Breakfast: Eggs and Links

April 23, 2010

As I’ve mentioned before, I rarely get to eat a solid breakfast in the morning. My scones have been a nice addition but I love making eggs, and eggs just aren’t so suited for a 7:15 train commute. So when I do have a morning with a bit of extra time I try to take advantage.

I’ve enjoyed making omelette since as early as I can remember. I think the reason making omelettes is such a great way to start out cooking is because if you fail, you’ve succeeded in making scrambled eggs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started out with the hopes of a 5 ingredient omelette and ended up with a scramble perfect for Diners, Drive ins, and Dives. But I’ve all but mastered the omelette these days and this diced tomato, mushroom, sausage, and gruyère version really hit the spot!

A few links for the weekend…

The Food Network is Scarecrow – This story reminded me of when the Scarecrow lets all the insane criminals out of the asylum in Batman Begins. The only way to prevent the worst from happening is to enclose the Narrows and hope that the lunatics simple destroy themselves. When all settles, Gotham can start over. So the Food Network has created a monster, leaving us with the likes of Paula Deen and the Neely’s (the single most painful half hour of tv ever) and the only way to avoid the worst, leave them to destroy themselves on Channel 50 and start over with…”The Cooking Channel”.

Homemade Peanut Butter – Just in case you missed it from my post, here is the link to Macheesmo’s run down

More Peanut Butter, On a Burger – I’ve been seeing a bunch of these peanut butter burgers around lately. But when Shake Shack starts to offer one, my intrigue goes through the roof. It makes no real sense to me but I definitely want to try it.

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Going Green…

April 22, 2010

Green pasta that is. Made from ingredients bought at the Green Market. And honestly, it was complete coincidence that when I finally made it down to Union Square to take part in the RampRage that goes on every spring, it was just in time for Earth Day. On a day that some love to participate while others love to hate, I have the perfect solution…

Homemade Ramp Fettuccini with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Day Boat Cod

Okay so maybe it’s not the solution for Global Warming but it’s pretty damn delicious. This RampRage I alluded to has been growing throughout the years. Ramps, also sometime called Wild Leeks, pop up right as Spring begins and are gone before you can get your fix. A flavor blend of everything I love about onions, garlic, and greens people go crazy when they first appear. But to be honest, I’ve never really done much more than a quick saute. But this year I got a little more adventurous as I added sautéed ramps directly into my homemade egg pasta.

Homemade pasta on its own is fantastic but with the ramps it was another level. I slow roasted a few tomatoes (the beginning of the season tomatoes are great when cooked down for a few hours), and sautéed a bit more of the ramps with local button mushrooms and tossed everything together with olive oil and gruyère. Topped with a beautiful pan seared day boat cod, also from the Green Market, this dish was the ultimate Spring meal.

Happy Earth Day!


Ants on a Log

April 21, 2010

You’ve probably had this snack before. Most likely it was when your parents felt you’ve been skimping out on your vegetables. But you can smother just about anything in peanut butter and top it with raisins and it will taste good. I honestly still love “ants on a log” but rarely remember to make it. So I can’t tell you how excited I was when I came across this…

One of my favorite food blogs, Macheesmo does a great job of providing solid information on delicious looking food. But homemade peanut butter! Why didn’t I think of that.

It is truly amazing how easy this is. Put a bag of roasted and salted peanuts in a food processor and blend. That’s it. I took the advice and added about a tbsp of canola oil to get the ball rolling but it’s up to you. The consistency was perfect and after a tiny pinch of salt and one last blend, this peanut butter was amazing. True peanut flavor.


Franks and Beans

April 20, 2010

If I ever open a restaurant, this dish will be on it. In fact it was so good I might name the place after it. 

So let this post serve as my first claim on the future eclectic, comfort food restaurant….Franks and Beans.

In a culinary world where the manipulation of the senses has become more and more mainstream (see WD-50, Alinea, and El Bulli), one thing still holds true. If it tastes good, I’ll eat it. Don’t get me wrong, the work of this relatively new breed of chefs blows me away. The care and attention that goes in to a single dish, the thought and analysis that goes into the serving, and the total experience one gets from one of these epic meals can be truly eye-opening. But you can’t eat like this everynight. In fact you probably can’t eat like this all that often.

