I’ve been cooking a lot more lately….

My trips to NYC has been inspiring me to cook more lately.  I’ve been able to experiment more and more with different foods.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned some of these from previous trips:

The dangerous habanero chicken pizza… which was delicious but deadly.

My famous meatballs…

My Short Ribs over Mushrooms and Chard

But here are some more recent things I’ve made in NYC

OK this isn’t really “made” but J and I decided to have a simple wine, cheese and meats night…. with steamed artichokes and baked Yam fries..

Iberico, Chorizo, Duck Salumi and Coppa

So many cheeses…

Half of these are chili/cinnamon rubbed, the other half are truffle butter rubbed..

And then the next night I made a warm grilled brussel sprouts salad with different peppers and veggies… topped with habanero vindaloo chicken…

And some Kale Chips and Fresh Avocado

STOP BEING USELESS
AND START BEING A CHEESEBURGER

So these were the peppers…

That cause me to split my finger open…

and go to the ER :[ WAAA

And then the day before Miami.. uh… night before, we had a a dinner party

I forgot to take pics of the panko pan fried quail I made [marinated in Honey , Orange, Habanero] which each person got a whole quail, cut in half on top of mixed greens as an App]

and I made Duck Breast “Confit style”

Jonathan brought Capri Sun BEER!!!!!!! <3

Oh back to the duck… slow cooked for like 2-3 hours… and then popped into oven with some balsamic vinegar, red wine, pear, raspberries, shallots and fig jam,

See… demolished the salad already… I served with truffled broccolini and mushrooms and baked chili/cinnamon yam fries.

And then the night after we got back from Miami I made bunny curry. YES. Rabbit Curry. And it was actually NOT overpowering on the bunny as some people said it would be.  You could taste the bunny cuz I left them in big chunks…the legs were kept whole, etc…..  just celery, carrots, potatoes, yams, onions, a whole rabbit [I butchered a rabbit for the first time] 

Some steamed okra on the side…

And then I put it all on a bed of mixed greens, freshly made sushi rice, topped off with rabbit meat and curry sauce. DELISH!

OK, now that we’re caught up on that I feel a bit better and will continue onto more NYC eats and Miami posts.

Tapas at Solea

Tapas? Tapas yes! How can you ever say no to Tapas?!.. Nothing like some Spanish Tapas.. and while I usually go to Toro for it… Solea is closer.  Since I’m so behind in posts I’m gonna be doing a lot of just plain picture posts with minimal writing….

I got some Red Sangria with some bubbbbbbbly in it… !!!
Sangria Royal, Red Sangria with Cava and Gran Marnier
a

Bread and Hummus

Always a good pair.

Pulpo a Feria, Galician Style Octopus with Paprika and Olive Oil
This is a cold dish.. the octopus is tender but I thought that there was just way too much.

Gambas al Ajillo, Sizzling Garlic Shrimp

Pimiento de Piquillo, Shrimp and Crab Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
This was alright.  I’ve had better in other places…

Chorizo a la Plancha, Seared Spanish Sausage

Pato Braseado, Roasted Duck with Berry Sauce

This shall always be my favorite dish to get when I get tapas. DUCK IS THE THING TO GET!

Almejas a la Marinera, Steamed Littleneck Clams with White Wine and Herb Sauce

Vieiras al Azafrán, Scallops in Saffron Cream

I’m not too big on cream sauces so I only had one.  There’s something about my palate I can taste everything but saffron. Weird.

Solomillo con Chimichurri, Beef Tenderloin with Spicy Herb Sauce

The beef was tender but by the time we got this we were so full of everything else….

Setas al Ajillo, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms

Codorniz, Braised Quail with Lentils

Almendras Marconas, Roasted Marcona Almonds

Churros con Chocolate, Cinnamon-laced Fritters with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Flan, Coconut Flan

Everything was delicious but it was super filling for just three people.

Our Best Dinner Yet…

Yep, it’s official, on March 30, 2011 we just may have had our best dinner yet.

