Throwback Thursday – 2022 New York City Winter Restaurant Week – Part 1

We had a productive winter so far, we ate at several restaurants, most of the time I’ve dined alone because people are still leery of omicron. There were several restaurants where I went off the game plan.

Here is a list of restaurants I have eaten for 2022 NYC Winter Restaurant Week:

  1. Jun Lan Club
  2. David Burke Tavern
  3. IRIS
  4. Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse
  5. Thaimee Love
  6. The Bar Room at the Modern
  7. Taralucci E Vino

In this post, I’ll be writing about the first three restaurants:

Jun Lan Club – 49 West 20th Street New York, NY 10011

The first restaurant I went to was an upscale Chinese restaurant in Flatiron. The place is pretty big and I was seated in what it looks like a huge dining room. I had an early dinner and there were photos taken for all the guests who dined that evening. They promised us a copy of the photos but that was not fulfilled due to “technical difficulties” and it would be nice to have a copy of a photo. Anyways, let’s get to my three-course meal and mocktail. Overall service was great and quick. My server had the bartender make a virgin mojito due to my pregnancy.

Appetizer – I had the edamame dumplings in truffle miso broth. The dumplings were surprising pretty and tasted really good with the truffle miso broth; I devoured the dish. No wonder this appetizer is a customer favorite.

Entree – I was going to the hot & spicy beef but I was persuaded to go with their popular Beijing chicken. I have had Beijing chicken from Brooklyn Chophouse, which I absolutely love so I have high expectations. The dish was presented in a crispy rice bowl. The quantity was definitely less than the portion that I had at Brooklyn Chophouse. The dish came with white rice, which was plenty. I ate half of the dish and the other half I took home. The taste of the dish was pretty good overall and definitely worth ordering for restaurant week.

Dessert: I ordered their creme brulee, which hit the spot after tasting two different savory dishes. The dessert had a berry compote on top which was cleverly presented with one half plain creme brulee and the other creme brulee with berries on top. I smeared the whole berry compote throughout the creme brulee to get that perfect balanced bite of sweetness and tart. The overall dining experience started from savory to savory sweet to sweet, which developed a nice layering palette.

David Burke Tavern – 135 East 62nd Street New York, NY 10065

The second restaurant I went to was a restaurant known for its flexible restaurant week menu. David Burke Tavern located in the Upper East Side reopened on the first day of restaurant week after several months of renovations. It was great to see old friends and staff at the restaurant. The menu was offer a $59 pre-fixe menu, which appears to be pricey for restaurant week, but the menu included the infamous aged filet mignon at no extra cost. My server had the bartender make a virgin drink due to my pregnancy. Service was efficient and accommodating. Now to the food dining experience:

Appetizer – I had the soup of the day. The soup of the day was the butternut squash bisque which was really good especially on a cold winter night.

Entree – Since the prix fixe menu was $59 per person I had to go with the infamous steak, which would cost extra if the original prices for restaurant week still exists. The steak with charred brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes was very comforting and hit the spot. I had to get my steak well done because I was pregnant. I am thankful that there was a sauce to eat with my well done steak. FYI if I was not pregnant I would have had this steak medium to medium rare.

Dessert: I ordered the infamous apple tart which was a warm dish. The tart hit the spot. To get that perfect bite one must consume the flaky tart, caramelized apple with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. The tart had to be consumed quickly because the ice cream was melting.

IRIS – 1740 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

The third restaurant I went to was not on my game plan. My friend and I saw this new restaurant in Midtown Manhattan and we went to check it out. The restaurant is huge and really pretty. The menu is constantly changing by season so the items were ordered for restaurant week is not on their regular menu. Unfortunately I could not drink but they had a menu for Dry January and I had their grapefruit sumac soda, which was not worth the price because it was a small portion. Meanwhile, my friend got a bourbon mixed drink, which was strong for her but was smooth.

