That night I spent hours browsing the web for recipe ideas, storage tips, and the like. This was an important part of the process for me as I didn’t want to waste a single piece of produce. I’ve had greenmarket veggies go bad in the fridge before, and it’s a sad affair. So, I took to Google and handy blogs like Ecocentric (their Real Food Right Now series highlights seasonal ingredients and tells you what to do with them). I also went on a bit of a Pinterest frenzy, the evidence of which you can view here. The following day I woke up inspired and eager to get reacquainted with my kitchen.
I was very excited about this gorgeous rainbow chard and so it starred in my first CSA meal. I decided on a Rainbow Chard Frittata inspired by a recipe from Jennifer Grayson of The Red, White, and Green. The chard was easy to work with: I cleaned it thoroughly, separated the stems, chopped them into a colorful pile, and tore the leaves into large pieces. The stems were then sauteed with onion, filling the apartment with a wonderful aroma. Next the leaves were added and quickly cooked down before the entire mixture was combined with eggs, milk, and cheese and poured into a greased pan. While that was baking, I prepared a side salad of speckled trout lettuce (also from the CSA) with berries and a simple citrus vinaigrette.
Mr. Yummy Brooklyn and I enjoyed the frittata so much we ate the leftovers the next morning for breakfast. It was delicious both times, with the earthy flavor of the chard taking center stage against a backdrop of eggs, milk, and hints of Pecorino Romano. Thanks to Common Hands CSA for inspiring a meal that gives new meaning to phrase “taste the rainbow” and proves that yummy brooklyn is something that can, and should, happen at home, too.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a pie plate or pan with a little butter or cooking spray.
Thoroughly wash the chard, taking care to rinse off the dirt and grit that can become embedded in the folds of the leaves. Cut off stems and chop into small pieces. Tear each leaf into large pieces.
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add sliced onion and chopped stems to the skillet and cook 4-7 minutes, or until stems are soft and onions are translucent. Add the chard leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until leaves are just wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While veggies are cooking on the stove, crack the eggs into large bowl. Stir in the milk and grated pecorino.
When chard is wilted, remove from veggies from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Quickly add chard mixture to the eggs and scrape into the prepared pie plate with rubber spatula.
Cook frittata at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve room temperature or refrigerate and eat cold.
Are you participating in a CSA this summer? What’s cooking in your yummy Brooklyn kitchen?
By vanessa [yummy brooklyn], on June 9, 2013, at 11:23 am
The restaurateurs behind Mominette, Bushwick wanted to create an oasis with their French bar and bistro. Like planting a flower in the desert, they built it in between the bodegas and 99 cent shops of Knickerbocker Avenue. When Mr. Yummy Brooklyn and I visited last weekend, it was nearly 90 degrees out and the restaurant’s bright blue facade was a welcome sight indeed.
Another welcome sight was Mominette’s backyard, a beautiful outdoor space complete with a rainbow of flowers, an overhead trellis, and a bocce ball court along the wall. I felt a little bit like I’d found the secret garden, except it wasn’t a secret and brunch was currently being served.
The hot day called for a cold beverage and I went with a Blood Mary. It arrived in a mason jar, which is always a nice touch. I savored it sip by sip as the sun beat down on my face and the sand from the bocce ball court (which we were sitting in) tickled my toes. In the background, a pair of musicians played guitar, providing the soundtrack to this summery scene. Oasis found.
And then there was the food: French Toast for the mister and Eggs Florentine for moi. Mr. Yummy Brooklyn inhaled his, but not before I stole two delicious bites. The French Toast boasted the ideal combination of crispy outside, moist inside and was perfectly complimented by sweet maple syrup.
The Eggs Florentine were equally yummy, and the best that I’ve had in a long time. Later, I learned that Mominette’s Chef Wesley is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, and has spent 5 years working in Paris. Now that you know this too, perhaps you won’t be so shocked to hear that his Hollandaise sauce, which had a slight kick to it, was amazing.
Per Yummy Brooklyn house rules, if there is Mac and Cheese on the menu, it must be had! We shared a side of Mominette’s Mac, which featured curly coquillette pasta with béchamel and Gruyere. I loved this version, which was lusciously creamy underneath the surface.
Finally, if you’re wondering what a “mominette” is exactly, I have the answer for you. After spending the past week wondering if it might be an homage to someone’s mother, I did some googling and confirmed with the folks at Mominette that it actually refers a drink similar to an aperitif. It’s a term used in the south of France for a small (half shot glass) strong drink, usually absinthe, served before a meal to open the senses. Mominette currently carries 6 absinthe liquors, 2 of which are imported from France. Now I have something new on my to-do list: return to Mominette for a mominette!
