Friday, March 19, 2010

Think Outside the Box- Lunch Box That Is!

Bringing lunch to work, it's a known penny saver and easy way to trim on spending. However, I know a lot of people who look forward to ordering lunch. Yes, I said it! You know it's true, that excitement of ordering something exotic off the menu- a grilled portabella panini on Ciabatta bread with herbed goat cheese and lemon aioli. Doesn't that sound delish,like a mini lunchtime vacay!The working man deserves some excitment after all.Yes, take-out like everything else is good in moderation. Although, I do remind you, nothing beats home made.
So, I ask you this.. be creative with your cupboard. Put a new spin on some old classics- invent a recipe! Or better yet take the easy way out and read my blog for new ideas! I'm taking something as simple as canned tuna and dressing it up by accessorizing w/ tons of fresh avocado, capri tomatoes, parsley, kalmata olives, lemon, lime and a spash of e.v.o.o.Be warned,if you plan on taking this glamourous salad to lunch be sure to store it safely or it may get eaten by a co-worker in the office fridge!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vote For Me

Hey Guys,  Check me out at http://www.mixingbowl.com/home/view.castle  and vote for my recipe Ahi Tuna w/Citrus Ponzu by NYC COOKS. What fun recipe contests are you entering! I love to do this contest stuff just for kicks!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day- NYC Celebrates

Happy St.Patty's Day! Looking for some fun ways to celebrate and you just happen to be in NYC- check out some of my local favorites:

The party will be poppin at :
McFaddens -"You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!"
800 Second Ave,
NY,NY

Kegs & Eggs at:
Town Tavern- Home of the Hottest Bartendar & Fave of NYU students
134 W 3rd St (Between MacDougal Street and 6th Avenue)
New York, NY
OR
Bring the Celebration to you dinner table with one of my fave Corn Beef & Cabbage recipes by Martha Stewart because you won't need the luck of the Irish w/this fool proof recipe:
Martha Stewart's Corn Beef & Cabbage

How are you celebrating St.Patty's Day?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bachelors Kitchen Island Teriyaki Shrimp

Hey Guys!!! It's Tuesday and time for our weekly feature The Bachelors' Kitchen for all you guys who want to cook but can't :p ! Tonight I'm making the simplest succulent shrimp you've ever eaten- Island Teriyaki Shrimp with Sweet Peas! 5 Ingredients, 5 easy steps & tons of flavor. The secret is in the marinade Soy Vey Island Teriyaki it's sweet and tangy with hints of pineapple, garlic and yum! I tell you it's the best $4.59 I ever spent- so far I've poured this goodness over steak, shrimp, chicken and pork -it works beautifully on tofu too. Give this simple recipe a try and kiss take-out Goodbye!
Island Teriyaki Shrimp w/ Sweet Peas
(1)lb large shrimp-cleaned
2 Tablespoons of flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of frozen sweet peas
(1/2) cup of Soy Vey Island Teriyaki

Dust Shrimp with flour
Heat oil in sautee pan
Add shrimp- cook 2 minutes on each side
Pour in Island Teriyaki Marinade & Peas cook 5minutes
Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chicken Serenade- Italian Style Chicken Stuffed w/ Sauteed Spinach, Fresh Mozzarella -Topped w/a Touch of Marinara Sauce

Ahh one of my signature recipes Chicken Serenade- I love this recipe so much! All of the ingredients work so beautifully together it's as if they are all coming together on the plate to serenade the chicken - hence the name I gave the dish. Chicken Serenade is a very delicate dish, composed of sliced chicken breast thinly pounded with a mallet (see video) then in classic Italian fashion breaded and pan sauteed only to be topped with fresh sauteed spinach,mozzarella -rolled, baked and topped with a touch of homemade marinara sauce. Serve this to your family tonight and watch them serenade you with praise!
Watch my quick demo on using a meat mallet to get the most thinly sliced chicken breast ever!



CHICKEN SERENADE RECIPE
Ingredients
(1)lb thinly sliced chicken breast-see video

(2) cups of Plain Breadcrumbs
(2) eggs beaten  for dredging
(1/2) cup of olive pil for frying
(1/2) cup of pecorino romano cheeese
Salt & Pepper
(1) pound of sliced fresh mozzarella
(1) bag of spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil -
(2) cups of homemade marinara suace -( recipe for sauce will debut 3/21/2010)
Directions
Begin to Heat Oil in sautee pan
Add pecorino to eggs- beat well and set aside
Dredge Chicken in egg then breadcrumb
Pan Fry in hot oil- set aside on papertowel to soak up excess oil
Place small mound of spinach and one peice of cheese on chicken
Roll and secure with bamboo toothpick









Place in 400 degree for five minutes or until cheese melts
Top with Homemade marinara sauce and Enjoy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Man vs Food- hits up my hometown BROOKLYN L&B SPUMONI GARDENS & BRENNAN & CARR

