I've been considering the environment that we're bringing little Atticus into recently. Harlem is a wonderful place to live in many ways - the people are friendlier than much of New York I think, and there is a lot of character just walking down the street.
On a recent morning walk with Erin, I took these two photos: the first is of a sign on one of the many churches in Harlem - this one has various messages basically denouncing President Obama as some sort of loon or with blood on his hands with some strange connections being made (a prior version connected him with Sadaam Hussein).
The second is of a little restaurant called 'No Swine on My Mind!' - there is an odd collection of non-pork restaurants that serve beef and chicken... it's not Halal food and it's not religious from what I can tell, and it's certainly not all that healthy for you otherwise, but these people really don't like pork! (Another is called 'No Pork on My Fork!')
Anyway, here's what we had to eat!
Spaghetti with meatballs
- simple enough in concept, but the key is in the meatballs... used a recipe off epicurious with a few alterations: basically mix 2 eggs, 1 lb ground beef, salt, pepper, parsley, 1 cup bread crumbs (pre-soaked in 1/3 cup milk) and whatever other spice you want - I used a bit of red pepper flakes and then cook in the tomato sauce for 20 mins - they were spectacular!!
Grilled swordfish with brussels and roasted potatoes
- swordfish grilled after marinating with lime and garlic for a bit, brussels in the usual fashion and good Yukon golds... see photo:
Sausage with kale, eggplant and carrot and couscous
- this ended up being much more of a last-minute throw together type thing that turned out pretty well... cooked the carrots with garlic and overcooked them because that's the way Erin likes them... grilled some eggplant and then threw in the kale at the end just because we had some...
Enchiladas with avocado and tortilla salad
- these enchiladas are wonderful; we've made them a few times and every time they are a hit. This time we went with just a veggie filling:
1. sauteed onion, squash, carrot and green chiles along with some cilantro and corn at the end
2. mix the filling with about 1/2-1 cup of sauce
3. sauce made with 4 tbsps butter in pan then add 3 tbsps chili powder, 2 tbsps flour, 1-2 tbsps cumin and mix for about 1 minute... then slowly add 2 and 1/2 cups of milk, bring to simmer and then add 1.5 cups of grated cheese until well mixed...
4. assemble with flour or corn tortillas layering first some sauce on the bottom of the pan and then the rest over the tortillas with some cheese and corn on top...
The avocado salad with boston lettuce and tortilla strips was quite good mainly due to the dressing:
- 1/4 cup lime juice mixed with honey, olive oil, salt, pepper and a little cayenne