Seared Tuna with Ginger Shiitake Sauce

Seared Tuna with Mushroom Packets I’m still sick today but definitely on the mend but since I still not up to snuff I’m posting about another dish that I cooked last week before I came down with the flu. Tuna with mushrooms: to me that sounds like a weird combination but I’ve come across fish and mushroom dishes on several menus lately so I’m sure all those chefs can’t be wrong.Grilled AsparagusGrilled Artichoke

So when I saw Grilled Tuna with Mushroom Packets at the Pelican Grill I thought it was time to man up and try this combo. I’ve been told its good to try new foods when your hungry and after a long day of traveling, starting with a 7:00 am flight to sunny California, I was starving.  We proceeded to order way too much food.

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Chicken with Bacon & Pine Nut Sauce

chicken with garlic and lemon, served with bacon sauce and roasted potatoesReed and I recently went to the Greenwich Grill in Tribeca which is an unusual mix of Japanese and Italian cooking. When you enter its set up a sushi bar but in the back room there’s a lovely Italian restaurant. I ordered the tasting menu which was hit and miss but my main course the chicken with bacon sauce which was spiked with garlic, lemon, and rosemary had a great combination of flavors. The bacon sauce also incorporated pine nuts and pine nuts always remind me of my first encounter with pine nuts in nature: Four years ago I met up with my friend Jenna in Moscow where we hopped on the Trans-Siberian Railroad bound for Beijing.  During our stop over in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, we were excited to do some hiking after being cooped up in a small train compartment for four days .

Lonely Planet recommended an outfitter for hiking trips around the capital. They weren’t running any trips while we were in town but the expat who ran the place was happy to sell us a map and recommend some short hikes that would be suited for our fitness level, moderate to solid, and hiking experience, novice. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Ulaanbaatar’s markets looking for cashmere accessories and hiking supplies: gloves (its still pretty chilly in Mongolia in June), nuts, dried fruit, and bottled water but it was only a 3-4 hour hike so we weren’t worried but its always better to be prepared.

Setting off on an extremely long hike back to Ulaanbaater

Setting off on an extremely long hike back to Ulaanbaater

Early the next morning the driver we hired took us to an outlying area from which we were going hike back to Ulaanbaatar. As we drove out, I got a concerned at how long the drive was taking but I told myself it was slow going because the road was rough and winding. We planned to take a trail through the hills and forest to lead us to a nice hotel in the Ulaanbaatar suburbs where we’d have lunch before continuing on to the capital.

Semi-lost in the Mongolian wilderness but still having a good time

Semi-lost in the Mongolian wilderness but still having a good time

After we’d been hiking for two hours and were still far away from the hills that marked the half way point, I could tell that we were on a much longer hike than we’d planned. That’s when I realized we really should have held out for a map milage scale. We started to ration our water and really picked up our pace. Through the plains, forests and scrambling over rocky hill tops we kept up our pace. A month ago Jenna and I had hiked in and out of the Grand Canyon in an afternoon so we were in reasonably good shape but we didn’t want to be out in the Mongolian wilderness overnight. Continue reading

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Arugula Salad with Pear & Prosciutto

Press 195I love it when my friends live close to good restaurants, especially when they’re inexpensive ones. Then you always have a convenient place to meet up. My friend Paul used to live above Press 195 which is a panini shop in Park Slope that has great sandwiches, inexpensive beers and wine and a lovely patio during the summer. Basically a great place for hanging out.

Even though they have over 40 different paninis to choose from I’d always order my favorite the Prosciutto Di Parma with sliced pears, fontina, baby arugula and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Pear, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad Ingredients

The prosciutto and pear slices mingle with the melted fontina while the peppery arugula cuts through the luscious greasy goodness. Yum. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of it.

Cooking the ProsciuttoWhisking the salad dressing

I wanted to make something light to go with my deviled eggs and on my way back from the gym this morning I passed by Press 195 which got me thinking about their panini. I’m trying to eat low carb these days to fight back against my Easter chocolate gluttony and that panini had solid potential as an arugula salad with a couple adjustments.

Instead of the fontina I decided to switch to Romano cheese, half because I already had some in the house and half because, as a hard cheese, its lower in fat than fontina. I’m ditching the bread and bringing in a little sweetness by adding honey (I know honey’s not low carb but teaspoon doesn’t hurt) to the dressing for the arugula salad. Ingredients prepped and ready to go

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Deviled Eggs Three Ways

Holeman & Finch Deviled Eggs 3 WaysHoleman and Finch Public House PlateAbout a year ago I first noticed deviled eggs appearing on menus in New York.  A year later they’re everywhere.  Usually they’re spiffed up with a bacon infusion or spiked with sriracha sauce but I’m still a sucker for old school deviled eggs. Although, there are so many recipes for deviled eggs that everyone’s idea of traditional deviled egg is probably a little different.

A few months ago when Reed and I were down in Atlanta, we ordered deviled eggs three ways at Holeman & Finch Public House. Holeman & Finch is a cool Atlanta restaurant that specialize in small plates doing modern takes on traditional Southern food. There’s a lot of heritage pork on the menu and everything we tried was excellent but super filling. Eggs from our chickens

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Fried Rice, Chinese Take Out Style

Chinese Take Out Who doesn’t love to order Chinese take out from that spot around the corner?  But sometimes when I’m feeling healthy and/or motivated to use up various leftovers, I make my own.

The nice thing about making your own fried rice is you can cut back on the oil, use lean meats & brown rice, and load up on the vegetables. All of a sudden it goes from a greasy, take out, indulgence to a healthy one dish meal that you can whip up in no time.   Fried Rice Ingredients

Chopped Ginger for Fried RiceAfter a big Easter lunch this past Sunday, my parents sent me home with eggs (from my mom’s chicken, more on them later), ham, peas, cake, extra frosting, orange juice, deviled eggs, and scallions. My mother is incapable of letting me leave the house without loading me up with foodstuffs.

I feel like pack mule returning to the city with bags full to bursting with leftovers, and other foods she doesn’t want to keep in the house. With the remnants of Easter supper taking over my refrigerator, it was time for me to make fried rice again.
Scrambling Eggs for Fried RiceScrambled Eggs and Chopped Ingredients

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Berry Sangria

Sangria from Habana OutpostToday was cold and wet. I’m impatiently awaiting the sunny days of spring. I remember last spring when the weather was like this my old roommate Jesse and I went to Habana Outpost in Fort Greene to sip sangria huddled in our sweatshirts hoping that there’d be a break in the clouds.  I think we somehow thought that if we acted like it was spring that act might hasten its arrival. We were there to plan our vegetable garden.

Habana Outpost in the summer

Habana Outpost in the summer

Movie Night at Habana Outpost

Movie Night at Habana Outpost

Jesse and I used to share a duplex with a garden in Prospect Heights. In NYC any private outdoor space is highly coveted and we loved our backyard. We’d sit out there and smugly discuss just how great our backyard was. The rest of the apartment was falling apart and the neighborhood was a little sketchy but our hydrangeas were to die for.

Ingredients for Berry Sangria

Pouring Chambord into Simple Syrup

Pouring Chambord into Simple Syrup

Berries Marinating in Chambord Simple Syrup

Berries Marinating in Chambord Simple Syrup

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