So I’m back at the 4 Hour Chef book today and decided to make the bittman chinese chicken recipe from the book. The recipe in the book calls to steam the chicken but I think that was more for practicality. Since I can Sous Vide, I will. 60c (140F) for 95 minutes was all I needed to get a smooth meaty texture out of the chicken. 10 minutes at the same heat for the Bok Choy kept the leaves green and crisp, with just a little give to the white part of the greens: Perfection. Not that there was much taste in it until I added the wonderful sauce made with sunflower oil, sesame oil, scallion, ginger and soy sauce. After the photo, I just drenched the entire dish in the sauce and devoured it very quickly.
I got my copy of The The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life, Tim Ferriss’s follow up to The 4 Hour Body, a lifestyle change that I made about 5 months ago and has resulted in pretty amazing weight losses in that time. The one thing that 4HB lacked was creativity in cooking. Tim attempts to make up for it in this book by introducing some great new slow carb meals. Having only skimmed through the chapters at this point, I can see that he also teaches us how to clean a deer, build a fire and tie a knot. I’m certain there is tons more, but for now I’m just sticking to the cooking. Not that I am a stranger to slow carb cooking. There is certainly a monotony to this regimen and I couldn’t stand for it so I made my own recipes, which you can see here. But now I’ve got a book from the master Reverend Tim, as I like to call him. First up is this wonderful crab cake, which I just devoured minutes ago. Not a bad way to utilize $10 worth of canned lump crab meat. The low carb crab cakes recipe is simple an egg white, a chopped scallion, a little harissa and crab meat, mixed all together, fried in a pan and sprayed with a little lime juice. I decided to make mine a meal…and I could seriously eat another batch of these things right now. They are amazing.
Everyone knows that the next best thing to Thanksgiving Dinner is the leftovers and nothing is more amazing than The Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich. Sure you can reheat all the leftovers and eat them individually, but why not compile them all into a mind-blowing sandwich and all you need is a few slices of bread, which you may even have from the stuffing you made the night before. My sandwich uses potato bread, mashed potato, turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole. You can watch the video below to see how it stacks up.
Sausage, Escarole & Lentil Soup by Eric Isaac
Last night we had our first snowfall in NYC. It was a Noreaster and it dumped nearly 4 inches of thick wet snow on us over the evening and had calmed by 1am. It bent several branches on trees surrounding my apartment and I was certain that they would fall. On the opposite side of the street a tree’s branch was bending across the street and just kissing the window to my living room. It was a thick gloppy mess out there and the city hadn’t plowed. I decided Lentil soup was perfect for this night and had to go out to get a few things I didn’t have, which I somewhat regret now b/c it was quite dangerous on the roads.
I winged this one. Originally I thought about using Kale but the Escarole was 2 dollars cheaper a bunch and a more interesting flavor for tonight – just a little bitterness to go with this hearty soup. I also made this vegan by using Field Roast’s Chipotle Mexican Vegan Sausage, diced into small chunks. But if you want use real sausage, feel free. I did like the vegan product though and would do it again.
Sausage, Escarole & Lentil Soup Recipe
Serves: 8 big bowls
1/4 cup Sunflower, Safflower or other neutral, high heat oil
4 ribs celery, diced fine
3 carrots, diced fine
1 large onion, dice fine
6 gloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Coriander
1 tbsp Cumin
1 pound chorizo, or Field Roast Vegan Mexican Chipotle Sausage, chopped into small chunks
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 cups French lentils
1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
2 quarts Vegetable Broth
2 quarts water
1 bunch escarole, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Coat the bottom of a heavy stock pot with oil. Heat on Medium-high heat. Once hot add the Onion, Celery and Carrot. saute until soft (about 10 minutes. Add the chopped sausage, garlic, parsley and other spices. Stir to coat with oil and vegetables, then add about a tsp of salt and pepper each. Add the lentils and stir to coat with oil. Then add, Tomatoes, Vegetable Broth and water to come up to about 2 inches below the top of the pot. Stir and let simmer on low heat until the lentils are no longer tough, but not soggy. Add the chopped escarole and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve and Enjoy
While working with OccupySandy on relief efforts, we’ve identified several outposts set up to aid local residents. I’ve embedded these outpost locations in a google map below. I’ve visited 5 of these in the New Dorp Beach area and I can tell you a little bit about them when trying to decide where to go.
