Posts Tagged ‘Garlic’

The NoMad

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 by virginia

Josh and I recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary and to honor the occasion, we had a rare night out in the city by ourselves. With Josh’s parents watching J for us, we were finally able to have a nice meal without worrying about diaper bags, teethers, toys, baby food, or imminent meltdowns. We didn’t have much debate on where to eat for our anniversary dinner. Josh and I are both big fans of Eleven Madison Park, where we celebrated our second anniversary, and so making a reservation at The NoMad, Chef Daniel Humm and Restaurateur Will Guidara’s newish restaurant (they’re the team behind EMP), was a no-brainer.

When Josh called the restaurant earlier in the week to confirm our reservation, he let them know that we were celebrating our anniversary, and requested a “romantic” table. While they said there’s really no table more romantic than others, they did seat us at a nice table in the center of the Parlour room, next to a pillar so that we had a little privacy, with not many other tables so close by. We were also wished a happy anniversary by several people before we were even seated, which I thought was very nice, and they poured us complimentary glasses of sparkling wine to toast with.

Bread was served first, and it was pretty fantastic. It was a whole loaf of flatbread, similar to foccacia but slightly crustier, that was topped with rosemary and garlic and filled with chickpeas. The bread was served warm, and the aroma coming off of it was heavenly. It was light, not dense, and had just the perfect amount of salt on the outside. I’ve read that the toppings change depending on the season, but I really enjoyed the combination we received. I think we showed a lot of restraint by pacing ourselves and not polishing the bread off immediately, and we refrained from asking for a second loaf when it was finished (although I was really tempted to!).

Flatbread with garlic, rosemary, and chickpeas

Flatbread with garlic, rosemary, and chickpeas

The menu is split into three sections – snacks, appetizers, and entrees. As The NoMad is known for its cocktails, I can see ordering a few of the snacks if you are just stopping by for a few drinks and a little nosh. While some of the snack items did seem tempting, like the sweetbreads croustillant and the beef tartare, too many things on the appetizer/entree menu were calling out to us instead. We decided to put together a mini tasting menu of our own, selecting four appetizers and two entrees to share. We asked the waiter to bring the dishes two at a time, in whatever order the kitchen deemed appropriate. Josh also asked the sommelier to put together a wine pairing for each of the dishes.

For our first course, they brought us the spring garlic veloute and the fluke. The fluke was sliced thin and served raw, though it was marinated with acid so it had a ceviche-like quality. The fish was still fresh, it just had a nice pop of brightness to it that permeated the flesh. It was served with a sorrel puree, amaranth, and royal trumpet mushrooms. The sorrel and the baby lettuce on the plate added a refreshing aspect to the dish, and the mushrooms a bit of earthiness. The amaranth provided a nice textural crunch.

Fluke with ...

Fluke marinated with sorrel, amaranth, and royal trumpet mushrooms

The spring garlic veloute was not what I expected. First, it was cold. That was fine, it was just surprising at first taste when you’re expecting something to be hot. Second, it was sour, in a vinegary sort of way. Not unpleasantly so, but it also didn’t taste much like garlic to me. We had some experience with spring garlic when we were part of a CSA, and I found it to be intensely garlicky in flavor, but not pungent. This veloute was sort of the opposite, in that it was pungent, but not garlicky. I didn’t love the veloute by itself, but when eaten with the accompanying fresh fava beans, ricotta, ham (which I think was prosciutto), and toasted crouton, it was more balanced; the other ingredients helped to mellow out the tanginess. It was also good when sopped up with the above mentioned flatbread. I just wonder if the acidity of veloute was intentional.

Spring garlic veloute with fava beans, ricotta, and ham

Spring garlic veloute with fava beans, ricotta,
and ham

For our second course, we had the tagliatelle and the egg. I think it’s probably hard to convince people to pay $17 (not including tax and tip) for an egg, but I cannot emphasize enough that if you go to The NoMad, you must order this dish. It’s a perfectly poached egg with asparagus, brown butter, and quinoa. Breaking the egg released the runny yolk that was rich and creamy, and mixed with the brown butter and quinoa, it was like the best breakfast cereal combination I could ever imagine. The toasted quinoa was nutty and crunchy, and the brown butter added a wonderful savoriness to the dish. I could eat bowl after bowl of this. The asparagus added a taste of spring to the dish and lightened it up a little, cutting through the richness of the yolk and butter just a bit. It was definitely one of our favorite dishes of the night.

egg

Egg poached with asparagus, brown butter, and quinoa

The tagliatelle was served with king crab, meyer lemon, and black pepper. There was lots of crab meat on top that was sweet and fresh. The lemon flavor was kind of subtle – there was a brightness to the dish but I kind of wish there was a bit more punch. The pasta also needed more of a sauce to bind it together, as it was a bit dry texturally. I liked the black pepper though, which added a pop to the dish.

