Well Done, Bien Cuit!

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

After visiting Bien Cuit, you’ll never look at pastries the same way again. Is it possible to love something without even trying it yet? That’s how I felt about this little bakery.

To preface this review, I have a short story…
As most of my family/friends know, I hardly ever watch TV. But when I do it’s usually a show about food of some sorts. This brings me to my next point: “Unique Sweets” featured Bien Cuit on one of their episodes and whenever I watch these shows, I make sure to make a mental note to visit ESPECIALLY when it’s close by. Just from the images and descriptions, I knew I had to visit. Their featured item was the elusive Chocolate Almond Croissant… double baked in brandy. I’m such a visual person and was immediately enticed when watching the show. More or less, I was sold.

Bien Cuit, meaning “well done” is certainly appropriate. All of the desserts here are carefully crafted down to the very last bite. Upon arrival, the storefront is simple/minimalist and reflects the rustic nature of the inside. Although its spacious, there isn’t much seating to go around. I was there on a mission. My friend was cooking me dinner that night and I can never go empty-handed. So I asked the girl at the counter for suggestions (she was very helpful) and I ended up deciding on three pastries:

-Huckleberry Danish with Yuzu Curd, Huckleberry Jam: Flaky, tart and very flavorful. Those berries certainly packed a punch. This was my wildcard if you will. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t had this fruit before, so take a chance on it. It’s good.

-Apple Cardamom Danish with Pureed Apple and Cardamom Strudel: Second favorite of the night. I’m a HUGE fan of apple desserts so this was a win-win. The unique pairing of flavors certainly works.

-(The true star of Bien Cuit) Chocolate Almond Croissant/Twice-baked with Brandy: If you have to pick an item, CHOOSE THIS. You can thank me later. It’s everything a croissant should be — flaky, soft, buttery, nutty (from the almond paste)… you get the idea. And the fact that its baked in brandy? Say no more. It’s a true showstopper.

Bien Cuit-Assortment

Yes, Bien Cuit may be a tad bit on the pricier side. But I can guarantee the quality is there within every single bite. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

120 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

(718) 852-0200

biencuit.com

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Bengal Tiger Indian

To be honest, sometimes I’m skeptical about price-fix menus. Yes, the food comes at a slight smaller portion. But that’s to be expected. In past experiences, sometimes even the quality/flavor lacks that luster that you would find in their regular dishes. Not here. No way, no how. Bengal Tiger Indian Food packs quite a punch when it comes to their cuisine.

Located on the 2nd floor, Bengal Tiger is a cozy, bright little space. There’s not much seating to go around so if you plan on coming for a bite… arrive before that dinner rush. They have beautiful artwork/phrases from wall to wall with those classic warm as well as jewel tones… very inviting. I was meeting my friend after work and we got there JUST in time. We managed to snag the last spot since a portion of the restaurant was conquered by a meetup group. Although a tight space, we sat comfortably.

Vegetarians, have no fear. You have options here! (Rhyme not intended.) My friend had plenty of meatless options which was great. For the price of $16.95, you get an appetizer, entree and dessert. Not bad IMO.

bengaltiger-samosa

App/Veggie Samosa: Phenomenal. The outside is crispy and the inside was generously seasoned filled with potato and peas. And it was on top of a green & red sauce that had quite the kick. Let’s just say I asked for a personal pitcher of water.

bengaltiger-chickentikka

Entree/Chicken TIkka Masala: Had to go with the classic choice, of course Indian spicy. (Go big or go home!) The chicken was extremely tender and there was just the right amount of sauce to meat ratio. The layers and depth of earthiness and savory flavors were on par.

bengaltiger-kheer

Dessert/Kheer: I’m a rice pudding lover. Add cashews? Spices? Home run.

All in all, I highly recommend Bengal Tiger. There’s unlimited basmati rice and their Naan is superb. The prices won’t burn a hole in your wallet and they don’t sacrifice on the spice. Staff was incredibly friendly and my water glass was never empty. This is a fantastic little spot to satisfy all your Indian Food cravings.

58 W 56th St
2nd Fl
New York, NY 10019

(212) 265-2703

bengaltigerindianfood.com

Quick And Easy Pizza

pizza

 

How many of you are like me?

You work 5 days a week, 40+ hours and when you get home all you want to do is kick back and relax. Most of you will go for that frozen tv dinner or find solace in a bowl of cereal. One of the things I dislike doing is eating because it’s a chore not because I should enjoy it. And you’re probably thinking wow a homemade pizza? It doesn’t come to mind when you’re thinking of a quick and effortless meal. But it can be!

During the week I will stop by my local bakery and pick up pizza dough. It’s usually around $2 at the place near me. Not expensive at all. I’ll buy a couple of those and stop by my grocery store and pickup a jar of sauce as well as a block of mozzarella cheese. The great things about these items is that they’re versatile. You can use the leftover sauce in pasta or use the cheese in mac and cheese. Be creative! So there’s no need to worry about wasting money. You can always make good food on a budget. And voila…all the ingredients you will need to make that homemade pizza.

Ingredients:

1 bag of pizza dough from your local bakery

1 block of mozzarella cheese (I use part skim, Polly-O’s)

1 jar of sauce (I use Barilla Tomato Basil)

Some olive oil for brushing the dough.

Flour/cornmeal for the dough.

Any spices you may wish to add.

Here’s some tips and tricks to how I made mine (as seen in picture above).

Preheat to 425 degrees.

-Take your dough and place it on a hard surface. Make sure surface is lightly floured first. *If you have a pizza stone like I do, lightly dust that with cornmeal beforehand. Trust me, it adds to the texture of the pizza and some extra flavor. The grainy texture will help the pizza slide off the stone or whatever surface you choose, more easily.

-Knead the dough a little bit (but don’t over-do it) and flatten it into a round disk shape. Work the edges in a circular motion and pull the dough slightly with your hands. Be careful not to pull too much because that may create holes. Try to get the thick/thinness as even as possible.  When you have the desired shape, place on top of cornmeal covered pizza stone.

-Then take small amount of olive oil and brush the surface of the dough with it. This will add a nice color to the crust and will give it flavor too.

-Take your sauce and ladle it over the dough and spread evenly. I like a pretty thin coating, but that can be your preference. Do not push sauce all the way to the edge. Leave room for the crust to form.

-Then take your cheese and you can either shred it or cut it into chunks to put on top of the sauce. Add as much or as little as you’d like! At the same time add whatever toppings you like to the pizza. I personally love red pepper flakes, basil and garlic powder. YUM! But feel free to add things like leftover sausage, spinach, chicken, veggies, etc!

*Bake for about 12-15 minutes, checking to make sure the crust is brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Let cool for a few minutes, cut into slices and serve.

**The best part about this pizza is that you can multi-task while this is cooking. It is such an easy prep and clean up as well. I usually make my lunch for the next day or iron my clothes quick. Hey, that’s what you have to do nowadays. Multi-tasking is the way to go! If you have kids, friends, family…they can help too! And with pizza you can really have fun with it. Maybe do one half sausage and one half eggplant. You can experiment with many different types of flavor profiles and such. Pizza is like a blank canvas, the opportunities are endless! And if you have leftovers…that means dinner for tomorrow.

In my mind, it’s a win-win.

(Also, next time I will update this with more pictures of the step-by-step process so you can have a better visual.)

Questions? Leave a comment!