Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bad Romance- When Food & Heartburn Don't Mix- Expert Advice

Caught in a Bad Romance, no I'm not talking about GaGa's latest hit. I'm referring to the 25 million adults who suffer daily from acid reflux according to About.com. It's like a sick joke, the one thing in life you love FOOD, spicy, tasty, garlickly goodness being the exact thing you have stay away from. It's like everytime I eat a dish of fresh homemade Sunday Sauce Im saying "I want your love, I want your revenge"! Fuggedaboudit- imagine if I wanted to wash dinner down with a glass of wine, I'll be screaming Ra-Ra-Ra all the way to the E.R.!!!! So how do I handle this sadistic relationship, besides popping the latest proton pump inhibitor (better known as PPI or acid blocker)? Here's a few of my tips:
  1. Use garlic infused oil instead of straight garlic in a dish:  warm plain olive oil w/ a few cloves of whole garlic, when golden brown, strain out garlic and cook with the infused oil.
  2. Reduce the amount of aromatics in a dish- ok, ok yes they add a ton of flavor but too much mirepoix will have you up all night! Go half on the amount of onions, carrots and celery in any recipe and sautee very well making them easier to digest, believe me it helps.
  3. Add lemon zest to a recipe instead of pure lemon juice. The acid from the lemon juice can surely put you in serious pain.Instead I use the zest. Zest of any citrus fruit packs tens times the punch of the juice w/o the side effects.
What are your tricks to making this relationship work!- Chef J-NYC

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Panini of the Week- Turkey Melt Monster

Goodness, I'm loving this De Longhi Panini Press so much, I'm now doing a weekly feature "Panini of the Week". The possibilites with this machine are endless. Last night I was looking for the perfect late night snack when I whipped up what I call a Turkey Melt Monster! Buttered Rye loaded with turkey and american cheese, a melty monster  midnight snack . Yum! What are you cooking on your press?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Big Pimpin'- South Beach, MIAMI

All this snow has me reminiscing warm thoughts of a recent trip I took with my favorite girls down to South Beach, Miami. Where the club scene is as hot as the sweltering Miami heat! With all the posh spots your first pit stop in SoBe has to be Wet Willies located in the heart of Ocean Drive. Probably one of the most happening places on the strip, great spot for people watching. There's really only thing you need to know about Wet Willies- Call A Cab - the name says it all. A sneaky little cocktail that tastes just like a frozen fruit punch slushie (yum), beware this slushie will punch your lights out -in a good way! See my exhibit below. The one on the left is before Call A Cab, the one on the right is after (hence the Kool-Aid Smile).  

No Frilly Cakes-Please!

You know I really can't get over how difficult it is to find manly looking bithday cakes! I watch all these cake shows and no matter who the celebrity baker may be they're always making hot pink and polka dot tiered cakes, that scream girly. Great for TV, totally inappropriate for a son, boyfriend, father or husband's birthday- right? The challenge gets even harder for me because my significant other is not a fondant fan, so creating a whimsical design of fondant icing is out of the question. So here is my late night attempt at creating a masqueline but fun looking birthday cake for my sweetie. Most importantly it tastes divine- a triple layer, chocolate fudge cake loaded with chocolate mousse- mmmm. Happy Birthday to You!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Atlantis, Bahamas- Carribean Culinary Delight

 
Rightfuly named Paradise Island, The Atlantis is perfect island getaway for all. The turquoise blue waters and white sand beaches are breathtaking while the superior restaurants, booming casino and vivacious nightlife make for one heck of a vaction. So much to do so little time. A must dine is Cafe Martinique. Cafe Martinique is located in the Marina Village, the restaurant was recreated by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten himself! Dinner went above and beyond my dream of the Jean George experience. The restaurant boasts an old-world ambiance with lavish carribean flair, delightfully romantic and sheerly elegant. My dinner began with the Charred Corn Ravioli followed by Roasted Bohemian Lobster with fresh sorbets as intermissions for palate cleanisng. Light yet Rich!    
                                                            
