Friday, May 27, 2011

230 Fifth NYC Rooftop Bar

Look at that view
It's 83 degrees today and in NYC that can only mean one thing- cocktails at a rooftop bar. Nothing says summer in the city like trendy rooftops serving up$20 martinis. The way I rationalize it, it's only hot here two months out of the year! A longtime faovrite rooftop spot of mine is 230 Fifth, located on the corner of E.27th street & 5th ave in NYC.

230 Fifth has an amazing view of the Empire State Building and upbeat vibe. I will warn you it gets overly crowded and you really won't be able to grap a seat (unless buying a table), the menu is not that impressive but who cares! The view and party scene make it totally worthwhile.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oven Fried Chicken Salad

Oven Fried Chicken, a throwback from my childhood. It's still a crowd pleaser in my house. What's not to love, tender baked chicken with a spicy/salty crispy crunch - my mouth is watering.  Go ahead and make your own by mixing some panko breadcrumbs with paprika and grill seasoning, or use the short cut of Shake n Bake
I'm always looking to put a  spin on recipes so I started thinking how else can I eat this? McDonalds, has a crispy chicken salad, crispy chicken sandwich, crispy chicken ranch wrap... you get it they serve crispy chicken and the public loves it. Use your leftover oven fried chicken which is way healthier than any fast food kind, toss it in a salad (see pic above), put it on a bun top it with lettuce and cheese (see pic below) or roll it up in a wrap with some bacon and ranch dressing- the possibilities are endless.
Move over McChicken Sandwich

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars by Eagle Brand- Recipe Review

Memorial Day is a few days away and I'm on the search for the perfect potluck bring along.  I'm trying the all time classic Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars by Eagle Brand. I'm only posting my revised version of the recipe one look at the original recipe and I knew it needed serious overhauling to work/ The bars are delicious but really sweet, I'm actually sending them in to work with my husband that'll be the real taste test! These bars are easy, delicious and my new and improved recipe you might just have you be mistaken for Mrs. Cleaver at your next dinner party (everyone's secret dream)!
Non-Stick Cooking Spray
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/4 stick of butter, melted
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4 cup butterscotch-flavored chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups unsweetened flaked coconut (it's way too sweet to use the sweetend type)
1 cup chopped salted peanuts

HEAT oven 350°F.

For perfectly cut cookie bars, line entire  13 x 9-inch pan with foil, extending foil over edge of pan. Coat lightly with no-stick cooking spray. After bars have baked and cooled, lift up by edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into individual bars.

COMBINE graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Layer first coconut, chips, then peanuts and top w/ sweetened condensed milk.

BAKE 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to slighlty cool , chop off sides for clean cut bars. Cut small they're very rich. Enjoy!!
The Graham Cracker Base

Top w/ Coconut
Chips, Nuts then pour on Milk and Bake 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homemade Rice-A-Roni- Bachelor's Kitchen Tuesday's

I grew up on Rice a Roni, my mom used to make it all the time. I absolutely love it! Although my palate has become more refined, I still love the stuff. Truthfully it makes an awesome side dish. Guys, we all know it's the side dish everyone wants  more of. Knowing how to make awesome sides is priceless. I'd like to show you my super easy recipe for Homemade Rice a Roni, this will be your ace up the sleeve. 

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 cup of orzo
4 tbsp of butter
Cube of Chicken Bouillon
2 cups of hot water
1/4 cup of half and half

In a small sauce pan, add orzo and butter- toast 3- 5 minutes
After orzo is toasted add in chicken bouillon- cook 1 minute
Stand back this will splash- pour in hot water bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer cook 20-25 minutes or until orzo is soft. Stir pot every 5 minutes to make it extra creamy
During the last 5 minutes of cooking add in half and half, stir and serve.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crescent Wrapped Hot Dogs

Hi Fans, so I'm back from my honeymoon & can't wait to gush about all the wonderful new recipes I've come across. First I have to fill you in on the cutest happy accident I came across- Crescent Wrapped Hot Dogs! My mom ran out of hot dog buns, had crescent rolls on hand & voila, a star is born!.

