Tag Archives: New Amsterdam Market

New Amsterdam Market Valentine’s Gift Shop & Soda Fountain

Yesterday and today, the New Amsterdam Market held their Valentine’s Gift Shop & Soda Fountain in an historic, wood-beamed warehouse space downtown by the South Street Seaport.  With the outdoor market season several months away, this was kind of a reunion for some of the usual vendors.  It was really great to see everyone again and even more wonderful to check out all the delicious goodies that were for sale.

The market was set up in this beautiful, old space near the seaport.

Tinsel Trading Company‘s beautiful cards and boxes

Liz of Liddabit Sweets with her amazing display

Yum!  Look at this incredible chocolate cake

Candy bars and Caramels for your sweetheart!

What about picking up a bag of Spicy Cashews from Nuts+Nuts?

Or these colorful Macarons from Vallery of Jaune NYC

I selected a Rose & Orange Water one with its delicate, floral taste

Honey for your Honey?  From Bees’ Needs

Third Rail Coffee to brew up a something special

To treat myself, I picked up a jar of Blood Orange Marmalade from Anarchy in a Jar

If I had a sweetheart this year, I would have picked up some of this for him.

Or maybe I would have treated him to Taza Chocolate

Mast Brothers delicious chocolate is another tempting option

I love their packaging, too.

I hope that someone picked up these beautiful sweets from Pie Corps for their sweet

Or maybe gathered a few of their hand pies to pack up for a picnic

Along with some of this bright, cheerful fruit from Flying Fox Fruiterer

Perhaps grabbing one of P&H Soda Co.‘s seasonal syrup flavors to put in a hamper

Look at this list of soda selections to sample

With Anton of P&H mixing each one by hand

I tried the Goat’s Cheese Ice Cream with Quince Syrup – sweet, creamy and refreshing

I could also have opted for an old-fashioned Egg Cream using their incredible Chocolate Syrup

Of course, I also treated myself to a scoop of the fabulous Ri-cuddle Me (ricotta, orange, and cinnamon) and I’m Slightly Bitter (semi-sweet chocolate) ice creams from my favorite The Bent Spoon.

Although it was difficult to choose, as all the flavors were fantastic

And, then there were all these pints to pick from to take with me

With all these great things at the market, how could I not gather up some of them to bring home with me?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Buon appetito!

New Amsterdam Market Peck Slip Pickle Fest

Briny tears have been wept around town for many months this year when the Lower East Side Pickle Festival was cancelled, or maybe just not held at all.  This was a key cultural highlight on the New York City food calendar, connecting the current fad of preserving and canning to the roots of the immigrant communities that thrived in that area of the city.  Pickles are mentioned in 97 Orchard Street as an main source of sustenance, if not nutrition, for many of the poorer residents of the slums, too.  Fortunately, the folks at the New Amsterdam Market picked up the reins (or the tongs) and hosted the Peck Slip Pickle Fest yesterday.

Jars of Pickles

I’ve mentioned before that Pickles are one of those things that I’ve had to learn to get to like.  I’m still a bit afraid of other fermented products like Kim Chi and Sauerkraut (a bad experience in elementary school is probably a consequence of the latter), even though I know that they have dietary benefits.  Still, I made myself try lots of samples at the festival.  I didn’t come away with any new favorites, more due to my own tastebuds than the products themselves, but I respected the craftsmanship behind all the efforts.  Click on the link below to see the sampler’s-eye view from the day’s tastings!

New Amsterdam Market Peck Slip Pickle Fest (click on the “Show Info” button at the top right to see the details behind the photos)

Buon appetito!

Hard Cider Revival at the New Amsterdam Market

Close your eyes and imagine the quintessential fall day, sunny, cool, and with a bit of a crispness in the air.  Now, open them.  That was what it was like yesterday in New York, which made it perfect for the Hard Cider Revival sponsored by the New Amsterdam Market and Glynwood.  This event featured tastings of ciders from local and regional producers, small plates prepared by Brooklyn’s Marlow & Sons, and lots of other apple products as well as bushels of colorful apples brought to the market to celebrate the bounty and versatility of this fruit.

These activities were the kick-off event for a week-long celebration of cider and the foods that go well with it.  Cider has long roots in our history but fell out of favor, as many things did, during Prohibition.  The types of apples that went into making this beverage started to disappear from orchards.  Commercial pressures and our tastebuds also contributed to the decline in the range of varieties of fruit that were grown.  Recently, there has been a resurgence in discovering our food and drink heritage in this country, of which apples and the cider that is made from them, are a part.  Glynwood is also involved in helping to expand this effort through their “Apple Project.”

