Friday, March 25, 2011

No really, you came to New York to cook?!?

We cook a lot in SF. In the Bay Area, I think it's expected that you both know how to cook, and enjoy cooking. So it's no surprise many people cook together, as you know, a 'fun' thing to do.

Well, I flew to NY to visit people, and visiting friends includes cooking with friends. Revolutionary I know. I have been told that New York is known for food, and I am sure that the city knows what it's doing... but so do Joyce and I! Why go out to eat, when you can spend the evening catching up, and hearing amazing stories, all while trying to figure out how to make quinoa burgers? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy going out to eat as a treat, but I adore cooking and dining with friends. Life can't get much better than that.

Brooklyn Quinoa Burgers on the Fly
(take this recipe as a really rough guide, this is beyond approximate)

2 c cooked quinoa (leftovers!)
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1/4 c chopped parsley
1 cup dried mushrooms, rehydrated and drained
a melange of french and italian herbs (herbs de provence, oregano and tarragon)
leftover prune apple duck gravy (true story)
2 eggs
some matzo meal

brioche buns
fontina, sliced

1. Mince onion and garlic, sautee
2. Fine chop in food processor the drained rehydrated dried mushrooms, carrot, and parsley.
3. Add onion garlic, pulse a little to mix.
4. Add maybe 1/2 cup of gravy and pulse into mixture
5. Dump into bowl, add in quinoa and 2 eggs and some matzo
6. In a pan, heat up some canola (or whatever) oil, make a patty and fry one to check consistency. Add more egg/matzo as needed
7. Fry up patties, remember to be gentle. If you don't manhandle it, it will stay together. Low heat, slowly getting brown will help.
note: when burgers are done, throw the cheese on top of the patties with a lid on for a few minutes, that'll melt it.
8. Eat on toasted brioche bun with watercress, tomato and mustard and melted fontina.

I've always loved burgers

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SFO-JFK for mexican food?

I know, I know, what on earth am I doing eating mexican food in NYC not 12 hours after leaving SF? Well, there's this great new place, Pachanga Patterson in Astoria (Queens) that is serving up fresh local fare with an obvious mexican twist.

(Sorry the pic was as good as it was gonna get! I need to bring my camera next time!)

We ordered the trio of salsas and fresh fried chips to start on while we were sipping on our south of the border inspired cocktails. I enjoyed the anticuado, a tequila cocktail with blood orange slices and bitters. Since I hadn't eaten all day, I knew an entree wouldn't satisfy, so I also ordered the cheese quesadilla, which was excellent. The main course for me was the 'veggie jenga' - two tostadas piled with radicchio, avocado and beans, topped with a fried egg and sitting on sweet potato puree. It was fantastic, and a very large portion. My dining partners all enjoyed their tacos, the chipotle braised short ribs being the winner.

Here's how the restaurant describe their own cuisine (from their website)

"For years we've worked in all kinds of restaurants - Asian, pan-Asian, seasonal American, new American, rustic Italian, upscale Italian - but at the end of the night, after the last customer has left, the food that comes out of every NYC restaurant kitchen is decidedly Mexican. The cooks primarily from Mexico, take the ingredients available and create Mexican-influenced food for the rest of the staff. It's family meal Mexican style. We've come to love this mash-up of Mexican and NYC. It's fresh, delicious, uncomplicated and without pretense. This restaurant is dedicated to our restaurant family.

If you ever find yourself in these parts, I'd definitely hit up Pachanga Patterson.