Sunday, June 3, 2012

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

You've seen these in the Blogosphere, right?  Potatoes boiled in vinegar until fork tender (try not to take deep breaths while over the pot - that vinegar will make you cry) then covered in olive oil, salt and pepper and thrown on the grill.

We finally got to gardening today and broke out the grill for the first time this year.  Although our tailgate grill has already gotten a workout, our backyard grill has hardly been used since we bought it last summer.  It has been hiding under a cover for months - but now that our little concrete slab back yard is looking up to snuff (See?  Behind the potatoes!) I'm sure I'll be taking a break from the oven and using it much more!

Next time you make potatoes you should make these potatoes - really.  Yum.

BTW tomorrow I turn 30 but I'm totally cool with it guys.  Really, totally cool.  Really.  Kind of.  Not really at all.  Holy crap.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Blog: Kimchi!

Ron can't get enough Kimchi and he's kind of in love with David Chang.  He eats so much of this stuff that I swear it seeps from his pores.

See?  He REALLY loves it!  Needless to say, I recommend eating slightly less than he does.  On that note, here's my very first guest blog.  Take it away Ron!

Hey y’all!  I’m Ron, I’m Sara’s hungrier, heftier half and I’m writing from our new “hood”, Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  We love and miss Philly (Sara note: I'm back in Philly now and Ron's still in NY so what he's really saying is HE loves and misses Philly and, of course, his lovely wife), but truth be told, we also love New York.  Don’t get me wrong you won’t catch me buying a sub or hero here…  It’s hoagies all the way for me, but there is amazing food everywhere you turn and because New York welcomes the wretched refuse of everyone’s teeming shores, each time you eat out is a chance to taste something you’ve never had before.

One of my favorites places to eat, New York or anywhere for that matter, is Momofuku Noodle Bar.  Noodle Bar looks and feels like another cool East Village bar to hang out in, with a soundtrack that could be my itunes playlist, but it’s an elegant restaurant serving a weird hybrid of Korean and American food.  Their Ramen is waaaaay more than those little packets of brittle noodles and instant broth!  It’s fine dining. (Sara note: We can also get killer ramen close to our Crown Heights 'hood at Chuko. Sooooo good)  The pork buns are little clouds of pork belly and awesome.  But the first time I went there was this other thing that burned a hole in my taste buds and memory… A sweet and sour cabbagey mess on the side of my plate…  It’s called Kimchi!  Korean folk swear by it and serve it with nearly every meal. 

Cut to three years later and I can’t get enough of the stuff.  It’s hot, salty, pungent and actually really good for you. They say it aids digestion…  I dunno, but it tastes awesome!  For Christmas, my brother and sister in law bought me David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook and I dove right into making my own Kimchi. 

It’s a two-week fermentation process, but totally worth it. There are a ton of ingredients like little tiny jarred salted shrimp:

Kochukaru i.e. Korean chilli powder - lots of it!

And lots of other stuff: 

But you only need to buy the non vegetable ingredients one time and once you do, you can whip up a batch  that will last for a month or so.  (Sara note: you can whip it up in no time but then it has to work its magic and get a little funky in the fridge for a few days before you can eat it.)

I tweak the recipe every batch.  My newest one has about 2/3 the sugar and 1/4 less ginger.  And it’s still fantastic!

I eat it as a side.  I put it in soup.  Put it in the food processor and use it as a marinade. Eat it in omelettes…  On top of pork chops.  With chicken thighs…  mackerel…  steaks...   Anywhere you would use a salsa, try Kimchi next time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eatin' Good in a Brand New Hood!

As most of you know my husband, Ron, has been working and living in New York more than he's been in Philly for the past couple of years. It's been a bummer for a lot of reasons:

1. being apart 5 days a week stinks
2. staying in short term sublets with strangers stinks for him and for visitors (i.e. ME)
3. constantly searching for a new place to live stinks
4. not having your own kitchen means you eat out all the time which is bad for the wallet and the waistline - which, you guessed it, stinks!

So...we bit the bullet and signed a year lease for an amazing apartment in Brooklyn - and it's kind of in the hood so we feel right at home! We're renting our place in Philly for now but I'll be back there soon for work so Ron and I really trying to enjoy this rare time we have of actually living together in a new place.

