Porter Collins Elevating Uptown Hoboken

Porter Collins Elevating Uptown Hoboken

Photo by Porter Collins

Today is the day. The anticipation is over. Sexy, buzz-worthy Porter Collins is opening tonight to the excitement of diners in northern New Jersey and beyond.

I was at last week’s pre-grand opening party and I can say that Chef Anthony and Liz Pino, owners/founders of Pino Hospitality, have a sure winner on their hands with their newest restaurant project, Porter Collins. The restaurant is designed by Robert Feinstein of Studio One Architects and it is simply gorgeous.

Self-proclaimed as “Hoboken’s go-to spot for classically crafted cocktails and inventive American cuisine”, Porter Collins is located right on Willow Avenue at 15th Street in the up-and-coming uptown area of Hoboken, New Jersey.

Photo by Porter Collins

The Pinos already own two popular restaurants in Hoboken, Anthony David’s and Bin 14, and with Porter Collins, they will offer inventive American cuisine in an expansive, stylish, mid-century modern space that seats 180 diners. A spacious dining area is flanked by two cocktail bars, a raw bar and a private event space. The kitchen features a wood-burning oven. For now, dinner is available with lunch and brunch to come later.

Welcome to the Garden State Porter Collins!

Porter Collins – 1426 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, NJ.

Veronique

Spinach Dip Mozzarella Sticks

Spinach Dip Mozzarella Sticks

Photo by Etienne

My brother-in-law, Etienne, enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and trying new dishes when at restaurants. I really love that about him! This past week, he decided to try one of those Buzzfeed’s Tasty video recipes for Spinach Dip Mozzarella Sticks. How great does that sound!!? It’s like two of my favorite appetizers in one!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup cooked spinach, drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Marinara sauce for dipping, homemade or store-bought

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, spinach, mozzarella, salt, black pepper and garlic powder, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Transfer the cream cheese mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the frozen spinach mixture onto a cutting board and peel off the parchment paper. Slice the block into 1-inch wide strips, then slice the strips in half into sticks.
  3. Place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Dip the spinach dip sticks into the flour, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs, then back into the eggs, and finally back into the breadcrumbs. Set the breaded sticks aside on a plate.
  4. Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Fry the breaded sticks for about 30 seconds to a minute, until golden brown.
  5. Cool and serve with marinara sauce.

Serves 15–20

 

Recipe by Tasty.

Olivella Now Open in Bergen County

Olivella Now Open in Bergen County

Salvatore Olivella. Photo by Victor Hugo

Olivella, a new Italian restaurant, opened Monday night in North Bergen. This is the first New Jersey project from Chef Salvatore Olivella, one of the top pizza makers in the country. A native of Naples, Italy – the birthplace of modern pizza – Chef Olivella has built an impressive résumé consulting for many of New York’s top pizza spots including Marta, the Serafina Group, L’asso, Numero 28 and more. He also co-owns Olivella’s Neo Pizza Napoletana, a group of 4 restaurants in Dallas, Texas. For his Garden State debut, Olivella and his partners have built a 50-seat restaurant with a wood-burning pizza oven as the centerpiece and rear dining room flooded with natural light through a glass roof.

The restaurant serves brick oven pizza and a full menu of antipasti, pasta and entrées including: Sushi di Parma – house made fior di latte cheese wrapped in prosciutto di San Daniele; Gnocchi Alla Romagnola with porcini, fresh truffle in a Pinot Grigio sauce; Farfalle di Olivella, bowtie pasta sautéed with smoked Norwegian salmon, shallots, vodka and salmon caviar; Pollo alla Valdostana, chicken breast sautéed with wild mushrooms, prosciutto and fontina sauce; Filet Mignon al Barolo with porcini mushrooms; and Costoletta di Vitello Milanese, thinly pounded veal that’s breaded and served on the bone, topped with salad and Parmigiano.

Pizzas showcase Neapolitan tradition with a Margherita DOC with housemade fresh mozzarella, imported San Marzano tomatoes and basil; devilishly spicy Inferno with housemade fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, ‘nduja (spicy spreadable pork sausage from Calabria), spicy soppressata (dry salami) and spicy honey; and Don Maradona Snow White with fresh ricotta, housemade fior di latte cheese, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil.

