morning meatballs

anything + egg + cheese makes it a breakfast food, right?
i've recently found myself spending large numbers of hours with a human who has a very, how shall we say, nightmare of a schedule when it comes to meal times. it includes very long shifts and overnight shifts...bloody shifts... it oft leaves me in the dark when planning meals. is it breakfast if he wakes up at 6pm to start his work day? would he like a beer with that 7am bagel? i normally require breakfast food to break the eating seal, even if i wake up in the afternoon. but i'm not so sure this human is the same, he seems to just eat whatever i put in front of him. so yesterday and today i prepared meatballs, one was a dinner way, one was a breakfast way. they were both my dinner. they were both his breakfast. they were inspired by a recent little trip to the meatball shop.
 left: the lazy girl's guide to chopping canned tomatoes.
turkey meatballs + red sauce
{for the meatballs}
1 tbs olive oil
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
a heaping 1/2 cup of ricotta
1 large egg
a heaping 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
{for the sauce}
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 tsp oregano
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbs tomato paste
1 28-oz can of whole plum tomatoes + their liquid
1/2 tsp white sugar
a few pinches of cinnamon
{for breakfast}
angel hair pasta
a healthy plop of ricotta 
a sunny side up egg
salt + pepper + olive oil to taste
{for dinner}
focaccia or slider rolls 
a salad
{meatball clues}
preheat oven to 450, coat a pan with the olive oil, set the pan aside. combine the rest of the ingredients. make 1 1/2 inch balls and line them up snuggly on the pan. bake for 20 minutes. make the sauce while they're baking.
{sauce clues}
in a large pot over medium high heat, cook the olive oil + onion + oregano + garlic + salt + black pepper + crushed red pepper until the onion becomes soft, about 10 minutes.
add the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
add the tomatoes + sugar + cinnamon and stir until the sauce boils. reduce to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally. once the meatballs are done roasting, add them to the sauce and keep them over the heat until you're ready to serve them. 
ad lib toppings or ways to eat them. slider-izing them with focaccia is yummy. or, stir some ricotta and olive oil into a bowl of hot angel hair, top with the balls and an egg, and you've got a really filling excuse for a 6pm breakfast. 


three things i learned yesterday:
1. always trust a genghis barbie
2. greenpoint is in fact not a very long schlep from my hood
3. why don't all vodka shots come with currant syrup and tabasco sauce?
karczma is the type of place where people talk about their deaths,
you know, like, i feel like i could die right now... but that would be ok. one of those places, a last meal earth option, if you will. which is ironic because while you're there, you eat a lot of dead... soooo muuuchhhhh deaddddd. i couldn't even count all the types. but my favorite was definitely the hunter's bacon! it was thicker and meatier and not as smokey as your typical breakfast type. my other favorites were non-meat: the potato pancakes {ohjazz, they were crisptacular and candy-like with the apple sauce.} and the pickle soup {which is fitting for my new obsession with pickles. i'll trade you a pickle for a nickel.} and the aforementioned vodka shot {sweet, boozy, and then literally the best burn ever-- squats ain't got nuthin on it.} 
you'd think one would complete a meal here and want to roll around on the floor and not get up for a week. on the contrary, i woke up and ran the fastest mile of my life. perhaps it was because i was with a veteran of the place who kept telling everyone to pace themselves. it was like, meat coaching. it was great. so great.
worth the trip to that far off land.

week 51: cafe sabarsky

the last new york restaurant in restaurant challenge
there are three reasons the answer to can you play this gig? will be a definite yes:
1. the venue is in an unexplored part of town 
{creating opportunities to discover new restaurants} 
2. the performance is narrated by isaac mizrahi
3. it involves 3D glasses 
ok there are other reasons that actually have to do with music and stuff, but the point is this past week i played a gig that included two of the above...
[and i was absolutely kidding about the 3D glasses.]

