Feasting like a Princess in Queens

Spices on a Plate

"But where in New York can one find a woman with grace, elegance, taste and culture? A woman suitable for a king?" "Queens!" If anyone else grew up in a household with two brothers and only basic cable, you too have probably seen Coming to America over a thousand times and when the New York City borough of Queens is mentioned, this line is all that you can think of. No? Just me? Again? Alright, this is enough already. Seriously though, we did a food excavation of Queens on our most recent trip to New York. We had overlooked the boroughs on our last … [Read more...]

Hi, I’m here, I was in San Fran and now: BYE!

I recently got this email from my grandmother: "Are you too busy to keep up your blog?  I click on every day and see that same photo of the egg looking at me." Aw, Jeez. Okay, I'm sorry guys. I have been busy! Amongst other things, planning an 11 day trip to China, which is at this point, really, still entirely unplanned. And I leave in 3 days. Anyone know anything about Beijing? So that is to say, I'm going to disappear again shortly. But when I get back I will have memory card upon memory card filled with food porn straight off the plane from China. I'll even have 2 weeks before I start my … [Read more...]

Whipped Lardo: How to Make my Holy Grail

Whipped Lardo

Whipped lardo is simply heavenly. A heavenly spread that was my holy grail of recipes. I'd eaten it at an underground restaurant type of meal and it stuck in my mind. Stuck so hard as one of the best bites I'd ever eaten that I scoured the internet, up, down and every which-way, without gaining even the first inkling of any idea how to make the dish. So it was taste and test time. For the last year I've made more attempts than I want to count, all equally failed, to recreate this dish. It had been called 'Whipped Lardo' when I ate it, so yes, I began by making my own lardo. Good, yes, but was … [Read more...]

Holy Sh*t Pork Cheeks

Holy Shit Pork Cheeks, as in "Holy shit B, if you aren't home in 10 minutes, I'm eating these all myself" He only got the 10 minutes because that was the amount of time I was going to have to spend photographing this. I got home and took the lid off the crockpot these were in all day and tried to lift out a cheek to taste and photograph and got my first realization of how amazing these would be--I literally couldn't get one out whole, because they were so tender that they just fell apart. Into the delicious, porky broth below. This dish is certain to become a regular around here--for starters … [Read more...]

Rediscovering Culinary Heritage… and Fat.

chicken-skin

What, you might ask, are these little darlings? Well, that is a gribene. Did I know this until like 10 minutes ago? No. Because I'm apparently too far from the New York home of my family's culinary heritage, I've never before had a gribene. Luckily I don't need to learn this at the foot of my mother's stove because Wikipedia can teach me in 5 minutes what previous generations spent years learning. Allow me to explain. After spending a therapeutic and much needed long day in the kitchen (making chicken sausages with Traca, from Seattle Tall Poppy, if you must know), I had still not made … [Read more...]

My Mind, It has Been Blown.

I have written before about my love of Quinn's. Walking distance from my house, extensive selection of wines at every level and in every size, innumerable different kinds of beer and simply impeccable food that goes out on a limb. Food everyone can enjoy, from the simple bread salad to the braised oxtail, they do great food. But last night, for the first time, they totally blew my mind. I can't get over it. I'd never seen it before. We ordered the bone marrow 2 ways, a dish I expected would come, as marrow usually does, with one bone, cut horizontally into rounds, so the marrow was inside. … [Read more...]

A Beautiful Duck Fat Ladden Accident

Beef Liver Mousse

Beef Liver Mousse   Who says accidents must be bad? As my friend over at cheesetoast later told me, "it's not an accident when it's duck fat." But it was an accident, it was just a wonderful and delicious one. Basically I wanted to have a BBQ. I wanted to use the enormous beef liver that had taken up space in my freezer for the last two months. I decided to make mousse. There was too much mousse. What better way to preserve the second ramekin of mousse than by spreading a layer of duck fat, left over from the duck confit episode, over the top of the mousse? Sometimes when you are cooking, … [Read more...]

A ‘Touching’ Meal

Last night I had a wonderful meal at an extremely fun restaurant. I hesitate to resort to hyperbole and compare it to Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York, but I think they share many elements, from the generous use of offal to the tendency to overdo dishes, rather than let the delicious components shine alone. Our service was impeccable, my only issue was a personal pet peeve. Don't touch me. I hate when wait staff touches me. Our waiter took an order from the table next to me and then on his way to put it in lightly brushed my shoulder and said he'd be back for our drinks. I bristled. I am not a … [Read more...]

In Search of Greatness: Momofuku Ssam Bar

We came to Momofuku Ssam Bar because of the awards, accolades and heaps of praise I had heard. As we were seated, I realized I was going to like this place just looking at the menu "We do not serve vegetarian items." This is a good sign, I thought. Follow that up with an entire section entitled "Offal" and I was pleased as a pig in punch, or whatever the saying is. Immediately realizing I was not going to be able to order everything (unfortunate, because about 75% of the dishes offered looked amazing), I decided to allow Brett some input to narrow it down. We started with Maine Sea Urchin … [Read more...]