Posted in Italian Cuisine, tagged beets, blue cheese, cheese, comfort food, fries, gnocchi, Italian, New York, risotto, veal on March 31, 2010 |
2 Comments »
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
(CLICK FOR MORE…)
Read Full Post »
In celebration of Naples earning the right to label its pizza as “Traditional Specialty Guaranteed” (an EU trademark), I thought I’d give it a shot at making my own. Coincidentally, I’ve also started reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. In the last section I read she went to Naples and gave a delicious description of eating pizza there, and it made my mouth water. Now I set out with the best intentions – thinking oh I’ll make a healthy pizza! I even bought whole wheat pizza dough from Fresh & Easy!
But let’s face it – pizza is not the same without cheese. And cheese isn’t exactly the healthiest thing to eat (if you love it as much as I do). And if you’re gonna make a pizza, I feel like you’re really cheating yourself if you go for fat-free which doesn’t have much flavor. So I splurged on the cheese and went healthy on the dough
My brother’s instructions (he’s a chef) for preparing the dough was to first knead the dough on a surface dusted with flour. And because I wanted thin crust, he said to pick it up by my finger tips and hold the dough by the edge and kind of rotate it while thinning the edges. Somehow I completely forgot this advice and just went straight for kneading the middle with my knuckles. But I was having too much fun to worry about not eating thin crust – so I just went with it! My main concern was that it would fit perfectly in the round pizza dish I was using.
Anywho – my main objective here is to share my yummy pictures with all of you and hope it’ll inspire some of you to go out and make some pizza for yourself!
- Pizza dough from Fresh & Easy (not sure what other groceries sell it these days)
** You could always be brave and make your own! I found an Alton Brown recipe
** I was feeling a bit lazy and didn’t have a lot of time to put into my pizza sadly, so I cheated and just bought it at Fresh & Easy since it was right next to the dough. But you could easily make a simple marinara, add oregano, let cool and blend.
- Mozzarella cheese of course!
** I added some ‘Habanero cheese’ that was on sale at the store the other day, so added it in for a little kick!
- Black olives
- Sweet onions
** At the last minute I decided to caramelize these a little with balsamic vinegar.
** Any sausage will do really or any meat you’d like. I browned it in a pan with a little bit of chili flakes before putting it on the pizza.
(CLICK FOR MORE…)
Read Full Post »