Friday, September 30, 2011

It's too hot out and September...What should we have for dinner?

It has been unseasonably warm and humid in New York, which has made for some really bad hair days and why-did-I-decide-to-wear-my-boots-today days. It's also made it difficult to figure out what to cook for dinner--throwing acorn squash or a brisket in the oven (which we're tempted do this time of year) sound like a terribly gross idea when it still feels like August out.

Since we were both tired of the same stove top meals we've had on rotation all summer, I started searching for something new. And that's when I stumbled upon a recipe for what may be the perfect transitional meal: an onion frittata! Why so perfect? Because it's light on the fork and heavy on flavor. It combines sage, rosemary and ricotta, which tasted like Thanksgiving to me (before you start thinking I'm just excited for the holidays, which I am, consider how sage and rosemary often find their way into the best stuffing recipes). Though we had to use our oven, which I was hoping to avoid because of the warm temps, it was only for a limited amount of time. 

I adapted the following super easy recipe, which comes from Bon Appetit, via Epicurious. I omitted the basil, and used Pecorino Romano and a Spanish onion. The recipe should yield 4-6 servings, but we only got three out of it. It's that good! And did I mention it's quick and easy...Perfect for a weeknight!

Here's what you need and here's how you make it: 

  • 8 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

  • 3 large fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

  • 3 large fresh sage leaves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion

  • 1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute until soft, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in egg mixture. Spoon dollops of ricotta evenly over.
    Cook until frittata begins to set, about 2 minutes. Place in oven; bake until just set, 7-9 minutes. Slide the frittata onto a platter. Cut into wedges; serve hot or at room temperature.

    Up close and personal with the onion frittata. This poor photo doesn't do it justice--believe me, it's delicious!


    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Our end of summer BBQ

    Yesterday we decided to check out a restaurant that NY Magazine recommended as one of the best in Queens: Mapo BBQ.  After spending nearly an hour navigating the narrow, busy streets of Flushing (we rented a car for the holiday weekend), we finally located the Korean restaurant and found a parking spot a couple blocks away from it.

    We were seated right away and ordered a couple Buds, before deciding on Mapo's specialty, grilled marinated short ribs (kalbi), and thinly sliced tenderloin. First, a waiter dropped off hot coals and a grill. Then, a few minutes later, a waitress arrived with the beef, which she set on the grill. I mistakenly thought each table was responsible for flipping the beef and started to play around with the tongs and meat, when our waitress came over, pulled out her scissors, took the tongs and showed me how it's done. I was enthralled.

    As the meat cooked, other waiters brought out lettuce (to make wraps), marinated onions, kimchi bok choy and other kimchi vegetables, creamy corn, and this eggy custardy thing that you're supposed to eat with the corn (sadly, I can't remember what it's called). It was a whole heck of a lot of food that we were sure we wouldn't finish, but we did. The beef was super tender and--in a word--meat-licious. And the vegetables were so fresh! I'm totally going to introduce my friends to Mapo, now that it's on the map-o (ha! I could't resist.).

    Actually, don't let that previous line turn you off--Mapo is definitely worth checking out, either by car or subway. 

    One of these days I'll take pictures with a nice camera instead of my iPhone...For now, these photos will have to do.