August 29, 2011

Hurricane Chicken

You might have heard about this Hurricane Irene chick who came barreling through NYC. While she wreaked havoc, destruction, and sadly, even death in other states, she lost a lot of steam by the time she got to the Empire State. This meant we had a lot of provisions that, well, we didn't really need so badly any more. I decided to take some of the leftovers from my storm supplies and make what I dubbed "Hurricane Chicken."

I had half a bunch of leftover cilantro, some garlic that was starting to sprout, and some fading celery and onions.

I washed and trimmed all the veggies, taking out the bitter green shoot from the otherwise-fine garlic, and arranging everything in a roasting dish.
It doesn't look like much, maybe, but it's worth using, and I always feel better when I don't waste food.

I tossed the garlic, leftover cilantro, and unsalted butter into my mini food processor and made a delicious-smelling compound butter.

I took about 1/3 of it and shmeared it under the chicken skin (I have yet to do this without poking at least one hole in the chicken skin--don't worry--it still comes out just fine). I put the rest of the butter in the fridge for later.

I sprinkled a generous tablespoon of salt over the bird, stuffed a quartered lime in the bird's cavity, poured a cup of leftover white wine in the pan do you see anything wrong with this picture? I'll explain later..

I cooked the bird at 450 for just over an hour, and tossed some seasoned zucchini in for the last 20 minutes. I didn't baste the bird at all, just let the butter layer do its work.

The chicken was dreamily, succulent! The lime and cilantro gave it a nice Caribbean kick, and the butter made the skin nice and crispy. The pan juices? ZOMG.

It wasn't until the next day that I realized I put the chicken in the pan UPSIDE DOWN. Listen--severe weather can be stressful! Regardless, the bird was super juicy and scrumptious, and I nibbled on plenty of chicken as I plated the rest and put it up in the fridge. Oh, lunch this week is going to be great! Chicken sandwiches, chicken soup, chicken salad, chicken quesadillas....
"Hurricane" Chicken

1/2 bunch cilantro (or any leftover fresh herbs)
1 stick butter, softened
3-4 cloves garlic
1 lime, washed, scrubbed & quartered
1 3-4 lb roasting chicken
leftover veggies
1 cup white wine
salt & pepper

Trim veggies and arrange in roasting dish. Mix butter, garlic and herbs in mini food processor. Take 2-3 TBS of the butter and rub it over chicken, underneath skin.
Reserve the rest of the butter (don't touch with the hands that just touched raw chicken!) for later--it's great on warm rolls. Put lime quarters in chicken cavity, sprinkle bird with generous 2 Tbs of salt, fresh cracked pepper, and pop it in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until done (165 on meat therm, or when juices run clear).

Enjoy--and may all your storms bring more hype than harm!

August 27, 2011


As we watch and wait for Hurricane Irene, we're also trying to have fun. I whipped up this take on a Hurricane while I made my Hurricane Chicken (recipe soon!) I didn't have the traditional hurricane glass, but you gotta make do in times of inclement weather.

Hurricane recipes vary like you wouldn't believe, but in this case, I just used what I had: dark rum, white rum, and instead of grenadine, I used raspberry lemonade (from our pre-storm stockup at Target!)

It's basically equal parts of each rum, 2 parts lemonade, and to boost the color and fruity flavor, a swirl of Chambord liqueur (not shown). Listen--you can't mess up this drink, and with the storm brewing, I had to make do with what I had on hand!

I didn't have maraschino cherries on me, so I used a fresh raspberry to top it off--cheers!

LKP's Hurricane:

1 part dark rum
1 part white rum
2 parts raspberry lemonade (or OJ or fruit punch, etc)
splash of Chambord (Cointreu or Grand Marnier would be nice, too)

Add first 3 ingredients and ice to shaker, shake it up about 15 seconds. Pour over ice in glass, add splash of Chambord, top with raspberry (or any other fruit). Enjoy!

