Located quite a distance from the 23rd parallel, my island is right there, through the living room, just beyond the French doors, and situated about two-thirds of the way from the wall in my humble kitchen.
This is the place where my fan club, my girls and the occasional guest, get to see the real me.
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Tales of Two continents
Lunch today was all about multi-ethnic appetizers with inspiration coming from my Greek and Mexican friends. I think I managed to link the two lands through food and drink. Here are two of the dishes that I made for my fan club.
What made these two dishes come alive was a good glass of Retsina wine. Never heard of it? Well ,its an ancient Greek wine made with white grapes and then resinated with Pine tree Resin. Resinated, you say? Yes, you heard it, the stuff that when fossilized , becomes amber; yes the stuff that that encased Dinosaur DNA in Jurassic park. Freaky, isn't it ? Nope, tasty instead!
Dandilions with Pinenuts and Mexican Frying Cheese
2 bunches of Dandelions, cleaned, blanched in salt water
Medium Yellow Bell Pepper , coarsely diced
2 cloves Garlic , slivered
Super fresh , Pignoli Nuts
Mexican Frying Cheese (queso de freir), cubed and browned on all sides
Some honesty here. Dandelions, a mildly bitter green, can be an acquired taste. Nevertheless, there were no leftovers.
Clean , Wash and blanch the greens. Then cut into 2 inch strips, Sautee the greens, peppers, and garlic. After cooking plate, and garnish with the cheese cubes and pignoli.
Then let the chilled Restina flow.
Spicy Chipolte Black Beans
This dish can also go a long way when at informal parties. Use a topping for nachos or corn chips. My favorite way is to serve then in mini buttered soft-tortilla rolls.
Black Beans, pre-cooked to speed things up.
Red Bell Pepper, coarsely diced
Medium red onion, diced
3 cloves , crushed garlic
Chipotle Peppers in adobo sauce, chopped up
Fresh Cilantro , a nice handful, coarsely chopped
White Wine 1/4 cup
I used pre-cooked blackbeans which I washed to remove all starchy broth. Toss all ingredients in a skillet, except the herbs which are added in towards the end of the cooking period. Cook for 10 minutes at most. Double the amount of Chili pepper for extra heat.
Yesterday , was one of those days where I just needed to recoup from a very intense stretch consulting work. Longer days than usual, and lots of New York Metro pressure than I would like on a daily basis. So, with the weatherman telling me that we would have some fairly nice outlooks for this weekend, I decided to spend less time playing with my computers. My plans included included resuming and catching up with some of my blogging.. You've seen some of that already . But my highlight for the day was for me and my Queen to head down to Chinatown in NYC. Our plans: do some food shopping , correction some "window" food shopping and course, just take in as much we could of the Chinatown scene. Given that Little Italy is also right next door to Chinatown, we would stop there too. If you do not know, Manhattan's Chinatown nowadays contently fuses with it's Italian neighbors. Great combo, isn't it ? I sure do think so.