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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Roast Monkfish over Pea & Prosciutto Risotto

Young Chicken with Peruvian Forbidden Rice

On the subway this past Friday night I noticed the smell of roast almonds.  ’That’s odd’ I thought.  The subway’s full of many smells, mainly urine and rotting trash but I don’t recall ever smelling roast almonds down there. As the smell became stronger, I started looking around at my fellow passengers to find the source.

Then I remembered I was carrying a bottle of almond oil, the very one I used to make the dressing for the radicchio salad.  I looked under the arugula and cilantro and there it was, tipped over, and leaking all over my shopping bag.

Roast Monkfish with mushroom risotto

Reed's Roast Monkfish with Mushroom Risotto

Rayuela's Sign

At the time I was on my way over to Reed’s toting the groceries to make dinner that night. But since my all ingredients were dosed in almond oil, we went out to dinner at Rayuela, a Latin American restaurant on the Lower East side.

I had a beautiful plate of young chicken with Peruvian forbidden rice. The rice was jet black and the cook had molded it into a perfect square. On top of this bed of rice my twice-cooked egg looked very dramatic. Rayuela had given my chicken and rice a top notch Hollywood makeover.

Prosciutto and Onion for Risotto

Sautéing barley before adding the broth

Adding the broth to the risotto

Mixing the cheese into the risotto

Unfortunately, the best thing about that dish was the aesthetics. Beyond that nothing really stood out.

Instead, Reed’s roast monkfish over mushroom risotto with foie gras was delicious even if it wasn’t quite as pretty as my dish. Since I couldn’t find black rice anywhere and the monkfish and risotto was better anyway, I’m going to work on Reed’s dish.  I have some ethical issues with foie gras so I’m going to opt for another ingredient to amp up the flavors: prosciutto.  Continue reading

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Sweet Potato Cakes with Shrimp and Chipotle Sauce

Saltfish and Sweet Potato Fritters

Yesterday, my friend Lauren returned from a vacation in the Bahamas. She’d quickly booked the trip after breaking up with her boyfriend of two years a few weeks ago. We meet for dinner at Kaz an Nou, a new Caribbean/French bistro, and over saltfish and sweet potato cakes, she showed me her pictures of pina coladas at sunset, beautiful beaches and palm trees.

Interior of Kaz an Nou a French Caribbean BistroKaz an Nou entrance

She’d had a great time and barely thought about her ex at all. In fact she meet a guy who was cute, sweet and told her that her ex wasn’t good enough, he’d let the relationship fail and all the other things she wanted to hear. A fun flirtation in the islands seems like a great way to power through the first few weeks after a break up. She’s planning to go back in another month as a reward to herself, if she doesn’t contact her ex for the month.

Sweet Potato Cakes with Shrimp Ingredients

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Butter Poached Lobster with Lemongrass

Crab Dumplings and Butter Poached Lobster

A few weeks ago my boyfriend surprised me with tickets for a jazz concert. It was my first time experiencing live jazz and the band was great. My boyfriend loves jazz and was excited that venue is just blocks from his new apartment. Over the past few weeks he’d been getting more and more involved in his music.

Outside of the concerts we’d been going to, we’d spent hours at audio stores testing out different sound systems. Slowly but surely my boyfriend’s becoming something of an audiophile. Finally at Stereo Exchange, one of those only in New York specialty stores devoted to high-end sound equipment, he decided he had to move to vinyl. This won nods of approval from the sales guys at Stereo Exchange who will tell you that only records can give you the best listening experience. I’m a bit skeptical. I see the portability of MP3′s and convenience of iTunes and major pluses. Also I worry our future weekends will be taken up with trips to record stores all over town until he builds up his collection.

Perry Street booth

Last night we attended another concert and things got off to an awkward start when the performers took ten minutes to appear on stage after they were announced. Then the movie montage that opened the show didn’t sync correctly with the audio and things went down hill from there.

Perry Street

When they called intermission Reed looked over to ask if I wouldn’t mind leaving early. Problems with the microphones and sound system were ruining the performance for him. I was happy to leave but I just wanted to get to Perry Street, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Continue reading

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Steamed Mussels with Leeks, Olives, and Vermouth

Razor Clams at Il Pesca at Eataly

I hadn’t seen Julie in months so it was great to catch up with her Thursday night at Eataly. She’s my first friend in New York to get married. While my friends in the rest of the country have long since married and are now working on children, in Manhattan we’re on another schedule.

Dinner at Il Pesca at Eataly

Maybe its because there’s so many options here. Its like Eataly’s cheese section where I need at least twenty minutes to decide which cheese, among all the tasty options, I’ll be taking home that night. At a regular supermarket I can sort out my cheese selection is five minutes or less.

Julie and I met years ago when we managed the Care Bear’s account together. Now she’s a very successful advertising executive. Every time I see her, she has a new promotion, raise, or handbag to tell me about. In between client dinners and strategy meetings, she managed to meet a lovely, young man and get married.

Eataly

Usually there’s a twinge of sadness when you loose one of your single girl friends to marriage but honestly as a single friend Julie wasn’t a big lose. When we’d have a girls’ night out, planning to meet potential suitors, we failed miserably every single time. We were always too focused on which tapas to order, or deciding which new dessert spot was worthy of the indulgence. She’s my most fabulous eating buddy.

Now if Julie went on a diet, I’d miss her but her marriage doesn’t cramp our style at at all. Happily, her husband loves to eat too (he has the most remarkable metabolism- I’m still not satisfied he doesn’t have a tapeworm) so he’s always welcome at the table.

Ingredients for Mussels with Leeks, Olives, and Vermouth

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