Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea Market’

Pichuberries

September 24, 2015

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Last week I was on the hunt for fresh fruit to decorate the three tiered tart I was making for a photoshoot. I visited the Union Square Greenmarket and my favorite fresh produce shop in Chelsea Market, who often carry a unique selection of fruits and vegetables. The goal was to find fruit that was not only appropriate in scale, but also in color scheme. I wanted to stay somewhat neutral in palette, with soft greens and pale oranges being the focus.
I saw these unusual berries when I walked into the store, and knew they would be the perfect compliment to the green champagne grapes, mini seckle pears, and tiny apricots that I was using. What I didn’t know, was that they are a nutritional powerhouse, primed to emerge as the next super fruit in our arsenal of healthy foods.

What were these called? Pichuberries!

These tiny, waxy berries grow inside husks like tomatillos do. The fruit is sweet and juicy with a tart aftertaste. They orginated in Peru, and are grown commercially in Columbia.

Pichuberries have a low glycemic index, and are high in antioxidents, minerals and protein. The fruit is also a good source of vitamins A, E, D, P and  B complex vitamins B1, B12 and B6. Just 3 oz. of pichuberries can provide 39% of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin D. They also contain a compound called withanolides, which are associated with inhibiting cancer cell growth, and reducing inflammation.

The list of health benefits is so long, that the pichubery has its own website, where you can learn more about it.

Move over acai, these little guys are coming for you!

Photos courtesty of pichuberry.com

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Unrecipe of the Week: Pasta With Seafood + Marinara Sauce

April 3, 2014

This is a perfect unrecipe for those of us lucky enough to live near a place to get the freshest seafood, pasta made daily, and even a homemade marinara sauce in a jar. For me, it’s a quick trip to Chelsea Market.

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I purchase freshly caught Atlantic shrimp and scallops at The Lobster Place, one of New York’s very best fish markets. I sear them with very little seasoning, as the marinara sauce from Buon Italia is full of diced garlic, rich red tomatoes, and slick with olive oil, which coats Rana’s homemade pasta beautifully.

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Sure, this can be done with commercially jarred marinara sauce, and dried pasta with acceptable results. For a few extra minutes

(ok, maybe 15 extra minutes,) you can create the sauce yourself. It’s that simple. It’s that easy. It’s that good.

Shrimp and Scallops in a Spicy Marinara Sauce Over Pasta:

Clean and devein shrimp, rinse scallops and pat dry. It is important to get as much moisture off of the seafood so it sears and browns.( I figure about 1/2 pound of seafood per person )

White garlic from Lomagne

Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté 3 or 4 cloves of diced garlic until soft. Place the seafood in a single layer in the pan so that each piece touches the hot surface. Don’t over crowd the pan. If necessary, do this in batches. Flip it and sear the other side. This should only take a few minutes.

This is our homemake pasta from a previous post.

This is our homemake pasta from a previous post.

Add a can or box* of diced San Marzano tomatoes and a liberal dose of salt. Add a little red pepper and lay a leaf or two of fresh basil across the top of the mixture. The leaves will wilt into the sauce naturally. Heat until the sauce starts to bubble, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook briefly, and serve over pasta.  Enjoy!

*canned tomatoes are a good news/ bad news item. They are healthier, due to the higher levels of lycopine than fresh tomatoes, but their acidity makes the chemicals in the can even more harmful. Whole Foods carries San Marzano tomatoes in tetra pack boxes, which is a much healthier alternative. If you can’t find them, you can use Pomi brand, which has always come in boxes.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Cod in Spicy Tomato Broth with Calamari

May 13, 2013

I haven’t been posting many (un) recipes lately. I have been busy with work and other commitments, and  I have been falling back on my old standbys rather than creating new ones. This weekend, I was committed to trying something different.

We had a violent storm rip through the city on Saturday afternoon, and when the thunder, lightening and torrential rains subsided, I headed out pick up some ingredients for dinner. I ran into a friend along the way, who decided to accompany me on a trip through Chelsea Market, making the journey much more fun.

Inspired by a recipe from Andrew Carmellini, I began foraging through the market.

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First stop, the newly renovated Lobster Place. Oh how I missed my fabulous seafood market during the several months they were closed! It has finally reopened, with an expanded space, immense selection and an attached restaurant.

It was there that I picked up fresh cod filets, cleaned squid and a small bottle of clam juice.

Next stop: The Manhattan Fruit Exchange for fresh produce. I added a red bell pepper, a bunch of basil and some baby arugula to my stash, and moved on.

My final stop was Rana, where I bought some homemade fettuccini to use as a base for my concoction.

