Monday, February 18, 2008

Odds and Ends

I haven't been doing as much cooking or baking lately so I figure I would post about some of the recent developments in the area, some new things I tried and one I want to try...

  • The bar, Quench on the corner of Sackett and Smith has shuttered and in it's place the owners of Smith & Vine and Stinky's are putting in a wine bar. Construction seems to be moving quickly so it looks like it might be open sooner then later. I also heard rumors while having breakfast at Naidre's (my new favorite weekend hang) of a wine bar going in where the oddly abandoned Vermont Pharmacy on Henry is but I haven't seen any movement on that corner.
  • One of my recent favorite visits is Black Mountain Wine Bar. It sounds like the owners are looking to expand and create an Oyster Bar in the same area but are running into disputes with local residents on Hoyt (Gowanus Lounge)
  • This weekend, I finally tried Salvatore Bklyn Ricotta Cheese. Edible Brooklyn recently had an article on the pair and the process they have perfected to make the cheese. Significantly, creamier and smoother then regular ricotta, this version uses whole cow's milk and lemon juice instead of whey and citric acid.
  • This is the next recipe I want to try from the NYT Dining Section: Broiled Feta with Roasted Peppers and Olive Salad

    Time: 15 minutes

    10 ounces fresh feta cheese

    1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced

    1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced

    1/4 cup thinly sliced sweet onion, such as Vidalia or red

    1 tablespoon capers, drained

    12 caperberries (optional)

    12 Kalamata or other black, brined olives, pitted and halved

    12 Tsakistes or other green, brined olives, pitted and halved

    8 white or other good-quality anchovies, soaked in milk for 30 minutes and drained (optional)

    12 cloves garlic confit (optional; see recipe)

    1/2 cup freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley, dill, mint or chives, or a combination

    1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste

    Juice of 1 or 2 lemons

    Salt and black pepper

    Toasted or grilled pita bread, cut into wedges, for serving.

    1. Preheat broiler. Crumble cheese into an ovenproof baking dish; cheese should be about 1/2 inch deep. Slide dish under broiler and cook until molten and bubbly, about 2 minutes.

    2. In a large bowl, combine bell peppers, onion, capers, caperberries if using, olives, anchovies if using, garlic confit if using and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil, tossing with hands until evenly coated. Squeeze in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss and taste, adjusting seasonings.

    3. Lightly place salad on top of hot cheese. Drizzle olive oil around and over salad. Serve immediately with pita bread.

    Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

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