Friday Night Eats

Let me just start off by saying that I saw Alton Brown Live last night. Yes, the Alton Brown- creator of the Astropop and cocktail slushies (with gin, sweet vermouth, and cough syrup), singer, songwriter, guitar player, converse wearing’ comedian, and host of Cutthroat Kitchen and Good Eats. Check out his show, Eat Your Science! You’ll leave with a basket full of knowledge and probably a few stitches in your side from laughing. You’ll also start saying “food for thought” a lot the next day… Or maybe that’s just me. Moving on…

My inspiration for tonight’s dinner came from Alton Brown and this little burger joint called Smashburger. Alton Brown, proclaimed Food God (Vote for him in November), spoke a whole lot about chicken thighs.

“Who doesn’t like chicken thighs?!”- Alton Brown and everyone else in the world.

At Smashburger, I got a chicken, spinach and goat cheese sandwich, and their smashfries. Smash fries have rosemary, olive oil, and garlic on them. Why I never thought to put rosemary and garlic on my fries in an Italian household in beyond me. Kudos to Smashburger.

 

As we were coming home, I bored my friend with the ideas running through my head for what would be tonight’s dinner. I call this one Chicken, Spin-Smash, & Potatoes. Not the best name, but can’t fault me for trying, right?
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Chicken, Spin-Smash, & Potatoes

What You Need

-6 Chicken Thighs (Skin On)
– Fresh Rosemary
– Granulated Garlic Powder
– Sea Salt & Pepper
– Dried Basil
– Spinach Leaves (I used one bundle for two people)
– 1 tablespoon flour
– 1/3 cup lemon juice
– 1 cup vegetable stock
– 5 Potatoes (for two people, with leftovers!)
– Crumbled Blue Cheese
– 1/2 a stick of butter
– 1/2 cup of the milk of your choice

What You Do

Preheat oven to 375°

Take chicken thighs from the packaging and wash them. Then place them in an aluminum baking pan skin side up, bone side down. Chop 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and sprinkle over chicken. Sprinkle garlic powder (to taste), sea salt, pepper, and basil on the top.
Place in the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Then flip and bake for 20 more minutes. How easy!

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Place a pot of water up to boil. Prepare your potatoes. Wash them, and then peel. Dice them evenly and place into boiling water. Give a quick stir, and sprinkle in some salt.

While your potatoes are boiling, start the spinach. Clean in a colander and shred. Put the vegetable broth in a pan, heat for 2 minutes, then add spinach and stir to coat. In about 5 minutes, add lemon juice and 4 sprigs of rosemary (I used more because I love lemon, it’s really up to you). When the spinach is wilted, gradually add the flour and stir. You will be left with a creamy spinach, lemony delight.

 

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You’ll know the potatoes are done when you can successfully put a fork through them without any resistance. You can then strain them, and add them back into the pot. Add the butter and, using a masher, mash and stir until butter is melted. Add your milk and stir until incorporated. Then, add 1/2-1 cup of the crumbled blue cheese. Taste, add more if needed.

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Once your chicken skins are crispy, take them out of the oven. You now have a smashing meal on your hands (think Nigel Thornberry, and maybe Smashburger, too).

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The Finished Product!

Life Hack: Peel the potatoes over a garbage can- it makes for less of a mess!

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Union Square Market

My Wednesday started out like any other. I commuted with my father into the city, got a coffee, spilled said coffee down my arm on my way over to the office, sat down in a chair, and prepared myself for a long 10 hours of work. Typical, until my supervisor pulled me aside and informed me of a lecture that my boss was giving at Beth Israel. I was amped to go and when 2:30 rolled around, I hopped on the subway, attended the lecture, and took a casual detour to what I would find out to be the Union Square Greenmarket.

For those of you who have never been before, it is the cutest, most environmentally friendly market I’ve ever been to. There are stalks of asparagus in water, small strawberry and blueberry plants, flowers, local honey, vegan treats, people promoting non-profit organizations, and more. It reminded me of my strolls down West 28th street on my break when I want to be surrounded by trees and shrubs in the concrete jungle, only more open and a lot less sketchy (sorry West 28th, I still love you).

I got stopped twice on my first walkthrough. Once to be a sucker and buy a $350 spa treatment and two $25 comedy club tix for $30. Steal. Twice to find out about the nonprofit, OxFam (shout out to my guy, Gray)! I almost got stopped a third time, but I politely told him that my quest for a vegan dessert on my break was much more important. Sorry. I have priorities.

My priorities came in the form of a lavender and pear scone from Body & Soul Bakeshop. It took me about 5 minutes and a few questions about what dessert was better to decide. Boy, am I glad I chose the scone. It was perfect. It had a great texture- flaky, but not so flaky where it fell apart upon every bite, and not too dry. The pears added a fresh burst of flavor and the lavender was a nice touch. They used just enough where it wasn’t too soapy tasting, as lavender can sometimes be. I will make it a priority to buy one thing a week, and that ain’t no lie. Body & Soul, you now have a lifelong customer. You’re welcome, and thank you for being so damn delicious.

 

When I wasn’t talking to Gray and Scott (the two who stopped me), I was admiring the other vendors. Bread Alone makes bread look like an art. Martin’s Pretzels almost tempted me away from my scone, but I’m a sucker for vegan desserts and my sweet tooth clearly won. There was local honey from Andrew’s Local, a lavender stand with fresh lavender and soaps, and farms promoting and selling their share.

If you want to check out the maps of the Union Square Markets, check out this website.

If you dig clean eats, plants, and the environment, you’ll really love this market. Remember to always support your local businesses. It’s important.

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My Lavender Pear Scone. I am in love.

Shake Shack & The Museum of Sex

This weekend, we celebrated my friend, Laura’s, birthday! It was an epic birthday weekend, and I can only hope mine is just as rad (*hint, hint*).

She had requested we go to the city, suggested going to the Museum of Sex, and left the food up to me. She had never been to Shake Shack before, a true New York Touristy staple. I had never been to the original in Washington Square Park, and decided that it was definitely time.

I chose to go back to my vegetarian roots (I was one for 8 years) and get their ‘Shroomburger. Phenomenal. Never disappointed. It’s a fried portobello mushroom stuffed with Muenster and cheddar cheese, topped with lettuce and tomato.

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Only the most heavenly bite. The cheese was dripping from my chin- Perfection.

I also have to get a concrete, because it is actually on my bucket list to get a concrete at every single Shake Shack (Yes, I do realize this is going to take me my entire life, and I am entirely okay with that). I got the The Concrete Jungle, a mix of vanilla custard, bananas, peanut butter sauce, and fudge sauce. I love bananas and peanut butter, and adding the extra calories is just a simple win.

We ended our night by jumping in a bouncy boob castle at The Museum of Sex and going to a swanky rooftop bar, 230 Fifth! Overall, I had a blast and was so happy my friends did, too! Also, to that bachelorette drunk on the train- if you’re reading this- I hope that you’re okay! You have good friends.

Shake Shack Life Hack: When ordering cheese fries, ALWAYS get the cheese on the side. You will always get more cheese, and who doesn’t love that?