Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The best Buffalo wings...made in Brooklyn

I've really had every kind of wing....the penny wing; more commonly, the 10 cent wing; buckets of wings that come with pitchers of beers and are served in a basement with paper tablecloths and loud rock music; fancy wings in upscale restaurants that you have to eat with forks (well, I guess you don't HAVE to); wings in Europe (OMG); wings from THE original Anchor Bar in Buffalo; and speaking of Buffalo, wings from the long-departed Jaime Jhota's, La Nova's, Wings 'n Things, the place around the corner.... I've had mild wings (yuck), medium wings, hot wings, suicide wings, barbeque wings, garlic wings, ginger wings.....ginger/garlic wings. I've brought wings through customs, wings through airport security, wings on busses, wings in the back seat, wings in a cooler....Wings were the downfall of my vegetarianism.

But tonite, I had the best wings a girl could ask for. D hooked up some wings for us with his own special Buffalo Wing Sauce, and we tossed it up with some free-range chicken wings, and it was GOOOOOD.

So now you want the recipe? Sorry. That's a family secret.

But I can tell you that one of the secrets to the preparation is roasting seasoned wings until the skin is crispy, THEN toss them with the sauce, and then return them to the oven for a bit. Of course, serve them with some celery and blue cheese.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ordering Out: Get Fresh

We've both been way too busy with work and other things for the past two weeks; tonite, I was out of ideas and decided to try the new place that opened in Park Slope called Get Fresh.


The place delivers prepared meals that just need to be cooked, and uses organic and local ingredients. The menu changes every month or so to reflect foods that are in season. It's a bit expensive, and the food wasn't stellar, but I felt okay having it for dinner.

We ordered Korean beef BBQ w/rice and kimchee, sauteed kale with garlic, and porcini mushroom rice cakes. The rice cakes were not on the printed menu that I had from last month, because the porcinis were in season, and the celery root remoulade that I did want was not. I was tempted to order the vanilla bean rice pudding (and at this time of the night, I really wish I had). Get Fresh took credit card info over the phone for payment, and the delivery came in a jiffy. Very convenient. They even delivered a little later than they usually do because I sounded desperate--and maybe because I was very close and they hadn't been very busy. Anyway, it made me feel special.

The meat was a bit chewy, but the flavor was nice. We decided to forego the rice and serve the beef with the rice cakes. We also put the kale in the fridge...just seemed like too much to eat. (Just finished Michael Pollan's latest: eat less, he says, mostly plants). The kimchee was a little strange, kind of like an Asian cole slaw, and the porcinis had too much rice and not enough porcini.

It was also a bit pricey--but paying more for healthy, quality food that's produced in a sustainable way is kind of part of the point. You vote for the kind of food you want with your dollars to the extent you can, and hope that it results in a rise in demand, which in turn results in the development and investment in small farms. That's a good thing. Check out http://www.sustainabletable.org/

This description sounds harsh, but I have to say, I wish this place well and hope that it takes feedback in stride and gives it some consideration. The concept is awesome; I hope I get a chance to taste another dish sometime soon.

Antigua-inspired Granola

Finally, finally the time to experiment with a granola recipe. Amazingly, it turned out great and my imagination is stoked for all kinds of other granolas. We had some the next morning with yogurt, pineapple, apple, and dried cranberries. Totally reminiscent of our vacation--with the sun streaming through the window on this beautiful Brooklyn morning.

D wondered whether little bags of granola might make good holiday gifts this coming winter, but they seem a bit too, well, crunky for most family. But who knows? Anyway, here's the basics. Use your imagination to create The Perfect Granola For You.


1 cup of old-fashioned (no quick cooking) oats
1/4 cup of wheat germ
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup peanuts
1/8 cup raisins
1/8 cup of pepitas (pumpkin/squash seeds)
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil (not olive oil)
1/2 Tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon


Preheat over to 275 degrees F. Take out a sheet pan or a roasting pan (about 9 x 11) and coat with some kind of oil. Mix together in a bowl everything until the honey. Heat the honey, oil, water, and cinnamon in a sauce pan. Drizzle the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir. Spread the mixture out on the pan and stick it in the oven.

Bake until the pepitas start to puff up and everything turns a nice golden brown. Take out and place in an airtight container or a brown paper bag. Should last about 1 week out, 2 weeks in the fridge. Best way to enjoy? Over 1 - 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup of sliced fruit (see previous blog entry), a drizzle of honey, and some sprinkled toasted coconut if its on hand. Yum.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Critical Primary Night Sustenance

In order to stomach the punditry this evening, we needed sustenance. Not very economical in terms of time, but this meal is a nice and tasty no-meat dish. Check it out.

Tempeh and Broccoli over Quinoa with a Tamari-Ginger Sauce
(Serves 2, with enough for lunch-leftovers)

1 12 oz-package of tempeh (I like veggie or mutigrain)
2 cups raw broccoli
1 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 veggie boullion cube
1 medium onion
salt and pepper to taste

3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp oil

Start with the sauce. Dice the garlic and ginger and mix together the rest of the ingredients. Let sit. I thought about adding a thickener but didn't. I might the next time. D suggested maybe pureed chick pea--just enough to thicken it up a bit.

I haven't yet perfected the quinoa formula, I have to admit, but I start out with 2 cups of water, add the quinoa, and dump the 1/2 boullion cube in there and bring to a boil. I usually have to add water, which is why I said 2 1/2 cups of water.

Steam broccoli florets (kind of small) in some water with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then cover for about 5 minutes until the florets are tender. Drain and set aside.

Slice up the onion, set aside. Take the tempeh and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes. Place about 2 Tbsp oil in a cast iron pan or wok and heat until its smokin'. Dump those onions in there and watch them sizzle. When they get soft, throw in the tempeh cubes and saute until both the onions and the tempeh are nice and browned. Add the steamed broccoli florets to the pan, and pour about 1/3 of the sauce over the whole mix.

Spoon about 3 heaping Tbsp on a plate, place an attractive amount of the tempeh, broccoli, onion mix on top, and then drizzle with some of the sauce (easier if it's thicker, that's for sure). Serve with a side of beautiful salad, and you're set. I can't guarantee that you'll be able to fully enjoy the meal while watching Brit Hume, though. He's horrible. I would have chosen another network if I had it to do over again.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Why Isn't the TSA Afraid of Buffalo Wings?

Sometimes I just can't believe what I get away with at the airport. I won't list everything here, but this time, it was a small insulated bag with Cuisine de Buffalo.

Not many people look forward to business trips to Buffalo, but for me, I have the chance to see dear friends, and get my fill of some of the foods of my yesteryear: Amy's Place lentil soup & awesome omelets, and Buffalo wings. Thankfully, the uber-healthy friends that I stay with have a teenaged son who digs the wings as much as I do. Go Aidan!

On the way there, the barrett in my hair resulted in a full pat down (which is much more like a feeling-up, to be honest); but 6 BBQ chicken wings and a cup of lentil soup in an insulated bag didn't raise an eyebrow. The question is: should we worry about the TSA's failure to detect dangerous chicken wings??