The Hungry Wolff

It's all about food, eating and loving every minute of it

Top Chef Finale September 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — hungrywolff @ 2:43 pm

Congratulations to the new Top Chef Kevin Sbraga!

Throughout the season, I never though Kevin had much of chance at the title.  Week after week he elevated his game and ended up putting out what looked to be a really amazing meal last night. 

As Padma would say…. “Hail to the chef!”

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A Taste of St. Louis in New Orleans July 30, 2010

Filed under: Restaurants — hungrywolff @ 3:19 pm
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Who would have thought that in the Creole capital I would find some
of the most scrumptious BBQ I’ve ever tasted. With the intent of
dining at Jacque Imo's in the uptown part of New Orleans, I headed
to Oak Street. The one hour wait was a deterrent but after strolling
down the block I came across what appeared to be a house with a nice
 porch, a smoker on the front lawn and a bright pink sign that said
Squeal. I was so intrigued by the hickory smell coming from the
smoker that I decided to forget about gumbo and check out the ribs
 that where slow cooking on the lawn in front of me. The place was
 small but most of the tables were full. First thing we got was
jalapeño hush puppies with sweet honey butter. The crunchy puffs
of spicy corn goodness melted and soaked up the sweet butter. One
bite and I knew I had made the right choice by not hanging around
 waiting for Jacque Imo's. Next I had the St. Louis ribs, the BBQ
chicken and cheesy corn grits, collard greens, and black beans as
sides. The ribs were fantastic. Lean, yet enough fat to make these
 ribs juicy and melt in your mouth good. The BBQ sauce was super
tangy and finger licking good. At first bite I wasn't really sure
about this sauce. But after the second and third I knew that squeal
 was really on to something. The same sauce smothered the chicken
which was slightly overcooked but still delicious. The sides were
really amazing. The collard greens were very vinegary and had a
ton of bacon. I couldn't keep my fork out of the dish! The grits
were super creamy and velvety. I could tell there was a health
portion of cream and butter in these grits. I actually cleaned the
 bottom of the dish with my finger so not to let even a morsel go
to waste. The black beans were well seasoned with cumin and
coriander. I do usually put a little cumin in the beans I make at
 home but these beans were simply amazing with abundance of coriander.
 Squeals was one of the best meals I had on my trip to Nawlins.
These Louisiana flavors completely elevated this BBQ food to a whole
other level. I guess I will have to take a trip back next February for
my hubby's annual BBQ meal. ;)



 

Tom Colicchio’s Craft July 23, 2010

Filed under: Restaurants — hungrywolff @ 5:09 pm

I recently dined at Tom Colicchio’s Craft on 19th street between Broadway and Park. The decor of the restaurant is absolutely beautiful…leather walls, exposed brick, and hundreds of little light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. This inviting space gave way to one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in a very long time.

First off, the service was outstanding! From the first step I took into the restaurant till my last, I was greeted by smiling, polite staff. From the bus boy who led the way for me to the restroom, to the hostess that gave me a banana nut muffin at the end of the night, I was so impressed by how attentive everyone was.

We started off with the Lamb Mezzaluna as an appetizer. This silky pasta enveloped the tender, tangy lamb and was topped with a black olive, lemon zest and white wine sauce. The lemon zest provided a subtle bitterness that was balanced from the saltiness of the olives.

The scallops I ordered were perfect! Perfectly cooked and perfectly seared. They did come with a butter chive sauce that was good but masked the delicate flavor of the scallops but it was served on the side for those who don’t respect the flavor of scallop as much as I do.

I tasted a piece of my friends swordfish which was really wonderful as well. It was tender, moist and splashed with a light white wine sauce.

We shared the spinach au gratin which was deliciously creamy and finished with a crunchy topping.

We couldn’t say no to the extensive dessert menu and settled on a vanilla bean ice cream with hazelnut crunch and a blueberry compote. WOW this dessert was out of control delicious. I was about to lick the plate clean. The blueberries were so fresh tasting and sweet. The ice cream had such a rich flavor that was accentuated by the crunchy hazelnuts. After the main meal I just had I really didn’t think it could get any better, but this dessert brought the whole meal to a totally different level.
All in all, I have to say that I have gained a great respect for Tom Colicchio. He really does have every right to be so tough on the Top Chef contestants. His restaurant is flawless and I can’t wait to go back!

