Friday, May 15, 2009

All the Hype about Marlow and Sons...

by Rebekah Peppler
All the hype Marlow and Sons has been receiving these past few months is one reason to visit the Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based gourmet store-cum-restaurant. The other is their amazingly honest, down-to-earth food, which changes according to season and the availability from local producers.The oysters are guaranteed to be fresh and briny, plucked straight from icy east coast waters and at $2.75 each, they’re worth every slurping mouthful. The menu includes ever-rotating-with-the-seasons crostini, soup, salad, panini, pasta, brick chicken, and fish, as well as a well-edited selection of cheeses and cured meats.

One of the most satisfying dishes during a past visit was a creamy, locally-made Salvatore Bklyn Ricotta crostini, drizzled with honey, thyme and mint, and topped with a generous dollop of poached rhubarb.

And, while the service is a gamble, dessert is a sure fire hit - the words "chocolate-caramel tart" are all that are needed to get a decadently rich, sea-salt enhanced slice of heaven. One of the best ways I've found to end a night out.

81 Broadway
Williamsburg Brooklyn 11211
(718) 384-1441
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Doin’ the Charleston

by Anthony Ramos
I love New York, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I just need to escape the city. So, I made plans to go to Charleston, SC – a place I’ve been wanting to visit for many years after listening to natives speak so lovingly about their home. I was ready to explore the city and most importantly dine on low country cuisine.We arrived in the afternoon and we parked ourselves at Pearlz Oyster Bar on East Bay Street and sampled oysters while drinking cold martinis. Sitting at the front bar, we were perfectly perched to enjoy the parade of Charlestonians and tourists alike as they passed by. The oysters were silky, briny, salty and fresh. The addition of a little mignonette or cocktail sauce complemented the plump treats.

I’m always open to recommendations so when a local suggested Jestine's Kitchen – a quirky unpretentious restaurant on Meeting Street - I rushed over. It serves the kind of comfort food you would expect in the South; crispy fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, collard greens, and more. I just couldn’t pass up these favorites and finished my soulful dinner with a peach and berry cobbler... delicious!
But I really wasn’t going to be satisfied until I had shrimp and grits, and I was lucky to enjoy them at Virginia’s on King. The shrimp sat atop creamy grits mixed with smoky sausage. I savored every bite and daydreamed about making the same dish back home with my own variation on the theme.

Low country cuisine well suits the laid back gentility of this city where the air is perfumed with the scent of delicate jasmine flowers. The architecture and lush gardens are a wonderful canvas for any visitor to enjoy while dining or walking off a grand meal. We spent languid days shopping, eating and sightseeing. Tall palmettos swayed in the breeze and mornings were spent on the loggia with freshly brewed coffee and toasted sweet black bread.

We were lucky to spend our downtime at the Joseph Aiken Mansion and sleep in one of the oversized bedrooms in “the big house”. Built in the Greek Revival style in the late 1840's the stately mansion took us back to a time when proper manners and good family names were de rigeur.

My memories of Charleston and its food will linger with me like the sweet scent of jasmine hanging on the breeze.
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What Seasons Tastes Like

by Andrea Scalici

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall Seasonal Eating...  

What tastes like Spring
Vegetables like artichoke, spinach, kale, watercress, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, new potatoes, onion, rhubarb, bamboo shoots and asparagus, garnished with bountiful parsley. A great drink to enjoy outside, mojitos are back with fresh mint to wash down that big bowl of guacamole. We can also enjoy the beginnings of fruit harvests for strawberries, great to replace the end of blood oranges. On the protein side of things, nothing says Easter like Spring Lamb but it’s also great to fire up the pot for the last of the mussels or the incoming crabs. Now is also the time to experiment with grouse, and hare, or maybe some salty sardines.

Summer Grilling
The fresh produce really explodes onto the scene from June to August with all the varieties of crisp beans, sweet Summer peas, buttery chanterelles, and earthy eggplant, peppers, Swiss chard and turnips. Accompanying dinner every night can be a bright salad of lettuce or arugula, cucumbers and tomatoes, all ingredient at their peak to refresh us in these hot months. My favorite fruits find the stands again, like sweet and tart cherries, juicy nectarines, exotic mangos, dark plums, cool melons, and all the brightly flavored berries hitting their strides. And of course, it wouldn’t be summer without corn on the cob! Pair it all up with lamb chops, salmon, soft shall crabs, bass, trout, tuna, John Dory, or late summer lobster on the grill. Or make a Southern-style dish of crayfish and orka. Don’t forget to serve everything with fragrant and colorful basil, a staple in the summertime.

