Not Your Grandma’s Deviled Eggs

Cornichon Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs get a bad rap. Ask someone, “Care for some deviled eggs?” and they’ll instantly recoil. But I’d like to stand forward and re-market Deviled Eggs as the tasty, mayonnaise-y underrated goodness that they are (Can I get a sponsorship?). While incredibly retro, I’m all for revitalizing the Tupperware Party favorite and reinstating it on the millennial table with these three delicious renditions of the incredible, edible (Deviled) Egg.

Basil Deviled Eggs

Yield: One dozen eggs (2 dozen halves)

You will need:

Curried Deviled Eggs
3 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder

Basil Pesto Deviled Eggs
1/2 cup fresh bass leaves thoroughly chopped
3 tbsp mayonnaise

Crème Fraîche Deviled Eggs
3 tbsp crème fraîche
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 cornichons, minced (about 1 tbsp)

To make:

  1. Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut them lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks; place 4 yolks in each of three bowls. Set whites aside. Mash yolks with a fork.
  2. Add mayonnaise and additional flavors to one bowl; mix. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add mixture to bowl of yolks; mix.
  4. Fill reserved egg-white halves with each filling; serve.
  5. Repeat for each variation.

New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions

It’s no secret. When it comes down to it, January 1st is a completely arbitrary time to start with a clean slate. But each year provides a natural frame for our accomplishments (and failures). While I try to avoid resolutions that mention weight or money, now that we’re well into 2015, here are my resolutions for this new year.

  1. Make my career my priority and excel at my new job by saying “Yes” to every opportunity
  2. Reach out to new friends in New York at least once a month (even if it means making the trek into Brooklyn)
  3. Schedule Skype dates to catch up with old friends (because getting drinks once a year is far too little)
  4. Experiment with seasonal vegetables to make a new meal at least once a week
  5. Take my boyfriend out to drinks at least once a week – and truly listen to him (sans phone)
  6. Engage in more creative projects (including blogging, new forms of exercise, and exploring NYC)
  7. Learn more (because the most successful people are those who spend 2+ hours a day reading – and no, Buzzfeed doesn’t count)
  8. Use fewer electronics (while deactivating my Facebook may not be in my near future, we could all benefit from looking at people on the subway instead of looking at our Instagram feeds)
  9. Learn the ukulele (I’ve come to terms with the fact that guitar isn’t happening)

My Boyfriend’s Scones

Chocolate Chip Scones

My boyfriend and I have the perfect culinary partnership: I cook and he bakes (I’ve been told on multiple situations that my chocolate chip cookies bear an uncanny resemblance to E.T.). On a particularly difficult Saturday morning after a night out, my boyfriend made me the most delicious hangover cure in the world: fresh scones. Previous to that morning, I had never reached for scones, and had opted for their more-buttery cousin, croissants, but these scones corrected my mistake. They were buttery, savory, flaky, and dotted with chocolate chips, but not too sweet – perfect to dip into a cup of coffee (which was also at hand that Saturday). When my boyfriend made them for me again this past Sunday – which tasted even more delicious without a headache – I decided those New Years resolutions could wait another day…

Makes 12 triangle scones (His usual batch is a half-recipe).

You will need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • chocolate chips or anything else you want to add
  • 1-2 tbs unsalted butter, melted for brushing
  • 1-2 tbs sugar, for dusting

For delicious scones:

  1. Preheat the over to 425 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a fork. Add the cold butter pieces and using a pastry blender (or your fingertips!), work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. (It’s ok if some larger bits of butter remain.)
  3. Pour in the buttermilk and vanilla and mix with the fork only until the ingredients are just moistened. You’ll have a soft dough with a rough look. If the dough is too dry, add small amount of butter milk. Add chocolate chips or whatever else you want (maybe try blueberries!). Gather the dough into a ball, pressing it gently so that it hold together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it very briefly. Cut the dough in half.
  4. Press and shape each half of the dough into a circle about 7 inches across. Brush the dough with half of the melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Cut the dough into 6 triangles. Place the scones on an un-greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes (or more, to your taste) until tops and bottoms are golden. Transfer to a rack and cool slightly.

Review: Prune (East Village)

Sunday Brunch at Prune

I fell in love with Prune before I’d ever eaten there. Naming her restaurant after her childhood nickname, Chef Gabrielle Hamilton documented her experience opening Prune in her New York Times Bestseller, Blood, Bones, and Butter. By the time I had finally made dinner reservations, I already knew about Hamilton’s affinity for Negronis, her love of the simplicity found in radishes and butter (a favorite we share), and the attention to detail involved in cooking a hare. Like the menu that values “simple” delicious food, the restaurant itself is easily overlooked- so much so that after reading at length about the restaurant’s façade and 30-seat bistro dining room, I walked right past the distinctly purple awning and wide windows that look out on the sleepy residential street it’s nestled in. After a few 180˚s, I entered the dining room to be greeted by a blonde woman in a dress who showed me to my table.

