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Single (and cooking) in the City

Food, life, love, and fun recipes

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seafood

Can’t Choose Between Land and the Sea

Oh no! This is turning into a monthly post blog <insert sad face here>. And I have no good excuses, because there are NEVER any good excuses for NOT making your own meals.

All preaching aside, tonight’s dinner was particularly memorable and post-worthy, mostly because I thought the pictures came out pretty good. Vibrant… semi-ok composition… succulent… you can almost taste the images! (That might just be me, with the bad habit of attempting to eat photographs.)

What do you do when you turn into an incompetent decision maker? Seafood… or meat? Why not have it all?!

Rack of lamb, lobster, and roasted asparagus

Oh heck yea. You sear the lamb on both sides, then roast at 450 for 10 mins and 350 until it reaches desired level of doneness.

For me, that means if I can’t gnaw on it still twitching, I’ll take something closer to rare.

Lobster – bright red and ready to join the party after a 15 minute soak in the tub on the stove.

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The Best of 2010

New Year, new eats. Aleady off to a amazing start: New Years Day, as we were checking out of the Ace Hotel, as we were polishing off our first breakfast of 2011 at The Breslin, as we licked the last couple crumbs of croissant off our fingers, we decided — ROAD TRIP!! To Rhode Island!

But before I post the photos taken on the trip with Kel and Randal and myself (as the 3rd wheel), I wanted to recap the most memorable dishes I’ve had towards the end of 2010…

Since I am nearly in love with all things uni.. first there was the fattiest, most decadently prepared piece of uni I’ve ever had – uni, resting on a slice of crunchy toast, peeking out from under a warm and melting blanket of glistening lardo.

Uni and Lardo Crostini at Marea

And then there was the roast suckling pig dinner at The Breslin for Kel’s birthday – juicy with crackly skin, we tore that sucker apart.

Everyone knows what a roast pig looks like… this is what a delicious roast pig looks like.

This is what the most beautiful (and delicious) piece of oyster sushi looks like at Sushi Yasuda.

You know a savory dish has to be good in order for me to get that in lieu of the usual sweet breakfast/brunch I prefer. The pasta at Michael White’s new place Osteria Morini is that exception. Gramigna – photo taken when there was actual light in the place!

Something I can eat over and over again… if I could get a table at ABC Kitchen at a decent hour! Crab on toast.

Did you think I’d forget dessert? The best one – a pear cake studded with chocolate chips at Al Di La in Park Slope. It’s a good thing that this restaurant is all the way in Brooklyn and up a steep hill that used to have me breaking out a sweat in the dead of winter.

And homemade – a tiramisu cupcake that was just as amazing on day 4 in the fridge as it was hot out of the oven. I’d make this more often, but baking up more than a dozen at a time, when I am hardly in the mood for sharing, is a bad idea.

Pasta with Uni and Crab; Baked Snails

Mitsuwa is an amazing place, especially for their selection of sashimi grade fish. We saw an eye opening variety of tuna – from a lean ruby red supermodel cut to a pink and delightfully fatty plump chef cut. Of course, we bought some otoro.

Snacking on some otoro and striped jack mackeral.

The rest of our purchases included some snails and uni. The snails we had as an appetizer with some garlic and the uni was used for an attempt at making Michael White’s amazing Uni and Crab Pasta.

We were so ambitious we made our own pasta dough. Good thing I took that class at NY Vintners, using not their recipe, and not their technique for farfalle. (Because we didn’t want farfalle.)

 
A ball of dough, a collection of shapes.

A couple of hours later, we finally ate.

Pasta with uni and crab, baked snails, roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts.

So it wasn’t the best pasta ever (the leftovers surprisingly tasted MUCH better! Or maybe I was just hungry), and it was nowhere near as good as Michael White’s version at Marea, but it was a fun experiment, made especially more fun with my partner-in-crime, who gets to take all the credit for the baked snails.


Pasta with Uni and Crab (adapted from NY Times)

  • pasta
  • garlic
  • red pepper flakes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • uni and jumbo lump crab meat

Boil the pasta in salted water, drain when done, reserving a bit of water. Sautee the chopped garlic in some olive oil. Add a good amount of red pepper flakes if you like it spicy, then add the cherry tomatoes. When the tomatoes are soft, add the uni and crab meat, sautee quickly to warm, and then add the pasta with a splash of water if it is too dry. Salt, pepper, toss and serve.

Baked Snails in Garlic and Butter/Olive Oil (we made 2 versions)

  • snails
  • garlic, minced
  • softened butter
  • olive oil

The poor snails were extracted from their shells prior to cooking. But for some resistant little buggers, we boiled them for 15 minutes. They come out quite nicely after that. In the end, prior to stuffing with garlic, you want to make sure they’ve been boiled (cooked). Put the snails back in their shells, along with either softened butter/garlic, or olive oil/garlic. Remember to season. Bake in the oven for a couple of minutes.

Semi Sandra Lee, Semi Homemade

After a job that takes up my 10-7, and following a yoga class from 730-830, sometimes a girl can barely find time to cook a gourmet meal. That’s when I pull a semi-Sandra Lee.

Merely a block away from the packed-like-sardines yoga studio there is an unassuming elevator off the side of a street that takes you up to the 2nd floor (I figured that out when I repeatedly pressed ‘C’ and the elevator didn’t budge. ‘2’ was the only other choice.) The doors open to a vestibule packed with shoppers waiting for their turn on the slow metal carriage. Pass the shoppers and you will find a little supermarket, about 5 aisles big, packed with Asian snacks, foods, and hair dye. In the refrigerated aisle, next to the sushi grade tuna, salmon, and giant octopus tentacle, is where I found my semi-home made dinner – black cod. Marinated in miso. I repeat: Miso Marinated Black Cod.

For almost 1/8th the price of the Nobu signature, I made my own miso black cod… sort of. If you can remove plastic wrap from a tray, you can make this at home. Wipe off excess sauce, sautee in pan for a bit of color, and then bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. (My piece was a slim baby.)

Mussels with Tomato and Basil

It was a rare Saturday night (of last week) that I had to myself, when I got a phone call from my childhood best friend, asking me if I’d had any plans. Knowing full well that Memorial Day weekend was going to be capped off with a BBQ blowout at FDR park the next day, I hesitated to accept a dinner date out in the city and opted to save some money and avoid potential over indulging. Instead, I invited her over to have some mussels with me – a luxurious purchase at a Chinatown bargain price of $3.50.

A quick run to the neighborhood supermarket for a batch of fresh basil, I set up dinner preparations. Cheap, fast, and delicious!

Mussels with Tomato & Basil

  • 1 bag of mussels
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt, pepper
  • white wine
  • fresh basil

Clean mussels. In a pot, heat up olive oil and toss in the chopped tomatoes. Then add garlic and red pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper. Add the clams and pour white wine over it. About 1/4 of a cup is my guess. Maybe 1/2 a cup. Put a lid over it and wait a couple of minutes for the mussels to open up, being careful not to overcook them. Remove the lid and toss in the chopped basil. Stir, and serve.