Posts filed under ‘Lunch’

Open Face Egg Scramble

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There is something to be said about the weather and how it changes not only our mood, but the way we think about life, love, career, family, etc. The fall makes us all regress and contemplate our goals and aspirations. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to pay for school after graduating. I could continue to work at my current day job full-time and free lance as a food stylist on the weekends so I’d be able to pay my tuition within the next three to four years, but it’s not really feasible. There may be a limited amount of opportunity for free lance work on weekends and the bulk of the work could be during the week. This probably means moving back to Brooklyn and/or have a roommate or two will have to be an option. I wouldn’t mind being back in Brooklyn, but hopefully this won’t involve the latter…a roommate or two. At the moment, I’m living in the LES, but just like any apartment in NYC, it has it’s pros and cons. There are times when I have Brooklyn nostalgia. I still love strolling around Williamsburg and Greenpoint on the weekends. My friends and I had our usual brunch spot at Enid’s. They had salmon cakes that were to die for, but they have been known to make some mean bloody marys. The rent is climbing in this part of Brooklyn though, so the probability of saving on rent is slim to none, and living further into Brooklyn would make me crazy just because of the commute. My only other option would be to possibly bartend on my days off. I’ve heard it can be a lucrative job even as part time. This may be the best option. We’ll have to wait and see what happens when I graduate from FCI.

Other things on the horizon is a possible volunteer opportunity with NYC’s greenmarkets. This would definitely be exciting only because I want to learn more about the ins and outs of the food community. I’m going in for training this week and am crossing my fingers for any openings on the weekends. Finding volunteer opportunities is as challenging as finding a full time job it seems.

Several weeks ago, I had a chance to experience the fried chicken dinner at Momofuku. I have to say though, it wasn’t really impressive. The dry battered chicken portion was burnt and way too salty. The Korean style portion was good, but I feel that Bon Chon Chicken does a much better job. I have to give David Chang props for condiments however. The Chinese pancakes, with four different sauces and a side of fresh veggies and herbs were a great compliment, but if you screw up the main component of the dish, which in this case happens to be the fried chicken, then it becomes a “why bother” meal. I also ordered the pork buns and had to see for myself what all the hype was. This also became a disappointment because the sauce drizzled in the pork bun was way too salty. This interfered with the delicacy of the pork. I’m hesitatnt to come back for the ramen because I’ve heard the broth is salty as well. My recommendation would have to be Ippudo, also located in the East Village. The ramen was perfect. From the well balanced broth to the texture of the noodles, this was done masterfully. The pork buns were amazing as well. They cooked the pork a bit differently, but everything about it was amazing.

The last day of the edible garden in the Bronx’s botanical garden was a couple of weeks ago. Lidia Bastianich and Daisy Martinez both had cooking demos that day. They are as real as they get and were a delight to watch in person. The garden is enormous and only had two hours to explore. The conservatory and surrounding areas were beautiful. They grew everything from chili peppers to grapefruit and pineapples. It’s definitely a trip worth going back to next year when everything will be in bloom again.

For any of you who love free art as much as I do, there are a few exhibitions well worth noting. The Highline (that runs along the west side on 10th Ave from 23rd st down to 16th st.) is a sight to see! I would have to say the best time to go is in the spring because everything that was green and lush is now turning yellow and brown for the fall. Next time, I will remember to bring the suntan lotion because it beats going to central park for a bit of tanning.

Another notable exhibit (past already) was Kehinde Wiley’s Black Light at the Deitch Project gallery on Grand St. I’m a sucker for urban art.

The Woodward Gallery on Broome St. also has a great showing, which consists a few of Keith Haring’s artwork.

The best thing about all of this?  One word:  FREE!

Now that fall is here, I’m excited to be cooking a lot more. I can use my oven w/o having to turn on the air conditioner. Instead, it can be used to warm up the apartment. This week’s recipe is simple as always and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is my version of an open face egg scramble.

Ingredients:
1 tbs oil
2 eggs
1 bunch scallions (diced)
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Two slices of tomato
Whole wheat english muffin (toasted)
2 slices of cheddar cheese (none of the fake stuff such as Kraft singles)

Instructions:
Heat oil in omelet pan over med-high heat. Add scallions. Cook for about 3-4 minutes and add beaten eggs already seasoned with salt and pepper. Scramble eggs over medium low heat. Do not over cook. Toast english muffins and add cheese on each muffin. Then top with a slice of tomato and then egg/scallion mixture. Sometimes I also like to drizzle a bit of Sriracha sauce on top just for a little added heat and garlic flavor.

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September 28, 2009 at 9:41 PM 3 comments

A BST on Curry Naan Bread

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A BST (Bacon Spinach Tomato) sandwich is my variation of the traditional BLT.  I came up with this idea while shopping for groceries at Trader Joe’s one day.  I’ve always wanted to try the curry naan bread because it smelled so good in the bread section.  Therefore, I couldn’t resist.  I felt satisfied eating this sandwich either for lunch or dinner.  The flavors and textures between the bacon and the curry naan bread were really delightful!  I loved the additional freshness that the baby spinach and tomato slices gave to the dish.  I’ve brought this sandwich to the office for lunch and was satisfied for the remainder of the day (unlike traditionally boring turkey or ham sandwiches).  

Ingredients:

2 slices to Trader Joe’s Curry Naan Bread

4 slices of bacon

3 thin slices of tomato

1 tsp mayo

1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Cook bacon according to package directions.  Sprinkle a small amount of black pepper onto cooked bacon as it drains excess grease onto papertowel.  Mix mayo and sriracha sauce together in a small bowl and spread onto one  curry naan bread.  Place bacon pieces onto mayo spread and then layer on desired amount of spinach.  Spread out 3 slices of tomatoes across the spinach.  Close sandwich with other piece of curry naan bread.

