Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I like mushy peas

Still catching you up on my British adventure, mates! (hmm, "mates" may be more Australian - I never was any good at accents) Another classic British meal - Fish and Chips!

To get some fish and chips, Meredith and I headed off to Borough Market (more on that later). We went to eat at the fish! kitchen - where sustainable fishing and classic fried goodness meet and are friends.

There were lots of choices, but we went with the classic fish and chips with mushy peas. That's the whole point of this excursion, after all. I was doing my best to hit all the great British meals. Just for you, dear readers! Just for you.

We started with some organic beer! Why? Because it was the only British beer on the menu, that's why.

Meredith said that mushy peas and "chips" weren't enough vegetables, so we ordered this "rocket" and tomato salad.

"Rocket" is British for arugula, apparently. It was nice. There seem to be a dearth of fresh vegetables in meals in Britain. I think they're anti-salad (and I can relate. But still).

On to the main course!

The fish was delicious: white and flaky with a crisply battered crust. I was glad we were sharing because I could feel it making me fat as I ate. I passed on most of the chips - British chips are horrid soggy things. Meredith ordered them extra crispy, but they were not crispy at all.

To me, the biggest revelation was the mushy peas! They weren't that mushy - in fact, the texture was great, sort of a puree with larger firm bits of pea. They were very well seasoned (an anomaly in Britain, I hear). Meredith says they're not always that good, which is a bummer. But these were just plain yummy.

Onto the rest of the Borough Market.....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The sun never sets on Britain

Cheerio, mate, we're still in Britain (if you couldn't tell by the picture above). Besides red telephone booths, Britain is also known for is curry (weirdly enough) (Okay - not that weirdly, Britain has a long standing record of going into bigger countries and trying to colonize them and then eventually people end up in the "mother country" and their food follows - but I digress). So, we headed out in search of some delicious curry.

We found some!

You have to go up a flight of stairs, past a hotel lobby.

It seems like a lot of trouble just to get to the food - but we heard the food was really good, so we braved the back stairway.

We ordered some giant Asian beers (I guess you can't tell in this picture - but they're like 40 oz) -

- and some food! We've got some sort of spicy chicken curry, "dry vegetables," and a masala dosa.

Dosas are like crepes filled with mashed potatoes. They are delicious and come with little bowls of lentil soup and coconut paste. You can also see our poori (fried bread).

Maybe I'm spoiled living in New York - I mean, the food was great! But is it better than the food we get in Jackson Heights? I don't think so. It still was great though. I'd go back.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pip Pip and Cheerio Old Bean

That's right, folks. I'm back from Jolly Old England (which is the official name for across the pond). I took lots of pictures just for you! After my trip to Paris, I was so racked with guilt about my poor food documentation (trying to enjoy my honeymoon and all), I vowed to do better next time. This is that time! Also, Meredith is a great photo helper. She reminds me to take pictures and then takes them in better angles/light than I do.

For our first photo stop in London, I'm starting with the most important meal of the day - breakfast. Brits each a lot of breakfast. Meredith and I wanted the best English breakfast possible. We weren't sure where that was, so we headed to Inn The Park, which is (unsurprisingly) the Inn in St. James park.

We went on a Monday so that there would be no one else there (except a couple with a screaming baby that the waiter sat RIGHT NEXT TO US. Awesome). There was a beautiful view out the window -

- crazy British condiments -

- and a zillion pounds of food.

That's two eggs, baked beans (British style - which apparently means really sweet), a grilled tomato, some griddle flatbread thing, a giant grilled portabello mushroom, pork and leek sausage, British bacon (which I think is like Canadian bacon, i.e. not really bacon at all), and black pudding (which is made out of blood - it sounds gross but is really good). Also, you get a mountain of toast.

We also got some English Breakfast tea - we drank a LOT of tea this trip. You'll see.

That's Meredith's picture - that's why the angle is more interesting. But you can't see as much of the food.

