A Sarcastic Appetite

Cucumber Mint Agua Fresca
July 27, 2011, 6:57 am
Filed under: Index of Recipes, Recipes

Sometimes, the occasion calls for something non-alcoholic. I know, I know – but sometimes you have an adorable friend who’s pregnant and manning the grill on the occasion of her adorable husband’s birthday, and as the resident drink expert, you need to find something appropriate. This is just that thing. The only thing I changed here was to add less sugar and a bit more mint. It’s deliciously refreshing, especially on a hot summer’s day when you’re slinging burgers and dogs – or even when you have nothing to do except lounge around the pool, as was the case with me. It was wonderful.

Then, if you’re not the one who’s pregnant, you can take it to the next level with a splash of sparkling wine, or maybe Pimm’s….Go ahead, get after it – it’s summertime!

Cucumber Mint Agua Fresca

From Furey and the Feast. Makes about 4 c.

1 lb. (1 large) cucumber, seeded and diced

6 c. water, divided

1/3 c. mint leaves, chopped

1 Tbsp. sugar

juice from 1 lime

Combine the cucumbers and mint and 2 c. of water in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and combined. Let sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the mint leaves to steep. Strain the puree into a large pitcher (cheesecloth would help here) and add the remaining 4 c. of water, lime juice, and sugar. Taste and adjust as you like. Garnish with mint leaves and/or thin cucumber slices.

Restaurant Round-Up for the Week of July 21
July 21, 2011, 8:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m here to canvass the food blogs, so you don’t have to. Some highlights this week:


The photo above is just part of the remains of the day at Casa Mono, where some friends and I ate and drank ourselves into a stupor recently. It’s a simple proposition for a tiny spot: go early and set up shop. Sit at the bar where you can watch the chefs cook your food; order a bottle of cava, and above all: Do Not Forget The Duck Egg With Mojama and Black Truffle. It’s mindblowingly good.

The Siftster’s on vacay, so Ligaya Mishan pounds the pavement in search of New York’s best frozen treats under $25. Makes me want to go back to Smorgasburg…once it cools off a bit, anyway. Speaking of cold desserts, this Galangal Root Beer Float at Kin Shop looks fantastic.

The boys at Immaculate Infatuation continue their explorations of Brooklyn, and deem Seersucker a sad Southern imposter. Go to Pies ‘N’ Thighs if you are jonesing for fried chicken and biscuits instead.

Danny at Food in Mouth swears by the tacos at Tehuitzingo – for under $3 a pop (in Midtown no less!) they can’t be beat. Just skip the al pastor – your tummy is better served by the beef tongue or belly.

Andy at Wined & Dined wonders why no one’s talking about Mono + Mono’s absurdly good happy hour deal: all you can eat wings and up to 10 house beers for $20 (with a reservation; $25 walking in). Who wants to check it out with me?

Friends of Midtown Lunch just launched Real Cheap Eats NYC, a compilation of good food under $10. Very ML-friendly at that price tag and worth checking out.

If you like food trucks and work in Midtown, you might have noticed the police crackdown recently; the Village Voice talked to Kim Ima (of the Treats Truck) to see how her business is faring. It’s not pretty. So get your officemates together and pool an order – they’ll deliver!

TastingTable brings word that the team behind Anfora, dell’anima, and L’Artusi have opened their newest venture to the public: ellabess, now open in the Nolitan Hotel. Zagats checks out the “seasonal American” menu and nods approvingly.



The Hester Street Fair
July 16, 2011, 10:59 am
Filed under: Gluttonous Weekends

I love the Hester Street Fair. Or really any kind of place or occasion that involves walking around and eating food. (See: Smorgasburg, The TastingTable Lobster Roll Rumble; Eataly; etc., etc.) If Hester Street could get a liquor license, so I could cool off with a mojito, or maybe a Pimm’s Cup, or perhaps a Bloody Mary? well, I just don’t know that I would ever leave. Even when they shut down for the evening, since they’re only open on Saturdays this year (keep that in mind).

The list of vendors changes somewhat from week to week, but there will always be some good standbys so you’re guaranteed a delicious meal. And some delightful trinkets, if that’s what you’re in the market for. Maybe a pair of shoes? Or a Scared Panda t-shirt? Or maybe some baubles? Or postcards? Great, just bring lots of cash. The fair is like a really great tapas restaurant – as in, Emily Keeps Eating Lots of Little Things and Ends Up Spending a Bunch of Money. Not that it’s a bad thing, of course…I’m just forewarning you.

