Has Al Gore launched a line of organic, vegan frozen foods? Or is this an April Fools day trick? You be the judge.
I am yet to go to the new, revised La Fonda del Sol, but after watching Josh DeChillis make octopus with almonds, his new resto has bumped to Top 3 on my list.
Ever wonder about Kosher for Passover Coca Cola? All the answers…
New to The Dish’s Dish, I was very excited to receive my first cooking assignment! The week before, Jill showed me a scrumptious looking recipe in Food and Wine Magazine for a low-cal Creamy Caramel Pudding—one of their “Best Healthy Recipes of 2009”. Unfortunately, after two failed attempts by Jill to make the pudding (one careful attempt, and one ambitious attempt at making pudding while simultaneously checking email and doing research) she was ready to pass the job to me.
Fairly confident in my pudding skills, I thought I could get this recipe right. I measured precisely, kept a close eye on the clock, and patiently strained all four cups of pudding through Jill’s child-sized sieve. As vigilant as I tried to be, the pudding turned out to be a disaster. While a nice caramel color developed, it tasted like burnt sugar. The texture was grainy at best, even after my diligent sieve-ing, and the pudding completely separated while chilling in the fridge. Needless to say, it was not my best performance.
Here is a color photograph, multi-media journey through my battle with, and ultimate defeat to, Creamy Caramel Pudding….
Everything started off great. My water and sugar was bubbling away on the stove, and I was confident it would turn to caramel.
As soon as the mixture began to “deepen in color”, I removed the pot from the stove in order to incorporate the milk. I was careful not to overcook the caramel because Jill reported a burnt flavor in her last batch.
This is where it began to fall apart. As the milk and caramel cooked together, the texture became grainy. With the addition of the cornstarch, the pudding did thicken, but the texture was off, and a taste test revealed the same burnt flavor.
After running it through the sieve, the final product looked almost like the magazine photograph, just, grainier. And worse, I suppose is the correct word.
I emailed Melissa Rubel, Food and Wine Magazine Recipe Developer and creator of this recipe, asking for help. She kindly replied, not exactly sure what the problem was, but walking me through the critical parts of the recipe. So I pose the question, what went wrong?? Was the milk too cold? Sugar cooked too fast?? Too much cornstarch?? These were all suggestions made by Culinistas, restaurant owners, and avid home cooks.
I’m eager to hear your responses, in hopes of getting this pudding right!
A friend with a penchant for cupcakes was in town several days ago. Having had Butterlane a few weeks earlier, I was eager to show off my savvy of the best cupcakes currently available in NYC. Since I’d had the danties delivered to me the first time around, it was my first visit to the charming storefront in the East Village.
Butterlane makes cupcakes; no distractions. They allow for frosting tastes up at the desk and will happily explain the difference between French buttercream and American. There are small design touches that make the mini-store very inviting: a wall of flowered paper and the white wood. There’s a bench outside if you’d like to linger.
But the cupcakes are so good that it wouldn’t matter if they were sold from a fifth floor walk up. Though we tried nearly every frosting - and loved Key lime and American chocolate - we opted for blueberry with chocolate and strawberry with vanilla.
The menu - what was left of it.
The Potato Pancake
The Main Event. My Burger.
A Cross Section.
My Brother’s Last Bite.
So long, farewell; Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight
So long, farewell
Auf Wiedersehen, adieu
To you and you and you
One of the best burgers in NYC will be no longer in a matter of days. Good World, the Scandinavian spot at the Southern end of Orchard Street will say goodbye over the weekend to make way for condos. My favorites were always the burger, the peel and eat shrimp and, of course, the potato pancake.
I sat down with Bythe Boyd and her partner Derrick over the weekend to discuss their vegan dessert shop in the East Village. “As a vegan, you always want what everyone else has,” says Mrs. Boyd, which was part of her reason for opening Lula’s Sweet Apothecary in autumn of 2008. She says that as a vegan, she constantly finds herself saying, “I wish they’d veganize that.” Such was the case with the concept of an old-fashioned fountain shop. She was obsessed with the idea of it and when no one else had done it, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Though neither she nor her partner have any professional background in culinary techinique, they are both vegan (and thus always testing and tweaking vegan recipes) and had previously owned a vegan food truck in Philidelphia that specialized in veganized burgers and fries. The truck was called Viva Las Vegan and though it was successful, both were hankering to return to New York. For months, Derrick traveled to Manhattan from Philly each day looking at spaces until he finally found the sweet sliver of a spot on East 6th Street, just one block from Tompkins Square Park.
