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Monday, June 13, 2011

Feeling Chinese So Pork Me

I love living in the culinary capital of the world and it never ceases to amaze...that on the very small island of can land in a certain area that makes you feel like you've been whisked away to another country. This past Sunday, in order to cure our Saturday night hangovers, my sister and I headed down to Chinatown for some homestyle Cantonese cooking at my favorite spot H.K. Wonton Garden. And of course along the way, one cannot help but peruse some of the fabulous produce and fish markets Chinatown has to offer.

At H.K. Wonton Garden, you know that you are going to get a delicious homestyle meal the second you walk through the door. The reason for this is that in your very first glance of the place, you see a man in the window happily hand cutting fresh homemade noodles that we have been anticipating eating all day long. The place isn't fancy at all and don't expect service with a smile, that's not what you go here for. It's all about the food, that's it! And every once in a while, that is even good enough for me. :)

Vegetable Spring Roll (2) for $2.50

Steamed Cantonese Pork Buns (2) for $2.50

Shrimp and Pork Wonton Soup $4.50

Pork and Chive Dumpling Soup $5.00

Homemade Pan Fried Noodles served with Roasted Pork and Veggies $8.00

H.K. Wonton Garden
79 Mulberry Street NY, NY 10013
They do not accept credit cards, cash only!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mushroom Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes have always been a personal favorite of mine. I love the fact that they are so diverse and can be thrown into the mix with so many different things, i.e., pasta, veal, chicken, steak, fish and salads. They are even delicious on their own and I have always been a big fan of stuffed artichokes. This recipe is very tasty and gives us a break from the norm. We're moving away from the traditional method of a bread based stuffing and are going to substitute the breadcrumbs with minced crimini mushrooms instead. It's so tasty and absolutely ideal for those who are gluten free or carbohydrate conscience.

Mushroom Stuffed Artichokes
5 large fresh artichokes
1 qt container fresh crimini mushrooms cleaned and minced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 small bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp grated parmesan
1 cup low sodium fat free chicken stock
In a mixing bowl combine grated parmesan, cleaned and minced crimini mushrooms, chopped garlic, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix contents together well using your hands. Put aside.
*Note-sometimes I add more olive oil if stuffing isn't moist enough.
Cut the tops of the leaves off, removing the thorns. Cut off 3/4 inch of the top of the artichoke. Cut off small leaves around the outer base and remove the stem. Spread and separate the center of the artichoke and with a spoon, lightly scoop out the small prickly thorns from the center base. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

If your a stem lover like me... take the stem and with a pairing knife lightly peel off the tough outer layer. Rinse in cold water.

Take each artichoke and generously stuff the center with the prepared mixture and, if your feeling ambitious, the individual leaves.
*If you choose to keep the stem...after stuffing the artichoke...stick the cleaned stem into the center.
Take a large pot and fill it with about 2 inches of cold water and a splash of olive oil.
If using chicken stock, take a large pot, add 1 cup chicken stock then add water filling the pot about 2 inches. Add a splash of olive oil.
Place the artichokes inside of the pot (they should be kind of snug) and cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend 2011

Well Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and the kick off to the summer is in effect!! I love this time of year and welcome it with the official flavors of summa summa time!!

Day #1 of absolutely gorging:

How can you go wrong with old school burgers and Sabrett hot dogs? Burgers made with freshly ground chuck beef. Chuck sirloin has the right amount of fat that makes a burger come out so juicy and flavorful. Now I know I could have opted for a more exotic type of cheese and maybe have thrown on some caramelized onions but sometimes a burger made with old fashioned American cheese just really hits the spot! I gave my guests the option of sliced pickles, white onion and my special sauce which is basically homemade thousand island dressing with a touch of chipotle to give it a little kick.

My mother made her spare ribs that til this day no one out there has been able to beat! These ribs are made in the oven, not on the grill and the meat just falls right off of the bone.

And this meal just would not be complete without homemade coleslaw and potato salad.

For dessert, we threw together a quick blueberry pie with a homemade crust of course. I made the mistake of not doing an egg wash on the crust so it didn't come out as golden as I would have liked it to be. Nonetheless, the consistency was perfect! Served it with Haggen-Daz sweet chai tea ice cream instead of traditional vanilla.

Day #2 of absolutely gorging:

One thing about being out in the Hamptons for the weekend that is so fab is the access to some of the best fish markets! I love Cor-J's right on lighthouse rd in Hampton Bays. The seafood is really fresh and I do my best to stick to fish and seafood that is caught locally.

We threw together a beautiful zuppa de pesce served in a white sauce (garlic, olive oil and white wine with parsley). I opted for clams, mussels and a 2 lb lobster that I cleaned and split for everyone to share and served it on a bed of al dente linguini. Delizioso!!!

Summer salad made with a homemade balsamic

We decided to skip dessert that night as we started the
morning off with mimosas and silver dollar banana
pancakes with sausage. Just shoot me! I ran 6 miles
both days!

What a perfect foodie weekend to start the summer season!!
As usual...feel free to hit me up for recipes on any of the above. xo