Month: July 2012

Eggstra! Eggstra!

Cooking for one is hard. Grocery shopping for one… is even harder. I tend to buy an overabundance of fruits and vegetables, and then ending up having to throw some of it out or eat so many blueberries that I might just turn into one (Re: “Violet you’re turning violet, Violet!” – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). This week, my ingredient abundance is in the form of eggs. I wasn’t able to find a half carton of eggs and got stuck buying a full dozen. I know eggs keep longer than other items but I still have 12 eggs to use, which is quite a challenge for one person who usually eats Greek yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast. Alas, I found a conclusion… sort of. Last night I made use of four of the eggs, providing me with at least four meals.

For dinner: Favorite Vegetable Egg Drop Soup. As I was eating this I realized it has my three favorite veggies- sweet potatoes, kale and mushrooms. Maybe some subconscious decisions going on there, but I didn’t do this on purpose when I was grocery shopping. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

1/4 cup chopped vidalia onion

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 box low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

4 cups chopped kale, stems removed

1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut into discs and quartered

1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms

1-2 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper (and I added smoked paprika and chile powder) to taste

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until they begin to soften, 10 minutes. Add the stock and let mixture come to a boil. Once this happens, add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the kale and seasonings. Once the kale is wilted, add the eggs in a slow, steady stream, continuously stirring the pot. Remove the soup from the heat and serve!

I accidentally bought Japanese sweet potatoes but they were so delicious nonetheless!

Next up, lunch: Curried egg salad with basil and peppers

Ingredients

2 eggs

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt- I like Fage or Chobani

1/3 cup chopped red bell peppers

2 tbs chopped fresh basil (for anyone in NYC use Gotham Greens… best basil I’ve ever eaten)

2 tsp yellow curry powder

2 tsp cumin

salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Hard boil the eggs. Place eggs in a pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Turn the heat to high and once the water is at a rumbling boil. Remove the pot from heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and let cool. Once the eggs are cool, peel and mash with a fork.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs with the rest of the ingredients until uniformly mixed.

Serve in pita with lettuce and tomato, or just eat it straight from the bowl!

Mmmm… eggciting, eggsquisite… and damn delicious!

Paper Magazine’s Super (Duper) Market

Last weekend was the 1st annual Super Duper Market, a “three-day pop-up super-store featuring our favorite vendors, retailers and food fanatics from East Coast to West Coast selling their goods under one roof,” according to its host, New York’s very own Paper Magazine. I say “1st annual” because the event seemed so successful that I hope to be returning next year.

I attended the event on Saturday with my best friend, Lizzy, and a very empty stomach. ‘Twas a good thing, because I ate more food than a human should physically be able to digest… and that was just off samples. I’ve highlighted some of my favorite vendors from the event. May the drooling commence!

Nordic Breads (Long Island City) putting together tea sandwiches of Ruis whole grain rye bread, butter, cheese and cucumbers

A variety of flavors of Empire Mayonnaise (Brooklyn). I generally don’t care for mayonnaise (tip: I use greek yogurt in place in chicken, tuna and egg salad), but their truffle mayo was to die for. I could see myself using this on sandwiches, with crudités, or licking it right off the spoon.

The Salted Sailor S’more from S’more Bakery (NYC).  A cakey, shortbread-like graham cracker hugs a homemade vanilla bean marshmallow, toasted to order, coated in salty vanilla bean caramel sauce. Definitely not a traditional s’more but I loved it nonetheless.

Speaking of s’mores, I just had to create this before-and-after shot of the s’mores pie from First Prize Pies (NYC). This was the last item we bought before leaving the market, and I’m so glad we did. The crust was crumbly, buttery and sweet; the perfect vessel for a creamy, rich, decadent chocolate pudding filling, topped with toasted fluff. This was the epitome of a true s’more, in pie version. So sinfully delicious, and as full as we were, we gobbled it up (clearly).

Finally, I was so amazed by the flavor of Humphry Slocombe’s (San Francisco) chocolate and smoked sea salt ice cream that I forgot to take a picture of it. I also generally do not like chocolate ice cream (I know, such a crime) but this is the exception. The milky chocolate flavor had the perfect undertone of salty and smoky. I get it, chocolate and sea salt are the new peanut butter and jelly. But when you smoke that sea salt, it’s a totally different sensation, and I hope to be seeing more of this combination (and maybe even using it myself!). It’s a shame- or blessing in disguise, depending on how you look at it- that Humphry Sloccombe’s only has a storefront in San Francisco, or else I’d be buying this stuff by the bucket. Props to you, Mr. Slocombe.

So there you have it, an afternoon of indulgence at the Super Duper Market. I was happily full until Sunday, and came home with some great products and memories.

My Lucky Stomach, According to My iPhone

With great apps like Instagram and Foodspotting, and the iPhone 4S being named one of the best cameras for food photography, us food bloggers have no use for a digital camera anymore. Since I’m only in NYC for three short months, I’ve been trying to get to as many note-worthy restaurants as possible, and documenting everything that enters my stomach. Here are some of the many delicious meals and novelties I have gotten to experience and photograph so far, broken up into categories.

Ethnic Fare

(from top left, clockwise) Poached Artichoke Quesadilla with Idiazabal Cheese, Roasted Sweet Corn and Poblano Crema at Hell’s Kitchen in Hell’s Kitchen (great marketing strategy on their part), Japanese Barbeque at Gyu-Kaku in East Midtown (conveniently located in the same building as the EDWRR Office), the ever-famous Steamed Pork Buns at Momofuku Ssam Bar (followed by Cereal Milk ice cream, of course) and black bean and plantain croquetas at the modern Mexican tiny little basement of a restaurant, Mayahuel.

