Showing posts with label jersey city nj. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jersey city nj. Show all posts

Monday, January 16, 2017

9th & Coles and Sicilian Stye Eggplant Parmesan

It dawned on me the other day that it's been just over a year since I started the Meatless Monday event at 9th and Coles Tavern (Jersey City). Looking back, it was a fun idea that helped power through the doldrums of a cold NE winter and allowed me the opportunity to try working as a cook for the first time in many years.
Jersey City Vegetarian: fried goat cheese balls with Sambal mayo
Goat Cheese Balls
Good times, but in all honesty, it went on longer than it should have. The initial plan was to stop the event in the spring, but the thought of cooking farm fresh spring vegetables made the owner and I start thinking big(ger)-picture-farm-to-table-vegetarian-bar-thingy that was never really sorted out properly. Either way, I ended my participation about six months ago when I started editing journal articles again and realized balancing the two was impossible.
Since then, the tavern was sold and has reopened under new ownership (solid F&B veterans from what I hear). I plan on stopping in a for a beer soon to check it out. Best of luck to everyone involved, that place has miles of potential!
Celery Soup w Fried Brussels Sprouts
Personally, I am enjoying cooking for friends and family again and I welcome the occasional invite to cook for a party or special event; but, being a full-time chef is no longer in the cards for me.
I made the following eggplant parmesan recipe for my family, drummer, and guitar player who were recently over one night for a basement recording session.
Start off by peeling the eggplant and slicing it as close to 1/4" as possible. Then, salt the slices and let sit for 1/2 hour to extract the internal water. Pat dry, lightly dredge in egg, flour or breadcrumb, fry, and let the slices rest on a paper towel. (Keep in mind that these are going to go into the oven, so you definitely don't want to overcook.) When the slices are room temp, begin layering: sauce (I will post a recipe for an awesome, simple tomato sauce soon), eggplant, cheese; sauce, eggplant, cheese... When you've used up all the eggplant and are to the rim of the pan, cover and let sit for a 1/2 hour; then bake in the oven at 350° for 25 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 15 minutes in order to crisp up the top layer of cheese. Let sit for 10 minutes, slice, and serve with a little sauce on the plate and a well-seasoned arugula salad.
Jersey City Vegetarian: tray of eggplant parmJersey City Vegetarian: eggplant parmJersey City Vegetarian: eggplant parm serving

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sometimes It's All About Family (And Farmer's Markets)

This weekend not only brought beautiful sunshine to the Heights of Jersey City but also the season's first farmer's market. Every year the market brings together our ever-increasing population of families, artists, hipsters, local vendors, and farmers to a park that shows off quite possibly the best view of NYC.
And let us not forget the beautiful ingredients that the farmers bring. Although the selection this early in the year is limited, there is still great eating to be had. Beets, asparagus, green beans, and some early hothouse tomatoes were the primary selection, and I opted for all of the above. I figured I would make some homemade veggie burgers with the beats and some fresh black beans that earlier that morning had come off of the stove. While prepping the beets I accidentally came across a new snack from a part of the beet I usually reserve for stock or compost--the stems. After removing the leaves for sautéing, my 3.5-year-old picked up one of the chewy/fibrous stems, bit into it and said: "Daddy, these stems taste good!" Taking it from his hand, I tried it as well, and he was absolutely correct--they were juicy and sweet, and with an olive oil drizzle, a little salt and pepper, and a quick sweet chili aioli (Vegenaise, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and insert hot sauce) we had our appetizer.
It was then on to a bowl of fresh asparagus with Israeli garlic couscous. I blanched the asparagus in salted water and gave them a quick saute in olive oil and red wine vinegar.  After the saute, I tossed them in the couscous with some fresh chives from my garden and the second course was complete.
It was then onto the homemade veggie burgers. I don't want to give too much away, but the way I cook them, they come out perfectly "medium rare."
I'm really looking forward to documenting what I make out of this year's spring/summer's veggie selection and sharing the images, processes, and recipes with all of you.
It should be noted that towards the end of August I will not only be a shopper at the Riverview farmer's market, but I will also be doing a vegetarian cooking demonstration. See you then, if not before.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A New Veggie-centric Bar Menu at 9C

Good morning, it's been a while.

On March 21st I mentioned that I had some news relating to this blog and working at 9th & Coles Tavern. Well, just over three weeks ago I started to help launch (under the radar and without sounding the trumpets and rallying the troops) a new, primarily vegetarian bar menu.

Some images of the food we've been doing below.