(Spoiler Alert: I realized months later while attending a Taste Talks event that this blonde woman listening in on my know-it-all accounts of Gabrielle’s life, was the chef-author herself. Cue: me physically cringing for the next week with flashbacks of me rattling off Did-You-Knows about Gabrielle while she refilled my water glass).

Prune Carbonara

The menu, which recently underwent an enormous overhaul that coincided with the restaurants fifteenth anniversary and Hamilton’s first cookbook, featured a list of dishes inspired by the Italian countryside Hamilton loves: Duck breast with cipollini onions, dandelion greens, and agrodolce dressing, Escarole salad in the Ruman puntarelle style. I ordered a lamb dish with chickpeas, and a chicken broth with a poached egg. While the components of my meal were simple, the flavor of each dish was incredible. The broth in particular had a depth of flavor that I’ve never experienced from broth alone.

This past Sunday, I returned to stand outside of Prune at 9:30 AM, thirty minutes before doors opened with roughly forty other people layered in coats, hats, and mittens for brunch. While I love brunch, I’ve become distrustful of eating out for brunch after one too many botched Eggs Benedict and watered-down mimosas. Prune’s brunch was enough to earn my trust back instantly. Seated by the large front window, I felt like I was in an open-air French bistro despite the ice-cold pane of glass to my left.

Egg en Cocotte

As soon as the menu hit the table, my boyfriend and I went a little crazy and ordered all of the foods (many of our restaurant outings begin this way, but this was excusable for an anniversary brunch). Spaghetti a la Carbonara; fresh Ricotta with raspberries, figs, toasted pine nuts and honey served with Merveilles; Egg en Cocotte served with chicken, buttered white toasted and a mixed level vinaigrette. Drinks and sides all around!

While some of the foods were not perfect (the chickpea side wasn’t particularly interesting and the ricotta could have used some more honey), the meal was. From the slightly tart and salty center of the Merveilles to the friendly waiters, reasonably-priced food, and Beatles-heavy playlist, consider my dislike for brunch gone. Carbonara is often done too heavily, relying on a thick egg-cream sauce for its flavor. At Prune, however, the cream was traded for a significant dose of pepper and thorough coat of parmesan, allowing us to easily polish off a huge bowl of the lighter-than-expected dish. See you next Sunday, Prune.

2014 Best of New York

Buttermilk Channel Lamb Salad

Bear with me, but I’m about to make a huge claim: 2014 was my best food year ever (and maybe best year ever?). After graduating in May, then moving to New York City this summer, I made it my goal to try just about every restaurant I could get into – which was a lot. Eight months and countless bites (and pounds?) later, here are the restaurants and meals that have excited me the most this year:

The Best of the Best:

Favorite Overall Restaurant: Pok Pok Ny
Best New Restaurant: Cosmé
Best Cocktail BarEmployees Only
Best Beer Bar: The Cannibal
Best Brunch: Prune
Best Fancy Date Night: The NoMad
Best Easy Date Night: All’onda
Best Set Dinner for Two: Pig Out at Tuome
Best Cocktail: Hunny at Whiskey Soda Lounge
Best Bite: Uni with Truffle Salt at Sushi Nakazawa

Honorable Mentions:

Best Pop-Up Restaurant: Mission Chinese Pop-Up
Best Tasting Menu: wd~50
Most Unexpected Taste: Popcorn Parfait with Concord Grape Sauce at Contra
Best Ramen:Jin Ramen
Best Fried Chicken: Buttermilk Channel
Best Cocktail Name: Sippy Cup at The NoMad
Best Late Night Dessert: Salty Pimp at Big Gay Ice Cream
Best Ice Cream: Vietnamese Coffee at Morgenstern’s
Best Pastry: Blueberry and Cream Cookies at Momofuku Milk Bar
Best Piece of Food Writing: An American Ramen Master by Pete Wells

Cheers to 2015! (And a special announcement…)

Food52 Desk

Five months ago, I landed a fantastic job at a company with incredible coworkers, but last week I left it. Five reference calls, three interviews, and two editorial tests later, I am now an Assistant Editor at Food52, a food website I fell in love with over a year ago. From now until January 5th, I’ll be tying up loose ends at my previous position, and eagerly planning my start at Food52! While I don’t see this blog changing at all, I’ll be linking back as often as possible with all of the great recipes, columns, and adorable treats I come across at work!

