A few weeks ago I went to City Grit’s “Feeding the Dragon” dinner. Sarah Simmons cooked an amazing tasting menu based on brother and sister team Nate and Mary Kate Tate’s new cookbook “Feeding the Dragon”. I enjoyed it so much I even ate tofu, and I hate tofu with a passion.
In addition to a delicious meal I got a copy of the cookbook, which chronicles Mary Kate and Nate’s travels through China and recreates recipes that they got from the locals. You get pulled in and inspired by their travel tales, and more importantly they make you hungry. I started snacking on some of the already cooked ingredients in the Chicken and Mushroom Congee I made tonight as I read about their first meal in Hong Kong because it was making me very peckish.
As authentic as the recipes are, you don’t need to have any previous experience cooking Chinese food or hunt down crazy ingredients. Although I think that Chinatown has some of the freshest seafood in the city so I recommend exploring the next time you have an afternoon for shopping.
By the way, the congee was delicious and I am looking forward to leftovers – with a spoon.
I went to New Amsterdam Market this afternoon to grab a late lunch. NAM always has classic stand-bys like Luke’s Lobster, and Dickinson Farmstand Meats. And if you’re in the mood for something else Fulton Stall Market is across the street with other choices.
Today there were some new vendors and I was having trouble deciding what I wanted. So I said fuck moderation and decided that if it was a new vendor I would try it.
I cleansed my palate with a Lime Soda from P&H Soda before hitting the stands. I had missed out on Mighty Quinn’s (girl needed her beauty sleep) so I started with National Crab’s crab slider. It was good. The crab meat was fresh and the tomato was ripe. The gentleman in front of me asked if there was salt and the response was that they didn’t want salt to get in the way of the taste of the crab. Their instinct was right, you never want to cover up the taste of fresh seafood. But the reason salt and butter substitutes exist is because even people on a diet know that food tastes better when it’s seasoned. Seasoning is a complement to good food not a cover up. I decided to trust the guys running the show and ate the crab slider as prepared. And it was good, but with a little salt it would have been delish. And yes they had Old Bay, but that should have been in the crab cake to begin with.
Next up was I8NY – who doesn’t love a BLT? If you don’t, you are wrong. Again, fresh and ingredients and made on the spot – just one reason why NAM vendors rock. I8NY should have more confidence in their meat and also call their BLT what it is – a pork belly sandwich. The horseradish sauce and tomato marmalade were totally yummy, but overwhelmed the pork belly. Actual bacon would have stood up to the other flavors and added texture to the sandwich.
I was only pretty full and not overstuffed so I decided to finish off the afternoon with a classic grilled cheese from Morris Truck. I took it to go so I could enjoy while watching “Tough Love” and “Why Am I Still Single” on VH1 – because I’m not leading a sad lonely life. I walked through FSM on my way home and Sour Puss Pickles caught my eye with their brine spiked lemonade. If you like your lemonade sweet don’t try this. I love my lemonade tart and this stuff packed an extra punch.
I can’t complain about anything I had to eat or drink today, it was all good.