(Note the gold holiday ball in the right hand column of this blog. Perhaps some of my past holiday recipe blogs can be of assistance to your meal planning in the next couple of months.)
Last week was spent with three lady friends in Manhattan soaking in (breathless) as many museums, plays, Halloween revelry, and….of course—food!—as we could inhale without falling face forward prone.
There’s no city like New York, and last week’s visit was less costly and more entertaining for me than past trips; certainly more user-friendly than when I lived there. Shopping accommodations on the internet are one reason; Ubering and small-plate sharing could be other reasons. And the town’s more inviting and relaxing because it’s cleaner and safer than past decades have witnessed.
We divided our stay between a midtown Airbnb (convenient to theatres and museums), and a charming boutique hotel downtown in Greenwich Village (The Marlton). Its cozy hotel bar, complete with crackling fire, was rife with late-night action. Plays we saw included last year’s Pulitzer Prize winning, Disgraced, and the wildly popular, wildly amusing, Kinky Boots and Book of Mormon.
We noshed on tender Beef Cheek Ravioli with Squab Liver and Truffles on Halloween at Babbo, dirt-cheap dumplings and sesame pancakes with duck at Venessa’s Dumplings (skirting Chinatown, close to the Tenement Museum on the lower east side). We shared and slurped our way through a variety of ramen at Ippudo, accompanied by steamed buns, flash-fried octopus and mushrooms. We sampled from other eateries here and there —lobster rolls and Vietnamese sandwiches in Chelsea Market; even in the touristy Times Square jungle, all of the food was very good.
The following is a recipe similar to a Raw Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Sheperd’s Basket Cheese and Marcona Almonds we shared at a Jean George‘s restaurant, ABC Cocino. I couldn’t find their exact recipe and I don’t have access to the local cheese they used, but the cheese tasted like a Manchego, which I used in the recipe below.
You know brussels sprouts and all of its incarnations have “arrived” when you see them displayed, shaved, in cello pre-packs at your local Trader Joe’s. And you could save time by using these, but I prefer the bright taste of the freshest brussels you can locate, and the precise razor-thin cut that only your sharpest chef knife can wield.
If you enjoy flavors typical of Spain, this salad has your number; it’s to die for scrumptious and I’m finishing off last night’s leftovers as I write these words. A quick trot through shaved brussels sprouts cyber-land reveals a host of other preparations, some shavings paired with apples and a cider vinaigrette, others with truffle oil and Reggiano, for example.
In conclusion, if my words inspire a visit, plan ahead to save cash. We organized the trip several months in advance; even so, the best Air B&B’s were almost booked. Center mezzanine tickets are less costly, but they sell must faster than other tickets in their price range. Babbo and ABC Cocino insist on reservations made (and be precise!) 30 days in advance.