viathebistro

Posts Tagged ‘food’

Back in action

In Events, food, News on June 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm
The city that never sleeps
The city that never sleeps

Dear faithful readers of VTB,

Fret not. We have not disappeared, just taken a temporary break in order to relocate.

We’re now officially settled in Boston and Manhattan and ready to get back in the kitchen. However, with our new lives in the “real world”, we’ve found that we don’t have quite as much time to spend experimenting as we used to. So, in addition to our own unique culinary creations, we’ll also be bringing you samplings of our meals out, because sometimes, after a long work week, a girl’s gotta relax and let someone else do the cooking!

This past weekend VTB had a reunion in NYC and we had the pleasure of going to three great eateries: Otto, Cookshop and The Smith.

Otto is a perennial favorite for VTB. Their pizza is always superb, their spaghetti carbonara, we’re drooling just thinking about. Plus, their olive oil gelato (yes, olive oil) is something to behold–the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Otto is also VERY friendly for the post-college budget.

Cookshop has a refreshingly diverse and market-inspired menu, with everything from deviled eggs and polenta fries to North Carolina mahi-mahi and Vermont suckling pig. We had the scallops, polenta fries, nettles risotto and the suckling pig. All were absolutely delicious, and when paired with their large selection of wines made the perfect start to our evening out.

Sunday brunch was a hearty meal at the East Village’s The Smith. This is a younger scene—especially popular with those suffering from a long night out. We all had a complimentary cocktail—Bloody Mary, Passion punch, and blood orange Mimosa—with our brunch. Two HUGE egg white, spinach and goat cheese omelets and one order of smoked salmon eggs benedict filled us up for the rest of the day. However, forget the main entrée, their home fries were beyond anything we’ve ever had—and that’s saying something coming from three southerners.

We hope you’ll stay tuned to VTB over the summer, we’ll be updating 2-3 times a week, and feel free to follow us on Twitter to find out when our next post is coming up: @healthyheel, @uncnyc, @instylefoodie.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Beantown

Beantown

Carb Craving

In food on June 3, 2009 at 3:10 pm
Pesto and broccoli and walnuts, oh my!

Pesto and broccoli and walnuts, oh my!

Longing for pasta, last night we created a dish chock full of hearty and delicious ingredients. This pasta dish is great right off the stove, but is also a nice, cold side if you refrigerate it overnight.

There really isn’t anything complicated about this recipe, but it is important that you pay attention to the timing…you don’t want half of the ingredients getting cold while waiting for the pasta to cook!

To save ourselves some time, we made our pesto first. We just combined basil, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan and Romano cheeses in a food processor, and when those ingredients were smooth, we gradually streamed in olive oil (with the processor still running) until the mixture became creamy.

Once the pesto had been made and set aside, we started on the other ingredients. To begin, we boiled water and poured in enough pasta for 3 large servings. When the pasta was boiling, we cut up one large stalk of broccoli into very small pieces and put them into a steamer basket. We steamed the broccoli on low until the pasta was finished.

While the pasta was cooking and broccoli steaming, we put a tablespoon of butter and a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan with 1 cup of chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of salt. We cooked the nuts until they were a deeper brown color and then set them to the side.

When the pasta was finished cooking (to al dente) we drained it and put it in a large bowl. Now all that was left to do was top the pasta with the broccoli and walnuts, pour on the pesto and mix it all together.

This dish was not only satisfying to the palette, but also a great way to get your omega-3’s with the olive oil in the pesto and sautéed walnuts—and, we used whole wheat rotini, which gave us a serving of whole grains!…so, now you have a go-to pasta dish that won’t leave you with regrets!

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

A minty-fresh delight

In Events, food on May 23, 2009 at 9:24 pm
Homemade confections

Homemade confections

Sweet and refreshing, peppermint patties are the perfect after dinner bite…small enough to save your waistline but just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Many people are familiar with those patties that come in a silver wrapper, but this homemade variety knocks those out of the park!

To create this confection, combine 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract with one 8oz block of softened cream cheese and beat together until smooth. Next, slowly beat in 7 cups of confectioners’ sugar.

Roll the peppermint filling into one-inch balls and flatten the balls into patties. Place them on a wax paper covered baking sheet and set them in the refrigerator for an hour or until they are slightly hardened.

