Monday, January 31, 2011

Infused Water

On a recent trip to Paris we stopped in at this amazing design shop called Merci.  They have all sorts of well designed things from furniture to vintage clothing to cups and light bulbs.  And, all the profits go to charity which is pretty amazing.  The front of the shop is a really great used book store and cafe.  You can always use a refreshing glass of water and infusing it with a sprig of mint leaves is such a nice touch.  I'm always a fan.

Fantastic Water Infusions To Try:

111 Boulevard Beaumarchais

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pancakes at Fiore

I was thinking about breakfast on this Sunday morning and thought I would post a pic of my favorite pancakes.  Banana and strawberry with ricotta cream topping and lemon zest.  The lemon zest is such a great addition this stack of already great pancakes.  They're just awesome! 

UPDATE: As of my last visit they no longer had these on the menu...super sad face...

284 Grand Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

Friday, January 28, 2011

Soup and Roasted Cauliflower

This dish started out with good intentions but didn't turn out so well.  While shopping in the big supermarket across the river I came upon a box mix for Mulligatawny soup so I figured I'd give it a try.  Big mistake.  I love a good Mulligatawny and everyone makes it differently but I really should have know that out of a box was never going to work.  Following the instructions on the box it was thin and nearly flavorless.  I just started adding things to try to give it some life but it never really came together the way I wanted it to.  Next time I'll have to just start from scratch. 
The roasted cauliflower on the other hand came out perfectly.  

1 head of cauliflower
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Chop up the cauliflower into smaller pieces.  In a bowl mix together the cauliflower with enough olive oil to lightly coat the pieces and salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a baking dish and put on the top rack of your oven until fork tender (about 30 minutes).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken, Potatoes, String Beans

I usually go to the market and just pick up whatever veggie look good and base the meal on that.  This night I found some really good looking string beans and I already had some potatoes at home.  I figured a little roasted chicken would work nicely to finish it out.

2 cups of new potatoes cut into bite size peices
2 chicken breasts
Hand full of green beans with the stems snapped off
1/4 cup pancetta diced
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Mix together the potatoes, pancetta and a little olive oil together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.   Transfer to a baking dish and pop it in the oven (20-30 minutes).  
Bring pot of water to boil for the string beans.  
While you are waiting for your water to boil, rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and thyme.  Heat up a frying pan on high and sear both sides of the chicken breasts.  Transfer the pan to the oven to finish the cooking (it doesn't take long).  
About 4 minutes before the potatoes and the chicken are done in the oven, cook the string beans.  Your water should be boiling at this point.  Salt the water and throw the beans in there for 3 minutes.  After the 3 minutes strain them and place in a bowl with a lump of butter and salt and pepper to taste.  
Pull the chicken and potatoes out of the oven and plate everything. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pasta Time

My first post is something that is a super easy meal that is both comforting and fresh.  Like Mark Bittman said "I'm lazy, I'm rushed, and I'm not all that skillful" so in that spirit I like to keep thing simple.  This only has a few ingredients that are readily available at any supermarket (even here in Portugal).  Of course like most of the things I make there is plenty of room for free styling and alteration.

Penne with fresh tomatos and basil


Penne Pasta (of course you could use any pasta you like)
1 Can of diced tomatoes (i like to get them with garlic if I can)
1 Cup of grape tomatoes cut into quarters
1/2 onion diced
4 cloves of garlic diced
Oil oil
bunch of fresh basil cup up
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash of pepper
dash of red pepper flakes (depending how spicy you like it)
Ricotta cheese

Over medium heat, heat up about a TBSP of olive oil in a pan and add the onions.   After about a minute or so toss in the garlic.  Wait about 30 seconds and add the canned tomato and fresh tomato.  Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir it all together.  As soon as it starts to bubble cover and reduce the heat to low.
Boil some water for the pasta.  Throw in a little sea salt and your pasta.  Don't over cook the pasta!  Huge pet peeve of mine.
Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce and fresh basil.
Plate it up and add a dollop of ricotta and a leaf of basil on top.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm having a food party!

I've always been into eating and when you live in New York it is easy to get anything you want, any time you want it.  You become a de facto foodie.  Well, my wife and I recently moved to Portugal for her job and needless to say, it's no New York.  The food selection here has left us missing quite a bit of the cuisine that we were so accustom to eating back home.  So, in an effort to bring a little New York to Portugal,  I decided to learn how to cook all the food that I love to eat.  Enjoy, I know I will.