Appetizer: We ordered the calamari and the lamb flatbread. Both appetizers were to die for. The calamari was perfectly breaded and crispy. The lamb flatbread encompasses the essence of the restaurant’s theme cuisine – Mediterranean. Unfortunately the current menu only has the lamb flatbread, no calamari.

Entree: We ordered the branzino and the short ribs. Both entrees were to die for. Unfortunately the short rib entree not on their current menu. The branzino filet is on their lunch menu.

Dessert: We both ordered the baklava. The menu had baklava with homemade bourbon ice cream. Since I was pregnant the chef personally made me a greek yogurt ice cream. The dessert was amazing. The baklava was clearly homemade. I want to try the bourbon ice cream once I return from maternity leave, but now I’m unsure if this dessert is still on the menu.

Stay tuned next week where I’ll be writing about the remaining four restaurants visited and my dining experience.

NYC Winter Restaurant Week 2022 Game Plan

NYC Restaurant Week began 30 years ago with 95 participating restaurants in 1992 to approximately over 500 restaurants in 2022.  This season’s restaurant week begins on 01/18/22 thru 02/13/22. The price points this time are $29 lunch, $29 dinner, $39 lunch, $39 dinner and $59 dinner. Mastercard is also a sponsor so if you have a Mastercard, you can register your credit card to get $10 credit back into your statement for purchases over $39 and you can purchase up to 10 meals; so in essence you’ll really paying $29 for an order, which is a pretty good deal. Some of the higher end restaurants or even the consistently participating restaurants have increased their price to $59.

NYC Restaurant Week has resumed the experience of indoor and outdoor dining throughout the five boroughs in the summer of 2021. I only ate at three restaurants because I was leery about the Delta variant and plus I am pregnant so travel has been limited due to the symptom called fatigue. Anyways, the three restaurants I ate during the summer are also participating in this season’s restaurant week.

La Sirene – 558 Broome Street

The first restaurant I ate was a French bistro spot in Soho. I went solo and I informed the staff I was pregnant. The server accommodated me because management was pissed that I didn’t order wine. Well if I was not expecting that would be a different story. In addition, the restaurant was only accepting cash or Mastercard. Anyways, the food portions of my three course meal was very generous and it was worth the $39. Here’s what I ordered:

Appetizer: Ravioles de Royan au Comté – Sensual little French Ravioli stuffed with Comte cheese in Truffle Cream Sauce

The Ravioles were to die for and no wonder why it’s considered a rare find. The dish itself was beautifully presented fresh and hot. The Comte cheese and the truffle cream sauce was so comforting, that I would return to just have this dish again.

Entree: Coquelet rôti au Jus – Roasted Cornish Hen “Au Jus”, cooked À La Minute

The Cornish Hen entree was huge and it came with four different vegetables which tasted amazing. I ate half of the hen and took the other half of the hen home along with half the of the vegetables too. Another plus, this dish is also gluten free.

Dessert: Mini profiteroles

For dessert, I had to settle with the mini profiteroles. The dish came with two profiteroles doused with dark chocolate. The dish was rich and it tasted so good. I devoured that dish.

Guess what, La Sirene is also participating in this season’s restaurant week and all three dishes mentioned above are included in their restaurant week menu except their three-course meal for dinner has gone up to $59. But if you register and use your MasterCard, you can get a $10 credit for your meal.

Almond Flatiron – 12 East 22nd Street

The second restaurant I went to was an American Bistro restaurant with a French fare. I met up with a friend of mine for dinner. My friend ordered the Moroccan lamb meatballs and I ordered the buffalo cauliflower. The cauliflower dish was a bit on the spicy side, but it was still delicious. For the entree, my friend got the roast chicken which was huge that she took it to go and I ordered the fennel agnolotti, which was to die for. For dessert, I ordered the lemon tart and my friend got the sticky toffee cake, my phone died so I didn’t take the photos. The lemon tart was my least favorite of the three courses and the sticky toffee cake was obviously the better of the two.

