Monday, May 31, 2010

Delta Grill

One night, I spontaneously went out to dinner with my friend. He admits that he's super cheap and didn't want to spend a lot of money on food, especially on himself. Also, we wanted a place to watch the Yankees game. I suggested a bar but he wasn't feeling bar food. Okay, this might turn out to be a problem. But we wandered around briefly and ended up in front of Delta Grill. I ordered delivery once from here. But it was lackluster. I was hoping for more as a dine-in patron. We were greeted and served quickly. I ordered a beer while we looked over the menu. I have to say right now the menu was disgusting. It was dirty and they plastic had partially burned leaving a giant gaping whole. Not a good impression. I sauntered on anyway. I ordered the chicken fried steak ($17) which came with some mashed potatoes and veggies. The steak wasn't good. The chicken fried crust fell off when I cut into it. The country gravy was a thick, globby mess. The mashed potatoes seemed fake (potato flakes). I cleaned my plate because I was hungry and didn't want to waste it. But I completely regretted it by the end of the night since the food sat in my stomach like a brick. My friend ordered the BBQ Chicken Po'Boy ($10). It came with some fries. He didn't enjoy this either. He ended up just picking out the chicken and eating that. And that wasn't that good either. Rip off. I also ordered a side of sweet potato fries ($4). It came with some gravy dip. This was the worst of the bunch. Soft, limp fries. They weren't hot either. I didn't finish these because they were that bad. Seriously, frozen fries are better. So this is it. The last time I will ever come to The Delta Grill. I don't know how they stay in business. However, their bar area seemed quite full. And people kept coming in for food. Maybe it's just me but I didn't enjoy it at all. Major FAIL. The Delta Grill 700 9th Avenue New York, NY 10036-3603 (212) 956-0934 thedeltagrill.com Read more...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cooking: Pasta with Bacon and Peas

One random evening, I went home early. I skipped the gym to relax. Mr. Meat & Potatoes calls me from his ride home and tells me he's hungry. So instead of ordering in again, I decide to use what's in the kitchen. I always claim that I don't have any ingredients but I'm always stocked. The only missing thing is usually fresh vegetables and fruit. That needs to be bought on a weekly basis. Everything else, I stock up big time at wholesale markets. So I looked around for something easy and quick but also tasted good. I found some pasta, the last strips of slab bacon, and some frozen peas. That's an easy pasta dish! I start by bringing a pot of water to boil for the pasta (add salt). Then, off to sauteing the bacon. I cut them into small strips then cook the fat out of them. And again, yes, I saved that lovely bacon fat. Crispy and ready for eating. But that's for later. Wandering hands get away from my cooling bacon! I also found some frozen vodka sauce in the freezer. I brought that back up to a simmer with some chicken stock to dilute it. I added the frozen peas. By this time, the pasta is ready. Still a slight hard bite to it. I drained it and added it immediately to the sauce. Stir to saturate. Then I took a step from Andrew Carmellini's book, I added some butter. Turn the heat off, then add the butter for a nice finish. Lastly, add the bacon back to the pasta. Stir to combine. And there I have it: pasta with bacon and peas. So how did it taste? Goddam good. The butter does make a slight difference. It leaves a nice creamy finish. The bacon was good and crispy. And the best part, this meal was SUPER cheap. I would guess it would be less than $5 for 2 people. Read more...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What to do with leftovers? Omelettes!

So the very last of the potluck leftovers still sat in my fridge. I hate throwing things out. So I made a last minute decision to cook everything up in an omelette. It's kind of like a mystery casserole omelette. Surprises for everyone! But first, I made a regular sausage and cheese omlette for Mr. Meat & Potatoes. He was sick for eating all the same things for days. So I started off with a large slice of Jimmy Dean's sausage. Some eggs with salt, pepper, and a dash of milk. And some chopped onions. I sauteed the onions first. Then added the sausage to brown. I cooked the sausage mixture until fully done. Then I added the beaten eggs and wait for the eggs to congeal. As that cooked, I took out some sprouts and grated cheese. When the eggs were almost done, I added the sprouts and then a good amount of cheese. Then I slight it off the pan and folded it over. Tada! Omlette! He supplemented it with a cheese topped english muffin. And now my casserole-esque omlette. First some tomatoes and onions when into the pan. And then the leftover brisket. It had been drying out by this time so we added some bbq sauce. With that, I also added the roasted sunchokes to the pan. I cooked them through until warm. And now the beaten eggs. I also placed sprouts and cheese in the middle. Then slip off the pan and folded over. This omlette was HUGE! I could only eat half of this. And here's what the gooey insides look like. This experimental omlette was just okay. There was a little too much going on here. But it was a good way to eat the leftovers. Just add eggs, cheese, and the occasional ketchup and you're good to go. Read more...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Family: The American Version

A lot of times when I ordered from Chinese take out places, I like to order more traditional dishes. But once in blue moon, I go for the truly Americanized food. And tonight was that kind of night. So it starts off with an egg roll. Filled with cabbage and other types of veggies, this fried monster was just okay. I'm not a huge fan of egg rolls in general. I'm more of a spring roll type of gal. But this came with the meal so I was okay with it. So what did I get? Chicken and broccoli. A thick sauce covering tender pieces of dark meat and some crunchy broccoli to go with it. So what did I think? Not too bad. The flavor was exactly what I wanted. Salty, greasy and good. I ate it up gladly. And here's a closer look. In the far right top corner you'll find a dried pepper. It added a nice, slight kick to the dish. Just make sure you don't bite into one of these suckers. They're spicy! And he ordered General Tso's Chicken. Unfortunately, it wasn't very good. The chicken was fried so much that it became hard and dry. Even with the sauce which was actually not that bad, it couldn't be saved. It wasn't very enjoyable. And here's a look of the bad General Tso's. Too bad because the sauce could've saved this. But it didn't. The chicken was too far off. Happy Family 500 West 43rd Street New York, NY 10036-4327 (212) 695-6035 Read more...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lattanzi