I can go on and on there were so many exciting sights to see, the aquariums are out of this world. The sharks are seriously ferocious! Pack your suits cases and get on the next short flight to The Atlantis a perfect paradise awaits.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Big Name Food Suppliers Take Bribes- Just In

I was just reading up on some evening news when I stumbled upon a post in The NY Times : Bribes Let Tomato Vendor Sell Tainted Food. Turns out top purchasing agents at Kraft , Nabisco and B&G Foods ( makers of Ortega Products) were accepting bribes from food suppliers and buying less than quality products- moldy tomatoes to be used in items such as ketchup, salsa, tomato sauce etc. The big corportations had no clue this was going but Kraft started doing major investing when they received numerous consumer complaints ( precisely why customer feedback is the key to success for any business). One thing I learned as a chef is "when in doubt throw it out" so I couldn't believe what I was reading- agents purposely buying spoiled goods!!Unreal, what the heck are you to eat these days- Beef has E.Coli. Chicken- Salmonella. Fish- Mercury. Water-Chlorine. Fruits & Veg- Pesticides. Canned Goods- Bribes!!!

Cook or Be Cooked- Video Game Review

Just when I think I've seen it all, Food Network has teamed up the Nintendo Wii to create a one of a kind interactive cooking video game Cook or Be Cooked (the pic above is provided by Food Network)!! Practice your cooking techniques and learn real recipes as you blaze through the levels. Sounds fun! Has anyone played?I' can't wait to try it out ( Nintendo feel free to mail a test copy)!

XXI Winter Olympics- The Avalanche

There's nothing I have enjoyed more over the past few weeks than watchingg the Winter olympics- Go Team USA! The awe, suspense and excitement- AMAZING. What I enjoy most is fixing myself up The Avalanche my signature Winter Olympics tribute dessert.  Chopped Fudge Brownie topped with Fresh Creme Chantilly (whip cream), Oreo's fo dunking (yes I give myself a Perfect 10 on the Oreo dunk) all topped with wintery crushed peppermint candy for a burst of frost! What are you snacking on while watching the Olympics!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No Bake- Bake Sales in NYC??

Turns out Board of Ed schools are changing the way we think of Bake Sales. Remember coming home from school and asking you mom to bake her famous chewy chocolate chip cookies for the classs bake sale? Well no more! The City has barred home baked goods from being sold at the fundraisers. Turns out mom doesn't list the calories on the back of her brownies so only prepackaged goods can now be sold. As chef I'm a bit disheartened because I can't think of anything better than kids taking pride and ownership in their schools' bake sale. On the flip side, there are very tight sanitation regulations in place which have to be followed by all licensed food establishments, really can't say the same for mom's kitchen. I mean you never know who licked the mixing spoon!Really crazy huh? What are your thoughts on the deal -Check out No Brownies at Bake sale but Doritos may Be O.K by Sharon Otterman of the NY Times for the full scoop!

Bachelor's Kitchen- TOOLS

It's TUESDAY and you know what that means. Our weekly feature The Bachelor's Kitchen is back! A friend of mine,your typical NYC bachelor (single, mid 30's socialite) recently purchased the DeLonghi Panini Press. My first reaction was "what a waste of money, that thing is just going to collect dust on the counter". Boy, have I never been more wrong in my life!!! The DeLonghi Panini Press is amazing! I've seen him make Hot Dogs, Grill Cheeses, Bacon,Grilled Chicken Breast, Salmon - everything comes out Fantastic! I was amazed. The difference with the Panini Press is the grates are on both sides and get super hot, which allows the food to develop a crispy crust. I so far have only tried the Delonghi Brand (manufacturer's feel free to send me your machine to try) its really practical.Try using different cheese and breads for something spectacular- I recently made a Triple Decker Turkey Melt w/ Bacon and Jack Cheese on Ciabatta Bread. It's my go to machine for pumping out quesadillas- pics above! Guys, try it out and tell me what cool stuff you're cooking on your press!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cooking for Your Pooch-Homemade Dog Food!!

