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Porterhouse’s Key Lime Pie with Coconut Macaroon Crust

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

by Wayne Harley Brachman (Adapted from his cookbook, American Desserts) Ingredients for the coconut macaroon crust: Nonstick vegetable-oil spray ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 2 ¼ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized bits 2 large egg whites 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Ingredients for the key lime filling: 4 large egg yolks 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk Grated zest of 2 key limes (about 2 teaspoons) ½ cup Key lime juice (from about 6 key limes) Whipped Cream for garnish: Substitute Persian limes if you can’t find fresh key limes (which are available in winter) Preparation: 1.    Make the Coconut Macaroon Crust: Lightly coat a 9 1/2 –inch tart pan with a removable bottom with non-stick vegetable-oil spray. 2.    In a medium bowl,...

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New York’s Top Classic Desserts

Posted on Apr 13, 2008 in Best Of, Dessert

Balthazar 80 Spring St., at Crosby St. (212) 965-1785 This classic French bakery brims with exquisite breads, cakes, pastries and other treats. But the sleeper here is the splendidly moist bread pudding ($4.) Made with the bakery’s own cherry focaccia, this cake can be eaten like a fruit-filled muffin, but far creamier and denser with an unbeatable cinnamon essence. Fat Witch Bakery Chelsea Market 75 9th Ave. @ 15th St. New York, NY 10011 1-888-41 WITCH You’d be hard pressed to find a denser brownie in the city. These insanely  decadent squares are worth every calorie.  If you’re not a chocolate person, there’s also a stellar blondie.  Described as a chocolate chip cookie in brownie form, it’s a cube of chewy perfection ($1.40.)  The white chocolate Snow Witch, Red Witch (cherry), and Breakfast Witch (oatmeal, nuts and coffee)...

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Gramercy Tavern’s Chocolate Bread Pudding

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Nancy Olsen (Serves 12) Ingredients: Egg yolks – 2 Whole eggs – 4 Heavy cream – 3 cups Whole milk – 2 cups Vanilla bean, split and scraped – 1 Sugar – 1 ½ cups Brioche, cut into small cubes – 1 pound loaf, crusts removed Bittersweet chocolate, chopped – 4 ounces Vanilla extract – ¾ teaspoon Milk chocolate pieces to bake inside – 2 ounces Bittersweet chocolate pieces to bake inside – 2 ounces 1.    Bring to a boil the cream, one cup of the milk, the split and scraped vanilla bean, and sugar.  Whisk together the remaining cup of milk with the eggs and egg yolks. 2.    Gently melt the four ounces bittersweet chocolate over barely simmering water. 3.    Gradually whisk some of the hot liquid into the egg mixture.  Then whisk the...

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Gizmo Girl’s Oven Mit Apron

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 in Gizmo Girl

Since April is Pastry Month, it only seemed appropriate to bring to you one of the latest baking necessities.  No longer must you scrounge around for oven mits when your kitchen timer is blaring – the Oven Mit Apron has its own built-in oven mits.  Just slide your hands into the built-in pockets and pull out your oven-baked goods.  Never again will you burn a batch of cookies while looking for that second oven mit. Oven Mit Apron Care to share your favorite kitchen gizmo? Email Us. Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl **Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s Weekly...

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Q & A With Richard Leach

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Most pastry chefs tweak their menu once a year.  Richard Leach entirely dramatically reconceives his every three months.  At Park Avenue Spring, this seasonal American restaurant gets a full makeover every time the temperatures change.  But Richard has been embracing the seasons well before his position at PAS.  He spent time in pastry at Aureole and Lespinasse, which earned him the James Beard Award in 1997 for Pastry Chef of the Year. In 2001, Leach published his cookbook Sweet Seasons: Fabulous Restaurant Desserts Made Simple, which invited amateur bakers to create his delicate desserts at home. From the launch of Park Avenue Autumn this past fall 2007, then onto Winter and now into Park Avenue Spring, Leach has given guests an array of festive desserts to end on the perfect seasonal note.  Signature desserts of this season include the...

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Eighty One

Posted on Apr 8, 2008 in Reviews

An upscale newcomer on the upper West Side. 45 W. 81st St., between Central Park West & Columbus Ave. (212) 873-8181 Dinner, Sun.-Thur., 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m; Fri.-Sat., 5 p.m.-11:30 p.m. CUISINE Modern American VIBE Upper West Side elegance OCCASION Romantic date; fine dining DON’T-MISS DISH Sea scallop & foie gras ravioli; dry-aged Black Angus sirloin PRICE Appetizers, $12-39; entrees, $29-42; desserts, $12 RESERVATIONS Recommended With Dovetail, Bar Boulud, With Dovetail, Bar Boulud, Madeleine Mae and the latest arrival of Eighty One, the upper West Side is having an impressive run of new restaurants. If I lived in the neighborhood, I would certainly make a habit out of the scallop and foie gras ravioli at Eighty One. It’s a splendid appetizer conceived by chef-owner Ed Brown, who served as executive chef at the Sea Grill for 14 years. If you’re...

