Find us on Google+ cooking lounge * FOOD * LIFESTYLE * MUSIC *: 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Nigella Lawson :: "...Comfort food is comfort food..." Roast Chicken

"...Comfort food is comfort food wherever you are and it always comes down to roast chicken and mashed potatoes in the end." Nigella Lawson

Here's a Cooking Lounge post from February 2013 featuring Nigella Lawson (click link)

Roast Chicken
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Sauteed Green Beans

During the lull of days between Christmas and New Years, comfort foods and seasonal favorites that are simple to prepare, hold well and serve guests and visitors with ease are ideal Holidays Recipes (see more ideas >>> GOOD FOOD).

H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S

Cooking Lounge

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Whew...New Cooking Lounge Posts on the way

Wow! New York City had a beautiful summer. Yes, sweltering, skin melting, cook an egg on the sidewalk, heat for a few days here and there in July, with August coasting into fall as if scripted. 

Now, in the days of indian summer, late harvest are in farmers' markets like tomatoes; and, fall favorites - local apples, pears and pumpkins - are in abundance almost everywhere, often at a great price. Pick-up that seasonal bargain then thumb through a cookbook or google recipes on an iPad, and of course search Cooking Lounge.

And fast becoming a near national holiday, of sorts, Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween is that riotous mark in the sand for the Holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years - parties...cocktails...more food.

Cooking Lounge has fresh new posts on the way after a little downtime to recharge, write and cook.

Now, while you are here, click around; check-out Good Food for original recipe ideas.

Visit soon for all new posts from Cooking Lounge.


Cooking Lounge

photo: wbj

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

HIGHLY Suspect


Rocking Hard, Fresh Out of Brooklyn

And, there is more from this new band, with a fast start out of the gate. Listen to this.

HIGHLY Suspect is unsigned, but probably not for long.


Cooking Lounge

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!


Cooking Lounge

photo: wbj

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo : Black Bean + Corn Salad

Black Bean Salad is a perennial Cooking Lounge favorite.

Mixed up a batch of this quick and easy recipe, then realized the serendipity of the Black Bean + Corn Salad, a perfect dish for Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican and Southwestern flavors of this colorful, easy recipe.

Here's a link to a preparation guide:
Cooking Lounge's Black Bean Salad + Corn Salad with Lime Vinaigrette.

Cooking Lounge


Friday, April 26, 2013

La Slowteria...All About the Duck

La Slowteria was an unexpected journey into elevated, earthy Mexican cuisine with two duck dishes as stars. The menu may redefine what many think of Mexican food. Located near the formerly toxic, now gentrifying Gowanus Canal in Carroll Gardens at 548 Court St (9th St & Garnet St) Brooklyn, NY 11231, big windows, benches, sun drenched charm, and views into the open kitchen greet you at the door.

The F and G Train return to the Smith-9th Street subway stop when it reopens on April 26, 2013. This will make getting to La Slowteria a stroll rather than a hike.

Chef Hugo Orozco Carrillo started the concept of La Slowteria in a "small eco-friendly town in the Mayan Rivera called Tulum" where he met his wife and co-owner, Stephanie Heinegg. Hugo and Stephanie's approach to the menu is rooted in the Slow Food Movement.

The clean open design with,an abudance of beams and wood with tropical Mexican details through-out, is a breath of fresh air on the edges of the Gowanus. La Slowteria is building out the backyard garden for warm weather dining and leisurely afternoons with fresh juices, coffee and wi fi.

The whole vibe of the restaurant team is upbeat and engaged with a luxury tropical resort ambiance, unusual for NYC for sure. 

Duck is the hard to find, forgotten poultry unless eating at an Asian or French restaurant. On La Slowteria's menu, duck makes an appearance as a hearty appetizer and as a substantial, innovative entree.
La Maceta, pulled drunken duck sandwich 
The La Maceta, is an appetizer that easily doubles as a small entree, paired with another appetizer, like La Slowteria's Long Island oysters served with Mezcal worm salt and a slow-burn green habanero chili sauce, you are on the way to a memorable meal. The La Maceta is a slow cooked pulled duck sandwich with cabbage salad and crisply sauteed potatoes. It's served in a rich consomme broth. Might be even better with the broth on side, frech dip style, but never the less the combination of flavors and textures is fantastic.
El Negrito, deconstructed black mole sauce with duck
The El Negrito is a recipe that Chef Hugo has been perfecting for several years.  El Negrito is a meaty confit style leg braised to falling off the bone topped with a sliver of toast garnish (throwing in another texture). The dish has numerous combos for every bite, because of the composed presentation of the El Negrito - a bite of this and a bite of that mixing and matching - a new treat with each fork full.  The flavors, together on the tongue, create an incredible mole experience with rich, succulent duck . The hearty, El Negrito is beautifully presented as are all dishes sampled and seen from the small open kitchen. 

