The pantry of Dennise Chavez's Carnitas El Atoradero puts the rest of New York's Mexican kitchens to shame. While the city is home to the largest concentration of Poblanos outside Puebla, it's still difficult to find fresh, quality chilies, herbs, and spices. Here are just a few of the ingredients that go into her jawdropping moles and Pueblan dishes.
"People used to say, 'the streets in New York are paved in gold,'" Laura Silver said to me over the phone. "No they're not. They're paved in knishes." Born in Brooklyn and bred in Queens, Silver is the world's leading authority on the knish, and she knows just how vital it is to Jews'—and New Yorkers'—culinary heritage, even if everyone else forgets about the poor thing.
What you'll find in Michoacán is food both rustic and hearty but almost electric in flavor, with more tamales than you can shake a stick at. Dishes like fresh cheese cooked with chili, belly-hugging casseroles made of tamales, and lard-fried carnitas; starchy hominy pozole emblazoned with chilies and birria so rich it sticks to your lips.
Doused with a healthy portion of gravy, stuffed between crunchy bread, or served bobbing in a piping hot soup, meatballs are prepared and served in nearly limitless ways. From Bangladesh to New York, here's our guide to a handful of the world's most delicious varieties. Meatballs of the world unite!
"The bialy is more of a secret love," says Jane Ziegelman, the director of the Tenement Museum's culinary program. "Everyone knows you can love a bagel. Not everyone knows you can love a bialy."
The Yucatán, which sits at the end of Mexico's curling peninsula, has a culinary culture that stretches back to the early days of the Mayan empire. But its rich cuisine, flavored with fiery chilies, sour oranges, and pit smoke, is just as vibrant today.
Longtime New York deli-goers know all about Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda, the herbaceous, bitter, and peppery soft drink that, yes, is still in production, with a zaftig perfume that's equal parts beguiling and refreshing. So where did this weird soda come from, and how has it survived so many of the delis that stocked it?
The geographic and ethnic diversity of Oaxaca has gifted it with some of the most rich and varied food you'll find in Mexico. There are far more than seven moles to be found here.
Separated from inland Mexico by the Sierra Madre mountains, Veracruz is a place of contrasts, where 500 miles of wet, tropical coastline bleed into snow-capped mountains. It's home to some of Mexico's simplest food, but also some of its most impressive.
What is Poblano cuisine? Meat wrapped in fragrant leaves and roasted underground or braised in tomatoes and tomatillos. Pumpkin seeds used in more ways than you thought possible. A sophisticated bread culture. And of course there's mole, the chocolate-tinged sauce that takes dozens of ingredients and days to make, which, when done right, is a Proustian madeleine of the New World.
The best way to do Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is to stick to the markets, and from sausage to cheese to pasta to olive oil, we have recommendations for your whole Italian shopping list.
Let it be our secret: the best sandwich on Arthur Avenue can't be found in any deli. It's one you make yourself with great ingredients from all over the neighborhood.
When Liliana Velasquez opened the first Patacon Pisao (née "El Dugout") in 2005, her dreams were modest. She didn't realize that her little food cart serving Venezuelan sandwiches would be the first of a local chain, one that today is on the verge of going bi-costal.
You might not know Gustiamo, but if you keep up with the New York restaurant scene, you've probably had the pasta, tomatoes, and olive oil the company imports. Its clients read like a who's who of Manhattan and Brooklyn restaurants, and the roster is only growing.
Patina, the restaurant's eponymous chef and owner, was born and raised in Nigeria, land of pepper soup, egusi, and suya kebabs. Here in the Bronx she cooks the food of her people, the Yaroba, and it's a great boon for us.
You could stick to Yankee Stadium's improved but pricey concessions, or you could be bolder, save a few (read: a lot) of bucks, and venture out into the surrounding neighborhood. The Bronx is a wonderful place to eat if you know where to look, and we have you covered.
In conversations about gentrification, small business owners that ring in the changes—the fancy coffee shops and hip art galleries, for instance—are characterized as drivers of social change. But for a certain class of food entrepreneurs, opening a business in a gentrifying neighborhood has less to do with the change you want to make and more to do with where it's possible for you to thrive.
With Los Janquis back in action, you may be looking for the best things to eat near Yankee stadium. Don't worry: we have you covered. But for right now let's talk about one more good morsel.
