Thursday, June 23, 2011


If you're in Midtown Manhattan by Rockefeller Center, my favorite dishes to order at Alfredo of Rome are the following:

For appetizer, or main course for lunch accompanied with a Caesar salad on the side, I highly recommend their super thin slice pizza with paper thin slices of pears, Gorgonzola cheese and truffles.

You can serve this pizza as an appetizer for up to 6 people; or you can have it as your main course (because I love it) with a salad on the side.

You have to order their Alfredo Fettuccine.  After all, THIS is a signature dish.  The recipe came from Rome.
It's the best Alfredo Fettuccine I've ever had.

Pictured on the right is a dessert from their menu that I've never tasted elsewhere.
Please try this.
It's called Fennel Tart drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce, served with Sambucca ice cream on the side.

(Fennel is in the anise family)
I happen to love fennel in my salad or with pork.
This pastry has lots of sweet fennel inside.  I think it's a healthy dessert!
(That's me)
Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet, adding a refreshing contribution to the ever popular Mediterranean cuisine. Most often associated with Italian cooking ... 
This Tiramisu is soooo good!  It's addictive.  It's one tiramisu I love!

4 West 49th Street
New York, NY 10020-2205
(212) 397-0100

Open Weekdays 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat 12pm-4pm, 5pm-10pm; Sun 1pm-3:30pm, 4pm-9pm

STEAMERS - How to Eat Them

It's summer time and it's steamers time in the New England Sea coast.

To cook steamers, buy them fresh from a reliable purveyor or fishmonger.

2 lbs of steamers
1 of water
2TB of melted butter in each ramekin for each person.
(Serves 4) for appetizer or 2 for lunch.

Pour the water in a large stock pot.  Soon as it boils, put all the steamers in.  Cover the pot with the lid and cook for about 5-10 minutes.  As soon as the steamers open, they are cooked.

Steamers have a "skin" around the valve and a tail that you have to skin before you eat.  The skin around the valve keeps the juice inside the steamer.  Some skins break.

To serve, you should use the broth to dip the "peeled" or opened steamer first in the broth; then in the melted butter.  If you don't have enough broth; you may add water to the broth you cooked it in.  Watch the video:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CHICKEN CURRY - My Family Style

I had some chicken wings and chicken thighs with the intention of making a different dish.  However, I felt like having chicken curry - my style.  So here's my version of Chicken Curry:

6 organic chicken wings
6 Chicken thighs
4 TB of canola oil
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 Chopped tomato
2 TB of Tomato Paste
4 TB Curry Powder
1TB Chili Powder
1tsp Cumin powder
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 TB minced fresh ginger
Bay leaf
1 can coconut milk

Heat oil in shallow pan. Add the onion, garlic and saute till transparent.  Add the ginger and saute for a minute.  Add the tomatoes and cook for another 4 minutes.

Add the chicken and cook on both sides till slightly golden - about 6 minutes.  Then measure the curry powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and add the can of coconut milk.  Mix it carefully and continue cooking.

Add a can of coconut milk and piece of bayleaf
Serve with your favorite chutney
Based on the above website, curry has healthy benefits.  I've also used ginger and coconut milk which have excellent health benefits as well.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

TOAST AND BERRIES - for breakfast or snack

The secret to this easy treat is the bread.  I personally like filone bread.  If you're from NYC, you can get it from either Grand Daisy or Sullivan Bread.  (Background:  Grandaisy WAS Sullivan Bread in SoHo until they moved to Hell's Kitchen)

You may also use French Country bread.
First you toast the bread
Sliced bread
Mascarpone or Clotted Cream
Raspberry (preferably) or any berries
Confectioner's Sugar

As pictured on the left,  I used raspberries.  First you spread mascarpone or clotted cream on toasted sliced bread.  Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and serve.

Above, I used blackberries over mascarpone and drizzled it with confectioner's sugar as well.  I served with prosciutto on another piece of toast drizzled with olive oil.
Makes a great quick breakfast!

73 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 334-9435

Sullivan St Bread
533 West 47th St # 1
New York, NY 10036
(212) 265-5580

Thursday, June 9, 2011

ROAST PORK (Italian Porchetta influence)

This week, I came across a large piece of pork belly with skin at the special meat market I go to.  I've been searching for the right porchetta for a few years now and have come across a couple of places that hit or miss.  And this is my 3rd attempt to make a juicy but crunchy skinned roast pork full of flavor.

First, I bought a 4 lb meaty pork belly with skin.
1 small bunch of fresh fennel leaves
5 cloves of minced garlic
2 TB of dried or fresh sage
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Olive oil

If you bought the pork belly already tied in strings, remove strings and season well with the ingredients above.

Roll the Pork and tie it with a strings tightly.  Season the outside well with more minced garlic, salt and pepper.  Brush generously with olive oil.

Place roast on top of rack with hot water in pan. (bain marie).  Bake at 330 degrees F oven for 1 hour seam side up.  Then turn pork with seam side down and bake more for about 2 hours for a 4lb pork belly meat to get the skin crisp.