Grilled porcini and chanterelles paired with Eve’s Cidery Northern Spy

Tickets in hand to try out some of the cider and food pairings available, I was a bit lost at first as to how to proceed, as everything sounded delicious.  Fortunately, I had chosen the spot where Andrew Tarlow of Marlow & Sons was pouring, so he was my trusty guide to matching drinks and eats.  I started off with Eve’s Cidery‘s Northern Spy paired up with a dish of grilled porcini and chanterelle mushrooms on top of a mild pimento cheese.  This combination was amazing on all levels.  The cider was dry, light, and effervescent, like a prosecco.  It finished cleanly on the palate and was the ideal match for the rich, meaty, buttery mushrooms and creamy base.  This duo would make a perfect cocktail party offering, with the cider as a welcome aperitif.

Grilled Shrimp with Romesco sauce paired with Bellwether Cider Heritage

When I spoke to Marlow & Sons Executive Chef Sean Rembold about these shrimp, he said that he was trying to replicate some of the incredible meals that he’d had in Spain.  In fact, many of the plates that they made today were inspired by the trip that he took to that country.  As the first dish to be completely sold out at today’s tasting, I think he probably got it just right, as this was one of the most popular nibbles I saw folks eating.  Juicy, succulent shrimp grilled to perfection with a drizzle of olive oil and a dab of Romesco sauce on the side, I could have eaten quite a few more plates of these.  The Heritage cider from Bellwether was dry with more apple notes than the one I tried above.  I also thought I picked up a hint of caramel as well.  It made a good pairing with the shrimp, but it wasn’t my favorite match of the day.

Cured ham with Mona cheese paired with Foggy Ridge Sweet Stayman

It was really exciting to see a cider from my home state of Virginia in the mix with the others at the festival.  Like New York, the Old Dominion has a long tradition of cultivating apples and of making cider.  It is also re-discovering its heritage in this regard, so I was very interested to sample the results.  The Sweet Stayman from Foggy Ridge Cider with a slightly sweet, longer finish to it was a ideal pairing to balance the fattiness and saltiness of both the cured ham and the cheese.  A nibble of cheese and ham with a sip of cider made all the flavors come together in round, full harmony.  This cider was definitely a good match for these snacks.

Tortilla with Quince Butter paired with West County Cider Redfield

The lovely red-golden color of West County Cider‘s Redfield just drew me in to try it, with an aroma of cranberries and apples coming to mind when I smelled it.  To me, the flavor captured all the crunch and tastes of biting into an unpeeled apple, when there’s a bit of juice, pulp, and skin all rolled into one.  It was a great match for the egg and potatoes of the tortilla.  The quince butter, with its notes of cinnamon and other fall spices, was also a terrific pairing, even just on its own, for the cider.

Olive Almond Anchovy on Egg with Mint paired with Slyboro Hidden Star

I had watched these being put together behind the scenes and had heard from several folks that they’d enjoyed this dish, so I was definitely intrigued to taste it as well as to find out what cider could even pair with something so complex.  Slyboro‘s Hidden Star more than made a match for it, and this was probably my second favorite combination after the first one that I tried today.  Semi-dry, sparkling, and with crisp-appleness, it balanced well with the rich, creamy egg base and brininess of the olive and anchovy.

Slyboro Hidden Star and Ice Harvest Cider

In addition to the main food and drink event, several of the beverage producers had tables where visitors could sample additional varieties of ciders and ask questions about methods for turning the solid fruit into liquid.  I stopped by the Slyboro table to try something I’ve never had before, the Ice Harvest Cider, which I was told is more of a dessert wine.  Taking the same concept for ice wine but creating instead an ice cider.  It was very apple-y on the nose and the tongue, and I could see where it would go well with a cheese plate to end a meal.

Doc’s Draft Cider

I discovered Doc’s Draft Cider last year at another market event.  This is what I think of as a great, food-friendly cider.  When I first tasted it, I immediately thought about a roast chicken with buttery, crispy skin, the kind that makes a whole house smell warm and welcoming.  I also stopped by the table for Breezy Hill Orchard, another participant in the cider and food event.  They had jugs of Scrumpy at their table, which I’d never tried before.  This lightly-fermented (about 2/3 the way) beverage was full of sour apple tang to it with a slight fizz.

Eve’s Cidery

Eve’s Cidery does tastings each week at the Union Square Greenmarket, which is where I first tried their ciders.  Today they had brought a few of them for folks to sample, including their Essence.  It has a deep apple taste with notes of caramel and a clean finish, which I was told is a result of it being fermented in stainless steel.  I mentioned how much I had enjoyed their cider with the mushroom dish, and their representative said he wasn’t surprised at all.  Their Northern Spy is created to have that tart crispiness that made it go so well with the richness of the porcini and chanterelles.

Bellwether Cider

I stopped by the table for Bellwether Cider to try out some of their other beverages.  I was told that their most popular cider is the Liberty Spy, which is on the sweeter end of the ones that they do.  It had a nice finish and good apple taste without being cloying at all.  I also enjoyed the Cherry Street, full of apple taste at the front followed by mild tart cherry flavor coming in behind that, which was a bit different and very nice on the palate.