May 10, 2009 at 9:00 PM Leave a comment

Spring Salad Mix

 

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My best friend was having brunch at her place in Brooklyn  Saturday morning and I agreed to bring something healthy to balance out the meat and carbs (Ashley’s succulent baked chicken wings, Kristen’s “crack” mashed potatoes, and Cresha’s flaky, yet moist biscuits, nicely browned sausage links, and bad ass mimosas) we were about to inhale before hitting the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.    

I was at my favorite grocery destination in the Lower East Side (The Essex Street Market) the night before and discovered ricotta salata in the dairy case.  In addition to this mysterious block of cheese, I also bought endive and bibb lettuce.  I already had a bag of baby spinach in the fridge at home so I thought how refreshing it would be to create my own “mixed greens”.  I also had an heirloom tomato and a bottle of ready-made dressing at home in order to create the perfect salad.  

The Food Network peaked my interest after watching a couple of shows that incorporated ricotta salata, but I hesitated at first since there was a presumption of having a sharp cheese flavor.  It turned out to be pleasantly mild however, with a feta-like texture.  

Candied walnuts or pecans are a great addition to the recipe below.  Any mild flavored ingredient such as beets would work great with a salad that contains ricotta salata.  Anything pungent such as sliced red onions or green olives may overpower the subtleties of the dish.  

Ingredients:

1 head bibb lettuce

1/2 cup crumbled ricotta salata

1 medium ripe vine or heirloom tomato (4 wedges)

Handful baby spinach

1/2 head endive (sliced)

Freshly ground black pepper

Favorite dressing – mine happens to be Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar

 

Directions:  

Toss various salad greens with dressing and add tomato wedges and ricotta salata.  Grind fresh black pepper to taste.

May 3, 2009 at 5:23 PM Leave a comment

Asian Lettuce Wraps

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When it’s warm and sunny outside, all I want to do is go out and play the whole day.  Which means I want to do as little cooking as possible.  I also want to save money by eating at home.  The solution? Asian lettuce wraps.  They make a satisfying, yet light lunch/dinner.  This inspiration came from several SF Bay Area restaurants serving this dish in various ways.  I’m not a big fan of the Cheesecake Factory, but their version was probably the best one I’ve tried.  My recipe does not contain a dipping sauce since I felt there were already a lot of flavors in the dish that the sauce would overpower.  I’ve also added just a few of my favorite vegetables to this recipe.  Feel free to substitute any other varieties of vegetables you would prefer.  For instance, bean sprouts, red bell pepper, and mustard greens (instead of leaf lettuce) would be a nice variation of this recipe.  The key is to just have fun with it by experimenting.  

Ingredients:

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 large leaf lettuces

Handful of carrot sticks

1 medium zucchini (cut into same size sticks as carrots)

1/2 medium yellow onion (1/4 inch thick slices)

1 1/2 cups of sliced shitake mushrooms

2 tbsp Soy Sauce

1 1/2 tsp Hoisin Sauce

1/2 lean ground pork

Black Pepper

 

Directions:

Cook ground pork until dark brown over high heat.  Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and cook for another minute.  Place cooked ground pork to the side into a dish.  Using same skillet (on high heat), add vegetable oil and sliced onion.  Cook until it starts to turn brown.  Add zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots until tender.  Add remaining soy sauce at the last minute and cook only for another minute.  Important to add soy sauce at the last minute.  The sodium will draw out excess moisture from vegetables and would make the stir-fry watery.  Add freshly ground black pepper.  

How to assemble the wrap:

Smear 1/2 tsp of hoisin sauce onto one large lettuce leaf.  Add 1 tsbp of ground pork.  Then top off with one large spoonful of cooked vegetables.  Roll lettuce leaf over to create a wrap.  Repeat with remaining lettuce leaves.  

Bon Appetit!

April 25, 2009 at 10:36 PM 1 comment

Asian Pasta Salad

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Just like everyone, I’m always looking for new and inspiring ways to jazz up my lunch for the work week.  There are so many salads and sandwiches one can eat until you are blue in the face.  There are two things I look forward to in an overall satifying lunch: flavor and texture.  I wanted something fresh and crispy, yet full of life that encapsulates aromatic flavors seeped into every bite.  I wanted to make something different…something McDonald’s, the cafeteria, nor the deli can offer.  Then, all of a sudden, I was sparked with the idea of making an Asian themed salad!  I started to jot down the key components for what would be an ideal Asian pasta salad.  It turned out to be incredibly easy and the best part?  It does not need re-heating.

This recipe, would in turn, make a great dish for a picnic outing with friends or perhaps a day at the beach.  

Dressing ingredients: 

2 tbsp sesame oil

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tbsp hoisin sauce

 

Other ingredients:

1/2 box any veriety of spaghetti pasta

1/4 lb snow peas

1 cup shredded carrots

 

Directions:

Bring pasta to a boil with salted water.  In the meantime, cut snow peas length wise into strips and shred carrots.  Set aside in a bowl.  Whisk all dressing ingredients together.  Once the pasta is al dente, drain with cold running water.  This helps the noodles to cool down quickly and not stick to one another after drained.  After the dressing has been well incorporated, add to pasta along with carrots, and snow peas into a large mixing bowl.  Toss together by using tongs.  Ready to eat immediately and best at room temperature.  

Options:

Can be topped with crushed toasted peanuts or sesame seeds. Also, great when coupled with grilled chicken or salmon. 

Other veggie substitutes can be: asparagus spears, sugar snap peas, red bell pepper, sprouts, or shredded napa cabbage. Chopped cilantro or basil would be a great garnishment as well.

April 4, 2009 at 11:29 PM 5 comments


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