You Can’t Come to NYC Without Trying….

(from top left, clockwise) The entire variety of Baked by Melissa Cupcakes (my favorite being the PB & J), a grilled cheese from Little Muenster (I highly recommend the Taleggio, Fontina, Cremini & Shiitake Mushrooms if you like mushrooms as much as I do), a popsicle from La Newyrokina and pickles (among many other things) from Katz’s Deli (variety of sweet, sour and green tomatoes. The perfect snack on a hot summer day… besides popsicles of course!)

Sweet Indulgences

(from top left, clockwise) Pineapple punch- the perfect pregame. Nuff said. Soft serve at the Jersey shore, frozen yogurt from 16 Handles (or forty carrots, or pinkberry, or yogo, or red mango, you get the point), and the Gran Torrino at Eataly’s Cafe Lavazza- a cocktail of hot chocolate, a double shot of espresso, Borghetti liqueur, whipped cream and coffee beans.

And Finally, The Beautiful Views of NYC

(from top left, clockwise) the view from The W Residences at Ground Zero, a line for a matinee show on Broadway, pit masters doin’ their thang at the Big Apple BBQ, and Times Square at night. Oh New York, how I love you so.

Restaurants and Resources

Hell’s Kitchen

Gyu-Kaku

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Mayahuel

Baked by Melissa

Little Muenster

La Newyorkina

Katz’s Delicatessen

16 Handles

Eataly

Big Apple BBQ

Wild Mushroom Marinara Sauce

Hello, my name is Lauren, and I am a mushroom addict.

But really, I think I am addicted to mushrooms. I love how meaty they are for being a vegetable. They are juicy and hearty and so flavorful, and when cooked right, mushrooms taste good with just about everything. I must admit, though, I am a bit of a mushroom snob. I’m not a huge fan of button mushroom unless they’re on my pizza. But I love portobellos, chanterelles, shiitakes, trumpet mushrooms, and of course, truffles. That’s probably why I’ve been putting this wild mushroom marinara sauce on everything I’ve been eating lately… pasta, chicken, even fried eggs. I can’t get enough of it. It was so easy to make (and so delicious) that I would consider never buying jarred marinara sauce ever again. My inspiration came from this Bon Appetit version, and I would encourage you to try your own version, too!

Ingredients

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, minced

1 small shallot, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

12 oz mixed wild mushrooms

1/2 cup chopping onion

3 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice

1/2 cup dry white wine, I used Chateau Haut Rian from Whole Foods, which was perfect to drink alongside!

1/3 cup chopped basil

salt and pepper

salty cheese– I used feta but parmesan would work too

Directions

Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced shallot and one of the minced garlic cloves and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute, stirring regularly, until they are soft, about 8 minutes more. Once the mushrooms are cooked through remove the mixture from the pan.

In the same pan, heat remaining 2 tbs olive oil and add sliced shallot, remaining garlic clove and sliced onion and saute again until tender, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until reduced by about 1/3, 10 minutes. Once the flavors have developed, add the mushroom mixture and chopped basil into the pan. Remove from heat, serve with pasta or chicken and sprinkle with cheese.

marinara- freshly dressed with Gotham Greens (NYC) basil- simmering away!

the finished product, doused in feta and alongside my remaining chile lime chicken

Product Review: Archer Farms Chile Lime Grilling Sauce

Let’s rewind about 5 months ago. I was applying to summer internships in the food/journalism field, and one particular job asked me to submit a few food writing samples, including a product review. I began to panic, because I had never written a product review and was in Sevilla, unable blog about anything relevant to what I had been asked.

Now, fast forward to about a month ago, when I started my internship at Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. One of the benefits of working at a magazine is all the free stuff you get when companies want you to feature their product. My editor has been very generous with sharing her freebies with me, including a bottle of grilling sauce by Archer Farms. At first, I was hesitant to accept the sauce because I do not have a grill and couldn’t see myself utilizing it. But then, I began to think back to my lack of product reviews on my blog and figured this could be the perfect opportunity. I’ve already used the sauce twice as a marinade for both tofu and chicken, and I want to share with you the outcome.

I brought the grilling sauce home on a Monday, meaning it was Meatless Monday, and opted to use it as a marinade on tofu for stir fry. First, I cut the tofu into cubes and patted them dry to get rid of most of the water (tofu is like a sponge- it loves to hold on to water).

Then I let it marinate in the grilling sauce for about half an hour. It was about a quarter block of tofu and 4 tablespoons of marinade.

Meanwhile,I chopped up some peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli and corn and began to sauté them in olive oil.

I added the tofu to the hot pan and let the sauce caramelize on the cubes.

After the tofu and veggies had been cooked through, I added a little more sauce for flavor and ate it piping hot (I was starving)!

The chile lime sauce has a bit of a tangy kick (hence the name, chile lime) and its an interesting sensation eating stir fry, expecting something salty and savory, and tasting something sweet and acidic. The tofu didn’t really suck up the flavor as much as I had wanted; maybe next time I will let it marinate for longer.

A few days later, I decided to try the sauce as a marinade on chicken. This time, I let the chicken marinate for two hours. I used 4 chicken breast tenders in 4 tablespoons of sauce. Again, I sauteed the chicken and let the sauce caramelize.

I ate the chicken hot and cold, and my results were much  more successful. The sauce really soaked into the chicken, keeping it moist, spicy and flavorful. The flavors were a great accent to rice and black beans, and it really tasted like an authentic south American dish. It was such an easy and unique way to flavor your average chicken breast, and I would definitely use it again, even to impress my friends!