Apples from Poverty Lane Orchards

Another one of the ciders that I didn’t get a chance to taste was the one from Farnum Hill.  Earlier this year, however, at a cider-food pairing dinner hosted by Rachael of Brooklyn Bouillon, whom I ran into yesterday in the market, I had sampled several of the ones they make, which was a wonderful way to get to know not just the cider producer, but also the apples themselves.  These bushels of fruit from their orchards really demonstrate that we rarely get to see for sale the wide variety that exists.

First Field Apple Butter

Along with all the great ciders and the dishes prepared by Marlow & Sons, other vendors in the market brought apple products with them to sell yesterday, too, in the spirit of this event.  In some ways, it really made the day feel like a celebration of the harvest.  My eye spied First Field (known for their Jersey Ketchup) and their Apple Butter, perfect to slather on toast, waffles or bagels.  I’ve been in love with good, homemade apple butter since I had it at a farm in Virginia during their fall apple picking season.

Liddabit Sweets Apple Cider Caramels

As delicious as their Sea-Salt Caramels are, Liddabit Sweet‘s Apple Cider Caramels will make you appreciate hand-crafted caramels and apple cider on a completely different level.  I was told that this is the first time this season that they’ve had them out for sale and that was done especially for yesterday’s market.  As they aren’t around for very long each year, now might be the time to pick some up for holiday presents or just to treat yourself.  They also had some beautiful Apple Almond Muffins on their table, too.

Peter Endriss – Apple Turnovers Apple Brioche

New to the market was Peter Endriss, formerly of Per Se and Bouchon Bakery, with a gorgeous display of apple-inspired baked goods.  He had tempting apple turnovers, an apple brioche that was buttery-soft with a crisp top, a hard cider-spelt-cheddar bread that was phenomenal, and other incredible-looking treats.  I had to break away before I bought one of everything to take home with me.

Toigo Orchards samples

Nearby, was another market regular, Toigo Orchards, who had a table with samples to try of the apples and pears that they grow.  They bring seasonal produce for sale each week and have a great variety of fruits and vegetables to buy.

Summers End Orchard products

Another new vendor to me who was at the market yesterday was Summers End Orchard, who had a basket of vibrant red Empire apples on display along with several kinds of spreads that they produce.  The Empires, I was told go into the Rum Raisin Apple Butter that they make.  How would that taste put on top of a pound cake or ice cream (or both)?  Just looking at the selection of things to try for them made me think that I need to find more room in my refrigerator to bring some of these jars home the next time I find them at the market.

Pies ‘n’ Thighs pies

My exploratory walk around the market where I found all these wonderful treats was taken in stages in order to pace myself while sampling ciders and eating the dishes paired with them.  What I was really doing, which will be no surprise, was investigating possible dessert options for after I finished sampling ciders.  I debated about eating something from Pies ‘n’ Thighs, who had these lovely hand-held Caramelized Apple Pies as well as larger pies, but I thought those might work better to take home and save for an afternoon snack.

Pie Corps Fried Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce and Sea Salt

To eat there, I settled on two items I’d seen earlier.  Pie Corps is one of my favorite stands at New Amsterdam.  The crust on the pastries is flaky and tasty and the fillings are always the right amount with the perfect flavor balance for me.  I also enjoy that they make several different kinds and types of pies from hand-held to pie pops, savory to sweet.  Last week, I was told that they would be making Fried Apple Pies for yesterday’s market.  Fried sweet things?  How could they know that is music to my ears?  I hope the photo above does justice to how perfectly delicious this morsel was to eat.  Lots of apple filling stuffed into a crispy-soft shell with a drizzle of buttery caramel topped with a sprinkle of sea salt just made my tastebuds cheer for joy.

Cran-Crab Apple-Ginger Ice Cream from The Bent Spoon

The finishing touch for yesterday’s culinary exploits was another of my favorite vendors: The Bent Spoon.  Yesterday they had two amazing dessert possibilities on my list.  One was the Bourbon Roasted Sea Salt Caramel Apple ice cream, which I sampled when I was walking around taking photos during the earlier part of the day.  It was fantastic with sweet, salt, creamy, tart all rolled into one cool bite.  So, imagine my utter dismay when, at the end of my market trip, I walked up to the table and saw that it was sold out!  My disappointment must have been completely visible, as they were quick to suggest that I have a cup with a scoop of their Cran-Crab Apple-Ginger flavor instead.  This was a worthy second choice.  Lighter on the tongue with robust sweet-tart fruit flavors and a zing of spice, this ice cream reminded me of eating cranberry-apple crumble to finish off a holiday meal.  It was the perfect end to a beautiful fall day, filled with the wonderful tastes of the season.

Buon appetito!

