Super Salad

Music: Try it On – Interpol

We made a super salad for dinner on Monday.  I had to share because, generally, I hate greens.  We’ve been really busy lately and its been more difficult to cook the elaborate meals we have in the past.  But, I swear, I’ve been craving this salad ever since we made it!

What you’ll need:
smoked salmon
toasted nori
yellow tomatoes
red tomatoes
red onions
avocado
cucumbers
arugula
oil and vinegar
salt and pepper

We just cut up the pieces and threw them into a beautiful bowl and dressed it with our best olive oil and vinegar.  Pretty simple and I can’t wait to make it again.

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Filed under Appetizer, Greens, Salads

Madeleines – Sweet Thursday

Music: Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

I’ve always wanted to try Madelieines.  I always thought they were something too difficult to perfect in the home.  But thank goodness for my trusty guide through Parisian pastry, The Sweet Life of Paris (and a thank you to David Lebovitz for moving to France).  We recently purchased a Madeleine pan having always wanted one (does food that requires special tools intimidate you? – It intimidates me…).

There is a longstanding debate on whether or not to include baking powder in ones Madeleines (I did).  It has nothing to do with affecting the taste, just the appearance.  That signature “bump” is not necessarily historically accurate and when you speak with Frenchies, they might disagree about the bulbous shape an American Madeleine has taken on (I sense a social commentary brewing).  It is entirely up to you if you want a pregnant Madeleine.

We made these little treats for our Massachusetts road trip. I was shocked by how good they were straight out of the oven – so spongy and sweet.  Admittedly, they didn’t really taste the same a day later, but they were still good dipped in rich hot chocolate while sitting in a cozy 17th century home in New England (jealous?). Here are the sweet results!

What you’ll need:

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup  flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
zest of 1/2 a lemon
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Melt butter in a small pot.

  • Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with sifted flour, tap off any excess, and place in the freezer.

  • Let the rest of the butter cool to room temperature.
  • Using an electric or hand held mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 6 minutes until frothy and thickened (seriously, that long)

  • Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter.
  • Add the lemon zest to the room temperature butter, then teaspoon the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time.  Continue folding to incorporate the all butter.

  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
  • This is kinda the tough part.  Remove Madeleine pan from freezer and add enough batter in the center of each indentation to fill it 3/4 of the way. Do not spread it.

  • Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown around the edges nearest the pan.
  • Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

  • Eat immediately.

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Filed under cookbooks, Dessert, How to..., Kitchen Things, Sweet Thursday

Saffron and Sage Risotto with Butternut Squash

Music: Little Miss Queen of Darkness – The Kinks

Here we go! Back to Ina…and the fall.  Love me some butternut squash! This was a flavor bomb in my mouth.  To be honest, it might have been a little rich and, next time, I would take out half the butter. I’d also remove the bacon after it was cooked and add it back in at the end.

What you’ll need:

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces bacon, diced
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
4 sprigs of fresh sage
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender.

  • Heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and saute the bacon and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.

  • Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter.

  • Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock.
  • Continue until the rice is cooked through about 30 minutes total.
  • Add sage and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese.
  • Mix well and serve.

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Filed under Butternut Squash, Pasta, Recipes

Happy Halloween!

from Brooklyn Plated.  We’re going on a culinary adventure through Ipswich and Salem MA this weekend.  We plan to take part in the witch trial reenactments – I can hardly contain my excitement.

How great is that platter?? My friend Emily sent it to us for an anniversary gift, which falls around the same time as Plated’s anniversary too!

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Filed under Food Anecdotes, General Rantings, Kitchen Things

Happy Birthday!

Today Brooklyn Plated is one year old! I’m so happy to celebrate this (and as with most celebrations, we’ll likely go out to dinner – oh the irony!).

Thank you so much for following along this year. It means a lot to us.  Now that the holidays are approaching, we’ll have tons of new and delicious meals, reviews and desserts to share.

Thanks again!