Memorial Day Weekend's coming up & I think your guests will love these succulent puppies. Save the hot dog buns for lobster rolls (yum) & instead wrap your franks in crescent rolls- think  full size pigs in blanket! Top with w/ carmelized onions, cheese or even bacon then wrap in blanket & bake a few minutes until golden- this one's sure to be a hit!

Monday, May 16, 2011

NYC COOKS on vacation

Hi fans, your favorite NYC chef will be away until Friday May 20th!! Stay posted for fun & exciting updates! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wheeler's- Sheepshead Bay Bites

While out and about on Sheepshead Bay Road my hubby -to-be suggested we go into this pub called Wheeler's for what he says was going to be great lunch- was he so right! I was delighted to see the huge A posted in their window so we were off to a good start. I'd never think to order food from this place but truthfully these are the places that usually serve the best food!

I had the All Out Roast Beef Sandwich, tender slices of paper thin rare roast beef piled mile high, topped with melted fresh mozzarella, served on toasted garlic bread with side of home style gravy and crispy steak fries- all for $8.00!!! Honestly I thought my mom was in the back cooking the sandwich it was so flavorful, honestly you could taste the love! He ordered the Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken, a portion for 2-3 people with an incredible creamy alfredo and tender slices of chicken. If you're looking to stay local and in the mood for simple yet satisfying food- Wheeler's is for you. Wheeler's, I'm impressed!
Wheeler's Restaurant
 1707 Sheepshead Bay Road,
Brooklyn, NY 11235
 (718) 646-9320 ‎  
Perfectly toasted, see the grill marks!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Perfect Pepper Steak- Monday Night Meals

 Jen DePalma here wishing you all a marvelous Monday. As you know Monday's are not for me! To make the transition from weekend to work week less painful , I cook extra special meals on Monday's. The added bonus is with the leftovers I'm guarenteed to have lunch on Tuesday's. Tonight I'm sharing with you my favorite recipe for Pepper Steak, beautifully sliced flank steak sauteed with ginger, garlic and tons of fresh veggies basking in a gravy that's to die for. Serve over a bowl of fluffy white rice and dinner is done! 

To prevent overcooking the beef I cook the veggies separately and my trick for the glaze like gravy is dusting the meat with a touch of sugar and cornstarch before searing. No wonder my peppersteak is always a crowd pleaser and perfect for entertaining. Yes, there are quite a few steps but my easy to follow directions will make it a breeze. Try it and tell me what you think!
Jen DePalma's Perfect Pepper Steak
2-3 lb flank steak, sliced on the bias (angle)
1/4 of grill seasoning + 2 tsp of sugar + 2 tsp of cornstarch
4 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp each of grated garlic & ginger
1 pepper sliced
1 small onion sliced
2 cups of stir fry vegetable (if using frozen be sure to defrost)
1/2 cup of edamame
1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of soy sauce
3 tbsp of cornstarch
In a large saute pan heat 2 tsp of  oil
Lightly saute pepper & onions 3-5 minutes, remove from pan & set aside
Generously dust meat w/ seasoning, sugar and cornstarch- heat 2 tbsp of oil in pan

Add ginger & garlic to hot oil , fry 1 minute then add in beef- sear 1-2 minutes per side remove from pan & set aside
Mix cornstarch with cold vegetable stock & soy sauce, add to saute pan and bring to boil- cook 3-4 minutes or until thick
Add peppers & onions back to pan along with defrosted frozen vegetables, cook 2 minutes
Add in beef and serve!
Step 1, peppers & onions resting

Step 2, steak searing, see the flecks of ginger & garlic goodness!