By vanessa [yummy brooklyn], on April 5, 2013, at 11:27 pm
To me there is no better way to celebrate the change of seasons than to roam around Brooklyn, where there is something new and yummy around every corner.
Case in point: Mr. Yummy Brooklyn and I spent a recent Sunday afternoon in Cobble Hill, where we had a late lunch at Hunter’s. It was after 4pm, sunlight was still pouring in the front windows, and the last of the brunch crowd was finishing up. We sat at the bar and started off with cocktails: a Handsome Hound for him, a Katniss Everdeen for her. Both were served in those champagne “saucer” type glasses,which always strike me as sort retro and thus very hip, very Brooklyn.
My Katniss Everdeen was light and sweet (without being weak) and perfect for sipping on a springy Sunday afternoon. It was also a pleasant accompaniment to our first course of kale salad and mussels. I love kale and this salad was no exception, especially thanks to the grilled greens, which had a nice smoky flavor.
But I loved the mussels even more. Those were served in a succulent miso butter broth, with pieces of bread already ripped up and sitting in the bowl for our dipping convenience.
In round two of our meal, Mr. Yummy Brooklyn took a few bites of this Crispy Fish Sandwich and was temporarily transported to a summer day in Cape Cod. That’s a good thing. The fish sandwiches there are kind of insane.
Meanwhile, I took a trip to Philly with the Mushroom “Cheese Steak” sandwich. Though some would be dubious of such a thing, this veg version had the signature flavors of the original, with melted gruyere, carmelized onions, and pepperoncini complimenting meaty ‘shrooms instead of steak. I only wished that the baguette was a bit softer and easier to eat. But no matter, down the hatch it went, along with an amazing size of truffle fries.
Looking over this meal, I’m hungry for more. I hope to visit Hunter’s again soon and try the dinner menu, which features lighter, seasonal dishes for Spring, like roasted brook trout, housemade minted ricotta ravioli, and spring vegetable-stuffed radicchio leaves. Plus, there’s a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp calling my name, and it would be rude to ignore that.
Are you taking advantage of the nicer weather and longer days? Yummy Brooklyn awaits…
By vanessa [yummy brooklyn], on March 29, 2013, at 6:18 pm
Common Hands Farm
I am excited to be joining my very first CSA with Common Hands Farm! For those who are new to CSA:
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a relationship that allows YOU, the vegetable lover, to directly support US, the farmers who live and breathe growing vegetables. Usually in the winter or early spring, the CSA member will buy a “share”, a weekly assortment of what’s good and growin’ at the moment. This assortment is hand-picked with love and then delivered to a pick-up location near you. - commonhandscsa.com
Subscribing to a CSA gives you an opportunity to support your local economy and farmers while receiving a selection of SUPER fresh produce each week at an affordable price. I was thrilled to learn about Common Hands Farm, which is located just outside of Hudson, NY and committed to organic farming practices. They are in their second year and providing pick-up locations locally and in Park Slope, Brooklyn. They offer both full and half share options. A full share is priced at $615 for 23 weeks of produce and a half share at $365 for 12 weeks of produce (pick-up every other week). This equates to roughly $26 a week which sounds like a good deal to me, when the product is a beautiful bunch of grown-with-love, freshly picked organic vegetables like this:
Example Weekly CSA Share
Along with other Brooklyn shareholders, I’ll be picking up my weekly produce assortment Tuesday evenings at Brooklyn Boulders. Which probably means I’m going to end up trying my hand at rock-climbing. Bonus.
Another Bonus: Beyond supporting local and organic agriculture, I’m eager to get cooking again. It’s no secret that I eat out a lot, but what you might not know is that I LOVE to cook. So, I’m promising myself that I will not let this amazing CSA opportunity go to waste. I’m going to get myself back in the kitchen to experiment, create, and then share the adventure with you here on YummyBrooklyn.com. Stay tuned…
By vanessa [yummy brooklyn], on March 18, 2013, at 9:46 pm
Did you Dine in Brooklyn? Our borough’s version of Restaurant Week recently ran from March 11-21, with restaurants across Brooklyn offering special Prix Fixe menus. I did my duty at Atlantic ChipShop where the Dine in Brooklyn special featured a 3-course dinner for two priced at $28. ChipShop, for those who aren’t familiar, is a British Fish & Chips restaurant with locations in Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope. The menu boasts British comfort food favorites including Fish & Chips, Shepard’s Pie, Scotch Eggs, Welsh Rarebit, Bangers & Mash, and apparently anything deep-fried (think Pizza, and Mac & Cheese, baked goods).
