Monday, April 26, 2010

Green-Lentil Curry

my roommate found this recipe in food and wine magazine so we tried making green-lentil curry. we didn't have green beans and kale so i substituted broccoli instead.

overall, it was a very easy tasty dish. be careful with the cayenne. you want it to have a punch, but don't get knocked out!

Green-Lentil Curry by Madjur Jaffrey


1. 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
2. 1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste
3. 2 teaspoons ground coriander
4. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
5. 3 tablespoons canola oil
6. 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
7. 1 small shallot, minced
8. 1 tablespoon tomato paste mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
9. 1 1/4 cups dried green lentils
10. 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
11. 4 ounces green beans, cut into 3/4-inch lengths
12. 4 ounces kale, stemmed and leaves finely chopped
13. 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
14. 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
15. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
16. Salt


1. In a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, coriander and ground cumin. Stir in 1/4 cup of water to make a paste. In a small skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderately high heat for 5 seconds, just until sizzling. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the spice paste and let cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until thick, about 1 minute longer.
2. In a saucepan, combine the lentils with the turmeric and 5 cups of water; bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are barely tender. Add the green beans, kale, carrot, three-fourths of the cilantro and the cayenne and season with salt. Cook until the lentils and vegetables are tender, 15 minutes. Scrape in the spice paste and the remaining cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes, then serve.

Serve With

Steamed basmati rice, warm naan and plain yogurt.


Fragrant, herbal Pinot Noir: 2008 R Wines Permutations.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

5-minute hummus

i saw this recipe in real simple magazine for 5-minute hummus. i made some adjustments (which are listed below). but overall so easy! the clean up is the killer. and actually i don't have a food processor so i used my "magic bullet", divided it into 2 batches, and it turned out great! don't try using a blender. it doesn't work well in the blender. my friend was my sous chef who helped me with the flavor. thanks, j! my roommate totally enjoyed it. she wants to make more. so i guess it's a hit. next time i'm gonna try using my stick blender. hoping it will be less work cleaning up.

susan's 5-minute hummus
total time: 5 minutes
makes 1 1/2 cups

1-15oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed
1 1/2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tablespoon water (more if needed)

in a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt and water until smooth and creamy. add more water to get desired consistency.

transfer to bowl. drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika before serving.

enjoy with pita, tortilla, carrot sticks or just by itself!

**i discovered that it's a 15 minute hummus when you use a stick blender. **

Friday, April 2, 2010

noodle pudding in brooklyn heights

don't be deceived by the name. when i heard the name, noodle pudding, i'm thinking something asian, but it's actually the name of an amazing italian restaurant in brooklyn heights, ny. my friend, brooklyn girl, chose this restaurant for her birthday which happens to fall on april 1.

our waiter, gabriel, was very enthusiastic to share with us the specials for the day. everything was amazing, fantastic, etc. he told us about the specials for the night. then for a moment he leaned over to the kitchen. he insisted on brooklyn girl trying the wild boar rib with roasted potatoes (which she ordered). i ordered the the rockfish with mussels, clams and shrimp in a white wine sauce. i wasn't too sure about the rockfish, but gabriel insisted that it would be amazing.

and the rockfish was delicious! the sauce was nice and light, not too heavy and creamy. all the seafood was very fresh and tender. also, i dipped bread into the sauce soaking up as much as possible. delicious! i had about 1/4 of my meal left on my plate. when gabriel saw my plate, he gave me a disappointing look. he told me that if i take this plate back, the chef will ask, "who's plate is this? why didn't the guest finish it? i must find out!" pressured, i attempted to finish as much as possible. however, in the end, i couldn't finish it all. not b/c it wasn't good, but b/c i just didn't have any more room to eat.

at one point as he was taking orders from a table nearby, he looked over at me and asked me, "tell this guy what you think about the rockfish." i gave him a two thumbs up with a smile. i'm pretty sure he ordered the rockfish, and i definitely know he was very satisfied with his choice.

i loved the atmosphere of the restaurant. we found out it's family owned, and everyone who works there has known each for years. we thanked gabriel for his service. so if you go to noodle pudding, ask for gabriel. he'll make sure you enjoy your meal and the whole experience!

i wish i knew why they named their restaurant noodle pudding. brooklyn girl told me, but i forgot.

either way, it's an excellent italian restaurant that i hope to visit again one day.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

crack pie??

as i planned for my time in nyc, i also like to map where i'll be eating. one of my stops was momofuku milk bar. i heard about crack pie first on regis and kelly when anderson cooper would guest host. he would talk about this crack pie. he loved it so much that he would send it to friends and family. he was a crack pie pusher. but i guess if you're anderson cooper you can afford to spend $44 on one pie. yes, one 10 inch pie is $44. who charges that for something that doesn't look even that impressive? they bake it in an ordinary pie tin that is disposable after one use.

well, i couldn't get myself to buy a whole pie, but i did buy two slices of crack pie. one to try right then and there, and one to take back to my friend. i took one bite and savored the flavor. i tasted buttery caramel goodness that initially was sweet but somehow the sweetness dissipates. b/c the flavors were so new, i had to have another bite. and another. and another. the next thing you know... it's gone.

momofuku describes their crack pie as "toasted oat crust, gooey butter filling".

of course i don't think they put crack in their pie, but you definitely want to go back for more. after tasting it, i would now probably pay $44 to buy a pie to share with my friends. i would feel too gluttonous to eat it all by myself. i could definitely finish a slice by myself. no problem there.

i did get to enjoy it again with my friend the next day with a cup of black coffee. it goes deliciously well with nice cup of joe.

if you're really desperate for crack pie but are unable to get to nyc, they can fedex a pie to you.

on my next visit to nyc, i will most likely return to momofuku milk bar for a slice of crack pie. it's addicting. the name is befitting. scary but true.