Sunday, May 23, 2010

High-Line Park

We walked the open length of the High-Line Park this evening.  It was awesome!!!  It is interesting architecturally and they did a great job with the plants selected for it.  The park used to be an elevated freight rail line, that was stopped in 1954.  The park is a walking path that is designed to look like the rail lines did when they were overgrown with wild plants.  I can not give it enough superlatives.  It is such a neat idea and it has become a wonderful community area.  It runs along 10th avenue from Gainsvoort to 23rd street.  They are working on section 2 which will continue from 23rd to 34th street.  Here is a link to the associations website:

http://www.thehighline.org/

Lamb - Asian Themed

We had the first experience with the new crockpot yesterday (pictured left).  We made Lamb that was clearly asian themed.  The recipe was titled spiced lamb shanks.  Here are the Ingredients:

                          


6-8 lamb shanks - frenched
1/2 tsp. chinese five spice powder
2 tbsp. plain (all-purpose) flour
1 onion - finely diced
4 garlic cloves - crushed
17 fl. oz. (500ml) beef stock
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick

We had to take a few liberties.  When we went to whole foods and asked for lamb shanks we were told they did not sell just the shank, let alone 6-8 of them so we bought about 4 lbs. of leg meat (pictured left).  This seemed like more than the recipe called for so we used about 1.5 times everything on the list, except the onion.  We also used whole wheat flower, it did not seem to impact the recipe.

Method:

1.  Placee the chinese five spice and flour in a plastic bag.

2.  Put the lamb shanks in a couple at a time into the bag, and coat well with mixture.  We cut the lamb into about 6 large pieces, this seemed to work well.  The picture at the left shows coating the pieces of lamb.

3.  Then put the lamb shanks in the crock pot (pictured left).

4.  Combine any left over flour with all the other ingredients (except star anise and cinnamon) and pour into crock pot.  We were happy  the liquid covered all the lamb.

5.  Put the star anise and cinnamon stick in the crock pot between the shanks.

6.  Cook on low for 8 plus hours.


Our crock pot has a setting (I would assume this is standard) where it keeps the pot on warm after it is done cooking.  We were still out running errands when it finished and we decided to serve with a couple of vegetables.  We decided on mashed potatoes and spinach.  The spinach we just steamed in a pot and put a little salt on top.  The mashed potatoes we made with the following recipe (this is from memory not a book):

5 lbs potatoes - peeled
1 stick butter
1 medium container of greek yogurt PLAIN (we got vanilla once it's a disaster)
5-6 cloves of garlic - peeled
milk, salt, peper as needed

Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes and boil in a pot of water until the potatoes are soft.  They should slide off a fork easily.  Strain the water out.  Mash the potatoes.  Add butter in chunks, add all other ingredients.  Add more milk to make the mixture more creamy.  Mash and mix until everything is evenly distributed.  Kova says to make sure there is enough salt so they aren't bland.

After a quick google search for a wine pairing we learned that pinot noir was the most common choice for lamb, so we grabbed a bottle we had sitting around.  It was a De Loach 2007, which I felt was forgettable.  The lamb came out extremely tender, it did fall off the bone while in the crock pot.  The liquid served as an excellent gravy on the mashed potatoes.  We definitely recommend this recipe.  The next time we might increase the amount of spices added because we felt the lamb was a little bland.  We easily served 4 people, this amount could probably serve 6-8 adults.  This is great for dinner parties.  Our dinner party gave great reviews of the dish.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Perfect Saturday

Today includes:

Farmers' Market in Union Square
Iron Man 2
Sushi of Gari
Julia and Julia

We went to the farmers' market in Union square today to investigate getting some apartment plants and vegetable plants for the roofdeck. It was a tremendous success. We walked away with a spicy chorizo sausage made from grass fed organic cattle. Kova tried a piece and was very impressed. It looks like we will be able to get some vegetable plants there for a few dollars each next weekend, but in the meantime I'll be designing and constructing the pots that will hold them on the roof. According to one of the ladies it takes 5 gallons of soil to handle a tomato plant, so all plans will be based off this. More to come on this project.

We also got a crock pot, this will contribute to this blog frequently. We got a 6 quart pot at bed bath and beyond, it cost 50 dollars.

We saw Iron Man 2. Iron Man is a favorite of Kova's, particularly, and I like it too. The movie was alright in our opinion. We felt it was a typical sequel, the plot was sort of scatter brained and unclear. It was a fun and entertaining movie, but definitely nothing to write home about. Kova says Robert Downey Jr. is very sexy, I think he was solid in the movie, but like I said, it lacked cohesion.

Sushi of Gari rocked. Kova took me as a late (yes very late) Christmas present. It is the 4th time I have eaten at one of his restaurants and Kova's third. We love the combinations he creates with extremely fresh fish and clever toppings. Each piece is a glorious creation, a flavor orgasm in the mouth. Kova's favorite is the salmon with warm tomato on top, mine is the red snapper with salad pine nuts on top. The seared black cod with miso was also fantastic. We always get the omakase, it's the best. We like the west side location the best, it is a little roomier and nicer. Gari is definitely one of the best sushi restaurants in the city (second to Masa), we love his fusion creations.

Julia and Julia is a really neat movie. Two bold, similar characters who do not know eachother. Meryl Streep is our favorite actress (by a mile) and kills the role, as always. It's a movie about food and all the life that food involves and inspires. After watching the film we are going to have to get a copy of Julia Child's book and test out a few of them. We recommend eating before the movie because otherwise you will be starving when it finishes, but the movie is awesome!

Ciao!

Greetings!

Hi,

We finally started this. We've talked about blogging for a long time so we can mention our favorite, recipes, restaurants, movies, and things to do in New York. Today was kind of the ultimate inspiration to begin. We purchased a crock pot, we saw a sequel to one of our favorite flicks, we ate at one of our favorite restaurants, and now we are watching Julia and Julia which is a movie about blogging and cooking. To be fair to us, our blog is not inspired by this movie, we talked about it long before seeing the movie. But it would be fair to say the movie inspired us to start the blog.

About us:

Nick is a former engineer turned trader from MIT. He cooks frequently and enjoys being adventurous with both cooking and eating. A workout enthusiast, he attempts to cook and eat healthy food. He tries to avoid the cheap tricks of lots of butter, oil or salt in his cooking. He enjoys all sorts of food but his favorites would be fresh vegetables. He was a history minor, and loves classic movies. He is unimpressed by special effects, but does appreciate watching a movie that's thoughtless to pass the time. Hopefully Kova does more of the writing because Nick can be dry and longwinded, and is admittedly a pretty big dork.

Kova is... pretty much the complete opposite of Nick. For every vegetable Nick eats, she probably eats 2 desserts. And for every mile he runs, she watches an hour of TV. But she enjoys cooking and eating as much as him. She is excited to share some of the meals they make, restaurants they go to, and random thoughts and musing. As she also enjoys reading, shopping for make-up products, and sleeping, there will probably be mentions of these things as well. Enjoy!