9.26.2011

turkish coffee

I have a new obsession: Turkish Coffee.

A dear friend turned me on to the trend and I can't get enough of it. Coffee usually makes me feel disgusting. Jittery, dehydrated and ill. Sometimes, I can't even finish 1/2 a cup because it's just too much. To my surprise, Turkish Coffee is black and finer than espresso and I don't feel this way at all after 1 small cup.

It's not super easy to make, but once you get the hang of it you won't even think twice about it. It's also not something you can just press a button and walk away. This cup is made with love.

Many people have "their" way of cooking Turkish Coffee. Find the one style that suits you. Here are some videos. 

First, you need the right accessories (besides coffee. We'll get to that later!)

A turkish coffee pot (cezve), espresso or turkish coffee cups (demitasse), sugar, water and the coffee.
You can get these in kitchen appliance and accessories stores or online .
For the coffee: Many grocery stores like Fairway, Wholefoods, etc that grind fresh coffee beans will have a Turkish setting. Just before Espresso! Grind your favorite MEDIUM roast coffees to this setting, which will create a powder. So fine that this coffee is never filtered or strained.

Now, how do we make it? I start by measuring my water with the actual cup I will drink. I actually make one cup at a time because I am still a novice, but I make enough for two. I find that I get the right amount of foam at the top when I do it this way. As I said... practice makes perfect and you find your way!



Measure the water in the cups and then put water in your pot on stove. Add 2 packets sugar, or 2 tsps. Heat water and let sugar dissolve. Turn heat off. Add 2 heaping tsps of the coffee to pot. DO NOT STIR. Just let it sink to bottom. When it has sunk to bottom turn heat on low. After a couple minutes the sides of the pot will start to bubble. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. As the sides bubble, let one or two bubbles happen in the middle then turn off. Turn heat back on and let this happen again but do not let it come to a full boil, EVER. We are technically roasting the coffee. Turn heat off again and pour into cup and let sit. You will notice that a frothy foam comes to the surface of the cup. That is the best part in my opinion. Let the cup sit and cool. Then drink. When done, you can turn the cup over on your saucer and read the grinds at the bottom for your fortune! Do not drink the grinds! YUCK!

Note: This is not for everyone. 
If you don't like it, we can't be friends. 
Just kidding!

What is you morning drink?



9.23.2011

stuffed peppers and stress

Sorry for the MIA treatment folks. Work and school have been two forces of evil that have kept me from blogging this week. At least it didn't keep me from running. I feel like that's the one main stay in my life as far as having any sort of a routine is concerned; it feels good. If everything in your life turns into one big tail spin, what is the one thing that you can always manage to accomplish each day that keeps you grounded? If you can't answer, that... it's time to find something that will.

And with that, I leave you on Friday, the first day of Fall, with this Stuffed Peppers Recipe. I adapted this recipe ever so slightly from Sultan's Kitchen. It tastes like a gyro!


For the stuffing
2 tbs olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
(I used beef)
1 medium Spanish onion, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup long grain rice (par cooked)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 small carrots, shredded
2 tbs tomato paste
1 handful fresh mint, chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

For the shells
6 large (or 12 small) green peppers
2 medium/small tomatoes, quartered
6 nubs(jamie oliver) of butter
(think the size of a starburst)
1 cup broth (chicken or beef)
2 tbs tomato paste

For the Sauce
1 cup greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
sat and pepper to taste
Just mix all together and chill in refrigerator.



What you'll do
Prep the peppers by cutting the top/stem off to create a little pepper bowl. Hollow out the seeds and white pith... or whatever that is called. Settle peppers in a creased oven safe pan (should be deep to catch any juice).

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and tomatoes and let soften for another 2-3 minutes. Add the meat and stir. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the rice and tomato paste and cook until meat is all browned and cooked. Another 3-5 minutes or so. Turn off heat. Add the fresh herbs. Let the meat sit for a moment to cool a bit.

In meantime heat the stock with the tomato paste and stir. Set aside

When meat is slightly cooler, spoon the meat mixture into each pepper equally. Spoon 1-2 tbs of stock/tomato paste mixture into the peppers. Top it with 1 of the quartered tomatoes and a nub of butter. 

Bake the peppers in an over at 350 degrees until the peppers start to shrivel. About 45-1hr. Let cool and serve with the yogurt sauce.
SO GOOD!

9.20.2011

guest post: eat with the turning of the earth

A great guest post today from Dee Mason.


Eat With The Turning of the Earth
Purchasing and eating foods that are in season is an increasing consumer trend as shoppers become more aware of the environmental and health benefits of eating with the turning of the earth. Foods that are grown in far-off countries and, flown around the globe to supermarkets are increasing the pressure on the planet’s depleting resources. Supermarkets are responding, with more and more local produce becoming available. Shoppers are embracing the trend, and encouraging their local supermarkets to stock more local, seasonal produce.

Carbon and Carrots
Carbon efficiency is uppermost in many people’s minds these days, as the reality of global warming becomes more and more apparent in scientific research findings. We are moving into more energy aware times, and there are a many ways that individuals are able to decrease their own personal carbon footprint. Eating seasonally is just one of them.






Eat Local Think Global
Locally produced foods on your shopping list will obviate the need for fuel-guzzling transportation. It also helps to support your local farmers. Small producers are feeling the squeeze, and their businesses are always under threat from large supermarkets. Eating seasonally and sourcing locally is a great way to support your community growers. As the demand for foreign produced vegetables reduces, so will the trade. Whilst this could have an effect on the farmers of other countries it is essential that markets change to reflect the state of the planet. If you can manage to shop at Farmers Markets you will quickly learn which foods are in season and directly helping local food producers.