I tell you these days everything's going organic, even pet food! Meet my new pooch Buddy ( I think he's being renamed ACE) So I guess you're saying to yourself, I thought this was a blog about cooking? It is! However sometimes the "client" is  not who or what you are expecting! Imagine my confusion when looking at an order for chopped chicken livers, I was like who the heck is ordering this but as long as they're paying- who cares! While working at a 5 star NYC boutique hotel on the Upper East Side, I had numerous requests from exclusive clients asking if the chef would "cook" their pup up a gourmet meal. So what do celebrity pets eat, well here is a list of the requests I received:
  1. Organic Angus Burgers served Blue Black - which means seared on the outside & raw in the center,  heated through just enough to take the chill out.
  2. Lightly Steamed Wild Alaskan Salmon & organic baked sweet potato
  3. Chopped Organic Chicken Livers and steamed carrots
  4. Hard Boiled Free Range Egg Yolks- just the yolks
  5. Organic Plain Yogurt and Blueberries
Hmm wondering if Buddy/Ace will like it! What are you cooking up for your pup?

Clean as You Go- Product Review

I love to cook but I hate the mess! A general kitchen rule by us chefs is "clean as you go" so the mess is minimal and your working area stay neat and tidy.No matter how you dish it up you're always left withe somthing to wipe down. I'm always looking for helpful products to assit me. I recently purchased the Shark Steam Pocket Mop to help me out with the chore I detest the most "mopping"(boo). I figure anything that can help make the worst chore ever easier is worth a shot and I like that it sanitizes too. The Shark Steam Pocket is light, ready to use 30 seconds after plugging in and gets in all the corners. I love this mop but don't throw out your old school mop and bucket yet. The Shark Steam Pocket is great for tidying up the tiles after cooking a good meal but you're still going to have to do the heavy duty scrub every now and then- Damn!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Perfect Pasta Salad- Everything but the Kitchen Sink!

I love making pasta salads and I love eating it even more. Did you know pasta salad is the perfect soultion to cleaning out the fridge! It's great way to use up all those odds and ends of cheeses hangin out or the half jar of artichokes and olives laying around. Sometimes you buy ingredients for a recipe and you never use them again, so tossing them into a pasta salad is the perfect solution, while adding a variety of flavors to the dish. One thing I learned early on in the restaurant biz is -YOU NEVER THROW ANYTHING OUT!! Turn leftovers into soups or salads but find a way to use it! Be creative try using store bought dressings such as creamy ceasar, asian sesame or robust italians as the base and toss in whatever veggies you have on hand. It just can't get any easier than that. Here's my recipe for a perfect pasta salad great as a main dish, side dish or for  bringing to a potluck!
Chef J's Perfect Pasta Salad
(1) bottle of Italian dressing
(1) lb. of pasta
(1) bag of shredded Italian cheese mix
(1/2) cup of frozen sweet peas
(1/4) lb of crispy bacon
(2) roasted peppers, sliced
Cook Pasta- cool
Add Italian Dressing
Mix in Cheese
Top with peppers, peas and cripsy bacon                                                  
ENJOY!

Sunday Morning Bakes- Fresh Blueberry Burst Muffins

There is something about Sunday morning's they're so cozy and laid back. I love baking up a batch of my Fresh Blueberry Burst Muffins, a sweet tender cross between cake and heaven, bursting with sweet juicy blueberries in every bite they're simply divine! My muffins bake up moist, tender and best served piping hot! One more reason to love Sunday's.Email me for the secret recipe!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Supermarket Steals- Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix

Belive it or not there are some pretty fabulous products right in the supermarket aisle worthy enough to stick in my pantry- I call them "Supermarket Steals". Prepackaged items that work perfectly you just gotta have to try them out. For sure nothing beats treats "made from scratch" but there's not always time for that. Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix is for sure a supermarket steal. They're packed with 3 kinds of choc-chips, super delish & bake up perfect every time! Looking for a quick chocolate fix? Pour, mix, and bake up a batch today- you'll never make a "scratch" recipe again!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cake Boss- A Day of Fun at Carlo's Bakery