Thank you to Robert LaValva of New Amsterdam Market for enabling me to participant in this event.  Also, a big, big congratulations to Robert and his team for being awarded a Community and Cultural Enhancement Fund grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation which will allow them to continue their work to help revitalize the market community of Lower Manhattan and to preserve a vital part of the city’s merchant heritage.  Please support them in their efforts by visiting the market on Sundays.

For other events going on as part of Cider Week.  Please click here.

New Amsterdam Market’s Second Annual Ice Cream Sunday

For days, heck weeks, I’ve been waiting for this particular food festival.  That’s not just because, as someone else put it to me today, “Ice cream is my favorite food group.”  (Thanks, Rebecca, at Brewla Bars for the quote!)  So, of course, I planned my whole day around getting to the New Amsterdam Market‘s Second Annual Ice Cream Sunday and fundraiser.  With my precious ten tasting tickets in hand, I scoped out the scene to work on my strategy.  I opted for one cool sample per stand of the ten vendors who were there, although it was a tough challenge to pick just a single flavor from many of them.

Early Bird Cookery choices

My first stop was Early Bird Cookery, who, last year, had one of the most interesting flavors that I’d ever tasted, their Hay ice cream.  I’ve also seen this ice cream available at Smorgasburg, if you’d like to stop by and see them there to try it out.  Today, however, I was intrigued by their Corn & Caramel flavor.  I tried a sample of it and found it to be, as they said, “Very corn forward.”  (Due in no small part to the 70 ears of corn that had to be shucked in order to create it, I was told.)  Although interesting and tasting kind of  like biting into a sweet ear of fresh corn, I decided it didn’t really wow my tastebuds.

Early Bird Cookery‘s Buttermilk, Blueberry & Lime cone

I decided instead to try the Buttermilk, Blueberry & Lime.  For me, this turned out to be a fantastic choice.  Chock full of ripe, juicy blueberry flavor with a zip from the lime and a zing from the buttermilk, this tasted like the most wonderful homemade blueberry pie I’ve never been able to master.  I could have gone back for more, but I knew I had to pace myself.

Selections from Victory Garden

On my next stop, I kept within the seasonal fruit flavors that I had started but with a twist.  Victory Garden makes ice cream from locally-sourced goat milk.  Before you think, “oh, that is going to be way too gamey tasting for me, just like the cheese” give it some consideration.  From their store on Carmine Street, they serve treats made with frozen yogurt and soft serve ice cream mixed with all sorts of toppings.

Blackcurrant Lavender cone from Victory Garden

For today, I went with the Blackcurrant Lavender flavor to sample.  Although all of these flavors individually (the milk, currants, and herbs) can be really strong standouts on their own, blended together, they melded into a mellow, luscious fruity, slightly perfumed creamy delight.  The ice cream was definitely fruit forward with the lavender following, but no one taste overwhelmed another.  In short, they worked together in sweet harmony.

Choices from Van Leeuwan Artisan Ice Cream

Another entry from last year’s festival were the folks at Van Leeuwan Artisan Ice Cream.  They have really deep, flavorful selections at their stores and their truck, but they and I never seem to be in the same place when I’m craving a cool treat.  They had several interesting-sounding varieties to try, but I stuck to my fruit theme.

Ice cream tragedy!  Van Leeuwan‘s Hudson Valley Sour Red Currant

The Hudson Valley Sour Red Currant ice cream was my first, and only, ice cream tragedy of the day!  When getting my camera out of my bag, I tilted forward just a little bit, and the whole scoop just flipped off and landed ‘splat’ on the asphalt.  What little was left in the cone and what I could lick off of my fingers tasted great, from what I could tell.  Sweet berry flavor with the boldness of the currants tempered a bit by the creaminess of the dairy.  I’ll just have to see if I can track this one down again.

Offerings from Otto Enoteca Pizzeria

Usually associated with wine, pizza, and pasta, it was really interesting to see Otto Enoteca Pizzeria at this gathering today.  I’ve never gotten far enough in a meal (too much wine, too much great pasta and cheese) to try their famous Olive Oil Gelato.  They didn’t have that to try to day, bringing two other seasonal flavors with them.

Verbena Blackcurrant Swirl from Otto Enoteca Pizzeria

After my previous catastrophe, I felt that I was entitled to have another cone with a currant theme to it.  This time, however, rather than being blended entirely together, the Verbena Blackcurrant Swirl had smooth, rich vanilla gelato with deep pockets of blackcurrants.  The verbena gave it a light, lemon perfume.  As this fruit can be quite a dominant personality, I think I preferred it when it was incorporated into the ice creams rather than having nuggets of it like it was here, as it kind of overwhelmed the dairy for me.

The choices from Steve’s Ice Cream

When I was at this market about a month or so back, I finally had a chance to check out Steve’s Ice Cream.  I really enjoyed the ice cream sandwich that I had then with a chunk of their silky smooth rich Salty Caramel flavor nestled between two chocolate chip cookies.  On a trip to Smorgasburg, I’d seen their Strawberry Ricotta in people’s hands, and it had turned my head.  Seeing it on the list for today, I knew it was calling to me.