Autumn Beauty
In that time when the leaves are changing and the sun seems to be golden all day with the light of dusk, we can start to see the change in our dinner plates too. Fall tastes like pumpkin for sure, but also like chestnut, fig, sweet potato, squash, beet, mushroom, and apples, pears, and cranberries. Fall also brings back the months with R's in them which means oyster season (and clams)! If that weren’t enough, big game hunting goes into full swing, with deer, elk and moose in the spotlight.

Cozy Winter Warmers
I know for me, the only thing that can warm my weary winter bones is comfort food, slow cooked with rich flavors, like stews featuring seasonal carrot, turnip, daikon, parsnip and rutabaga. Other great sides to a nice roast may be brussels sprouts sautéed with shallots, braised red cabbage, beetroot, sunchoke, or potato leek soup. This is also the time of year for great citrus and winter pears. Duck and goose are the tradition winter players on the main stage with great seafood options like sea bass, scallops, Pacific yellowtail, Pacific cod, halibut, monkfish, skate, mussels and the wondrous treat that is Stone Crab.

But for now, we can put the cold weather behind us and those ingredients on a shelf, and get outside to buy vibrant fruits and vegetables to last us all season long. Nothing tastes more like Spring than fresh produce.

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FeedBack to F.C.I from Y.O.U

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"A Day with Andy & Eggs"

by Zach Field

Pop Art is arguably one of the most revolutionary art movements of the twentieth century. Aiming to deflate and re-establish a societal order that had begun to sink in to lethargy, the work the leaders of this school
were able to generate were greeted, initially, with great aversion and their paintings seen as a malign to the medium. Andy Warhol was among these few who spent the majority of his life as an artist with his creativity and integrity in constant question. His art was absurd and the materials he juxtaposed were rarely harmonious to the layman’s eye. In time, Warhol’s work began to gain recognition. The everyday objects he was able to graft together were granted admission as art and his carouse of the mundane was lauded and much looked after. Like most of his great contemporaries, Andy Warhol understood the essence of creativity. He knew how to make light of the world around him and masterpieces by celebrating the daily subjects that surrounded him. In one quick brush stroke the ordinary was exalted and everyday items, like the Campbell soup can, brought to life, and copied in color creating work our culture now recognizes as iconic.

Similarly, a good chef understands that the purest dishes are derived from the simplest ingredients. Using a product as commonplace as an egg, it seemed only appropriate to tackle this project with the abstract idea of making sense of the two; correlating a connection between the importance of surprise and whimsy in both art, and food. One needn’t be rapt in the works of Warhol; the Pop movement didn’t lend itself to that the way The Ashcan School, or even Fauvism did. A large body of Andy Warhol’s work was product oriented, the way my menu was solely product driven. As a chef, and a person, I am interested in the irreverent and preternatural connection between art and nostalgia, the pallet and the mind. The egg is one of the most basic and widely know types of food, and sources of protein, on the planet. It is bold, elegant and perfect in design both inside and out. We all have our own associations of what it is (Easy? Boring? Comfort food?) And it’s those exact archetypes I’m looking to address and eradicate in my dishes. Each course is egg based and in addition to delighting the diner, I want to encourage them to try new things—or rather, to see old thing in a light that’s new. To be open to the kinds of food their parents never served them. It’s about enticing someone with the familiar and leaving them sated and content for having experienced something new.

I like plates that toy with texture and whatever existing ideas you may have about the dishes ingredients. I also like a beverage that enhances those very playful textures and completes the journey, the alchemy, that only a well made meal can incite. Take the Curried Egg Salad for example; I felt with all that is taking place with the flavors of the dish, why no finish things off with a nice 2003 NEETHLINGSHOF GEWüRZTRAMINER, from South Africa; a spicy wine with off dry flavors and zesty finish.