Buddy Valastro,The Cake Boss- who doesn't love him or his show on TLC! Well if you're looking for some family fun this weekend take your kids,friends or family and head on in to Hoboken,NJ to see what really goes down in Carlo's Bakery . Be prepared, we waited in line for an hour just to get inside the bakery! So worth the wait, Buddy's team is sugar sweet and you really feel like part of The Famaligia! The cannolis were outstanding and the fondant cakes were stacked high and super delish! My family and I had a blast I'm sure you will too! See the pic below I snapped of my nephew Justin w/ Joe (Buddy's Bro-In-Law). Despite the long line the bakery staff spent time talking to everyone, they really apprecitate their fans and we love em' for it! Kudos to you Buddy Valastro!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Honey Glazed Drummettes w/ Baked Mac & 3 Cheeses

OMG guys, I was testing out this recipe for tomorrow's post but it turned out so FABULOUS I couldn't wait to post it!!! Honey Glazed Drummettes- the glaze is so rich and shiny you see how it sparkles in my pic!! Start with my secret marinade, which I then cook down to make the best tasting glaze ever. If the chicken wasn't delicious enough, I prepared a Baked Mac and Cheese w/ 3 types of cheese topped with crunchy bacon and green onions! Seriously the next time I have friends over I'm making this chicken, I couldn't stop licking my fingers!!And yes of course- I washed them after! I'm not posting my special recipe but if you would like a copy of it, email me and I'll share it with ya (go ahead, it's free LOL)! 

Take Out- Fake Out

Who doesn't  love take out? It's easy and fast but it can run you pretty penny. Since I love to cook, I love creating Take Out- Fake Out meals right in my kitchen. There's something about recreating restaurant dishes at home that make dinner with the family so exotic. I'm replicating Chicken Stir Fry loaded with veggies, fresh ginger and garlic. Bird's Eye brand happens to put out a very good frozen stiry fry mix available in the local freezer section of your supermarket.  The reason I'm using frozen veg instead of fresh is just to make the recipe easier to replicate- if you have fresh produce on hand -by all means go ahead. The fresh ginger really wakes up the dish and a garnish of fresh scallion adds a burst of flavor. What's your favorite Take Out- Fake Out dish ?
Chef J's Chicken Stir Fry
The trick to a really great stir-fry is cooking your chicken separate from the veggies and then combining afterwards. Otherwise you end up overcrowding the saute pan and the chicken comes out dry and rubbery.
(1) lb. of Chicken
(1) bag of strir fry vegetables- defrosted
(1) knob of fresh grated ginger
(3 cloves of chopped garlic
(5) tablespoons of olive oil
(1/4) cup low sodium soy sauce
Salt & Pepper
Directions
Add (3) tbsp. of oil to sautee pan, once hot
Add Chicken- season w/ salt & pepper
Cook chicken 3/4 of the way - remove from pan and reserve
Add remaining (2) tbsp of oil  to pan
Toss in ginger and garlic, fry 1 minute
Add frozen veg- sautee  3-5 minutes
Return chicken back to pan -pour in soy sauce
Finish cooking another 4 minutes.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Your Grocery Budget on a Diet!

Everywhere you turn all you hear about is budget cuts. As each of us struggle to trim our spending the grocery list is a good place to start. We all have to eat, it's a living expense we can't get around. It just seems the like the healthier the food the more expensive it is. There are so many recipes out there for turning cheap cuts of beef or pork into a sinfully rich meal. Truthfully many of the "cheaper" cuts are not as lean. So you may be saving dollars upfront while packing on the pounds later.Feel like you can't win? Think again, I'm going to share a few simple strategies to get you healthy groceries at a better price.
  1. Buy products when they're in season. During the winter try harvest fruits such as apples, pears and butternut squash for a healthy dose of nutrition and flavor.
  2. Do your own slicing and dicing. Purchase chicken breast whole and on the bone- slice it up when you get home. Seriously you can save up to $4 per pound  on this one. Same goes for beef, fish or pork-slice the meat yourself you'll be able to afford a better cut at a lower price.
  3. Legumes- try beefing up the protein on your favorite dish by tossing in beans while adding some mass to your meal. Sautee a chopped onion, add in a can of your favorite bean, then mix with some leftover rice for whole new dinner.
  4. Make it yourself. Now, that applies to eveything from chicken stock to chicken tenders. Prepackaged items cost more and can be filled with preservatives. I mean I don't feel bad about eating a dozen fresh baked chocolate chip cookies- they're all natural right!!!
What are some of your money saving grocery tips!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Roasting Potatoes- It's all about the SIZZLE!