Tagliatelle with king crab, meyer lemon, and black pepper

Tagliatelle with king crab, meyer lemon, and
black pepper

For our main course, we shared the suckling pig and the duck. We discussed the famous roast chicken for two before our meal, ultimately deciding against ordering it for fear that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. The reviews have been very mixed, although the consensus has been that it’s not as good as EMP’s famed lavender duck, which we’ve tried and didn’t blow us away. I didn’t want to mar our dinner by regretting spending $79 on roast chicken, even if it did come with foie gras and black truffle, two ingredients I constantly crave.

We enjoyed The NoMad’s duck, which was roasted and served with beets, pistachio, and coriander. The duck was pink, tender, and well seasoned. The beets were pickled and extremely tangy; I might have preferred them to be in their natural state, as I love the earthy sweetness of beets, but I appreciated the acidity they brought to the dish. The pistachios added a nice crunch.

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Duck roasted with beets, pistachio, and coriander

The suckling pig confit was a wonderful mix of textures and tastes. The meat itself was incredibly tender, practically falling apart with a gentle twist of the fork, while the skin was crackly and crispy. The pork flavor was intense, and it was covered with mustard seeds that add little bursts of tanginess. The sweet dried plums, onions, and fresh wild greens complemented the meat very well.

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Suckling pig confit with dried plums, onions, and wild greens

We were pretty full by this point so we decided to share dessert. We had to try the famous milk and honey dessert, which is milk ice cream drizzled with honey and served on top of shortbread, brittle, and dehydrated milk flakes. The ice cream was smooth and light, not overly creamy or rich, and not too sweet. The honey had a caramelized flavor to it, as did the honey the brittle. The shortbread reminded me of graham cracker crumbles, and the milk flakes had the texture of astronaut ice cream, sticking to our tongues and melting in our mouths in an interesting manner. It was refreshing and delicious, a composed yet whimsical dessert, and a great way to finish our meal.

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Milk and honey – shortbread, brittle, and ice cream

Overall, we were incredibly happy with our anniversary meal at The NoMad. We thought the food was pretty fantastic, although there were some individual components of dishes that we didn’t necessarily love. Our favorite dishes of the night were the fluke, the egg, and the suckling pig. Service was mostly wonderful, although there were some minor missteps, like forgetting to bring us a spoon with the veloute and serving our ice cream dessert immediately after I left the table to use the restroom. Fortunately the ice cream held up well. In general, we were pretty pleased with the attentiveness of the staff, and the sommelier was great. Josh gave him a budget to work with for our pairings, and he came in under, which we appreciated. Dinner ended up costing $360 after tax and tip. A splurge for sure, but definitely worth it for the quality and creativeness of the food. It’s also possible to spend far less in the restaurant, as we had three courses each plus a dessert, with wine pairings for three courses. Appetizers are about $15-$20 each, and entrees about $25-$35. If we had gone with two courses, dessert, and a reasonably priced bottle of wine, our bill would have been much less. The NoMad is definitely one of the best restaurants we’ve been to in a while, and I would happily go back again.

The NoMad
1170 Broadway at 28th St.
New York, NY

CSA2 Week #19

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 by virginia

Josh was supposed to pick up our CSA share this week but wasn’t able to get back in time so I stopped off on my way home from work. There were a few new items this week and items that we haven’t seen in a while, which always gets me excited. This week our share contents included:

Garlic – 1 each
Onions – 3/4 lbs
Popcorn – 4 each
Bok Choy – 1 each
Greens – 1/2 lb
Carrots – 1 lb
Turnips – 4 each
Mini Bell Peppers – 6 each
Acorn Squash – 1 each

Kale, mini bell peppers, carrots, onion, acorn squash, garlic, popcorn, turnips, bok choy

We got popcorn this week! How awesome is that? Looks like the “popcorn” is actually dried corn on the cob. According to the instructions we received, we’re supposed to place the popcorn in a brown paper bag and microwave on high until we hear gaps of silence in between popping that lasts for approximately 2 seconds. Josh and I don’t have a microwave that really works, so we’ll have to try this the next time we’re in NJ.

Other new items this week were acorn squash and garlic. We got spring garlic earlier in the season, but this is the garlic with the dried white skins that we’re used to.

We also got kale again! After all the swiss chard this season, I was happy to see kale. Unfortunately, the kale leaves are sort of small, which will make it hard for me to make kale chips. Nevertheless, I’m excited to make them again.