If you're from Brooklyn you know L&B famous for their spumoni ices and Square Pie.brennar & Carr for their double dipped roast beef sandwiches. Well Man vs Food must of heard too because he hit up L&B  and Brennan & Carr for a challenge which aired last night on at 8pm on the Travel Challenge! Check it out:


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lucky Star- Brooklyn Take-Out

Chinese take-out places- they're everywhere but there is only one LUCKY STAR located at 2149 Knapp Street, Brooklyn, NY, (718) 332-5282‎. I have to say this is some of the best chinese take-out I ever had. I know i"m gonna have to battle it out w/ a few of my friends on this choice but I think it's one of Brooklyn's best! Seriously the place looks a total dive but don't you know those are the places with the best food! The wonton soup is super tasty and they're pork fried rice can't be beat! If you're looking to watch the waistline any dish can be preared steamed with sauce on the side, it's that easy!
 The Best Fried Egg Roll- Crispy on the outside, Flaky/Chewy Inside & Stuffed w/ Pork n Veggies
Delicious Chinese BBQ Boneless Spare Ribs w/ That Yummy Pork Fried Rice
On a Healthier Note- Steamed  Chicken & Veggies
Brookyln's Best Wonton Soup
If you really couldn't help but stuff your face- No problem here's one of my fave workouts to burn off the rolls (egg rolls that is):

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Bachelor's Kitchen- Morton's Steakhouse

Alrite guys, it's Tuesday and time for NYC Cooks weekly feature- The Bachelor's Kitchen. The weather's warmin up a bit in NYC after a snow filled February I'm sure you're ready for a night on the town. I can think of no better place to start then Morton's Steakhouse located at 551 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY.

These are some of the most manly steaks around! I love to start w/ The Collossal Shrimp Cocktail
Work my way into the Porter House Steak for 2 with a side of Creamy Mashed Potato
Finish of w/ the Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake topped w/ Vanilla Ice Cream

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ina Garten's Raspberry Cheescake Recipe Review

Love Love Love Ina Garten, her recipes are clean, simple and spectacular. Being such a fan I decided to give Ina's Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe a try. The recipe works beautifully as is, I just had to personalize it a bit so here are my tweaks:
  1. Cooking this in a "bain marie" better known as steam bath. I try to fool proof my recipes as much as I possibly can!
  2. Adding a 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, once again just a tried and true fool proofing to prevent cracks.
  3. Adding in 3/4 cups instead of 1/4 of sour cream- cause I really love a creamy cheesecake.
  4. Cooking the cake on 400 degrees instead of 450 degrees during the first round. My oven is super efficient I tried to bake this cake on 450 one time- the top browned a bit much.
  5. A splash of lemon juice, no zest - last time I used the zest the recipe called for, my family complained it "too lemony". Ugh- I love lemon so if your lemon lover leave as is
  6. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature so they blend well (eggs, cream cheese, sour cream) otherwise your cake may turn out lumpy.
Hope this helps, wish I had a better pic of the cake but I was so busy baking I forgot to take pics of the masterpiece so you'll have to settle with an upload form my camera phone! If you've tried this recipe, I'd love to hear how your cheescake turned out!!

Pasta Frittata- Sunday/Monday Special

Growing up in big Italian family we always had the typical Italian Sunday dinner complete with macaroni, meatballs and sauce. Of course there were always left overs.Think about it, who wants to eat dried up macaronis the next day? Instead of  thrownin the pot of pasta in the trash my grandma would fry'em up with tons of olive oil the next day. Even better were the days when she would make my favorite Frittata. Now I grew up knowing only one kind of frittata the type my grandma made out of eggs, pasta and grated cheese. Frittata is basically a big huge omelet type dish that's filled with your mix of ingredients then popped into the oven to bake up into a big dish of heaven. After venturing out into the culinary world I came to learn of all types of frittata- Spanish frittata loaded with potatoes, peppers and onions, vegetable frittata's and more. Seriously my grandma's frittata is still my all time favorite and over the years I've dressed it up a bit- topping it with fresh mozzarella, parsley/basil and chunky tomato.Slice it up and serve as an appetizer or eat it as a meal in itself. No matter what, it's the perfect Monday recipe for using Sunday's leftovers and they're totally in disguise.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fajita Bowl-Mexican Made Healthy

There's nothing I love more than a plate of sizzling hot fajitas- piping hot chicken smothered in onions and peppers loaded with sour cream and guacomole all rolled up in a soft tortilla. However I can do without of the thousands of calories that come along with it. Since most restaurants sautee the dish in tons of oil turnig a potentially healthy dish into a diet disaster. I decided to make my faitas more figure friendly by sauteeing the chicken with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, tons of red, yellow and orange peppers which by the way are loaded with Antioxidants and Vitamin C. Next, I serve it with a fresh side of Omega 3 rich guacomole bursting with fresh cilantro and lime, some light sour cream all over a bed of brown rice. Healthy, Easy and Super Delish- what more can a girl ask for!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Great Food Begins with Clean Water