Steve’s Ice Cream Strawberry Ricotta cone 

At first bite, I knew that I had found the best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever had.  I grew up on the pink stuff that you could buy at the grocery store.  This is like strawberries and fresh cream all mixed together in creamy, fruity loveliness.  Made with Pickled Strawberries from Anarchy in a Jar (one of my finds from a previous market trip), the last bit of the cone was filled with a dollop of the aromatic, juicy, spice-note infused berries to give this creation an extra special pop.  I want to curl up on the couch with a whole pint of this just to myself.

Blue Bottle Coffee brought ice cream to the market today

Normally in the market selling iced and hot coffees to patrons, today, Blue Bottle Coffee did double duty and also sold ice cream. By the time I got to their stand, they were completely out of the Black Chocolate Stout flavor, which was a bit disappointing.  I think they might have also been the first producer to be completely out of all flavors today, too.

 Blue Bottle Coffee‘s Chocolate Mint Chip

Fortunately, I managed to get one of the last scoops of their Chocolate Mint Chip variety.  At first bite, I got a huge hit of fresh mint flavor, herbal and cool.  Big chunks of Mast Brothers Dominican Republic chocolate chips were embedded within the creamy refreshing ice cream.  This was a grown-up version of my former ice cream parlor favorite, without the glowing green color.

Marlow & Sons selections

Another vendor using Mast Brothers delicious, deep, dark chocolate was Marlow & Sons.  Aside from trying lots of fruit flavors for this festival, I’d also decided that I wanted to consider some more out of the box creations.  When I saw the listing for Buffalo Milk, I had to ask, “Really?”

Buffalo Milk ice cream from Marlow & Sons

I was assured that, yes, this particular flavor was made with buffalo milk.  “Very creamy and rich, think of mozzarella,” I was told.  I think that they underestimated it.  This was buttery, definitely rich, a little bit milk-like, and with a back note of grassiness.  It did recall the components of the freshest buffalo mozzarella that I’d ever had.

KINGLeche Cremes flavors

These creations tasted to me a bit more like ice milks, than traditional ice creams.  Like the other vendors, they were put together using locally-sourced ingredients.  Again, I opted to go with the flavor that seemed a bit more unusual to me.

KINGLeche Cremes’ Honey Bourbon 

The Honey Bourbon combined Tremblay Apiaries spring varietal honey (found in the Greenmarkets) and bourbon from Kings County Distillery.  My first bite was full of bourbon taste and not much else.  I didn’t really get the honey in it, but I guess it was blended so well into the milk that it just let the liquor shine through.

La Newyorkina

I love La Newyorkina‘s paletas, but I haven’t ever tried her ice creams, when she’s had them.  Today was a chance to correct that serious deficiency.  Turned out that I was on line at the same time as some of the judges for the event.  I had a chance to say hello to Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheese who told that she had been “so excited” for this event.  She was with Gabrielle Langholtz, of Edible Brooklyn.

Piloncillo cone by La Newyorkina

This meeting was just a momentary distraction, however, from all of our important duties of the day, which was to taste Fany’s wonderful creations.  The gentleman on line behind me was someone whom I recognized from the New York Culinary Historians.  He’d pointed out to his kids that the title means “brown sugar.”  I knew from Fany’s tweets that this was the peach ice cream she’d been working on this week.  It was an easy choice to make and so delicious with chunks of ripe, sweet peaches studding a creamy, caramelly tasting confection, sort of like eating peach crumble with the brown sugar and butter and flour crust on top.

Oh, so many choices at The Bent Spoon

My favorite from last year had been the folks behind The Bent Spoon, so I had saved them for last.  They definitely brought their triple A game with them this year.  With one ticket left, I hesitantly approached their stand.  How to choose?  Fortunately, I was able to walk through their lineup before having to make my choice.  I could rhapsodize about all of their flavors, how the Beach Plum Nectarine tasted just like biting into a piece of ripe, juicy, dripping fruit or how the Chocolate-Cipollini alternated between creamy, smooth chocolate and biting chive-like tastes.  The Fresh Ricotta was milky and lemony while the Beet, Goats Cheese, Lemon, Basil had a sweetness from the vegetables while the lemon and herbs rounded it out.  The Bourbon-Vanilla had a great balance of sweet, salt, caramel, and cream.  Then, there was the Corn-Bacon (which I’d been following on Twitter) which had soft, sweet corn tones and meaty-smoky notes.  It was one of the most unique ice creams I tried all day.

My favorite, hands down – The Sweet Mary

But the one that really took the day for me was their Sweet Mary.  Tomatoes and celery from Z Food Farm combined with Penn Vodka and other flavorings to create what I can only describe as the best Bloody Mary that I’ve ever had but in ice cream form.  I could have eaten a few cones of this.  This is a genius of a creation and perfect for a warm, sunny Sunday.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with for next year!