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The result?

Oven Braised Cod in Spicy Tomato Broth with Calamari

In a large sauté pan, (with a lid) sauté some thinly sliced garlic in olive oil. Add a red bell pepper sliced into thin strips. Toss in some hot red pepper flakes, and add about a ½ cup of dry white wine. Bring it to a boil and add about a cup of clam juice and 2 cups of marinara sauce. At this point, it’s ok to use a simple marinara sauce from a jar if you don’t want to take the time to prepare your own.

Simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes, until the red pepper softens. If the sauce starts to get too thick, add a little more wine or clam juice. Pour it into the blender, and puree until smooth. *

Season the cod filets with salt and pepper and place them in the sauté pan. Pour the tomato broth over the fish, cover it, and cook it in a 375-degree oven for about 12 minutes or so.

When the fish is done, carefully remove it from the pan, and set aside, covering it to keep warm.

Return the pan to the stove, and add the calamari (squid) cut into rings.. Simmer lightly for 2 or 3 minutes until they are fully cooked. Avoid boiling them, as they will get rubbery. Add some chopped basil and arugula to the pan and mix thoroughly.

To serve: Place the cooked fettuccini into pasta bowls. Place a fish filet on top of the pasta, and pour a generous amount of the sauce and calamari over the fish.

Make sure you have a spoon, or a big piece of crusty bread on hand, because you will want to lap up every last bit of that rich, spicy sauce!

Remember, this is an unrecipe. If you can’t find fresh calamari, try rock shrimp, bay scallops or clams instead. Or be adventurous, and use a little of each!
Even simpler, just cook the fish and use the flavorful sauce on it’s own, without the added seafood. It will still be delicious! If you choose to use a bottled sauce, you may need to adjust your seasonings a bit. If the sauce already has a lot of garlic, you may not want to add anymore at all.

Enjoy!

* Be careful when blending hot liquids! Place a kitchen towel over the top of the blender, and use a few cautious pulses to get started. You only need to experience the explosion of scalding hot liquids when the top blows off the blender once, to learn to practice caution.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Pastapaluzza!

January 28, 2013

I was at a dinner party last night, hosted by a lovely Italian couple. The hostess was a wonderful cook. Her food was simple and authentic, filled with the fresh flavors of her native cuisine; just the way I like it.

At some point, the talk turned to pasta, and rave reviews were given to Giovanni Rana, a popular pasta maker out of Verona,Italy, who recently opened an outpost in New York City’s Chelsea Market. Since I just live down the street from the market and shop there often, I immediately headed that way to check it out.

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The array of fresh, homemade pasta is beautiful to behold. There are about 30 different types, both plain and filled. The dough choices vary from the classic to more creative beet, pumpkin and squid ink varieties. The filled options are vast. There are vegetable and cheese versions, such as radicchio and gorgonzola, spinach and ricotta, and artichoke and smoked mozzarella ravioli. There was also lovely ricotta and fresh truffle raviolini wrapped in a poppy seed dough. Various meat combinations exist as well. In addition, every possible cut of unfilled pasta is available, in a plethora of flavors and shapes.

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The freshly made pasta is available by the pound to be prepared at home, or cooked on site and tossed with the sauce of your choice to go. There is also a 140 seat restaurant attached to the shop for a more traditional dining experience.

Giovanni Rana Pastaficio & Cucina 

p.s. We just finished dinner and the pasta did not disappoint. The dough was light and delicate, with the fillings just hearty enough to provide flavor and substance,without overpowering the feathery outsides. With just a touch of melted butter and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and black pepper, both the spinach and ricotta ravioli and the prosciutto tortollini were a hit!! They took just 2-3 minutes in boiling water to cook. It just doesn’t get easier than that!
Verdict:Delicious as advertised.

Food, Wine and Fun

October 10, 2009

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The second annual Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival is in full swing this weekend, in various locations around the city.

This event brings together both legendary culinary icons from around the world, and America’s most beloved television chefs.  The festival is hosted by, and benefits hunger relief organizations The Food Bank of New York, and Share Our Strength.

Centered primarily in the Meatpacking District of New York, and the famed Chelsea Market, there are workshops for adults and kids, as well as guest chef appearances, restaurant events, and an outdoor farmer’s market.

Come out and taste great food and wine, meet celebrity chefs such as Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, Paula Deen and Tom Colicchio, take a kid’s cooking class, and help end hunger.  It’s a foodie paradise!!

The event runs from October 8-11.

For more information and a listing of events, visit their website:  http://www.nycwineandfoodfestival.com/2009/

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Photos: Spencer Jones


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