Hugo's high-end skill and artistry is evident before taking the first bite - beautiful plating. The kitchen is truly center stage with no fourth wall and an unobstructed view of much of the dining area and cozy bar. Stephanie and Hugo keep things flowing, moving seamlessly from kitchen to dining room. 

The smoky Mezcal margarita with a chile pepper worm salt rim is dry and refreshing. Made simply with fresh squeezed juices. Sip. Imagine sitting on the beach in Tulum.

La Slowteria is the perfect tropical oasis for a get-away-in-the-city.
La Slowteria
548 Court St, New York, NY 11231
Tue - Sun
11 am - 3 pm (sunny cafe, with fresh juices and wifi)
5 pm - 10 pm (dinner - with outdoor dining starting May 2013)
Cooking Lounge

photos: wbj

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Quick Breads


Quick Breads- photo: wbj
Tested some new Cooking Lounge recipes for an assortment of Quick Breads.

Banana Walnut Bread and Banana Bread with mix of whole wheat and unbleached flour and a mix of coconut oil, olive oil and butter

Flax Corn Muffins with flax seeds, flax seed meal and olive oil

Orange Zest Cranberry Bread with mix of whole wheat and unbleached flour and a mix of coconut oil, olive oil and butter

Rosemary Cornbread with creamed corn and olive oil

The consensus was all were pretty tasty with the Banana Walnut Bread getting raves but the Flax Corn Muffins were a bit dry. 

Note: Flax seeds absorb moisture. So, next test will increase the wet ingredients...the joys of testing.

Experiment. Play with ingredients in the kitchen.

Cooking Lounge

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Erin Go Bragh! - Sheperds Pie for St. Patrick's Day


Shepherds Pie is a perfect St. Patrick's Day meal. A hearty and filling crowd pleaser to fuel more shenanigans. For the Cooking Lounge preparation guide and more photos, click here.


Cooking Lounge

Monday, February 25, 2013

Roast Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potatoes


A Whole Roast Chicken is a good food benchmark for many people around the world
The crisp, slightly salty skin, the slick chicken fat, juicy meat, herbs and spices add gravy and mashed potatoes, for so many a sigh inducing combination (familiar, satisfying). 

The Daily Mail ran a huge airy, winding piece on Nigella Lawson, breaking into the U.S. market and promoting her new book, "Nigellissima: Instant Italian Inspiration.The DM article is an entertaining read for a lazy Sunday morning, with the right mix of food, drama, and plain old common sense. It is understandable why, posh, wealthy and yet relatable, Nigella is revered as a goddess in the U.K. As her parting comment, sexy Nigella served up some knowledge with no-nonsense advice about the lusciousness of a classic simple meal. 
"...‘Comfort food is comfort food wherever you are and it always comes down to roast chicken and mashed potatoes in the end." Nigella Lawson
There are infinite tasty ways to roast chicken and prepare potatoes. Once you have the basics mastered, experiment with flavors, tailor recipes to your taste or even a theme.

Inspired by Nigella Lawson, Cooking Lounge pulled together an impromptu dinner party: Roast Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sauteed Green Beans.

Called friends. Popped into the butcher. Picked up veges at the produce stand.  Gathered in Brooklyn, at a Dumbo loft near the East River. It all seemed to fall into place effortlessly, the perfect meal to wind down the weekend, with the potluck additions of red wine and craft beer, cheese, cupcakes, Italian chocolate, and a Latin mother's holiday concoction - rum, coconut milk and condensed milk - shared with good friends. A sumptuous dinner party pulled together without much fuss or expense. 
Whole Roast Chicken was the very first Cooking Lounge post
Click here for a Cooking Lounge guide for the classic comfort food dish in our launch post.

Cooking Lounge

Friday, February 1, 2013

Capri Salsa Fresca with Culantro - Super Bowl Recipes

Chips and Salsa are a nationwide Super Bowl tradition. 

Tortilla Chips have been mass produced since the 40's, first for the West Coast Mexican food market, and then, the national food market, starting in the 70's. Chips and Salsa are standard fare from Mexican restaurants to Sports bars. Doritos are probably the best known tortilla chip although many more varieties are available. Epicurious rated Bachman Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips #1. Check-out the list. Try one of Epicurious' recommended tortilla chips with Cooking Lounge's Capri Salsa Fresca with Culantro.

