white ale

we've mentioned our love of belgian-style white ale before here, and especially the adorable owl on the hitachino label. while reading grub street a few weeks ago, we saw that alton brown shares our love for this great japanese beer! so when we came across this recipe from an old issue of Food & Wine magazine using white ale, we knew it would be right up our alley. the recipe is from Sang Yoon, owner of the awesome gastro pub Father's Office - an institution with two locations in southern CA. thinking of the amazing beers on tap paired with their famous burger makes us miss the sunshine state a little! make sure to serve these mussels with a big spoon and lots of bread to mop up the delicious sauce.

Curried Mussels in White Ale
serves 4

2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs thai red curry paste
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
1 large fresh lemongrass stalk, bulb only, smashed & chopped
2/3 cup mirin
15 oz coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbs asian fish sauce
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 12 oz bottles white ale
2 lbs mussels, scrubbed & debearded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
in a saucepan, heat the oil. add red curry paste, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. add mirin, coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce and basil leaves and simmer for 15 minutes. strain the red curry sauce into a bowl.
in a large saucepan, bring ale to a boil. add mussels, cover and cook over night heat, about 5 minutes. discard any mussels that do not open. divide mussels between four bowls. add the red curry sauce to the ale and boil about 1 minutes. pour sauce over mussels and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. enjoy!


simple supper

here's a quick recipe for a very simple meal to whip up for lunch or dinner that's loaded with amazing middle eastern flavors. it's based on the herbs and spices in traditional lamb kofte, which are basically kebabs, and is served with a few easy accompaniments, like store bought hummus and pita, that make for a super quick meal for those busy weekday evenings.

also, we've been busy working on lots of great projects like shooting for martha stewart living & styling for the nest over the past week - can't wait to share these with you! we're excited to watch this starting on wednesday and maybe we'll have to eat one of these during the game.

Lamb Meatballs
makes 20

1 lb ground lamb
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp olive oil
4 persian cucumbers, thinly slices on a mandolin
1/4 cup greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon plus wedges for garnish
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
salt & pepper
preheat oven to 350 degrees F. in a medium bowl, combine lamb, onion, feta, mint, parsley, garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne with a big pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. mix well with your hands until everything is incorporated. form into about 20 small meatballs by rolling between the palms of your hands. heat olive oil over medium high heat and sear meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes. transfer to the oven and cook 10-12 minutes or until done.
while meatballs are in the oven, in a small bowl combine cucumbers with yogurt, lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. serve with meatballs with cucumber salad, sliced red onions, lemon wedges, warm pita & your favorite hummus. enjoy!



as you can tell from the last several posts, we've been digging into the recipe tear outs. doesn't everyone have a huge three ring binder filled with recipes for great sounding desserts, salads, thanksgiving sides, cocktails, etc. from articles published six years ago?! well, we do, but it often gets overlooked on a day to day basis when thinking about what to quickly throw together for dinner. we are trying to make an effort to pick out just a few recipes each week to finally try, see if they're keepers and even better, to see if they're worth sharing with our readers. these amazing little treats are definitely worth sharing! each layer adds another texture and level of richness that you'll find irresistible.

Chocolate Caramel Slice
(from Bon Appetit)
makes 16-20

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tbs ice water
1 egg yolk

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter, diced
2 tbs dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tbs Maldon sea salt

preheat oven to 350 degrees F. grease a 8 1/2-inch square metal baking pan. blend flour, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt in a food processor. add butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms. add ice water and egg yolk and blend just until moist clumps form. press dough onto bottom of prepared pan evenly. pierce all over with a fork. bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. cool completely.
whisk together condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, butter melts and mixture comes to a boil. insert a candy thermometer and boil gently until caramel is thick and temperature reaches 225 degrees F. whisk constantly to prevent from burning. pour caramel evenly over cooled crust and let set 15 minutes. melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring occasionally. spread melted chocolate evenly over caramel layer. sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate until set, at least one hour. can be made three days ahead if covered and refrigerated. cut into bars and enjoy!


chocolate ginger cookies

these cookies are adapted from an old martha stewart living recipe i ripped out a few years ago. something about a simple sugar cookie combined with the flavors of chocolate and ginger seemed very appropriate for fall. perfect for a midnight snack with a glass of milk or cup of tea on a cool rainy october evening! or as you start to think about holiday cookies, this is a tasty one to keep close.

we celebrated our third wedding anniversary yesterday with a perfect new york afternoon. we had a great lunch at gramercy tavern (one of our favorites), a walk through central park, and a stop here for some cheeses and charcuterie for dinner - have you tried barely buzzed from beehive cheese co? the rind is rubbed in ground coffee & it's delicious!

hoping to finally get to the new amsterdam market this sunday - has anyone been? any vendors we shouldn't miss? also excited to get a copy of this new cookbook featuring recipes from many of our brooklyn faves. happy weekend!

