Saturday, June 23, 2007

City Island

Johnny's Reef Restaurant. City Island Ave, Bronx, NY. (Top to bottom: soft-shell crab, shrimp, crowd of customers).

Monday, June 18, 2007

Big Apple BBQ Block Party

Last weekend, I attended the Big Apple BBQ Block Party at Madison Square Park. Man oh man almighty! Boy did I miss barbecue! I sampled from NYC's Blue Smoke and Hill Country. Of course, I had to get some Texas barbecue, so I stopped at Southside Market & BBQ (Elgin, TX) and The Salt Lick (could NOT pass this up).

Blue Smoke served up barbecued chicken. I had high expectations for this because I'm a huge admirer of Danny Meyer and his restaurants. Unfortunately the chicken tasted a little generic. While it was moist, there was nothing spectacular about this dish. I think I'll reserve judgement on Blue Smoke for now, until I can visit the restaurant and sample what else they have to offer.

Hill Country had ribs on the menu today. For those of you who don't know, this is a New York restaurant started by Marc Glosserman, who spent some of his youth visiting relatives in Central Texas. I didn't really enjoy their ribs. Maybe it was the particular piece I was served, but it was just a mediocre attempt at recreating Texas barbecue. But I do give them props for serving Big Red soda and Blue Bell ice cream at their restaurant. At least something is authentic Texan.

Southside Market served up beef brisket. Mel and I tried this booth with Elaine because by the time she arrived, Salt Lick had sold out and it would be another 20 minutes before the next batch was served. Yes, twenty minutes isn't a long time, but we wanted to get beer so we opted for the shortest line. It must have been short for a reason. The meat was very dry. I liked the level of smokiness and the sauce, but the dryness was a disappointment.

SALT LICK. The best I had that day. Period. Like Southside, Salt Lick served beef brisket as well (pictured above). But what a difference between the two. Salt Lick's was so incredibly moist, perfectly tender. Their sauce had a tinge of spice, which kept things interesting. Next time I head out to Austin, I am definitely going to stop by Salt Lick.

Tried Brooklyn Brewery's beer for the first time. For this summer day, the Summer Ale was perfect. I also had Brooklyn Brewery's Lager and Heineken Light. The Heineken Light was a nice change up to the regular version. And the Lager, while yummy, was not as well-suited to the weather and BBQ as the Summer Ale.

Fickle Foodie Moblog

Decided to move the "Moblog" posts to this blog. Much easier to keep up with a single blog.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Banana Muffins

Chicken Salad with Necatrines

This is the first recipe I made out of the Chocolate & Zucchini book. Okay, so I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but I used the basic components from the book and adapted it to my tastes. I added honey to my balsamic vinaigrette, opted for cashews instead of hazelnuts (because that is what I had on hand), and I used nectarines instead of the suggested peaches. I also added a shaving of Parmesan cheese just because, well, I love cheese! Again, it's what I had in the fridge, so that is what I used. But if I had to do it all over again, I would love to try this recipe with roast duck. Maybe make the vinaigrette with more of a citrus zip, and maybe a little spicy heat as well to counteract the richness of the duck. HALT! Now I'm thinking a sandwich version with beef and a creamy blue cheese. Or keep the chicken and maybe do a soft cheese like brie. Okay, I've got to stop with that. Just goes to show what a successful recipe Clotilde has come up with for her book.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Toast to Summer: My Sangria

My sangria: red wine, rum, peach schnapps, orange juice, necatrines, peaches, oranges, and a splash of fizzy water (or lemon-lime soda). That is all I need to start the summer off right. Cheers!


Being at the Philippine Independence Festival this weekend so reminded me of my childhood. Pork barbecue, many kinds of pancit (noodles), longanisa (sausage), kare-kare (a meat stew containing green beans, eggplant, tripe in a peanutty sauce, eaten with bagoong, a salted and fermented fish or shrimp paste). I indulged in Halo-Halo, a particular favorite of mine from days of yore. Alas, there is a infamous home video of me. Wearing nothing but diapers, I was sitting on the coffee table with a cup of halo-halo, slurping it down like no tomorrow. It dribbled down my face, making quite a mess of myself.

Philippine Independence Day Celebration

Halo-Halo - a dessert of shaved ice, milk, sugar, sweet beans, assorted gelatins, flan

BBQ and Lumpia Shanghai - grilled pork that has been marinated in a soy-citrus mixture and a Filipino egg roll

Fish Balls - Not in the literal sense, though I have a friend who enjoys rooster balls. Think of these as fish meatballs with a sweet/spicy sauce.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"C" is for cookie... I used white chocolate chips here. But they were a little flatter than anticipated. Fairly certain this was due to the fact my leavening agent was not fresh. Surprisingly, the cookies retained the texture I desired - crispy round the edges and chewy in the middle.