Spice It Up!

 

 

 

 

Curry Puffs Dumplings-Pure Thai

Sorry it’s been a while folks! Been super busy with work and made my way towards Boston this past weekend. But here’s a post for ya! Thanks for reading!

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Spicy foods and I have a love-love relationship. They keep things interesting. They know how to add “spice to your life”. They know how to keep their “cool” and let’s face it… they’re hot.

Horrible puns aside, I’ve been meaning to hit up Pure Thai Cookhouse for quite some time now. Luckily a few friends of mine were up for a authentic Thai experience. Inside looks as what they like to call a “shophouse”. With wood paneling, industrial decor and a modern flair… this place is right up my alley. It’s also built with a vertically oriented layout. How they fit so much seating in such little space?* I’ll never know.

We arrived at about 6pm on a Friday and were lucky enough to get the last seat right in the front. They brought us a nice sized carafe of water and kept our glasses full. And I now know why. I ended up ordering the Wok Basil with Chicken. Now I see that you can customize your spice level and I’ve never eaten there before… I’ll settle on medium**. That way I can gauge for next time whether to amp it up or not. All I can say is, wow. The ground chicken and string beans were a killer. I think that chili garlic puree and holy basil sauce did a number on me. The only thing to tame the heat was that jasmine rice. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious and I’d order it again. But no 3 stars for me. I’ll stick to a happy 2.

Spicy Wok Chicken-Pure Thai
We also ordered:
-The Chicken Curry Puffs: super flaky/crispy with a moist center. (With sweet potato, onion and a cucumber relish.)

-Steamed Veggie Dumplings:My favorite app. From the looks of it, I had no idea how it was going to taste as well as texture-wise. The peanut flavor was strong which I enjoyed. Pillow-y and flavorful bites.

I received a fairly amount of hype for PTC and was happily surprised to see that it’s completely justified and warranted here. Service was great and we didn’t feel rushed despite the incoming crowds. I appreciated the atmosphere that transported me across the world and the bold flavors that took my taste buds there as well.

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*Welcome to the magic and glory that is NYC.
**As mentioned in my tip, if medium was so true to level… then I wonder what “hot” is.

766 9th Ave
New YorkNY 10019

 

b/t 51st St & 52nd St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District

(212) 581-0999

purethaicookhouse.com

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Pho Sho.

front-Rolling Spring Roll

PC: Yelp

You may cringe, you may laugh or you may scoff at the ridiculous amount of puns I am about to unleash in this review. You have been warned.

THIS PLACE IS ON A ROLL. (Here we go.)
One of my many food missions in life has been completed: to try Pho. I’m pretty new to everything in the Vietnamese food chain, so I went in with an open mind and stomach. I know what you’re thinking. Your first Pho experience was on Long Island of all places? Yes. And let me tell you, no regrets people. Rolling Spring Roll provided a wonderful foundation for my Vietnamese food pallet. It can only go up from here.

When my partner in crime (Steph M.) asked me to come here, I was like “Pho sho’!” First impression? Tiny. Casual. And a weird shade of green. The menu is small but covers all the essentials. Naturally I wanted to try everything but ended up settling on:
-Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi: VERY flavorful. The chicken was moist, bread was toasty and the flavors just melded together.
-Beef Pho: Great first experience. The different varieties of meat in one bowl was interesting. I enjoyed the pairing of bean sprouts, basil and jalapenos. Steph showed me how its done with the addition of hoisin and sriracha. Delicious and not too salty.

Bahn Mi-Rolling Spring Roll

Beef Pho-Rolling Spring Roll

Our waiter/comedian of the night was Joe. Joe has a sense of humor like me and our conversation went like this:

(At the beginning of the meal.)
Me: “This pho is PHO-nomenal.”
Joe: “That’s great, I’m definitely taking that one.”

(During the meal.)
Me to Steph: “Wow the music selection here is really interesting and amusing.” *
Joe: *does a little dance while he passes by*

(At the end of the meal.)
Joe: “You didn’t finish it it all?! I’m sorry but we’re not friends anymore.” **
Me:  “………wat?”

That pretty much sums up our hilarious interactions with the waiter that night. Needless to say, I will definitely be back. If you’re looking for delicious, quality Vietnamese food and you can only venture to LI, come here. This place will be pho you. Rolling Spring Roll Shop pho ever.***
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*I think I heard Bryan Adams, Bonnie Tyler and Destiny’s Child in a row.
**I’m sorry, but I didn’t think we were at that level yet… lmao.
***buzzfeed.com/arivoukydis… — you’re welcome.

