Showing posts with label Jersey City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jersey City. Show all posts

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tofu in a Lemon, Butter, Capers Sauce. Not Your Typical Scampi

When I was younger my family would bounce back-and-forth between the beach and our home up north. It's one of the perks to growing up in New Jersey—the mountains, the farms, the beach, the ski slopes, and NYC are no more than a short drive or train ride away, creating unlimited day trips and culinary experiences.

Before I write the next part, I want to say that raising a vegetarian son is easy. At three-and-a-half he understands why he doesn't eat animals and, to be honest, he wouldn't have it any other way. But there are moments (some very strong moments) usually triggered by a whiff of a classic, beach-related flavor combination that I get the urge to give him a cherrystone clam drenched in butter, garlic, and parsley or a perfectly steamed oyster with just a little vinegar and horseradish or a delicately fried jumbo shrimp tossed in butter and Old Bay, all sensory reminders of good times spent down the shore. And, whether it be my parent's cozy little bungalow with all the windows open and the grill roaring; the Crab's Claw, situated right between the Atlantic Ocean and the Barnegat Bay (a wonderful smelling, salty crosswind included at no charge); or sitting with my grandmother at the "old person's bar" on Seaside Heights Boardwalk eating fried clams and cocktail sauce; the smell of beer + saltwater + seafood will be forever embedded into my innermost psyche, triggering memories of a youth well-spent surfing, fishing, crabbing, and cooking.

I saw an image of a shrimp scampi dish in a friend's FB feed so I decided to try to recreate it substituting lightly roasted tofu for shrimp. I drenched it in butter, olive oil, onions, capers, lemon, garlic, and a little white wine. I served it with a nice loaf of crusty bread and well seasoned blanched asparagus covered in micro-planed Parmesan cheese. We ate this outside and drank a slightly chilled rosé (not my son)—the perfect combination for the saltiness of this caper-heavy dish. 

I'm happy to say that it took care of the craving, the boy (and the girl) loved it, and the best part (as far they're both concerned) nothing had to perish in the process. Feel free to email me for the recipe. Till next time…

Tofu Scampi, capers, lemon, butter, white wine
 blanched asparagus with parmesan cheese

Friday, February 19, 2016

It's Already Friday, But I've Been Thinking About Monday Since Tuesday

It's already Friday, but I've been thinking about Monday since Tuesday and I'm pretty sure we're ready to go. This week I'm delving deeper into the use of spice to liven things up a bit. Spring is right around the corner and with it brings new ingredients from the farm. But for now, beets, carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and rutabaga (if anyone can email or message me good rutabaga ideas, I would be extremely grateful!), in all their wonderful rooty goodness are the colors of my pallet. And when I say "spice" I'm referring to depth, not necessarily heat.

The first course will be a beet and veggie-ball stew—a take on a traditional Iraqi-Jewish dish—deep spices, but more savory than hot. The second course will actually be a little spicy, a Moroccan carrot salad. The heat is such that it enhances the dish without overpowering it. Third course, a traditional Patatas Bravas, something i've been making a lot lately at Raval, and truth be told, the amazing farm potatoes should be highlighted at least once each menu. This will be served with some sort of aioli that hasn't been chosen yet—I want it to be different, but still keep Spanish roots. The fourth course will be a Kentucky-fried portabella mushroom served with sautéed spinach and (quite possibly) the best peanut sauce I have ever had. This is the first dish that Buddi (the other cook who's with me Mondays) has contributed and it's everything you could possibly imagine it being—a sweet-smokey-roasted-salty peanut puree with a touch of heat from toasted red chili pepper flakes.

It's finally going to be nice, so come out and shake some of that winter off, with some hearty vegetarian food! See you there.

Some pictures of last week's menu and one dish that is surely on the horizon in the next month or so below.

**It should be noted that we now offer everything à la carte as an additional option to the tasting menu.

Jersey City Vegetarian Meatless Monday Menu for 2.22.2016 9th & Coles Tavern

Warm beet and arugula salad with crumbled, toasted pecans
Bbq tofu and cabbage tempura with a peanut sauce

And coming this spring, my son's favorite: "Remi's" Ratatouille:

"Remi's" Ratatouille

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Meatless Monday, 9th & Coles Tavern, December 14, 2015

Great turnout for the second week of Meatless Mondays at the Tavern. I'm starting to get the hang of mass production, while at the same time cutting down on unnecessary prep waste. This whole cooking thing was WAY easier when it was for just 8, or 4 pre-counted heads. I'm not complaining because the experience is amazing and on a humanistic level, I've had more stimulating education in the last three weeks than I've had in the last year. :-)

The upcoming menu and few pictures below. It's probably just me being picky, but this particular image of the cauliflower steak was taken (i'm assuming) at the end of the night and it was for a staff member who asked for "extra gravy." Service dishes had a little less which made it more visually appealing (but just as tasty). It should be noted that these two dishes were completely Vegan. 

9th & Coles Tavern, Meatless Monday, Jersey City, 9C
 Minestrone soup, 9th & Coles Tavern, Jersey City Vegetarian, basil pesto, Israeli cous cous