Monday, June 27, 2011

Best Pignoli Cookie

Moist, delicious, and flavorful all packed into this little pillow of yumminess.  A little pricey per pound, but worth it.  I've tried pignoli cookies all around town, and Veniero's has the best.  Their cannoli's are pretty great too.

342 East 11th Street (at 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baba Ghannouj / Eggplant Spread

I've tried many different packaged baba ghannouj dips in the city since I moved here and have been disappointed with all of them, until I found Abraham's All Natural Baba Ghannouj.  First of all, I was thrilled to find one that didn't include mayonnaise as an ingredient.  Then I fell in love with the deep smokey flavor of the roasted eggplant.  Perfection.  If I can't have freshly made baba ghannouj, this is the next best thing.

You can find it at Whole Foods for the reasonable price of $2.79.

Serve with some cucumber spears, carrots and toasted flat bread for an easy snack or starter.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Seared Tuna

At the fish market (PE & DD) this past weekend in Union Square, I picked up my usual lobster, and the tuna looked so good, I had to grab a couple of steaks too.

Not having a grill is definitely a bummer, but I improvised with a stovetop grill pan.  I was even able to get the adorable crosshatch marks across the steaks.

This is the first time I ever cooked tuna!

Heat the pan to high, brush a little canola oil on the pan and on the fish.  These were pretty thick steaks, so I cooked them about 3-4 minutes per side, adjusting half way through to get the crosshatch marks.

I added a little sea salt and just a touch of teriyaki sauce once they were cooked.

I cooked some brown rice and added a dash of the teriyaki sauce to that too.  I just so happened to have a fresh pineapple, avocado, and yellow and red tomatoes in my kitchen (really, that was not planned).  I decided to chop all of those up in a bowl to make a salsa.  I stirred in some chopped fresh rosemary from my lovely herb garden, and again, I added dash of the teriyaki sauce.  Easy.

I threw everything on our plates and it actually came out looking like a professional dish.  Everything complimented each other so well; I gave myself a pat on the back for this one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lobster Salad Part 2

Visited the PE & DD seafood stand again yesterday and made another salad.  Newest veggie to hit the farm stands are pickling cucumbers- my favorite, for their crispness.  They are just coming into season now.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ricotta Gnocchi

No big deal.  Just whipped up some fresh ricotta gnocchi and served them with fresh organic tomatoes from the farmer's market and torn basil from my lovely basil plant growing in my apartment window.  Topped with freshly grated parmesan.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lobster Salad Lunch

My new favorite thing is going to the Union Square farmers market on Saturday mornings.  I pick up fruits, veggies, Ronnybrook skim milk in their adorable glass bottle (though I wish they were dark glass bottles to prevent the loss of the light-sensitive B-vitamins), various multigrain seeded breads, and fish and shellfish from the friendly folks at the PE & DD fish stand.

Their fish/shellfish is so FRESH and you better get there early if you want some.  The past couple of times I've gone, the bluefish is gone by 8am.  A few others sell out by 9am and most all of the stuff is gone by 3pm or so.

I have been picking up one freshly cooked lobster (chilled) and a pound of cod or flounder.  Next time I will not pass up on the tuna steaks-- they looked absolutely amazing last week.

The lobsters are about a pound and a half and PE & DD charge $9.95/lb.  I do not own lobster crackers (they're on my list to pick up sometime soon), so I've been enjoying watching my boyfriend go at it with a hammer in our kitchen.  We keep the lobster wrapped in a plastic bag and use folded up paper towels as a buffer in between the hammer slams and the lobster.  It's worked very well so far :)

I grew up in Massachusetts and spend every summer vacation in Maine, so I am very familiar with good lobster.  This is some of the best lobster I've ever had.  They cook it perfectly.  Normally I'm the type who loves warm lobster with dripping hot butter smothered over it.  These chilled lobsters over a salad is my new favorite dish- the lobster is soooo tasty without anything on it.  I don't even use dressing on the salad, just a touch of lemon squeezed over it.

The tail is easy to get out, no use of the hammer here.  Simply twist and tear it away from the rest of the body.  Use a sharp knife and cut a line down the center of the underside.

Pull the sides apart like so...

And pop the meat out from the shell.


I simply cut up the meat and put it atop all my fresh veggies from the market: organic fresh greens, organic snap peas, organic tomatoes, avocado (bought at Whole Foods for $2.50), organic pear (bought at Trader Joe's for .49 cents), radishes, and organic bean sprouts.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry Season Has Arrived

Now that summer is just around the corner, I get to indulge in some of my favorite fruits...berries!  I went to the Union Square farmer's market yesterday to pick up some freshly picked strawberries.  I had to search a bit to find organic ones there, as most of the fruit/veggie farms represented are not organic farms.  I finally found a pint for $5.  They were grown with no pesticides at all, which makes them vulnerable to perishing quickly, so the woman who sold them to me said to "enjoy them today."

I wanted mixed berries, so I hopped across the street to Whole Foods to grab some organic raspberries and organic blueberries, both 6oz for $3.99.

Grab a bowl and add 1 cup whipping cream, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp sugar.  Whisk away, it takes about 5+ minutes, but eventually it will thicken and all of a sudden, fresh whipped cream!

There's nothing like berries and cream for a simple treat after dinner.