Buon appetito!

Thai-inspired Chicken Skewers

Last month, when I was at the Fancy Food Show, I had a chance to check out a few new products in Schoolhouse Kitchen‘s range.  I’m a huge fan of their jams, chutneys, and mustards, which combine top-quality ingredients to make bold and innovative flavors.  They are perfect for cooking with as well as for slathering on breads and meats to make delicious sandwiches and snacks.  Their new Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette is a fantastic addition to their product line.

It is deeply flavorful with a smooth texture from the coconut milk, a dash of spice from the curry, and a zing of citrus shining throughout.  The tastes are all so well balanced and would be perfect for drizzling over a salad of seasonal summer greens.  For me, this brought back memories of eating Thai Chicken Skewers.  I’d taken a cooking course in Asian cuisine a few weeks prior to the show, and when I compared my notes for the recipe with the ingredients on the label of this vinaigrette, I realized that Schoolhouse Kitchen had created almost the exact same mixture that I could use in my own home kitchen.

When I ran into Wendy, the president of the company, at the Ice Cream Beer Social at Jimmy’s No. 43 last week, we talked about my sending her a recipe for these, using her vinaigrette.  I’ve contributed a couple of recipes to her website that I made with their chutneys, and I always want to try to find more ways of using their products.  This recipe has little prep time, minus the marinade part, and a very short cooking time, so I put it on the list of Weeknight Suppers.  Add peanut dipping sauce and some greens or a Pad Thai, and it is an easy meal for a hot summer’s night or for any time you’d like to take a trip to the Far East.

Thai-inspired Chicken Skewers

Prep time: 30 minutes; 1.5 hours with marinade time

Serving size: 8 skewers; serves 8 as appetizers or 4-6 as main meal

Ingredients:

1/2 c. Schoolhouse Kitchen Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette

2 cloves Garlic, smashed and chopped finely

1 1/2-inch piece of Ginger, grated

2 tsp. Fish Sauce

4 boneless skinless Chicken breast halves (2 whole breasts)

8 long Bamboo Skewers

1 tsp. Canola oil

1 Tbsp. minced Cilantro (optional garnish)

Assembly:

Mix together the ingredients for the marinade.  Add the garlic, ginger, and fish sauce to the Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into a shallow dish large enough for the meat to be in one layer.

Grating ginger

Cut chicken into approximately 2-3 inch long and 1/2 inch thick pieces.  The best way to slice the meat is to cut it across the grain, as in the photo below.

Cutting chicken

Put the chicken into the dish with the marinade and toss it around to make sure that all of the pieces are coated in the liquid.  Leave this at room temperature for one hour to allow the marinade to infuse into the meat.  Turn the meat once at about the 30 minute mark so that both sides are coated with the liquid.  If making this several hours ahead of cooking time, cover the chicken and marinade and place it in the refrigerator instead of leaving it out at room temperature.

Soaking the Skewers

Thirty minutes prior to cooking the chicken, put the skewers in a pan or dish and cover them completely with water to soak them thoroughly before using them.  This will keep them from burning while the meat is cooking on the grill.

Chicken on skewers

When the chicken has finished marinading and the skewers are done soaking, thread the meat onto the skewers to prepare them to cook.  In the photo above, I probably crowded the meat too much, but you can see how the meat is threaded through the sharp end of the skewer and pushed to the bottom (flat end), like making shish kebab.

Cooking the skewers

Heat up a grill pan drizzled with canola oil or fire up an outdoor grill.  Lay the skewers in a single row, like in the photo above, to cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side.  When the edges of the chicken look done, i.e., the edges have gone from pink to beige, turn the skewers over and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side.  As the meat has been sliced thinly, it will cook rather quickly.

Thai-inpired Chicken Skewers

When the meat is cooked through on both sides, remove to a plate or serving platter.  Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, if using.  Serve with peanut sauce on the side.

Buon appetito!

Kitchen Witch Tip:

As a way of introducing new people to their products and to how easy it is to use them creatively in cooking meals for their families, the folks at Schoolhouse Kitchen have a well-curated recipes and serving suggestions section on their site. These are a great inspiration for anyone looking to perk up their usual weekly meal rotation.  Hopefully, you’ll also find a new favorite dish using one of these terrific products!

New Amsterdam Market

It’s been a while since I’ve just taken a Sunday to stroll around the New Amsterdam Market.  Now that it is being held every week, I have to admit that I’ve skipped it many weekends to do other things around town.  Some of my favorite food vendors are here, so I took advantage of the drop in temperatures from completely miserably hot and stifling to just merely humid and disgusting to drop by and see what was going on there.  I also found some new items that I thought were really fantastic.

