The idea of gluten free has been around for a long time now but I’m still quite not 100% sure what gluten free really means. Is it just no flour? What else has gluten in it? So when an invite to attend dinner at Wild, a gluten free restaurant in Williamsburg, I decided to go. I was curious about gluten free and was hoping to learn something.
We were treated to two gluten free pizzas, the Wild Mushroom Truffle pizza with ricotta and arugula and the Wild White pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, truffle oil and cracked pepper. There were also the house salad with beets, tomatoes, artichokes, and goat cheese, pan seared salmon, wild chicken parm, gluten free penne pomodoro, and couple bites of desserts.
I love that there is a gluten free centric restaurant for people that are allergic to gluten, a place to dine out. But this place isn’t for me. I felt bad as I was eating the pizza because the entire time I was thinking about the slice of non-gluten free pizza I was going to eat when I get home. Am I bad? The flavors were there on the topping, I especially liked the white pie but I just love a good pizza crust way too much to give it up. There were hits and misses for the rest of the menu. The penne was over cooked but nice sauce and the chicken parm was pretty good.
Overall it was a fun night and I got to try some gluten free stuff but I just don’t think I’ll give up gluten anytime soon.
Wild, 340 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg Brooklyn
After many weekends of Brussels sprouts, potatoes, carrots and kale, I finally saw asparagus at the farmer’s market. I love kale but it’s nice to finally have something new. Luckily, I had some stuff in the fridge to fix myself a quick lunch. Check out my recipe for an asparagus, shrimp pasta with miso paste.
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What’s harissa? The first time I heard about harissa was when I was watching Jamie’s Fish Supper where he grilled sardines and harissa was used. According to the internet, harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce that sounds pretty darn spicy.
While I was shopping at Eastern District last week, I saw that they were selling jars of harissa. I’ve been on a spicy kick where I basically add sriracha to every I eat so I bought a jar to taste what harissa is all about.
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When I get bad news — really bad news, not just annoyances — my first inclination is to make a big dish of baked pasta. It’s what I did when I heard my grandfather had died, and it’s what I did when I learned that a co-worker had been admitted to the ICU. It’s not the same as comfort food, really. There’s something about the process, the ritual of it, that helps me deal with the situations I’m in. What follows is my standard recipe, though it’s simple enough that can certainly be tweaked to your liking, and it feeds two-to-four people (or one person in a truly foul mood). Let me know what your bad news food is in the comments below.
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Lentils are great. You can do crazy, fancy and elaborate things to them or just plain simple like adding them to miso soup. They are great at absorbing flavors and at the same time hold on to their own distinctive flavor. They are cheap, healthy and delicious.
Here’s a quick way to eat lentils. Saute diced garlic and onion with lentils in some olive oil. Add enough liquid (water or stock) so that there’s about half an inch between the lentils and the top of the liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer till lentils are done. Add tomato paste, ketchup, salt and pepper to taste. Serve an egg (fried, poached, hard boiled) with the lentils.
Here are few more ways you can cook lentils.
Lentils, Beans and Pork Cracklings over Toast
Pork Belly Stew with Lentils and Kale
Lentils with Pasta
And then there’s always the reliable lentil soup or if you some have some spices laying around, try making daal.
It’s a sad truth that fresh seasonal products can be expensive, and doubly so when those products are foraged. Take, for example, morel mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns. Both representative of Spring, both foraged, both expensive. But you don’t have to buy very many of them to make a big impact, and all you have to do is to treat them simply and bring out the best of their flavor.
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When Piccoli opened in Windsor Terrace, I really wanted to go try it. They specialize in risotto and I do love a good plate of tasty risotto. Though, situated next to Bene Pizza, it was only a to-go spot. I still haven’t been to it yet but recently they opened a sit down restaurant in Park Slope. I wasn’t in a hurry to go try it but then a friend wanted to have dinner there so I went.
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