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Some Summer Pictures

I had a lurvely summer filled with yummy dishes and pretty much zero cookery…a huge change from last summer which I spent studying for various standardized tests.  Some lessons I learned: DC restaurant week is highly recommended.  I need 3 lactaids in order to be able to consume my pizzas in peace.  And I have a very unhealthy love for Dunkin Donuts coffee and glazed munchkins.

Clockwise: Cookie monster & a gorilla in Times Sq.  A cute dog I saw @ Citibank.  Delicious sour cream ice cream w/ Anna.  Quesadillas?


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Recette, a quick review

I had been very excited to try Recette for a long time.  I interviewed the executive chef two years ago when I was working for the now defunct dining website, Gobbl, and was impressed by his kindness and clear passion for cooking.  Back then, Recette was a private dining company run by the executive chef Jesse Schenker and the pastry chef Christina Lee (who, if I recall correctly, is a Columbia grad) housed in a bakery by day, swanky dining room by night.

Today, it’s a full fledged restaurant on the corner of 12th and Greenwich with TWO stars from the NYTimes.  It’s amazing that these two chefs and their partners have been able to realize their dreams of owning their own restaurant.  I liked the interior and the staff a lot; there are more servers and waiters than you would expect for a relatively small restaurant (think Little Owl size) and so the service ends up being very prompt and attentive.  The cocktail and wine selections were great as was the food.  I think if I had to come up with one word to sum of the meal, it was balance.  Every dish we tried (from the diner menu) was carefully thought out and clearly balanced.  The saltiness of the caviar and mussel vinagrette atop the tuna crudo was carefully and perfectly balanced out by the caramelized, refreshing oranges on top of each piece of tuna.  The sweetness of the berkshire pork belly (it was glazed with sherry caramel) was undercut by the salty and spicy side of romesco.

I would definitely go back to Recette but perhaps when I have a fuller wallet.  Dinner there was pricey…especially when you take into consideration the portions…which are very very small.  It’s meant to be more of a tapas sharing type situation I think…  I was treating Alex to a b-day dinner that day…which also happened to be Mother’s Day and they had a Mother’s Day tasting menu for around $50; I think that actually would have been a better bet (and similar in cost).  Their tasting menus feature 4 courses with larger portions…

328 West 12th St.
New York, NY 10014

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Chicken Tacos a la Bobby Flay

We had a lot of ingredients left over from the fish tacos I made earlier in the week, so Alex made a chicken taco recipe from the Food Network (p.s. I’m excited to see what they’ve got going on their new network the Cooking Channel).  Apparently this dish is a Yuctan inspired taco; it’s very elaborate – requiring 2 different sauces and yielding 3 sinkfuls of dishes…which are now my responsibility since he did all the cooking.  Fun fun times.

But despite the many dishes in the sink, it’s worthwhile and the sauces (of which you’ll have a TON left over) work well in so many other dishes.  Over the past few days, we’ve used it as a glaze on baby back pork ribs and as a sauce for chicken breast and applewood smoked bacon sandwiches.  Yum!  Perhaps next up will be some baked meatballs to go on a sub?

In other news…tmrw I take my last final of college.  I’m so sad…despite being rather lazy and hermity in college, I will miss being a Columbia undergrad.  I know I’ll be coming back next year but it won’t be the same w/ more responsibility!  Am I being insane?  Probably.  Recipe after the jump.

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Fish Tacos!

Sorry for the lack of pictures!!!  But these fish tacos were seriously good and on the healthy side!  I also served them with a side of asparagus (sprinkled with a little black pepper and truffle olive oil).

Fish Tacos, as inspired by Daily Candy:
<Serves 4>
+Flour tortillas
+Two limes for garnish, one for the sauce
+3 Tbsps mayo, 5 Tbsps regular yogurt
+Store bought salsa
+1 tomato, diced
+1/2 red cabbage

+1/3 cup red vinegar, or to taste
+3 tilapia filets
+cheddar to taste

For the fish: season generously with black pepper & kosher salt.  Cook well on frying pan.  Cut in cubes.
For the sauce: mix the yogurt and mayo with juice of one lime (or more, depending on taste).  Add black pepper and 1/2 of a clove of garlic finely minced (or more, depending on taste).  Let sit for a bit.
For the red cabbage: julienne cut, mix with red vinegar (1/3 c or to taste) plus black pepper; let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Next time, I really want to use jalapenos also!!

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The Best Sandwich Ever

Wow applewood smoked bacon is soooo delicious.  It’s a little pricey $10 versus the $5 you normally pay but it’s really worth it.  Using this bacon really made my sandwich!

-Toasted country bread slices (or sourdough would work just as great)
-Pan fried, thinly sliced chicken breasts
-Oven cooked applewood bacon
-Red onion slices
-Mayo with lime juice, fresh pepper, and half a large garlic clove finely minced

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Dear Steamy Kitchen,


Let me tell you about this steak topping obsession of mine, unhealthily cultivated by Steamy Kitchen (I know!  I am obsessed but how can you not be when Jaden Hair is super charismatic and has THE most adorable kids ever).

First up, a mushroom steak topping with sherry and red wine (the second recipe on the linked page).  It’s so perfect and light and looks super impressive (Alex made it for my younger sister).

Secondly, the bacon blue cheese butter topping; it’s decadent and could probably make any ol’ steak taste amazing.  But just knowing that I was spooning butter into my mouth made me feel really guilty annnnd made me wish for a side of kimchi.  Yep that’s how I grew up; when I was a kid, my mom would make us spaghetti and top it with sliced kimchi.  I actually haven’t had kimchi all year b/c now that I have a real fridge, I don’t want it stinking it up…

Oh also…don’t try to microwave the blue cheese.  Just mash it with a fork before combining with the butter.  I was very surprised when I zapped the cheese for 15 seconds, and I ended up with what looked like liquid butter with chunks of blue mold.

Tmrw I’ll be stuffing my turkey burgers with the leftover butter; actually this idea is from another recipe I made from Steamy Kitchen last year.  Gorgonzola stuffed burgers!  It was so delicious but I actually forgot about the buns in the oven so we ended up w/ buns that felt like sawdust.  At least the meat was good!

Now…back to work!  How come freshman year first semester was the only time I was ever super serious about college???!  It’s super ironic b/c usually it’s the complete reverse situation for most people…

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Dear Cold Season!,

Hello!  Usually I catch a cold at least once a semester. This semester, determined to beat the pest I got my flu shots annnnd made this “thylehogichi tea” from delicious days. Go on over to her blog!  It’s beautifullll (although the recipes are given in grams so I can never make anything she posts).

Her blog promises that it’s antiseptic, relieves throat dryness, and that really irritating tickle that makes you cough.  True to her word, the tea was a very good decongestant and pretty tasty (I think that had to do with like the 5 tablespoons of honey I used per cup)!!  I think the more descongested you are, the more ginger you should add…

Picture is via Delicious Days.  Try as I might, I could not get a picture of tea-making that looked remotely cute or interesting.

Recipe (yields 2 cups!)

2 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
6 slices of ginger
2 slices of red chili pepper
6-8 sprigs of thyme
honey to taste

-boil water.  turn heat down to very low and add all the ingredients except the honey.  steep for 10 minutes.  strain.  add honey & drink!

on a totally unrelated note, i think is always wrong.  argh.  fail fail fail.

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