Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Priya and I took advantage of the holidays to hit up Shopsin's as part of an epic Manhattan trip involving new glasses at Moscot, the Maurizio Cattelan show at the Guggenheim, the Sherrie Levine exhibition at the Whitney (though the Real/Surreal thing was cooler), etc.

this was the best Shopsin's run I've ever made. the mac-and-cheese pancakes, when doused with peppery hot sauce and maple syrup, were so different from anything else I've had...we made a mistake by ordering 6 instead of 3, though. so much food.and the "Symphony" was the best dish I've ever had there. it's a stack of pumpkin French toast (with big chunks of sweet pumpkin studding the bread somehow) with cheese, and a ton of bacon marmalade (dark-cooked, caramelized onions and bacon pieces in maple syrup, I think...not exactly the same as the Brooklyn-made "baconmarmalade"). and a column was punched right through the middle of the stack and filled with a stack of oozy-middle poached eggs. Un-fucking-believable.

I had been planning to order the steamed cheeseburger, but didn't see it on the menu--I probably should've asked if they still made it, but in the end I am very glad I tried something new.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Keema matar & kaddu

Tonight we made keema matar and kaddu.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Momofuku Milk Bar Arnold Palmer Cake

from Lucky Peach #2. I am probably not capable of making this. Still.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

gobi and dal @ home

gobi with scallions and mustard seeds, masoor dal with chhaunk, mango chutney Priya's mom made, dahi, and whole-grain parathas (a new thing for us; we usually make the non-whole-grain ones). also ginger soda we made from P&H syrup from Eastern District. ate it while watching Being John Malkovich, which I think I last saw in the theater. still good.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Peter Chang's China Grill

in Fairfax VA for Thanksgiving, we took a day trip out to Charlottesville to visit Kristin & Ian. We went to lunch at Peter Chang's China Grill, a new Szechuan restaurant opened by the elusive and famed Peter Chang (see the New Yorker piece for details).

Double-cooked pork (moister and with fewer leeks than the versions at Little Pepper or Spicy and Tasty):

Spicy braised fish:

Fried rice:

Dry-cooked green beans (not quite as dry, and not quite as good, as those at Little Pepper et al; still great though!):

Scallion bubble pancake with a coriander-heavy curry sauce; these were really reminiscent of poori (but pretty good):

Dry-cooked eggplant (a specialty we'd heard a lot about; sooo good, covered with cracked Szechuan peppercorns and with an amazing flavor) and pan-fried dumplings (a cut above the five-for-a-dollar dumplings I get for lunch at Prosperity Dumpling in Chinatown):

Excellent place, and I'd definitely be back when I'm back in Charlottesville. Consider me a Peter Chang fan.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Henan Taste

went to Henan Flavor for lunch today. my students SWARM the place at lunch--not to eat the delectable Henan delights, but because the restaurant (wisely) keeps a gross-looking shitty tray of "pepper chicken" and "sesame chicken" in the front near the cash register, which they sell for like $2 for a styrofoam container + rice.

I got the black bean hu mei (with ground meat, bok choy, etc.) in a super dark, flavorful broth. even with the hot oil they provided, it's not as spicy as I'd like (I like Szechuan-level spice), but it was really good and only $5 for the giant large size.

I did NOT try the swine blood...this time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pickle Me Pete

Stan & I went to the San Gennaro Feast to try to get some of the new good stuff they had, but were disappointed to find that the booths we were most looking forward to were weekend-only. A shame--so we ate at Torrisi instead.

I did happen upon a booth selling homemade pickles and bought a quart. Pickle Me Pete has no location, but does fairs and delivery. I thought the pickles were pretty great--ever since Guss' closed, I haven't really had a place for great pickles. The Pickle Guys on Essex don't really do it for me (too salty, maybe?) and the new Guss location is so far (Borough Park). I hope Pickle Me Pete gets a location nearby--I'd return.

