New York Stories; Smoked Fish; Brooklyn Artisans; Indian Cooking at Home
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Good Food takes a field trip to New York City. Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito of Baked are putting a twist on the American bakery with their homemade oreos and whoopie pies. Niki Federman is the fourth generation of Russ to be selling smoked fish on the Lower East Side at Russ and Daughters. Robert Sietsema of the Village Voice tells us where to eat in the Big Apple. Joel Bukiewicz is making handcrafted kitchen knives. Charlie Sahadi of Sahadi Fine Foods has been selling Middle Eastern delicacies to Brooklynites for 60 years. Rick Mast and his brother Michael are making bean-to-bar chocolate in their Williamsburg factory. And Suvir Saran tells us everything you need to make Indian food at home. Plus two market reports.
Santa Monica Farmer's Market Report ()
Chef Mark Gold, formerly of Leatherby's Cafe Rouge in Costa Mesa is getting ready to open a new restaurant called Eva in the Fairfax/Beverly area. Right now he's shopping for cipollini onions. These are medallion-sized and flat, not round. He takes the peel off and roasts them whole with butter and olive oil in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. He toasts some crusty bread to make crostini or toast and smashes the onion on the toast with a fork. Sprinkle pepper and salt and add a nice goat cheese if desired.
Fresh garbanzo beans are in season now. Find them at Flora Bella Farms. James Birch comes down from Three Rivers near the base of the Sierras. He brings in large bushels of beans. It's easier to pull the whole plant out than it is to shell all the beans out of their pods. A large armful of garbanzos will cost about $18. An armful of the plant will net about 2 pounds of garbanzos.
Read Laura Avery's weekly post on the Good Food Blog.
Union Square Greenmarket Report ()
Peter Hoffman and Evan
Evan and Jen Small
Jen Small owns Flying Pigs Farm in New York's Hudson Valley. Jen and her husband raise heritage pigs. In the last few years she's been selling many more parts of the animal. Jen sells a pork blade roast with the skin on. Slash the skin, season and roast. The skin shouldn't be braised so as to remain crispy. Trotters, tails, ears are also popular. Find recipe for pigs tails here.
Pork selection from Flying Pigs Farm
Music Break: Alison's Uncle by Cannonball Adderley
An Appetizing Store ()
Russ & Daughters
Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper
Niki Federman runs Russ and Daughters, an appetizing store on the Lower East Side of New York. In the Jewish tradition, an appetizing store sells fish and dairy. Meat, which has to be bought separately, was purchased at a delicatessen.
Joel Russ started the business with a pushcart, selling Polish mushrooms and smoked fish to the Jewish immigrant community. In 1914 he opened a shop on Houston Street in Manhattan. Ninety-five years later the shop is still selling smoked fish, along with herring, caviar and other imported goods. In 1933 Joel Russ changed the name to Russ & Daughters. It's the first business to have "& Daughters" in the title. Niki Federman and Josh Russ are the fourth generation of the Russ family and they run the store today.
Read more about Russ & Daughters on their blog, Lox Populi.
Whitefish and Baked Salmon Salad
Herring with Cream Sauce and Onions
Evan enjoys Danish Smoked Salmon on Crackle Bread
Music Break: Ambala by Pramod Upadyaya
NY Eats ()
Robert Sietsema is the food critic for the Village Voice where he writes the Counter Culture column. Robert recommends Nepalese restaurant Mustang Thakali Kitchen in Jackson Heights, Queens. He likes the sel roti, which is a donut made from rice flour. And, he likes the yohsi or kneaded buckwheat starch. Dip the yohsi in various curry accompaniments or in the sweek yogurt dipping sauce.
For Chinese food, Robert says that white table cloth Sichuan restaurants are popping up around New York. Robert likes Bamboo Pavilion in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Ox tongues, stomach tripe, rabbit, whole fish and jelly fish dishes are featured. Robert likes the flowered kidney with hot sauce.
The neighborhood formerly known as "Hell's Kitchen," and now called "Clinton," in west mid-town Manhattan, is in the process of a culinary revitalization. Robert highlights Gazala Place, which features Druze cuisine. The Druze are a religious group from the Middle East who practice an offshoot of Islam. Chef Halabi Gazala serves hummus, stuffed grape leaves and other Mid-East delights.
According to Robert, 10 Downing is a new hot-spot in the West Village.
Chef Jason Neroni serves typical yet tasty bistro fare including steak
frites and charcuterie. One particularly trendy item, says Robert, are
the pickled vegetables accompanying each
Mustang Thakali Kitchen
74-14 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens, 718-898-5088
6920 18th Avenue, Bensonhurst,Brooklyn, 718-236-8088
709 9th Ave., New York, NY 10019
10 Downing Street, New York, NY 212-255-0300
Music Break: Any Color You Like by Easy Star All-Stars
Handcrafted Knives ()
Joel Bukiewicz of Cut makes handcrafted kitchen knives in his studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn. He sends the knives to a facility in Idaho to be heat-treated and forged. The shaping, grinding and sharpening he does in his small studio.
Knives ready to be sharpened
Joel's studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn
Serving Atlantic Avenue for 60 Years ()
Evan and Charlie Sahadi
Charlie Sahadi owns Sahadi's Fine Foods on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Along with their vast selection of nuts, olives, feta cheese and dried fruit, Sahadi's has fresh almonds in stock. The nut hasn't formed yet and the outside shell is still soft. Dip it in salt before eating.
Also in the store is dried molokheiya, which comes from the jute tree. Mix it with lamb or vegetable broth and coriander. Use it to make a soup or gravy over chicken and rice.
Mint and molokheiya
Cooking Indian Food at Home ()
Suvir Saran and Devi Chef Hermant Mathur
Suvir Saran is the owner of Devi in Manhattan and American Masala in Jersey City. Spices are the cornerstone of Indian Food. Some staples include black pepper, black mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom, whole red chilles. You can also add ginger, fennel, nutmeg, mace, fennugreek, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves.
When cooking Indian at home, a mortar and pestle is imperative. A Concave griddle is great for indian breads. Suvir also recommends a Karahi or Indian wok. Indian rolling pins are great to make chapatis.
Suvir Saran is the author of American Masala: 125 New Classics from My Home Kitchen.
Music Break: Budha by ZAMAN 8
Bean-to-Bar in Brooklyn ()
Rick Mast behind the counter at Mast Brothers Chocolate
Rick Mast and his brother Michael Mast make chocolate in their Williamsburg, Brooklyn factory. They source their beans from the Dominican Republic and Madagascar and are one of a handful of bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the U.S.
Currently the Mast Brothers are making a salt and pepper bar made with black pepper and fleur de sel. Find their chocolate in Brooklyn at Marlow and Sons, Stinky Bklyn and Urban Rustic. Outside of the city, find it in Savannah, Lakewood, Colorado, San Francisco and Minneapolis. A complete list is here.
Untempered chocolate aging
Fleur de sel chocolate bars
Watch a video tour of Rick's shop here.
Music Break: California Roll by Kraak & Smaak
Baked in Brooklyn ()
Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Salt and Pepper Cookie
Making the Baked Brownie
The Baked Brownie
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
8 ounces butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsps vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal pan 9x13x2 pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
Configure a large sized double boiler. Place the chocolate, the butter, and the instant espresso powder in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Mixture should be room temperature.
Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (DO NOT USE A WHISK) fold the dry into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with your spatula. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotate the pan half-way through baking) and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.
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