Throwback Thursday – Woodpecker by David Burke

Happy Thursday and I’m happy to share with you my recent experience at Woodpecker by David Burke in New York City. Woodpecker by David Burke is a communal neighborhood spot different from the fine dining scene the chef is known for. The restaurant has a one page menu that features Chef David Burke’s classics such as the “Bacon clothesline”, Pastrami Salmon, Kale & Romaine Caesar, and his patented 40 day Saltage Prime Kansas City Strip. In addition to the classics, there were additional items made using wood burning ovens such as “Grillos” Pizza along with catchy dishes including Wings and Rings/Shishito, and Broccoli Mops.

I’ve had the privilege to be invited to the “soft” opening of Woodpecker about 3-4 weeks ago and I followed my server’s recommendation on the dishes I ordered.

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Broccoli Mops

Broccoli Mops – Broccoli florets placed on guacamole, citrus, fennel and toasted quinoa. The $15 dish was a bit high, but it was my favorite meal of the night. It was light and the mandarin oranges along with toasted quinoa made this dish complete. The citrus dressing was refreshing and the salad had a great balance of fresh ingredients. I would come back just for this healthy vegetarian dish.

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Wings & Rings / Shishito

Wings & Rings / Shishito – Love the presentation of this $16 dish. It looks deceivingly small but it was meant for sharing. Since I was alone, it was filling. The base of this dish is made up of six Korean style wings, which tasted nothing special along with fried calamari topped with a shishito pepper for each skewer. The taste of this dish was nothing special. However, I would order it with a group of people just for the pretty presentation, but not of my favorite David Burke dishes.

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40 day Saltage Prime Kansas City Strip 20 oz

40 Day Saltage Prime Kansas City Strip is 20oz steak made using Chef David Burke’s patented saltage brick. This $62 dish is a classic. The strip steak looked beautiful. The Himalayan salted crust with a glistening medium rare inside was a picture perfect portrait of a crispy outside surrounding or even protecting the tender meat inside. The taste of this steak just melts in my mouth. I highly recommend this type of steak but it is hard to get it at any place other than a David Burke restaurant.

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Apple Tart

To end my dinner, I decided to go for the Apple Tart with the smoked rosemary. I try not to order a dessert for health and weight loss reasons, but I can’t resist the beautiful presentation. The taste of this tart was interesting. I understand why this tart was unique, personally I would do without rosemary. Would I order it again? Maybe. But I would try the other desserts.

Anyways, I am excited to venture into Long Island to check his two new restaurants inside the Garden City Hotel. Stay tuned.

Social Saturday – 13th Annual American Cancer Society Taste of Hope

On May 10, 2018, I attended the American Cancer Society 13th Annual Taste of Hope event in New York City. I purchased my VIP ticket at $275 which included a gift bag and early access to the food and festivities.  The event had two honorees:  Sarabeth Levine was this year’s culinary honoree and Chef Antonio Prontelli was this year’s survivor honoree.

My top 5 favorite savory tastings from the event were the:

  • The Smith’s Toasted Ricotta Gnocchi with White Truffle Cream
  • Calle Ocho’s Pastelillos Cubanitos
  • Jing Fong’s BBQ Roast Pork Pastry Puffs
  • Casa Nonna’s Siamese Agnolotti
  • L’Amico Fontina Cappelletti with Wild Mushroom and English Peas

My top 5 sweet tastings from the event were the:

  • Bonsai Kakigori’s Strawberries and Cream Kakigori
  • Loi Estiatorio’s Yiaourti Me Meli
  • Melt Bakery’s Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Java Melts
  • Frose & Campari Popsicles

Below are images from the event.

There were a lot more stuff at the event. The event set up gets better and better every year. There were a lot of wine tastings, beer tastings and emerging food companies promoting their products.  More importantly a lot of the food tastings were on the healthier side; there were salad variations, ceviches, and barbecued dishes.

I can’t wait to visit these restaurants during the upcoming restaurant week if they participate.  Stay tuned.

