Pigs in the Big Apple

     Oh New York City, you’re like an epicures Disneyland. Every time I come to visit I walk along your main streets stopping for the occasional pretzels or candied nuts as if they were Viking sized theme park turkey legs. I wait on your lines with no "fast-pass" to have an adventurous experience at one of your 1,001 (actually over 4000) Restaurants which are like roller coasters to me; each one with different loops, twists and turns! I'm getting carried away here because I’m still simmering down after my brother and I's vacation to the city. After I turned 18 and Jordan  21 we thought it would only be fitting to kick off this new age of freedom with a trip to New York. Although we have been to City many times before, this was the first time we have come all by ourselves.  We were fortunate enough stay across from the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue and walked everywhere but occasionally taking the subway. I think I may have called my Dad (a born and bred New Yorker) for navigation more times in one day then I usually do in a year.  The one thing we didn’t need help finding was food. If you’re going to travel with a Salamon young or old, your going to eat...very well.

 On our first night I took Jordan to Eataly (Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Italian emporium) where we ate Pizza Margarita at the counter top in front of the two mosaic tile brick ovens. Another night we dined at Hill Country Chicken, a comfort food joint made to look and feel as if you were sitting in your "Mama El's" Georgian kitchen in the fifties (if you had a mother named El anyways). We even took a trip down memory lane and stuffed our faces with burgers and fries from the Burger Joint. A literal hole in the wall, this place is hidden behind a curtain at the Parker Meridian Hotel. Jordan and I used to come here with our parents when we were younger. When entering the Burger Joint you must walk in cool, act as though you own an attitude, order quickly and don't write on the walls (when clearly millions of people have already beaten you to it). 

 Arguably, the best meal we ate was at the Spotted Pig by Chef April Bloomfield. We had to wait over an hour before we could be seated but it was well worth it. This place was completely up our alley. Lots of overgrown wild plants covered the front leading you into a dark space with creaky wooden floors and red painted walls. I admired the collage of paintings, they were like a menagerie or a collection of animals. Jordan and I were right at home. Our meal started with a fried pigs ear salad and crab legs with an herbed aioli. The pigs ears were a first for me but certainly not the last. It did run through my warped brain that these ears were also enjoyed by my dog and younger sibling Oliver. Apparently Oliver has a more refined palate then I, dogs know where the good stuff is. The ears were crunchy and slightly chewy; enough to stick to your teeth. They were bitter and buttery, lightly suited in a caper vinaigrette surround by frisée. The crab legs were sweet and the tempura battering did them justice. For our main course we ordered the famous gundi or little dumplings of ricotta. These gundi were bad-ass balls given from the lords of Culinary (the most epic way I could possibly describe them). They are bathed in a béchamel sauce and finished with brown butter and fried sage. Rich and luxurious they were like little pillows stuffed with house made sheep milk ricotta. We were to stuffed to linger for dessert so we paid the bill and headed back for the hotel. Im no food critic but I would highly recommend the Spotted Pig to any wandering siblings who find themselves hungry in the Big Apple.
    I may of had one of the most memorable dinners I've had in while but more importantly I had an amazing adventure with a person I love all to much, my brother. The trip was a success because we went to bond, talk and laugh which is the best meal anyone could ask for.

"Pigs Ear" and Frisée Salad
(Inspired by Chef April Bloomfield @ The Spotted Pig)

6 slices Prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 cup Olive oil

For buttermilk blue dressing:

2 oz. Buttermilk blue cheese or good quality blue
1 teaspoon Buttermilk or heavy cream
2 tablespoon Mayonnaise
Salt & pepper to taste
In a small blender combine mayo, blue cheese, buttermilk, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

For Caper Vinaigrette:

1tablespoon Capers (with liquid)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon White balsamic
2 tablespoons Olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
Whisk together or shake olive oil, Dijon, white balsamic in a small bowl or jar. Add capers, salt and pepper.

Add  olive oil to a sauté pan set over medium high heat. When oil begins to ripple (not smoke) add ripped pieces of prosciutto 2 at a time until golden brown and crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Set aside

 Toss the frisée with the caper vinaigrette. Dollop the buttermilk blue on a small plate, arrange the dressed frisée, and garnish with "pigs ear".

Keep on Cooking!!!

1 comment:

  1. Yum!! All too amazing! Love the art, too! Those pigs know how to live!