make it: korean chicken tacos

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Delicious recipe alert! The korean chicken tacos from gp’s It’s All Good are really very, very good. I wanted to make something for a romantic dinner-at-home that was relatively healthy and where I could do most of the prep ahead, since I knew I’d be out during the day. So the day before, I made the salsa, the korean barbecue sauce, roasted the chicken, and made the quick cucumber kimchi. I recommend making the slaw the day of – by the time everything else is out and the table is set, the flavors of the slaw will have had a chance to combine. I think it turned out fab. The slaw is great as a salad on it’s own, or with some of the chicken mixed in and topped with a fried egg(!)  – also known as my breakfast a couple days later.

I didn’t grill whole chicken breasts/thighs per the recipe – I roasted them off the day before and shredded the meat, and the next day warmed it through with the korean barbecue sauce just before assembling everything. That just worked a little better for my do-it-ahead plan. I also added a little lime juice to the korean salsa, but everything else what pretty spot on as-is. I really detest typing out recipes that already exist… some other bloggers have written it all out which is very nice. I’ll just say, try to find the gochujang, or red pepper paste, that the korean barbecue sauce recipe calls for. Don’t substitute sriracha, it’s really not the same thing. And Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves work really well as a wrapper, if you want to skip the corn tortillas.

I have quite a bit of the salsa left, and may try roasting some fish in it, Provençal-style. It’s basically tomatoes and onion… with the addition of some olives, lemon and parsley, and a nice fish like halibut or cod, it might turn out rather nice.

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explore: paris, part one

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so finally… some paris photos! i love taking photos, i just hate dealing with them once they’re uploaded. this part always takes me a while.

in june i spent three glorious days in paris before heading south to cannes for one week. it was my first trip to france since 1999, and so much was different. last time, i was about a year out of school. i stayed with my sister, who was there as a student and had way too many roommates in a strange apartment filled with inflatable furniture. it was still great, but… this time i was with mk, we stayed in the marais (here; see photos from the neighborhood above) and my goal was simply to eat eat eat, shop a bit, and relax.

well, we were super successful at eating. (and the other stuff!) but mostly at the eating. i’m talking gold medal. (translation: i made myself borderline ill.) it was totally worth it.

i’m not super at-ease, though, taking photos with my big camera in restaurants. it seems so obtrusive to me…plus there is the small fact that i’m really a hobbyist when it comes to photography, not a professional. i like to experiment and learn about my camera outside, where i’m not bothering anybody, but inside… i know i don’t have the right equipment and i’m guessing at the settings more often than not. so i stick to my iphone and instagram for those moments in a restaurant when i just absolutely have to get a photo, and have re-capped some of the food centric pics below. (and you can always follow me on instagram for more…)

as for where we ate? i’m really proud of what we fit into three days… it started with a stunning lunch at Le 6 Paul Bert, (chosen after reading this) after which i decided i really needed to get four eclair from L’Eclair de Genie. not one, to just savor and enjoy. four. a sampling, if you will. i took a bite of each back at the hotel room, decided i might die, and took a nap.

later we found ourselves at the wine bar of Frenchie, drinking a great white wine and holding out for a table, which we finally got! (at the wine bar, not at the restaurant itself – another time.) tip: get there around 7pm, and you might only wait around 90 minutes for a table. but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable wait! our table ended up having a view into the kitchen, and the food was excellent.

another day, another lunch… at Le Meurice, located within the very fancy Hotel Meurice. this was a three-star Michelin meal, and in a word, superb. the kind of meal that makes all subsequent meals suck. this three-hour affair involved duck, foie gras, pasta, octopus, a fried oyster…. and a lot more. needless to say, dinner at the very lovely Spring restaurant underwhelmed – but simply because it followed Le Meurice! judged on it’s own merits, it’s excellent. i believe this day also involved a chocolate pistachio croissant from Du Pains et Des Idees, the best cappiccino of the trip at Ten Belles, and ice cream from Amorino. i also believe this is the day i started to feel like i might be overdoing it. no wonder i could barely eat by the time we got to spring…

i don’t want to make this post too long so i’ll save shopping bits for another time. i also, for the first time ever, created a google map specifically for the trip. i’m obsessed with making maps now, and might post it here if anyone is interested…? there’s a lot of stuff on there i didn’t have time for, so it’s kind of a wishlist in a way, but i love looking at it.

paris_food_IGrow 1: the meal and the scene at Le 6 Paul bert

row 2: snippits from Le Meurice… how amazing is that “apple” dessert?

row 3: inside L’Eclair de Genie, the Frenchie bar menu, and a huge line of people outside a falafel shop in the marais. i was tempted.

row 4: snaps from the newly redone food hall at Le Bon Marche

row 5: pistachio chocolate croissant, the best cappuccino, and great packaging at one of the many sweet shops i poked into.

