Friday, July 31, 2009

Northern Manor

Another weekend of dimsum. This time around it's in Queens with my sister and her husband. We went to a nearby dimsum place, Northern Manor, to pick up some take out. Daikon cake: a savory turnip cake. Best with oyster sauce. Beef short ribs: these were mealy and not good. Perhaps sitting in the carts for too long? Or just sitting in the restaurant for too long. Phoenix Feet: chicken feet Rice Skin Noodles with Shrimp Fish balls Pork Spare Ribs in garlic and black bean sauce Pork shumai: pork dumplings Har Kow: shrimp dumplings Shrimp and Chive dumplings Sticky Rice: a crowd favorite Rice wrapped in lotus leaf: Another crowd favorite The innards Even more innards: chinese sausage and ground meat The food was decent here except for the beef short ribs. Yeah, not good. The place wasn't ridiculously crowded on a Saturday morning but it was still busy. Northern Manor 25115 Northern Boulevard Little Neck, NY 11362 (718) 281-1500 Read more...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Concert in the Park 2009

Every year the New York Philharmonic performs free concerts in several parks around the NYC. I always like to go to the Central Park one. And naturally, I pack a picnic. This year, Mr. Meat & Potatoes bought some meats and cheese from Sergios. What a spread! Genoa salami, proscuitto, soppressata, fresh mozzarella, provolone, and stuffed peppers (~$25). In the far end, I bought a loaf of brioche ($4.50) from Bouchon Bakery. Everything was so delicious. I loved it! Some homemade cherry pie for dessert. And chocolate bouchons ($10) from Bouchon Bakery for extra dessert! So decadent and chocolatey. I loved these. Sergio & Co 28 Broadway Denville, NJ 07834 (973) 627-1043
Bouchon Bakery 10 Columbus Circle New York, NY 10019 (212) 823-9364 bouchonbakery.com Read more...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spanakopita

Another easy party food is spanakopita. This is a little more tedious to do but it serves those who do not eat meat. Or those who just really like cheese. Especially, feta. The night before, you need to defrost the phyllo dough in the fridge. Or you can leave it out on the counter for an hour or so. Next, crumble your feta in a bowl. Next, defrost frozen spinach and squeeze all excess water out. Mix with the feta until combined. Now, melt 1 stick of butter in the microwave. Unwrap your phyllo carefully. It's really delicate. Cover with damp towels. Take one layer and brush with melted butter. Place another layer on top and brush with butter again. Then cut the dough into 6 even strips horizontally. Place a spoonful of the spinach and feta mixture at one end of each strip. Then fold over the corner of the strip to make a triangle. Next, fold that over again as if you were folding a flag or a piece of paper to play paper football. You should end up with a tightly wrapped triangle. Place onto pan with the seam side down. Brush top with more butter. Then bake in the oven (375 degrees) until golden brown. Some may have expanded past the seams but that's okay. Once cooked, they'll retain their shape. Another crowd favorite. Read more...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lunch Week 20: Chicken Salad

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided. So my lunch for the week: Chicken Salad I felt like having something served cold this week. I wasn't feeling sandwiches but still wanted protein. Then it occurred to me that I haven't had homemade chicken salad in a very long time. I like to use very flavorful chicken in my chicken salad. It makes a huge difference in the end product. I the past I've roasted my own chicken. But since I won't be eating it fresh that day, I opted for a store roasted chicken. I like to get it from Costco. They roast the whole thing for $4.99 each. It's seasoned perfectly and always comes out juicy. Once cooled, I shred the bird into bite sized strips. So much meat comes off. It's a great deal. Next, I add some chopped red onions. It gives it a nice spicy kick. Also, I add some chopped cashews. These came roasted and salted. Great nutty flavor. Lastly, I add the dressing. I like to use a combination of mayo and dijon mustard. I don't like to overdress the chicken and make it mushy. I add enough just for flavor and moisture. I like to lay down a bed of arugula first. Then add the chicken salad on top. A few whole cashews and done! The chicken is so flavorful and juicy. The dressing adds a little tang and will help hold the moisture through the week. The onion adds a nice spicy but fresh kick. And the cashews add a needed crunch to an otherwise texturally soft dish. The only thing that's missing is some fresh herbs. Some chopped tarragon would really punch this dish up. Maybe next time. Read more...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pigs in a blanket

The quintessential party food: pigs in a blanket. It's meat and bread all wrapped up in a nice, two bite bundle. Sometimes there's cheese and sometimes there's a spicy mustard dip. I went for the latter this time. This is fairly easy to make and a great crowd pleaser. You can make a large batch in minimal time and work. In the most simplest of versions, there are only 2 ingredients: wieners and pastry dough. I like to used all beef wieners and Pilsbury Cresent Roll dough. Some people like to use puff pastry. Take the dough out of the can. Unroll until flat. There should be 8 large pieces. Cut each of those pieces into quarters. You should now have 32 pieces. Take each wiener and place it at the tip of a piece of dough. Then roll and place on a cookie sheet seam side down. Continue with each wiener until all of them are wrapped. Place into a 375 degree oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes until the dough is puffed and browned. Cool slightly and they should come off easily from the pan. Serve with spicy brown mustard. Best served when still warm. Read more...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dimsum from Dai Wah

Good news! My go to Chinese take out place is back in business. I guess they were just remodeling their storefront. So to celebrate and help with the new business, I ordered some dimsum for take out. Just the usual fare. Pork Shumai Shrimp & Chive Dumpling The Innards Shrimp Rice Noodle Skin Spare Ribs Phoenix Feet Plain Rice Noodle Read more...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pork Chop Dinner

I felt like making dinner one night. I wanted something hearty like a steak dinner. But since I don't have a cast iron skillet nor the money to buy a dry aged rib eye, I opted for pork chops instead. I can never do a steak as good as a steakhouse. But mashed potatoes and creamed spinach I can do. And I love mixing them together. The ingredients: pork, spinach, potato, onion. First, defrost your frozen spinach and squeeze out the excess water. Then, peel and chop your potato until bite sized. Place in a pot with cold, salted water. Boil until fork tender. Drain and place back into the same pot. This method uses the residual heat from the hot to dry the potatoes out a little. Add butter and cream to your liking. Lastly, add the spinach and mix thoroughly. Next, chop your onions. And season your meat. Normally, I could do a brind but that takes hours. This was a fast dinner so just salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Next, melt your butter and olive oil in a pan on low. Add onions and slowing cook until softened. Add pork chops to pan and sear until browned and cooked through. I like to layer my chops over the potatoes. I like to eat this dish with a little bit of everything in one bite. The creaminess of the potatoes and spinach, the sweetness from the slow cooked onions, and the flavorful pork. Yum, so good. Read more...