I find it funny that no matter how spectacular of an entree I serve my family, they always get excited about the side dishes!! Personally, I feel there is nothing more comforting than a side of oven roasted potatoes. I mean the potatoes pair well with meat, fish,chicken or even tofu. Potatoes are so cheap it's great choice for entertaining on a budget. I really like to use baby red bliss potatoes for this dish but you can use whatever you have on hand. Since it's been snowing all week in NYC, I really haven't had the chance to run to the market for fresh herbs- so I'm opting for dried Italian seasoning. I told you use what you have on hand.

The most important part of making spectacular roasted potatoes is placing the empty roasting pan in the oven to get hot. When you add the potatoes to the hot roasting pan it is going to create a sizzle that will give your spuds a nice sear and golden brown crust, otherwise you could wind up steaming the potatoes and they just won't turn out right. See my video below for a demo on how to get the SIZZLE!

Chef J's Oven Roasted Potatoes
(1) lb. of baby red bliss potatoes
(1/2) cup of olive oil
(3) tablespoons Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Place empty roasting pan in oven to get HOT
Toss Potatoes with herbs, oil and season w/ salt and pepper
Drop into HOT pan, cook for 35 minutes or until tender.



It's all about the SiZZle

Bachelor's Kitchen- Rib Eye Steaks w/ Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction & Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It's Tuesday guys and as promised our weekly Batchelor's Kitchen is here and just in time for the dinner spot. This Tuesday I am teaching you how to make the most succulent rib eye steak you have ever had! We're serving that juicy steak up with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and drowning it all in a Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction. Simply Marvelous! Believe it or not I am making this with no more than 2 pans and a toaster oven! This is a great date night dinner - simple and spectacular. Seriously whoever you are making this dish for will be eating out of the palm of you hand by the time dinner is through- this dish is that fantastic!

Let me explain a few things about the recipe-Yukon Gold Potatoes have a very thin skin so we don't have to waste time peelin' potatoes, we're just going to give them a chop and plop those buds right into a pot with some cold water. I'm actually giving you an old trade secret- adding roasted garlic at the last minute to the finished mash totally kicks up the flavor. You won't believe how flavorful and easy tonight's recipe is- (I should charge for this)! For a no fail steak sauce or any sauce/gravy for the that maater I am adding a few spoons of Gravy Master. Now no top chef would even dare keeping such an item in the pantry but for a sauce that can't be beat just a few drops of this magic will add the perfect color and shine to your sauce- I highly recommend it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Atlantic City's Best Kept Secret- Chocolate Dipped Strawberries at the Gelato Bar (The Borgata)

There are many fabulous reasons to jump on the Garden State Expressway and make your way to Atlanitc City. The glitz, the glamour and excitment are enought to sell me but did you know The Borgata also serves up one very creamy scoop of gelato! There are a rainbow of flavors to choose from and I highly recommend  trying Hazelnut and Mango- they are just fabulous. Gelato is located inside the Metropolitan Restaurant at The Borgata. Don't be fooled by the name because Gelato also has some of the best hand dipped chocolate strawberries I have ever tasted! Juicy, Succulent, Sweet strawberries dipped in a variety of toppings from sprinkles to nuts to intricate marzipan designs.  Next time you decide to try your luck at The Borgata stop by Gelato for a sweet treat.
http://www.theborgata.com/

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Night Lite's

T.G.I.F. right? Yes, you're glad to be off the clock but who wants to even think about the chore of cooking dinner. Friday night's have become the official take-out night of America. However, when the nation's pinching pennies, take-out is the first to get an ax on the budget chopping block. An added bonus, as your wallet may fatten, your waistine may whittle!! So here are a few good ideas for an Easy Friday Night Lite menu:
  1. Veggie Omelet loaded w/ Onions, Peppers and Fresh Herbs
  2. Tuna Salad w/ Fresh Avocado & Cucumbers
  3. Gourmet P.B.J.(kinda)- using Multi Grain Bread, All Natural Peanut Butter and Strawberry Preserves
  4. Turkey & Lettuce Roll Ups topped w Fresh Guacomole & a Squeeze of Lime.
  5. Greek Salad w Grilled Chicken- Mixed Greens, Feta, Olives & Grilled Chicken.
What's your solution to Friday Night Feasting?!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Old School meets New School- Stuffed Meatballs