Anyway, on to the food: Chicago-style dog at Snap. Delicious.

Half a Shrimp Roll at Luke’s Lobster, with their signature spices and that toasted, buttered hot dog bun: perfection.

These were washed down with a Ginger Arnold Palmer from the guys slinging pulled pork sandwiches at Daisy Duke’s BBQ; the drink was so yummy I drank it before I thought to take a picture. I couldn’t very well leave without dessert, but was feeling a bit, um, bloated, so I opted for Dank Cakeballs. Seemed reasonable:

Boozy little numbers that were heftier than they appeared – peanut butter banana pretzel, chocolate bourbon toffee, and masa très leches. Delicious!

Lastly, (solely for digestive purposes of course) I swanned out with a cucumber lime popsicle from La Newyorkina. So refreshing! I think I need to start making them myself…maybe with gin?

These guys will all be there today. Need I say more? I think you need to check it out.

In the Kitchen with the Ninja, Part 2
July 11, 2011, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Many moons ago, I posted a conversation I had with the Ninja after he had not only cooked his own dinner, but photographed his culinary efforts. A few months ago, he did the same thing, with much better results. This conversation’s pretty short since, well, the results speak for themselves. I was actually quite speechless.

Where did you get the recipe for this dish?

Uh, Clay’s brain!? I made it up! It was just duck, and sweet potatoes, and asparagus. Oh, and red wine sauce.

Wait, you made the sauce too? What was in it?

Dates, red wine, butter, duck fat, pepper, and salt, but I mushed up the dates so they caramelized in the sauce and mixed up. Also, the duck breast was enormous.

This dinner came out very differently than the last time you attempted to cook. What do you think changed?

I didn’t follow a recipe WHATSOEVER – I freestyled the bitch.

Hm. How would you say your freestyling efforts differ from my freestyling efforts?

First of all, it’s edible at the end of it. Second of all, I used organic ingredients. Third of all, it probably doesn’t, dude.

You seem to have conquered dinner. What’s next?

….the universe.

Anything else you want to add?

No. When are we doing the next one, since I already cooked the meal, it came out even better than this one, AND I followed a recipe?!


Wait a minute, how many visitors do you get a day? Why haven’t you started a Facebook group? Why aren’t you doing more to publicize your blog?!

Ok, ok, we’re done now.

Barbecued Chicken, or I Am Embarrassed to Have a Food Blog
July 10, 2011, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Recipes

I’m a little abashed to post this. I mean, it’s one thing for Jenny to write about it, since she made it up, and has two picky kids who need to eat. I don’t have any kids, I just live with one – and yet I’m embarrassed to admit that it took reading about this on her blog to put two and two together: barbecue sauce + chicken drumsticks = dinner? Wha?

And yet….

And yet my brother keeps talking about this particular meal, weeks after we’ve eaten it. “Can you make that barbecue one again? With the dark meat?” he asks, and I think about throwing in the towel. Just retiring, plain and simple. “You know, that one you made that one time? Can you make it again? It was so good! The dark meat one?”

Forget about the beautiful scallops with dried cherries and cauliflower I painstakingly made from Michael Psilakis’ How to Roast a Lamb. Forget it. And who even cares if I bake my own birthday cake?

Nope. The one thing that gets his stomach’s attention is when I slather store-bought (store bought!) barbecue sauce over a couple of drumsticks, turning them and slathering them every ten minutes for all of half an hour in the oven. That’s it. And it’s not even my recipe.

I should probably end things right here…but I’ve got more food blogs to read, and more recipes to make that I wish I’d had the wherewithal to come up with myself. Stay tuned for more enthralling action here in A Sarcastic Appetite’s kitchen!


Barbecued Chicken

From Dinner: A Love Story. Serves however many you’d like, just adjust the amount of barbecue sauce. This served about 2, since one of us is apparently still growing.


5 chicken drumsticks

about 1 c. barbecue sauce, plus more to serve. (I like Stubbs, if you can get it)

some salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 425º. Line a baking sheet with foil. Brush the drumsticks with barbecue sauce on both sides, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 30 minutes, turning every ten minutes and basting with more sauce each time. Serve.

See what I mean?