Although the Wild Hare has been reported on a lot, I am finding that it may be one of the best, most consistent and creative menus in town. I have loved everything that I have ordered, which is a rare feat for most new restaurants. From the Wild Hare burger (which may be my new favorite burger in town), to the pizza with herbed ricotta and Benton’s bacon, this place hasn’t missed a mark yet.
My husband and I were also happy to recently find the goat-cheese quesadilla appetizer. We have this theory that you could put goat cheese on anything and we would like it. Think about it — PB&J with goat cheese? Probably good. Biscuits, gravy, and goat cheese? Awesome. Chocolate chip goat-cheese cookies? Probably great.
So obviously, we were excited to try this new twist on a quesadilla — and were surprised to find that this wasn’t an ooey-gooey mozzarella-heavy quesadilla with a little goat cheese sprinkled in. No, it was straight goat cheese (albeit spiced up, as you’ll see below). And since goat cheese doesn’t melt like most cheeses, it was especially nice because it wasn’t greasy at all. I asked the restaurant about the ingredients so that I could try to replicate it at home.
This is one of those dishes that makes you realize that every time Tom Colicchio says something on Top Chef about a simple dish often being the best — Antonia’s mussels in the Italian challenge last season come to mind — he isn’t fucking around. It’s even healthy! Kale, a green, leafy vegetable that hails from the cabbage family, has often been touted for its health benefits, and is even more healthy when served chopped and raw.
I am not really into health foods, or even salads so much. But it’s the currants/raisins* that keep me coming back for more: the sudden bursts of sweetness among the bitter-sour-saltiness of the Parmesan-lemon-kale combination in every couple of bites.
It turns out that the subtle citrus and oats flavors of Blue Moon also lend well to cooking with the stuff. There are pages and pages of recipes on the intertubes of dishes made with Blue Moon's Belgian White, Spring Blonde Wheat, Summer Honey, Fall Harvest Pumpkin Ale and Winter Abbey Ale. These dishes range from spicy dips to sweet desserts.
So Blue Moon and the folks at chow.com have gotten together to sponsor a recipe contest. The Great Beer Recipe Challenge encourages you to create a special dish featuring Blue Moon products and submit it to the judgment of the people. And by judgment, we mean the popularity contest of getting as many of your friends as possible to vote for it on the contest website.
Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Slow down, hoss.
On a whim Memorial Day, since I had the smoker fired up anyway, I decided to try grilling poblano peppers stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese and wrapped in bacon. Only an ape could screw this up, right? As usual in my culinary endeavors — my friend and grillmaster Scott Martin said I should host a Food Network show called In Retrospect ... — I put that theory to the test.
This is what I learned, shared free of charge.
Despite the fact that I do, indeed, bake often, I trash a lot of what I make. Why? Because I'm haphazard. I experiment. I run out of vanilla extract so I put in mint. I substitute regular milk for buttermilk. I halve ingredients, I add stuff that I think will taste "fine" to the recipe. It doesn't. I don't have cooking skills. I need recipes. And more importantly, I need to follow them.
No one has ever accused me of being a perfectionist. In baking, I try to use the least amount of dishes and really common (and often generic) brands and ingredients. Since my repertoire is small, I've spent much time perfecting the simple pleasures (read: recipes) in life. I believe these treats are the perfect way to say "thank you" or "screw this diet" without having to do anything fancy and without having to take much time or energy.
On occasion, I'd like to share my honed recipes on Bites. Most aren't original to me — but I've done the legwork for you. I've tested and tested (and my colleagues have eaten) many a sweet, and these are the best recipes I can find.
Today: the classic chocolate chip cookie.
It's about okra.
Last week at the Woodbine Farmer's Market, a surprise monsoon sidelined all but two vendors, one being Delvin Farms. To thank them for braving the elements, I bought a pound and a half of okra, planning to fry it up in some cornmeal and bacon grease once I got home. Then it hit me: I've never fixed fried okra with fresh okra. I've always used a freezer bag and counted on the thawed slime to hold the breading.
So here are my questions:
1) Am I safe in cutting up the okra tonight, or should I wait and cut it right before use tomorrow?
2) If I cut it tonight, should I soak it in water?
3) Does it cook roughly the same amount of time?
4) Can you use buttermilk alone instead of egg-dip breading?
Any secret tips, recipe variations, etc. would be welcome. I bow to your expertise.
Aggressive, almost dictatorial, whatthefuckshouldimakefordinner.com is a hilarious antidote to pre-dinner dithering. Every time you visit the site, you get a different profanity-laced answer — which you can click to link to a tasty, expletive-free recipe.
And like a Magic 8 ball, you can keep trying until you get the answer you want. Click one of the salty retorts at the bottom and you'll get a different recipe, with or without meat.
It's like having a benevolent software version of Gordon Ramsey, barking out orders to get your dinner going.
Say what you will about fusion cooking, but the union of Jewish and Chinese cuisine is a match made in heaven in Soy Vay teriyaki sauce, which recently nudged its way into the Fox family repertoire. The kosher blend of preservative-free soy sauce, ginger, garlic, onions, soy and sesame oils and sesame seeds is pretty much everything I would put in a marinade if I happened to have all those ingredients on hand.
The label narrates the origins of the product--which is what results when a Chinese girl meets a Jewish boy and they compare family cooking habits. The label also recommends the Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce for fish, meat, poultry, tofu "and whatever else you may dream up."
After preparing Soy Vay salmon and chicken to rave reviews, Shiksa Fox pretty quickly dreamed up pork teriyaki to get rid of the frozen rolling pin of tenderloin at the back of the freezer. She was already eight hours into the marination before she began to worry about being struck by a thunderbolt.
In the end, the roasted pork--succulent, salty and nutty, with a dark caramelized finish--outweighed any non-Pareve guilt. I earned a "Mommy, you are a genius," and dinner went off without a smiting.
Sheila Lukins, one-time proprietor of the 165-square-foot-shop Manhattan takeout shop The Silver Palate and author of several cookbooks, has died at age 66 of brain cancer.
She and business partner Julie Rosso opened the shop in 1977, selling cocktail fare, salads, pastas, side dishes, cookies and mousses. They also catered, and made sauces and preserves. Their food incorporated a wider world of flavors, including Greek, northern Mediterranean, Provencal, and rustic Italian.
It wasn't just a store -- it was a force for cultural change, and soon the need for a cookbook was obvious.
The Silver Palate Cookbook was published by Workman publishing in 1980. Many Americans discovered pesto, fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and arugula in its pages. It's been referred to as the "Joy of Cooking for a new generation of American cooks."
Its best-known recipe is Chicken Marbella, a marinated combination of unlikeliest ingredients (prunes, olives, 1/4 cup of oregano, brown sugar) that cooked into an irresistibly garlicky, sweet-tangy caramelized sauce.
You people just don't want me to succeed, do you? Just as I began to steel myself to make it through another Meatless Monday, what should appear in my Google Reader but this meatsterpiece?
You may remember Ben Frank, the Larry Flynt of his own food porn domain at the blog "I Ate That" from his beet battle with Crema's Rachel Lehman. Proving he's no one trick pony, Ben has offered his own Greek-inspired take on the classic cheeseburger and fries using gyro seasoning, Chèvre cheese and Parmesan roasted butternut squash fries.
Gallop your goat over here for the full skinny while I curl up with a nice wheatgrass smoothie for dinner. I think I can. I think I can.
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Congrats! I'll have to check out the restaurant.