Appetizer: Buffalo Cauliflower
Entree: Fennel Agnolotti

Almond is also participating in this season’s restaurant week and all three dishes mentioned above are included in their restaurant week menu, which is still $39. But if you register and use your MasterCard, you can get a $10 credit for your meal.

Il Cortile – 125 Mulberry Street

The final restaurant I went to is in Little Italy. My friend and I met up in this beautifully decorated restaurant. Service was quick and accommodating because of my situation. I ordered the baked clams which was disappointing due to the portion I was provided. My friend got the fried calamari, which was impressively delicious. For the main entree I went with the Pepite di Gnocchi which was to die for and my friend got the Capellini Special, which tasted good, but she loved the gnocchi I ordered. For dessert, we settled with the pistachio cheesecake, which was our least favorite.

Appetizer: Baked Clams
Entree: Pepite di Gnocchi
Dessert: Pistachio Cheesecake

Il Cortile is also participating in this season’s restaurant week and the appetizers and entrees dishes mentioned above are included in their restaurant week menu except their three-course meal for dinner has gone up to $59. But if you register and use your MasterCard, you can get a $10 credit for your meal. Personally for this season’s restaurant week, I’d go with the lunch option, which is two courses for $39 and you can still get your $10 credit for your meal.

During my review of 151 menus, which is based on the menu availability and whether they are participating in Mastercard promotion, below is a list of restaurants grouped by meal and number of people that is worth exploring:

Lunch for 1: Altesi Ristorante, Chazz Palminteri Italian, City Winery, Empire Steak House, Mark Joseph Steakhouse, Morton’s The Steakhouse – Manhattan, Motel Morris, Nice Matin, Pasta Louise Restaurant, Quality Eats – Upper East Side, and Rosa Mexicano

Dinner for 1: Bar Boulud, BLT Prime, BLT Steak, Hangawi, Jue Lan Club, Lafayette, Marseille, Morton’s The Steakhouse – Manhattan and World Trade Center, Noreetuh, Russian Tea Room, Sofrito on the Hudson, STK (Downtown and Midtown), Tarallucci e Vino (East Village and NoMad), Thaimee Love, and Tuscan Hills,

Lunch for 2: Bluebird London, Il Mulino Uptown, Il Mulino Soho, Il Cortile, Longo Bros., Russian Tea Room, Safari, and Sant Ambroeus

Dinner for 2: Almond, Archer & Goat, Beauty and Essex, Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse, Copinette, Fine and Rare, Guantanamera Restaurant, Kyma, La Loteria, La Sirene (Soho), Mark Joseph Steakhouse, Masseria del Vini, Pig & Khao, Quality Eats – Upper East Side, Safari, Sant Ambroeus, SenYa, Sonnyboy, and Yakiniku Futago

Lunch for 3: Almond (Brunch), Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse, Jue Lan Club, Kyma, and Queensyard,

Dinner for 3: Catch NYC, Chazz Palminteri Italian, Dos Caminos, Flatiron Room, Gentle Perch, Havana Central, La Masseria, The Leroy House, Quality Eats – West Village, and The Woo

Lunch for 4: Ammos Estiatorio, Bar Marseille, Miznon – Chelsea, and Miznon – Hudson Yards,

Dinner for 4: Alice, Danji, Maison Pickle, Meet the Meat, Osteria 57, and Tribeca Grill,

Lunch for 5: Amali, La Sirene (UWS), and Montebello Restaurant

Dinner for 5: Amali, Ammos Estiatorio, Casa Brazilian, David Burke Tavern, Jacob’s Pickles, Montebello Restaurant, Philippe by Phillippe Chow, Philippe by Philippe Chow Downtown, and UN Plaza Grill

Stay tuned and follow me on Instagram: @tablespoonsandteaspoons.

Sunday Game Plan – Starting over 2022

Happy New Year! We are nine days into the new year and 2021 was a year of reflection and life changing moments. I’ve been active on Yelp and Seated writing restaurant reviews and hitting up Michelin rated restaurants. But this is a New Year and I want to provide content that focused on my mission of why I started this blog. Therefore, I am working on developing more social media content and supporting businesses and products that help create that perfect dish.

