Sunday, October 25, 2009

fo' schnitzel

the NYC street vendor landscape is currently dominated by halal street-meat carts, however, if you look a little deeper, you will find a multitude of competent contenders hailing from all corners of the world -- from waffles to dumplings, you'll be surprised w/ what's out there.

Schnitzel & Things
Park Avenue South b/w 26th and 27th streets
WEDNESDAYS --11:30-2:30p
a schnitzel truck, who knew? and for that matter, what the hell IS schnitzel?!?!

--according to the Schnitzel & Things website, "schnitzel is a hand pounded, lightly breaded
thin cutlet fried to golden perfection. it is traditionally served w/ a lemon wedge and a side of Austrian potato salad."

i haven't tried the schnitzel yet, but i did partake in the bratwurst. i ordered the bratwurst platter w/ braised cabbage, austrian potato salad, and spicy sriracha mayo -- all platters are served w/ your choice of two sides and a condiment. the brat was moist and delicious, despite the over zealously charred exterior. the cabbage and potato salad were well-prepared and incredibly fresh, fresh, fresh. the mayo was good, but i'd have made it w/ a little more tang. i felt the portion was a bit meager, but then again, i'm a gavone.

the Schnitzel & Things schnitzel truck is a well actualized concept that works. from the looks of things, the schnitzel is really where it's at -- oh well, for next time.

© 2009 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

Sunday, October 18, 2009

foul play

Foul Medames (pronounced - "fool mey-dah-mas") is an eygyptian fava bean ragout that is usually served w/ warm pita, and an egg -- either hard boiled or fried. foul is traditionally eaten for breakfast, which seems odd to someone from a culture that rationalizes eating sweets before 9am.

bold, mediterranean flavors dominate this humble preparation. the tomato lends welcomed tang and texture, while the ceci beans provide some diversity. hearty and nutritious -- it's the kind grub you'd need to fuel a long, hot day of building megaliths in the desert.

Foul Medames (Eygyptian Breakfast Beans)

1 onion, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28oz) can Foul Medammas (cooked fava beans), drained
1 (14oz) can ceci beans, drained
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
2 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 TBS
1/2 cup parsely, chopped
salty & pepper to taste

1. heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a 10-inch, straight-sided skillet over medium heat. add
onions and a heavy pinch of salt (1 tsp); sweat onions over medium heat until limp and translucent -- about 6 minutes. add garlic, cook fo an additional 2 minutes.

2. add the drained beans, tomatoes, and enough stock to *just* cover -- about 2 cups. bring to
a boil, then reduce to a simmer. add the cumin and garam masala. simmer, uncovered until the liquid is reduce by half; about 8 minutes.

3. using a potato masher (or the bottom of a glass), mash the bean mixture enough to thicken the remaining liquid -- the consistency is a matter of preference -- i enjoy it a bit thicker. add lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, and parsley.

- season to taste and serve w/ charred pita.

© 2009 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the pig's petute

another sunday afternoon ends in chinatown, a 25 mile ride under my belt and i am HUNGRY. the culinary possibilities in chinatown are endless. i recharge w/ some fresh coconut juice - straight from the coconut -- then quickly move on to the main event, roast meats - cantonese style. i usually go w/ roast duck but today i decide to try something a little different -- alright, a lot different -- stewed pig intestine.

it was vaguely reminiscent of roast duck, insofar as the fatty texture and "roast meat" flavor, however, it had a strong, decidedly gamey porkiness to it. truth-be-told, it wasn't all that bad -- in the moment. enamored by the cultural divide, i thoroughly enjoyed eating that pig's asshole, however, when i re-heated the leftovers two days later, it tasted like shit - literally. i suppose that should be expected when you eat something that at one time did, in fact, pipeline feces out of a pig's petute.

© 2009 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -