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2 Food Bloggers in a Tiny NY Kitchen

September 2, 2010 by Joan Nova in Blogging, Desserts, Fish/Seafood, Italian, Salads | 19 Comments

Most people go to NY to take in the sights, shop, see Broadway shows and eat in the finest or trendiest restaurants. Not me. I look forward to my frequent trips to hang out with my friends. Sometimes we cook together and sometimes we go ‘en masse’ to restaurants. Last week, I did it all and I’ll be presenting some terrific home experiences and a few restaurant reviews over the next few days.

I prepared a dinner with my friend Norma of Platanos, Mangoes and Me! for 8 people the night I arrived. But, first, I dropped my bag and we ran out to Dean + DeLuca, The Gourmet Garage and Morton-Williams to pick up the fixings for our summertime spread (it was in the mid-90s in NYC). She got her husband to pick up all the seafood and wines. But, we’re foodies…we need to put our hands and sniffers to use in selecting the produce.

I must tell you before you look at the photos…this is my favorite kind of meal!

Norma and I have cooked together many times so the choreography was familiar. We whizzed past each other taking turns at the stove, sink and Cuisinart…and even had time to spare for a sip or two of wine before the guests arrived.

The anchor to the dinner was a seafood salad that Norma made. She’ll be posting the recipe soon.

You know me…I immediately took on a few veggie dishes, starting with this Fava Bean Pesto that we served with crusted Italian bread. I bought fresh fava beans which I shelled and blanched and then pulsed together with fresh pesto, extra lemon juice, some mint and red chile flakes. 

I also made a simple Marinated Eggplant + Artichoke dish by roasting the eggplant in small pieces with olive oil, s+p. When it was done, I added a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, capers and grape tomatoes. Norma made a potato salad of the cutest tiniest different colored potatoes with haricots vert.I made a Sicilian cauliflower salad with blanched cauliflower, marinated peppers, oil-cured olives, green Sicilian olives, garlic, celery, parsley, thyme, red chile flakes and a vinaigrette made with anchovies, freshly squeezed orange juice, a little EVOO.
…and I roasted some beautiful red peppers and dressed them with a little EVOO and fresh garlic slivers.
Norma even found time to whip up a flan with authentic Dulce de Leche that one of the guests hand-carried from Argentina. It was delicious!
It was a great dinner made all the more delicious by sharing it with great friends and good wine!!

Coming Up:
Threading Polenta in Little Italy (another dinner party)
Restaurant Reviews (Kefi, Tre, Buenos Aires, Le Charlot and Sofrito)

Visit Norma at Platanos, Mangoes and Me!

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Mary says:

    What a feast. It’s so much fun to cook with friends. The food all looks wonderful and you all survived that horrid hot weather. I hope you are having a great evening. Blessings…Mary

  2. Eugenia says:

    The seafood salad looks amazing!

  3. Liz says:

    No words to describe except YUM!

  4. It’s so much fun to get together with friends for dinner Joan. What better backdrop than the streets of New York.

  5. Oh my tummy! It’s calling out for THAT food!

  6. I love this kind of eating Joan! Especially when you are surrounded by good friends. I look forward to your reviews in the next few posts.

  7. How fun to cook with friends Joan. The way you and Norma work in the kitchen reminds me of how my husband and his brother cook when they get together. It’s almost like watching a ballet.

    Beautiful assortment of foods. I’m fascinated by the colorful potatoes with the skinny haricots vert. How wonderful to find them outside of France, but of course you’re in NY. I would have to settle for plain old green beans here. I’m hungry for more as Anthony Bourdain would say.

  8. norma says:

    Well my dear friend when I post I will just link to your blog as you described everything to perfection. I had a wonderful time and I thank you for sharing my “special” birthday with me and all the other fun filled days we all spent together.

  9. Dorothy says:

    What a great time it was for you.
    Cooking wonderful food, drinking wine and most important – being with good friends. Everything looks yummy.

  10. What a beautiful feast Joan! Nothing better than time in the kitchen spent with friends!

  11. doggybloggy says:

    what a beautiful feast – next time you come to NY maybe we could grab a coffee or something

  12. What a fantastic meal….the best of the summer in NYC….especially loved the fava bean pesto!

  13. So much fun to cook with a friend! A terrific feast here!

  14. Tell us how this happened? How have you come to cook with her many times… and how did this foodie blogger gathering come to be? I love to hear stories of cyber connections that happen in read life. Gorgeous food – sometimes I feel dinner prep is like getting ready for a hot date in the old single days. It is so much fun getting ready, that when it comes time to eat, that is the denouement.

    • Joan says:

      It’s a real life connection. Friends first, blogging came later. First for me and now, more recently, for her. Love your analogy of dinner prep!

  15. Just a wonderful summer spread. And, nothing tastes as good as when with friends.

  16. Anamaris says:

    I’m not sure what I’m more jealous of, the amazing spread or the bloggies’ time. I’m just jealous and sticking my tongue out at both of you.

  17. Megan says:

    Looks like a delicious dinner and a fabulous dessert. I love cooking with friends!

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