Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hippy dippy

A quick perusal of the past two weeks of blog confirms that, yes, I forgot to mention that my rather fabulous PI from this past summer took me and my research compatriot to dinner at Tom Colicchio's Riverpark as a summer wrap-up. It's fun to walk past a grubby stretch of First Avenue into a charming, elegant dining room, and needless to say, the food was delightful. I had mushroom consommé (while coveting the oxtail), creamy and perfectly balanced mascarpone ravioli (while coveting the duck), and a black forest sundae that included these amazing brandy-soaked cherries (while coveting absolutely nothing else, because I was too busy devouring chocolately lushness). Aside from the unlikely location, there's another lagniappe to the restaurant: its oh-so-virtuous "backyard" garden right behind the Alexandria Center. Today, after doing a little work in the mouse room*, my PI and I had coffee at the newly de-walled garden, and I took some pictures:

There were three varieties of eggplant.
Teeny baby kale!
The adorable little kale reminded me that I have been meaning to try this recipe for "hippie hot pockets," a.k.a. empanadas stuffed with leafy greens.

The crust looks better than this in person.
Kale and arugula caprese-esque filling
And as long as I was baking with olive oil, some coffee olive oil brownies were in order.


Hey, NYUSoM second-years: Which cranial nerves allowed me to enjoy the taste of my brownies and empanadas?

Hippie Hot Pockets, adapted from Feasting Freds
Olive oil crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup very warm water
3/4 cup olive oil

Stir together the flours, cornmeal, and salt. Add the olive oil and warm water all at once and mix with a fork or your hands until it comes together in a ball. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and bake as needed.

Arugula and kale filling
10 cups raw arugula/kale
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 plum tomatoes
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp capers
1 egg, beaten

Cook according to the directions in the linked recipe!

Olive oil cocoa brownies with a crunchy caffeine surprise
2 eggs
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup coffee beans
1/2 cup olive oil

Beat together eggs and water. Slowly add sugar, beating until the mixture is thick. Very, very slowly add olive oil, beating all the while. Gently fold in dry ingredients and coffee beans. Bake at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes or until just moist in the center.

*Once again, I've concluded that mice are evil. While it was interesting to be able to examine a mouse spine and ribcage, the way I imagined doing so did not involve a juvenile female whose brothers had ripped out her throat and upper chest and eaten out her lungs.

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