We've been here just over a month and there are tons of places in the neighborhood I want to visit but we've been adhering to our new year's resolutions and eating healthy and easing up on the booze (boring!). Which also means I've been cooking things like split pea soup and beans and greens, things I've written about one million times! Hence my severe lack of blogs.

I did make this killer Eggplant and Chicken Green Curry the other night:

First I salted a medium cut up eggplant and let it sit in a colander for a bit. Then I sauteed a small onion with some ginger and garlic then added a can of light coconut milk and a couple tablespoons of green curry paste. I added about a cup and a half of leftover roasted chicken and let it all simmer together. Separately I sauteed a half of a green pepper and a half of a red pepper with another small onion and the eggplant. When the veggies started to get a little color but still had bite I added them to the chicken with a few splashes of chicken stock. I also threw in come bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and a touch of brown sugar - I like my curry a little bit sweet! Right before it hit the plate I added chopped cilantro and green onions. I served it all over a smashed sweet potato.

Delicious. I'm gonna go eat leftovers.

PS - Ron hates that I haven't been blogging so he's agreed to a guest blog. Keep an eye out for his David Chang inspired entry soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Squash Blossoms!

This weekend I went apple and pumpkin picking with some friends and the pumpkin patch was full of squash blossoms! I stuffed my purse full of them. Shhh....

I ended up stuffing them with a combo of queso fresco, cream cheese, cilantro, a bit of a spicy pepper that I roasted, chili powder and cumin. I splashed in some milk to bring it all together then put the mixture in a baggie with the corner cut off and stuffed the blossoms. Make sure you can twist the blossom at the end - don't overstuff!

The batter was tempura-ish. An egg, a cup of flour, some salt and a little less than a cup of seltzer. I made mine in a bowl that was sitting in an ice bath because I read that the batter is supposed to be really cold.

I dipped all the blossoms in the batter and fried then in 350 degree oil until they started to crisp up then placed them in a warm oven while I cooked the next batch.

I also made a cilantro dipping sauce - lots of chopped cilantro, chopped chives, plain Greek yogurt, a bit of mayo, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime.

Dinner was completed with grilled veggies (great with the cilantro sauce!) and leftover tortilla soup. Delicious!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tofu & Green Beans

This is one of those meals that can come together in like 15 minutes. It's great for times like when you take the chicken you were planning on having for dinner out of the fridge and it smells like a weird combo of blue cheese and trash even though you just bought it the day before. That happens to everyone right?

Well it's for times like these that I always keep tofu in the fridge and on this day I totally won because I had a bag of green beans from the farm stand in the fridge, too. I crumbled tofu and dry fried it - once it was starting to get brown I added a combo of soy, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic and a little veggie stock. Once almost all the liquid was absorbed I mixed the tofu with steamed green beans. I sauteed some shallot until they were on the verge of burning - that's how I like them! I topped the green beans and tofu with the shallots and chopped roasted peanuts and BOOM - dinner!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Local Potato, Corn, and Tomato Salad

Itty bitty fingerling potatoes from the Sunday farmer's market at Dickinson Park, heirloom tomatoes from the same market and our backyard, and corn, long hots and Hidden Hills Dairy feta from our CSA make one very local, very delicious salad.

Roast and peel the skin off of a long hot, cut the corn off the cob and sautee the in olive oil, steam the potatoes, let everything cool before tossing with the chopped tomatoes, feta, chives (home grown!), a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Chow down.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tomatoes + Homemade Bread = Perfect

I didn't always love tomatoes - in fact they were one of the few foods that I didn't like. But over the past few years I've smartened up and this time of year I can't get enough.

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Tomatoes with cream cheese on toast? Okay! Pico De Gallo on just about everything? Yup. Perfect little heirlooms cut up with salt and pepper...for breakfast? Definitely.

Or how about this? BLT's on homemade no-knead bread. This might just be the perfect food.


This bread, slightly stale, tossed in olive oil and toasted up makes an awesome panzanella. Just one more way to use up all those tomatoes!