I have trouble saying no to mac and cheese, so I started my meal with the Fried Macaroni appetizer, which the menu described as “sounds weird but is bloody lovely.” It was bloody lovely indeed, with it’s thin crispy shell and creamy, macaroni filled center. Here it is in all of it’s golden glory.
Since I have no self control, I had mac and cheese for the next course too. The Mushroom Mac was really yummy, with large pieces of meaty portobello throughout. And despite a warning that the Dine in Brooklyn portions were smaller than those on the regular menu, I found myself with more than enough cheesy goodness to fill me up. Plus there was a pile of peas. Hardly enough green to redeem me on that night, but at least they were there.
As I was busy eating cheese followed by more cheese, my table-mates enjoyed Fish & Chips, Chicken Curry, and Haggis (google that one if you’re curious, but not if you’re sqeaumish). And for dessert? I continued my eating extravaganza with a decadent and boozy “Adult Milkshake” and the infamous Fried Twinkie, which as you can see masquerades as a (tasty) heart-shaped cake:
While this may have been my unhealthiest Yummy Brooklyn adventure to date, I do recommend ChipShop. It’s a fun place to grab a few pints with your buddies, overindulge a bit, and relax and enjoy the Britain-meets-Brooklyn vibe.
By vanessa [yummy brooklyn], on February 27, 2013, at 10:21 am
Margherita Mac (Oven Roasted Tomatoes, House-made Mozz, Fresh Basil)
“A really long time ago a diabolically smart person (possibly even your grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother) decided that elbow pasta and cheese should be mixed together and served as a dish. An American classic was born.” - Elbow Room BK
Mushroom Mac Topped With Crispy Shallots
Mac and Cheese is indeed an American classic. For many it is a favorite childhood memory and the ultimate comfort food. So, if you’re going to devote an entire restaurant to the dish, you better do the right thing and make it amazing. Luckily, the Mac and Cheese gods seem to be smiling down on Brooklyn, because Elbow Room Barclays does just that.
The same gods must be smiling down on me too, as I was recently invited to visit Elbow Room for a taste. On a chilly Saturday afternoon, Mr. Yummy Brooklyn accompanied me to Barclays where we found the entrance to Elbow Room on the quieter, less traveled, Atlantic Avenue side of the arena (during an event, ticket-holders can also access Elbow Room from inside of Barclays).
So… What makes Elbow Room different from Mom’s Mac and Cheese?
Vegan Queso Fundido
Super Fresh, High Quality Ingredients: No Velveeta here! Elbow Room prides itself on sourcing artisan crafted cheeses, local organic veggies, and 100% grass fed beef. The Margherita Mac (quite possibly my favorite of the day) featured a beautiful melty, house-made mozzarella.
A Global Twist: It’s totally cool if you want to keep it classic and opt for the “Old School Mac” featuring NY State cheddar and garlic breadcrumbs. But it’s equally cool that you can take your pick of Elbow Room’s globally inspired macs like Chicken Tinga or Jamaican Jerk. And with rotating weekly and seasonal specials, who knows where their Mac and Cheese will take you next.
A Vegan Version: Arenas, stadiums, ballparks and other such venues are not always the most vegetarian/vegan-friendly of places. So it’s extra nice that Elbow Room offers several tasty vegetarian macs. On top of that they offer a vegan mac so good that it’s actually one of their best sellers. The Vegan Queso Fundido “cheese” is made with a soymilk/tofu base and comes topped with soyrizo, jalapeno slices, avocado, cilantro, and a fun pile of crunchy tortilla strips. It’s a yummy option for vegans, the Meatless Monday crowd, and for those who simply want to try something different.
An Awesome Executive Chef: On their website you’ll find a playful but very mysterious description of Elbow Room’s chef. However, I was fortunate to meet “Mr. Elbow” in person and I found that there was no air of mystery about him, only a passion for food and the joy that eating good food (like mac and cheese) instills in people. So while you’re enjoying your mac, know that a lot of heart went into it. Oh, and the talents of a Le Cordon Blue grad.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Mac with Grilled Pineapple, Toasted Coconut, & Scotch Bonnets
Fellow Mac and Cheese lovers, go on and check out Elbow Room for yourself the next time you are in the area or going to Barclays. The smallest size mac (actually called “Big”) is a meal in itself and an affordable one, especially where arena food is concerned. And if you are in need of more tempting, take a look at the full menu. Which mac is calling your name?