Skip to main content

Memories of New York



Where others collect memories of places they visit and people they meet, my travels net me images of food stalls and restaurants. Not surprisingly, New York to me means delis of Broadway and Times Square.

In that ubiquitous world of sandwiches and salads, some names stand out. One of them is Cosi, where the first sight to greet you is a massive wood fired oven. Every hour, several batches of crunchy bread emerge from this oven. Some of them go on to become sandwiches. If you are salad buyer though, you can pick a piece of warm bread (or two!) on your way out after picking the salad for lunch.

My oft-remembered favorite is the Cosi Signature Salad. It's a mixture of conflicting flavors; some sweet, some savory:

- Mixed Greens (I got iceberg lettuce)
- Pears
- Red Grapes (okay, mine are black)
- Gorgonzola Cheese
- Cranberries
- Pistachios

The dressing is a sherry shallot vinaigrette. You take equal parts sherry vinegar and olive oil, whisk until they emulsify and add 2 finely minced shallots, salt and pepper.

Cosi puts all ingredients in a bowl and tosses them with the dressing. I put everything on a skewer so if dip it in the dressing and gulp it down in one go, I get a burst of flavors that takes me back to New York.

Comments

Srivalli said…
I can relate that Simmi..even my travels usually are remembered by the food that I eat..:)
My memories also revolve around food mostly....love that simple and refreshing salad...

Popular posts from this blog

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Of Brun and Bun Maska

There is more to Bombay's breads than the pao that goes into pao bhaji and vada pao. There's Brun. and there's bun. We will get there. First, you have to get to know the city's Parsis. And Iranis, who are also Zoroastrians, but came to city a little later, in the late 19th or early 20th century. And when they came, they brought with them these little cafes that dot the city.

I am no expert on Irani chai cafes. And I can't tell you whether Yazdani Bakery will provide you the best experience or Kyani's. But I can tell you a few things you need to ignore when you get there. Appearances don't matter; so ignore the fact that the marble/glass top tables and the wooden chairs look a bit dilapidated. Also ignore the rundown look the place sports.

Instead, get yourself settled. And order a bun muska. This one's familiar to you as a first cousin of the soft hamburger bun. It's similar, but just a tad bit sweeter. Maska, of course, is the generous dollop of b…

A Bowlful of Comfort

I have a friend who is quite the globetrotter. Lunches at her place, often right after her trips, are a treasure trove of global flavours. But the last time we met, she was just back from Tamil Nadu and out she brought a bowl of curd rice. I love curd rice and have eaten a lot of it over the years but my friend's version was so full of flavours and textures, it was a revelation. Obviously, I asked for the recipe.

The genius of this curd rice lies in adding the tempering or the tadka twice, once to mix in the rice so it absorbs all the flavours. Then you make a second batch to top the rice with just before you serve, so it adds crunch to the usually mushy dish. The recipe also has a few other elements added in for texture, freshness and flavour.

I over-ate at lunch at my friend's and I over-ate again when I made this for myself for lunch. Plus, all the ingredients you need are likely in your kitchen already so you may as well go make it now.

Ingredients
1/2 cup rice
1 cup plain…