Cooking Basics 101- all great dishes start with water. Whether you are boiling a water for a pot of pasta or rinsing off the vegetables you brought home from the market, water always plays a role. So when loopholes in legislation allow for polluters to get around the laws we're all in big trouble. Turns out the langauge of the law which predicts which waterways are protected under The Clean Water Act of 1972 can not be easily interpreted. Sad news for Mother Nature and the work of the E.P.A. To get the full scoop check out Toxic Waters- Rulings Restrict Clean Water Act,Foiling E.P.A. Hopefully this cloud can find a silver lining.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Host a Cooking Party

Hosting a party can seem like a major ordeal or it could be the perfect opportunity to bring together some of your nearest and dearest for a fun filled evening. I choose the latter, having friends and fam over is always a blast. First start off with a theme, a popular choice has been cooking parties. Now streamline the idea and think along the lines of a pasta party, sushi party or martini party- I have been hired out to work these parties before so I know from experience they are all themes which work well.
 Next I recommend printing up brochures, write up the recipes for the dishes you will be cooking so your guests can easily follow along, this helps to keep the night flowing- plus it makes a cute momento. It's also fun to make up personalized aprons or serve a signature cocktail to help pull the party together. I'm seeing more and more "cooking parties" popping up. A recent episode of the The Real Houswives of Orange County featured the ladies hosting their own cooking event with a hired private chef. The Ladies got pretty twisted and I think the chef wound up doing most of the cooking but anyhow it looked awesome- funny party is I was being hired for these kinds of parties long before reality shows were even around!

New -Godiva Chocolate Bark- made fresh daily!!!!

 We now have 5 more reasons to love Godiva. Godiva is now serving up made freshly daily chocolate barks. Choose from 5 insanely divine flavors:
  • Salted Caramel Bark
  • Chocolate Oreo Cookie Bark
  • Caramel Pecan Bark
  • Milk Almond Bark
  • Dark Almond Bark
Which flavor have your tried!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snack Time, All of the Time?

Turns out a study was published earlier today claiming kids are snacking way too often- check out  U.S. Children: Generation Snack in today's NY Times. Most of the time these "snacks" are comprised of highy processed attractively wrapped junk. Experts are concerned children no longer eat due to hunger but eat just to eat. I don't have PhD in Health & Nutrition but I do have common sense! So if it seems like kids today spend more time playing handheld video games and FaceBooking each other than they do outdoors it's becasue they are. It's really hard to stuff you face with chips when your trying to run bases in a softball game as opposed to sitting in front of the TV and PC all day. My advice- get active with your kids and if your looking for a snack here's a few fun crowd pleasers:
1. Sliced Mango & Cantalope
2. Blueberry & Almond Mix
3.Turkey & Cheese Lettuce Wraps
4. Apples & Peanut Butter
5. Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?

The Bachelor's Kitchen- Fresh Catch

Springtime is right around the corner which means it's time to get beach body ready. A lot of guys at the gym are always asking me for quick and easy ways to prepare fish. There are those who have a fear of cooking fish, they claim it never turns out right and always sticks to the pan. I'm giving you a few helpful pointers and a fool proof recipe that will have you on your way to wash board abs in no time. First pat dry your fish with paper towels - remember this Hot Pan- Dry Fish-for perfection everytime. Season your fish with your favorite grill spices- try out Mrs Dash. Seriously so far I have tested Mrs Dash on chicken, pork, fish and potatoes, it's the perfect go to seasoning you should really keep on hand. Season up your fish, when pan is smoking hot, add fish and let cook-- after about 5 minutes, flip, cook another 4 minutes next toss a quick green salad together and a healthy dinner is served!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bobby's Burger Palace- Restaurant Review

 
After a fun day of shopping at the Smith Haven Mall, I dropped by Bobby's Burger Palace, a signature restaurant of Chef Bobby Flay himself. Located at 355 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, NY 11755. Bobby's Burger Palace is a laid back, casual dining spot that serves up some seriously delicious gourmet burgers.If the burger was not enough to win you over the variety of specialty side sauces will!. Forget about plain old ketchup here (they serve that too), Chef Bobby Flay offers Chipolte Ketchup, Jalapeno Pepper Sauce, Spicy Burger Sauce to name a few. I ordered the L.A. Burger - a juicy beef burger topped with Avocado Relish, Watercress, Cheddar Cheese and Tomato- it was out of this world!! Plus a side order of fresh French Fries- delish! Bobby's burgers are super meaty (no fillers here) and the fries are served sizzeling hot- just the right ratio of potato to crunch- Fabulous!! Get there & see for youself how good it is. O' the best part - No Reservations Needed, Cheers!