We're both big eaters, but neither of us could finish all this food (Meredith did better than me - she's more British). It's a crazy amount of food to eat first thing in the morning, but I guess you have to remember that Brits used to just eat breakfast and supper - so they really had to make breakfast last (and then they added Afternoon Tea - but more on that later).

When we were leaving the Inn, we walked past this:

Just in case you weren't sure that you were in Great Britain - the redcoats are a bit of a giveaway. Lots more soon!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I've got some great pictures of red velvet cupcakes and baked pasta, but they will have to wait until I get back from London! And Spain!

That's right folks, I'm off across the pond. I'll take lots of pictures and be back next week!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Silent Auction and Cabaret this Sunday!!!

Come watch me sing and support arts funding for New York City schools! You know you want to....

Be A Hero! Support Arts for All!
Cabaret & Silent Auction

May 9th at the Flea Theater
Silent Auction at 1pm and 6pm
Performance at 2pm and 7pm

Come bid on great items like vacations, fancy dinners, voice lessons, cooking classes, theater tickets and more! Bring your mom for Mother's Day and she'll receive a special gift.

Featuring: Robin Cannon, Clayton Colwell, Jeb Colwell, Paul Martin Kovic*, Megan Jimenez*, Nick Lehane*, Jenny Long*, Sean Loutzenhiser, Kymberli McKanna, Nanci D. Miles*, Lena Moy-Borgen*, Alan Ostroff*. Anna Roberts Ostroff*, Harriet Picker, Jason Rosenbaum, Adam Shorsten*
* appears courtesy of Actor's Equity Association

Suggestion Donations:
$25-49 - stagehand
$50-74 - artist
$75-99 - director
$100 + - producer

Tickets are available at the door, or send a donation and reserve in advance: info@arts-for-all.org/212.591.6108

Cash or Check only!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

More dessert - sorry, Dad

The other day I found a few sad stalks of rhubarb at the farmer's market. Even though they looked a little pathetic, I took them home and vowed to bake something. I've already made strawberry-rhubarb crumble and pie and I decided I needed to do something a little different. Since I'm feeling good about mastering a simple pie crust, I figured I should try something new. While flipping through Martha's cookbook (she scares me, but she certainly knows what she's doing), I settled on pate sucree - a sweet crumbly tart dough. I made it in the food processor super quickly. It was a snap.

Martha's pate sucree

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup ice water

Put the flour and sugar in a food processor and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and process for about ten seconds, or until the mixture resembles "coarse meal." In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and water together. Add in a steady stream through the feed tube with the machine running, and process until the dough comes together.

It's a snap. Seriously. Divide it in half, press into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour.

I bought a few lemons the other day (you always need lemons). I was worried that I didn't have much rhubarb to make a filling on its own, so I figured I'd make some lemon curd to sass things up a bit.

Lemon Curd - adapted from Alice Waters

2 lemons
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 Tb milk
1/6 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 Tbs butter, cut into pieces

Zest one lemon and juice both of them. Set the juice/zest aside. Mix together the egg, egg yolk, sugar, milk and salt. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix. Add the butter.

Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Don't bring the heat up too high or the eggs will curdle - like scrambled eggs (full disclosure - mine curdled a little. Whoops. It's still good).

I poured it into a bowl so that the hot pot wouldn't keep it cooking.

Pretty! I also cut up the rhubarb and added a little bit of lemon juice, sugar and ground ginger to the bowl.

I rolled out my pate sucree and pushed into a tart pan. I baked it at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

I poured the lemon curd in....

And topped it with the rhubarb.

Then I baked the whole thing for another 15 minutes or so at 375 degrees (you don't want to under cook rhubarb - it's poisonous when it's raw).

It turned out really nicely. It's a little tart and the textures are really neat - the crumbly shell, the creamy custard and the fruit just melts in your mouth. I love playing around in the kitchen.