Monday, June 27, 2011

The Brooklyn Smorgasburg @ Brooklyn Flea

Yesterday Ryan & I ventured over to the Brooklyn Flea for lunch. We'd heard a lot about this little party by the river, and it definitely was fun! There are many local and artisinal food stands, including a few we sampled- and some that we will be back for in the near future. Highlights:

I love donuts- and this little treat, from DOUGH, did not disappoint! Light and not too oily, and covered in delicious cinnamon sugar, I am embarrassed to admit to eating... well... most of it in about a minute or less. Next time I might branch out into some of the more exotic flavors- there was one that was hibiscus flavored, and chocolate.. and glazed... and... oooooh donuts!

In addition to the donut, we added a chilled carrot apple ginger soup and a toast with some fresh cheese and carmelized onions ($8), and Ryan went money with the Lobster Rolls from the Red Hook Lobster Pound. We were both super happy with our choices- the soup was mildly spicy from the ginger, but with tons of flavor, and Ryan was loving the fresh lobster. (If only they weren't $16 each?!?)

As you can see from the photo evidence, we enjoyed our lunch. Ryan was very excited by the many choices, the picnic-style eating nearby on the grass and benches, and the beautiful skyline views. Me too! Next time, we're thinking of trying wings from the meat hook stand (Ryan), and I could be tempted by the homemade seitan stand.....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

ABC Kitchen

ABC Kitchen: Jean Jorges latest and most highly acclaimed restaurant since... Spice Market? Mercer Kitchen? A while. We've had some good from this guy, and we've had some bad (Vong- yuck). But ABC just sounded like my kind of place- a market table menu, relying on seasonal produce and the Union Square Farmers Market for inspiration, and all that jazz. We had a few tapas-sized bites to begin: I tried a roast beet dish with a fresh yogurt sauce and herbs- and it was really, really good. The earthiness of the beets, mixed with the green herbs, and the creaminess of the yogurt made for a great combo.

We also tried an heirloom tomato toast, which, I have no idea how they got them, but featured tomatoes that tasted like REAL tomatoes. and SMELLED like real tomatoes!! It was sooo wonderful to get this preview of things to come!!

Ryan also tried a crab toast with lemon aioli, which he enjoyed, though I found a little bland.

For our entrees, I ordered a pasta dish with fresh sugar snap peas in a light creamy sauce of ramps, and Ryan had a piece of sea bass. We both were neither displeased nor impressed, as we found them to be slightly less flavor-forward than we typically enjoy. I love the idea that the flavors are kept pure and simple, but Ryan & I are also, as I've written before, big fans of savory flavor, and it just wasn't there. I was not disappointed, but I also wasn't wowed.

The winners for me were the market table bites- coming in around $8 each, they were flavorful and delicious. There is food service at the bar, which at 9:30 on a Saturday had seats readily available, and I could definitely see this being a pleasurable drink & snack meal stop right off of Union Square!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Banana Bread: Now with more... mayonnaise!

I originally posted this recipe two years ago- and it remains a favorite (and a stand-by for when I let bananas over-ripen). But since I first started whipping it up, I have made a few teensy changes- the most important being I now add in a spoonful of mayo to keep the bread soft and moist. It works like a charm. Heard this one from a southern boy I met @ Harvard, and though at first it sounded gross, it makes sense- fat, in any form, is a fabulous thing.

From the original post:

Ah, dessert breads. I love them all- pumpkin, banana, date, zucchini, nut, carrot.... There is just something really great about a warm slice of bread with butter on it (and I like to pretend that it is somehow less of a treat because of the word 'bread' in the title)..... Also, it is THE best way I've found to use up my bad bananas. So, banana bread galore:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
grease loaf pan

1. In a small bowl, whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp of salt.
2. In a larger bowl, mix together 3/4 stick of butter (6 tblsp), an egg, and 2/3 cup of sugar. Add a dollop of mayonnaise. Add in 2-3 ripe bananas. The older, mushier, and blacker, the better. (no, really!)
Add in nuts, splash of vanilla, and chocolate chips if desired.
3. Beat the flour into the banana batter. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake for approx 1 hour.


Friday, June 10, 2011

My Last Supper

Great chef's and not so great chef's alike play a game where they dream up their last meal- and Ryan and I enjoy ruminating on this topic at times as well. We even have the coffee table book pictured above- which I love- that asks 50 super chefs to describe their last meal, and then accompanies each description with fabulous photographs. Each Chef answers the following questions, and here is my take:

What would be your last meal on Earth?

A picnic. For sure. French Country Boule, really good Mustard, Cheeses- many kinds (blue... goat... sheep... cow...), the ripest, reddest, dead-of-summer, eat-it-like-a-peach tomatoes, an entire bunch of fresh basil, the creamy, salty, harder on the outside and softer on the inside mozzarella, roasted red peppers, olives and super green olive oil (the good 'lacrima' stuff!), really ripe fruit... strawberries and peaches, juice-runnin'-down-my-elbow good... maybe a few bites of dark chocolate....

What would be the setting for your last meal?
Somewhere beautiful. A nice vista over some city, or perhaps out in the wild with a crystal blue lake and mountains... or next to the ocean... It would definitely be summer.

What would you drink with your last meal?

Champagne, of course.

Would there be music?
Maybe. I really like it when buskers play good jazz or classical music, like in the subway.

Who would be your dining companion?
Ryan... my life companion.

Who would prepare the meal?
We would. We'd go shopping at an outdoor market and pick things up here and there as we see what we like. Maybe get some fresh flowers, too.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I have now been to this spot three times- and have always really enjoyed myself. The drinks are awesome (My friends SWEAR by the white sangria, if that is your kinda thing), the mojitos kick butt, and the cava is lovely and poured tall.

But more importantly, the tapas-style food is awesome. I've tried several veg plates, including the patatas bravas, which are not soggy at all and served with a nice spicy crema sauce. My favorite dish is a quinoa beet salad with mint and a little cheese. The mint flavor is super refreshing, light, and makes for a great flavor to contrast with the brown crunchy grain and the beet. I also really like the flatbread with spinach, cheese, and golden onions. Again, the combo of texture and flavor is incredibly satisfying!!

Friends have tried dishes of fish and meat and enjoyed them all- but I think the creative veg-friendly cuisine is what really impresses me in this spot (and the drinks!!)

Like ALL tapas experiences, always pricier than you think at first. Sigh, what can I say to this other than... tapas, you entice my palate and steal from my wallet!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 'Lini' Salad (Broccolini & Cannellini Salad)

This one is quick easy and delicious.

1 Can Cannellinni Beans- Rinsed
Cherry Tomatoes cut in half (Or sliced red pepper)
broccolini- steamed for a few minutes, then shocked
red onion- handful diced fine
balsamic & really yummy olive oil
salt & pepper

Roughly chop the broccolini and combine with the cannellini, tomatoes and onion. Season to taste, mix and serve. YUM.