Jersey City vegetarian pierogi
Jersey City vegetarian curry fries
Curry Fries
Jersey City Vegetarian Hummus

Jersey City vegetarian fried Brussels sprouts and chickpeas
Fried Brussels Sprouts and Chick Peas Tossed in Honey and Lemon Juice

Jersey City Vegetarian Buffalo Tofu
Obligatory Buffalo tofu

Black Bean Soup with Cilantro Salsa Verde and Sour Cream

Veggie Quesadilla
Salsa Verde and Homemade Hot Sauce
Jersey City Vegetarian Vegan Chocolate Brownies
Vegan Chocolate Brownies

Monday, March 21, 2016

Meatless Monday, 9th & Coles Tavern, March 21st, 2016

Good morning, apologies for the short post, but I'm been busy prepping for tonight's service (trying to come up with a good batter for the cabbage—I'm thinking something Guinness-based). I have some big news coming that I will blog about soon! Tonight's menu below:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Meatless Monday, 9th & Coles Tavern, February 15th 2016

This week's menu is a combination of some bar-food ideas mixed with dead-of-winter, root-vegetable and bean soothing goodness. A nice pink lentil soup with either fried Brussels sprouts or an Italian Gremolata will start things out. This will be followed by a warm beet, caramelized red onion, and spinach salad that will be tossed in an orange-tarragon vinaigrette. Third, fried BBQ tofu served on a bed of cabbage tempura, topped with a home-made peanut sauce. The 4th course will be veggie sliders, dressed with sun-choked cherry tomatoes, bread and butter pickles, and a white pepper aioli (vegan)…actually, now that I think about it, the entire meal is vegan…. But don't let the "V-word" scare you, this food is rich, super filling, and plenty flavorful! Each one can be made à la carte as well. Hope to see you there.


And from last week: Spanish cous-cous stuffed onion on top of a red onion and pigeon pea relish:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Meatless Monday, 9th & Coles Tavern, February 8th, 2016

As of late I've been running the kitchen a couple nights a week at Raval, a very "vibey" Spanish tapas place on Newark Ave. in Jersey City. It's not a vegetarian spot, but they do have have great vegetarian options. Because of this I have not had the time to post any good prep photos; but worry-ye-not, prep is being done and this week's menu is easily one of the best. I am going over to 9C in a little bit to start, so i will post photos as I go. Menu below.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Meatless Monday, February 1st, 2016. Food as Good as La Liga.

My good friend Tom is celebrating his 50th birthday in Madrid starting this weekend. In honor of this occasion (and the fact that starting Sunday I will be plying my trade a couple days a week in a really cool tapas restaurant downtown) this week's menu will be a vegetarian take on a few Spanish tapas. I'm also going to do a bowl of Tossed Chick Pea and Brussels Sprouts and the Orange-Tarragon Carrots--I'm really enjoying the way the toasted pecans work with the vinaigrette. It's going to be warm and drizzly (warm being the focus) on Monday, but I hope to see you there! (Edit: Oops, almost forgot to post the menu...)


And a couple photos of dishes coming out the kitchen last week:

Broccoli & Cheese Toast
Fave Cicoria

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Meatless Monday, 9th & Coles Tavern, January 11, 2016

This week at 9th & Coles Tavern, I am preparing another farm-fresh meal (well as fresh as you can get in January, thank (insert deity here) for root cellars and walk-ins.

Even though I have predominately German/Polish blood, the fact that I grew up in NJ makes me at least part Italian. I would put my Polish mom's gravy up against just about anyone's :-), and that's where I'm going with this week's menu—Upstate NY, Italian!!

The soup will be a take on Escarole and White Bean, subbing shaved Brussels Sprouts for the leafy green. This started with a fresh veggie stock, in which the beans were cooked, then the sprouts and other ingredients were added to make a nice simple, brothy soup. This will be served with a piece of pecorino-toast and a drizzle of olive oil.

Second course will be a roasted beet and poached carrot salad served with an orange tarragon dressing. I poached the carrots standing up and stuffed into a large pan, creating a nice caramelization at the bottom of the carrot. The don't need to do much, they're perfect with a simple roast.

Third course will be a Pasta Puttanesca, with the entree being my take on an eggplant Parmesan. I will make these two in the restaurant's kitchen tomorrow, not exactly sure what I am going to do with the eggplant, but I have an idea and I'm pretty sure it's gonna involve the deep fryer! Hope to see some of you there, last week's event sold out by 10:00pm, Cheers!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Pumpkin Soup with Celery Root Puree and Dried Cranberries

This was my test batch for the soup we will be serving for this upcoming week's Meatless Monday at 9th & Coles Tavern (1/4/16). I've never cooked whole pumpkins before, but it worked really well and the soup turned out better than I expected. When I removed the pumpkins from the pot the skin fell away, leaving perfectly roasted pumpkin flesh that was puréed with veggie stock and a little almond milk. We had a celery-root ball in the fridge, so that was puréed and added too. It was one of those soups that made you feel like a better person on the inside. :-P

Happy New Year, and thanks for checking this blog out, my numbers are increasing 10-fold!

Pumpkin Soup with Celery Root Puree and Dried Cranberries
 Pumpkin Soup with Celery Root Puree and Dried Cranberries

Pumpkin Soup with Celery Root Puree and Dried Cranberries

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce a la Yotam

Soon after I started this, my buddy Chef Paul from BMC invited me over to his house and declared "Dude, this is the book and the chef you need to check out, what he does with vegetables is ridiculous." We were kind of in a rush, so it went in one ear and out the other. The next time I was over his house, he brought it up again, "Did you get this book yet!?" Luckily for me, Christmas was right around the corner and Santa was looking for something to get me.

The recipes are beautiful and the book is so engaging that I read it in it's entirety on a 2 hour flight to Michigan where I ended up preparing the book's cover dish. See photos below. It tasted better than it looks, and it looks pretty damn good!