So to start, I have drafted a plan to get through this week partly because I am running out of space in refrigerator, freezer and pantry because I tend to go on a grocery shopping spree.

Throughout the week, I’ll be posting more content on Instagram (tablespoonsandteaspoons). My goal for the week is to clean out my freezer and pantry. So here are the following dishes that I aim to recreate to get back on the horse.

  • Cappello’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi with butter
  • Cappello’s Spinach Ravioli with asparagus
  • Lentil Penne with jackfruit meatballs topped with Fody’s sauce
  • Slow cooked Chicken Gnocchi Soup
  • Cauliflower burgers
  • Tuna burgers

I’ll be posting on my Instagram account so stay tuned.

Throwback Thursday New York City Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week has returned to New York City! But…it’s for takeout and delivery only so it’s now named

NYC RESTAURANT WEEK TO GO

NYC Restaurant Week is back and it started three days ago on 01/25/2021. This annual event started almost 30 years ago can you believe it?! NYC restaurant week started with 95 participating restaurants in 1992 to approximately over 500 restaurants in 2021.  This time around, all five boroughs are joining in on this opportunity to promote budget friendly meals to boost their businesses during this ongoing, unprecedented times.  All restaurant week dishes are being sold for only $20.21. In addition, another awesome perk is the premier sponsor for this year’s restaurant week is Mastercard. If you have a Mastercard, you can register your credit card to get $10 credit back into your statement for purchases over $20.21 and you can purchase up to meals; so in essence you’ll really paying $10.21 for an order, which is unheard of.

The website was updated very late on 01/24/2021 and after briskly reviewing over 500 menus or restaurant week to go offer(s) from each participating restaurant, there were definitely hits and misses from many restaurants that continued to participate in the past. What I discovered overall that the best offers were items related to omakases and steak dishes. Given the promotion ends on Sunday 01/31/2021 for most restaurants, some restaurants may extend their promotion until next Sunday 02/07/2021. With the short time I’ve had, I have only eaten at one restaurant to date, which is Adrienne’s Pizza Bar. For $22 that includes tax, I got a huge arugula salad and a 1/2 square of the old fashioned pie. I posted a picture of this huge lunch meal on my Instagram @tablespoonsandteaspoons.

During my review of over 500 menus I have come up with a very short wish list of places that is worth trying based on cost on a regular day of dining.

Angelo Pizza: Grilled Salmon with vegetables and fried calamari with garlic and oil.

Barbounia: Short Rib & Hummus or Branzino & Hummus

Bistrot Leo: Steak Frites with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

BLT Prime or BLT Steak: 14oz Strip steak with Fries

Khe-Yo – Crispy Chili Bell & Evans Chicken over Jasmine Rice with side of crispy brussels sprouts.

Tsuro Ton Tan (Union Square) – Omakase set—a full-size order of udon (choice of beef, chicken or spicy tan tan), and eight pieces of nigiri with a chef’s choice roll

With 4 days left, here’s a list of places I definitely would love to check out. Stay tuned and follow me on Instagram: @tablespoonsandteaspoons.

Flashback Friday – Calle Dao

Happy 2021! It’s been an interesting and unprecedented 2020 with the pandemic that turned the planet upside down. We are very grateful to be alive, healthy and employed *knock on wood*. One of major changes that took place in 2020 was the shutdown of business especially restaurant and food industries. Many famous restaurants, mom and pop restaurants and even landmark restaurants closed down permanently because their businesses suffered tremendous loss due to the restrictions that were set in place in order to keep people safe.