OK, how do I get started?
So what do you need to know now, today, about eating seasonally? Obviously, knowing what is in season is the first step! There are a number of sites that will help you find out what is in season in any given month in your country or. Just search the internet for detailed lists, but I will provide a quick starter guide here.

Fall Feasting
As Fall approaches root vegetables are your friends. Yes, really. If you are looking to save money and lose weight (who isn’t?) then this is the season of soup. Comforting, filling, cheap and seasonal, soups are the perfect antidote to all your post-holiday woes, be their financial or waist-band related. Squashes and pumpkins come into season in the Fall; don’t dismiss them as being only fit for Halloween Lanterns. They make wonderful soups. Try Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup, and add a handful of red lentils to the pot.  I like to cook this soup with a few spices, some garlic and ginger to really kick-start the metabolism.

Sweet corn, or corn on the cob, is also in season and makes a great Fall treat, either boiled in salted water and smothered in butter, or made in to a filling sweet chowder. I even cut fresh sweet corn off the cob this season and oven dried it for snack food – an addictive low fat alternative to crisps.

Leeks are another Fall favorite, and they are incredibly versatile. Consider a leek and potato soup, with fresh bread, or have it cold as a Vichyssoise. A chicken and leek pie is extra delicious if you crush walnuts into the pastry before you cook it. One of my favorite leek dishes is a French one, which goes perfectly with fish or chicken. It’s a dinner-party classic. Sautée some sliced leeks in butter then add cream and a scrape of fresh Parmesan.

While your soup is bubbling away, make a note of the following seasons and vegetables, so that you can begin to cook seasonally, and do your bit to help the planet. Why not print the list off and keep it in your purse?

Fall/ Autumn

Vegetables
Carrots, leeks, turnips, sweet potato, squash, pumpkins, chestnuts.
Fruit
Apples, pears, grapes, figs

Winter
Vegetables
Carrot, Daikon, Swede, Celeriac, Turnip, Brussels Sprouts, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Parsnip, Red Cabbage, Leek, Shallots, Green Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage.
Fruit
Pears, Oranges, Clementine’s.

Spring

Vegetables
Asaparagus, Artichoke, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Kale, New Potatos, Onions, Radish, Rhubarb, Spinach, Watercress
Fruit
Early Raspberries and strawberries

Summer

Vegetables
All salad crops, including spring onions, cucumber and lettuces, Aubergine/Eggplant, Green Beans; Zucchini/Courgette, Broad Beans, Runner Beans, Swiss Chard, Cannellini beans, New potato, Peas, Borlotti beans, Okra
Fruit
Strawberries, cherries, greengages, nectarines, apricot, mango, plums, watermelons, figs, rhubarb, peaches, blackcurrant, raspberries, cantaloupe melon, tomatoes (yes, they’re a fruit, technically.) 

9.16.2011

priceless photo...

Sometimes, you walk down the street and capture a moment that is so hilarious you'd risk getting punched in the face for just one crisp photo. Like these bikers in front of the bar American Trash on 1st Ave.  No judgement.


Happy Friday!

9.15.2011

just another street fair...

same booths.
same food.
different year.






Although, it was nice to see/hear the Frank Sinatra Construction Worker sing!


This guy is for real.
It's scary!

9.14.2011

home is where the _____ is...

 ______:

heart
soul
brain
life
past
present
future
hope
sleep
love

Sometimes we just want to get away from it all.
Work gets too dam stressful and
people are beyond the point of irritating.

So we venture out for a relaxing getaway,
but in the end,
we are so glad to be home!

When ever I come back from a roadtrip,
and I see that skyline...
I always get that warm and fuzzy feeling as I approach NYC.
My home.





9.13.2011

deer me...

During our Labor Day fiestas out in Montauk,
we were visited by this cute family.
I may be an adventurous eater, but don't think I could do venison after meeting these sweethearts.






PAPARAZZI!?!?!

9.12.2011

last grill!

The last grill (well, grills) of summer were taken very seriously.
Lean meats and the freshest of vegetables made it to our table.
How do you prepare for the last grill feast?

The steak was marinated in teriyaki, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic.
The green sauce was made by a friend... I forget what's in it but recall capers, cilantro, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and lord knows what else but it was delish!


For the corn, we put butter, basil, parsley and pepper in the food processor to make a delicious spread for the sweet corn.


We used the butter on these baked potatoes too. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and parsley.


The vegetables were lightly coated with olive oil, salt and pepper.
We sprinkled fresh basil on top before serving.





Our chicken was marinated in greek yogurt, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano.




 Putting it all together...


9.08.2011

ceviche

Ceviche is a like a seafood salsa. It's perfectly refreshing for summer. Enjoy it as an appetizer or light lunch/dinner. Some may be turned off by making their own because you need to just cook the raw fish in acid (lime juice). No heat! But don't worry... it's safe when the fish is fresh!

Summer Red Snapper and Shrimp Ceviche


Ingredients

1 lb raw shrimp
1/2 lb raw red snapper
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp sugar
1 cup tomato
1 avocado
1 cup green pepper
1 cup red onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper
1-2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Directions
Chop all vegetables into 1/4 inch dice. Set aside. Cut shrimp and snapper into 1/4 inch dice and combine with lime juice in a large bowl. Add the sugar, chili, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, onions, tomato, pepper, and avocado to the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Toss lightly and marinate for 40 minutes in the refrigerator. The acid will literally cook the seafood... pretty cool right? Serve with tortilla chips!


With a cold beer or white wine this was a perfect last summer supper! Well, appetizer. Will post our entrees from this past weekend soon.





























9.06.2011

last summer walks

Our last summer strolls (and 7 mile runs) on the beach in Montauk were peaceful, rain-free, and the perfect end to welcome in Fall. How did you spend your final summer weekend?












Will post what we ate soon!