Saturday, October 13, 2012

New York, New York!

I thought I would post all the amazing foods we had in our recent birthday/anniversary trip to NYC last week. Going into the trip all I wanted to do is EAT. And that's exactly what we did. We did a food tour for a second time and it was amazing. Check out if you are planning a trip. We have done the Chelsea Market one and this last time we did the Central Village/SoHo tour.

We of course visited Eataly 4 times in 6 days :) For our anniversary dinner we ate at Babbo which was perfect as usual. I love Mario Batali so much and any of his restaurants or joint ventures are always over the top amazing! I got some amazing food recommendations from a local I met on Twitter, Anna Watson Carl, as well. She is amazing and  her blog is chalk full of delicious recipes and heart warming stories, I highly suggest checking it out. Anna recommended Mermaid Oyster Bar in the Village which was fantastic!

Sweet Lena Grace was such a good traveler! Our cousins, Jonathan and Annie Middlebrooks (which I'm not sure how we never got a picture with??) were going to NYC for city wide worship collective. We visited Trinity Grace Sunday morning and are really excited what God is doing urban cities all over the country! Below is one of my dearest friends, Jacquelyn who traveled along with us and the Middlebrooks for the week. She bought me my first birthday drink on the plane :)

This was one of my many visits to Eatly with Jax. I don't even remember the what the pasta was called but it was perfectly cooked with some melt in your mouth Bolognese. And of course I had to gild the lily with an affogato with frangelico for dessert.
And what's a trip to NYC without PIZZA! I swear, Blake would have been fine eating pizza solely. But I really can't blame him because it's delicious.

Blake is such a pro a stroller pushing around sweet Lena around Central Park. He kept saying that the stroller was like a Mercedes of strollers! What a goof ball :)
Our other very close friends, Kris and Kati Monier were in NYC for part of the time as well. We did the food tour with them and had a blast! This picture makes me laugh so hard because this sums up Kati in a nutshell.
This was a mortadella and mozzarella sandwiches from Caffe Dante which just made my life complete. I also got a macchiato which was so creamy and had a kick for sure. I love Italian espresso. Evidently this place is one of the oldest traditional Italian cafes in the neighborhood.

This place was awesome and too bad I didn't take a picture of the food. I guess I need to slow down before I gobble up my pasta bowl :) But very traditional and romantic Italian place that we stopped by on our tour.
Of course Kati and I couldn't resist getting sangria and mojitos at the Cuban restaurant on our tour. We always have a good time when we are together.

We were pumped about this beautiful board from Eataly! 

Our amazing meal at Babbo! I had the pork chop with sweet and spicy roasted peppers topped off with a 20 year aged balsamic that was presented to me like a fine wine. Blake had the steak onto of a salsa verde with those amazing pickled onions. We shared chianti stained pappardelle with wild boar ragu but we were too hungry to snap a photo. Blake and I honestly weren't going to get dessert, but when they offer you an apple crustada with maple gelato drizzled with apple cider caramel and then sprinkled with sea salt, what choice do you really have?!? Needless to say we had a wonderful trip and can't wait to go back already!
And then of course I had to bring cheese back in my purse like a werido. But what's really new? It's grana pandano for those of you who are interested.  

Fennel Rosemary Pork Roast

This recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray and it is so yummy! She made it into sandwiches but I love it as a main course with the roasted fennel and onions. Ask your butcher or meat counter man to butterfly a 3-4 pound pork shoulder (aka pork butt roast). I pounded my meat out to about an inch and half thick. I bet if you ask REALLY nicely they will do that for you as well. The meat shrinks up quite a bit so get more than you think you'll need. Even if you get too much, the leftovers are delicious!

3-4 lb pork shoulder, butterflied and pounded out to an inch and half
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 whole head of garlic, crushed and minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, quartered
1 fresh fennel bulb, cored and quartered
1 cup white wine such as Pinto Grigio
In a roasting pan or large baking dish place the onions and fennel bulb, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Cut three long (about 10 inches) strings of butcher's twine to tie the pork up. Lay the strings horizontally a few inches apart. Lay the pork on top so it's easier to tie once filled. Season the pork with plenty of the salt and pepper. Don't be shy! Drizzle a little olive oil and then pat on the fennel, rosemary and garlic. Roll the pork up with the string, cutting any excess string off. Place the pork on top of the onions and fennel with the fat side up. Always put a fatty meat like this fat side up. It allows all the flavor from the fat to seep into the meat. Drizzle a little bit more olive oil on the pork and season the outside with salt and pepper.

Place in a 375 oven for an hour and then take out the pan and douse with wine. Return pan back to the oven for another hour or hour and half until pork is tender. The internal temperate should be at 145º*. Let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes, tented with foil to keep warm. Slice off string and carve and serve with onions and fennel.

*If you think this is too rare, there are new meat regulations on pork. It will be totally fine and not pink. Ground pork (like most ground meats) should be cooked all the way through, but with a whole cut of meat like this, 145º will be totally fine. The meat keeps cooking while it rests too so don't be worried.