Thursday, January 6, 2011

spicy cold relief

about ten years ago, i stumbled upon nam kang restaurant.  very random place, random location, but excellent food.  there is a bit of a language barrier (i once ordered lemonade and got a glass of milk...) but the people there are extememly nice, so it's all good.  they serve japanese, chinese and korean food and my favorite item on the menu is jampong.  it is a korean spicy seafood soup served over thick udong noodles.  when i say spicy, i mean - nose running crazy (good) spicy.  whenever i get a cold, i go and pick up some jampong and it clears my head like nobody's business.  it's a little smelly for some folks - one of my coworkers asked me not to bring it into the office again (but then, she is 93, so i figure she's earned the veto.)

they also have surprisingly good sushi (but do not offer it on wednesdays.)  one of my favorite photos in my etsy shop is of sushi from nam kang.  yum.

try out nam kang - 22nd and maryland.

Monday, January 3, 2011

charming new spot

have you been to charmington's?  it's on howard street [at 26th] - the name indicates it's between charles village and remington.  i'm told that it's technically in charles village, yet it feels like it's in remington....but who cares?  it's a great place to grab a cuppa [fair trade] joe or meet a friend for lunch or dinner.  i thought it might never open...but, happily, it is now and it's a nice little spot.  i had a delicious powerhouse sammie when i visited.  quite yum.

check out rob kasper's review.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

pesto alla trapanese

this is my latest fave dish from my very FAVE show, america's test kitchen.  yes, i am a nerd. 

i was intrigued by the alternative to the usual type of pesto.  in trapani, italy, this is a peasant meal, so it's very inexpensive to make.  the sauce barely covers the pasta, which is typical in italy...not so much in the good 'ol USA.


Pasta with Tomato and Almond Pesto (Pesto Alla Trapanese)

Serves 4 to 6

A half teaspoon of red wine vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes can be substituted for the pepperoncini. If you don’t have a food processor, a blender may be substituted. In step 2, pulse ingredients until roughly chopped, then proceed with the recipe, reducing processing times by half.


1/4 cup slivered almonds

12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)

1 small pepperoncini, stemmed, seeded, and minced (about 1/2 teaspoon) (see note)

Table salt

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound pasta, preferably linguine or spaghetti

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup), plus extra for serving


1. Toast almonds in small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool almonds to room temperature.

2. Process cooled almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic, pepperoncini, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil, about 30 seconds.

3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water; drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot.

4. Add pesto and ½ cup Parmesan to cooked pasta, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta cooking water so that pesto coats pasta. Serve immediately, passing Parmesan separately.

best dressed

a few years ago, i stopped buying bottled salad dressings.  homemade versions are so much tastier and free of added sugar and preservatives.  i'm a big fan of vinaigrettes, but every once in a while i'll make a creamy dressing.  here are some great recipes so you can make your own, too!

i'm always telling everyone about the kitchn's blog.  it is a FABOO resource for anything you need.  search for recipes, techniques, ideas.  you will love it!