Cuisine in Queens
One of the things that I like most about food is what I like most about Fall, the ever-changing colors. The early sunsets blanket the city buildings in a golden glow of pumpkin orange and falling leaves blot the sidewalks like puddles of deep red wine. Here is a recipe for one of my favorite fall feasts. My “Famous Chicken Salad” is a colorful assault on the eyes as it is a swirling of spices in the mouth. Enjoy!
“Famous Chicken Salad”
About four cups of chicken (I like to buy a rotisserie chicken)
3 celery stalks
1/2 small red onion
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Tumeric to taste
Cumin to taste
Mix all the chopped ingredients together, stir in the mayonnaise, sprinkle the spices to taste and fold together. Can be served alone or in the company of bread, wine and good friends.
There’s nothing like relaxing at home on a lazy fall afternoon sipping a homemade cocktail, or 10! I first met Joe Thompson, area man, drink master and musician in the summer of 2010. His mixing expertise was noted in the 2010 fall edition of Edible Queens.
While doing a photo shoot for the Notable Edibles article, I was fortunate enough to see the master at work in his own home, preparing a neighborhood favorite he calls “Harvest 718”. It is a warm and sultry mix of citris and spices simmered on a stove top for drinking on those chilly days of fall.
Harvest 718 (recipe first published here)
In medium saucepan over low heat, brown butter. Stir in cider, squash puree and mulling spices; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Let cool.* In shaker, combine 4 ounces of the cooled cider mixture, bourbon, honey, a dash of bitters and ice; shake to combine. Rub rim of glass with orange peel before pouring in the cider mixture.
In celebration of the new Astoria location Red Mango will be giving away a free small yogurt with one topping to everyone who visits the shop in Astoria Saturday, August 21 from 11am-5pm. Get in line for a delicious cold treat!
Red Mango– Astoria 30-58 Steinway St. 347 738 4197
Not too long ago a friend introduced me to the “hot pot“. Shortly after the introduction I discovered that the traditional Chinese stew prepared with a hot pot is an extraordinary thing. I simply had to try one myself. Salivating heavily, my dining partner and I hopped onto the 7 train en route to Flushing Queens. Our destination: Little Pepper (aka Xiao La Jiao Sichuan Restaurant) Climbing down a dark and dingy stairwell to the restaurant made us briefly hesitate, wondering if we had the right place. Then, we looked up at the smiling happy pepper painted on the sign. The jolly image reassured us that our location was correct.
We moseyed in and sat down, taking a look at our options. The hot pot was not listed on the menu. Our waitress approached us, although barely speaking a word of English, she understood exactly what we wanted. She returned to our table with a list of ingredients to cook in our stew- one side written in Chinese and the other in English. We checked off a long list of raw food items: beef, bean sprouts, shrimp, lotus root, spinach, and the list went on. After placing our order, she emerged from the kitchen holding a large concoction over flames. It was the first step, the hot pot broth. One side of the hot pot was spicy and the other milky. Next came the raw savory morsels we added into the boiling broth. We marveled at the mysterious brew. Picking up our selected items, we dropped each of the foods one-by-one into the mixtures. I chose to stick to the milky broth, while my dining partner, with no shortage of steam rising from his beet-red forehead, ate from the spicy side.
A beautiful amalgam of tastes and colors were presented as we ferociously bit into every forkful. The foods’ appearances changed drastically as we tossed it into the hot pot. Bright red peppers floated atop the hot side, tempting us with every gleam, turning our mouths into infernos. The gray shrimp went into the pot and surfaced as soft pink and white swirls. The brilliant green of the crispy spinach became a dark wilting forest, woven with shades of red. The tender slices of red beef turned into savory brown curls. And the once full-to-the-brim pot became empty within a matter of minutes. Although it didn’t take us long to devour this meal, eating it was an experience of its own, a “work-out” if you will. The ingredients fuse together to create a kaleidoscope of tastes. In other words, it was really good.
Little Pepper– 133-43 Roosevelt Avenue Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 939-7788
Looking for a new place to go for your weekend lunch or evening drinks? Head out to the new LIC Market, where the menu focuses on locally acquired fare and wine. Here is a sample menu of their offerings from July 30. LIC Market will begin serving Saturday brunch in mid-August.
