Spring Awakening…

March 31, 2009

I know I’ve been obsessing over the change in season, but it really is something to be appreciated. The signs are everywhere…

The sun is gleaming when you leave work, the smokers have come out of hibernation, and people on the street seem to be just a little bit happier (for New York at least). But as I’ve mentioned before, the most amazing place to witness the change in season is within the markets. The variety of fresh produce is humbling. As a cook, home or professional, we are presented with the enormous opportunity of working with the freshest of fresh and these seasonal ingredients can do wonders for any meal. Playing with the subtleties of both raw and cooked food brings forth a depth in flavor and the texture contrast brings necessary excitement to any dish….

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon served over White Bean and Spring Onion Puree with a Napa Cabbage and Apple Slaw

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon served over White Bean and Spring Onion Puree with Napa Cabbage and Apple Slaw

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Silver Caterers

March 31, 2009

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It’s almost here! The long summer nights are approaching and coming out of a fairly arduous winter, we ought to really take advantage. The time for friends and family, eating and drinking, and celebrating the fact that we still need our sunglasses on our way home from work is coming and we at Silver Caterers want you to make the most of it. I know the majority of my entries are routed in the food I cook at home and the restaurants I experience within the city, but don’t forget the passion you see can be yours to experience; more than just a daily read. Silver Caterers is looking to carve a place as one of the catering biz’s up and comers and that means great things for all of you! We know our food and our creativity will rival some of your other options, but where we compete the hardest is with our price. It’s hard times for all, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice to entertain. Let us help you out for your next event. Whether it is a dinner party, rooftop cookout, or a Sunday Brunch, we want you to enjoy your event as an entertainer and as a guest….leave the work to us….Please contact me for more information on prices and availability! (silvercaterers@gmail.com)

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mmmm…Spaghetti and Meatball Baby Food

March 26, 2009

I’ve never been a big lasagna fan. I’m sure I’ve just gotten in trouble with a lot of you, but I’m just being honest. I have a few great memories of deliciously layered pasta (I admittedly love Stouffers Vegetable Lasagna), but most of that is clouded by thoughts of mush and excessiveness. Often the flavors of lasagna become so muddled and the texture becomes so uniform that if I closed by eyes and had to guess what I was eating, I’d at least consider responding, “spaghetti and meatball baby food”. In all honesty however, I’m being a bit unfair. Lasagna can be really delicious and is certainly a great way to feed a crowd. So rather than continuing to bash the beloved lasagna, I decided to make a version that I could truly enjoy…

Turkey Sausage and Arugula Lasagna Roll Ups with Fresh Tomato Sauce served with Sauteed Broccoli

Lasagna Roll Ups

By making individual lasagna roll ups, I got to enjoy what makes lasagna so appealing without losing out on texture and flavor subtleties. The filling was a turkey sausage and arugula base layered with a white wine tomato sauce as well as mozzarella cheese. By choosing to use one pasta sheet per roll, a nice balance of crisp texture and pasta flavor was introduced (I’ve always like the top layer of a lasagna the best). Serving these roll ups with sauteed brocolli and just a bit more sauce underneath left me satisfied and more importantly a bit more optimistic that maybe one day, I too could love lasagna…

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The List: Yakiniku West

March 24, 2009

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For those of you who know me, I am sure you have heard one of my rants on steakhouses. Don’t get me wrong, there are few things I love more than a perfectly cooked slab of red meat dripping in its own juices but these restaurants that have become so popular don’t seem all that special to me. I’ll be the first one to admit that I haven’t tried all that many of these a la carte steakhouses that many people swear by but on the whole I’ve been underwhelmed. It isn’t even so much that the quality wasn’t there. One of the better meals I’ve ever had was at Bobby Flay’s Steakhouse, yet at the end of the night, was my $80 dollar plate of food really worth it? For some, the steak house will always be right for a celebratory occasion or even a Friday night regular outing, but I’ll pass. I’d much rather grill my own…

Last night we made it out to Yakiniku West on 9th St between 2nd and 3rd. Our outing was over a year in the making, having discussed “grill your own meat” since I’ve first moved to New York. Yet for whatever reason, we had never made it to this “traditional rural Japanese Steakhouse”; it was worth the wait. Upon entering Yakiniku we were met with a row of cubbies, not so unlike the one’s we all had in kindergarten. Our shoes wouldn’t be joining us for this meal. After getting to our table, set recessed into the floor with a grill directly in the middle, it became quite clear that this was my type of steakhouse. The atmosphere is comforting and serene and the service is really spot on. Ultimately, having scrolled through the menu a few times, we decided to order the prime short rib (which happens to be half off on Monday nights) although next time I will be sure to try some of the other cuts (ribeye, skirt, a variety of wagyu cuts, and seafood options as well). yakinikuWe also ordered pork gyoza, kimchi, and bibimbop (although this restaurant is traditional Japanese, the menu contains some Korean influences as well). The raw meat plates are accompanied by a variety of sauces to be used as condiments and once the grill heats up, a great sear can be created on the thinner cuts of beef. It was fun to take turns placing the meat on the grill, and the added excitement of watching your food cook was truly enjoyable without being at all gimmicky. The bibimbop was a great choice along side our short rib slices, the gyoza were light and flavorful and the pitcher of Kirin was the perfect beer to wash it all down. The kimchi wasn’t my favorite, tasting a bit under fermented but overall the food was really stellar. On our way out we picked up our shoes and made it back out into the craziness of the city. It was an experience to say the least; one I hope to share again and again.