August 22, 2011

Happy BirthWeek to Me!

Doesn't this look delicious? It's a FREE cone of CoffeeCoffeeBuzzBuzz ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. If you sign up for "ChunkMail," the Ben & Jerry's newsletter, they'll send you coupons right before your birthday for a free cone AND a $3 coupon for any ice cream cake. (The newsletter only comes about once a month, so it won't add too much clutter to your inbox) I'm more of a regular cake than ice cream cake person, so I opted for the cone. Plus, it's a more travel-friendly option. I picked up this cone in the Rockefeller Center store, just steps from work. Delicious!

Another nice feature--the coupon is good for the WEEK of your birthday, so if you're busy on your actual birthday, like I was (blessed with friends and family wishing me well and celebrating all day with me), you can still get your ice cream a day or two or even SEVEN later!

Go here to sign up for the newsletter, aka free ice cream!!

PS: Even though it's free, I usually like to leave a dollar (or even 50 cents) in the tip jar, as long as they're nice and friendly and whatnot. I'm not saying you have to, but it's the nice thing to do!

August 19, 2011

Birthday Dinner- Alias

I have a long-running 'list,' a compilation of the places I want to eat in this awesome city I call home. It keeps changing and growing, but Alias has been on it for a good 5 years or so. When I found out the bar I'd picked for my birthday happy hour was STEPS from Alias, that clinched it!

Alias is a tiny little spot on Clinton street, and even though we were a bit late (who wants to leave a birthday party on time?) for our reservation, they still graciously saw us to our table.

They brought us some bread and walnut pesto. The pesto was so amazing that we vowed to make it at home as soon as possible! Soooo good! I couldn't really tell a difference, and since walnuts are much cheaper than pine nuts (and so healthy for you!), it's a double-win!

I ordered the 76 Passion for my cocktail--passion fruit purée, vodka and simple syrup. Sweet and summery. So lovely.

I ordered the bacon-wrapped trout because hello, I love fish! And wrapping it in bacon makes it even better! This was fantastic--I wished I'd had more of it--always a good sign.

ABF ordered the skirt steak with a generous bed of cilantro, and two of the most delicate and delicious potato croquettes you can imagine. Wow.

Alias was every bit as delicious as I'd heard, and a fantastic dinner spot for both of us! This is worth a return visit and then some--and you'll probably eat every last bite of your dishes just like we did.

76 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 505-5011

August 17, 2011

Caffe Cafe

One of my favorite spots in my neighborhood is Caffe Cafe--you can count on them for a tasty panini or a delicious, refreshing Italian soda.

My friend Jen A is moving back to Bay Ridge soon (yay!), so I have been more than happy to reacquaint her with our neighborhood. We stopped to share a lunch on a sunny afternoon, nabbing an outdoor table in the shade.

In this blazing hot weather, I love to stop by every few weeks for one of their Italian sodas. Caffe Cafe has a dizzying wall o' flavors, from almond to watermelon, and they add it to soda water and a splash of cream for a very satisfying, cooling treat. My go-to is sugar-free raspberry with a splash of almond--deeeelightful! Jen opted for the chocolate. I had a sip and WOW--this is delicious.

I always order the same sandwich--the Tuscan (vegetarian with mozzarella, spinach and tomato). It has a buttery, tangy, salty, melt-in-your-mouth wonderfulness to it. Gooey but not greasy, salty but not too much. Just YUM. This is a big sandwich, so we split it (that's the HALF sandwich in this photo). This is always a winner for me.

We also opted to split a quiche, getting the broccoli and cheddar. Um.. skip this. It was still cold in the middle, not heated through completely, but it was also pretty tasteless and just not worth it. Stick with the winners.

If it's raining or cold outside, there's still plenty of space indoors.
Seating inside is generous and spread out, with kitschy displays of teapots, mugs, and other knick-knacks, all for sale.
Service can be spotty, so if you're in a rush, you might want to secure that check ASAP. However, it's nice not to be rushed, and to sit back, sip a soda, and watch the world walk by you.

