Chinatown: A Photoshoot w/ Joanie

Grand total for the goods? $3.75

It’s been a hectic week. Joe got a nasty boil on his head – so much of my time was spent helping him go to the ER, etc. He’s fine now. Sunday was all me. It’s been cold for too long this winter and this weekend we finally had some REAL warm weather. So I took advantage of it. This whole idea started when I received an email Friday from a reporter at the Brooklyn Paper asking me to answer a few questions for an article she’s writing to promote this cooking contest I’m participating in: Park Slope Pork-Off. She also asked me to submit a pic of me cooking or eating something w/ pork in it. Chinatown proved to be the PERFECT place for this. It was also a great day to spend some quality time w/ my sis Joanie who also happens to be professional photographer. For those in the know – Chinatown is a ‘hood I’ve become intimately familiar with. It’s my one-stop shopping spot for groceries, particularly when cooking Asian food. I enjoy wandering around the different veggie stands/butchers (mostly on Grand – Canal is too annoying) for the freshest ingredients. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy places like Fairway and Trader Joe’s – but I’ve found the best basic produce in Chinatown. I hit the other spots for the specialty stuff. So armed w/ my Brooklyn grocery bag and my sister and her Canon 5D, away we went! Enjoy the pix!

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Pomme de Terre

Aaaah Pomme de Terre. Housed around the corner from a bodega and next to a storefront Pentecostal Christian Spanish church – this alone makes this place truly Brooklyn and yet the meal is so French – possibly one of the best I’ve had in NYC. The boy and I wanted to try something new and finally ventured into this homey place – a spot I’ve been eyeing since working part-time on Foster Avenue.

1st course – the crispy calamari w/ lemon aoli and the mussels provencale.
2nd course – me: medium rare hangar steak w/ creamed spinach and fingerling potatoes. him: steak frites au poivre medium rare (duh anything more = burnt to us)
dessert – cappucino, bruleed banana caramel and baked (i think?) apple w/ mascarpone cream.
drinks – cotes du rhone for me. and I think they were offering bottles of tempranillo at half off…
service – impeccable. granted, it wasn’t very busy when we went on a Thursday night, but you can tell everyone who works in that place cares about the customers and the food.

All delicious and perfect meal for a couple who doesn’t splurge too often. Am I a regular now? Oh yes…

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Happy Holidays!

Hearty ham soup

Hearty ham soup

As many of you know, I prepared a holiday ham for my family’s Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) celebration. To make transport easy, I carved it off the bone and kept the bone for soup. My recipe? Well, it’s a combination of different ones I saw on the internet. I wanted something hearty, creamy. Perfect for winter and many servings for the next several days since my sis and I are moving. Here goes…
– 1 onion diced
– 1/4 lb of ham (shredded off the bone)
– 1/4 lb of ham fat for rendering
– 2 regular-sized cans of kidney beans
– 3 regular-sized cans of corn
– 2 regular-sized cans of peas
– 2 regular-sized cans of chicken stock/broth
– 1 pint of heavy cream
– 1 lb. red potatoes diced
– 3 tbsps. olive oil
– 1 pack mushrooms sliced
– 1/2 lb. cheddar cheese – cubed
1. Render ham fat and onions til the drippings start to get golden brown. 2. Add ham meat, mushrooms, and potatoes. 3. When meat, etc. starts to cook, add chicken broth and bring to a slow simmer over low-medium heat. 4. Once potatoes are cooked, add rest of beans, peas, and corn. 5. Allow to simmer for at least 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to come out. 6. Add heavy cream and cheese. 7. Salt to taste.