Calandra's Cheese, the stoic Italian cheese shop, is an Arthur Avenue O.G., one of a few holdouts of a once solely Italian neighborhood that's diversifying every day. It's especially vital for its owner's insistence on quality; unlike other Arthur Avenue bakeries and restaurants, it doesn't rest on its ancestral laurels. The must-buy? Burrino, aged mozzarella stuffed with butter.
The Bronx Pipe Smoking Society's annual Small Game Dinner hit the borough this past weekend, offering up new opportunities to partake in raw porcupine salad alongside some familiar faces, including Bronx food missionary and film producer Baron Ambrosia. Here are our favorite dishes from the night—raw porcupine salad, anyone?—and how they came to be.
It's an unfortunate truth that women are underrepresented at most food conferences, including some of the biggest. Chefs and writers don't just share ideas at these events—they network, too. That's one of the reasons yesterday's Jubilee conference was such a breath of fresh air.
You have plenty of options for pizza on Arthur Avenue, but the eggplant-topped square slice at Cafe al Mercato may be the best.
Patina's brighter, fresher West African food sets it apart from others in the Bronx.
The Good Dine is the Bronx's best Jamaican restaurant, and there's one clear must-order: this oxtail.
How would you like to learn to cook quabili pilau, the national dish of Afghanistan, from an Afghani immigrant who used to cook for 35 family members a day? Or make namul, seasoned vegetables, with a woman who makes her own doenjang, or fermented soy bean paste? The League of Kitchens can help you.
For the last four decades, the narrative of Jewish bakeries in America hasn't been a positive one. It consists mainly of bakers retiring, stores closing, and the link between Eastern Europe's great bread-baking traditions and us eroding by the day. But that's starting to change.
This is the story of a food you probably can't buy—and why you should know about it anyway. (Hint: It's some of the finest ice cream I've tasted on American soil.)
What if you were given the chance to revisit the place that shaped your entire perception of food? North End Grill chef and Top Chef Masters winner Floyd Cardoz did just that, returning to Goa, India, where he visited his great-grandmother every summer before emigrating to the United States 25 years ago. Here, he shares both his snapshots and his impressions of India's rapidly evolving food culture today.
Until recently, the only way to enjoy owner Denisse "Lina" Chavez's cooking was to eat your picadata while leaning against the narrow store's shelves. Now she has opened up a full restaurant in the former pint-sized Mexicocina space next door. At first glance, the restaurant reads like an basic taqueria, with a menu that mostly lists antojitos and seating for about ten. But take a second look and you'll see that Carnitas El Atoradero is where you go to order the food you never get at your local taqueria. This is the home-style cooking, way beyond the taco, that New York needs.
After a few meals at Cantina I can feel the dedication and energy going into the restaurant. But the crushing ordinariness of the food suggests it's not enough. Petite, overstuffed tacos, high on style, are wan in the punch-to-the-gut flavors that made Bowien's name. Housemade Oaxacan cheese, bland as grocery store mozzarella and plated with some useless greens, is head-scratching. The question to ask at this early stage isn't "is it good," but rather, "would we be talking about it if it were owned by someone besides Danny Bowien?"
I've never been able to get a chocolate chip cookie exactly the way I like. I'm talking chocolate cookies that are barely crisp around the edges with a buttery, toffee-like crunch that transitions into a chewy, moist center that bends like caramel, rich with butter and big pockets of melted chocolate. I made it my goal to test each and every element from ingredients to cooking process, leaving no chocolate chip unturned in my quest for the best. 32 pounds of flour, over 100 individual tests, and 1,536 cookies later, I had my answers.
My personal "essentials" lists evolve slowly over time based on not only minor refinements in selection or new product availability, but also on my own cooking style. It's impossible for me to tell you that the pots and pans that I use the most will be the same as the pots and pans you'll use the most. But I can tell you this: I cook a lot, and I cook a wide variety of things, and with these pots and pans in my arsenal, I never find myself saying, "man, I wish I just had [insert pan X here]. Nearly every recipe on this site can be cooked in a kitchen equipped with these bad boys, so if you or a loved one has been extra nice this year, listen up!
Despite New Yorkers' collective interest in all things food quality options for recreational cooking classes have long been scant. But in recently several start-ups have arrived on the scene, expanding the scope and depth of cooking classes that go beyond the basics.
