Sunday, November 14, 2010

Roasted Red Peppers = Pyro Fun

Tonight was taco night in the Stern house. A while ago I had tried a roasted pepper but had been kind of a wimp about really roasting it. So I tried again tonight and figured it out:

Last time, I only roasted it a little bit:
The key is to really get it black, but not too black. This is TOO MUCH:
This is just right:
Of course, this only works if you have a gas stove and can do it on an open flame. It's insanely easy but super impressive. First step is to make sure that the pepper is clean, with no stickers and the stem is cut short. Expose the pepper directly to the flame using tongs. Feel free to leave it on top of the range for a bit until it gets nice and black. Rotate until the whole thing is roasted black, and no worries if some parts are still red.

I felt pretty bad ass with the open flame and tongs. That's really why you need an audience to do this to reap the full reward. And it concentrates the flavors and tastes good.

Let the pepper cool a bit. Then take a damp paper towel and wipe off the blackened pepper skin. It should come off easily and leave smooth red flesh underneath. Then you can cut the pepper up. The seeds should fall out easily. Use the pepper slices on tacos, or in a veggie hummus sandwich.


This is what NYU does to you....

It's been a really long time. In fact, I had given up blogging. But now I'm back, inspired by Aaron. I won't be wearing bowties every day, but I'm going to try posting once in a while...ok....once a week. Maybe you guys can help me stay on task? Here are the goals for this week:

1. Post.
2. Go running--I signed up for the NYC Half marathon on March 20, 2011 and need to get my lazy ass back in gear!
3. Start doing my Marketing reading. Apparently it's not as intuitive as you'd think!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brunch: It's what's for dinner.

A few weeks ago, the husband and I had the most amazing brunch at Buttermilk Channel down the road in Carroll Gardens. The service was great. The vibe relaxed and sophisticated. And they let us keep Jordan the dog next to our table outside. I had this amazing thing: poached eggs on biscuits with a hollandaise sauce.

A week or so later, I was sitting at home watching Marley and Me (sniff) and trying to decide what to eat for dinner. I had made some cornbread, which was not that great. I still have to find a good cornbread recipe. I used Alice Waters' recipe from The Art of Simple Food, and it lacked the necessary fat (butter, bacon grease, oil, whatever) to make the bread moist. But I still decided to use it as my substitute biscuit and put an egg on top of it for dinner. The only problem is that I've only ever made scrambled eggs and wanted to make an egg where the yolk would stay intact until I plunged my fork into it and then I'd get all the eggy goodness on my cornbread. Thankfully, Alice has good directions for this.

Alice says that the key to cooking good eggs is to use the right pan--a seasoned cast iron pan. Unfortunately, that's on my Christmas list right now, so I had to go with my normal small fryer. She says to:
1. Warm the pan over medium heat.
2. Turn the heat to low and add a piece of butter and swirl the pan to cover the bottom of the pan with the melting butter.
3. Gently crack open an egg into the pan.
4. Lightly salt and pepper the egg and cook until the white is almost completely set--which means it's turning white, and the clear is almost gone and solid.
5. Gently coax a spatula under the egg, and with a smooth motion turn it over in the pan without breaking the yolk. You can't have any fear as you do this. The egg will tell if you're scared and break.
6. Season the egg again with salt and pepper.
7. For a runny yolk, cook for just a few seconds more. More a firmer yolk, leave it in for about another minute.

Here is the egg as it's setting, before I'm about to flip:

And after the successful flip:

And then on top of the cornbread, with the runny yolk. Delish!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trying to be a bit cooler...

Lately I'm been trying to raise my fashion game a bit. I bought myself a Lucky magazine as a treat one night and started pulling out pages of looks that I thought might actually be possible with what I have in my closet. I also saw that Lucky has this basics video. So far, they only have one up, but it shows you how to use a cardigan 5 different ways. I can't believe I'm typing this, but I love cardigans (apparently I have some sort of granny style). Check it out here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rehabbing the bathroom, contd.

I've been really delinquent in my blog posts due to marathon training and just overall computer malaise. Aside from all the running, I've still be obsessed with rehabbing the bathroom and finding a shower curtain that I like. It sounds crazy, but you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a white shower curtain that has some nice detail but still looks clean. I long ago gave up my dreams of finding a gray shower curtain. The idea was to get a pinstripe gray shower curtain to go with the gray towels by Marimekko that I liked from Crate and Barrel. JD and I found a cheap gray bathmat at IKEA that would tie everything together....except that no such shower curtain exists. So I gave up on gray, and decided to go white because the towels and bathmat would bring in enough gray. I loved this one from Pottery Barn becuse it had the tuxedo details, but it was too expensive. So I finally relented and just got a nice terrycloth check showercurtain from a local store, Home and Haven, on Smith Street.

I also got these frenchie bath accessories that I had been lusting after for over a year.

The bathroom is finally coming together! Now all I'm waiting on are some black and white water themed photos that I printed from Here's a taste...complete finished product to come soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pretty Photos by Ellen Silverman

I ran across these pics by Ellen Silverman via Goop (Gwenyth Paltrow's newsletter), and they immediately set my mouth watering after flipping through the site. She does amazing professional pics of food, and some really beautiful still life photos. I can't pull the pics from the site because it's done in flash, so you'll just have to go there. Be sure to click on the Food tab under Portfolio in the upper right corner. Really, it's worth it!

To add something visual to this post, I've added a few pics of my own culinary creations, from my vacation this past week on the North Fork of Long Island, land of farmer's markets, and wineries!

Challah french toast

Farmstand corn, heirloom tomato salad with basil and fresh mozzerella, and pasta primavera

Monday, September 7, 2009

Greenmarket Pepper Corn Muffins

There's a small shop near my work called Mitchell London that has the most amazing jalepeno cheddar corn biscuits. Today, I decided that I'd attempt a non-spicy version of them, and get in some cross training with a bike ride to the Union Square Greenmarket.

Serendipitously, I ran into a friend just as I was pulling my bike out the door and we went together. I got some amazing fresh corn, red and green peppers, basil, peaches, yellow wax beans, and the most beautiful tomato. I am waiting for it to sprout legs and start tap dancing and winking at me because it looks like it belongs in a cartoon. The tomato is that cute.

Anyway, we had a great ride and I came home and decided to follow Alice Waters' recipe for corn bread from The Art of Simple Food, with some variations.

Preheat Oven to 425

Mix together:

3/4 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 T sugar
1 T baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt

Pour into a pyrex measuring cup or another medium sized vessel:

1 cup milk, and whisk in 1 egg

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg/milk mixture, and whisk until smooth.

Melt 4 T butter and mix into everything else. Here, I added my peppers and corn.

Pour the batter into a buttered 8 or 9 inch baking dish, or 12 buttered muffin tins (or silicone pans, which I used, and absolutely love b/c you can eliminate the buttering).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until you can insert a toothpick an have it come out clean.

They came out ok, but I wish I had added more peppers and corn. I added about 1 and 1/2 cups, and I would double it. I'd also add some grated cheddar cheese, as well as a dash of pepper. Maybe nix the sugar above as well. I used white corn meal, and would use yellow next time because it has a nicer color, and instead of mixing in flour, I would have used cornmeal exclusively. Otherwise, they came out nicely, and would make a nice breakfast bread or snack.