Z and I have had a lot of delicious meals… and a few too many not so delicious ones…. but this just may be the perfect delicious meal – not one complaint or yick escaped from our mouths [except me towards our neighbors haha] Dish after dish, delish! I was having a good day, a really good day [been having a lot of those lately] so Z was taking me out to dinner [celebraaaaaaaaaaation] to L’Artusi :] Yep, the same chef as another pasta love of mine, dell’Anima! [does Z know me well or what?!] But unlike my dell’Anima meal, I liked EVERY. SINGLE. SAVORY and SWEET morsel/bite :D

I love Open Kitchens

Hilarious…

Z asked for his usual lemon and lime slices.. but somehow only ONE slice out of the four got into my water :[ Waaaa… meanie!!! LOL

Cute little rounds of bread and EVOO

Special of the Day: Housemade Ricotta

EVOO, Sea Salt, Marmalade and delicious Cheese Crisps

I have been daydreaming about this ricotta… and having wet dreams. This is the creamiest light but yet still flavorful ricotta. SOOOOO fluffy and creamy it was like a gelato… a light drizzle of EVOO on top and a sprinkling of big crunchy sea salt. AMAZING. I dug in, sans crisp, as soon as it landed on the table [well AFTER the photograph hahaha] – and then combined with the cheesy but light cheese crisps. OH EM GEE.

Hamachi Tartare

Lemon, Chives, Ginger

This was delicious. Tender, fresh… the ginger added a delicious kick to the frisee and the fatty, but light, fish.  The citrus provided a nice balance against the fat of the fish as well.. and lightened the “fishy” taste.

Escolar

Avocado, Basil, Chiles

The fish was SO soft and fluffy….. fishy and amazing like an escolar should be.  The sauce was really thick, delicious but overly spicy and overpowering for the fish and the other flavors. Sadly I got no avocado or basil in the bite.. I ended up wiping off most of the sauce on the fish and just eating the fish underneath.

Roasted Mushrooms

Pancetta, Fried Egg, Ricotta Salata

Absolutely heavenly. The pancetta was big thick chunks of pork belly and not overly salty at all. Or salty for that matter – they were perfect.  The mixture of wild mushrooms were cooked to perfection…. delicious gooey egg on top [also cooked perfectly] and a very generous portion of ricotta salata. Oh dear my poor lactose intolerance. I am in love.  Everything was licked clean off the plate and sopped up with fingers and bread.

Special of the Day: Beef Short Rib Agnolotti

Fennel Butter Sauce

Never have I tasted such a pure butter sauce.  I was scared that the fennel was going to be overpowering but it was so LIGHT.. I mean a LIGHT but RICH butter sauce?! Who could ever imagine in their wildest dreams? Well I tasted it in mine. The agnolotti was made PERFECTLY.. the dough, the filling.. very reminiscent of Michael White’s tortellini from the SOBE W&F ’11 Dolce Brunch.  Oh was this heavenly… I know it must be bad for me… well bad for my waistline [no wonder I can’t fit into my old jeans anymore] but OH SO GOOD for the soul <3 THIS needs to be a regular on the menu!!!! I would get two bowls of it just for myself.

Crispy Sweetbreads

Hazelnut, Brown Butter

I’ve had bad sweetbreads and meh sweetbreads, but these were delicious, creamy and perfectly fried. Crunchy outside, soft fluffy creamy innards and an amazing brown butter sauce… the hazelnuts added a great nutty, but not overpowering crunch to the dish. I could eat these like popcorn.

Brussels Sprouts

Pecorino, Black Pepper

These brussel spouts were roasted to a crisp and coverd in delicious pecorino. MMM it was a HUUUGE portion, probably the biggest portion out of all the dishes we had that night.  They were small tender brussels sprouts, could’ve used lessed time under the broiler methinks but delicious nonetheless. I love a good burnt crispy sprout :D

Roasted Quail

Braised Pancetta, Sweet Potatoes, Radicchio

I still can’t stop thinking about the quail from SOBE W&F ’11 Gilt Dinner… to DIE for. I’ve only had quail twice in my life that make me dream about them nonstop. The mere thought of quail makes me think of that Gilt Dinner and the Tandoori quail from this modern indian bistro+bar, Tamarind Bay, in Harvard Sq. This quail was pretty delicious. The legs were a bit salty on the skin…a nice serving of delicious thick pork belly pancetta… and amazing sweet potatoes, cooked to a soft chew and they were naturally so sweet – for a second I was almost convinced I bit into a carrot.