Social Saturday – Andaz Kitchen and Bar – Wall Street

Happy Saturday and I’m counting down the days until I’m able to eat food with refined/processed sugar again. As I stated in my last post, I gave up sugar except for the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables for 40 days for Lent. It’s been really challenging and hard especially this last 10 days with the gatherings for St. Patrick’s Day.

Ten days ago I’ve have had the privilege to see a preview of the food and drink at the revived Andaz Kitchen and Bar at the Andaz Wall Street Hotel in Wall Street. Previously named Dina Rata, which I learned was an Indian name meaning moon. It was deceiving that a place with that name was serving Italian food. Anyways, I preferred the new name.

When I arrived, I was greeted with champagne which I did not drink due to the sugar content. However, I settled for the Chianti which has low sugar, thanks to one of the general managers who suggested the wine as he also gave up sugar. The wine went well with my selection of crudites containing fruits, and vegetables with no hummus, dressing and/or dip to avoid the possibility to ingesting sugar.

I was impressed by the food display and presentation. I loved the color of the vegetables indicating that it is fresh. I also liked the cheese and cold cuts selection.

Next, the passed food samples from the menu, which included a variety of dishes inspired from different cultures including Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Italy and Vietnam.

Below are images of the food created by Executive Chef Pietro Consorti from the event:

Crudites

Cheese and charcuterie display

Tasting plate of cheese and cold cuts

Tasting plate of fresh and colorful vegetables

Bread, butter and anchovies

Jerk Pork Sliders

Toasted prosciutto and baguette

Puntarelle e stracciatella

Panzarella red snapper and green olives

Beef Peccadillo plantains

Fruit berry tart

Rum babba

Flan de leche

Liquid Lab mixology interactive cocktail session setup

It was obvious that I did not eat everything due to the 40 day sugar sacrifice. As a result I did not try anything containing bread and dessert. However, my favorite even from just looking at the menu was the Beef Peccadillo plantains.

Thank you to the management team at Andaz and Andaz Kitchen and Bar including Executive Chef Pietro Consorti for making me feel welcomed. I can’t wait to return and sample the remaining dishes.

Big shout out to the Liquid Lab team for a great demo on making the cocktails, which I could not participate. I do look forward to seeing them in the future.

Stay tuned for more.

Happy Mother’s Day from Tablespoons and teaspoons 

On behalf of Tablespoonsandteaspoons we want to wish all mothers are very happy Mother’s Day.  

My mother was a main inspiration to creating tablespoonsandteaspoons.  When she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2010, we were on a mission to find the best foods that would help treat the disease. This mission led to my thesis in 2014 the assessed current research on health literacy on rheumatic arthritis patients. 

This year as requested by my mother she wanted a home cooked meal. So to knock two birds with one stone I did research and found a get gift idea…

These homemade bouquet dumplings. The rose dumplings were made with pork and the leaves were made with vegetables.  

The total cost to make this creative gift is under $20. 

Meatless Monday – Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Recovering from yesterday’s holiday dinner, today I personally decided to eat my leftover brussel sprouts that were made in bulk using the recipe posted back in March. 

Keep in mind that there will be a strong odor that is released when roasting brussel sprouts.  Leftover brussel sprouts can be consumed either hot or cold and a salad can be created.  Roasted brussel sprouts go well with other green vegetables such as kale or whole grains such as farro and quinoa.  Brussel sprouts’ versatility offers a wide variety of options as a side dish, main entree light healthy vegan dish or even a snack. 

Throwback Thursday- Family Style Chinese food

Ever since I was a child I would have family style Chinese food. This is not your typical Chinese American cuisine. Majority of authentic Chinese restaurant are identified based on the number of Chinese customers eating there. There are two family style Chinese cuisine I have eaten at, both in Elmhurst. Every year I always have to celebrate my birthday with Chinese food. I grew up with the belief of consuming noodles on my birthday signifying long life.  When I eat at these family style Chinese restaurants I always request an order of pan fried noodles. Recently I had a craving a found a recipe to make it on own, which was recently posted here under Traditional Tuesday. In addition to the pan fried noodles we would order a crusted t-bone steak and honey walnut shrimp.