Caffe Cafe
8401 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209-4601
(718) 748-8700

August 15, 2011

Crazy Cheap Tasty: Man'ouChe

Jen A & I visited a spot highlighted in's Cheap Eats download (go to their Facebook page, 'like' them, and you can download it yourself--and 'like' Stuff I Ate on FB while you're there, won't you???)--and when they said 'cheap,' they were. not. kidding.

Not only is the food crazily affordable (as in I almost question how they're able to stay open), but it is flat out fantastic.

It's a no-frills place. Walk up to the counter, place your order, and they'll bring it to you. Easy-peasy. Not fancy, but oh my word, wait for the fresh and fantastic flavors coming your way.

We started with one of their famed manakeesh (flat-bread pizza-type dishes). This one was half mozzarella cheese, half zataar (a Middle Eastern spice blend with thyme, sumac, and many other wonderful aromatics). This was outstanding--and three dollars. THREE. DOLLARS. For an 11-inch flatbread. Seriously.

Zataar varies in composition (and spelling!), so it will likely taste a little different everywhere you go. The version at Man'ouChe has a strong thyme flavor, and honestly, I could have just eaten this spice mix by the spoonful. NUMANUMNUM!

We also ordered a dish of hummus ($3.00), which was a huge, generous portion that even 2 hungry girls couldn't finish (though we tried mightily). A drizzle of rich olive oil on the top was a lovely touch. This was smooth, creamy and oh-so-delectable. It had a healthy dose of lemon and the garlic wasn't overpowering.

Jen picked the tabbouleh, which I would normally pass on. I've had too many sharp, flat renditions of this dish that I have been burned out on it. This one, however, opened my eyes and my tastebuds. Bright, fresh parsley, ripe tomatoes, and a symphony of spices and flavors made this dish so good that I took the rest home.

Our total bill for this feast (including 2 bottled waters)? Twelve dollars. TOTAL. Why are we not there right now!??!

(Service is also fast and friendly--so leave a few dollars in the tip jar on your way out--I want this place to keep going!)

7701 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 200-0150

August 05, 2011

Cool Eats: Melon-Mango Soup

All this week I'm featuring "Cool Eats," recipes that require little to no stovetop time; perfect recipes to take the edge off that summer heat!

I can't think of a more delectable recipe for ending "Cool Eats" week-and this one requires NO cooking. In fact, you'll have it whipped together in a matter of minutes.

What goes in this fabulous treat? Mangoes, cantaloupe, a little sugar, some white wine, and lemon juice. That's pretty much it. Oh, and a splash of half and half.

I discovered champagne mangoes this summer--they're a bit smaller and much less fibrous than regular mangoes. Huzzah!

These are some slippery ingredients, so don't worry if it gets a little messy. Make sure your hands are clean, that you've scrubbed the outside of the fruits before slicing them, and just toss it all together in the blender.

We chilled these in the hollowed out cantaloupes for an extra bit of fun. It was even more scrumptious scooping out bits of cantaloupe from the fruit while eating the soup!

Mango-Melon Soup
1 mango, pitted
1 cup cantaloupe, just scooped out of shell
1 Tbls lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine (dry or sweet)
2 Tbs sugar
Splash of half and half (or 2 Tbs greek yogurt--we were out of yogurt at the time!)

Toss everything in a blender and give it a good whirl. I poured the soup back into the cantaloupe halves and chilled them about an hour. Divine!

August 02, 2011

Cool Eats: Cold Noodle Salad

All this week I'm featuring "Cool Eats," recipes that require little to no stovetop time; perfect recipes to take the edge off that summer heat!

This cold Asian noodle salad takes a little time in the kitchen-- or you can also use leftovers to make it even simpler. It's a tangy, cool, salty salad that is even better the next day! Thanks to Jen A for bringing this delectable dish into my life. It's the perfect pairing with a cold beverage on a hot summer day.