 

My visit to Top Chef Hopeful’s Xie Xie Sandwich Shop July 7, 2010

Filed under: Restaurants — hungrywolff @ 5:54 pm
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After a heartbreaking defeat by the Netherlands my sister and I
decided to drown our sorrows into some Asian sandwiches. We have been
wanting to check out Xie Xie (pronounced shay shay, Mandarin for Thank you)
which is owned by this season's Top Chef contestant, Angelo Sosa. After he won
a quick fire challenge for the best sandwich he nicely plugged his sandwich
shop in nyc and I was on a mission. I just had to sample this
Top Chef hopeful's food. Xie Xie is on 9th ave on the corner or 45th.
Its a small spot with a small menu but the flavors in each sandwich
are as big as they come! Upon our arrival we were greeted by Angelo
who offered us a napkin to wipe away our tears after Brazil gut
wrenching loss. Angelo was super nice and even agreed to pose for a
picture with us.  And yes, he is just as good looking in person as
he is on tv ;)

My sister and I shared the pork sticky buns and the shredded beef
with carrot kimchee sandwiches. Both sandwiches were excellent. The
meat in both 'wiches were slighly sweet, very juicey and topped with
cilantro which gives anything a yummy kick. The carrot kimchee provided and 
exciting burst of orange crunch and juiciness. 
Each sandwich came with a bag of Herr's potato chips. I wish Angelo would make house made Asian
flavored chips. It would add so much to the plate...I'd even pay more
for an original accompaniment. 

I tried to get Angelo to tell me who the winner of this season was
but of course he is sworn to secrecy. 

Although I am doubtful that this Asian centric chef will come out on
top, I do look forward to seeing what other kitchen creations he
comes up with this season. And in the mean time you should head over
to Xie Xie for a quick and tasty sandwich that will send your taste
buds through the roof.

 

Curry Chicken Salad July 6, 2010

Filed under: From my Kitchen — hungrywolff @ 4:19 pm
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1 whole baked chicken cut into cubes

2 tsbp of mayo

2 tbsp of plain greek lowfat yogurt (great way to cut down on mayo and some of the fat)

1 tsp chopped tarragon

1tsp yellow curry powder

1/2 cup grapes halved

1 celery stalk chopped

salt and pepper

combine all the ingredients into a bowl.  Season accordingly. Serve with a fresh roll or lettuce wraps. Enjoy!

This is a great way to use up left over chicken.  The juicy sweetness from the grapes make this the perfect filling for a summertime sandwich.

 

Keepin it cool July 1, 2010

Filed under: From my Kitchen — hungrywolff @ 6:15 pm
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I live on the top floor of my building.  There is a ton of sun light that comes in  and I don’t have curtains in my living room — It can get so hot and my small air conditioner only offers a little relief.  So on those hot, sticky summer days there is absolutely no way I’m going to turn my stove on to cook.  I do, however, have a electric grill on my balcony which really comes in handy.

Lately I have been making shish-kabobs.  They make for a healthy and delicious meal with very little clean up.  You can find skewers at most grocery stores and you just pile them up with your favorite protein and veggies.

I’ve done talapia seasoned with curry pierced between pineapple, onions and cherry tomatoes.

In the picture below I have Italian seasoned chicken with onion, red peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Shish-kabobs are fun and easy to eat.  Get creative and you’ll be in for a real treat! Just be sure to put oil on the protein so that it doesn’t stick to the grill. You could also cook these on an indoor grill pan if you don’t have an outdoor grill or the green house effect going on in your apartment.

 

A taste of Belgium by the river June 27, 2010

Filed under: Stops along the way — hungrywolff @ 9:41 pm
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I discovered a yummy treat as I roller bladed along the river.  A Belgium waffle cart just like they have in Belgium (at least that’s what my husband says).  It’s been a whle since I’ve had a waffle and I’ve never been to Belgium so this find was the perfect fix to a long rollerblading trip.

I had my waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. The waffle was light, chewy and sweet and the dingles (toppings) were refreshing. A great combo!

TheWaffles and Dingles cart is under the west side highway and is at approx 65th street.  Its just a few blocks south of Peir 1 bar and restaurant. 

Check it out!