'new york a la cart' on Serious Eats
Cold icy desserts are probably the most refreshing snack you can get out of a street cart. Wooly's Ice's Green Tea Ice recipe in Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace's new cookbook, New York a la Cart, is a perfect example. While the guys behind the cart make their ices with a heavy-duty ice shaver, it is easy to replicate the process by freezing green tea and condensed milk granita-style. Simply pour your base into a large baking dish, and stir with a fork every 30 minutes or so until every bit has frozen into fluffy bits.
Huaraches are my new favorite Mexican street food. But what's a huarache you ask? Picture a slightly thick, massively oversized homemade tortilla. Then picture this tortilla stuffed with refried beans. Then add more beans, spicy chorizo, cheese, lettuce, salsa, and tomatoes on top. Make it hot. Make it crisp. Make it over-the-top. And, thanks to Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace's new book, New York à la Cart, you can make this version, from Red Hook's popular Country Boys truck, in your own kitchen.
Until picking up Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace's new cookbook, New York a la Cart, I didn't know the first thing about making dosas at home. I didn't even know you could make dosas at home. The tangy, ethereally light and crisp oversize Indian pancakes seem like the kind of dish unwise to attempt on a tiny stove, in a tiny kitchen with little practice at spreading gloppy, sticky batter. But with a little practice, dosas pretty darn close to what you'd be served at food cart NY Dosas can be had in your kitchen.
I eat a lot of falafel. It can come from a cart, a restaurant, or even a deli case--I don't really discriminate. But I probably should be more picky because most of the falafel out there isn't great. So much of the falafel I find is either greasy and falling apart or dense and dry. But after making King of Falafel & Shawarma's falafel recipe in Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace's new cookbook, New York a la Cart, I may stop buying my falafel pre-made (unless of course I happen to be in Astoria and happen to stop by the Falafel King himself). These falafel are made properly, with soaked dried chickpeas and a whole party of spices. Rolled into small balls and fried for just a few minutes, they emerge crisp-tender and fragrant. They're perfect in pita sandwiches or eaten one by one, with your hands, dipped into a giant bowl of tahini.
Hear talk of New York street food, and the words "halal meat cart" will probably come up, followed by the words "white sauce" and "hot sauce." I'd heard these words more than a few times from friends in the city, but as a non-native, I had little idea what they were actually describing. In New York a la Cart, Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace highlight one particularly well-known halal cart called Kwik Meal. Kwik Meal's signature dish is a yogurt-y lamb (as opposed to the more typical chicken) marinated with mashed green papaya and a few choice spices. Served over rice with white sauce and hot sauce (Penfold and Wallace suggest cooking down spicy salsa verde for 10 minutes or so to replicate the hot sauce), this lamb is relatively mild in spice yet super tender, with a nice balance of acidity to rich meat.