Which is why Franks and Beans is so great. The only manipulation here, is that of expectation. Clearly this dish is not what you and I have become accustomed to thinking of when we hear Franks and Beans. In fact, you probably don’t even think about food thanks to “There’s Something About Mary”. But if you were thinking about food, you wouldn’t be thinking about these delicious teriyaki chicken sausages served with a broccoli and onion stir fry cooked with fermented azuki beans.

Fermented beans may sound a bit odd but I’m sure you’ve all had miso…Yep, fermented soybeans. The fermentation leads to all sorts of healthy benefits that brands like Activia have been trying to mimic with their yogurt. But it’s the flavor that I love. Deep and rich, this fermented azuki bean paste added amazing depth to the meal that had just enough substance from the sausages.

So there it is…the first dish on the menu…FRANKS AND BEANS! FRANKS AND BEANS!


Birthdays and Cocktails

April 19, 2010

Thank you so much for all of those who made it out to my surprise party this Saturday and thanks to all of those who didn’t but still sent their birthday wishes through the interweb. One thing is for sure: Cheese puffs, funfetti, and “the sportsman” beer and whiskey special is all this guy needs to have an awesome birthday. Thanks eveyone!

Now back to food…well sort of.

My brother and sister in law made it up to NY this weekend so we took them to our new favorite brunch spot, Resto. If you are an avid Grub Street reader you may remember the feature on their hangover pasta special. I haven’t worked up the courage or the hangover worthy of the pasta dish but everything else we have had is spot on delicious! But it was the cocktails that Steve and I ordered that really got me pumped. First, the brewdriver, a wheat bear with a splash of orange juice takes the popular Blue Moon and orange wedge to the next level. I didn’t see how much OJ they added but they’ve got the ratio down.

I on the other hand ordered the fairly polarizing but definitely classic brunch cocktail, the bloody mary. I’ve grown to love bloody marys but rarely do I attempt to make my own. I’ve just never mastered the right proportions. (Ask me about when we roasted our own tomatoes…) Well luckily for me, Resto has. This was by far the best bloody mary I have ever had. Spicy, flavorful, and plenty alcoholic, their bloody mary is garnished with an olive and pickled okra, a much welcomed upgrade from the typical celery stalk. Just one more reason to head to Resto for brunch.

But cocktails didn’t end there. Later on, my brother introduced me to what will surely be my go to summer drink. The “wreck on the rocks” features three types of rum (Light Rum, Coconut Rum, Mango Rum) and Rose’s Lime Juice. Yes, that is it. Equal proportions of each of the four go into this drink that should be consumed with caution. But somehow with all that alcohol, just like a Long Island Ice Tea, the “wreck on the rocks” tastes fantastic. Sort of a margarita meets rum punch, I certainly suggest making these with the warm weather coming!


The Incredible Edible

April 15, 2010

Have you ever thought about what you couldn’t eat if one day you decided not to eat eggs! No more baked goods, no more mayo, no more pasta, no more chocolate mousse, no more caesar dressing, no more pancakes, no more french toast, no more meringue and plenty more “no mores” where those came from. The egg has been a fundamental ingredient in the development of cuisine since the beginning of time. It’s science!

Not kidding, there are people who have gotten PhD’s on the science of the egg. And sure the egg is fascinating. But more importantly, it’s delicious! And sometimes I have to remind myself that eggs aren’t just for breakfast. Take this roasted potato, broccoli rabe, and sausage frittata for example. Savory, rich, and packed with flavor, this was an exceptional dinner. And just like many of my favorite dishes, the frittata is ridiculously easy. You can take just about anything you have in your fridge, leftovers or fresh, throw it in with the eggs and cream (I used milk and ricotta since I didn’t have cream) and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal. And the best part of eating these eggs for dinner instead of breakfast…a glass of wine. (Blog catch phrase anyone?)


Cheesesteak is #2

April 14, 2010

On our way down to DC this past weekend we made a late night stop in my hometown of Philadelphia. It had been a while but the deliciousness that is a Philly Cheesesteak was calling our names. And although real cheesesteak lovers tend to find their favorite at one of the lesser known sandwich shops, when a first timer is present, you have to take them to the institutions…

Because neither of Pat’s or Geno’s steaks are my favorite it has become easier to decide between the two (although I will admit to demolishing both in one sitting…a number of times). If the lines are equal, I go with Pat’s mainly because Geno’s signage is a bit over the top. And by a bit over the top I mean…we’ll see for yourself…

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