Prior to the pandemic and shutdown, my friend recommended an emerging restaurant chain somewhat that specializes in Cuban Chinese Cuisine. The restaurant is called Calle Dao. There are two locations one in Chelsea and the other in Bryant Park. They have a sister restaurant called Favela Cubana. They had happy hour until 7pm for discounted drinks and food. My friend and I have only been to the Bryant Park location because it was convenient especially during this pandemic. We came on a Monday evening during the summer and early this week for outdoor dining. The first time the outdoor dining setup in the summer was an open space. Recently, the restaurant revamped their outdoor dining space by building adding walls all round and heaters above every table. The new setup was very cozy, warm and toasty. We had the same server, his name was Marvin. Marvin was very nice, friendly, accommodating and generous. More importantly due to increased expenses incurred during the restaurant’s 10 day closure to set up outdoor dining for the winter, an 8% COVID surcharge was now added to the check. The COVID surcharge was implemented by NYC around October to help restaurants sustain themselves. Anyways, let’s get to the food and drink:

Tostones – great deal for a solo meal and definitely meant for sharing.

Shiitake Spring Rolls – pricey for the portion, but a great option for vegetarians.

Crispy Wings – another great deal but it is definitely sticky and messy.

Sangria – a must have here and highly recommended; they also have the option for a white sangria. FYI red wine is more health benefits than white.

Prosecco – a great alternative if you want to go light on the alcohol

In addition to happy hour bites and drinks, we also ordered additional food, which appeared to be pricey, but deceivingly large that we ate half and took the other half home. Both dishes tasted amazing and it’s low carb.

We will definitely return to explore our happy hour deals at all three locations and definitely try their brunch menu. This restaurant is worth trying especially if you want to experience Cuban Chinese cuisine.

Cheers to 2021!!

Traditional Tuesday – Carbonara

Ten years ago I have had the privilege of traveling to Italy for vacation. At time the Euro was stronger than the dollar so most things were pricey. Throughout my time there, I was approached as being “giapponese” which means Japanese. I went to Rome, Florence, Umbria, Vatican City and Pisa. We went to many churches, most of them were labelled as minor basilicas. We attended many masses unintentionally, maybe it was a blessing. A lot of people spoke English but they don’t want to speak English, so I spent time during my 9 hour flight there learning the basics and if I can’t speak it in Italian, I spoke Spanish. We hit the major tourist spots such as the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square, Duomo, Tower of Pisa and Spanish Steps.

Now to the food, I have the privilege of tasting authentic Italian cuisine and wine throughout the trip. Given the cost of food, I resorted to what the Italian’s call “the poor man’s food” – Spaghetti Carbonara.

What is Spaghetti Carbonara?

Carbonara is a dish that consists of eggs, spaghetti (any pasta), cheese and leftover pancetta, guanciale or bacon. This dish was invented by a chef from Bologna, Italy named Renato Gualandi in 1944 just approximately at the end of World War II. During this time access to food and resources were very limited and he had a banquet to prepare for. Therefore, “he concocted a sauce for spaghetti made of bacon, cream, processed cheese and dried egg yolk, topped with a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper”.

During quarantine I’ve been creating dishes with the food that we have. I had leftover bacon along with onions, cheese, eggs and pasta so I made carbonara. I searched for authentic recipes and I came across the simple recipe from Lidia Bastianich and I almost followed it to the “T”. So here is what I did:

Ingredients set up: bacon, onions, whole grain spaghetti, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, two eggs (yolks were used), salt and pepper.
1) Boil water 2) Chop bacon and cook it over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes.
Push the bacon to the side and add the chopped onions. Cook the onions for five minutes.
As the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Combine the bacon and onions. Ladle 2-4 cups of pasta water (depending on serving size) to the bacon and onions.
Bring it to a boil and reduce.
Whisk egg yolks and add 1/2 cup of hot pasta water.
After the pasta is cooked add it to the bacon and onion mixture. Combine until well mixed.
Remove from heat and immediately add in the egg yolks. Stir until it’s creamy.
Add parmesan cheese and toss.
Serve immediately!!