It told you yesterday - I love stuffed dishes and I'm always looking to spin a new twist on an old favorite. My grandma's fried meatballs, they are the best meatballs on earth.
I tell you  no one makes fried meatballs like my grandma. My Granny's from Rome, Italy - you can't get more authentic than her. At 90 yrs. old  God Bless, she's still making meatballs! They have a crispy crust with a soft inside. I've had meatballs that could be used as a deadly weapon, they're so friggin hard! No, not Granny's and she makes them so flavorful loaded with- well sorry I can't tell you what they're loaded with but just know they are TASTY!So I am not giving you her recipe- no way you'd have to kill me first. What I will give you is a new idea to step up your culinary game.
I'm taking Granny's meatballs and stuffing them with bites of fontina cheese. If you've never used Fontina before, you have to start. It melts amazingly! I love the fact that the cheese is stuffed inside so from the looks of it they seem like your regular fried meatball, until you take the first bite and surprise!!!
Go on take your favorite meatball recipe and switch it up a bit, let me know how they turn out!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowy Day Suppers- Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sausage, Spinach and Mozzarella


It's a snowy day in NYC- the schools are closed  and the shovels are out. These are the perfect days for cooking up a storm. So while the man of the house is digging out the car, I'm inside creating a feast that is sure to warm the belly- Chicken Breast Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach and Mozzarella. I love stuffed dishes and I have stuffed just about everything from Apples to Zucchini. There's something about a stuffed dish, it adds a whole new dimension to the plate. There's a few simple steps involved, so go ahead and make my masterpiece. Let me know how it turns out!

You will need:
(4) large italian sausages (sweet or spicy- your choice)
(1) lb. chicken breast
(1) small onion (diced)
(2) garlic cloves (diced)
(4) Tbsp olive oil
(1) package frozen chopped spinach (defrosted & drained)
(1) cup of white wine
(1/2) cup of Mozzarella (shredded)
(2) cups of beef stock
(2-3) Tbsp. of cornstarch
Flour for dredging
Begin by:
Browning sausage in skillet
When cooked, remove sausage and reserve
Add (2 tbsp.) olive oil, garlic & onions to skillet- sautee
When onion are soft, add wine to pan and deglaze
Reduce for 5 to 10 minutes, add sausage & spinach back to skillet.-Reserve 
For the Chicken: 
Dredge Chicken in Flour 
In a separate skillet -add oil and Sautee
Remove chicken, Mound (2-3 tbsp) of filling onto chicken- Sprinkle Cheese
Roll up and Secure with toothpick- transfer to separate plate.
To the empty chicken skillet add beef broth and (3tbsp) of cornstarch- WHISK
Reduce sauce for 5 minutes, add chicken back to pan and SERVE!!!
 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bachelor's Kitchen

I get cooking questions from my boyfriend and his friends all the time. From "how do you make sauce" to "how do you know if the milk is bad" or "what's a quick recipe for fish"? So I am officially dedicating my Tuesday blogs to cooking for the Bachelor. Each Tuesday, I'll be posting easy gourmet recipes that you can make  with nothing more than two burners and a toaster oven. Yes, I said the toaster oven! Think Tuscan Broiled Shrimp, Stuffed Lobster Tails, Mac and Cheese Bakes , all made in right in your toaster oven. Feel free to email me with all your cooking questions, too!

Wondering how I came up with this idea? Well after offering to cook my new boyfriend a romantic dinner at his apartment I realized I had to be inventive due to the limited space resources. Anyone living in a big city apartment knows all about tight cooking spaces! I was well prepared having worked as a caterer for many years, see the richer the client the more outrageous the party they want to throw.During my catering days, I found myself setting up make shifts ovens in art galleries, museums and yes even pool halls.  Now all I could think is that this two burner stove top, microwave and toaster oven- had nothing on me!

