Archives for the month of: September, 2010

There was so much food news today I can’t help posting about it.

1. Del Posto received four stars in the Times and everyone seems to be pitching it like some hugely controversial issue. However, Frank Bruni, Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert, Scott Conant, Nate Appleman, and a number of other high-profile New York food personalities have all publicly offered their congratulations to Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. I haven’t eaten there myself, but I’m inclined to trust Sam Sifton’s review, even if I sometimes dislike his writing style.

{NYTimes Review; image from NYTimes}

2. Of more immediate interest to me personally is Michelin’s announcement of the 2011 New York Bib Gourmand picks. Currently marked by a chalked Bibendum face on the sidewalk outside the selections, a Bib Gourmand rating indicates a critics’ favorite where you can enjoy two courses and a glass of wine for under $40. Veteran picks such as Katz’s, Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Motorino are joined by the likes of Fatty ‘Cue, Mercato, and Asia de Cuba. So many places to add to my ever-expanding list of restaurants to hit….

{via Eater}

3. Ruth Reichl, former Editor in Chief of dearly departed Gourmet, will be an author and editor-at-large for Random House.

{via NYTimes}


Okay, remember the other day when I was cheerfully saying things like, “One of the fantastic things about living (and drinking) in New York is all the wonderful food you can consume late at night“? Well I forgot to mention that this can come back to bite you in the ass. I generally frown upon moderation, but there are definitely times when New York is the ultimate enabler of over-indulgence.

For example, last night I met my dear friend Alice for a few post-work drinks at Barrimundi in the LES. After several rounds of absurdly cheap happy hour drinks, we ventured out to find some food. Even though I was drooling over Falai‘s menu, we decided to pass in search of somewhat cheaper eats. Eventually we arrived at Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop, where I stuffed an open-faced tuna melt in my face and Alice finally got the grilled cheese she wanted.

This is where the evening should have ended. But the most dangerous part of going to Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop is that Schiller’s is right across the street. Schiller’s always elicits a complicated emotional reaction from me. I feel obligated to dislike it on the grounds that Keith McNally is kind of irritating to me, but in reality, I love Schiller’s. I mean love. Everything from the drinks to the food to the decor to the DJ playing Depeche Mode all night.

Last night I discovered a new dimension to my love: the sticky toffee pudding. When I wasn’t bouncing in my seat to the music or pouring a bellini into my mouth, I was stealing tastes of Alice’s pudding. I got the caramelized banana split myself, but was already so full of food and liquid that I was barely interested (and actually, in the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that we also split an order of French fries when we arrived as well). Luckily New York Magazine put together a handy blog post about how to make Schiller’s sticky toffee pudding, so I will probably be trying that soon. But not before I nurse myself out of this stupor caused by caloric over-indulgence. Damn you, New York.

I have two modes of cooking. Sometimes I like finding complicated recipes and following them to a T. I enjoy preparing the mis en place and re-reading the recipe a million times until I almost have it memorized. I love when it turns out perfectly and looks exactly like the picture in the recipe.

And then there are the other times when I am hungry and want to make something on the fly. As satisfying as my anal-recipe-following may be, there is a different and perhaps deeper satisfaction in throwing together a bunch of random things. I don’t measure anything, I don’t go shopping for ingredients. I just root around my refrigerator and pantry and eyeball all the measurements. Completing a complicated recipe only means that you can follow directions. Eyeballing things somehow makes me feel like a capable human being.

Which is why today I saw half a carton of heavy whipping cream in my refrigerator and decided that I absolutely had to make some creamy balsamic sauce and pasta. So I chopped up some garlic, threw it in a pan with olive oil, and added the cream, balsamic vinegar, half a cube of beef Knor, parsley, and salt. I have no idea how much of anything I tossed in there, but it tasted delicious. Which is one of the reasons I love cooking so much. In cooking, as in life, there aren’t always instructions or plans. Sometimes you’re just hungry and need to put together whatever you can find in your kitchen. It won’t always turn out well, but that’s part of the adventure. And it makes your successes taste that much more delicious.

I’m a little late on these stories, but I wanted to post them anyway.

1. Sotheby’s Art of Farming Auction Once upon a time I was an art world intern, so I was extremely curious when nternational auction house Sotheby’s recently held a vegetable auction. The auction itself ended up raising $100,000 for local farming efforts and was accompanied by a whole day of events about farming and produce.

{Sotheby’s siteNYTimes coverage}

2. Lure Silly Bandz I know. This is totally stupid. But if I’m going to be completely candid with you, dear readers, I have an embarrassing number of Silly Bandz littering my room. So far I have been happy with themes like “Food” and “Dogs,” but I would love a set with a “New York Food World” theme.

