Apple and Brussels Sprouts Hash
1 small container Brussels sprouts, washed and halved (with outer leaves removed)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 package bacon
1 peeled apple, diced
2 – 3 Tbsp. maple syrup (plus extra, to taste)
olive oil, to saute
salt and pepper, to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F, place the halved sprouts on a tinfoiled baking sheet, drizzle heavily with olive oil, and stick them in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the sprouts are charred without and tender within.
2) While the sprouts roast, pour some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil starts to make ripples, add the…
onions and apples. Let them sautee for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the apples start to turn golden.
3) Add the bacon
and sautee for about 20 minutes, or until the bacon is brown and crispy, the onions are sweet, and the apples are soft. You want really nice, crunchy bacon here to contrast with the soft elements in the dish, but don’t turn up the heat. The point is to render the fat slowly so the bacon cooks evenly without being black on the edges and raw in the middle.
4) When the sprouts are done (just taste them…when there is a tiny bit of resistance to your teeth, they are done), take them out and add them to the pan.
5) Add the Brussels sprouts and maple syrup to the pan. Stir the ingredients around gently, so you don’t break the sprouts apart but so that the maple syrup melts into all of the components.
6) Taste for maple syrup, salt and pepper and serve!
This is a side dish for people who love sweets. The apples, onions, and maple syrup make this positively sugary. In fact, I add a heavy dose of pepper to balance out the sweetness, though my sister likes it au naturale. The crispy bacon mimics the crispy sprouts, and the entire mixture is a sweet, salty, crunchy, and tender delight.
The Smith is an American brasserie serving from breakfast through late nights, with a huge menu including a raw bar, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and a bevy of desserts. The Bloody Marys they offer for brunch are great to boot – spicy and full bodied, with a nice kick of vodka. The decor is casual brasserie – dishtowel napkins, tiled floors…
and this eclectic display of vintage liqueur bottles.
Simply the best tomato soup I have eaten in the city, and one that I aim to recreate at home. Serving it French Onion Soup style was a stroke of genius.
Chicken Paillard with Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Arugula, Marinated Tomatoes, and Parmesan Dressing
With a few of my sister’s very tasty, lightly salted fries (that reminded me quite a bit of In-N-Out, actually), this was a perfect lunch.
The Smith is just so great. The portions are huge, the atmosphere is festive, the price is right, and the service is expedient.
Okay, you can stop staring me down. After this year, I won’t post it any more.
2 lbs. chicken livers, rinsed in a colander until the water runs clear
4 onions, sliced
1/4 lb. chicken fat (Or 1/4 cup ready made schmaltz)
about 15 pitted prunes
1/3 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste
1) Put the chicken fat in a pan over medium low heat. You want the fat to melt very slowly, so it doesn’t burn. This is called rendering the fat and will result in crispy skin(gribenes), and liquid gold(schmaltz). If the liquid starts to turn golden brown or give off a strong aroma, turn down the heat immediately.
2) When the fat is melted (about 20 minutes), remove the gribenes and pour the onions into the pan.
3) Turn the pan on medium high and really fry those onions. You don’t want a golden brown color, you really want a darkly caramelized and fried color. This will likely take at least 25 minutes.
Chicken skin sexy photo shot break…these would be great crumbled up over hot popcorn…okay, now back to the recipe!
When the onions look like above, take them out of the pan to drain on a paper towel, but leave the pan on the stove.
4) Dump the chicken livers into the pan, and…
saute them until they look like this – a rather unappetizing grey. It will take around 15 minutes. You know you are done when you cut into the largest liver and the middle is just BARELY a pale pink. This isn’t the time for rosy red livers.
5) Put the hot livers in your food processor.
6) Add your prunes.
7) As you start the processor, drizzle in your wine…
and your cream.
8) When the pate is smooth, put it in a large bowl. Add a hefty amount of salt and pepper (the liver REALLY needs a good amount of salt),
and the onions.
9) Now mix with a spoon and taste, taste, taste! Is it too bland? Add more salt. Too acidic? Puree up a few more prunes with some cream and add the puree to the dish. Too sweet? Time for some more Marsala. When the liver tastes good to you, wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. The flavors will really develop over this time.
