dish love : fishs eddy

By Shalini Kolluri

I believe that food shouldn’t only appeal to your taste buds but also to your eyes. You don’t have to be a culinary genius or a trained chef to make sure your food looks appetizing. This includes simple things like playing with the right color combinations or choosing the right dishes to serve your food. For example, a white square plate used for serving your kebabs or tomato sauce can make sure it stands out in a back drop of white drawing more attention to you food. Another favorite of mine is the wooden plate, it not only makes a colorful salad look great, it also looks good with what ever you chose to set on the table.

As a dinner ware and cutlery enthusiast, I love shopping for glass ware and plates in NYC. I was super excited to stumble upon this rad store on the corner of 19th and Broadway called Fishs Eddy.

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We do dishes’, declares a sign at Fishs Eddy and a visit to the Union square emporium proves that this statement is truer than true. Dishes and glassware are piled high, and browsing around the shop is like a treasure hunt, discovering gems of wit and quirky humorous displays. Their trademark humor has helped make this brand unique. When I visited their store this weekend, I came across some really funny hand painted wooden blocks.

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The shop started almost thirty years ago by husband and wife, Dave Lenovitz and Julie Gaines. Julie, a painter, met Dave, an antique dealer. They got together and leased a cozy shop near Gremercy Park. They filled it with dishes and cups found in the basements of supply shops and goods from manufacturers going out of business. Soon, they developed their own product working with overseas factories to replicate the double fired, heavy gauge dinner ware that they are famous for. They developed their own iconic designs such as that of the New York skyline pattern. They also used their products to market their own brand of political satire.

There are local artists showcased in the gallery as well. A lot of designs come and go, but the most popular ones stick around. Most of them are New York based designs and some are not.

I will definitely go back there when I need to pick up presents for birthdays and Christmas. This place is filled with cutesy cute and funny dishware that will make any dinner ware lover such as me very happy.

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The staff is sweet and customer focused. Always smiling and eager to help.

FYI, if you are visiting and don’t have the desire to lug your purchases back home, they have most of their products available on their website.

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Grilled rustic bread with a tomato topping

By Shalini Kolluri

Grilled rustic bread can support a variety of toppings. However, the cherry tomato and olive topping is my favorite. Not only is this recipe quick and relatively easy, it is also light and full of flavor. One bite into this delicious appetizer and you can appreciate how beautifully the flavors and aromas work together.

Dill – This is a unique plant as its seeds and leaves can be used for seasoning. This herb originated in Russia and Scandinavia. Over time, it has made several appearances in today’s fusion food and central European cuisines. It contains a full array of nutrients such as, fiber, sugars, sodium and amino acids. The wispy and fern like leaves have a soft and sweet taste.

I prefer using dill in this recipe as it subtly compliments the other ingredients used here. You could substitute it with thyme or basil too.

Hope you like this recipe. Let me know what you think.

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Ingredients:-

8 slices of rustic bread (1 inch thick)

1 clove of garlic (cut in half crosswise)

Salt

½ cup olives (sliced)

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in halves

Dill springs (for garnish)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon Chili flakes (optional)

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Method:-

Heat grill to medium. Toast the bread slices until golden brown, for 4 minutes on each side. (or you can toast the slices on a skillet on medium-high for 2-3 minutes on each side.)

Remove the toasts from the grill and immediately rub with cut side of garlic head. This brings out the fragrance of garlic.

Drizzle the olive oil generously on the toast. Sprinkle with salt and oregano.

Toss tomatoes and olives with vinegar, a drizzle of oil and chili flakes.

Spoon onto toasts and garnish with a few dill springs. Best served immediately.image

Sesame asparagus

By Shalini Kolluri

Did you know that water makes up 93% of asparagus? It is low in calories and low in sodium level too!! Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, let me be a sweetheart and give you some more good news.This wonder vegetable is a great source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folic acid and potassium too!

Asparagus is most commonly eaten in Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Turkey. Although, the first time I ate it was at a local restaurant in China town.I remember being  blown away by its subtle and unique taste.

Freshness is key to the perfect flavor of asparagus. It is always good to check if the stems are firm and have a velvety sheen. The tips should always be firm and intact. Trimming off the rough ends before cooking is advised since they don’t get tender like the rest of the vegetable. Asparagus does a great job of working with various flavors and absorbs the essence of garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame or lemon. The best way to know is to start experimenting with different kinds of flavors.

The wonder that is sesame oil –

Sesame oil can improve heart health by reducing the risk of coronary damage and lowering your blood pressure when it’s high. Not only is it a great anti-oxidant and anti-cancer agent, it also makes your skin glow like nothing else! Receiving massages with sesame oil is really popular in India. According to ayurveda, this practice, is supposed to increase the blood circulation to your skin, calm your nerves and sleep better at night!

I prefer doing most of my stir frying with sesame oil. Hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

Ingredients:-

1 splash of olive oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil (heat pressed)

1 pound fresh asparagus trimmed (cut off the rough ends)

½ tea spoon kosher salt / Himalayan black salt

4-5 teaspoons water

A pinch of ground pepper

¼ teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

Method:-

In a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil over high medium-high.

Add the asparagus into the oil and then add the salt and pepper to this.

Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes.

Add the water, and continue to cook until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, for another 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds and the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and serve.

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Whole Wheat pasta with roasted sugar pumpkin chunks

By Shalini Kolluri

Pumpkins are synonymous with the upcoming holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. Be it Jack-o’- lanterns, pumpkin pies or pumpkin spice lattes, this orange gourd is a quintessential representation of fall. This holiday season, I take it upon myself to make thorough use of my favorite kind of pumpkin, the sugar pumpkin.image

Four awesome reasons to eat your pumpkin-

  • They are rich in anti-oxidants that boost your immunity and offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • The seeds and the pulp are high in magnesium that is great for your bone health.
  • They contain fiber that helps you drop pounds and maintain digestive health.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan that helps elevate your mood. So long gloomy days!

Ingredients:-

½ small sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon Manuka honey

8 ounces whole wheat pasta (medium shells pasta)

3 garlic cloves minced

¼ cup chopped parsley leaves

¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

½ cup grated Parmigiano – Reggiano

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Method:-

In a skillet heat 1 tablespoons of olive oil.

Roast the pumpkin chunks until tender or slightly charred.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until it is cooked.

While the pasta is cooking, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the garlic in a small skillet over low-medium until fragrant.

Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with ½ a cup of pasta water and stir in the pepper, garlic and cheese. Season with parsley and oregano.

Add the roasted pumpkin and Manuka honey. Mix and serve.

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