Smorgasburg, and Brooklyn Grange CSA #16

Kind of a small load this week--lots of nice tomatoes, but otherwise just spinach & lettuce.

We did get a Brooklyn Grange tote bag, so maybe that was thrown in to make up for the size of the share this week. I think I'd rather have had the food. Can't wait to eat the tomatoes, though.

We wandered around Smorgasburg and had breakfast there. We had a $5 tray of blistered shishito peppers from Bocata (so good), two cold-concentrated chicory iced coffees from Grady's Cold Brew (funny thing...I usually put a ton of sweetener in my coffee, but the Grady's guy advised me to try this without sugar, because I guess the chicory cuts the bitterness and adds its own sweetness? He was totally right--I drank the whole thing happily without adding a single bit of sugar), hibiscus & plain doughnuts from Dough, and a bamberg chicken-schnitzel sandwich with mustard and grated pickled daikon and cucumber on a pretzel loaf from Schnitz. We also sampled a lot of great stuff, most notably the insanedark & light maple syrup from Crown Maple Syrup. We also spent a bunch of time sampling stuff at the Lush chocolate booth. I liked the Indonesian cashew and keffir lime/lemongrass brittle, but Priya ended up buying a quantity of dark chocolate toffee with almonds.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brooklyn Grange CSAs #13, 14, and 15

Whoops, haven't been posting these pix the past three weeks!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Little Pepper in College Point

an ass-kicking Labor Day weekend for food...we went to Little Pepper for dinner last night with my in-laws, their treat (thanks!).

We've been a handful of times already, but never to the new (College Point) location. It's funny; they seem to have broadened the menu with Hunan and Americanized stuff as more white people come to the restaurant (General Tso's chicken, hot and sour soup, etc.) They still don't speak English worth a damn, though, which is nice.

Dan dan noodles with ground pork:

Cucumbers with crushed garlic and sesame oil:

Enhanced pork (well, that's what I ordered, but the guy said, "Double-cooked pork" as he put it down. I've ordered both enhanced and double-cooked pork like twice each and cannot for the life of me tell the difference. What IS the difference? It seems like even the restaurant workers think they're interchangeable):

Shrimp with chili sauce:

Plain ol' broccoli, I dunno why I photographed this:

Lamb with cumin:

Eggplant with garlic...oh God, this is so good:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Locanda Verde

We've been angling to eat at Locanda Verde for some months now, but have had difficulty getting reservations for dinner at the times (and for the party sizes) we want. Having heard that they have one of the best brunches in the city, we got up early and went into Manhattan this morning for brunch there with Adam & Adam, visiting from Canada. We arrived before 10 and the place was pretty empty--probably partially a function of the Labor Day weekend as much as the early hour.

Focaccia--pretty light, not dense and oily--with sweet caramelized onion:

Pastry mista del giorno: blackberry scone, brown butter cinnamon roll, zuccharino muffin (kind of like a sugar doughnut--the best thing there, I think, while Priya preferred the scone):

The pastry chef, Karen DeMasco, put out a book that we've read (The Craft of Baking), and there were tons of other delicious pastries we didn't get a chance to try (the blueberry doughnuts looked particular awesome to me).

Uovo Modense with cotechino hash, spinach, and tomato hollandaise:

Wood-fired uova al forno with corona beans, mozzarella, and black Tuscan kale:

Lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry and Meyer lemon curd:

Zucchini Frittata
with roasted tomato, goat cheese, and basil:

Outstanding brunch; everything was great. We also got a side of bacon that everybody liked, though it was too smoky for me (probably just a passing thing, as I usually like smoky way more than Priya). Expensive, though, coming out to $35/person with tax, tip, coffee, etc. I am excited to return and try the dinner at some point in the future.

Brooklyn Grange CSA #12

A slimmer bounty this week. Green tomatoes instead of red (but big and beautiful ones), tomatillos, arugula, carrots, a bunch of tiny hot peppers, Thai basil, cukes, and purple beans.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kale & egg, prune-plums & yogurt

Getting rid of leftovers & ended up with a great meal.