189 Main St

Farmingdale, NY 11735

(516) 586-6097

therollingspringroll.com

Belgian Fries Galore

Front-Pommes Frites

 

Pommes Frites is the proprietor of everything that is french fries. My true weakness in life. They’ve somehow managed to cultivate this community of fry-lovers. And these people mean business. If you think you’ve had the best, pop on into Pommes Frites and prepare those taste buds. Sure the fries are classic in nature and have the crisp/salty factor that everyone looks for. But there’s something said about a product that’s simple and done 100% right. They’re fresh-out-of-the-fryer good. However, the spotlight is really on those sauces.

With over 25+ sauces to choose from, it’s hard to decide on just one. What I recommend is taking a gander at the selection and while you’re waiting (trust me there WILL be a wait…this place always has a line) you can ask to sample some of them. I asked for 3. ($3.75 combo, to order them all and it’s totally worth it). I kinda copied the girl ahead of me (her choices were spot on!) and ended up with: Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo, Pomegranate Teriyaki Mayo, and Honey Mustard. BAR NONE, I have the say that the Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo takes the cake. Not gonna lie, the Pom-Teriyaki was kinda funky but still good.

The space is small. You may be hovering over people to glance the menu or to get a glimpse of the fries being cooked. *Commence mouth-watering* I watched them in the fryer, how they added in the seasoning and by the time they placed them in the bag I’m surprised I had the willpower to not jump over the counter and snatch them. As for the seating issue… psh. Fries are finger foods and a lack of chairs aren’t going to stop me from munching away.*

Fries-Pomme Frites
All in all, Pommes Frites just makes sense. These Belgian fries will change your perspective forever.** Only WARNING: You may come here and quite possibly fall in love with it.

*The real trick is the balancing act of the sauces and the fries. It’s an acquired skill.
**Mickey D’s, BK, Wendy’s will never be the same.

123 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

b/t 7th St & St Marks Pl in East Village

(212) 674-1234

pommesfrites.ws

Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheese Cookies

rasp

Sorry I have not posted in a few days! Life has been flying by, but I want to make sure I keep up with my blog. I figured these would be perfect for a sunny warm day like today. Lately, the weather has been a bit on and off. Rain here, clouds there. But this weekend with Mother’s Day coming up… is nice a bright. This cookie is not only refreshing but tasty too. This is the kind of recipe that uses fresh ingredients and it’s a twist on a regular cookie. I hope you enjoy.

 
1/2 C butter
1/2 C cream cheese
1/2 C sugar
zest of  lemon (1/2 of a big lemon)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C flour
1 C raspberries (fresh, preferably not frozen)
 
Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until it is fluffy and smooth. Blend in the lemon zest, lemon juice and egg. Gradually incorporate the dry into the cream cheese mixture. Once all the dry is incorporated, fold the berries into the dough. Place the dough in the fridge for a few minutes. After the dough is chilled, place drops of cookies onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes. They will puff slightly and start to almost crack. Alas, they are nonetheless very tasty, light and fruity!

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!

Guinness Cupcakes With Bailey’s Frosting

Homemade Guinness Cupcakes With Bailey's Frosting

I absolutely love experimenting with different flavors and unique combinations.  For this past St. Patrick’s Day I really wanted to try out Guinness Cupcakes.  From channeling my inner Irish, this brought me back to when I studied abroad in Ireland.  If you have ever been across the pond, you’ll know that Guinness Stout tastes VERY different from the beer imported in the United States.  In Ireland it’s more of a thick/creamy taste whereas in the states it can be pretty bitter.  What can I say?  I’m spoiled.  I absolutely LOVED this recipe.  The cake was light and fluffy with that “hops” taste.  And the cocoa really brings out that rich flavor.  As for the frosting, the Bailey’s complimented the buttercream perfectly.  This cupcake is truly a match made in heaven.  Warning: There is alcohol in both the frosting and cake batter.  Also, depending on how much Bailey’s you add, it can get a bit strong ;). Enjoy!

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness beer
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cupcake pans with liners. Combine the Guinness and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until butter is fully melted. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the Guinness/butter mixture. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until well incorporated. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 way full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Bailey’s Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6-8 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish cream

Place the butter in medium bowl (softened). Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and Bailey’s until smooth. Add more Bailey’s if necessary. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Yields 24 cupcakes.