Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Real Job!

There has been much excitement in the Raisinhater household this week – I did some volunteer work with some super chefs and some eating and drinking (lots of drinking) with one super chef in particular, who (here’s the really exciting part)…

is my new boss! Super Celebrity Chef (SCC) hired me to work in SCC’s restaurant. A few hints…

It’s not the chef who says BAM!
I’ll be working in New York.
Think orange.

Oops, I probably just gave it away. Here, distract yourself with this photo of Emeril...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bombay Talkie

Is it strange to dream of lamb chops? Does anyone else wake up at 4am gripped with icy fear that the waiter is on his way back to the table to tell her that they are, in fact, sold out of lamb chops? And imagine my sadness when I realized that oh, don’t worry, it was only a bad dream, there are plenty of lamb chops – BUT NONE FOR ME BECAUSE IT WAS 4AM AND WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND EATS LAMB CHOPS AT 4AM, NOW GO BACK TO BED!!

I think this is what caused the panic…

These are Bombay Talkie’s Lamb Chops marinated in ginger, garlic and yogurt, cooked in the tandoor and drizzled with a cilantro and mint spread. I think. Honestly, the description doesn’t really fit. It’s pretty easy to identify flavors like ginger, mint and cilantro, and they can even overpower a dish. But these lamb chops didn’t taste like anything but MAGIC! They were lamb chops is special secret sauce, mystery chops of perfection. The only problem (and, to be fair, our server warned us about this one in advance) was that there were five of them and two of us. Five divided by two = big fight. Other diners may have heard things like “I’ll pay the bill if you just give me that last lamb chop,” “I’m going away for ten days; you’ll miss me and regret not giving me the last lamb chop,” and even “do you really think you need another lamb chop?” (that last one is only effective if you stare at your dining companion’s waistline while you say it). If you go to Bombay Talkie, just get your own order. Best $15 you'll ever spend on lamb.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Big Apple BBQ Block Party

If you live in New York City, don’t miss the Big Apple BBQ Block Party this weekend in Madison Square Park!

I went over for lunch yesterday and stuffed myself senseless. First, I enjoyed Blue Smoke’s St. Louis Ribs wit Dill Pickles.

Then, some Pulled Pork Shoulder with Coleslaw from Ubon’s in Yazoo, MS.

The ribs were a tasty appetizer, but the pulled pork won my top prize. Full of crispy bits, the meat was tender and so flavorful that I didn’t need the extra sauce. The coleslaw was light and peppery; perfect on the sandwich or on the side.

If you’re reading this on Sunday, there’s still time to dash on over and pick yourself up some ‘cue. They’re not exactly giving it away (each plate is $7), but the weather is perfect, the lines move pretty quickly, and the portions at Ubon’s are pretty huge.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lamb Gyro

I’m obsessed. Every day I try to resist and every day I succumb. What is so addictive about the lamb gyro?

I used to go to Pita Pan café on my way home, and order the gyro pictured above, until I discovered a superior version at the cart located on 23rd Street between 5th and 6th. For $3 you can order a huge gyro stuffed with crispy meat, lettuce, tomato, white sauce and hot sauce.

They slice the meat off the skewer and grill it while you wait. The meat is crispy, the pita is fluffy, the sauce is mysterious and tangy (and I suspect contains heroin or nicotine, to lure me back day after day). The man tending the cart is delightfully friendly, and has already memorized my order.

In other news, World Cup mania has reached a fever pitch right here in my apartment, and Argentina doesn't even play until tomorrow. I suspect we'll be spending a significant portion of the weekend hanging out in bars (hopefully) shouting GOOOOOOOOOAL.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Take a Peek…

Sweetnicks is having a fridge fest – she’s invited all foodbloggers to reveal the contents of their refrigerator. (Speaking of Sweetnicks, don’t forget to clickety on over to Paper Palate because she’s doing a fantabulous job as our editor and we have a bunch of great writers that just joined the team!)

Here’s a look in my fridge…

And the door…

And a peek in the freezer…

The three things I ALWAYS have in my fridge:

1.) Sriracha. I could eat my own arm if it were amply doused with Sriracha.

2.) Evidently, a small jar of rendered bacon fat. I found it there in the back, I have no recollection of putting it there, but I know I add to it occasionally, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I brought it with me last time we moved. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say it has permanent resident status. (I think my mom has a jar of duck fat, which is WAY cooler, culinarily speaking, but also explains where I learned this hoarding-fat-in-a-jar thing.)

3.) Eggs. I know it’s boring, but you can do just about anything with an egg. The egg serves its best and finest purpose on a ever so slightly hungover Saturday morning when you wake up early and just need a little something easy on the tummy to help get you through till the crossword puzzle arrives at nine and you can start swearing and throwing pencils and feeling like an idiot. It’s there for you when you get home from work at midnight feeling frazzled and in need of comfort and home cooked sustenance. A carton of eggs is a brunch in a box – you can entertain the masses on student’s budget. (And they’re excellent with Sriracha.)

Three things you’ll never find:

1.) Raisins. I hate them.

2.) Prunes. Raisin is to prune as mouse is to (c’mon, think back to those SAT prep courses) the answer is RAT!! Ewwww.

3.) Peeps. Surely you’d never find Peeps in my fridge, stored away for the long, Peepless seasons ahead. Nope, not me, no way. (At least I hope you’ll never find them, because then you’ll try to eat them, and I’ll face a Peepmergency of dire proportions.)

A few things I feel like I need to explain:

You also may have notice that a small herd of veal stock filled Ziplocs is taking over the freezer area. It’s great fun when they stampede out and fall all over my feet each time I open the door. I actually think they might be breeding in there, because I don’t remember making more than a gallon of stock, but I seem to have about 87 quart-size baggies full of it. Either this is a great new business venture or I’m just very bad at math. (One gallon = 128 oz = 4 quarts = 4 baggies, no? Then why so many baggies?)

The Crisco is for seasoning my cast iron pan, I don’t actually use it to cook. (Come to think of it, I could probably just use that damn bacon fat.)

The processed American cheese slices (Can you see them? Maybe not?) and Coke belong to my husband. He has a huge weakness for sugary sodas and grilled cheese with plain old American singles (and bacon). I eat Velveeta mac & cheese with wine, so who am I to deny him his simple pleasures.

The bottled lemon juice on the door. I am lazy. Sometimes I hand squeeze, sometimes I do not. It tastes pretty darn lemony to me.

The week (or two) old white wine on the door. Yes, it is old. Yes, I cook with it. No, I would not drink it. (Yes, I might drink it if there were to be a beverage emergency, but please keep that secret to yourself.) No, I am not using a $20 bottle of wine to deglaze a pan of chicken drippings. I don’t even spend $20 on wine for my precious little mouth.

I do not keep an organized fridge. I prefer the “dig for surprises” method of cooking – it fosters creativity and eliminates time spent constantly reshelving and rotating. Also, I know I should store my herbs in glasses of water or paper bags or whatever the appropriate receptacle du jour may be, but (see above) I am lazy.

Yes, that is a mini Toblerone on the top shelf. Sometimes I like me some mini Toblerone after dinner, (shameless plug coming up) while I’m reading Paper Palate (go on, give it a click).