This is rich – like, Warren Buffet rich. Some people dig it on bagel chips, but I prefer mine with celery sticks and endive spears – some crisp, clean vegetable that really showcases the decadent nature of the meat. This is not overtly liver-y. It is really rather mild as far as pates go, thanks to the prunes and cream. The onions add a chewy, crunchy element and the Marsala adds a tang and depth that only alcohol can truly give(don’t worry, the heat of the liver cooks the alcohol in the processor). This is just so great. Anyone who has never had chopped liver will like this. Anyone who has ever had chopped liver will LOVE this.
The restaurant is, as aforementioned, diminutive, but the causal space manages to feel comfortable and hip. Be aware that none of the seats have backs, so this may not be ideal for someone who needs a lot of room or back support during the meal. But, if they can suck it up, your friends will be in for an very special gustatory experience.
Fatta Cuckoo is a hell of a spot. The food is seasonal, locally sourced, and outrageously delicious. The portions are huge. The prices are fair. Perhaps most importantly, the chef is a guy whose establishment you want to patronize. He so loves food, he loves feeding people, and he loves doing it in a responsible, seasonal way.
The World’s Best Cheesecake
4 packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. vanilla
12 gingersnaps or graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
6 cups of crushed nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, or whatever you like)
1 stick butter, melted
Special Equipment: Springform pan, lined with tinfoil.
1) Preheat your oven to 350 F and combine 1 cup of sugar with the crushed nuts and cookies. Mix well.
2) Drizzle the butter over the crumbs and mix well until all the crumbs are moistened and become a thick sort of paste. You may not use all of the butter – you want it to be just a bit moist, not sopping wet.
3) Pat the crumbs into an even layer in your tinfoiled springform pan. Set aside.
4) In a large bowl, combine your cream cheese,
sweetened condensed milk,
vanilla, lemon juice,
the rest of the sugar,
and sour cream.Mix until all are roughly combined (There will be some cream cheese lumps, but dont’ worry about that).
5) Add the eggs to the mixture.
6) Mix with your hand mixer or stand mixer for at least 7 minutes or until the mixture has increased in volume by about 1/3 (yes, Christina Tosi, you have convinced me that a prolonged mixing time really makes an outstanding cake).
7) Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. Take a quick lick of the spatula. You won’t get salmonella.
8) Place the cake on a sheet pan with a lip and put it in the oven. Pour water into the sheet pan to create a water bath. Cook the cheesecake for about 45 minutes, or until the outside is firm but the center is still somewhat jiggly. If the cheesecake starts to become golden around the edges, take it out at once.
You are going to love this cake – I bet my blog’s credibility on it. It isn’t one of those fluffy, sugary, preservative laden cakes. This is dense – like a glorious brick in your stomach. The first taste is of cream and pure, clean dairy. Then there is the sweet and gingery crunch of the crust – like a buttery, nutty graham cracker. Then there is the gentle tang of the lemon and sour cream, the aromatic, floral vanilla and the sweetness of the sugar. Pushing your knife through this is like running your fingers through wet sand. It is slow, it is sensual, it gives you some resistance. And it’s so damn satisfying.
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
3 Tbsp. jarred pesto (be sure to find one without nuts if you are serving those with allergies)
1 head roasted garlic
1/3-1/2 cup apple cider or tomato vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Special Equipment: Food Processor
1) Dump the beans into the food processor.
2) Toss in the pesto.
3) And the garlic
You guys doing ok? I know, I’m really intimidating with all of the incredibly technical recipes I show you on the blog.
4) Vinegar. Add it. Be aware, you may need up to 1/2 of a cup of vinegar by the time the hummus is to your liking. But start out with 1/3 of a cup. You can always add more later.
5) Start the food processor, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. You won’t need much because the pesto has oil in it.
Just drizzle a bit in until the hummus becomes a consistency you like – I prefer a consistency that is mostly smooth, but not too thin. Transfer to a container and refrigerate the hummus for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight. Taste for seasonings before serving, and add more pesto, oil, or spices as you see fit.