Fried eggs over kale/garlic over quinoa with pignoli/raisins with tomatoes on the side:

Prune plums with Greek yogurt sweetened with honey, and ricotta on toast:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene dinner

holed up for the hurricane, we made fava beans + ricotta +chiocciole. mmm.

Brooklyn Grange CSA #11

due to Hurricane Irene, Smorgasburg was cancelled and we had to pick this up at the Brooklyn Kitchen. Pretty good spread! we made miso eggplant with last week's haul and are looking forward to something else delicious with this one.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brooklyn Grange CSA #9 and #10

CSAs #9 and #10. We've gotten eggplants, peppers, baby beets, some cherry tomatoes, "Asian braising greens" (what's that?) and this week some purple tomatillos. Best of all, though, last week's okra...absolutely giant pods, which we made bhindi out of and ate with chicken saag.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cucumber-mint soda

Priya had the idea to make cucumber-mint sodas with some of our CSA bounty. She made some mint syrup by boiling down sugar and fresh mint leaves, and I made a bottle of cucumber juice by seeding, pureeing, and straining a handful of CSA cucumbers (and then adding a lemon's worth of lemon juice). We keep them in the fridge in bottles, and when we want a soda, we put about three tablespoons of each (syrup, and juice) in a glass and then fill it with seltzer. Really delicious and super easy to make.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

M. Wells spaghetti sandwich!

in the waning days of M. Wells (they say it's going to find a new location and open soon...but who knows?) we hit it for brunch on one of our waning summer days off. Finally, they had the spaghetti Bolognese sandwich I've been itching to try. A fried patty of spaghetti with chunks of hamburger meat and tomato sauce all good.

My brunch companions got the seafood cobbler (which I tried and which was excellent--much better than I thought it would be, with big chunks of white fish), the old favorite egg sandwich, and a few donuts to take home. But I'd also eaten a biscuit with plum jam, and was feeling pretty carbed out, so I had to leave half my sandwich on the plate so I wouldn't explode.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Brooklyn Grange CSA #7 & #8

Been eating a lot of lemon cucumbers due to this CSA...delicious!

And my wish for tomatoes came true this week! We also got a boatload of ground cherries, which I've never cooked with before and need to figure out how to use. They emailed us a recipe I'll check out.

Rockaway Taco

Sirin, Priya, and I went to the beach on Sunday, and made a run to Rockaway Taco (the location a block from the beach, not the beach stand) for lunch.

I got a fish taco (no white sauce) and a carne taco; after eating the super-crispy fish taco, I wished I'd ordered two. Then I ate the carne taco and was happy I'd had one of each. We also got a side of chips and guac (get two if you have three people...our mistake) and a Ziploc bag of cucumber, mango, and jicama spears covered with spicy chili powder. Pretty awesome beach food. I was too sandy and sticky and lotion-y to take pix of the food, sadly (and we ripped through it too fast), but definitely Rockaway Taco is not just some crappy beach-food place. Next time we'll check out Ripper's.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Brooklyn Grange CSA #5 & #6

I was in Boston and Maine during our CSA pickup #5, but my lovely wife was kind enough to take a picture for me after she picked it up.

I did make it for CSA pickup #6.

We were very happy to get a nice batch of green beans, and I was really happy to see more of the incredibly delicious carrots and cucumbers. I'm not sure what the greens on the far right were--looks like they'd been lopped off a white root, and not sure what I can do with them. The parsnips were a little disappointing--they're so tiny I don't think they're even peelable, but maybe that means the skins are edible without being too bitter.

One thing that's tough about a weekly CSA pickup at the Greenmarket is seeing a bunch of things for sale on the table--delicious-looking beets, for instance--that don't show up in our bag. Maybe they'll show up in future weeks as they get more?