Step 3, the sauce bubbling away


Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Meals

Sofrito Scrambled Eggs with Bacon
There is no one is this world who deserves a day of much love and attention than mom's. Especially  my mom, thank you for being so great!

Surprise your mom, wife, or special woman in your life this Mother's Day with breakfast in bed. No need to stress about some complicated recipe, trust me the last thing you want to do is piss her off with a messy kitchen on Mother's Day! Keep it simple, keep it sweet- some softly scrambled eggs with a few strips of bacon and toast to dress it up a fresh flower ( see pic, Sofrito scrambled Eggs-email me for recipe details)

Happy Mother's Day, and many more!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Magnificent Mango Salad

Hey Fans, today I'm sharing with you Jen DePalma's recipe for mouth watering Magnificent Mango Salad. This salad is perfect for livening up an otherwise boring weeknight dinner- the colors are gorgeous, the textures incredible and you are just going to fall in love with the sweet mango paired against my tangy house dressing.  Be magnificent and make this tonight!

Jen DePalma's Magnificent Mango Salad
1 mango peeled and sliced
1 container of sweet grape tomatoes
1 cup of baby carrots
2 handfuls of your favorite crouton

House Dressing
1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup of dijon mustard
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp of sugar
3 tsp of black pepper
2 tsp of salt
1 cup of olive oil
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT Olive Oil
Gently Whisk in Olive Oil- Toss with salad & serve

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuna Tacos- Cinco De Mayo Recipes

Oye Amigos, one day left till party popping Cinco De Mayo Festivities begin! I love Cinco de Mayo , I adore Mexican food and just love the spirit in the air. Cinco de Mayo's not just about getting crunk, there certainly are some non-alcoholic ways to celebrate too. Try Jen DePalma's Tuna Tacos for a feisty new way to tune up your tuna and celebrate!
No need to go out to expensive restaurants when you can just as easily celebrate at home. Serve up my tuna tacos with a side of arroz con frijoles and some Virgin Mojitos- mix lemon-lime seltzer with chopped mint and serve over ice, so refreshing!  Today's Tuna Tacos mucho divertido (fun), the mexican inspired  tuna salad served on a crispy corn tortilla taco- you will never look at canned tuna the same way.Salud!
My Arroz con Frijoles- Simply Delicioso

Tuna Tacos-makes 4 small tacos
1 can of whole albacore tuna in water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp of chopped red onion
6 Manzanilla Olives chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 shredded lettuce
2 tbsp of chopped tomato
2 tbsp of chopped cilantro
4 taco shells

Combine tuna with all salad ingredients- fill taco shells and Eat!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jen DePalma's Caesar Turkey Burgers- Bachelor's Tuesday

Hey Guys, welcome to Bachelor's Tuesday here at NYC Cooks. I have the most perfect recipe for sizzling turkey burgers that cook up 10 minutes! All you need is three ingredients (turkey being one) and a saute pan. Personally, I love working with my Rachael Ray saute pan I picked up from Kohl's it heats up quick and cooks up evenly- hey that's just my opinion.

I love cooking with lean ground turkey it's healthy, delicious and sometimes I think we all need a break from chicken! Jen DePalma's Caesar burgers are super moist and full of flavor thanks to my secret ingredient- Lite Caesar Dressing and sazon. I'm sure you're tired of take out and  guys these take only ten minutes to cook- no culinary arts degree required! Go on give Jen DePalma's Caesar Burgers a try and let me know what you think!

The Secret Ingredients Revealed
Happily cooking away in my RR saute pan
Caesar's Burgers- A meal fit for a king!
Caesar's Turkey Burgers
1 lb of lean ground turkey
1/4 cup of lite Caesar dressing
2 tbsp of sazon seasoning
1 tbsp of veg oil

Preheat non-stick saute pan
Add sazon to turkey and form small round patties
Add turkey burgers to pan- allow to cook 4 minutes & flip
All ow to cook 4 more minutes then pour in dressing, cook 2 minutes
Serve & Devour!