Now you’re ready to dip them in chocolate. Just microwave ¾ cup each of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips with a couple tablespoons of shortening in the microwave, and coat the refrigerated peppermint patties in a layer of chocolate. Place them back on the wax paper and in the refrigerator to let the chocolate set, and in a half hour you will have homemade candy!

These patties are great as gifts, and that is exactly what we used our batch for. Pepper Dowd, a big fan of VTB, turned 78 years old yesterday and to celebrate, we made her favorite after dinner treat!

So here’s to Pepper…mint patties!

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Skip the Steakhouse

In Events, food on May 14, 2009 at 8:38 am
Steak's Sidekick

Steak's Sidekick

Popeye ate spinach straight from the can, but we prefer ours creamed—after all, who doesn’t need the extra calcium?

Rich and smooth with a hint of nutmeg—our steakhouse menu was not complete without this side.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees—dice half of a yellow onion and sauté in butter until soft. Add a couple tablespoons of flour and stir to coat the onion.

Next, comes the good stuff—gradually whisk in a cup of milk with one-half cup heavy cream. The secret ingredient to this version is Boursin cheese (a herb-and-garlic cheese spread)—which you’ll stir in a little bit at a time, until completely melted and mixed in. Remove the pot from the heat and add chopped spinach (fresh or frozen), freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a touch of lemon zest and a dash of nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

The mixture goes into a buttered baking dish and is sprinkled with seasoned, buttered bread crumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the topping is golden and the sauce is bubbling.

Save some money and skip a night at the steakhouse—this creamed spinach is a surefire accompaniment to any cut of meat.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

***To request a recipe, just shoot us an email!

Fudge Frenzy

In food on May 1, 2009 at 6:58 pm
Gooey, chocolatey goodness

Gooey, chocolatey goodness

Fudge is a beloved treat throughout the South, and this rich and creamy version is a snap to make. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool – but as the old adage goes, “patience is a virtue.”

To make this deliciously dense fudge, heat 5 oz. evaporated milk over medium heat until warm, then add 1 ½ cups of sugar and bring to a slight boil while stirring constantly. Add 1 ½ cups of mini marshmallows and boil for another 5 minutes until smooth.

Remove the mixture from the heat, add 4 tablespoons of butter and mix until the butter is melted. Lastly, add a splash of vanilla extract and your chocolate–we used a combination of 60% bittersweet and white. But we say, let your creativity shine! You could add peanut butter, butterscotch, maple, brown sugar…the possibilities are endless!

Once your mixture is smooth, pour into a pan lined with tin foil and set your fudge aside to set. Once cooled, cut into squares and let your sweet tooth be satisfied.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

***To request a recipe, just shoot us an email!

A Tart for Spring

In Events, food on April 25, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Spring show-stopper

Spring show-stopper

A simple but elegant way to take advantage of spring’s plentiful bounty of produce is to make a tart.

Today, our market bounty consisted of asparagus, small Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Mouthwatering, eye-catching, and versatile—a tart like this could be served for brunch, a vegetarian dinner, or as a side to any spring meal.

Start out by preheating your oven to 400 degrees, and boiling your potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes until tender. Then, place your sheet of thawed puff pastry on a baking sheet, and lightly trace a rectangle inside the dough—about 1” in from the edges. Using a fork, poke the dough inside the rectangle (you should remember this step from our caramelized onion and goat cheese tartlets)—this will let the edges of the dough puff up while the filling stays in place.

First, layer your dough with slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella. Then, top that with slices of your boiled potatoes. Next, lay down the asparagus spears, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and drizzle the tart with a mixture of crushed garlic and olive oil. Now, it’s ready to be baked in the oven for 25 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy the pure flavors of spring in each bite of this well-dressed tart.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Take it easy

In Events, food on April 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm

 

Wholesome pasta toss.

Wholesome pasta toss.

Ah, it’s that time of year again…final exams—a time for cramming, no sleep and incredible amounts of caffeine. So, in order to preempt a week of unhealthy decisions, we thought we would end the week with something that requires little brainpower, but provides great nutritional stats. The whole-wheat penne gives you a dose of whole grains, tomatoes provide lycopenes and the mozzarella is a good source of calcium.