After cleaning our plates.. more licking and sopping off the juices… we wanted dessert.  Our eyes went straight to one of them…

After watching last Sunday’s Chopped All-Stars and the battle of the souffles for dessert round we HAD to get this dessert:

Caramel Souffle

To DIE for. Best souffle I’ve had to memory. Just a little sauce went a long long way.  Poked a little crosshair hole at the top and poured it on top and all over.. OMG.. gooey hot perfect fluffy goodness inside. I can die happy now… but then I wouldn’t have gotten to eat the delicious buttery walnut cookies that came with it… and of course the gelato balls we ordered…

Yep, in Tiffie fashion, we also got some gelato which came with the most delicious little chewy almond macaron-style cookies covered in toasted pine nuts :]

Baci, Amarena Cherry-Ricotta Gelato

Sea Salt Gelato

They were DELICIOUS. I especially loved how the sea salt gelato came out. Salty but not in an overpowering way – very subtle and went delicious with the baci [I’m pretty sure baci is starting to take over my love of Stracciatella for gelato now OH NO – I blame it on delicious GROM :D]

Pizza Night

After sleeping in and having a late lunch of Vietnamese food at Le’s…and I mean late… 2/3ish [yumm pho and DIY Shrimp Summer Rolls…] along with..


Summer Rolls


Roast Quail

COMPLETELY STUFFED and FOOD COMA’D BEYOND BELIEF… We shopped around Copley for a bit, I ended up not wanting anything but Williams Sonoma stuff hahaha. Figures. I’m so not into the clothes this season…. food never goes out of style ;D White Honey, Crepe Cookies and Red Licorice Candy :] NOM!  We weren’t hungry but still we were going out that night and had to think of what to eat…. We decided to make our own food…

We were in the mood for lobsters… we keep ordering subpar lobster t restaurants… but somehow ended up with the idea of making our own pizzas. We debated on whether to try Trader Joe’s dough or Whole Foods, but ultimately decided that Whole Foods had fresher produce….

We bought mozzerella, pizza sauce, fresh pizza dough, yellow onion, basil, and spicy pork sausage. We also headed next door for some good beer [Estrella Inedit, Banana Bread Beer] and some nice Red Wine! :]

Z was in charge of the dough..

And I was in charge of the sausage/onion pizza… We were making two mini pizzas.. a sausage/onion and an OG margherita pizza.

ISN’T IT CUTE? We bought the SMALLEST yellow onion we could find to go with our sausage pizza :D Isn’t it cute?!?!?!.. we put half raw and half sauteed caramelized onions with the sausage pizza

We add the basil in after 8 or 9 minutes and cook it for about a minute and it’s done. We sprinkle it with a drizzle of EVOO and bam.. delicious!!!

The first pizza is done…

Wine and Beer.. best of both worlds

Our Margherita Pizza… :D Nom nom… there was supposed to be more cheese.. BUUTTTT… SOMEEEEEEBODY was eating the mozzarella with the fresh basil :] I’m not gonna say any names.. but his name starts with a Z… I’m guilty too tho he fed me a bite :]

These two pizzas were delicious. We made them super fast and ate them all within an hour. We were heading out to DOWN ULTRA LOUNGE that night so we had to hurry. We also knew we had to eat something [and something carb-y] This was delicious and we’re STILL craving it. Z bought a pizza stone last night so we’re planning on making pizzas again later on this week!!! YAY

Gilt City’s Wine + Dine + Design

Thanks to Z as the hand model *clap clap clap* [hahahah I wrote slap before, wish I could blame autocorrect], here are our tickets… with a “pretty” shirt as background :] Har har…

But SERIOUSLY… what’s with Miami and ugly shirts? It’s like a spanish version of the Jersey Shore here…

So basically here’s how it goes down…. Gilt City‘s Wine + Dine + Design… everyone meets up in the Design District of Miami [seriously GORGEOUS furniture stores!!!!] for champagne and hors’doeuvres on the outdoor patio at Vino e Olio. On their tickets, they’re already split up into three different groups.. I think it was team red, green and blue :] We switch off each of the three restaurants for 3 different courses – that means each group gets a completely different dish at each resto and basically a diff 3-course meal. INSANE.

Get it? Tough cookies. Re-Read and if you still don’t get it… ask someone to explain it to you :]

it was super crowded and disorganized IMO.. the appetizers were okay… but usually things made in bulk aren’t too great. Mini pizzas, mini anchovy bites [too fishy], some olive bites that were pretty good… fried potato bites.. I like the jamon on a breadstick.. but then everyone just ate the jamon and left the cardboard breadsticks alone… haha

FINALLY.. after a glass or two of bubbles and stealing all the jamon from the plates, the teams were called into their groups and we all headed in different [or in some cases same] directions…. very disorganized and easily lost, good thing all the restaurants were near each other….