View Staten Island Hurricane Sandy Outposts in a larger map
192 Ebbitts Street – Rosa Terrace Catering Hall
This catering hall has been converted into a makeshift place for receiving and dispersing donations to the residents of New Dorp Beach. Amazing work they are doing down there. They have a ton of clothes, don’t need more. They have so many that they are going to start throwing them in the trash if they can’t get them out of there. This is also very close to the water so there are a lot of homes in the area that need cleaned out and streets that need swept up. Cleaning supplies come in and immediately get picked up by residents. there is no keeping these things on site.
Cedar Grove Avenue & Ebbits St. – smaller outpost with canned goods and clothing. Cedar Grove Avenue was decimated. There are very few structures still standing, and I’m fairly certain that one fells during one of my walks back and forth while meeting with organizers.
Cedar Grove Avenue & Wavecrest – Large schoolyard filled with clothing that is in bags. If they can’t get rid of them soon, they will be in the garbage. Lots of odds and ends, canned foods, pet food. Cleaning supplies come in and immediately get picked up by residents. there is no keeping these things on site.
Cedar Grove Avenue & New Dorp Lane – Roadside outpost with various goods. It’s small, but mostly clothes and canned goods.
New Dorp High School – New Dorp & Mills – This is the main outpost and fairly far away from the worst damage. Fema is here signing people up. Lots of clothes, canned goods, and everything else. Can’t keep cleaning supplies stocked. These guys have a lot of help and probably not a great place to volunteer, but worth checking out. Check it out, if it seems like things are under control, move on to down the lane. For people dropping donations, it’s the easiest to get to considering that Everything beyond mills road is blocked off.
Every one of these places needs stuff listed here
I spent the day on the ground today in The New Dorp Beach area of Staten Island. Yesterday I spent the day in The Rockaways and I’ve come up with a list of things I know that people need. There is some consistency between all of the places, outposts and ad-hock stands on what they need and I can imagine that every location is like this as well. I can tell you that they definitely DON’T need water, food and clothes – in fact, these things are a problem now and if you even try to bring them to Staten Island, Rockaway Beach and probably every other location you will find they will be stuck with a ton of clothing. All places excepting donations are turning away clothing at this point. This is a major point – your efforts will seriously be thwarted if you accept clothing.
Pet Food is a necessity, for sure, but I’m sure they will get to a point that they don’t need it soon.
The biggest things you can gather for them and send are:
Cleaning supplies – Bleach, Ammonia, Mops, buckets, brooms dustpans, and Contractor Bags. Paper Towels & Shammies, Disinfectant wipes
First Aid stuff – neosporin, aspirin, tylenol, ibprofen and other OTC drugs, nasal spray
Tarps, granny carts, shopping carts, wheelbarrows to transport goods to homes.
Faces masks and respirators,
Gas, & Gas Cans (ideally filled with gas). Generators.
One big thing that they could really use is for people to make runs to PA to get gas. The lines here are ridiculous.
Also I read that Bedford Union Armory. 1579 Bedford Avenue was giving out free gas (10 gal, max pp). Not sure if that spot is still setup, but worth a try. turns out this did not work out as planned. Head to PA or CT for your fuel needs.
Take cash donations as well and turn it into cleaning supplies and lowes or home depot.
They also need working hands down there, ready to get dirty. You should come dressed warmly in layers, wear work boots bring work gloves. Cleaning supplies are severely limited, so bring your own. You will NOT be serving or making food – those jobs are taken.
Donations of these type can be dropped at St. Jacobi Church 5406 4th Ave @ 55th Street in Brooklyn. From there it will get dispatched out to The Rockaways and Staten Island. If you want to volunteer to do the dirty work, you can meet at this location and be picked up and get a ride back to The church.
This is the only picture I took of Rockaway Beach today.
first of all sign up at recovers.org and head down to 5406 4th Ave @ 55th Street in Brooklyn tomorrow to volunteer. You can hop in a car to many of the relief outposts in the rockaways, coney island, sheepshead bay, and staten island. there are probably more, but you’ll definitely be helping out in any way you can.
A lot can be said about the Occupy Movement. Many people have harsh words to say about them and their mobilization efforts on Wall Street in NYC over the last year or so. But nothing is nearly as inspiring as what they have done for Hurricane Relief Efforts for Hurricane Sandy. I was on the ground today in the capacity of handing out food to people who need it. Last night my girlfriend and I spent the evening cooking food. I can tell you the best thing to do is volunteer. Bringing food is great, but make sure its food that is best served cold. A hot meal is very difficult right now without power. Keeping things warm is even harder.