Ms. Lollipop, Mr. Meat & Potatoes, and I were hungry one night. Instead of cooking, we were lazy. But we didn't want the regular take out/delivery again. So we decided on going to a local place: Lattanzi. We've always had a good experience there. The food is solid and the service is always nice. Although we dressed down, they still greeted us with open hands. I really wanted marsala sauce tonight. So I ordered my typical Veal Scallopine al Marsala ($24). And I was super hungry so I ordered a side/half of angel hair pasta just tossed in oil ($14). The veal was tender and delicious. The potatoes were fine and the vegetables were delicious. Although the pasta was everything that I wanted and satisfied me completely, it was too much money. Whole servings of pasta were less than $20. It seemed like a ripoff. Next time, I won't be that greedy. Ms. Lollipop ordered the Lingiuni alle Vongole ($19). She enjoyed it. It's her go to dish for Italian restaurants. She thought the clams were fresh. And he got some pasta in a cream sauce (~$18). I forget the same of the dish but it was similar to fettucine alfredo. The sauce was thick and sweet. But the simplicity of the dish was nice. Ah, Lattanzi does not disappoint again. Except, my half order of pasta was a rip off. Nonetheless, everything was really delicious again. This has definitely become out go to neighborhood Italian restaurant. Lattanzi Ristorante 361 West 46th Street New York, NY 10036-3805 (212) 315-0980 lattanzinyc.com Read more...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Egg Sandwich

I'm hungry. But I didn't want to eat too much before a big meal I had later in the day. So an egg sandwich was in order. Did someone say runny egg yolks? Yes, please! Some bread with grainy mustard and alfalfa sprouts. And what's this? Some plastic? Yes, the plastic wrapper from a piece of cheese that I grated up. Oooooh, cheese. I never had this kind before. But it was really flavorful and delicious. So onto the sandwich too. And an egg on top. Runny and delicious. Also, very well balanced. Mmm, good breakfast. Read more...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lunch Week 21: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli and Corn

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: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli and Corn. A busy weekend and I forgot to take pictures of the prep. Oops! My bad. But nothing too strenuous this time. I had a few logs of pork tenderloin. I rubbed some salt, pepper, and oil on them. Then onto the grill on low-medium temp until nicely browned on the outside and 160 degrees on the inside. Keep residual heat in mind. So 150-155 degrees is a good time to take it off the grill. Then I blanched some broccoli and corn. Same pot of water. Nice and easy. After the blanching, I threw them in some cold water to stop the cooking. The broccoli maintained it crunch (even after a 2 minute microwave) and the corn was juicy. I love corn. It's one of my favorite summer produce along with watermelon and pineapple. So again, theme is light and healthy. Pork tenderloin is very lean. Sometimes as lean as chicken breast. So it's a nice alternative that eating chicken all the time. Broccoli and corn was just cooked in water. So no added fat. It didn't need it though. I like the natural taste of it. Just add some salt to the boiling water. That's all the seasoning that you need. Read more...

Monday, May 24, 2010

FBM Potluck

My very 1st Potluck was held at my rooftop deck. It's finished and actually quite nice. There's a bar, some benches, and a couple of lounge chairs for use. Luckily it was rainless day. Unluckily, it was 90 degrees and hot. But that didn't stop us from drinking and eating through the day and night. So everyone brought over some food. Here's a pic of the first round of food that people brought. Yes, more food was on the way. Delicious food! My porchetta! Did I say this was awesome and super delicious?! Yeah, I was that proud of it. Some ghost chile chili. This was spicy but wasn't inedible. Then again, just the smallest amount of the ghost chile was added. Thank god! Other than the spiciness, it was really flavorful. Look at all those ingredients. Chorizo and black bean soup. I tasted this hot which was good. But the day was freaking hot! I let this cool down and it was still freaking delicious! Nem nuong rolls or summer rolls. There was a side of peanut sauce which was freaking awesome. I couldn't get enough of these. Even when the rice skin hardened, I still ate it. Some Korean noodles. Spicy but good! Cabbage, eggs, and other delicious things. BBQ brisket: soft, tender, and flavorful. Orzo salad: nice and light. Perfect for a hot day. Seven layer dip. Who doesn't like dip? Fool! Even after sitting in the sun, people still ate this. Roasted sunchokes. I never had this as itself. Texture is unique, as well as the flavor. A nice light salad. Always important to have balance people! I definitely had a full veggie plate in between everything else. BBQ Chicken Pizza: chicken, cheese, cresent roll, and bbq sauce. What's not to like? Chimichurri steak salad: loved the sauce. Unique. Never heard or had this before. I gobbled this up. Seafood pajeon: light and yummy. I could never get my pancakes this light! Soba salad: light and refreshing. Perfect summer day food. Homemade stromboli: pepperoni and sausage. A crowd favorite! Lemon chiffon cake: goddamn this was good. And some lovely lobster tails. Cream filled goodness. Cream puffs and cannoli. Oh boy oh boy oh boy! And I made some Ghirardelli chocolate chocolate chip cookies with hazelnuts. The potluck was a success with me taking all the leftovers. Yes! Hahah! But people had a really good time. Drinks were flowing and shenanigans began. All in all a day of of drinking, eating, and smack talk. Read more...