We started with some local zucchini I bought through were on sale for 50 cents EACH! Score!

Also from FreshDirect--rainbow chard. Check out those colors--aren't they stunning? Gorgeous green, fiery fuschia--all natural, no yellow Dye Number 3 or what have you.

First stovetop move: boil up some soba noodles--those only take a quick 3 minutes or so, then drain and cool.

A quick sauté of some veggies (we used squash, chopped sugar snap peas, scallions), chicken and tofu and we were good to go. A toss of everything with a cracktastic sauce (recipe below) and a generous toss of toasted sesame seeds and this dish will have you feeling happy and healthy. Chill it before serving--and save those leftovers, because it's even BETTER the next day.

This is an easily-adaptable recipe: don't follow it letter-for-letter. Scrounge through your fridge and add leftover veggies, a little bit of this, some of that, and it will always be delicious (and affordable)!

Cold Noodle Salad (Credit: Jen A)

2 cups leftover/sautéed veggies
handful soba noodles
1 cup chicken/tofu (or combo)
Toasted sesame seeds

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 T toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed or minced
1 T honey
2 T green onions (green part)
Toasted sesame seeds

Add first 5 ingredients, mix thoroughly. Add green onions & seeds at end. Splash over salad, reserve the rest for later (also great for dunking dumplings!)

August 01, 2011

Cool Eats: Cold Cherry Soup

All this week I'm featuring "Cool Eats," recipes that require little to no stove-top time; perfect recipes to take the edge off that summer heat!

Cherry soup can be heavy and not-so-healthy, but this recipe comes out cool, bright, and deliciously decadent, despite its being not-so-bad for you!

This recipe comes together easily, with only about 15 minutes of stovetop time. It's a riff on the Martha Rose Shulman recipe that was in the New York Times last month. It's healthy, light, and so refreshing!

Fresh cherries can be expensive, so if they go on sale, nab 'em! Or, just splurge on a bit of summer's best work. A fruit stand in my Brooklyn nabe sells them 2 pounds for 8 bucks--that woman has seen a lot of me this summer. :)

Three of us set to pitting 2 lbs of cherries by hand--honestly? Not that difficult. And whatever dropped outside of the bowl, we got to eat. :) Make sure to save the pits, because that's what you use to make a sort of cherry 'stock.'


After boiling the pits in the water, you remove them, put in everything but the cherries,yogurt and almond extract, and let it go five more minutes. Then add the cherries, let it "simmah down nah" for five minutes more. You're almost done!

A quick whisking of 1 cup cherry liquid into the yogurt gets the final step going. After the first cup came together, we added the almond extract. I briefly considered adding more than the teaspoon, but the flavor is even stronger the next day, so I think the 1 tsp. is sufficient. And awesome. :)

I couldn't help thinking that this would be equally delectable spooned over some vanilla ice cream, or freshly-sliced peaches and bananas. Any other serving suggestions?

This is dead simple and so, so, so fantastic. We had the first round for dessert with dinner, and more the next day for breakfast. Yay, summer!

Cold Cherry Soup (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's NYT recipe)

5 cups water

scant 1/2 cup sugar (use less if berries are very sweet)

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 teaspoon salt

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp almond extract (YUM)

2 pounds sweet, dark cherries, pits reserved

1 cup Greek-style yogurt (we used Fage 2%)

Bring 5 cups to boil in saucepan. Add pits and boil 5 minutes. Remove pits (water will be tinged rosy-pink) and add everything but the cherries and yogurt. Stir gnently to mix, then let go for about 5 minutes at a rolling boil before adding the cherries. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat to start cooling down.

Take 1 cup of the warm cherry mixture and whisk it into another bowl with the yogurt, whisking quickly, then slowly add the rest, cup by cup. Let it cool down before putting in the fridge. As Ms. Shulman says, you may have to stir it up again before serving, but we didn't really notice any separating.

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