A successful pork roast has crisp skin and very juicy meat as pictured above.

You can serve this with pickled garnishes or tomato, onion lettuce salad with minced hot peppers, vinegar and shrimp paste.  (Shrimp paste is available in Asian markets.  The version I used is from the Philippines)

Monday, June 6, 2011

KIN SHOP - Thai - Modern Cuisine

Harold Dieterle III is an American chef best known as the winner of Season 1 of Top Chef. His signature dish is spicy duck meatballs.  He was brought up as an Italian-American watching and assisting his mother prepare traditional Sicilian Sunday suppers in their Long Island home.

He opened Kin Shop in October of 2010 on Sixth Avenue in the West Village.  As usual, it was 2:30PM by the time I finished showing properties and I was starving.  (I'd rather starve and eat at home than grab anything to stuff myself)  Therefore, since I wasn't far from this restaurant, I decided to walk a few more blocks and caught them a few minutes before they closed.  I was in for a treat and another new discovery.

I also found out that at lunch, they have a $20 prix-fixe lunch which included an appetizer, main course and dessert.  Here's the menu:

You can choose 1 from each category

I chose the Crunchy Sprout and Bibb Salad with sunflower seeds and plum-peppercorn vinaigrette and not only was it delicious, it was definitely healthy!!!

The main course they recommended was the Beef Brisket Madtarbok with turmeric, cucumber relish and watercress.  (It was more like a very good empanada with a delicate thin crust)  The cucumber relish was a good compliment and so was the slightly tart watercress salad.

This was such a delicious choice for dessert for a summer day where I've been walking all over SoHo and the Village to show properties.
This calamansi sorbet hit the spot!!
Scroll down to reserve through open table if you wish.
Their restaurant is located at
469 Sixth Avenue (between 11th and 12th sts)
New York, NY 10011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Philippine Independence Fair in NYC

Today, Philippine Independence was celebrated in New York City earlier than its due date which is June 12.  This was to celebrate the independence of the Philippines from Spain in 1898.

After the parade, thousands of people flocked between 23rd - 26th Streets on Madison Avenue to view shows on stage and enjoy locally made Philippine food from various restaurants within the Metropolitan area.
My favorite dish was the innovative modern Filipino cuisine from Maharlika.  I bought their version of a slider.

The slider was actually a Philippine sausage - known as longanisa.  They placed it in a bun with pickled carrots, scallions, and garnished it with shrimp paste mayonnaise (locally called bagoong).  It was a good combination. 
The longanisa slider

 They had juices that you normally see in the Philippines.  Fresh buko (coconut juice with grated coconut meat), sago (large tapioca balls in sugary juice - not my favorite) and cantaloupe juice (the light orange juice on the extreme right)
This was the crowd at the Phlippine Independence Day Celebration at Madison Avenue, NYC

Maharlika had a flyer to advertise their way of celebrating Independence Day at their restaurant.
The video on the left shows a short video of performance held on stage

How the crowd was at the Philippine Independence Day
and watching several barbeque being cooked.
Karyll and Jericho (Philippine singers) performed.


If you're ever in Shanghai, I recommend visiting this restaurant.  It was recommended to us by a Shanghai-born Australian who was our maitre-d at M on the Bund; a restaurant in Shanghai.

Uighur traditional food. Uighur people are a large minority group making up most of the population of China's far west Xinjiang province. Their looks and food are similar to central Asian. The cuisine focuses on lamb and mutton.

This was a delicious and mutton dish.  Although they cooked it outside on the grill, it was tender and juicy with very little charred taste.  This version of the shish kebab had Asian flair.  The rice was a sticky and very moist,  full of flavor.
No. 1 south shan xi Rd
Shanghai, China
TEL: 021-62550843

No. 280, Yi Shan Rd
Shnghai, China
TEL: 021-64689198

DUCK - Asian style - MY VERSION

I have been experimenting on a few duck breast preparations.  Here's something I'd like to share that has an Asian flavor twist.

Duck breasts(s) (increase ingredients per person throughout the recipe)
(You can also use smoked duck breast)
I first started with either a smoked duck breast on the left or a fresh Magret duck breast as seen on the right.

Other Ingredients:
Sunflower oil
Maple syrup

Season the duck breast with the above ingredients and place in pan with hot water on baking rack.  Bake at 350 degrees F preheated oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove and set aside while you make the garnish.

1 TB of shaved peeled ginger - per serving (preferably organic - this is a root and you don't want to ingest pesticides from the soil)
1 Stalk of scallion sliced
2TB of safflower or canola oil
salt for seasoning
Sambal oelek (Indonesian chili paste)

Saute the ginger and scallions in oil in small pot till wilted (about 10-15 minutes).  Season with salt.

Slice the duck breast as seen above.  I liked it best served with a cup of cooked rice on the side with sambal oelek on top, the ginger-scallion garnish and watercress salad. 

Another way of serving this dish if using the smoked duck prepared the same way; (as pictured above) is with balsamic syrup and micro-green salad.  The tangy balsamic syrup balances the strong duck taste.

Both ways are delicious and so easy to prepare.