The shop is dotted with nostalgic touches like penny candy jars (above), metal shovel spoons and working seltzer bottles from New York’s own Seltzer Man. What you won’t find in the shop is trans fats, artificial flavors or coloring or high fructose corn syrup. There are no stabilizers and each flavor is made in small batches every morning. The ice ‘creams’, made with soy milk, coconut milk and nut milk (often cashew) as their bases and sweetened with organic cane juice and maple syrup, are miraculously delicious. The nut milks are made from scratch. I tried the strawberry, ginger snap, cake batter, and cinnamon pecan - all of which I adored. Even a friend visiting from the land of cheese, dairy, and fat (ie France) loved the Lula ‘scream! My favorite was Derrick’s Irish Sundae: Irish Stout ice cream (made with Brooklyn Brewery beer) topped with hot fudge, crushed peanuts, and a little dollop of soy whipped cream.
What makes Lula’s so special is that the owners are truly behind the vegan cause. They opened Lula’s with “the health and well-being of animals, humans and the environment in mind.” When I asked them their opinion of Stogo - another recently opened vegan dessert shop - Blythe said that she was just happy for vegans to have more options.
… the S&P Chocolate at Mast Brothers, that is. Two heavily bearded Brooklyn brothers? Coolhunting reporting on the imported Italian wrapping? Things could go very wrong. And, while I found the straight chocolate bars to be fairly flat in flavor, the Salt & Pepper bar is something to try. It’s a very unique bar in a sea of chocolate bars flooding the market these days. I highly recommend it as a treat best enjoyed alongside Parmesan crisps and perhaps a little quince.
Did you know that if you eat at Stogo, you’ll be only 2 degrees from Kevin Bacon? Check it out…. Kevin Bacon (Kyra Sedgwick’s hubby) —> Rob Sedgwick (actor, brother of Kyra & founder of Stogo) —> YOU. It’s even rumored that Bacon comes by for the mint chip whenever he’s in the East Village.
I enjoyed a Sunday Supper at Irving Mill over the weekend. With family in tow, we opted for the communal Supper. It’s a $60 option that serves 2-3 people. It comes with soup (Rabbit Consommé) and salad (Spinach + Chicory) served family-style and followed with a choice of chicken, fish or steak. Everyone had to agree on one of these options since it comes out as one big platter for sharing. This is not the flexible DISH structure ;-) I forgot to take photos of the first dishes but both were very tasty. The soup was a little salty and the salad very rustic. But hey, it was family meal. We added a Roasted Eggplant bruschetta to the first course which was a delicious square of pizza bianco slathered in ricotta before being topped by the eggplant ($6). We chose the Loup de Mer (aka seabass) as our main. It came with red quinoa, walnuts, a hint of lime and a smear of edamame purée.
We also ordered the Irving Mill Burger (which came with cheese). It was also quite tasty though not anything too special. I loved the cupcakes we got for our Supper dessert - chocolate with orange buttercream. My brother’s girlfriend and I gobbled ours up and then duked it out for who would get to eat the one in front of the man in the middle.
I highly reccomend doing this Supper option, available only on Sundays. It’s a wonderful familial experience (even without your blood relatives) fused with the luxury of eating out.
I was after a good Asian sandwich over the weekend. I first went to Num Pang. Packed.
Later I made it to An Choi. The kitchen was closed but I managed to snag a portabello bahn mi as well as one with chicken. They came with a few shrimp chips on top in the bag - a nice touch.[gallery link=”file” columns=”2”]
At $7.50 a piece, they made the perfect bite before a lazy Sunday afternoon Sunshine Theater screening. I only wish there were a few more chips and a blazing Vietnamese sun to accompany every mouthful.
This weekend, A Razor, A Shiny Knife is hosting a Mexican fiesta.