Chocolate Ginger Cookies
makes 24 2 1/2-inch cookies

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
vanilla sugar for sprinkling
preheat oven to 325 degrees F. whisk together flours, cocoa, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda. cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy. add egg, molasses and grated ginger and mix until combined. add flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour. roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. use 2 1/2 cookie cutters to make shapes and place 1-inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets. refrigerate 20 minutes or until firm.
sprinkle with vanilla sugar. bake until cookies are firm, 11-13 minutes. let cool on wire rack and enjoy!


crab wontons

what to do with leftovers from a few recent shoots and a pot of oil for frying? goat cheese crab wontons, yum! we try not to fry things very often but this is one recipe that baking just doesn't do justice. everything in moderation, right? wonton wrappers are a great item to have in your freezer for a quick appetizer, garnish or even as a fresh pasta substitute. try baking or frying them with just a little olive oil and sea salt and breaking into pieces for a crunchy salad garnish. or fill them with fresh herbs and cheese, boil and toss with a little marinara for a quick pasta dish. or of course, fried wontons - our take on a traditional chinese take out favorite!

Goat Cheese Crab Wontons
makes 10

1/2 cup cooked crab meat
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
10 square wonton wrappers
olive or grape seed oil for frying
in a small bowl, combine crab meat, goat cheese, green onion and old bay. stir with a fork to break up crab and evenly combine. lay out wonton wrappers and fill each with a heaping teaspoon full of filling. brush two of the four edges with water and bring unbrushed edges over filling to seal tightly. repeat with remaining wontons. heat about 1/4-inch deep amount of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. carefully fry wontons for about 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. drain on a paper towel. serve immediately with a little soy sauce for dipping. enjoy!



yesterday was a great day for pictures and say the least. we were "gooped" as they say, by being mentioned in the blog and newsletter from goop, by gwyneth paltrow. we were included in her favorite food blogs along with some company that we are flattered to be with. blogs like orangette, matt bites, what katie ate and some great others, were chosen by goop for being some of gwyneth's favorite reads to sit down and have a glass of wine with after the kids are in bed and her feet are up. having a new auidence is always amazing, and this is a great opportunity to write and take pictures for a whole new group. thanks to eliza and gwyneth for loving the blog, we are humbled, and to all the new readers who we will try hard to please. we hope you all enjoy!

now for some more fun, and our favorite part, the food!! now that we have tried to suck you in to the tart world on our last two posts, its time for a little change...but i do mean little, sticking in the dessert department. simplicity is always something we like to stick with whenever we can, and this is a dish that will take just a little time for a tasty result. try this with seasonal fruit or really any fruit you have around the house!

Roasted Fall Fruit
serves 4

2 cups seedless red grapes
4 plums, pitted and quartered
2 bartlett pears, quartered and cored
1 pint vanilla ice cream
2 tbs honey
preheat oven to 450 degrees F. place grapes, plums and pears in a single layer in a shallow sheet pan and roast, tossing the fruit occasionally, until the fruit is soft, about 24 minutes. serve in a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of honey. enjoy!


fall tart

can you believe that your calendar says it's october already? even though time has flown by, we're so excited for the fall season, our favorite time of year. october is one of our favorite months for the cooler weather, changing leaves and all the wonderful fruits and veggies in season - by far the best season for eating! this tart celebrates the last bit of summer with strawberries and the beginning of fall with figs, all brought together in a wonderful nutty filling.

Fig & Strawberry Tart
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living)

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 figs, halved
8 strawberries, trimmed & halved

in a food processor, pulse the flours, sugar and salt to combine. add butter and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal. slowly add ice water and pulse until mixture just begins to hold together. press dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. roll dough out to 1/8-inch thick on a floured surface to fit the tart pan you are using. fit dough into bottom and up sides of tart pan with a removable bottom and trim excess flush with edges using a knife. refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. prick bottom of tart all over with a fork and fill with pie weights or dried beans in foil. bake for 30 minutes. remove weights and bake 5 minutes more. let cool.
to make the filling, pulse hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped. add sugar, zest, butter, eggs and vanilla and pulse until mixture is almost smooth. spread filling evenly into tart shell. top with figs and strawberries and bake for 30 minutes. reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake until set and dark brown, about 30-45 minutes more. enjoy!