for two entire weekends, i was chained to the guggenheim,
playing show after show of {my favorite!} peter and the woof.
and i thought i was out of luck when yelp search nearby said
 starbucks, le pain quotidien, starbucks, the wright...
 until on page four it finally said my dreams come true in the form of
[3 blocks away]
...and so began my residency
on the first day there was what a little austrian girl eats after a long day when it's cold and she could use some comfort:
baked bowties, ham, and emmentaler
weisswurst with a pretzel and mustard
it was the best kind of hot dogs with mac and cheese.
and it is a fact that, if there's one underrated wiener in this country, it's weisswurst. 
that s*** is hella good.
on the second day,
there was 
spätzle with peas, carrots, and mushrooms 
bratwurst with riesling sauerkraut
and a high brow version of what the people in my family like to call
hot dog cheese* {käsekrainer... bratwurst stuffed with cheddar}
*one of the most embarrassing snacks i ate as a wee one was a hot dog cut up and topped with little squares of american cheese and then microwaved and served with ketchup. 
it was as embarrassing as its terribly unfortunate name.
the käsekrainer was really delicious and snappy!! and oozy. 
and the spätzle was amazing, once i picked out all of the mushrooms. i know, i know. 
spätzle is another thing this world needs more of. i mean, it is little premature dumplings!
for dessert,
chocolate marzipan cake with organgey things and house made whipped cream
your girl cannot resist some marzipan.
it is like if a clydesdale were a dessert, you know? 
all smart and stately. 
and austria is cool because it doesn't mess with all them fruity sorbets or popsicles. 
they are all about the cakes and the marzipans and the strudels.
and you should have seen this dessert menu. 
on the third day,
i took the newspaper as my date and had a 
liverwurst open-faced sandwich 
which i had a little issue with because the menu didn't specify that my sandwich would be 
open-faced, but i instantly didn't care because 
it was some thick and salty {i lurve salty} liverwurst spread. 
by far the best part about this meal was afterwards when i ran into my little korean friend on the street who asked me what i ate for lunch and, in my best broken korean, i tried to explain what liverwurst is to her, until i realized that i really don't know korean and decided to just point to my liver and then i didn't know which side my liver was on. 
so i think she thinks i ate a pancreas sandwich for lunch...
the other best part about my last visit was that i got an apple strudel on the house.
maybe it's because i went there like twelve times in a week,
but part of me also thinks it's because i was there alone and it was an all male wait staff and i did my hairs real good that day.
regardless, the apple strudel was the perfect christmas time dessert!
and so here marks the last new york restaurant in restaurant challenge. 
it was christmas-y and festive and delicious. 
wiener-filled, and marzipan inclusive. 
i'm into it. you should be too.

now, get ready for the 1 remaining restaurant.



cafe sabarsky is on east 86th and 5th, inside of the neue galerie. if there's a really long wait, the more casual cafe fledermaus {downstairs} has the same menu.

week 45: blue smoke

i hadn't the slightest idea that barbecue was such a gaga-inducer until i came to new york and met a ton of texas people.
it is like global guts up in here about who has the best barbecue.
my first exposure was at the beginning of my freshman year when i quickly learned that the percussion studio boys will only spend money on food stand and food that comes in enormous quantities. and the only place uptown that would fulfill the latter and that was good for a post-mock audition eat-fest was dinosaur barbecue up in harlem. 
which was sometimes not ok because above 125th street gives me the heebiejeebies. at least it used to.
whatever. the point is, this week was my friend maria's 21st birthday {she's the one in the top picture that looks a bit constipated about all of the ribs in front of her} and she chose to celebrate at 
because people says it's good barbecues. and because it was sure to accommodate our male friends with the bulk food requirements.
this is a picture of charlie+pulled pork:
and plep+jia+a burger:
 peter+one from his rib variety pack:
me+mac and cheese:
and it was a real good time because maria's our girl and also because she started celebrating her 21st at about 9am.
but then as i was digging into my kc ribs, peter started speculating about his meat, a la,
"i wonder why the texas ribs are so much bigger? you think they let the animal grow more before they slaughter it? also, how many dead animals do you think are at this table right now? well, molly, you've easily got a full one in front of you..."
nuh uh.
molly can't talk about meat while she's eating meat.
it's just one of those things.
it evoked an amplified version of the little hippie inside of me saying "don't eat dead! don't eat dead!"
but in his defense,
there was so much meat.
and this coming from the girl that once ate schnitzel every day for a month.
i enjoyed my ribs, but also couldn't completely handle the whole eating-off-the-bone-am-i-wilma-flintstone thing.
it's ok. i sought solace in the mac and cheese, which, although bread crumbless, was tangy and good. especially with texas pete's hot sauce squirted alllll over.
 it was a meat explosion. 
and then the cake came out. 
and maria wished she got a momofuku crack pie for her birthday! 
and then she did cause i gave her one.
i wished {wait, can i wish even though it's not my birthday?} that my upbringing had given me a broader knowledge of barbecue. 
but then the wish gods said, "well it's either that or deep dish pizza." 
and i said, "ok never mind."



blue smoke is on 27th between park and lex. and it is connected to the jazz standard, in case you're itching for some jazz with your bbq.