We didn’t get radishes this week but we did get some baby turnips, which I plan on eating raw like radishes. Hopefully they won’t be too bitter.

We also got more peppers, carrots, and boy choy. I wonder what new items we’ll get next week? (I’m hoping for brussels sprouts)

CSA2 Week #1

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by virginia

I’m happy to announce that it’s CSA time again!! Josh and I have been eagerly looking forward to the start of the CSA season, and we can’t wait to dive into all of our fresh veggies. For those of you who would like to learn more about CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), please read here. Basically we have purchased a share in a farm for the summer,¬† which means that we will start getting weekly vegetable deliveries for the next 22 or so weeks.

After much debate, we decided not to get the fruit share this year. While we loved all the fresh fruit and juices last year, we simply couldn’t keep up with the amount that we received. Sadly, lot of fruit ended up going to waste, and we really didn’t want to see that happen again this year. We thought about getting a bi-weekly fruit share instead, but even then I doubt we would have been able to consume it all.

There was a bit of a snafu with our usual CSA pickup location, but fortunately the organizers were able to find an alternate location that was extremely convenient. I picked up our share before heading to the gym, as Josh is away on a business trip. The earlier weeks of the share are usually smaller harvests, but I was happy with both the amount of the quality of the items we got. For our first share of this season, we received:

Lettuce – 1 head
Greens – 1 lb
Radishes (mixed colors) – 5 each
Garlic – 2 each
Garlic scapes – 8 each
Spring onions – 4 each
Beets – 3 each

Swiss chard, beets, lettuce, radishes, garlic, onions, garlic scapes in the middle

For the greens, we had a choice of kale or swiss chard. I know Josh was looking forward to making kale chips, one of our favorite CSA recipes, but the ruby stalks on the chard just looked too inviting for me to pass up. Plus I figured that we got a lot of kale last year, and only a few weeks of chard, so I wanted to take advantage of the shorter swiss chard season. For the lettuce, we had a choice between green leaf and red leaf, and I opted for the larger green variety.

The beets are a bit small but came with the leafy tops intact, so we’ll be sure to use both parts. The radishes came in an assortment of colors so I tried to get a different variety. They also had nice leafy tops that we either saute briefly or chop up and mix in with our salads.

Both the onions and the garlic came with green stalks, which I’m sure we’ll find use for. I was happy to see that we got so many garlic scapes, as I’m still experimenting with scape pesto. We also made a delicious garlic scape dip last year with white beans that I never posted about, so I’ll have to be sure to rectify that this year.

All in all it looks our CSA is off to a great start this season. We are excited to see what the harvest will bring over the next few months!

Shrimp Scampi with Swiss Chard and Spaghetti

Monday, August 2nd, 2010 by virginia

Ruby swiss chard

Fresh onions and garlic

Josh and I weren’t quite sure what to do with the gorgeous ruby swiss chard that we got from our CSA so we decided to improvise a bit by adding it to a shrimp scampi pasta dish. We thought that the copious amounts of garlic we put in our pasta would go well with the chard, and that the chard would provide a nice veggie component to an otherwise carb-heavy dish.

First I chopped the swiss chard into one inch pieces, including the ruby red stalks because I loved the color. I knew they wouldn’t wilt down as much as the leaves and figured they could add some crunch to the dish. Then I washed the leaves thoroughly and spun them dry.

Chopped and washed chard

Meanwhile, Josh chopped up the fresh onions and garlic that we also got from the CSA, including the green stalks of each. He set those aside in small prep bowls. We also started a pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Chopped onion and garlic (including the green tops of both)

After washing and drying the shrimp (cleaning out the veins but keeping the shells on), he seared them in a hot pan with some olive oil.

Searing the shrimp

Once the shrimp were cooked on both sides and had turned pink, he removed them and set them aside. Then he added more olive oil to the same pan and sauteed the garlic and onion until they started to brown slightly. We also started to cook the pasta in the boiling water at this point.

Sauteeing the garlic and onions in olive oil

Next we added the swiss chard to the pan, cooking it with the garlic and onion. The chard absorbed most of the oil and took on a nice, garlicky flavor. We seasoned the chard with lots of salt and pepper.

Wilting the swiss chard in the garlic, onion, and olive oil

After the chard was wilted, we removed it from the pan and deglazed with vermouth and lemon juice. We let that reduce for a bit, then tossed it with the cooked spaghetti (we had to use a larger pot for that). We added back the chard and the shrimp and mixed everything together. It was a bit dry so we added some more olive oil and lemon juice, plus a little bit of pasta water to loosen everything up.

