Sunday, August 14, 2011

Single and Cooking in Chelsea Market: NYC, with a top chef surprise!

New York is a culinary adventure, I'm discovering. There are so many different restaurants, food shops, delis, food trucks that your palette may need to be cleansed and re-cleansed to enjoy every single one of these places.  So, at first I decided that Little Italy would be a great place to
My friend Keisha standing below
the Chelsea market sign.
explore but the rain poured heavily and a walking tour of Little Italy would leave my friend and I drenched to the bone.  I needed a quick change of plan so that we could explore indoors. After watching food network star and saw the episode featuring Chelsea Market, I had to go! Chelsea Market was the indoor alternative. Even though it was pouring rain, my friend convinced me that we should still go. We walked in the pouring to take the bus and two trains to 23rd and 7th where Chelsea Market was supposed to be; its actually located at 17th and 3rd.  When we got off the subway the sun shone brigtly; I said to my friend with enthusiasm, It stopped raining!  We walked another couple blocks and arrived at Chelsea market with our stomachs ready to be filled. We browsed around the browery, a kitchen supply store, looked at some strange fruit in the fruit exchange which I can't remember the name but the store owner told us that it did not taste very good.
 We also stopped at Amy's bakery and took pictures of her creative designs, like the purse shown on the right.

I was starving at this point and had to get something to eat, since seafood is a weakness of mine, we decided to grab a bite to eat at the Lobster Place. They had a lobster club for $16.95 which was a little pricey for me, so I went with the crab roll with bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato for about $10.  My crab roll was rich, creamy and succulent. It came with a side of coleslaw and chips. The coleslaw was smothered in mayonnaise and I didn't really enjoy it. My friend kept raving about her shrimp salad about the freshness and the light sweetness of the dressing that did not overpower the salad.  

While eating lunch, I saw a familiar looking face standing in the Lobster place and I was like that's Carla Hall from Top Chef! My friend, not a shy person, went inside and introduced herself. I then came in and asked if I could take a picture with her and she said yes! I was so excited and she was nice enough to hold all my stuff for me while taking the picture. That was pretty cool.
Top chef Carla Hall and I
We browsed around a few more stores, got some bread and decided to leave before it got too late.  We were looking for more to do but the market was smaller than I expected. I thought it would be bigger for some reason. The trip was definitely had a few mini obstacles but it was worth everyone of them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Curried chicken made easy

Aaah, the sweet and tangy taste of curry chicken brings me back home to Jamaica. The all consuming smell is a tradition in my family for everyday cooking and special occassions. Curried chicken, pork, goat, beef never tasted so good. I remember my dad leaving the meat to soak in the refridgerator overnight then taking it out and letting it slow cook in the oven for hours. I would marvel when the meat was done, how tender and juicy it tasted. However, I wanted to recreate this same meal and all the pleasures it brings being single and cooking. I tried numerous times to master this but never quite got it right but my patience has paid off. My curried chicken recipe is full of the same love and mouth watering taste.

1 pack skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon curry
2 sprigs of thyme
a dash of Mrs. Dash
1/2 of an whole onion
1 Roma tomato


1. Rinse chicken with vinegar over running water to clean. Cut chicken into medium sized cubes.
2. Season meat with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, thyme and curry.
3. Use hands to combine seasonings and meat. If desired, leave in refridegerator to soak in seasonings.
4. If not at room temperature, bring meat to room temperature. While waiting for meat to come to room temperature; finely dice the onion and tomato.
5. Prepare a skillet with about 2 tablespoon of oil. Sear chicken on both sides then cover pot to make the steam partially cook the meat.
6. When partially cooked, add a tip of water with the onions and tomatotes.
7. Cover pot and bring to a medium boil.
8. Reduce heat and then cook until desired amount of gravy is reached.
9. Serve over steamed rice.
Jamaican curry is available at some local grocery stores.
These are not exact measurements. Please use your own judgment.