I spent a lot of time taking notes and finding out what people need. Everyone needs power, but that is really beyond our control. Here’s what I’ve learned so far today.
Please share the hell out of this so we can get information to people who need it. Follow me on twitter as I will update where and when I can. Most important things need I can think of off hand are:
diapers, soap, shampoo, batteries, generators, gasoline, water pumps, batteries, flash lights blankets.
The rest below I’ve been passing around through various social networking channels tomorrow I’ll be on the ground in Staten Island coordinating and assessing needs.
I took a lot of notes and there need to be note-taking boots on the ground who can quickly communicate with people about immediate needs and report back to distribution centers.
Biggest needs as far as food:
Prepared foods that can be eaten cold, b/c it is quite difficult to get hot food to people. There is no way to reheat out in these location. Pasta salads, potato salad, Sack lunches are the bomb. Someone sent over 4 ikea bags filled with a typical sack lunch – PB&J, Chips or crackers, Hard Boiled Egg, Juice Box, & fruit. They are super easy to distribute and have a longer shelf life. As far as food, we do have the benefit of it being cold outside, but that is not a benefit for people who have no homes. There aren’t a lot of ppl sleeping out on the street in Rockaway, a lot of neighbors have taken them in. some have moved out. But the streets are lined on both sides with mud and all their belongings trashed.
Other big needs:
Generators and Gasoline
Toiletries, such as tooth paste and tooth brushes
Coffee (instant is probably best)
Paper & Pens & Markers (shelters really need this to label stuff that comes in)
Shovels, water pumps, Batteries
Pet food is one big one, a lot of ppl have animals. Request today for dog food, cat food & even hamster food
There is an outpost setup on Cross Bay Blvd & 95th in the Rockaways. Contact Amanda – she’s been there everyday and will continue to be there. She is a life-long resident helping her neighbors. Her number is 718-536-9587. Also there is a woman Named Heydy (heidi) with an organization called Caring Foundation who’ve been passing out food, and hot drinks among other things. Heydy’s number is 917.683.2169. People have been dumping supplies out there all day. It’s a big pile of stuff and could use some organization. Also, if it rains all that stuff is going to get ruined.
Pastor Williams of St. Johns Baptist Church 7405 Rockaway Beach Blvd (@ Beach 75) badly needs a generator and gasoline and blankets. You can contact him at 718.644.8151 to asses immediate needs.
One of my favorite things about staying in tuscany was the wafting smell of Rosemary when our chef was cooking the evening meal. That beautiful bouquet wafted through all three stories of the tuscan villa and even upon arrival, all you had to do was follow your nose to the kitchen.
On our last day in Italy, the chef made Pici – a hand-rolled pasta made of only flour and water which is native to the specific region of tuscany where we were staying. It was served with a garlic tomato based sauce. The pasta looks like a very thick spaghetti and is very soft with a little toughness in the center, but its not too tough.
It was very tough to leave Palazzolaccio after such an amazing and relaxing time there. Surprisingly relaxing considering we were there to work, but how can you not be relaxed in such a beautiful environment? From here we spent an evening in a not so great place that boasted an amazing meal that fell flat in our minds.
A perfect tuscan lunch: Eggplant Parmigiana, Fennel & Oranges, Meatballs…
So as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve completely changed my diet but after traveling 9 hours on a plane eating nothing but nuts, an airplane salad that wouldn’t qualify as a salad on land, and drinking copious amounts of coffee, I found myself weak and in need of something. Our first stop on the road was a roadside gas station/market which is unlike any roadside place in America. The food is very fresh and there is a espresso bar with a crowd of people standing around sipping cappuccinos & espressos. My only option were more nuts and packaged meats, none of which sounded appealing. So I officially broke down, right there on the roadside, somewhere between Rome and Montepulciano and ate bread and cheese. I had a wonderful caprese sandwich and a water to wash away my sorrow. After that, I resigned myself to embracing the Carbohydrate Countryside from that moment on, and embrace it, I did. The following was the second lunch at Palazzolaccio – the second of three. I’ll post the last one in soon. For now, enjoy this lunch.
Fresh picked flowers
Tuscany is known for their vast number of hillside towns in Italy and have some of the most breathtaking views that are only matched by the amazing food that you will eat here. If you stay in one of the many villa’s and castles scattered around the region, you can usually opt to have a chef prepare all of your meals. You can, of course, decide to go out for dinner and there certainly are gems out there. But there is nothing quite like having someone custom prepare your tuscan feast. Here are some photographs of the lunch we had the other day.