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Monday, January 18, 2016

In The Kitchen with Jacks--Osso Buco

Jackpot took a moment to pose for me but was otherwise ensconced in her doggie bed while I prepared an osso buco courtesy of Emeril with Creole seasonings! Two veal shank pieces (roughly 8 oz. each) is an ample portion for two, when served with a heaping side of rice and a salad dressed perhaps spiked with a shallot vinaigrette, sumptuous mushrooms and crisped pancetta. If you don't happen to have something like Zatarain's around for the seasoning, a recipe easily created from items most likely found in your spice cabinet may also be found here. What's best is that the meat simmers for about two hours, so guests enter to a wildly fragrant aroma--and then the dish finishes cooking while you're chatting over hors d'oeuvres and wine! Sit down and serve!

I veered from this recipe with highly satisfactory results. Since I have a most confounding, irritating allergy to tomatoes, I pureed a can of cannellini beans with some water as a substitute for the red devils (or for a great tomato-less marinara to be used, click here). I also cracked open a bottle of a hearty beer instead of opening up a whole bottle of red wine (course an opened bottle of wine rarely lingers). The result was truly an impressive, really easy rustic delight! Now, make sure you serve with tiny spoons to scoop up all the delicious marrow from the bones!

Friday, January 8, 2016

DriveThru - Jun-Men Ramen Bar

A quick stop into where to eat with Pete!

Far East meets West Chelsea with ramen craze newcomer

Jun-Men (translation, please: pure noodle) may not be much to look at, nor is there much to look at here--it's so tiny--and the little ramen bar has an abbreviated menu as well but sure does pack in as many flavors as it does folks hovering about outside, waiting for a spot at one of the 28 seats. Baby and I piled in recently and the whole affair reminded me of a hoppin' joint I would have crashed around two in the morning with a bunch of friends, somewhere in the East Village in the late 80's. I have however, left such behavior behind, and Baby and I were seated at a more reasonable hour, such as 8:30 pm to experience the latest ramen rage.

The Quick Bites:
Terrific, meaty double fried chicken wings sweetly glazed with Jun-Men sauce;
Fried rice with smoky Chinese sausage, a bit of a bitch-slap from kimchi, gently fried egg, sweet tobiko, micro basil;
Salad of kale, quinoa, tomato, white cheddar, grilled corn and lively lemon somewhere in there, ever so delicately tossed with miso dressing

Chewy chashu (stewed pork) bone with dormitory-approved ramen noodles, sumptuous kikurage (wood ear mushrooms), menma (fermented bamboo shoots), a slightly trembling egg, with chopped scallions and a drizzle of black oil all in a delectable broth;
Rich and rewarding mazemen (dry noodle) with pancetta crisps and frizzled shallots smacked of a Korean carbonara preparation with porcini butter and truffle oil stepping in for the classic egg/Parmesan mixture, topped with a balanced, refreshing plunge into sea urchin. Uh-huh.
Tart yuzu sorbet and ginger gelato for a sweet finish!

Until Next Time: yellowtail ceviche with kimchi jus, pickled mango, fried dumpling skin; green tea cheesecake

Jun-Men Ramen Bar is located at 249 Ninth Ave (b'twn 25th/26th Sts), New York, NY, 646-852-6787,