Here are the details; please rsvp with them if you’d like to join in:
6p lessons & 7p dinner on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, March 20th-22nd
Price: $100 a person for a variety of cooking lessons and demonstrations which prepare a 5 course meal paired with drinks.
Knife sharpening and basic skills (feel free to bring your own knives)
Activa YG and bonding dairy proteins
The many uses of a pressure cooker
Hamachi Crudo with Crème Fraîche Sherbet, Chorizo Powder, Aji Amarillo and Passion Fruit Caviar
Huitlacoche and Black Truffle Queso Fundito
- Pork Belly
- Lamb Belly
- Tuna Belly
Roasted Pork Loin with Serrano and Lime Glaze, Plantain and Queso Blanco Stuffing and Jicama Salad
Tequila and Agave Glazed Whole Foie Gras with candied Poblano and Cashews
Chocolate Nib Tea
Mole Cake with Flan and Hot Almond Whipped Cream
To read more about the founder of A Razor, check this out.
I tried Artichoke last night - the slice shop on 14th that’s been getting rave reviews for the past half a year. I liked the pizza okay… but it’s not New York pizza. The slice is thick (but not Sicilian… unless of course you ordered Sicilian) and the topping did a good job of seeping into the bread. I ordered the artichoke slice - it was a white slice. The topping was rave-able but the crust is nothin’ compared to the Lahey pizza I had at Co. on Sunday. That’s true mastery of pie. This is good - but good the way I did it… late night on a weekday before heading home to conk out…. No line whatsoever…
I’m not writing off Artichoke quite yet. Maybe the slice I got was a little old? …And I am interested in trying the crab slice. But you won’t see me waiting more than five minutes in any line.
I’ve been pining away for Itzy Bitzy macarons for a few months. Today, I finally got to taste test a couple. I got a hold of the Black+White and the Chestnut Green Tea (a flavor I’ve actually attempted to make before).
In both versions, the cookie and cream are the closest to true French macarons I’ve had. Biting into an Itzy Bitzy mac, the cookie breaks, falling into the cream; but instead of cutting through it, the two elements fuse together making each bite complete. Each component is less vibrant than, say macarons from Madeleine, but they together make a more French feeling bite. It’s almost a more effortless perfection. Black + White is a subtle nod to Oreo in taste. I liked this one very much but felt the true genius (and Pierre Hermé osmosis) came in the Chestnut Green Tea variety. It’s pretty dead-on Hermé. They are available at Tafu and at the Brooklyn Flea for now, but flavors change monthly so unless you live nearby one of the venues, join the rest of us begging Itzy Bitzy to get her own storefront!
Post Rangers win on Sunday, my buddy and I stumbled over to Co. for a celebratory brunch. I’ve already talked about Co. - and about how tasty it was - but yesterday’s pie choice was hands down the best. And, with it being 3:45pm on a Sunday and all… it was actually mellow in the dining room. So we could enjoy our food and enjoy each other company simultaneously!
The Special Pie: Bechamel, Mozzarella, Shaved Asparagus, Black Pepper, and Two Eggs Over Easy.
Across the way from Da Silvano on Sixth Ave, Mr. Silvano Marchetto’s daughter has recently opened Scuderia. It’s decidely for a younger generation, with cartoon-y accents in the overall breezy space. Menu items are less expensive than across the street and servers and hosts smile and treat you with courtesy and tact. There’s nothing stuffy about Scuderia and it’s easy to find yourself having a really fun time.
I only got iPhone pics; but this is the dining room.
The food turned out to be pretty tasty. The best of our selection was the pizza - we chose the pesto and pinenut variation. The brioche fish sammy was good but nothing spectacular and we felt the kitchen had really skimped on the grilled vegetables. The thing is, the service was so pleasant and the space so nice (save the din, which was inescapable) that I would gladly go back and explore the menu a little more.
One interesting thing I noticed as we were passing our menus back to the waitress were the Scarpe di Scuderia: The Shoes of Scuderia. Leyla Marchetto has collaborated with artist Joshua Peters to make 12-per-season, hand-painted sneaks. Check out the ones he did for her daddy:
Cool? Yes. Worth $895? I don’t know… does it get you free pizza at Scuderia for life?
One last pic to get you really excited to go to Scuderia… The Dish tagged the bathroom! (In chalk)