Paulie Gee's done plenty of interviews about his rise and he's even answered questions directly from Slice'rs, but he's rarely as candid as he was when he opened up to us about his amazing journey from Corporate IT Guy to Brooklyn Pizza Legend. There's a lot of pizza talk to be sure. So much, in fact, that we'll be running our interview in segments. So keep an eye out for part two next week; in the meantime, here's Paulie on the joys of opening a restaurant, the importance of hiring locally, and why he thinks more people ought to open their own business.
A chat with the Texas Monthly barbecue critic and author of the recently released barbecue opus The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue.
Last Friday, couscous stars NY Shuk taught a class on how to make hand-rolled couscous. Follow along, try it for yourself, and see if you can go back to the boxed stuff afterward.
I was born in Boston and was raised New York as a kid before going back to live in Boston for another 10 years during and after college. Whenever convenient, I like to consider myself a New Englander. That time is usually in the summer, when the rocky beaches are at their drizzliest and the coastal clam shacks fire up the boilers and fryers.
I still make it a point to make at least one or two New England road trips every summer so that I can get my seafood fix. But even when I can't get up to Yankee-land, I'll do my best to get my fix right at home. You can do it too with these recipes for clam chowder, lobster rolls, blueberry pie, and more.
I have been working on this recipe for longer than any other recipe I've ever worked on. But at long last, I'm pretty darn pleased with the results. Here's how to get the slow-cooked, crisply charred effect of tacos al pastor at home, no rotisserie required.
On Saturdays and Sundays from April to late October, street food and Latin American food lovers of all stripes flock to Red Hook Park's ball fields to savor foods from the legendary Red Hook Food Vendors. Since 1974, vendors have operated on the edges of the park on Clinton and Bay Street. But this year is different. In the words of veteran vendor Marcos Lainez from El Olomega Pupusas, "This is the beginning and it could be the end."
Italians think third-wave coffee is insane; specialty-coffee crazy baristas think Italians are out of date and out of touch. But who's right? We explore both sides of the caffeinated argument.
After suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy, Almondine is back open in Dumbo. Once again we can enjoy Almondine's excellent patisserie and, more importantly, some of the best baguettes in New York.
"A lot of recipes instruct you to heat oil to a certain point (till shimmering, smoking, or just an unspecified 'Heat oil over medium heat') before adding the first ingredient, say onions. Does it matter if you wait for the oil to heat, or could you just as well throw the other ingredients in with the cold oil?"
While Texas-style Chile con carne—that is, real chili with big hunks of tender beef simmered in a tomato-and-bean-free sauce—may be the pope of Chili Town, carne adovada—its New Mexican pork-based cousin—is his right hand man. I've never understood why carne adovada doesn't get as much recognition.
Despite significant damage to their own business, cupcake bakers Allison and Matt Robicelli have been working without sleep for days to support South Brooklyn, Staten Island, and other areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Dan Delaney started running a barbecue supper club from his living room in 2011. The 26-year-old entrepreneur taught himself how to cook brisket in an 18-foot smoker he drove from Austin to Jersey and is now opening a brick-and-mortar barbecue restaurant in Brooklyn called BrisketTown.
Last spring, a few friends and I road-tripped to the town of Rigaud, Quebec to shoot a documentary about maple farming. The film we ended up producing, Sucrerie de la Montagne, premiered at the Food Film Festival in New York recently where it won the Audience Choice Award. For those of you who couldn't see it, here's the story in photos.
When I realized Lay's Stax All-American Cheeseburger potato crisps tasted exactly like a regular single McDonald's cheeseburger, I had to go to the nearest McDonald's for a taste test.
The 10th anniversary block party was the biggest yet, but it remains the city's seminal moment in barbecue, well worth it despite the crowds. Check out all the cue glamor shots after the jump.
The chopped liver at Russ and Daughter's is sweeter than most. It gets its sweetness from the onions. Of course all recipes for chopped liver call for sautéed onions to be mixed in with the liver purée, but what distinguishes the onions used at Russ and Daughters is just how very sweet they taste. These are onions that get cooked for a long time, I suspect.
When considering foods eaten out of context—that is, foods eaten in a country or region that they do not originate from—the question of authenticity and what it means to be "authentic" is always a vexing one. Take, for example, Xiao Long Bao—the soup-filled dumplings hailing from Shanghai that have since been popularized throughout the world. Even referring to them as "dumplings" is enough to set off some food scholars who insist that they are distinct from what we traditionally classify as dumplings. The question is, what does it mean to be authentic and more precisely, is it even possible for authenticity to be preserved across the many barriers of language mapping, social custom, and regional tastes?