Batter Licker

May 25, 2010

chicken and rice à la 53rd and 6th’s halal cart in new york

Filed under: chicken/turkey,rice — Tags: , , , , , — Kristen @ 7:49 pm

This week, my Barbri class began, which means I have ten straight weeks of doing little else except intensely studying California law. That’s right; I’m lawyering up. Unlike the last two years of law school, the California bar exam doesn’t let me pick and choose which subjects I’m interested in or focus on the specific areas I’ll likely practice in. Oh no. That would be too kind. And far too practical for this great state. California makes you learn it all, from the humdrum of wills and trusts to the intricacies of contract law (a subject which, by the way, the instructor claimed was about as fun and exciting as getting a prostate exam; being female, I wouldn’t really know much about that, but I’ll make a semi-educated assumption that the comparison is spot-on). Needless to say, thinking about the next ten studying- and memorization-filled weeks and the Big, Bad Bar Exam lurking in the final days of July has me longing for simpler, fun-packed times. Like last spring, when my law school’s moot court program paid for my trip to New York, where I stayed for five days and ate at the infamous 53rd St. and 6th Ave. Halal Cart … on four separate occasions.

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If you aren’t already aware, for $6, the fine men at the cart will load you up (or you and a friend – seriously, I recommend sharing, especially when it’s a late night post-bar binge) with chicken and rice, topped with a handful of lettuce. Then, you step around to the side of the cart and go to town dressing it up with the white sauce and the red sauce. No labels. Just giant squeeze bottles full of white, and others full of red. The white sauce is magical (more…)

March 7, 2010

The Olive Press cooking competition: 4 extra virgin olive oils, 4 extra vivacious courses

It’s finally that time. Time for me to unveil the results of a few excited weeks of learning about olive oils of various intensity and brainstorming fun ways to use them, all while recovering from a nasty accident involving an immersion blender and an index finger (but I won’t go into that, except to say that I eventually became remarkably adept at nine-fingered typing, shampooing, and cooking). So when The Olive Press invited me to partake in their cooking competition (please vote HERE), I was incredibly thrilled about the opportunity to experiment with the Sonoma, California-based company’s award-winning oils. The Olive Press sent me four different bottles of their extra virgin olive oils – Arbequina, Mission, Italian Blend, and Blood Orange – and challenged me to create a four-course meal using one of the oils in each course. Drum roll please …

Appetizer: Roasted Tomato and Garlic, Kalamata Olive, and Feta Bruschetta, featuring the robust Italian Blend olive oil.

Any time there’s an excuse to do so, I love coming up with different versions of bruschetta. Yes, it’s a relatively simple appetizer, featuring just a handful of complementary, fresh ingredients that can easily be adapted to use whatever you have on hand. But when done right, each bite packs so much flavor and texture. And crunch. (There’s something infinitely more satisfying (to me) when a dish comes with a little bit of crunch, probably because I consistently deprive myself of those pre-made, boxed-up salty snacks that others inconsiderately munch on during my Commercial Contract Writing class.)

For this version of bruschetta, I went a Mediterranean route because the intense flavors of the roasted tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and feta stood up to and were well-complemented by the incredibly robust (dare I say spicy?) Italian Blend olive oil.

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Main Course: Walnut-Crusted Halibut with Roasted Red Pepper Harissa, featuring Blood Orange olive oil.

This dish is near perfection. The halibut is enhanced but not overpowered by the relatively mild Blood Orange olive oil. Both the walnuts and the panko give the fish’s crust a nice crunchy texture, and the walnuts add a rich, buttery flavor while still keeping the dish healthy. (more…)

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