Recently, I came across a recipe that was a low carb and even keto friendly from Food & Wine called: Asparagus Carbonara. There are so many health benefit to consuming asparagus. Asparagus contain antioxidants, which prevents inflammation, improve the immune system, remove excess water from the body. They treat ulcers, kidney stones, and depression. They also lower sugar levels, prevent wrinkles and breakouts, maintain skin elasticity and improve reproductive health. So, here is what I did with this recipe provided by Melissa Clark from Food & Wine magazine.

Heat skillet and cook chopped bacon for approximately 4-5 minutes.
Add asparagus and two tablespoons of water. Cook for 2-4 minutes.
Remove from the heat immediately and add the egg yolks with butter. Note: Pan was still hot and the egg yolks started to cook.
After the butter is melted, add in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
Toss and serve immediately!!

For the last 75 plus years, carbonara has become a staple dish in Roman Italian cuisine. The dish is easy to make and it does not break the bank, therefore it is budget friendly. I am happy to be finally posting and blessed to do it on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Cheers! Enjoy! God Bless you all!

Return to work game plan

After 3.5 months of mostly working from home, I am officially returning to work on-site full time. This is going to be interesting. I have lots of reservations about taking the bus and subway once again despite reports that it’s immaculately clean. This is a four day week, so we have options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I absolutely did not prep anything, however, this week, I am going to finish my leftovers: Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding that I froze because I made surplus of it. I am also defrosting my homemade Beef Broth, shrimp and pork chops. I have lots of carbs including English muffins, whole wheat bread and rice along with eggs, cheese wraps, chicken sausage, garlic, ginger, lemon, tomato paste and mushroom stock. We also have pantry items like pasta sauces, sardines, canned tomatoes, pasta and chips.

This week I am going to tackle the freezer, which is filled with a bunch of frozen foods, making egg breakfast dishes and building my immune system as I will be hydrating myself to last 10 hours wearing a N-95 mask.

Stay tuned as I try to post this week’s meals on Instagram: tablespoonsandteaspoons.

Stay healthy, stay safe and stay happy.

Traditional Tuesday – Bread Pudding

Over the weekend, I decided to clean out the bulk of my refrigerator. What I came across were the following: Whole Wheat Bread, Mushrooms, Eggs, Milk, Thyme, Cream of Mushroom soup and White Cheddar Cheese. So it’s Sunday morning and I don’t want to waste food so I decided to create a family style portion of this comforting, hearty dish, which can also serve as a perfect potluck dish.

What is bread pudding?

Bread pudding is a dish that comprises of layering pieces of bread with a bunch of ingredients and mixing it with egg cream mixture prior to baking the concoction.

Where did bread pudding originate?

There are various version of where bread pudding originated from. The concept of this comforting dish came from the idea of utilizing leftovers while not wasting food. After reading the versions, I personally came to the conclusion that the bread pudding originated from the Egyptians. The Egyptians call their dish “Om Ali”, a dessert containing bread, milk or cream, almonds, and raisins. The Romans also created their version using stale bread, milk, fat and sweetener. In the Middle East, they create their own version called “Eish es Serny” which contains dried bread, sugar, honey syrup, rosewater and caramel. Currently, there is an Indian dish called “Shahi Tukra”, which is made from bread, ghee, saffron, sugar, rosewater and almonds. Of course, the real geniuses behind this comforting dessert do not get the proper recognition for creating bread pudding.

Now let’s get into on what food history has addressed the origins of bread pudding. Historians have stated that bread pudding originated in the Middle Ages with the invention of custard. By the 13th century the dish was labelled as a “poor man’s pudding” because it was made from leftover bread and was consumed by the lower classes. By the 18th century, the dish was served to people who were sick because the bread was easy to digest.

Over the last few centuries bread pudding has evolved to become a versatile dish where it can be made sweet, which popular in most high end restaurants (found in desserts) and savory.