Team RED !!!!!

First Course
Sra. Martinez
Chefs: Michelle Bernstein with John Besh [Restaurant August]

Miami Weathergirl

We shared a table with a group of other foodies.. including someone who worked for Gilt City [we found a lot of them at this event, gee whiz, guess why…] and others… we chitchatted a bit, but I secretly wanted a two-person table so me and Z could enjoy our food, company and wine together in peace – no smoozing.. haha

Redfish Courtboullion
Paired with: Abadia de San Campio Albariño 2009, DO Rias Baixas

The first was SO fresh, PERFECTLY cooked and oh-so-tender… just melted in my mouth. The sauce was a bit rich for me so I didn’t eat much of it… loved the bits of greens on top.. very very delicious. I couldn’t help but stare at my neighbor [OCD much] who actually picked apart his dish into separate areas on the plate rim and ate them separately… #andithoughtiwascrazy

TO BE HONEST. I didn’t like the wine pairing, thought it tasted yicky together — So I had my fish. Cleansed my mouth with h2o and drank the wine – separately.

We also had some bread and EVOO.. not really pretty to look at so I’ll leave out that pic.

Soooo, like I said before the event seemed a bit disorganized so it took a long time.. we were way behind schedule and we had to wait extra long since the restaurant we were supposed to go to next was taking a long time to clean up and re-setup.

THANKFULLY SO. I went to go to the bathroom and go to meet JOHN BESH!!!! *faints* I want to make a trip to New Orleans SIMPLY just to eat his food. #diedandgonetofoodieheaven… I duno why I look like I’m grabbing my crotch [again – memories; I think I just duno where to put my hands — too excited] but he was SUPER SUPER nice – just like he seems on tv and stuff… yep, time to make that trip down south ASAP.

Z thinks he looks like David Duchovny what do you think?



Hahahaha I had to choose this pic cuz as you scroll, you’re like oh….. OHHHH… but yeah, I don’t really see it…..

REALLY wish I got to meet Michelle though *pout*

Second Course
Fratelli Lyon
Chefs: Ken Lyon and Andrew Carmellini [Locanda Verde]

I enjoyed this table SO much more.. they were mainly from the NY/Long Island area and we just talked about fav restaurants and food and drinking etc.. etc.. :D Great fun group!!! They were a lot older than us [we’re usually the youngest] but just SO fun!!! One of the ladies told me that she’d TOTALLY meet up with me next year at the Let Them Eat Cake party…. :] I gave them this blog addy but who knows how much wine they’ve drunk already — if they’re reading this hiiiiiiiiiii!!!!

While we waited FOR-EVER to come here, get in and get our food… it was WORTH the wait, best meal of the night.

Quaglie con Uva y Polenta
Pan-Braised Heritage Quail with White Grapes and Buckwheat Polenta

Paired with: Guado Al Tasso Il Bruciato 2008

The wine was pretty good and Z and I got refills [obviously, that’s how we roll] — While the group was talking I was busy just nodding, smiling and gnawing on my quail, so what if I was in a nice dress… I used my fingers – best tools everrrr…. the grapes were fresh, sweet, tart, crisp which paired SO well with the succulent tiny quail. It was SO juicy and tender – perfectly cooked [theme of the night] and OH MAN, the polenta <3 Ultimate perfect dish for me. Now if only I could ask for seconds…..

The Chefs talking…

I’m actually really curious about this place.. it seemed kind of like an Eataly.. but smaller… not quite sure and didn’t get na chance to explore.

Third Course
Michael’s Genuine
Chefs: Michael Schwartz with Iron Chef Michael Symon [Lola]

We asked for a table for just two [no sharing please] and we got a cozy little table in the back :] Outside of course – gorgeous weather… HOW EXCITED was I when I saw TWO wine glasses each….

