Saturday, April 10, 2010

New York food adventure

Last weekend for Easter, I decided to drive up to New Jersey to spend some time with both sides of my family, and also try to sneak in a day in the city. Awesome, awesome choice.

First, I got to experience a day of Polish cooking with an aunt on my dad's side. Sadly, not many photos of this exist, as I was up to my elbows in the sink squeezing cabbage like my life depended on it.

This is about the first half of the gwumpkies, and we also made perogies - using a different recipe than the one I tried before. The dough was WAY better, but I wasn't as crazy about the cabbage filling (nor the process of squeezing 10 lbs of cabbage).

Perogie dough:
5 c all purpose flour, more for kneading
1 egg
2 TBS sour cream
1 c water
1 c milk

Whisk together the liquids, make a well in the flour, combine, and knead until smooth and elasticky. Keep chilled and covered until ready to use.

The other very awesome aspect of the trip (besides getting to indulge in two beautiful Easter dinners) was having a food adventure in New York. I don't usually write about restaurant experiences, but this was a bit out of the ordinary.

First we stopped in Greenwich Village, where I was able to purchase Amateur Gourmet's book and Jenny 8. Lee's book together for $15 at a small second-hand shop. AG saw my Tweet about it and even offered to find a time to meet to sign my book!

We picked Karavas Place on a whim for lunch and it turned out to be awesome. We had the hummus and falafel platters - both were fresh and delicious. I don't think I've ever had falafel that good before. It's definitely going on my list of things to try and re-create.

I can't resist a good piece of baklava, so imagine my surprise when the woman (whom I think may own the restaurant) plunked this beast down in front of me. NOM. 

Dinner had to be David Chang's Momofuku Ssam Bar in the East Village -- I've been dying to go here ever since I bought the cookbook. We met up with Bao, a MN transplant living in NYC and a fellow food enthusiast. We didn't have enough people for the ssam dinner (plus we eat bo ssam fairly often), so Jake and I both ordered the "spicy sausage and rice cakes" which turned out to be an amazing variation on our beloved tteok bogi.

After splitting some cookies from Milk Bar (the compost cookie actually made it back to NJ, then back to DC where it made up half my lunch on Monday afternoon), Bao brought us to Chikalicious for dessert. I *wish* I had thought to photo my desserts. They were adorable. Needless to say, if you can afford the $14 prix fixe menu you should definitely try to make it. They were beautifully crafted, and such a fresh and clever blend of flavors. Who knew pink peppercorns could make an ice cream flavor? Or that it would be brilliant paired with a port sauce?

This weekend it's back into the kitchen for me! Possibilities: Momofuku steam buns (they were to die for!), compost cookies, pitas....

Dreaming? of my next NYC food adventure!

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