LIC Market– 21-52 44th Drive, LIC, NY
Breakfast (7am – 11am)
Greek Yogurt $4.00 granola and honey
Market Pastries $1.75 danish, croissant
black forest ham and gruyere croissant $3.50
Tortilla $4.00 toasted baguette, baby greens, aioli
“Butter and Jam” $3.25 toasted 7 grain or pecan cranberry bread
Omelet of the Day $6.00 toasted baguette
Lunch (11am – 4pm)
Salad Market Cobb $11.00 romaine, chicken, boiled egg, avocado, grape tomatoes, bacon, maytag blue cheese dressing
Roasted Chicken $10.00 baby greens, grape tomatoes, french beans, roasted corn, roasted shallot vinaigrette
Soft Cooked Egg $9.00 frisee, bacon, croutons, maytag blue cheese, pommery mustard vinaigrette
Sandwich Roasted Chicken $8.00 souman bread, caramelized onions, provolone, arugula, roasted shallot dressing
Shredded Brisket $9.00 brioche bun, red cabbage slaw
Slow Cooked Pork $8.00 souman bread, gruyere, house cured pickles, pommery mustard dressing
Plates Roasted Chicken $11.00 sweet peas and baby carrots
Slow Cooked Pork $10.00 basmati and black beans
Omelet of the day $7.00 toasted baguette, baby greens
Market Burger $9.00 brioche bun, cheddar, sliced tomato, greens, aioli w/ potato salad
Sides Potato Salad $4.50 Rice and Beans $4.50 Wilted Greens $4.50
Drinks Boylan Sodas/Honest Teas/Bottled Water $1.75 Market Iced Tea/Lemonade $2.50 SerendipiTeas $1.50/$2.00 Brewed Coffee $1.50/$2.00 Cafe au Lait $1.75/$2.25 Espresso $2.00/$2.50 Macchiato $2.25/$2.75 Café Late or Cappuccino $3.50/$4.00 Iced Coffee $2.75 Fresh Squeezed OJ $3.25
It’s the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in the heart of Flushing Meadows Park this weekend Saturday August 7th and Sunday August 8th. Watch the as the magnificent dragon boats zip through Meadow Lake while the competing teams race to the finish. You don’t want to miss this once a year extravaganza! Before you rush the kids back to school this year, take them to the event of a lifetime (well at least the event of the weekend) The celebration begins early Saturday and continues throughout Sunday afternoon with The Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, traditional Indian dance, Shaolin Kung Fu demonstrations, kite flying, jazz performances, the American Bolero Dance Company and much more!
Click here for a full schedule of events.
Dragon Boat Festival Aug 7 & 8 Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadow Park
My friend and I stopped into Dee Thai on a sunny afternoon in hopes of a cheap satisfying meal. This place has mixed reviews, but we decided to give it a go anyway. The empty chairs and dimly lit atmosphere among the contemporary decor, were cause for alarm. Though, despite of the sounds of crickets in the air… the experience was a pleasant one. The lunch specials offer several entree choices that include appetizers. Our mid-afternoon meal began with Thai dumplings served with honey-ginger sauce and kyo koong tod- a crispy wonton packed with shrimp and garlic served with sweet chili sauce. We slaked or thirst with a traditional Thai iced tea (not included in the lunch special price), hallelujah for sweetened condensed milk! The soft creamy layers of orange and white glided down our parched throats. A generous portion of time passed before we received our main courses, pad kee mow pork and pad kee mow shrimp. Although I normally don’t mind a wait for evening dining, this was lunchtime and the place was empty. When we were finally served our entrees our stomachs couldn’t have been happier. The satisfying helpings didn’t last long on our plates. The rich pork and shrimp mingled gracefully among the deliciously sauteed flat noodles. The vegetables were like colorful crunchy gems that floated throughout the dish. Green beans, baby broccoli and red peppers were sauteed just enough to maintain there raw hue and crisp. The flat noodles were tender and not over or under cooked. I haven’t tried Dee Thai for dinner yet, but judging by the lunch special, I would return. The ambiance was lacking, though I suspect it is livelier for evening diners. There is a full bar and delivery available.
Dee Thai 46-17 Queens Blvd Sunnyside NY 11104 718-786-8220
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