If you visit the neighborhood, look closely. You you will see the melting-pot, melting in right in front of your eyes . As you travel westbound on Northern Boulevard (a French word, my friends), you will experience the United Nations of Queens. You will see a human cultural medley of people: Korean, Chinese, Hispanics from all corners of South American, and yes, some descendants of Plymouth Rock You will see their places of worship, whether they be synagogues, Greek Orthodox churches, scores of Korean Christian Churches not distant from the elegant Roman Catholic of St. Andrew of Avellino, which I suspect was built by Italian immigrants If you look closely , you will see how the generations of immigrants mixed and today , coexist in peace and harmony in this section of the Big Apple.
Today, as to the gastronomic scene, Flushing beats all all others for Korean , Chinese and other Asian varieties. I have heard, but not experienced yet, the superior Dim Sum , China's "tapas" tradition.
So what was for lunch? What quick fare would I possibly come up with to possibly help celebrate life, on this proud day for American democracy ?
Come HMart Asian Supermarket to the rescue! I have written about this wonderful market in the past. See my post for their grand opening in March 2012 (Grand Cooking for Grand Opening) It is known for its super fresh and rich variety of seafood, meats and vegetables So I decided to walk in and pick up some goods. Walked out with monk fish , tiger shrimp for tomorrow dinner and ultra-thin sliced frozen brisket for my own take on tacos
Italian -Mexican-Korean Beef Tacos (soft corn shell )
Artisan Lettuce Leaves , tossed with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Italian - Mexican - Korean beef Tacos, what could they possibly be? The easy answer is a traditional beef taco, you know, strips of red, yellow, green peppers , sauteed with a small onion, a few grape tomatoes, a handful of cremini mushrooms and then kicked up few notches, the perfect topping for small soft shell corn tacos A touch of cumin, Spanish Pimenton de la Vera (a smoked paprika) completed the taco's Mexican element A splash of whte wine, tweaked and balanced sauce
But wait, my multi-ethnic, celebratory tacos are done yet. We covered the Mexican but the Korean and Italian transformation are still waiting
The Korean beef brisket, lean, thinly sliced, perfect for fast cooking, and tasty really elevated the quality of the dish . This is the beef that typically used for Korean BBQ and for Japanese Shabu-Shabu and I will bet will work perfectly for a Philly Cheesteak. Served with slices of sharp Auricchio provolone, a replacement of Mexican cheese or sour cream, I tied my tacos back to my Southern Italian origins. These tacos were great. I could just see myself , selling them by the hundreds in a shiny urban food truck, making people happy as I serve and sell them in pair, saying gracias with a big smile.
A great salad, leaves intact , tossed with fresh white balsamic vinaigrette turned out to be a great palate cleanser. I was actually surprised by the quality , freshness and great quality of Artisan lettuce product. I now know where to turn when looking for salad greens to make some of my more fancy tossed, personal salads.
Lunch was , a bit late ,but worth, full of fun. I role played, and assumed my forced, artificial Italian accent when practicing some reading on a Fontana di Papa bottle of white table wine, an extreme value wine, imported from the Lazio region of Italy .
Dessert ? Well, turns out that Paris Baguette, a high quality bakery chain, provided a few sweets to top off our meal. A block of chocolate bread, untamed by butter, was the prefect way to conclude our family lunch.
It is fitting that today we were able to celebrate in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic way Our president, a true attestation of America's forward push toward a more and more wonderfully integrated place, was inaugurated today in Washington D.C Mr President, you have my congratulations, thanks and prayers It is more than symbolism come to life, this second term is proof that American is changing, and entering , a decisively new stage of global maturity and leadership. Whether you are liberal or conservative, religious or non spiritual, as Americans we must remember and be extremely grateful that in our great country , the democratic experiment continues to work, in peace, no matter how much disingenuous critics falsely paint it to be something other than an enduring success
Cheers America !!
Flushing Queens, Wikipedia Article
Fontana di Papa Wines
Paris Baguette Bakery