January 18, 2006

Trader Joe's comes to Manhattan

That's right folks cancel your Fresh Direct accounts, Trader Joe's is setting up shop in Union Square. Finally I get to make up for 10 years of $6 half-gallons of juice and .69 oranges. What's with the citrus sin tax in NYC?

Trader Joe's to Open in New York

THE specialty grocer Trader Joe's will open a store near Union Square in about three months, a spokeswoman said yesterday, confirming a year's worth of reports that the national chain would join a growing list of food stores along 14th Street.

Trader Joe's, based in Monrovia, Calif., is best known for low-priced groceries and prepared and frozen foods. About 80 percent of what it sells carries the Trader Joe's label. A little more than a third of its merchandise is fresh, but also packaged.

It is also known for selling cheap Charles Shaw wine, known as Two-Buck Chuck because it sold for $2 a bottle when it was first offered.

The company, which has 250 stores in 19 states, will open at 142 East 14th Street, with a separate wine shop next door at 138 East 14th Street. It has 19 stores in the New York area, but none in New York City.

The spokeswoman, Alison Mochizuki, said there were no plans for other stores in the city.

At 15,000 square feet, including the wine shop, the new Trader Joe's will be less than a third the size of the Whole Foods that opened last year at 4 Union Square South. Balducci's recently opened a 10,000-square-foot store at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street, Garden of Eden has a store at 14th Street and Fifth Avenue, and four days a week, the city's flagship Greenmarket is in Union Square.

Posted by raji at 1:22 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 8, 2006

E-Gullet Society for foodies

It is seductive to post on message boards. Your opinions and insight are immediately commented on in a community of like-minded individuals. I hope you all check out the eGullet Society - all members are foodies if not chef/owner/operators. I've been on there a lot recently, so check out my posts...

Raji's extensive posts at Egullet

Posted by raji at 4:43 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2005

NY Restaurant Week(s)!

They've just publicized the list and I snatched up some reservations, you should too. Best to do it via Opentable, which I now love and have implemented for clients, because the biggest turn-off about NY Dining is the snooty, snotty waitrons manning the reservation phones. STFU and take my coat! New York Restaurant Week-Restaurant Reservations

Many red herrings on this list but these are what I'm looking at:

Eleven Madison Park
EN Japanese Brasserie

Posted by raji at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2005

Japan Sushi Tutorial

Hilarious! It is VERY IMPORTANT to view this in preparation for our trip to a sushi bar. It is vital to the authentic experience. Thank you Joi Ito for the link.

Posted by raji at 3:29 AM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2005

Booze it up! Wine shipping to NY is back on

We don't have to suffer under the oppressive pricing of many NY wineries and can go cheap and online to order bottles... Just in time for the holidays... You can find my mailing address on my homepage...

State Liquor Authority Announces Approval of UPS to Make Direct Wine Shipments to New Yorkers
Approval Immediately Offers New York Residents Greater Choice and Convenience for Holiday Season

The New York State Liquor Authority today announced that the United Parcel Service (UPS) has received approval to make direct wine shipments to New York residents. The approval, which is effective immediately, is a requirement of the Direct Shipment law signed in August of this year.

“The approval of UPS to directly ship enables countless New Yorkers that enjoy wine to benefit from the convenience that direct shipment offers, while ensuring that important safety and age requirements are properly enforced” State Liquor Authority Chairman Edward Kelly said. “We have only one other applicant seeking approval at this time, and anticipate other carriers applying in the future.”

UPS Vice President of Marketing Dale Hayes said, “Our collaboration with the New York State Liquor Authority adds new meaning to ‘holiday cheer’ as UPS becomes the first carrier to offer direct delivery of wine to New York consumers from out-of-state wineries. These wineries authorized by New York State can now provide New York residents with the recognized convenience and reliability of UPS service.”

In an effort to prevent underage drinking, shipping companies like UPS are required under the Direct Shipment Law to receive approval from the State Liquor Authority before transporting wine directly to New York residents, ensuring that common carriers have the proper systems in place enabling them to accurately capture and verify a customer’s age.

