There’s a stretch along the Hudson River on the Upper West Side that used to be train yards and other industrial uses that is now the Hudson River Park. There are sculpture installations and an old gantry crane that’s sculptural in its own right.
At about 70th Street you’ll find Pier I Cafe. (Use the park entrance at 68th St.) You place your order at a counter and they give you your drinks and a pager that will notify you when your food is ready.
They take some time to prepare but once you get the knack it isn’t too bad. They’re tasty, easy to eat and worth the trouble.
The hard part –
Remove and discard the wing tips. Separate the remaining pieces at the joint.
Starting with the lager piece with the single bone – with a sharp pointed knife separate the skin and tendons from the bone at the narrow end and begin to slide the meat downward scraping with the knife as you go until you end up with a ball of meat at the end of a smooth bone.
For the smaller piece with two bones – separate the two bones at the pointed end. Continue as before but this time with two bones. When you’re halfway down begin to twist and wiggle the thinner bone until it breaks off and you can remove it. Slide the rest of the meat down scraping the bone as you go.
The easy part –
Mix the salt. pepper, paprika and garlic salt and season the lollipops with it.
Make a marinade of the vinegar, sriracha and brown sugar. Put the lollipops in the marinade and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Remove the wings from the marinade, dripping off the excess. Coat them in the flour, let them rest 20 minutes and fry them until dark golden and the coating begins to caramelize.
Fine and Schapiro’s Kosher Restaurant and Delicatessen had been on the Upper West Side of Manhattan since 1927. That’s about 80 years of excellent pastrami. And although that’s my standard order, it isn’t all they serve – MENU.
Something to pick on while you’re waiting for your order.
Lean pastrami on rye, pickles and a hot cherry pepper – perfect!
I just got these at a local green market. Making stuffed zucchini flowers isn’t an exact science so I can’t give you exact ingredient measurements.
I got about 20 flowers and started by pulling out the pistil. It’s hard and takes up room that can be used for stuffing.
I mixed 3 heaping tablespoons of ricotta with 1 tablespoon of grated Parmigiana. I tasted it and it didn’t need any additional salt. I put 1 to 2 espresso spoons of stuffing into each flower depending on their size. The petals stick to the stuffing so there’s no need to tie them.
I rolled them in flour and then beat an egg with 2 tablespoons of cold water to thin it. I dipped them in the egg wash and then rolled them in the flour again.
Fry them until they’re yellowish-gold, drain and serve.
A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Anchovy Tomato Sauce that I got from a pizzeria chef I know. I thought it was pretty good. A friend of mine showed it to his Sicilian grandmother who, to put it mildly, didn’t approve of it. The differences in the two recipes don’t seem too extreme to me but to her, there’s a world of difference. Out of respect for Nona Filomena, I’m posting her recipe. I tried them both and prefer Nona’s.
Filomena didn’t exactly give me a breakdown of ingredients and preparation so I’ll paraphrase our phone conversation and fill in a few blanks.
“You start with a small can of alici (anchovies) in a frying pan with some oil (olive). When they start to dissolve, put in your garlic (2 cloves) finely chopped so you don’t mistake it for a pinole. You cook that a little bit (5 minutes)and then put in a small can of paste (6 oz.). Stir it until it absorbs the oil and then a little of the pasta water to thin it, but not too much. Put in the pinoles (pine nuts) and currants (about 1/3 cup each). Now, a little sugar (two teaspoons) to cut the acid of the tomatoes. Let it cook until it’s done (about 20 minutes) and maybe if you need it, a little more pasta water. You should taste it then. There’s probably enough salt from the alici but if you like it salty you might want more. No cheese with this but you put a bowl of fried breadcrumbs on the table and people help themselves.”
A few of Nona Filomena’s comments:
No parsley in this sauce. It doesn’t belong.
You make this with fettuccine. No other kind of pasta.
You don’t put the toasted breadcrumbs in the sauce as it’s cooking because they get soggy. You want them crisp.
It’s all right to finish cooking the fettuccine in the sauce but if you’re making two or three pounds when the whole family is coming, you don’t have to do that.
I adapted this from an Alison Roman recipe that I found in the Food Section of the New York Times.
Mix the lemon and shallots in a bowl with salt and black pepper. Season the room temperature chicken with salt and black pepper. Cook, turning until both sides are deeply browned. Remove the chicken to a bowl and leave all the fat behind.
Add the lemon shallot mix to the pan and cook until the lemon starts to brown.
Add the spinach to the pan with salt and black pepper and a 1/3 cup oil, cover and lower the heat until it starts to wilt. Add the beans and mix gently so you don’t mash them. Return the chicken to the pan for a few minutes and serve.
The search started with a Sazerac and finally ended with the Ramos Gin Fizz.
. . . After we settled in our hotel there was time for a late dinner. We waited for a table at the hotel restaurant bar and this was our first chance to try a Ramos Gin Fizz. We told the bartender that we’d heard about this traditional New Orleans drink and would like to try it. He was young and he was stumped. . . He suggested another famous Big Easy cocktail, a Sazarac.
. . . It was almost dinner time and we had reservations at Galatoires, another one of my father’s recommendations. It was an old New Orleans institution with classic Creole dishes and jackets required for gentlemen.
. . . From base to top there were subtle and slightly varying shades of almost pure white going from the deepest hue at the bottom to a perfectly white, glowing heavenly cloud of thick foam at the top. It appeared to be both dense and light at the same time. . . The best way for me to describe the experience is to imagine the tastiest slice of lemon meringue pie anyone ever ate; now imagine drinking it while in a garden filled with fragrant tropical flowers.
. . . Marcel said, “These jack-leg young bartenders don’t care to keep up with the old Noo Awlin traditions. The Ramos Gin Fizz has been around longer than jazz. It was first concocted by a gentleman bartender named Henry Ramos before Kid Ory or Jelly Roll Morton ever even played any music.”
. . . “It’s not so much what’s in it but the time and care you take to get it all together.” . . . I ordered another round just so we could witness the “time and care” Marcel would put into his creation.
Persian or more accurately, Iranian cuisine is more than just kabobs. Iran covers deserts and snowy mountains and its cuisine is just as varied as its landscape.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Soak saffron in 2 tbsps. warm water for 10 minutes. Crush with the back of a spoon and combine saffron, garlic and yogurt in a large bowl. Whisk until blended and smooth.
Add chicken, coat with yogurt mix, cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a large dish, mix flour, paprika, half of the mint, salt and pepper. Shake off excess marinade and coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture.
Shake off excess flour and fry it until golden brown. I got this very large frying pan at a restaurant supply store. If yours isn’t that big, don’t crowd the pan – fry in batches if you need to. Be generous with the oil. It should come up to about 1/2 way to the thickness of the chicken pieces. If you’re using a thermometer, the internal temperature for thighs should be 165 degrees.
Drain and serve with the lemon wedges and sprinkled with the chopped walnuts and remaining mint.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the walnut pieces to the hot, dry pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the walnuts are toasted and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the pesto: combine the arugula, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Process until smooth. Add in the Parmesan and lemon juice. Pulse until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain pasta. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking. Add in the lemon zest. Toss.
Add the pesto into the pasta and stir to incorporate. If too dry, add a little of the pasta water. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in a few handfuls of arugula and top with the toasted walnut pieces. Finish with a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.