This year, due to work being done on the Brooklyn Bridge, the market has moved a bit further down from where it was so that half of the lot where it regularly sits can be used for parking cars.  This means navigating around this area before you can get into the market.  Fortunately, once inside of it, a whole world opens up, and you are greeted by gorgeous arrays of fresh, local produce like the kind from Do Re Me Farms.

To go along with some of these vegetables, you could pick up some of Bambino’s Ravioli‘s many pastas in various shapes and sizes, filled and not filled.

Or maybe you’d like to add some meat to the sauce as well to make a ragu, now that the weather has gotten a smidge cooler.  Dickson’s Farmstand Meats had some beautiful-looking dry-aged ground beef for sale.  They have a wider selection of meat products at their Chelsea Market location.

If you’d already started to get a bit peckish looking at all the great food items to pick up for your pantry, you could have stopped by King’s County Jerky to sample some of their flavors.  I’m still a big fan of the Orange-Ginger for its layers of citrus and spice.  Their Korean Barbecue tastes remarkably just like it sounds, but buying it here saves you the task of heating up your own kitchen.

As a special treat today, the market had Chef Galen Zamarra from Mas (La Grillade), opening up in August from the same group that brought Mas (Farmhouse) to the city.  I saw lots of folks happily munching on ears of perfectly-charred, grilled corn while walking around to see what other delicious things they could find in the market today.

One of the items they could have snapped up for their kitchens were these amazing and different Pickled Strawberries from Anarchy in a Jar.  I really enjoy all the flavors that these guys produce, but this was a unique experience.  Made with our area’s early season strawberries, these have a sweet, sour, tart, tangy composition that makes your mouth pucker and your brain say, “WOW! I was not expecting that!”  Like many pickled items, they make you want to go back for more to see what other tastes you can find in them.  These would be perfect for cured meats and patés as well as on a cheese board to liven up any meal.

For the bread to go along with that meal, you could look no further than Orwasher’s, one of my favorites, which was also at the market today.

Or, perhaps, some duck breast or duck proscuitto from the Hudson Valley Duck Farm folks, who were at the stand next to the Anarchy in a Jar team.

For some greens to add to your feast, you could pick up some of the many seasonal items that Z Food Farm had on display.   They are certified organic and specialize in growing heirloom varietals.

Looking for cheese to go on that plate, too?  Jasper Hill Farm was there with their amazing Clothbound Cheddar and their Landaff.  What tempted me, however, was a newer cheese that I hadn’t tried before, the Moses Sleeper (left in photo), which was described as mildly-Camembert-like.  After tasting a sample, I thought that was a good explanation for this soft cheese that seemed to melt on my tongue without that pungent, funkiness that can sometimes turn people off.

Paté from Brooklyn Cured could also pair well with the pickled strawberries.  You’d get that sweet, savoury, salty, meaty, fatty combo in every bite.

Or maybe some sausages from Mosefund Farm, who had samples of their Italian brats available for tasting?  Once I think I can stand to turn the heat on my stove again, I’m picking up a pack of their fabulously, delicious bacon.  It is worth every single penny, and the saved fat is perfect for frying up other things, too.

Sour Puss Pickles has some additional items that would make that charcuterie plate dance for joy, with its many kind of pickled vegetables just looking for a home.

If you wanted to look for something a bit different to go with the meats on your plate, as well, you should check out My Friend’s Mustard, a new addition to the market this week.  I’ve really enjoyed having this condiment at various food festivals, so it was so nice to meet the people behind this brand in person.  I picked up a jar of their award-winning Spicy Brown Ale version to have at home.

By this time, I was feeling overwhelmed by all the choices and in need of a little pick-me-up.  Fortunately, one my my favorite additions to the market this season, Pie Corps, was ready and waiting for me with all sorts of delicious-looking choices.  Eccles Cakes, my usual snack, are on hiatus for the moment, so I went with this Lemon Tart.  I usually gripe that folks don’t put enough lemon into their items, as I like lots of this citrus taste.  Not here, this puckerable delight was filled with lemon on the inside and the glaze was super sweet-tart and tangy.  The crust is amazingly light and flakey making this, for me, a perfect hand-held treat.

If I’d been tempted to try making one of these pies at home, I could have picked up some gorgeous eggs at Terra Firma Farm.  That probably won’t happen until the temperatures drop quite a bit more.

For those nagging cooking questions, the market has brought in Joshua Stokes as Grill-A-Chef.  I have to say, I’ve usually seen him talking to at least one person each time I’m there, so I guess folks are taking advantage of this resource.

One of the vendors whom I saw doing a brisk business to cool folks off today was Blue Bottle Coffee with their iced drinks.

Other folks found Kombucha Brooklyn to be their refresher of choice for the day.

I decided to stop by and say hi to Anton at P&H Soda Co. and grab a Sasparilla Soda (photo below).  I’d never had one before, and it sounded kind of old-timey and fun.  It was light and refreshing with a hint of root-beer-ness to it.  I don’t think it will replace the Hibiscus Lime in my pantheon of favorites from them, but it was a pretty darn tasty choice for today.