Braised Deep Creek Beef Cheeks
Whipped Carrot, Local Vegetable Giadinere and Salsa Verde

Paired with: Chateau Ste. MIchelle, Thos Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
& Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Syrah 2007

And it’s a Seattle winary!!! The last time I was in the area, I visited since it’s my mommy’s name :] Wasn’t too into the Syrah, liked the Cab tho.. drank a lot of both.. Z actually gave me some of his cheek.. before he tasted it of course – he said he was getting full, but devoured it crazy fast :] As did I.. the cheek was sooo tender and just melted in your mouth. Loved the fresh veg and the yummy carrot puree. I love carrots :] This dish was super well done… kinda sad it was such a small serving tho… #fattie

Afterwards we ended up at Ornare for the “Dessert Finale”….

We took some more goofy photobooth pictures outside [I’m too lazy to scan them and post them up.. maybe later.. haha] and then headed in to eat… and we were blown away by all the sweets and fun activities inside….

Candy Galore…

We each made a goody bag filled with Malt Balls, Gummy Bears, M&Ms, Twizzlers, Swedish Fish…….. and Sour Patch Kids [sorry, brain fart there]

Sexy Women Eat

OK — I already read this and have the book but now I get an AUTOGRAPHED one for FREEEEEEEEEEE and I get to meet Divya :D I talked – a lot – like I always do… oops, held up the line :D And of course wanted a picture…

YAYYYY!!! Isn’t she a cutie?

A shot of espresso or two [which is funny cuz earlier that day illy had tweeted me to stop by and visit them in Miami LOL]

TOTALLY forgot which ice cream place made these but they were really good. Oatmeal Raisin Ice Cream Sammys FTW… we took a few of these back to the hotel with us too… actually I think we forgot about them in our freezer #oops

ginnybakes biscotti’s…

Fresh but really soft/chewy, I like a crisper biscotti.. wait or maybe I just like stale ones ;D

These were all really cute/pretty but just OK tasting… but of course we tried at least one of each :D JUST IN CASE

Something.. I forgot…. I think it was good tho.. the toffee on top at least :]

All you can drink Champagne….

I want these…..

I want appo

Entertainment for the night: Andrew Belle

Not bad.. we got his CD in our shhhh-wag bag too :D

Time for some custard…
Both tasted like booze to me… and then we saw the flavors sign…

Delicious. Nothing beats a good Shake Shack frozen custard :] #craving .. I miss living so near one :[ *pout*

… somehow I ended up with like.. 20 pairs of Shake Shack shades in the hotel….. #questionable. Maybe I’ll give them away to readers?

Some Shhhhhh-wag.. we got like more FOOD, chocolate, coffee, cds, coconut water, etc… etc…

I think we ended up with like 21 bars of Dylan’s chocolate?

Biscotti mix!!! :D Hahaha.. and our candy and biscotti bags….

Check out what we ate when we got back…

Toro.. the bull not the fish ;]

You know that feeling you get after eating really good food….. the afterwards… that depression? Well why let it get you down when you can continue it by eating more amazing food? The day after our O YA meal we decided that the only way we could finish off the weekend was by going to TORO.

We had brunch at Bullfinch’s and then headed off to the Museum of Science for an afternoon of Harry Potter madness.

LOVE. Harry. Potter.


More on my fb album :]

Hufflepuff is like the worst ever [hahahaha jk but seriously.. reminds us of jiggly puff]

[Read more…]

Our ‘customized tasting’ at Custom House

Last weekend was boyfriend’s brother’s bday :] So he, Steven, got to chose where to go. The funny thing was that boyfriend kept it secret from me until… he needed my iphone gps/maps app to get there :] hahaha… But he knew I’d be excited about it, and I was… the place chosen was…. *cue music*

DUN DUN DUN

CUSTOM HOUSE!!!!!!!

Like always, we created our own sort of “Tasting”…

[Read more…]

Miss Tiffie does Chicago….

Okay I lied, I didn’t bring my cords to work so no Father’s Day weekend blog. That’ll be tomorrow or later tonite. BUTTTTTT, I still have to blog about my trip to Chicago so all is gravyyyy & cranberry sauce (it doesn’t have to make sense!!!!)

I’m sitting here at working, working away and twittering away.. oh dear I’m such a tweetaholic… twitterholic?…. drinking my BluePrintCleanse juices… which is silly cuz I’m eating too…. but I love their juices :] Esp the green juice!!! This time when I ordered I said I was allergic to nuts to see what they gave me and instead of my fav spicy lemonade they gave me a fruity pineapple/apple/mint one. Tasty. I really need to stop buying these tho…. and use my vitamix more.

And so the journey begins :] Thanks all to you :]

[Read more…]