{via Eater}

3. Ikea’s Cookbook Ikea is coming out with a cookbook called Homemade Is Best (or Hembakat är Bäst). My friends and I spent many days eating Ikea’s hotdog special when we moved into our first apartment, so part of me was expecting recipes for Swedish meatballs and possibly some particleboard furniture. However, based on the images that have been all over the internet the past few days, we’re going to get something far more interesting. I’m posting more images from the book after the jump because I can’t resist the eye candy.

{via Today and Tomorrow}

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One of the fantastic things about living (and drinking) in New York is all the wonderful food you can consume late at night. I have a number of late-night snacking favorites, but last night my friend Kevin insisted that we all go to Kati Roll Company in the West Village. Kevin has raved about this place for a while, and I was not disappointed. A kati roll or kathi roll is a kind of Indian street food that comes from the Indian state of Kolkata. It used to refer to a kati kebab wrapped in a parantha, but now any number of other versions go by the same name. At The Kati Roll Company, kati rolls are “a spicy mixture of meat and vegetables rolled in Indian flat-bread.” Kevin and I both got chicken tikka rolls, which we promptly inhaled (though not before I got this lovely picture of Kevin with his kati roll). Although they only serve rolls, there are many different filling options, ranging from the expected chicken and beef options to the achari paneer roll (Indian cottage cheese marinated in spicy pickles) and the aloo masala roll (spicy potato mixture). If I find myself needing a snack in the West Village, I will be sure to stop by The Kati Roll Company again.

{The Kati Roll Company}

I have had a bad week, and in such situations, the only thing to do is cook. I find cooking to be extremely therapeutic. Even when you are feeling sorry for yourself, there is always comfort in collecting ingredients, mixing them together, feeling the warmth of an active kitchen, and then stuffing yourself full of food. There are plenty of rewarding reasons to cook for other people, and I absolutely love throwing dinner parties. But there is also something about the privacy and self-indulgence of cooking only for yourself that, for me, is a cure for all ills.

With this in mind, I went grocery shopping at 10:30 last night and made Pasta with Spicy Sun-Dried-Tomato Cream Sauce. It’s easy and fast to make, but tastes delicious and includes cream, an ingredient I cannot resist. I happened to have made some orzo already made, so I just used that, but would prefer it with penne or a nice thick spaghetti. Next time I would add little bits of bacon too. See the link below or find the recipe after the jump.

{Recipe from Bon Appétit, October 2000; from Epicurious}

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Labor Day Weekend always marks the official end of Summer, and this year New Yorkers got the first fantastic hints of fall weather over the long weekend. With the changing of the seasons comes a flurry of upcoming book releases, and Eater has kindly assembled a list of some of the most anticipated food-related titles. Check out the link at the bottom for the full list, but here are my picks from their list:

1. Keys To Good Cooking ~ Harold McGee; October 28

This book offers home cooks advice about various techniques, tools, and ingredients. For the devoted dilettante, this volume seems like an indispensable handbook to supplement other recipes.

2. As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto ~ Joan Reardon, Ed.; December 1

We read about their epistolary relationship in My Life In France, and then we saw Meryl Streep and Deborah Rush act it out in Julie and Julia. Now we can dig into their actual letters in this compilation from Joan Reardon. I can’t wait to snuggle up with this book and a bottle of red wine.

3. Avec Eric ~ Eric Ripert; November 1

I love anything from my favorite silver-haired Frenchman. I’m assuming this book will be every bit as charming as the man himself.

4. The City Cook ~ Kate McDonough; November 16

This book comes from the lovely website The City Cook and offers insights, advice, and anecdotes from the life of the urban cook. As a food-obsessed city girl, I feel like this is happily required reading.

5. Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking ~ Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet; December 1

This $625 tome is going to be the ultimate coffee table trophy for any self-respecting foodie. A team of twenty people has been working on this project for years, and the result is a 2,400-page, 6 volume journey through the world of molecular gastronomy. I’ll have to save up for this one, and probably for a larger, reinforced coffee table on which I can display it.

6. Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral ~ Mark Bitterman; October 12

I love salt. It is second only, perhaps, to butter in my list of favorite ingredients (I know this is not exactly discerning, but I am always attracted to recipes that are heavy-handed on both salt and butter). My relocated roommate recently left me with two bags of mysterious salts that I want to try soon; one is supposedly used only in cooking and never on the table. So this one will be a page-turner for me, as I snack on pretzels, popcorn, and any other consumable that will function as a conveyor of the “world’s most essential mineral.”

{from Eater}