Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

November 21, 2010

Culinary Odds & Ends: Observations and Recommendations

In my effort to bring good and interesting meals to the table, I’m always on the look-out for different opportunities. These are some recent results.

Cheater’s Chili

Chef Frank of Ottomanelli makes an excellent beef chili. At $5.00 a pint, it is just right for the two of us. I used to make a big pot of chili for New Year’s Day, kept it on the stove, put sour cream, grated cheddar, plates, glasses, paper napkins, silverware, and red wine on the kitchen table, and invited friends to come over at 5 o’clock. Cooking chili for two people doesn’t make sense. Thanks Ottomanelli.


Beef Chili
Canadian Diamond Cheddar, grated
White Mountain Rolls
Mixed Salad
Wine: Domain Monpertuis, Côtes du Rhône
“Vignoble de la Ramiere”, 2008
Dessert: Italian Ricotta Cheese Cake

Ottomanelli’s chili contains the right balance of meat, beans, red and green peppers. Since it is fairly mild, I added some Sazón Goya’s seasoning and a dash of Madeira. The White Mountain rolls from Glaser’s Bakery are soft and fluffy, slightly sweet, with a faint taste of yeast. They are ideal for soaking up the sauce.

I am assembling wines for our winter dinners. This beautiful Côtes du Rhône
will definitely go on our wine list. Juicy, bright and red fruited, it paired nicely with the chili.

Featherlight Moussaka*

Going to Saigon Grill to buy our monthly Royal Bouillabaisse, I passed a newly opened shop selling homemade Greek food. The place is the size of a doll’s house; the dishes, coming out of the tiny kitchen on sheet pans, look appealing. I bought two portions of moussaka, a portion of Greek salad and a small container of thick yoghurt with honey. Coming home with two meals, I decided the bouillabaisse could wait a day, and served the Greek food. The béchamel had the texture of light custard; the ratio of meat to potatoes was just right. It was an unexpected, lovely meal.

I served the moussaka with the red Portuguese Periquita wine. Next time I’ll look for a Greek wine.

*Anthi’s Greek Food (212) 787-1007
614A Amsterdam (90th Street)

Glaser’s Bake Shop

Nothing beats Glaser’s for honest-to-goodness pies, Danish pastries, brownies, black and white cakes, old-fashioned White Mountain rolls, and a fantastic assortment of Viennese-styled cookies. No wonder the line for their Thanksgiving pumpkin and pecan pies extends around the block. The bakery was established in 1902. The present baker, Herb Glaser Jr. represents the third generation of the Glaser family.

Glaser’s Bake Shop (212) 289-2562
First Ave. at 87th St.

Two Little Red Hens (212) 452-0476
1652 Second Ave. 86 St.

Squeezed between Schaller & Weber and Old Heidelberg, this hole-in-the-wall bakery/café is small on space, but big on cupcakes.

Good News for Upper East Siders

The Saturday Greenmarket on 82nd St. betw. First and York Ave, will stay open year round. In addition to the remaining stands with winter vegetables, apples, pears, cider and baked goods, the fish stand from Hampton Bays, Calkins Creamery, and the Pride of NY wine, there are an increasing number of special services. I had my knives and scissors sharpened for a third of what the hardware store charges. A cookbook author, might offer samples from her book. Two young, enterprising singers might treat visitors to a medley of show tunes and opera arias.

On Monday, Dec. 5th you can have your useless papers shredded at the 92nd St. Greenmarket on First Ave. For information what’s coming when, check www.grownyc.org, or call (212) 788-7476.


Robert said...

These are useful tips and a reminder of the wonderful diversity in our neighborhood, and cross town, of food purveyors which are still small businesses. I'd like to add to the list the Turkish store (speciality is olives) on First Avenue between 85th and 86th Street that I patronize whenever I crave stuffed grape leaves - which is often. I finally made your salmon and avocado dish which is a surprisingly good combination, and colorful too. I used left-over grilled mustard and oil crusted salmon, served cold with mashed up avocado and oil, without the mayonnaise. It was a hit.

Robert said...
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Robert said...
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Our Daily Dinner said...


I pass the store amost every day, but haven't paid attention to it. Will definitely check it out. Thanks for the tip.