Posted in Italian Cuisine, tagged beets, blue cheese, cheese, comfort food, fries, gnocchi, Italian, New York, risotto, veal on March 31, 2010 |
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Comfort food. It’s a term that everyone, anywhere in the world, is most likely familiar with. It even has a Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_food). Simply put, it is food that brings us comfort. It could be Mom’s home cooking, the local diner, the local curry house (for you Brits) or any food, whether it’s simple classics or gourmet cuisine, that brings you satisfaction even thinking about it.
By now you should know that I am a serious food lover. If you’ve seen Anthony Bourdain’s recent episode of No Reservations in Vietnam, you might have an understanding of how my Vietnamese heritage “forces” me to eat, want to eat, and talk about eating all the time. Unfortunately, it’s something I seen to be unable to suppress.
With that said, when I think back on my year in New York, I naturally think about the food I ate. Of course, most of the food memories involve really good times with friends – whether it was dinner at a new BYOB or a great Sunday brunch. If you didn’t know already, New Yorkers love their brunch. I don’t know if it’s the ability to drink so early in the morning or rather to continue drinking after a late night or if it’s the social aspect of catching up with friends in your precious free time.
Either way, one of my absolute favorite brunch places is Extra Virgin in the West Village. Granted this place usually has a pretty long wait on the weekend, I have never minded waiting. That’s probably because I kill the time by having one of their spicy Bloody Mary’s that will turn you into a Bloody Mary lover. If I recall a couple years ago, I didn’t really care for them until I had one here. It might be too spicy for some, but it gives a great amount of kick for me. But that’s not the reason I go back to this place. The real reason is the Gorgonzola fondue and fries. If you want to talk about comfort food, this super simple side dish makes me dream about New York. I have no idea why I love it so much. The sauce is just divine and the fries are fantastically thin and crispy. I kept bragging about it to my friend Adi who wasn’t really impressed until she tried it. It was a great reaction. First she commented on how the fries looked great. Then she dipped. Then her eyes opened wide and she moaned, a little. Needless to say we had to ask for more fondue to finish off the fries
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Posted in Italian Cuisine, Sandwiches, tagged avocado, beets, blue cheese, cheese, cherry tomatoes, chicken, croutons, fruit, garlic, mango, marinara, mozzarella, parmesan, pineapple, sandwich, sausages, spinach on February 18, 2010 |
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This past Tuesday, my parents headed out for a little trip down under and left me in charge of our three little dogs. Of course, I was very excited since this meant I had the kitchen all to myself for 10 days. It was only after they left that I realized I’d be cooking for one. This is quite a challenge, but I was determined to take advantage. I wanted to balance making things I’ve been craving and be healthy at the same time. Also since I’ve been eating loads of Vietnamese food recently, I absolutely had to feed my craving for Italian. Now my real craving for Italian would be Carbonara with homemade pasta at Mario Batali’s Otto Pizzeria at One Fifth or the gnocchi with marinara and roasted garlic cream sauce at Supper in the East Village (both in New York). Sadly, I couldn’t magically transport myself to NY and those dishes aren’t exactly healthy.
First, I searched the kitchen to see what my parents left behind for me. It is SUCH a difference using a kitchen in a house versus a flat, especially my family’s house. The pantry never ends AND they have two refrigerators!
Using just items in the kitchen, I was able to whip up a nice salad.
While it doesn’t sound like the healthiest salad in the world, I was getting lots of dietary fiber and vitamin B with my beets, one of my five-a-day with the apple, and good monounsaturated fat with the avocado. * Note – my salad recipes will start going up in my Recipes section.
Beet, Apple, Blue Cheese Salad
Next up for breakfast was fruit. As part of Tet, there was loads of fresh fruit around the house. Strangely, I realized I had never cut up a pineapple before. So I had a little fun trying to avoid poking myself. The smell of fresh pineapple is so delightful. We also had a fresh mango which usually makes my throat itch but I absolutely love. Since there was so much pineapple I figured I’d only add a little banana and orange juice then blend away!
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