Monday, January 27, 2014

A Super Bowl-Goer’s Real Guide To Downtown Jersey City (And Beyond)

Jeremy (or J. as I have called him on this blog until now) and I are proud to announce that we co-authored a guest post on our friend Kevin's blog, Inside Jersey City. Super Bowl XLVIII coming to New York has been all the buzz lately, but of course, the Seahawks and Broncos will actually be playing for the coveted ring in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  And what many people don't know is that the players are staying in hotels in Jersey City.  So Jeremy and I put together a Super Bowl-goers guide on our favorite places to eat, drink, and hang out in the beloved town we call home.

So go on over to Inside Jersey City to check it out! While you're there, check out all the tips, helpful information on local businesses, and other useful resources about Jersey City on Kevin's blog!

Special thanks to Kevin for hosting our guest post!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Brooklyn Ale Fish and Chips in the New York Times



Okay, so I made this not so much for the “health” factor, but rather for the “new to me” factor in that I’ve never made fish and chips before.  In fact, I’ve always been intimidated by deep frying.  Before attempting this recipe by Alton Brown, I used to have visions of horrendous oil fires and 3rd degree burns if I were to try deep frying.   But it actually turned out quite well, no flash fires or singed eyebrows,  and now I can cross off deep frying off my cooking bucket list. I also learned a little trick on how to tell if oil has reached 350 degrees without a deep fry thermometer.  Put in a single kernel of popcorn in the oil while it is heating. When it reaches 350-360 degrees, the kernel will pop. Thank you, Cooks Illustrated!

We added a “New York” twist to this British favorite by using Brooklyn Brown Ale in the batter, and wrapping it up in the New York Times.  And to make up for the deep fried battered fish, I opted to make oven “chips” as opposed to frying them in oil, using the recipe below.  Overall everything came out quite tasty.  Perhaps next time we’ll stay true to our roots use New Jersey Beer Company beer and wrap it up in the Jersey Journal?



Fish and Chips

I followed Alton Brown’s recipe for the fish.  And then healthified the chips by making them in the oven like this:

Oven “Chips” for fish and chips


  • 3 medium sized russet potatoes, scrubbed (leave the skins on if you like)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped fresh oregano or other herb (Optional)

Preheat oven at 425 degrees.  Slice potatoes lengthwise into 8 wedges each.  Place in roasting pan in a single layer.  Drizzle oil, salt, pepper, and herbs and toss potatoes to coat.  Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, flipping potatoes once halfway through the cooking time. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pumpkin Curry Soup



Week 2 of my “new recipe” New Year’s resolution and going strong! When I told J. about my resolution, he made one request – to use up ingredients in our cabinets and fridge! Since we have about half a dozen cans of pumpkin stocked up in our cabinets, I knew I had to do something with them.  And since one of the requirements of the new recipe resolution was that it had to be “healthy,” pumpkin pie was out of the question.  (Plus, who eats pumpkin pie in January?  That is a dessert I personally reserve for Thanksgiving.) 

So after some google searching, I found this recipe for this Thai pumpkin soup, which was perfect for the cold single-digit weather we had this week!  But since it calls for ingredients that I usually have in my pantry and is ready in minutes, I would make this any time of the year.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Adapted from Foodie Crush


  • 2  14.5 oz cans pureed pumpkin
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  14.5 oz light coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs red curry paste
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce (to taste)
  • A few dashes of sriracha sauce (to taste)


  • In a medium sized pot, toast the curry paste for about a minute over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken broth and pumpkin, stir until smooth and cook until it reaches a boil, about five minutes.
  • Stir in coconut milk, and cook until heated through, about another three minutes
  • Season with fish sauce and sriracha to taste and serve.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year’s Resolutions 2013


New Year’s resolutions sometimes get a bad rep. Sure, you can point and laugh at the people who sign up for a gym membership on January 1, and then stop going by Valentine’s Day. But I don’t laugh at those people.  After all, I made a New Year’s resolution in 2012 that actually stuck.  So when I see the unfamiliar faces at the gym at the beginning of January, I give them a nod of encouragement. You can do it!

What I do find makes keeping a healthy resolution is falling into a rut.  In trying to cook healthy all the time, I have a tendency to fall back to the same half dozen or so go-to recipes because I know that the taste good and are good for me too. But then my taste buds get bored after a while, making eating out and indulging all the more appealing. So to break from the routine (but not my resolutions), my resolution this year is to cook a new healthy recipe once a week.

First up – slow cooker chicken in chipotle sauce!


I had this recipe from Best Ever Recipes For Your Slow Cooker for years, but never made it because it called for dried chipotle peppers, which I never have on hand.  So last weekend, I trekked out in the pouring rain to my local Key Food supermarket, where I found the peppers quite easily.  (One of the advantages of living in such a diverse neighborhood – makes me wonder why it took me so long to make this!)

Though I had to laugh at the delightfully vague instructions:


Use to enhance the flavor of your favorite dish, eh? But how?

I reduced the amount of chicken and peppers the recipe called for, but forgot to reduce the amount of liquid, which made for a watery thin sauce as you can see in the picture above.  But that actually turned out to be a happy accident when I took the leftovers with me to work for lunch. The following morning, in my haste to get to work and not have to carry a lot of containers, I dumped about a half cup of brown rice into the broth and chicken mixture.  At the office, I reheated the stuff in the microwave.  Since I didn’t have a knife, I shredded the chicken with a fork, voila! I had an even tastier stew. 



I actually liked this better in stew form, so next time, I may just make it as a stew from the get-go. Sometimes, cooking mistakes mean making an even better recipe!

Slow Cooker Chicken in Chipotle Sauce (or Chipotle Chicken stew)

Adapted from Best Ever Recipes for Your Slow Cooker


  • 4 dried chipotle chilies (If you don’t want it to be too spicy, you can probably tone it down to 2-3 chilies)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 Tbs grapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh oregano for garnish
  • Cooked Brown rice (optional for stew)


  1. Boil water and pour boiling water over dried chilies.  Allow to sit for about 45 minutes or until soft.  Remove chilies, but save the soaking water.  Cut off the stem from each pepper and cut it open to remove the seeds with a knife. 
  2. Chop the chilies and put in food processor or blender, along with soaking water. Process until smooth.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan.  Add onions and cook over medium heat until soft, about five minutes. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the onions.
  4. Place onions in the stoneware insert of the slow cooker.  Layer chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the chicken.  Pour chili puree on top of chicken, making sure all the chicken is coated.  (I had to do this in layers because I have a small, 3 quart slow cooker.).  Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  5. Once fully cooked, you can serve the chicken breasts whole topped with generous spoonfuls of the sauce and oregano leaves.  To make the stew, simple shred the chicken into bite sized pieces with two forks.  Add brown rice, if desired.