 

(all photos by laura kinsey for bklynprairie.com)

 

eat it: sesame noodles

sesamenoodlessesame noodles…. ever since realizing that i can totally make these at home, they’ve become a bit of a problem. a little bit healthy and a little bit not, i want them at almost every meal. this dish has everything – great texture, great flavor….they’re irresistible to me.

now, for you by-the-book types, i know my version is kind of japanese and maybe kind of thai, and kind of not really authentic at all. but this is how i do it, and it’s good!

for the sauce:

2T tahini

2T creamy peanut butter

1T each of mirin, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and siracha. either regular sesame or toasted sesame oil is fine, and you can add some hot chili oil as well, if you have it!

1t grated ginger

juice from 1/2 a lime

for garnish:

handful of rough-chopped cilantro, thinly sliced scallions, and sesame seeds.

for the noodles:

the options are many. in the picture above, i used regular old pasta noodles (actually my last choice – just what i happened to have on hand) but you can use ramen, udon, rice noodles, or buckwheat soba noodles. my new favorite noodle is the black bean “spaghetti” from the brand Explore Asian. they have two ingredients (black beans & water!) and about 25 grams of protein per serving and almost half your daily requirement of fiber. they’re a perfect backdrop for the sauce.

the sauce! oh yes. easist thing ever – mix everything in a bowl, and toss with the cooked/rinsed/drained noodles. scatter the sesame seeds, scallions, and cilantro over the top. if the sauce seems a little thick, add a tablespoon or so of the pasta cooking water or regular hot water to thin it out.

(photo by laura kinsey)

 

summah foods!

these photos just scream “summer food”, don’t they? limeade with fresh mint. corn on the cob. b.l.t. sandwiches with in-season tomatoes. those frosty-looking delicious stone fruits. i love all of this stuff…. but the last few weeks have been super busy and as a result, sort of dry as far as cooking is concerned. i already have that dreaded feeling that summer is over, it’s all over! i have to remind myself there’s still plenty of time left to the season. we still have tomatoes to look forward to, after all.

these images help.

the photo of the b.l.t. reminds me of something else. i need to get my hands on some vegenaise. no idea why that stuff is so good… but it is. my friend tammy, (who actually is a vegan), force-fed me some when i went to cleveland a couple weeks ago, and now i’m hooked.

(from the top: 1/2/3/4/)

hester street fair

last summer i became a huge fan of the hester street fair, which is held every saturday on the lower east side in manhattan. well, every saturday from mid-spring to mid-fall, that is, and when they closed up shop last october, it gave me mild anxiety. which is why i was so excited when i heard saturday was opening day. i contemplated going at 10 on the dot but waited until the more respectable hour of 2pm to stuff myself. and i ate enough calories to cover me for about 3 days…but it was totally worth it.

favorites? the korean bulgogi from we rub you. grilled, thin-sliced marinated beef with sesame apple slaw, plus shredded carrots and cilantro on a challah roll. i mean, come on! i could have eaten two. or six, but i wanted to save room for other things.

i scarfed a couple of pork tacos from brooklyn taco. enjoyed a to-die-for cup of salted caramel crack ice-cream from ample hills creamery. downed a mini mojito flavored cupcake from prohibition bakery and a little s’more from s’amore! (which i love – see this old post). the sugar was starting to hit and my friend betty jo and i were super full. she got coffee from the amazing cafe grumpy and we walked around some more, looking at prints and jewelry and old books… but thoughts quickly returned to food. should we get a lobster roll from luke’s? a ricotta cheesecake pie from pie corps, or maybe a popsicle from la newyorkina? i did buy the fruit & nut granola from spatzi’s and thought about buying some pickled cauliflower from sour puss pickles. but i was too full and suddenly my bag felt to heavy. i know what the solution is.  i will have to go back next week.

(the hester street fair runs saturdays 10-6 from april 28th – oct 27th. more info here)