce comes from Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint, BKLYN, which, as the name suggests, is a 6,000 SF agricultural enterprise located atop a building. Pretty fab.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Portland grub

I've been in Portland visiting my twin brother Paul since last Wednesday, and in this past week I've experienced a lot of food. This is a city of food carts serving up some of the best tacos I've ever eaten, and good ol' casual-American cuisine prepared by dedicated locavores. Most of the time, I've been too excited to photo-document the deliciousness on my plate. But, thankfully, I was able to exercise some restraint and capture a few morsels.

Here are some food carts, these ones arranged in a parking lot in downtown Portland. Very diverse options abound, from Mexican to Indian to Thai to burgers to Czech!

This is the first meal I ate out in Portland (a city that's early to rise, and values its breakfast fare), at a Swedish-American place called Broder on SE Clinton. I got the smoked trout hash with 2 baked eggs and walnut bread, washed down with some Stumptown coffee (of course!)
As you can see, I enjoyed my breakfast thoroughly:

Sundays at Paul and Leigh's tend to be BBQ time; the following is a breakdown of the feast:

I made a straightforward bruschetta with tomatoes from the Saturday farmer's market downtown and basil from the backyard, left to marinate for hours and served room-temp with pasta and freshly grated asiago:
I also put together a cucumber, summer squash, and canteloupe salad (all from the yard and the farmer's market) with a lemon-yogurt dressing laced with coriander and cinnamon, garnished with mint (also from the yard!):

Leigh, masterful food artist that she is, arranged a handsome plate of baguette and fresh mozzarella:
(You can check out Leigh's blog here!)

The above was served with some of Leigh's finger-lickin' guacamole and chicken pieces that I marinated in lemon juice and zest, olive oil, fresh herbs from the garden, and garlic, and grilled outside on the BBQ.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm stuffed! Hopefully this sustenance will hold you over until I am able to write again. Best wishes from the West Coast!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Una noche mexicana

I really can't say how or why, but what was planned to be last night's simple Mexican-infused meal of beans and millet-cakes morphed into a multi-tentacled feast-beast, slinging salsa-roasted corn, citrus grilled chicken thighs, a black bean and queso fresco casserole with toasted sunflower seeds, fried plantains, mounds of guacamole, and pickled red onions to boot. Here are a few shots (diners not pictured: Dan, Lily, Kasper, and me) of the spread moments before it disappeared into our greedy stomachs.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The new guest at my house

Shhhh...don't tell my germiphobe mom (sorry Mom, but I speak the truth), but I've invited a new creature into our home. It's called a SCOBY (stands for "symbiotic colony of bacteria & yeast") and it's busy making me some homemade kombucha tea so that I don't have to spend nearly 5 bucks a pop on the fancy stuff they peddle at Whole Foods. Not only does it have a wonky name, but it looks freaky too, like a beached jellyfish that's lost its stinger. Here it is, colonizing my jar of tea!And by the way, egg salad "puttanesca" is amazing!!!! It contains: eggs (um, duh), red onion, capers, kalamata olives, a bit of mayo (or you could just do olive oil), s & p. Here it is, piled on some sprouted wheat toast, alongside herbed turkey sausage (Dan's pick) and tomato/nectarine salad with basil. Mmmm...