The top collage was taken place at China Pearl Chinese Restaurant, one of the original Chinese restaurants in Elmhurst. Total meal cost including tip was $300.

The bottom collage was taken place at the recently opened Broadway Seafood Chinese Restaurant also located in Elmhurst. Total meal cost including tip was $170.

The major differences between the two restaurants is the quality of food. China Pearl had the better house special soup, steak and honey shrimp walnut while Broadway Seafood had more street food options such as lamb chops and roast pig and duck and soy sauce chicken.

The pan fried noodles with seafood is better at Broadway Seafood than in China Pearl.

Stay tuned for more eating journeys…

Meatless Monday – Roasted Brussels Sprouts

It has been over a week since my last post and as promised I am starting the week with another Meatless Monday recipe with a child’s least favorite vegetable: Brussels Sprouts.  Actually I was first introduced to brussels sprouts a few years ago as a frozen vegetable by my dad who would serve it with butter sauce.  Then over the summer I went with a former colleague to La Dama, a Mexican restaurant in the Financial District in NYC where I had a roasted brussels sprouts side dish.  The sprouts were roasted and it had cheese and lime. It was delicious, but unfortunately, they no longer make this side dish.

Recently, I came across fresh Brussels sprouts on sale two weeks ago at my local supermarket and I decided to purchase a bag.  After researching an easy dish to make with these brussels sprouts, I came across a dish that was posted on Once Upon a Chef where the Brussels Sprouts were roasted and mixed with balsamic vinegar and honey.

After being culinary inspired, the world of Brussels sprouts were further explored.

Brussels Sprouts were initially discovered during the 16th century in Belgium.  But more importantly, this cruciferous vegetable has many health benefits:

  • Prevents cancer especially bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.
  • Contains vitamin C, which protects cells from cancer and heart disease
  • Maintain healthy gums, teeth and skin
  • Helps with the immune system
  • Contains fiber, which regulates the digestive system, prevents constipation, lowers cholesterol levels and reduces heart disease and stroke.
  • Contains folate, which prevents birth defect development
  • Helps form and maintain DNA

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Two Vinegars and Honey (inspired by Once Upon a Chef)

There are six ingredients for this dish and the star ingredient is the Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 package (12 0z) brussels sprouts, halved, stems and ragged outer leaves removed*
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Datu Putu
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Everything with the exception of the brussels sprouts were in my pantry.  The star ingredient was on sale at my local supermarket for $2.5o.

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Six ingredient dish preparation 

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Remove outer leaves and cut each piece in half.  Please the sprout onto a large bowl.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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Place brussels sprouts.  Sprinkle the brussels sprouts with ground black pepper.  Add two tablespoons of olive oil.  Toss to combine.  

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Line baking pan with aluminum foil.  Spray the foiled pan with cooking spray.  Transfer brussels sprouts to a baking pan.  Spread sprouts evenly.  Roast in the oven for approximately twenty minutes.  Turn halfway for even browning.   

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Remove pan from the oven and let it cool.  

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Transfer brussels sprouts to a bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Datu putu sugar cane vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey.  Mix well to blend.  Serve. 

The total cost to make this meatless and health friendly dish is an investment of less than $20 and the Brussels sprouts only cost $2.50.  This dish usually serves 2-3 people, but the ingredients used can be applied to make other dishes such as Adobo and salads.

Sunday Game Plan – Snow Aftermath

Happy Snow Weekend! It’s been a rough couple of days as I am recovering from a very bad cold thanks to the change of weather resulting in a lost sense of smell and taste.  Over the last week, just been stocking up on fish such as tuna steak and wild salmon.  What was purchased and stored from the last two weekends is coming into use especially being snowed in for the weekend.  I am carrying over some recipes from the previous Sunday Game Plan, which I did not have the opportunity to make last two weeks.  20160124_110647