Tuesday, August 23, 2011

chilled orzo pasta salad recipe

If you get Bon Appetit magazine, you probably know, that like alot of companies--it has gone through a re-make.  There is a new editor who comes from GQ and that means, of course, that the style and content has been revamped.  Content is interesting, with more and simple classic recipes, re-hauled, that can be executed at home, and alot of comments on what is in and what is out that will give you a retro chuckle.  One of the new issues suggested that we needed a fresh version of chilled pasta salad. What? The classic challenged? No worries, you can have the perfect chilled pasta, just  forget the butterfly pasta and go directly to orzo (melon seed pasta). This is the new designer pasta.  Here is my latest recipe:  serves two.

6 oz. orzo pasta, cooked in salted water, 5-51/2 minutes, drained and chilled.
olive oil
dry oregano
lemon juice
minced garlic
dash vinegar
chopped roasted yellow pepper
crumbled feta cheese

Mix together 1/4 cup olive oil, dash oregano, juice of one lemon, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped roasted yellow bell pepper, 2 tsp small capers, 1 tsp white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper.  Toss with chilled pasta and 3 TBL of feta cheese.  Check for more salt and pepper to taste. Chill, then serve.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

recipe for yeast waffles

I  read a recipe recently that called for yeast to be added to the pancake or waffle batter.  It intrigued me because I was frustrated that my pancakes/waffles weren't getting the rise I wanted and my waffles in particular were not as moist and fluffy on the inside as I would like.  There are several types of recipes out there, some as complicated as making a starter, etc.--and days or weeks later you might have breakfast. I couldn't wait that long, so I made up my own recipe using my favorite pancake/waffle mix and the results were exactly what I wanted--golden brown exterior and a light and airy interior. I also recommend the Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker.  The color and temperature settings and the built in timer makes sure the waffles cook perfectly and evenly every time.

Make this recipe the night before so the batter is nice and spongy in the morning. 

2 cups Krusteaz  Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix  (Safeway has this, and it is a good one because it has both whole wheat and white flour).
1 packet (1/4oz) dry natural yeast
1/4 cup warm milk  (120 degrees)
1 to 1 1/4 cup water
2 TBL  vegetable oil
pinch salt

Warm milk in the microwave or small saucepan--do not over heat, it will kill the yeast.  Stir in the yeast and set aside. Let stand about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the pancake mix, water and oil--do not over mix.  Stir in yeast mixture and add extra water if necessary. Cover and chill overnight.  Pour onto preheated waffle maker and cook to desired color.  Makes 8, 4 inch Belgian waffles.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

new york city in august

New York City in August has its advantages. True, it is hot and humid--clothes are sticky and forget your hair, but the lines are short, there are seats at the outdoor cafes and as always there never ceases to be a new discovery or a delicious dish around every corner. This past weekend was Tom Bogue's birthday and we were lucky enough to be guests at Mike Perricone's beautiful West Village apartment.
The trip can really be sized up by the amazing food experience. Let me give you a run-down:

At Gusto, 60 Greenwich Ave., the outdoor seating was heaven at 10:00pm --the scorching day is worth the balmy night. Standouts include Mike's favorite deep-fried artichokes hearts and a salad of fava beans, escarole, pecorino, mint and basil and a cooling late evening breeze.  Saturday lunch was wonderful at Keith McNally's Morandi, 211 Waverly Pl., a great people watching place with amazing rustic breads and Italian classics. Favorites here included a pesto based minestrone soup and a salad of prawns and grapefruit with a mustard vinaigrette.  We followed this up later with thin cracker crust pizza campagnola topped with burrata, parma ham and arugula at Olio, 3 Greenwich Ave. I had the most delicious creamy Italian dressing to dip it in.

Sunday brunch at BG's was nothing short of spectacular. With the exception of the company of Mike, George and Mirium, there is really nothing that can top the elegant room and service--favorite dishes like the seared sea scallop appetizer and the Gotham salad are not to be missed.  An evening walk to the East village and down a few steps into the Taj Cafe, 310 E 6th St., where a 4 course Indian dinner is only $10.00! (with music).

On Monday, Mike and I walked to the pier, stopping on the way at Murray's Cheese Shop, 254 Bleeker St., for a bit of brie and salami to nibble on. I bought a jar of fig jam, one of my favorite go to staples, but not always easy to find.

That evening, (Tom's birthday) Tom and I went for drinks at the St. Regis Hotel, the King Cole Bar. This bar is not for the faint of heart in the price tag department, but for one drink, the experience is worth it in this iconic space backdropped by the 1906 "Old King Cole" Maxfield Parrish mural. And there were many familiar faces in the bar including 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft.  Next we headed down to Hell's Kitchen to meet up with Tom’s friends, Ken and BJ Beasley at there favorite neighborhood hangout, Tout Va Bien, 311 W 51st. This charming French bistro is filled with, what else? French people, assuring us of delicious food. Start with the fresh rillettes of pork with french bread and gherkins, escargot baked with butter, garlic and Pernod and an onion soup to swoon over and you really don't need much more except some champagne to wash it all down. We headed down the street to Pier 9, 802 9th St., a gleaming modern space with a fresh eclectic seafood menu that had a couple of BJ and Ken's favorites, grilled big eye tuna with green curry, a Chicago style lobster hot dog and for dessert we shared a divine sundae with chocolate covered pretzels, tapioca pudding and caramel sauce. It didn't stop there--I had an amazing mushroom/Swissburger in the airport at Bobby Van's Steakhouse. I took half on the plane for later and it was even good cold.