Cooking Lounge came across Capri Tomatoes that were priced to move. Ripe and sweet, the Capri Tomatoes were better suited for sauce over slicing. Also, on hand in the kitchen was culantro, a variation of cilantro, used extensively in Dominican and Latino cooking. Culantro is also known as recao, long-leafed herb, spiritweed, wild or Mexican coriander, saw leaf herb and a host of other names around the world.  Culantro has a robust, distinct cilantro flavor. Remember, be inventive; use what you have on hand. Usual, everyday dishes can become new stars of your culinary repertoire. 

Salsa Fresca is quick and easy. With chips, it is ideal for a Super Bowl party or a fresh healthful snack for family and friends. Salsa Fresca with Culantro is excellent on grilled chicken, fish or eggs, too. So, save some salsa to make an ordinary dish a little extraordinary.

Cooking Lounge gives guides more than exact recipes. Play with ingredients. Try colorful heirloom tomatoes as an extra special treat, for example.

Capri Salsa Fresca with Culantro
2lb ripe Capri Tomatoes, diced (make quarters then slice in half)
2 tbs fresh Culantro, finely chopped
2 Jalapenos, finely chopped
3 Scallion, finely chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Lime Zest
1tbs Lemon juice
1tbs Lime juice 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Ripe Tomatoes have high liquid content so pour off some of the tomato juice before adding the citrus juices and reserve (throw into a stock or a sauce; no need to waste).

Mix well. Ready to serve but better flavor if Salsa Fresca with Culantro sits in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

Cooking Lounge

photos: wbj

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Beer Flats Have Curves : Super Bowl 2013

A couple of months ago met Maria Walley of Daelia's Food Company while she was promoting a new product at East Village Cheese Shop. 
East Village Cheese Shop is legendary for discount prices on a large variety of cheeses and gourmet products. Got to love that for a Super Bowl party.
Maria's pitch was spot-on. Weeks later received an email from Maria; and, she sent samples of Beer Flats in Pilsner and Porter for Cooking Lounge to review.

The first thing that caught our attention was that Beer Flats have curves. Perfect for scooping and cradling all kinds of tasty bites from cheeses to spreads to cured meats. 

At Cooking Lounge, we munched the Beer Flats with Collier's Welsh Cheddar Cheese and an Old Golden Hen English ale, while cooking during the holidays. Of course, the crackers go well with beer.

Beer Flats are hearty, sturdy, whole grain, small batch "artisanal flatbread crackers made with craft beer." The Pilsner Beer Flats are malty and slightly sweet. The Porter Beer Flats are a savory, flavorful balance of rye, caraway, and molasses with hints of cocoa. The Porter Beer Flats are far more complex on the palate.  These crackers have great shelf life. An opened box of Beer Flats maintained quality for over a month; they stayed crisp and crunchy. 

Super Bowl XLVll is February 3, 2013 in New Orleans. 

Beer Flats are a perfect compliment to almost any Super Bowl culinary line-up. 

Check-out Cooking Lounge's Super Bowl Recipes - Top 10 Websites from last year.

Beer Flats are available at:
Whole Foods – NY, NJ, Conn
Zabar’s - NYC
Bottle King – NJ
Malt and Mold - NYC

Cooking Lounge
photos: wbj

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Destination in the Bowieverse: "Where Are We Now?"

Could not resist posting about music legend and cultural icon David Bowie's recent release, "Where Are We Now?." New Bowie after nearly a decade! More Bowie to add to the soundtrack of your next dinner party (try Cooking Lounge Good Food ideas).

David Bowie did more in the 70's and 80's than any other successful artist to encourage freaks, geeks and outcasts to love and embrace their uniqueness with performances and near anthems of individuality, decadence and darkness wrapped in trademark chameleon personas. Every album was a seductive invitation to a new destination in the Bowie Universe (Bowieverse). Even Wall Street took notice in the 90's and started trading on the power of Bowie's genius, as asset-backed securities with Bowie Bonds.

Bowie's voice is haunting in "Where Are We Now?", hallowed and graveled with a dark resilient joy (a pulsating light) permeating every lyric uttered - of of  living... joy of remembrance in hedonistic days-gone-by...

The lyrics and accompanying music video are drenched in symbolism and open to all kinds of interpretation. The seemingly lo fi video - mise en scene desktop set, grainy slow motion black and white frames, and puppets with supper imposed heads (is this a comment on individuality?) - does what David Bowie does with deft, pull you into the Bowieverse to share his current revelry. 

Not the best singer but a master vocalist, "Where Are We Now?" is distinctively Bowie, memorable and melodic, with the ever present Bowie melancholy shocked with rays of light.

Cooking Lounge