Overall I would rate my experience an 8.5/10 and would definitely encourage you to give it a shot even if you love ordering luger’s steak for two ($80)….our entire meal for three was $80 with tax and tip.


Eggspect More Food This Week…

March 23, 2009

It seems like too long since I’ve posted about my own food but not without good reason…

I would say without question, the happiest people are those that are passionate about what they do, and have a hobby or two to keep them busy and in balance. When work gets stressful or traumatic events occur its healthiest to take solace in the things we love to do. But often these are the first things we neglect. It’s so easy to get caught up and to forget to unwind. For me, as I know I’ve mentioned before, cooking is my glass of wine at the end of the long day. I find peace in coming home and creating a meal and I know that comes off in my food. It has been a busy few weeks and between eating out, and eating simply and on the go, I haven’t been doing much in the kitchen. But just like the athlete who can’t stay away from the game for too long or the writer who takes a break from the blocked thoughts only to come back with that perfect ending to the short story, I never go too long with out getting the itch to cook. This dish was the perfect way for me to scratch that itch….

Roasted Asparagus in a Sherry Vinaigrette with Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms, Pan Seared Filet and a Fried Egg


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As a number of you have mentioned, I’ve been playing around with the use of eggs in my dishes. I used to always think of eggs as breakfast food and binders for cakes and pastries but the delicate richness that an egg (especially the yolk) can bring to a dish is really amazing. From the use in an omelette, to a salad, to one of my favorite thai dishes, the egg may truly be the most perfect food.


The List: Corner Bistro

March 18, 2009

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Although I’ve lived in NYC for almost two full years I have barely sampled what the city has to offer as far as burgers. I’ve heard plenty of arguments calling Corner Bistro one of the bests so I was excited to give it a try. When we first walked in, the greasy spoon hit me right over the head. The place has this pleasant weathered look to it that makes you instantly feel like a regular. There was a decent line for the dining area, but we were lucky enough to snag the window counter top where we started with a number of rounds of McSorley’s Ales and Darks. At $2.50 a pint, my enthusiasm hit an all time high. If the burger wasn’t as good as I hoping, a few more rounds would be sure to help me forget. Luckily, I didn’t need those extra pints because the burger really was delicious. I ordered the cheeseburger medium rare, and the thick patty came out on a tiny plastic plate with all the fixins (lettuce, tomato, and onion). As I took my first bite, immediately it was clear the burger had been cooked exactly the way I like it. (Nothing worse than an overdone burger). As I continued to devour the burger, there were a few stand out characteristics; some I loved and some I wasn’t too thrilled about. There are a million and one burger recipes, but in my opinion the best are the ones that let the beef stand on its own. cornerbistro21The more you season a burger, the more it ends up tasting like meatloaf. The Corner Bistro lets the beef do the talking and for the most part it really was delicious. I was also impressed with the size. For around $6, you expect to be given a burger the thickness of a sausage patty but the Corner Bistro burger was both filling and reasonable.  My main gripe with the burger however was the bun. It seemed a bit of an afterthought. A little stale and reminiscent of those grocery store rolls that crumble the second you open the bag, the bun did not do the burger justice. The second major issue I had, although unrelated to the burger, was the fries. The french fries go with the burger as syrup goes with pancakes. Sure you know people who don’t use syrup with their pancakes but aren’t they all a bit weird? We all ordered fries and I although I don’t wish to speak for anyone else, I was truly disappointed. The fries were cooked well but had little to no taste. And unfortunately, salting at the table didn’t really do the trick. Salting has to be done right after the frying process to let the flavor soak in, and this step must have been skipped. Ultimately, the Corner Bistro deserves all the praise it gets.  It’s got a great atmosphere, great prices, and a better than good burger. 7/10

pictures of burgers to come soon…


Nikki Katsikas at White Columns

March 11, 2009

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So this is completely unrelated to food but I had to post something. It’s rare to find a person nowadays who truly follows their passions and is committed to making it happen. Even more rare, are those individuals who make that decision and find great success early in their career. But when it does happen, it can be really inspiring. In a previous post I mentioned my good friend Nikki Katsikas, whose oil paintings, had landed her a spot in the GESAI art show down in Miami. Last night I had the opportunity to attend her opening at the White Columns gallery (320 W 13th st) and I was really blown away. It is awesome to see her work displayed in such a manner and I urge you all to go check it out…Congrats Nik!

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