Cheers to 2015!

Holiday Host Gift: Challah Wreath

Challah Wreath Host Gift

Most of the parties I get invited to at this point in my life are accompanied by a case of Bud Light or boxed wine, but there are certain situations that require a host gift that doesn’t come in a cardboard box. And I’m not talking about wine (Let’s all get a little more creative!). Here’s a gift that’s easy to make, under $10, and is guaranteed to be a hit every time.

After the smash success of Challah French Toast and the realization that honey in braided bread might be the best thing since sliced bread, I now present the Challah Wreath. All you do is follow the recipe below to make challah (I doubled the recipe to make a larger wreath), then braid the challah into a circular braid. To do this, braid the challah on a baking sheet, braid the end pieces into each other and tuck them in so that the start and end points are disguised. Also, remember to put a small bowl or other oven-proof object in the middle so the hole doesn’t close up!

Once baked, place fresh rosemary into the challah to look like branches, and add either edible flowers or cranberries for some color. As a final touch, put a soft, round cheese in the middle so that the challah can be shared around the table with some delicious cheese for the perfect hors d’oeuvre!

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Recipe: Four-Ingredient Weeknight Chicken

FourIngredientChicken

If I had all the time in the world, I would cook a four-course spread every night (and probably weigh twenty pounds more than I do), but unfortunately having a 9-6 (which is often more like a 9-7:30) doesn’t lend itself to nightly feasts. To compromise my love of cooking with maintaining my sanity, I keep a few dishes in my arsenal that are incredibly easy and pair well with an after-work beer.

This dish is one that my mom often cooked as part of her weeknight arsenal, and I was amazed to find how easy it is when I asked her for the recipe. While the ingredients are somewhat reminiscent those one might find at a 1950s Tupperware Party (Is Lipton’s Onion Dip Mix actually safe to eat?), it’s undeniably delicious and easy!

Time: 40-60 minutes
Yield: 8 servings of chicken

You will need:

½ pack Lipton’s Onion Dip Mix
Half a jar of apricot jam or preserves
¾-1 cup teriyaki sauce
8 chicken thighs

To make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place roughly four scoops or half a jar of apricot jam in a small mixing bowl with the Onion Dip Mix. Add teriyaki sauce until it has the consistency of molasses.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in an oven-safe dish and pour the sauce over the pieces of chicken, making sure to cover it evenly.
  4. Cook the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower the oven to 350 degrees and cook the chicken for another 15 – 30 minutes, until it is is cooked and still a little pink, and the sauce has become caramelized.

25 Days of Food

Online Advent CalendarOne of my favorite things about December mornings are the cheap, slightly-plasticy-but-nonetheless-delicious chocolates that I eat every morning from my advent calendar. It invokes the nostalgia of counting down the seconds until Christmas. Because I can’t hand out chocolates to each and every one of you every morning, here is an e-version of an advent calendar, filled with prizes and delicious photos of food!

Check back every day for culinary treats!

 

Shake It Out: Apple Cider Nor’Easters

Nor'Easter from Shake the Cocktail Book

Ever since moving to New York, I’ve developed a fascination with bartenders/mixologists/cocktailians. Two points if they have a tattoo of the logo of the trendy bar they serve, three points if they can make and shake two tumblers at once.

More than that, I’m mesmerized by their behind-the-counter assortment of brews, bottles, and bitters. Watching a mixologist create a complicated drink can be like watching a chef serve a five star meal, which is how I decided that I would like to become one – for a day.

This goal came with several obstacles:

  •  The Pisco Sour incident of 2012 (Pro Tip: Don’t make a cocktail with an egg if you don’t know what you’re doing.)
  • My kitchen is incredibly ill-equipped for cocktail-making. Unless you count a hammer as a muddler (which I have).
  • I’m terrible at making decisions. Especially when it comes to deciding which delicious alcoholic beverage I’d like to devote my time and resources to creating.

This is where Shake (Clarkson Potter, $25.00) comes in. Written by Eric Prum and Josh Williams, it’s a hipster’s fantasy with easy-to-follow cocktail recipes, accompanied by beautiful photos. While I would have liked to have seen a few more recipes, this is one of the best cocktail books I’ve seen because it takes complicated recipes and breaks them down so that even a beginner could follow them and make delicious drinks with minimal effort.

Shake Cocktail Book

For my Monday après-work drink, I selected the Nor’Easter from the Fall Section, which made my Monday approximately 74% better. Here’s the recipe so you can follow along and bask in apple cider deliciousness:

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