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Oyster Crab

Whatever is an oyster crab?  Once in a long while one discovers a tiny little crab living in an oyster. Due to ocean patterns and filtration systems, sometimes tiny crabs lodge themselves into other oyster shells.  They are affectionately called “lodgers”.  Apparently it is a rarity to find one. Recently, when home shucking some oysters, we found two! What better way to enjoy this delicacy than to fry it up and chomp on it. To explain in a bit more depth, we found this fun article from December 15, 1907 published in the New York Times.

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Filed under Fish, Food Anecdotes, Recipes

Caseus Review

93 Whitney Ave
New Haven, CT 06510-1236
(203) 624-3373

Sometimes it’s hard for New Yorker’s to step outside of their comfort zones.  This city can be so convenient, full of the best of everything just outside your door.  For years we lived on the Upper West Side and were convinced that we lived two blocks from the best Chinese food in the city.  I also lived near the best bakery, had the best wine store, best French bistro and the absolute best bagels. (That last part about the bagels is absolutely true.) The fact is I was really just lazy and the food was OK, but nothing to write home about.  Nothing changed when we moved to Brooklyn.  It takes quite an effort to get out of our neighborhood; thankfully new restaurants keep opening up on Dekalb Avenue.

Today we bring to you a restaurant that is worth writing home about, and one worth leaving the neighborhood for.  Caseus in New Haven states that every cheese has a story.  Unfortunately for us, we’ve never actually ordered the cheese.  I mean…who goes to a renowned artisan cheese spot and does not order the cheese?  Yes, it’s sad but true.  The reason is quite legitimate however.  The food at Caseus is so amazing, that we always get over excited, over order and end up rolling ourselves out the door.

What Caseus does so well is daily specials.  Each day the menu has a special theme.  Wednesday: Bacon, Thursday: Corn, Friday: Lobster Roll, Saturday: On the Bone.  When in doubt go with these.  Here are a few hits we have also come to love:

To start get the Charcuterie Board, which comes with a selection of seasonal, cured meats, salumi and paté.  The chicken liver paté and American prosciutto are exceptional.  Add the House bread and butter as well.  Each day they make a new butter with flavors like chocolate, honey, or chipotle.  Follow this with Poutine a French Canadian dish of cheese curds, pommes frites and veloute.  Its like French cheese fries.

For entries we chose On the Bone: Duck Confit one night and Lobster Roll on another night.  The Duck was perfectly cooked and tender, the Lobster Roll was very unexpected in a house made Barbeque sauce.  I was skeptical at first, but the tangy barbeque with sweet lobster and corn ended up as a perfect match.  Southern soul food meets New England classic.  We also tasted the Mac and Cheese with chevre, raclette, comte, more cheese brioche crumbs and fresh shucked spring peas.  Yum.  It comes as a literal pile so get it to share.  The Heirloom Tomato and Scallops has become a favorite as well.  Sweet tomatoes add to even sweeter, plump scallops with crisp grilled pecorino bread.  Steak frites is a classic done to perfection.

For the closer we tend to get the zeppoles, fried dough balls with powdered sugar.  These are not the fried dough of county fairs.  These are choice desert, not at all greesy with chocolate and caramel dipping sauces.

Caseus is an unassuming little place, but the space, almost more a café from the street is actually quite vast with a “cave” on the lower level for a more country cheese farm feel. We prefer the upper level as below can get a bit claustrophobic.  They also have outside seating with heat lamps.  The staff is knowledgeable and extremely friendly.  Our waitress remembered us from a month’s visit past and the owner came out to chat with us as well.  They gave us framboise beer and desert on the house for Jess’s birthday to top the night.  Although we have never actually had the cheese plate, I can be sure it is as outstanding as the rest of the menu.  Caseus in New Haven CT is a culinary experience.  Get on a Metro North and get yourself there before it’s too hard to get a table.  After a write up in Bon Appetite magazine it’s already a wait for a reservation.  After a review in Brooklyn Plated?  Forget it.

–JV

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