People have very different ideas about what eggs represent in their minds, our kitchens, and our collective culture as a whole. Often times Eggs aren’t even acknowledged after 9a.m. If I am able to incorporate my given product in to an entire menu while I educate, entertain, and gratify my diner, I’ve done my job as a chef.
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Ricotta & Chive Scrambled Eggs

Yield: Makes 8 servings


16 large eggs

3 oz chopped fresh chives

2 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse kosher

salt to taste

4 oz butter

2 cup fresh ricotta cheese*

16 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick slices whole

grain bread or 8 whole grain baguette

slices, lightly toasted and buttered


Whole chives (optional)

1 cantaloupe melon

1 box fresh blueberries

1 box fresh strawberry


Whisk eggs, chopped chives, and 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel in medium bowl until well blended. Melt butter in heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. When foam subsides, add eggs and stir with heatproof silicone spatula until eggs are almost cooked but still runny in parts, tilting skillet and stirring with spatula to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add ricotta and stir just until incorporated but clumps of cheese are still visible. Arrange 2 toasts or 4 baguette slices on each of 2 plates. Spoon scrambled eggs atop toasts. Sprinkle with more fleur de sel and pepper. Garnish with whole chives, if desired.

Fruit/Melon Salad: Arrange sliced strawberry’s and blueberries with a wedge of Cantelope at the top of the plate.

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Curried Egg Salad w/Grilled Asparagus

Yield: Makes 8 servings

Note: Use any type of onion you like here, I've done this version of egg salad using yellow, white, and in this version I had a tiny red one on hand, so I grabbed for that.

10 good quality eggs
12 oz teaspoons curry powder (your favorite)
6 oz tablespoons plain yogurt
salt to taste
2 small onion, chopped
2 medium apple, chopped
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 small bunch of chives, minced
2 pounds fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces shaved parmigiano reggiano
1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch of concord

First off, you need to boil the eggs properly (the key to good egg salad!). Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking and place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking.

While the eggs are boiling and cooling, combine the yogurt, curry powder and salt in a tiny bowl. Set aside.

Crack and peel each egg, and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the curried yogurt, onions, apple, pecans, and chives. Now mash with a fork. Don't overdo it, you want the egg mixture to have some texture. If you need to add a bit more plain yogurt to moisten up the mixture a bit, go for it a bit at a time. taste and add more salt if needed. Enjoy as-is, or served wrapped in lettuce.

Preheat grill for high heat. Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or to desired tenderness sprinkle parmigiano over top with sliced lemon

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Korean Style Steak and Eggs

Yield: Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)*
4 tablespoons finely grated cored peeled Granny Smith
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion (white and
pale green parts)
2 tablespoon (scant) Korean hot pepper paste
2 tablespoon (scant) minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
3 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
7-8 -ounce pieces skirt steak
Kimchi rice:
4 cups water
2 cup sushi rice (or other short-grain rice)
2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
3 cups Napa cabbage kimchi, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
8 quail eggs
Chopped green onions

How to find it:
Korean hot pepper paste (gochu jang or kochujang) is made with pureed fermented soybeans (miso) and hot chiles. Kimchi is a spicy and pungent fermented vegetable mixture; this recipe calls for the version made with Napa cabbage. Both can be found at Korean markets and online at

Whisk first 10 ingredients in bowl. Add steaks. Cover; chill overnight.

For Kimchi rice:
Bring 2 cups water to boil in small saucepan. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt. Return to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until water is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill steaks until slightly charred but still pink in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add kimchi and vinegar. Stir until heated. Fold in rice.

Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Heat 1-teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into skillet, being careful not to break yolk. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until whites are set, about 3 minutes. Divide kimchi rice among 8 plates. Slice steaks thinly across grain; arrange over rice. Top each with egg; sprinkle with green onions and serve.
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Chocolate Eggnog & Fig

Yield: 8


8 eggs

3 cups chocolate milk

2 cups milk

1 cup cream

1 cup Kahlua liqueur (or delicious, freshly

brewed strong coffee)

1 cup dark rum

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground

pinch cinnamon, ground (as garnish)

pinch chocolate, grated (as garnish)


In a large saucepan over a medium heat, pour the milk and chocolate milk. Heat the milks, but DO NOT BOIL. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and brown sugar until they are well combined and of a reasonably thick consistency.

When the milk mixture is hot (but not boiling!), add approximately half of it to the bowl containing the beaten eggs and brown sugar. Whisk well. Pour all of the egg, sugar & milk mixture back into the large saucepan. Reduce heat to low.

Slowly and gently, add in the Kahlua liqueur/ coffee, and then the cream. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened enough to be able to coat the back of a spoon. Remember not to ever allow the mixture to boil. Remove the eggnog from the low heat. Stir in the dark rum, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (at least 3 hours).

To serve, ladle the eggnog into individual glasses, and garnish with a little grated chocolate or ground cinnamon.

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