To make this effortless pasta dish begin by boiling your whole-wheat penne. While your pasta is cooking, slice your tomatoes into bite size pieces and do the same with buffalo mozzarella.

When the pasta has cooked until al dente, drain and toss it with the tomatoes and mozzarella, a bit of olive oil, and salt and pepper. To mix things up, you could also toss this pasta with a fresh basil pesto.

We chose to cook this dish “in bulk” so that we can eat it through the next week to save ourselves time and give our minds a rest. Just store it in a covered container in the fridge and it should hold for about a week. And, if you are truly in a rush, no need to reheat because hot or cold, it fills you up and tastes just right.

So, next time you’re looking for a quick fix, look no further than whole-wheat penne pasta.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

Not your typical flapjack

In food on April 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm
Your new go-to.

Your new go-to.

Stop! Put down that EggMcMuffin, PopTart, Toaster Streudel or whatever other offensive breakfast “food” you might be eating. If you really want to start your morning right, try an apple-molasses pancake with honey butter. These pancakes are heartier and better for you than those Bisquick mixes because they are made with whole-wheat flour and no added white sugar.

You can easily whip these up in the morning, but for a quick fix, we suggest making the batter the night before and storing it in the fridge so all you have to do is ladle ‘em into the pan.

Start by combining 3 peeled and grated Granny Smith apples, an egg, butter, dark molasses and milk in one bowl, and baking soda, baking powder, whole-wheat and white flour, and salt in another. Then, whisk the dry ingredients bit by bit into the wet, but don’t get overzealous with your stirring, the batter should still end up with some lumps.

When the wet and dry ingredients are combined, cook them on the stove like you would any other pancake, making sure to flip when the edges begin to bubble.

The honey butter is a great, sweet touch to these pancakes, and a little bit goes a long way. All you need to do is melt unsalted butter and mix it with pure honey—drizzle it over your pancakes and, voila! you’ve got a truly wholesome breakfast!

And remember, as they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so get rid of that greasy, processed junk and start mixing!

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

***To request a recipe, just shoot us an e-mail!

Here’s to the Hynsons

In Events, food on April 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm

The phyllo favorite.

The phyllo favorite.

We couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful day to cater the future Mrs. Hynson’s wedding shower—sunny skies, a nice breeze and a front porch packed with rocking chairs…what more could you ask for? (Besides great food, of course)

Our menu was small, but just right for a late-afternoon get-together. Phyllo wrapped asparagus, mini pumpkin muffins, deviled eggs, a cheese and grapes platter, and lemon squares provided a nice variety of savory and sweet.

Lemon squares

Lemon squares

To prepare these dishes for a party of twenty we started last night with the eggs, muffins and lemon squares, and finished up this morning with the asparagus bundles—which were the real hit of the party.

Always a perfect pair.

Always a perfect pair.

These dainty phyllo appetizers are both delicious and simple to make, because they only require 4 ingredients—asparagus, phyllo dough, butter and Parmesan. Just roll up three thin stalks in a layer of buttered phyllo, sprinkle with Parmesan, and pop them in the oven for 12 minutes at 375. They can be served fresh out of the oven, but are equally delectable at room temperature—personal preference is what matters here.

Pumpkin...not just for jack-o-lanterns.

Pumpkin...not just for jack-o-lanterns.

After a couple of non-stop days in the kitchen we’re ready to hit the sack early! But, on a final note, we’re so happy to have been a part of Janie’s shower and wish her and Warren all the best!

The finished product.

The finished product.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

It’s another late night with VTB

In Events on April 18, 2009 at 12:30 am

Soon to be deviled.

Soon to be deviled.

It seems we’re becoming more nocturnal by the day, but we welcome the night when it brings hours of cooking. We’ve been running around the kitchen prepping for the wedding shower, elbow deep in egg yolks and batter, and still managed to think of just one more thing to bake. Tomorrow we’ll put on the finishing touches, but for now, here’s a peek at what we’ve got cookin’.

Until next time,

xoxo,

VTB

ViaTheBistro@gmail.com

***To request a recipe, just shoot us an e-mail!

Pumpkin muffins fresh out of the oven.

Pumpkin muffins fresh out of the oven.