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Gotham Bar & Grill’s Meyer Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Deborah Racicot (Serves 8-10) Ingredients for the Lavender Shortbread: ½ Cup Powdered Sugar 1 Cup Cold Butter – Cubed 2 ¼ Tsp. Ground Dried Lavender Buds 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract 1 ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour ¼ Tsp. Salt 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch ¼ Tsp. Salt ½ Cup Meyer Lemon Zest 12 Ounces Mascarpone Cheese 5 Large Eggs 12 Ounces Mascarpone Cheese Procedure: 1. Preheat oven to 300f.  Have all the ingredients at room temperature. 2. Beat Together cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon.  Zest until smooth and creamy. 3. Scrape the bowl.  Add 12 ounces mascarpone cheese. Do not overbeat the mascarpone cheese otherwise the mixture will be grainy. 4. On a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and 12 ounces.  Mascarpone Cheese until smooth. 5. Add the egg mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat...

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Q & A with Dovetail’s Vera Tong

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

With the recent debut of Dovetail on the Upper West Side, pastry chef Vera Tong dazzled both critics and diners with her truly inspired approach to classic desserts.  Prior to Dovetail, Vera Tong worked in the kitchen at Compass, where she first met chef John Fraser.  The two team up again at this highly received contemporary American restaurant where she not only has conceived an exemplary pastry menu, but also bakes the white cheddar cornbread that launch guests into dinner every evening.  Vera’s signature brioche pudding with bacon brittle will be making an encore on the spring menu, as will new additions, including a chocolate and coffee parfait, glazed pineapple crumble and a peanut butter frozen cheesecake. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Single What did you want to be when you grew up? Just a cook How did you get into food?...

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New York’s Best Cookies

Posted on Apr 1, 2008 in Best Of, Dessert

Vosges Haut-Chocolat 1100 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10028 (212) 717-2929 Vosges is known for folding unusual flavors, like wasabi and bacon into its chocolates, and the same goes for its exotic cookies. Caramel, toffee, and chocolate chip adhere to the classics, but go for the most unique: the Naga cookie.  With an orange hue, the cookie is chock full of coconut, milk chocolate chips, pumpkin puree and sweet curry.  It’s the perfect mate for a warm cup of tea. Insomnia Cookies 50 W 8th Street New York, NY 10011 1-877-63 COOKIE This is a dangerous newcomer for anyone with late night sugar cravings (pictured right.)  For a mere ninety nine cents, you can pick from seven delicious varieties of cookies, delivered directly to your door – freshly baked, warm, and gooey until 3 AM.  We’re partial...

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April is Pastry Month

Posted on Apr 1, 2008 in Gourmet Gossip

In honor of the largely unsung artists who create the divinely sweet endings to many of our perfect meals, we are celebrating some of the city’s finest pastry chefs throughout the month of April.  Many often work as diligently in the kitchen as the executive chefs, yet receive far less acclaim for their labors.  These confectionary experts will be featured in our weekly “Behind the Kitchen Doors” interviews.  We will also showcase their recipes in each Friday “Dining Out” feature.  Chefs on the recognition roster include Karen De Masco from Craft, Vera Tong from Dovetail and Richard Leach of Park Avenue Spring.  Also, look for detailed roundups throughout the month on everything from New York’s Best Cookies to the  City’s Finest Classic Desserts.  Until we eat again, Restaurant Girl **Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s Weekly...

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Merkato 55

Posted on Apr 1, 2008 in Reviews

A splashy and unlikely outpost for African cooking. 55 Gansevoort St., between Greenwich & Washington Sts. (212) 255-8555 Dinner, Mon.-Sun., 5:30 p.m.-midnight CUISINE Pan-African VIBE African chic brasserie OCCASION Trendy group dining; casual date. DON’T-MISS DISH Lamb tartar; octopus with cured beef; jerk pork belly. PRICE Small bites, $4-13; appetizers, $10-17; entrees, $18-30; desserts, $4-10. RESERVATIONS Recommended Opening a Pan-African restaurant in the Meatpacking District doesn’t exactly sound like a sure thing. After all, this is a part of Manhattan where the scene outshines food as a nocturnal crowd ricochets from one nightclub to the next. But chef Marcus Samuelsson has never been afraid to take chances. At Aquavit, he earned praise for a thoroughly innovative approach to Scandinavian fare. With his newest endeavor, Merkato 55, he strives to recast African cooking in an equally modern and prominent light....

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