Barn Joo [lunch]

I enjoyed a tasty lunch at Barn Joo, a Korean gastropub that is known for its farm to table approach with “a touch of Korean soul”. The name means “musical accompaniment” or “drinks accompanied by your meal” in Korean. Sadly, I gave up white rice for Lent so my options were limited. I ended up going with fried udon noodles and galbi (Korean BBQ marinated beef short ribs) — so good! The galbi was tender, fatty, and super flavorful. Will be back for dinner once Lent is over!

Barn Joo: 893 Broadway (between East 19th and 20th Street)

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L.A. Galbi Fried Udon (Korean BBQ marinated beef short ribs, sauteed vegetables and mushroom)

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L.A. Galbi Fried Udon and side salad

Maysville [lunch]

Maysville is an American whiskey bar and restaurant named after the Kentucky port town where bourbon was born. How awesome is that! No wonder they have an incredible selection (read: entire wall) of bourbons to choose from. A foodie pal and I stopped in for lunch — unfortunately, we had limited time and I was only able to order two items on the menu, instead of five or more like I usually do. I chose carefully and went with the crispy grits and slow roasted arctic char, which both sounded amazing… and were ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! The crispy grits were tiny fried cubes of creamy grits nestled on bourbon aioli and topped with paper thin slices of ham. Pure perfection! I think I could take down two or three orders of this by myself — they were that amazing. My arctic char was incredibly fresh and tender — it literally melted in my mouth. The accompanying spring veggie broth was a bright, refreshing complement. I was thoroughly impressed with both dishes and cannot wait return to Maysville soon for dinner and bourbon!

Maysville: 17 West 26th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue)

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Crispy Grits with Country Ham and Bourbon Aioli

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Slow Roasted Arctic Char with Spring Green Broth, Roasted Lettuce, and Radish

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The Great Wall of Whiskey

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The dining room

Tzatziki Sauce (Home Cookin’)

Eating chicken breast can get pretty boring after a while (or a day). I needed something that would add a ton of flavor to an otherwise mundane meal. Sure, a few pats of butter would help, but I wanted a healthier option. Solution: Tzatziki! It’s a cool, refreshing Greek sauce that packs a powerful flavor punch and tastes great with so many different things. I just got a new mini food processor in the mail — time to test it out. After a couple of attempts where I failed to remove all of the moisture from the cucumbers (result: watery tzatziki), I finally got it right. I salted the cucumbers to drain some of the water, then used a fine mesh strainer after it was processed to get rid of the rest. Once it was mixed with the Greek yogurt, it was thick and creamy. Opa!

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So excited about my new food processor!

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After salting the cucumber and draining the water, add it to the food processor with the other ingredients

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Once the cucumber is well processed and strained, toss in the yogurt 

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Tasty tzatziki!

Julia Child’s Chicken Fricassee (Home Cookin’)

Julia Child is a culinary icon, pioneer, and a true inspiration. I’m honored to be able to prepare one her legendary recipes, Chicken Fricassee, in my home kitchen. I made a little herb bouquet with parsley, fresh herbes de provence, and bay leaves (I didn’t have any fresh thyme in my fridge to I used the herbes instead). I also didn’t have any cheesecloth on hand so I improvised and used a coffee filter — it worked like a charm. :) For the most part, the recipe was very straightforward. I was a little worries that I would mess up the egg & cream immersion part, but I took it slow and, thankfully, the eggs did not scramble. The resulting cream sauce was beautiful, and the entire dish ended up being a success!

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Get the onions going first because they will need almost an hour to braise

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Make sure both sides of the chicken legs are nicely browned

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Mirepoix is essential!

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Made a little herb bouquet with parsley, fresh herbes de provence, and bay leaves 

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Chicken is covered in broth — time to simmer!

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Cooking the baby bellas in butter and water

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Ten minutes later

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The chicken is looking good!

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Now for the cream sauce:  egg yolks and heavy whipping cream

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Gently whisk small amounts of the chicken broth into the egg mixture. Make sure the egg doesn’t scramble!

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What it should look like if you do it right

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Add the egg and cream mixture to the pan… what a beautiful creamy sauce!

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Braised onions are looking and smelling great

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Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan 

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A classic Julia Child dish!

Quinoa Tabbouleh (Home Cookin’)

After trying the Assiette Mediterranean platter (hummus, babaganoush, tabbouleh) at Le Pain Quotidien, I fell in love with the tabbouleh. It was bright and fresh — and made with quinoa instead of couscous. I’ve been embarking on a new health kick ever since giving up white rice and white bread for Lent this year, and quinoa has slowly crept into more of my homemade meals. I enjoyed this dish so much that I was inspired to make it in my own kitchen. I found a simple recipe online by Bon Appetit and got to work. (Tip: even if the quinoa is pre-washed, I suggest that you wash it again… and again. You want to get rid of the bitter aftertaste.) Overall, this quinoa tabbouleh was super simple to prepare and I was able to keep it in the fridge to munch on over the next few days. Such a great healthy snack!

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All you need are a few simple ingredients

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Mix them together in a bowl

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Thn add the quinoa and mix some more!