Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
And my daughter Liisa was here. We wanted to go out for brunch somewhere lovely and preferably somewhere by the river.
The answer: Union Restaurant and Bar Latino in Haverstraw. http://www.unionrestaurant.net/
(o.k. the restaurant is not on the river but Haverstraw is a river town so close enough.)
So let's just cut to the chase here. It was the best meal I've had in Rockland County in a long time.
We started with sangria; always perfect on for a sunny day. Later I ordered a glass of pinot noir and decided that next time I'd also order a bottle of something red from there very well-priced wine list.
Since it was a Sunday afternoon and we'd been kind of thinking about having brunch we didn't order entrees. We'd never been to Union Restaurant before and we wanted to try a few things. And anyway, I can always make an entire meal out of appetizers. So we did.
We had ensalada verde, (watercress, avocado and tomato in a light vinagrette. Why haven't I had a watercress salad before? Who knew?) French onion soup, (very cheesy with plenty of good onion flavor) a small pizza on a tortilla crust with carmelized onions, fresh tomato, basil and blue cheese and and an arepa colombiana with lightly breaded shrimp and mango, one of their signature dishes. (photo.)
I loved the Latin flavors and influences here. The menu was small enough that each item could be prepared with attention but varied enough to give choices to a party of diners. The service was welcoming and attentive. The atmosphere was special yet comfortable. I'll be back. And I'll be bringing my friends.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Confession: I spent approximately the first 23 years of my life avoiding and pretty intensely disliking pizza. Now that I've realized how much I've missed, one of my go-to meals is homemade pizza. It also combines two of my favorite things: bread making and cooking.
Last night my friend and I had dinner to "celebrate" the end of her employment at her current job (hurray economy!) and I made two kinds of pizza: Spicy Spinach and Herbed Goat Cheese on flatbread, and White Pizza with Broccoli.
For the spinach pizza, I wilted the spinach for a couple minutes in a pan with olive oil at medium heat. As the spinach began to wilt, I added about a teaspoon and a half of fresh rosemary and some red pepper flakes (#1 spice of the New City Murrays). After a couple minutes I added this to the top of the flatbread, and added about 4 oz of garlic and herb goat cheese.
For the white pizza, I used regular pizza dough, picked up at my local bakery. I rolled this out and put it on a pan that had been sprinkled with cornmeal. I chopped some garlic and added it to about a cup of fat free ricotta. I also added some basil, onion powder, salt, pepper and (here it is again) red pepper flakes, and then spread the ricotta mixture on the dough. I sauteed some broccoli with garlic salt, put that on top, and then added some part-skim mozzarella and a little parmesan.
I put both of these pizzas in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese had slightly browned. Serve with Bud Light, or free Miller Draft from your landlords (true story)!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Not sure if I've figured out the portions just right, but it involves cashews, tomatoes, yams, a red onion, garlic, ginger, cayenne, salt, pepper, vegetable stock, coconut milk, and peanut butter (I would use cashew butter, but I'm only hood rich, not the real kind). Cook the onion, garlic, and ginger, then throw in the cashews, add some salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne, and throw in the stock and yams. Cook it for ten minutes, add the coconut milk, tomatoes, and peanut butter. Cook for like five more minutes, and then add some more cashews for garnish, and you're set.
Turned out pretty awesome, though, like I said, I need to adjust the amount of which ingredients I use... Bittman is crazy about how much stock to use, so it felt light on certain items. But it turned out awesome.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I like muffins, but plain old white flour? Not so good for me. So I try to make something tasty but good for you, too. Who says you can't have it all?
1.25 cup whole wheat flour
1.25 cup steel cut oats
0.5 cup bran
0.5 cup Splenda sweetener (the yellow stuff)
3t baking powder
1 rounded t cinnamon
0.5 cup canola oil
1.5 cup skim milk
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
These were wonderful with butter plain fresh out of the oven. And they were good later plain ( I was on the bus and had no butter--would have been too messy.)
Next time I may cut the sweetener a bit and add raisins. With whole wheat and bran, you need more oil and liquids than with white or corn flour, and those amounts could be experimented with.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I am not normally a large meat eater, but recently I've been all about the protein. Chicken, beef, and, more and more frequently, turkey burgers. I came home last night with a hankering for turkey burgers, and an urge to use the chipotles in adobo that have been sitting in my cupboard for a while, so - Chipotle Turkey Burgers!
I was not impressed with the spiciness of these turkey burgers, but that may have been from my laziness in actually cutting the chipotles into little tiny pieces, and instead choosing "chunky-style" turkey burgers. That, or the fact that my favorite condiment is jalapenos. Just sayin'.
"Spicy" Chipotle Turkey Burgers
Combine in a bowl:
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 chipotle en adobo, finely chopped (optional if your name contains double vowels)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used regular, and it was still delightful)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Smoosh it together into patties.
There are those big chunks I was talking about.
Then, put them in a pan over medium-high heat and cook them until theres no pink in the middle, and its dark on the outside. Or at least, that's how I enjoy them.
Eat in a bun, on some lettuce, in between bread or just by itself like its a squished meatball!
And then you end up with this -
And hopefully also a full belly, which would be more difficult to photograph.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
2. Let batter rest until it thickens into a soft dough, about 15 minutes. Gently form 3- to 4-inch balls from mixture and flatten with palm of your hand to a 1/2-inch-thick disk. You can cover and refrigerate disks for a few hours if you like.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook arepas, working in batches, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on other side. When all arepas are cooked and cool enough to handle, carefully slice them through the middle. If desired, serve with butter or stuff with beans, vegetables or sour cream.
Yield: 8 to 12 arepas.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Liisa found the recipe in one of her & my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen.
Here's what you need to make a pitcherful:
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups pureed watermelon
1 cup simple syrup *
1 cup sparkling water
1 cup vodka
*Simple syrup is just equal quantities of sugar & water heated until the sugar melts. I used a cup of sugar and a cup of water and had enough syrup for 2 batches of drinks.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I'm also not a gadget freak. I think if you can't make it in a cast iron skillet or a big old casserole it's too complicated anyway. Even writers in the food section of the greatest paper in the U.S. ( o.k. my husband works there but I still think it's the best) agree with me. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/dining/05iron.html?scp=2&sq=jumpa%20lahiri&st=cse
Maybe I'll pack a cast iron skillet next summer for the cabin in the Porcupine Mountains. Too bad I can't bring my own gas stove.
So hey family! How about it?