So it began, my quest to cook Michelin Star deserving meals in a space no bigger than a broom closet. I really had to consolidate my recipes because you can't be boiling tons of pots on the stove when you only have two burners! I started making pan sauces for chicken or what I like to call one pot wonders. Cooking in the batchelor's kitchen has to require not only minimal ingredients but also minimal clean up! I streamlined the recipes so much so that my Hunny was able to replicate the meals himself in a snap.

So I dare you guys to throw away the take-out menus and whip out your pans (or pan if you only have one) and take charge of your kitchens. Now I ask you, what's your kitchen S.OS.??

Monday, February 8, 2010

Morimoto NYC- Dining Out

On a recent night in the Big Apple I decided to drop by Morimoto NYC (I'm in black to the left of Chef Morimoto himself) what I found was a super hot restaurant with a great vibe and of course Iron Chef Status cuisine. Although Morimoto's may be hard to find (the super posh spot has no sign outside), it is located at 88th 10th Avenue in Manhattan.
The restaurant is very sheik with clean lines and seems like the perfect setting for a Sex in the City scene. The White Lily (Morimoto's signature cocktail) is a must.It's smooth, refreshing and a perfect way to begin the night.Everything coming from the kitchen looked amazing but this is The Iron Chef we're talking about!


The service is impeccable. Recognizing it was girls' night out, as we waited for the second course to be served our seats were moved to the more "buzzing" side of the restaurant. 

I recommend ordering the spicy king crab roll, it's super huge and almost too heavy for chopsticks. If you're looking for a more exotic plate, try the "Surf & Turf". Each blissful bite (Note, the whole dish may be four bites total) will have you saying ooh's and aah's.The kobe filet is served alongside herbed baby potatoes and fresh avocado with citrus (made tableside).


The next time your looking for the Manhattan dining experience visit Moriomoto's but be sure to make reservations in advance. Who knows you may even be able to catch a glimpse of Chef Morimoto himself, I did! Stop by tomorrow for more tips and tricks from NYC Cooks.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

CRUMBS BAKERY- Meet some of my faves!

Looking for a special treat to hit your sweet spot? Well then make your way to Crumbs Bakery and pick up a few of my all time favorite cupcakes to help help brighten your day! I am a huge carrot cake fan so everytime I go to Crumbs I just have to indulge in their Carrot Cake Cupcake. It's moist and buttery with a true carrot taste and loaded with cream cheese frosting that not even your toughest spin class can burn off the calories . I have to say it is just delish!
When we have girls night I love picking up the "Good Guy" to take over to the ladies! It's a sweet vanilla cupcake loyal to it's name, topped with vanilla frosting and sprinkles- now only if it was that easy to find a good man!
Just for kicks I tried the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and German Chocolate, both simply divine!If you're into PB then go for the reeese's it's just every Peanut Butter Lover's Dream. As for the German Chocolate it's pure decadence with every bite! Go ahead, feel like a kid again and stop by Crumbs Bakery!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Most Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner -Chicken a La Roma

Today I'm giving you the secrets to my delicate Chicken a La Roma with Angel Hair.
A light blush sauce flavored with fresh basil,
white wine, cream and chicken. All served over fresh angel hair pasta. The basil adds a delicate perfume, while the wine lends a behind the scenes sweetness. It's the perfect entertaining recipe- one bite and you'll be singing Ava Maria!!!

Ingredients:
(1)can diced tomato
(3)tablespoons butter
(1/2)small onion-diced
(4)cloves garlic-chopped
(1)cup of Pinot Grigio
(1)small container of heavy cream
(1)pound sauteed chicken
Handful of fresh basil

Directions:
Sautee onions and garlic in butter











Add diced tomatoes- Cook 15 minutes
Pour in wine- simmer 15 minutes or until wine evaporates











When tomatoes have reduced, Add cream-cook 5 minutes
Toss in Chicken and Fresh Basil











Serve over fresh angel hair pasta, top with more basil -add parmesean cheese and ENJOY
From my Table to Yours -Happy Valentines Day!