To prevent unauthorized shipments from out-of-state wineries, approved common carriers are also being required by the State Liquor Authority to capture and maintain specific information, including signature and the New York Out-of-State Direct Shipper’s license number of out-of-state wineries.

Before enactment of the direct shipment law, UPS was authorized to ship from out-of-state wineries to New York wholesalers only. Under the new law, wineries that have a New York State “Out-of-State Direct Shipper’s” license may now sell and ship wine directly to New York residents for personal use, and to date there are more than 165 out-of-state wineries licensed to sell and ship directly to New Yorkers.

While UPS becomes the first approved common carrier in the State, one other shipping company has applied to the State Liquor Authority for approval. On the Web: www.abc.state.ny.us

Posted by raji at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

February 3, 2005

Modified sauteed chicken breasts over fettucini

So read the BG - you'll know that I go to the market, buys what looks good and improvise a dish as I'm shopping. Great thing about the 9th Avenue markets is that the old-world characters are still there and can steer you in the direction of good fish, meat and produce. I wound up getting some chicken breasts the other day for some reason.

I NEVER order chicken at a restaurant, whatever you do, it can never be all that good, especially if it's not southern fried or as a game hen. I'm quite fond of duck, but I will always steer you away from the dreaded chicken breast when we're out because no matter what it's still a stupid chicken breast. Chicken Katsu is fine but I'd still rather have tonkatsu. Shit, I was only eating chicken katsu in Japan because I'd eaten too much tonkatsu.

Chicken Breasts
good tasting Olive Oil
Fresh Basil
Fresh Garlic
Salt & Pepper

Fresh Tomatoes (let them get some sun on your window sill to add flavor)

So the day before, pound out the chicken breasts to 1/2" thick, salt and pepper a little bit. Dice up a few cloves of garlic and a handful of basil as fine as possible; use a food processor or blender if you don't mind cleaning it. Mix that up in a cup with enough of the olive oil to cover it and add a pinch of salt.

Make some slits in it in the chicken breasts and rub in and cover them with what should be resembling a very oily pesto - let that marinate in a bowl overnight covered with plastic wrap. Next day, saute those about 5 minutes a side - they will sweat olive oil but make sure to "shake" your pan often to get them to brown nicely.

Meanwhile, cook the fettucini and coarsely dice up more fresh basil, the tomatoes, and another clove or 2 of the garlic. Drain the fettucini, put it in a bowl, throw in the basil, garlic, and tomatoes, and then another TB or 2 of the oil. Dice up the chicken and throw that in. When that's all evenly distributed, throw in as much ricotta as you want, it will act as a great binding agent and give the entire bowl a great fresh, hearty taste... try it!

I hate measuring and the great thing about this for the most part when you make your lunch at the end in you can pretty much put in however much tomato, basil, etc. as you want (or have left if you are like me) and it will all work out in the end. Sorry for the longwinded recipe!

Posted by raji at 1:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A little background...

A little background; in an alternate universe or previous/future incarnation, I know I am a chef. I originally taught myself how to cook because my mom was such a horrible one, and once you have the instincts down and a lot of the basics, then it's just a matter of being a sponge anytime you go out to eat, knowing what to look for at the market, and scoring choice ingredients. There is just as much an art to cooking on a budget, because most of the time I'm not up to breaking the bank at Garden of Eden - at that point, you might as well go out to eat.

Now that I have a decent kitchen and access to the formidable old world 9th Avenue markets, i'm constantly experimenting. I'm not a recipe guy and the only time I really follow set procedures or recipes is with the more traditional Japanese food which I will tirelessly pursue to perfection.

That all said, when we're all rich and famous, we'll get around to opening that restaurant, but in the meantime, I'm gonna post any happy accidents I have in the kitchen so you can try it out for yourself. I've written other creations here and there so I will have to dig those up...

Posted by raji at 12:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack