Sometimes you just crave some fresh vegetables…but salad need not be only made of boring romaine lettuce. After eating that amazing kale salad at Northern Spy, I wanted to try to re-create something similar. I stumbled across this recipe and ran to our grocery store (actually, Adam ran to our grocery store) to pick up the necessary ingredients. It was pretty darn good!
If you’ve never worked with kale before, do not be afraid. While this giant leafy green may look intimidating, I promise you can handle it. Simply pull the leaves from the large stems, wash very well, and prepare however your heart desires (like my previously posted kale chips). Now salad alone does not a dinner make, so keeping with the fresh and healthy theme, we went with a favorite salmon recipe: Giada’s Salmon Cakes. Due to sheer laziness, the only thing I changed was not to bread them in extra breadcrumbs and I used panko instead of the saltines.
I’ll tell you they are definitely better when breaded and worth the extra step but still delicious. DO NOT skip the sauce…it really makes the dish in my humble opinion.
I must tell you about two delicious restaurants I visited in Park Slope this past week. The first was for a very special date night with my husband. We can both get very busy, but I think it’s important to break from the same work, dinner, tv, sleep routine and get out sometime…just the two of us. So, last week we made reservations at a Mexican restaurant that has been on my very long list of restaurants to try for a while. Fonda has a great deal for happy hour…$5 dollar guac for two (that’s normally $10) and cheap margaritas and beer. And let me tell you…this guac was definitely built for two and some of the best we’ve ever had. What also made it so good was the homemade, soft, mini corn tortilla’s it came with.
Despite being stuffed with avocado, I couldn’t miss out on the chicken enchilada’s with mole poblano sauce. Having never tried mole before, I really didn’t know what to expect.
This sauce was so complex, filled with nuts, chilies, spices, and served over tender chicken stuffed corn tortillas, I was very sad I couldn’t finish my plate.
Adam’s fish was also really really good…the potatoes underneath were so addictive and the sauce was sweet/savory/fruity…a very unique combo. Definitely a date night success!
The other new spot was Bogota Latin Bistro, the perfect place for a girls night out. After the complimentary plantain chips and assortment of house-made sauces, we were off to a good start! The menu has some really interesting sounding dishes and it was very hard to choose to make sure my dining partner and I had the best and most authentic experience possible. Our waitress was super helpful and our two appetizer choices were spot on.
Both were so good but so filling! I don’t know that I would order the patacon again…definitely happy I tried it but it was a bit much for me. The goat cheese empanada on the other hand…that was a keeper. I was in the mood for fish and what I really liked was that you could pick any two sides to accompany you main and they had such a variety of interesting choices. I went with the sauteed kale (definitely my fave vegetable of the moment) and steamed yucca, which is like a sweet potato.
There were so many other interesting sounding dishes on the menu and tons of vegetarian options too…I think I may have to break my rule and return to this resto again!
After a busy week, I was ready to spend some time in the kitchen, and a big Shabbat dinner was the perfect excuse. For some reason, I was in the mood for a stuffed chicken breast…I’ve made mushroom stuffed chicken breasts before but we had an abundance of apples in our fruit drawer and after some internet searching, I came across this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Apple-Currant-and-Caraway-Stuffed-Chicken-Breasts-106360 I left out the caraway, subbed panko for rye crumbs and dried cranberries for currants. The stuffing was delicious but I have to tell you, stuffing the chicken didn’t go exactly as I had planned. I could not for the life of me cut the pocket the recipe wanted me to. After getting stuffing all over the counter, I took a different approach. I cut the chicken down the side lengthwise and opened it like a book, placed the stuffing on one side and folded it over. In fear of the stuffing falling everywhere when pan frying, I just baked it in the oven and then made the sauce separately. It was still delicious (just maybe not as pretty) and we had extra stuffing to serve on the side. Roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic and olive oil were a nice compliment to the sweet stuffing. The other side was just as star worthy as the chicken…the double stuffed sweet potato.
Double Stuffed Sweet Potato
1 sweet potato
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
sprinkle of cinnamon
sprinkle of chili powder
Candied pecan topping
1/3 cup pecans halves
1 tbsp butter/margarine
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potato and pierce with fork and bake in oven until tender, about an hour. Cut in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the inside, leaving a little of the flesh in along the outside so that you have a sturdy sweet potato shell. Mash flesh with maple syrup, cinnamon, chili powder and stuff back in the two sweet potato shells. For the pecan topping, preheat a skillet over medium heat and melt butter or margarine. Add pecans, sugar, chili powder and salt and cook until sugar is caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a cookie sheet to cool. Chop and top sweet potatoes with pecans. Bake stuffed sweet potatoes in oven for about 10 minutes.
These were a nice change from our usual roasted sweet taters and the seasonings for the stuffing our endless! Thanksgiving planning is now underway…these Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes would actually be a good addition to any Thanksgiving menu. What are your fave Thanksgiving dishes? Gearing up for my first American turkey day!