There’s really no set amount of ingredients for this recipe. Just use as much garlic and onion as you’d like, and as much olive oil/lemon juice/vermouth. The key is to season everything, and to make sure you taste everything, so that you adjust it all in the end. We plated up the pasta, arranged some shrimp on top, and garnished with some chopped parsley.

Shrimp scampi with swiss chard and spaghetti

It’s not exactly a traditional scampi recipe, but the flavors were there and this was really easy to make. The hardest part was cleaning the shrimp, but once that was taken care of it was just a matter of cooking everything in batches, and then combining it all together in the end. The pasta ended up tasting light and lemony, with just a hint of garlic and vermouth in the background. My only adjustment to this dish would be to use even more garlic!

CSA Week #4

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 by virginia

It’s Wednesday again (don’t the weeks just seem to fly by?) which means it’s time for CSA! Josh actually volunteered today to help out with the distribution. All members of the CSA are required to volunteer 4-6 hours per season to either help meet the truck delivery, help with distribution, or help clean up the distribution site, which is a church near our apartment. The nice thing about this particular CSA is that all of the unclaimed/extra food is donated to the church at the end of the night so it doesn’t go to waste and it’s helping out people who probably wouldn’t normally have access to fresh vegetables and fruits.

Our share contents this week included:

Lettuce – 1 head romaine
Garlic – 3 each
Beets – 3 each
Carrots – 5 each
Onions – 4 each
Squash – 1 lb
Basil – 2 oz
Mixed Baby Greens – .25 lb

The beets and carrots widely varied in size (some were barely larger than my thumbnail), and I tried to pick out the largest ones. They weren’t super huge but I guess it’s still early in the season. The basil was gorgeous and fragrant, and 2 ounces is really a lot. Same with the mixed baby greens.

Beets, garlic, mixed baby greens, romaine, squash, carrots, onions, and basil in the middle

We also got our fruit share, which was pretty much the same as last week, except a smaller juice (boo).

Cherries – 3 pints
Juice – one bottle

We picked raspberry apple juice this time, and I liked it even better than the rhubarb apple from last week (though Josh prefers the rhubarb version).

Cherries and raspberry apple juice

According to the farm reports, the super hot weather hasn’t been good for the crops. Hopefully it cools down a bit because I’m really loving all these fresh veggies and fruits that we’re getting. And hopefully the pests stay away as well!

CSA Week #3

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 by virginia

Yet another week has gone by and you know what that means: CSA! We’ve got veggies bursting out of our fridge but we still can’t get over how great they are. Farm fresh really does make a huge difference. Our share this week included:

Lettuce  Р1 large head
Garlic – 3 bulbs
Garlic scapes – 5 stalks
Radishes – 4
Onions – 4
Greens – 3/4 lb

We had a choice between romaine lettuce and red leaf lettuce so we chose the romaine, because we still had red leaf left over from last week. We also had a choice between ruby chard and kale for the greens, and we went with the kale because we had chard last week.

From left to right: onions, radishes, garlic, romaine, kale, garlic scapes

In even more exciting news, our fruit share started this week!! The email that we received regarding the contents was a bit confusing, and so we thought we were getting three pints of juice. Not exactly fruit, but we figured it was because it’s still early in the season. Turns out that we got three pints of cherries, plus a juice. There were several juices to choose from and we opted for rhubarb apple, since it seemed to be the most unusual option.

Cherries – 3 pints
Juice – one bottle

Cherries and rhubarb apple juice

The cherries are slightly tart but have a great firm, juicy texture. They’re good for snacking on their own, but I’m hoping to bake with some as well, since three pints is quite a lot of fruit.

Oodles of cherries

We’re still trying to cook more each week, and we’re getting much better about it. More recipes to come!

CSA Week #2

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 by virginia

It’s CSA time again! Can you believe that a week has already gone by? Josh picked up our second CSA share bounty and it was even bigger than the first week! For week #2, our share contents included:

Lettuce – 1 large head
Bok choy – 2 heads
Garlic – 1/4 lb
Garlic scapes – .2 lbs
Radishes – .45 lbs
Onions – .45 lbs
Greens large – .5 lb
Arugula – .2 lbs

The large greens this week had beautiful red stalks – anyone know exactly what kind of vegetable this is?

From left to right: Garlic, large greens, bok choy, radishes, red leaf lettuce, arugula, garlic scapes, onions

We are already starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with vegetables, and it’s only week #2! We still have some mint, bok choy, radishes, and greens left over from last week, and our schedules haven’t let us cook as much as we would like. But we’re making some progress, and we’re definitely enjoying every bit of our fresh veggies. More recipes to come soon!