A year ago during NYC restaurant week I had the privilege to eat the the Australian restaurant “Burke and Wills” located in the Upper West Side, which permanently closed early this year. They served an amazing dessert that was part of their three course prix fixe called “Bread and Butter Pudding” which was made with bread, toffee sauce, marscapone, and hazelnut.

Burke and Wills “Butter and Bread Pudding”

Over the weekend, I purged the refrigerator by utilizing all of the Whole Wheat Bread, Mushrooms, Eggs, Milk, Thyme, Cream of Mushroom soup and White Cheddar Cheese to made a Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding .

The dish came out almost perfect because I used what I had leftover so this version had an unequal ratio. There was way more bread than there was mushroom and cheese. The cream of mushroom soup and thyme saved the day because the flavor of the dish was on point. In addition this dish serves six people and after consuming a third of what would be considered one slice was already filling. I had a lot of fun making this dish and would like to explore different variation of creating bread pudding. I definitely want to explore creating a different version that is gluten and dairy free.

“COVID-19” Game Plan Week 4

It’s been almost a month since the lockdown due to this ongoing pandemic spread. The previous game plan was posted over two weeks ago. Good news was that most of the stuff listed in the ingredients section of the game plan lasted over two weeks which was why there was no game plan for Week 3.

I am slowly eating out again to fulfill my food cravings but most of time I am behind the kitchen experimenting with the food I have.

Below are the images I posted on Instagram: tablespoonsandteaspoons.

Moving forward to the present and the rest of the week here’s my game plan for the upcoming week(s). This week is going to be different because I decided to venture into the meal prep kit from Sunbasket and even support local businesses in the area.

Stay turned for posts on Instagram at tablespoonsandteaspoons.

If you are interested in trying a meal kit from Sunbasket you will get $35-$40 of your first order by clicking on the link below: https://sunbasket.com/invite/Christina3035165

Thank you Yoga Club for the connection. If you’re interested in getting an amazing wardrobe for workouts delivered to your front door, click on the link below: https://refer.yogaclub.com/ChristinaP17

Wine Wednesday – Beef Bourguignon COVID-19 style

Week three of COVID-19 began with a stay at home Easter meal for two which leftovers lasted for two days.

I spent hours and days reading various recipes about the French classic Beef Bourguignon. My father introduced me to this dish when I was a child and regretted not staying by his side taking mental notes on how to cook this dish.

Anyways, back to the history and origin of Beef Bourguignon. This French class dish originated from Bourgogne a regional section in Burgundy, France. Beef Bourguignon is a rich slow cooked dish made with beef braised in red wine with carrots, mushrooms, garlic, onions, parsley, bay leaf and thyme.

Beef Bourguignon was originally considered a meal for peasants during the Middle Ages. It was economically friendly, filling and perfect to feed a crowd. The meat used was the once that were not consumed by high class groups e.g. royalty. The dish initially took two days to cook as the longer the cook, the more flavorful the dish will be and the meat will be more tender.

The first recipe was published in the beginning of the 20th century. Chef Auguste Escoffier labelled as the “grandfather of classical French cuisine”. This chef presented this provincial peasant dish to a high society group. As a result this dish became a overnight success where it is now served in fine dining restaurants in Paris, London and New York. Beef Bourguignon was labelled a national dish in France and in 1961, Julia Child introduced this dish which made her famous to America.

There were some subtle differences between Chef Auguste Escoffier’s 1903 recipe and Julia Child’s 1961 recipe. First, Chef Escoffier used whole beef and it would take two days to make the dish while Chef Child’s recipe used diced or cubed beef. Chef Child also used bacon fat and dried each piece of of meat prior to searing in the pan.

Well, guess what, I combined the two recipes without mushrooms and committed the cardinal sin by cutting a rib roast into think half in slices instead of cubes.

Well to start I used healthy ingredients such as beef, garlic, onions, carrots, tomato paste, red wine and homemade beef broth using the bones of the rib roast and onions. The broth tooks 18-24 hours to make.

Working with the ingredients that available, I made a very modified version with no mushrooms.