How convenient that right next to Anton were the folks from Jimmy’s No. 43 with a Citrus Pork Taco.  The homemade salsa verde was a bright, herbal complement to the smoky flavor.  Nestled in a corn tortilla with a crisp lettuce leaf along with a dusting of salty cheese.  This was a great bite to keep me going while I explored the rest of the market.

The folks at People’s Pops came equipped for the day with a large block of ice to make their shaved ice treats.  Did you really want that Snoopy Sno-Cone maker as a child?  I bet it didn’t come with Rhubarb and Sour Cherry syrups like they have here.

This was the first week I’d managed to be at the market on the same day as the folks from National Crab.  They brought with them their Crab Cake Slider, which I saw being nibbled on by several people today.  I’m still living off of the fumes of the ones I had at Market Lunch a couple of weekends back, but I’ll plan on trying one of these before the summer is out.

Another one of my favorite market vendors, and makers of some of the best, most addictive sweet treats around, Liddabit Sweets had this great selection on display.  I picked up  the Breakfast of Heros, which I haven’t treated myself to in a while.

What I had really hoped to have, though, was some of the Maple Cotton Candy that they were supposed to have been spinning (see photos).  Jen, who was manning the stand today, explained that the humidity was wreaking havoc with attempts to make these, but she gave me a taste of a sample one anyway.  I could see what she meant, as the usual fluffiness wasn’t exactly there; however, the lovely, delicate maple flavor came through in each sticky bite.

I have been eyeing the Brooklyn Butcher Blocks that were on display at the next table for ages.  Made of reclaimed wood, they are beautiful and functional.   These are definitely on my kitchen wishlist.

If I’d had more room in my freezer at the moment, I would have stocked up on the wonderful Ruis Bread from Nordic Breads.  This hearty, chewy rye will make a convert out of the most die hard white bread lover.  It is the perfect platform for sandwiches or even just butter and jam at breakfast time.  I notice from their website that they are also carried in Whole Foods in Manhattan, if you can’t make it to the market on Sundays.

If you’d hoped to pick up a nice bottle of wine today to go along with all of those meals that you’ve been planning with the other things you’d gathered from the market, the folks at Brooklyn Oenology had a selection of some of their vintages.

What better to go along with this wine than some chocolate from Taza.  They have a fragrant display of stone ground, organic, fair trade products to choose from.

Combined with some bread from Sullivan Street Bakery, you could make a mock pain au chocolate to munch on while taking in the rest of the day’s events.

Or maybe you were looking at one of the savory loaves and thinking that you’d prefer some cheese with that? The Pampered Cow had a goats cheese and their Hudson Red, a semi-soft cheese.

For fruit-lovers, Flying Fox had this colorful display of baskets of in-season peaches, apricots, and plums.

As did Toigo Orchards, which also had some homemade jarred sauces for sale as well.

To wash some of it down, Bellocq Teas had several of their varieties on display.  I was told that they are still in the process of finishing up the details to open up their tasting room.  I’m planning to head out to Brooklyn to check it out when it is ready for visitors.

Olio di Melli was a vendor I hadn’t seen in the market before today.  I’m fully stocked up with olive oil, but this display could have convinced me that I needed just one more bottle.

To put with that oil, I could have picked up a wide variety of herbs that the Wild Food Gatherers Guild had brought with them.

Having passed by so many great prepared food stands, I was ready at this point to pick up something for my lunch today.  I started off with the Shrimp Roll from Luke’s Lobster.  I know it sounds counter-intuitive to pick up a shrimp roll from a lobster place, but one bite of the cool, creamy, delicately salty shrimp cradled in a buttery, soft, slightly crunchy roll, will change your mind about that.

The Morris Grilled Cheese folks have been at a few markets, but the line is always too long for me to wait on when I’m hungry.  Today, with the lighter crowd, I decided to check out their Classic.  What a perfect combination of toasted sourdough bread from Orwasher’s with aged New York Cheddar and New Hampshire Landaff cheeses melted together within, making a sharp, ooey, gooey combination.  Now I get why everyone else is patient enough to wait around for their sandwiches!

I have a friend who has been excited about the return of Steve’s Ice Cream ever since she spied them in her Brooklyn neighborhood.  I never really bought into the mix-ins that they did, partially because we had a local version in college that was completely amazing (Remember Rocky’s anyone?).  An Ice Cream Sandwich of two soft chocolate chip cookies with salt holding a block of salty caramel ice cream decorated with a slather of chocolate beer fudge was seriously decadent.  I would have loved to have savored it some more, but the humidity of the day made eating this a race against time and the elements.

It was wonderful to see all the new terrific food items at the market today and to have a chance to check in with some old favorites.  What I’m really saving my next trip down there for, however, is the New Amsterdam Market Ice Cream Festival on August 21st.

Buon appetito!