Monday, January 28, 2008

Superbowl Countdown

My husband is a sports fanatic and a huge Giants fan, so we are no doubt looking forward to this Sunday and Super Bowl XLII. Hopefully Eli and team will pull through for a victory!

Aside from the usual Super Bowl snacks, I decided I should try to cook up some other classic fare. I promised my husband I would make some chili -- something I have never done actually. I came across this recipe online for Turkey Chili, but he was disappointed it wasn't beef. I'll probably end up doing it with beef instead just because it seems so simple (I imagine it would work either way?). I also found this chili recipe from Tyler Florence, who is usually good for staple recipes.

Let me know if you have any good recipes!

30-Minute Turkey Chili (from Food Network Kitchens):
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Sliced scallions, cilantro sprigs, avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish, optional

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes.

Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes--crushing them through your fingers into the skillet--along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil.

Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the garnishes of your choice.

Tyler's Texas Chili
  • 3 dried ancho peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle chile, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina
  • 1/2 tablet Mexican chocolate (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • Grated queso fresco, for garnish
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

In a small dry skillet over low heat add the ancho peppers, oregano, paprika, coriander, cumin, and chili powder. Cook until they begin to smell, about 2 minutes. Put the spices into a spice mill or food processor and grind until they are powdered. Set aside.

Heat a large heavy bottomed casserole over medium heat; add 3 tablespoons olive oil and the onions. Cook until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Pat the beef dry and season it with salt and pepper. Add it to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until it has browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the toasted spice mix, the garlic, chipotle, jalapeno, tomatoes, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Season with salt and stir well. Add some hot water until the meat is just covered with liquid.

Return to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the meat and shred it with a fork. Return it to the pot, stir in the masa harina and chocolate, and cook for another 10 minutes, uncovered, to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with the queso fresco, cilantro, and lime for garnish.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mercury Levels Too High in Fav NYC Sushi Spots

Say it ain't so! I just read this article in The New York Times about a recent sampling of tuna at popular NYC sushi restaurants. It's a story that has been circling the Web today and may make sushi lovers (well, probably not me) think twice about ordering tuna.

"... laboratory tests that found high levels of mercury in tuna bought at 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants, including the Gourmet Garage. Its tuna had the second-highest mercury level in the study, 1.25 parts per million."
According to reports, "mercury of more than 1 part per million is the 'action level' at which the FDA can take food off the market." OK, well I've never been there, phew!

"The federal Food and Drug Administration can move to have fish containing that much mercury taken off the market, though it rarely does so. The four restaurants are Nobu Next Door, Sushi Seki, Sushi of Gari and Blue Ribbon Sushi."

Shoot, I've been to 3/4 but I'm still alive and writing this blog so what should one believe? How much sushi does one have to consume to get mercury poisoning anyway?

"Hiro Nishida, the president of the company that owns Megu, said Megu served tuna that was almost mercury-free at its other restaurant, in the Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza. Mr. Nishida said that that type of tuna, kindai tuna, was developed at Kinki University in Japan ... kindai tuna cost 50 percent more than ordinary tuna, but that he had not raised the prices on items that call for kindai tuna."

There's still hope, if you can afford it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cobbile Hill's Alex McCord to Star in "Real Housewives of NYC"

According to The Daily News and Gothamist, Bravo is launching a spin-off of their popular Real Housewives of Orange County series on March 4.

The show will focus on Bethenny Frankel, LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin of the Upper East Side and Alex McCord of Cobble Hill.
Alex McCord Born: Washington, D.C.
Lives: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Married: Yes; husband works in boutique hotel management.
Kids: Two sons, ages 2 and 4.
Job: Works in visual merchandising for a major retailer.

Bethenny Frankel (website)
Born: New York.
Lives: Upper East Side.
Married: No.
Kids: None, but her boyfriend of 10 months has three, ages 4, 7 and 9.
Job: Frankel's health food company, bethennybakes, creates wheat-, egg- and dairy-free baked goods as well as tailored, healthy menus for clients.

LuAnn deLesseps (website)
Born: Connecticut.
Lives: Upper East Side.
Married: Yes, to Count Alexandre de Lesseps, a French aristocrat she met in the Swiss Alps.
Kids: 11-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.
Job: Hosts "The Countess Report," her own cable show based in the Hamptons.

Ramona Singer
Born: Rhinebeck, N.Y. Lives: Upper East Side.
Married: Yes, and co-creating a jewelry line with her husband.
Kids: 12-year-old daughter.
Job: Buys and resells excess fashion inventory to discount boutiques and chains. Also developing her own skin-care products.

Jill Zarin
Born: Woodmere, L.I. Lives: Upper East Side.
Married: Yes, to second husband.
Kids: 15-year-old daughter; husband has three kids of his own, ages 25, 28 and 31.
Job: Owns Zarin Fabrics & Home Furnishings on the lower East Side.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Awesomeness in Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO?

Was strolling the Chowhound boards and came across this new thread. Let this guy know he should take the plunge and move to Brooklyn. He's concerned there's no good food!

Brooklyn Oenology

An article from a site called Lenndevours focuses on Brooklyn Oenology (BOE), a relatively new winery located in a converted Greenpoint warehouse. Apparently BOE wines are available at several NYC locations, including DUMBO's Blanc et Rouge and Rebar.

Here is a link to the Q&A with Alie Shaper, who is described as an "engineer-turned-winemaker." I should note that the grapes don't actually come from Brooklyn, they come from Long Island, but the production is all local.

Project Knitting @ Brooklyn General

My favorite neighborhood knitting store, Brooklyn General, is starting up its weekly Project Knitting class. The instructor Kaitlyn is fantastic and I highly recommend trying it if you are interested in learning how to knit a scarf, hat, socks or sweater.

You should know the basics (cast on, cast off, knit, purl), but if you are a little rusty, Kaitlyn will show you the way. She's very patient and the class size is small, so you get the attention you need to finish a project with confidence.

The fee for the class covers instruction; you have to purchase materials separately. I took it this fall and knitted a lovely cable stitch hat. It looks really impressive!

Brooklyn General Store
128 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Off Topic Post

I got one of those cute forwards this morning with the animals cuddling up together. I am such a sucker for those! Anyway, this was the last photo and I thought it was hilarious so I decided to post it here for you all to see:

Friday, January 04, 2008

Corcoran Group Releases Data on Brooklyn RE Market

I'm late blogging about this since it's yesterday's news, but as a home owner in Brooklyn and avid real estate enthusiast, I found Corcoran's data interesting. Here's an excerpt from Brownstoner, specifically with regard to Brooklyn RE:

The Corcoran Group released its year-end market data today, and the brokerage’s stats show the ’07 Brooklyn market making healthy (if not huge) gains over 2006. The median sales price on all condos and co-ops was up 7 percent last year, to $590,000, while median townhouse values rose 2 percent in ’07, to $1.2 million."

"... Brooklyn Heights, where the median price shot up 19 percent, to $1.3 million. Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, on the other hand, showed a median price decrease of 9 percent, going from $950,000 in 2006 to $860,000 in 2007. And Park Slope’s median price slipped from $999,000 in ’06 to $928,000 in ’07."

Best Smith Street or Court Street Restaurant

Chowhound has a good thread on its outer borough board about restaurant recommendations on Smith Street and Court Street. One of the posters mentions Queen, a restaurant my husband and I have been interested in trying based on a recommendation from a family friend. We read mixed reviews of Queen online, but then on this thread it looks like a favorite.