For his “Gourmet di Olivella” choices, Salvatore gets creative with a Frank Sinatra pizza topped with burrata, bresaola, arugula and lemon dressing; Agrodolce Olivella, a sweet and sour marriage of house made fior di latte, gorgonzola, pear, Parmigiano, walnuts and honey; and Tartufata del Cardinale with house made fior di latte, Prosciutto Cotto, Parmigiano, mushrooms, micro basil and truffle cream. Calzones can be ordered either as Classico with mozzarella, ricotta and San Marzano tomatoes or as La Vesuviana – half calzone and half customer’s choice of pizza. Only the highest quality imported San Marzano DOP certified tomatoes from Italy are used in the restaurant’s sauces and fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and fior di latte are made in house.

Olivella is located at 7709 Bergenline Avenue, North Bergen, 201-662-6110.

Cheers,

Veronique

Delectable Whites by Heron Hill Winery

Delectable Whites by Heron Hill Winery

Even with the frigid weather we experienced this week, I cooked food ultra conducive to white wine. The Finger Lakes winery I opted to pour at two of those meals is Heron Hill Winery, one of my very favorite FLX wineries.

2014 Heron Hill Semi-Dry Riesling

I served this off-dry Riesling with spicy Indian food I prepared and it stood up to the heat beautifully while maintaining its fresh, fruit-forward flavors. On the nose, this wine offers big Asian apple aromas. On the palate, the sweet apple continues but combined with lovely floral notes. Nice level of acidity on the finish. Great value at $15/bottle.

2015 Heron Hill Reserve Morris Vineyard Pinot Blanc

Aromas of Meyer lemon and juicy pear in the glass on this crisp Finger Lakes Pinot Blanc. Green apple and peach on the palate with some sweetness followed by great acidity on a finish that resonates with minerality. Hated to share it with the mister, it’s so easy drinking. Just a wonderful Pinot Blanc at an affordable price of $20/bottle.

 

Cheers to the Finger Lakes!

Veronique

Top 5 Pies for Pi Day

Top 5 Pies for Pi Day

Streusel Top Blueberry Custard Pie

Today, 3/14, is Pi Day and to help celebrate this special day, I’m sharing a list of the top 5 pies I’ve posted on my blog.

Chocolate Silk Pie

Maple Syrup Pie

Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie

Key Lime Pie

Streusel Top Blueberry Custard Pie

Hope you try baking one of these and if so, that you let me know your thoughts!

Cheers,

Veronique

Vegetarian Chili Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Vegetarian Chili Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

I’m still on my mission to try to stick to vegetarian dishes on #MeatlessMonday and since I’d make a double batch of my Vegetarian Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili a month ago and it was calling my name from the freezer, I decided to use that delicious concoction in a stuffed pepper dish.

Since I defrosted about 3 cups of chili, I used the remaining two cups for a southwestern lasagna and I’ll share that with you next week.

These stuffed peppers are fab as a take to work lunch as they’re really simple to microwave from the office kitchen. They’re also great paired with a salad dressed with some tasty, zesty dressing (perhaps my Easy Greek Vinaigrette) for a light dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red bell pepper (if green or yellow peppers are cheaper, go for them)
  • 1 cup brown or white rice, cooked
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese, plus 2 reserved tablespoons
  • 1 cup vegetarian chili (could be store-bought_

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove the pepper stem and cut the pepper in half lengthwise. Remove any seeds and extra membrane from the inside of each half.
  3. Place each pepper halves, cut side down, in a baking dish and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes so the pepper is cool enough to handle.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the rice, the cup of cheese and the chili.
  5. Spoon the chili mixture inside each bell pepper half and return to the baking dish. Top each pepper half with a tablespoon of cheese and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with a side salad. Yields 2 servings.

 

Vegetarian Chili Stuffed Red Bell Peppers
Print
Ingredients
  1. • 1 large red bell pepper (if green or yellow peppers are cheaper, go for them)
  2. • 1 cup brown or white rice, cooked
  3. • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese, plus 2 reserved tablespoons
  4. • 1 cup vegetarian chili (could be store-bought)
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. Remove the pepper stem and cut the pepper in half lengthwise. Remove any seeds and extra membrane from the inside of each half.
  3. 3. Place each pepper halves, cut side down, in a baking dish and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes so the pepper is cool enough to handle.
  4. 4. In a large bowl, combine the rice, the cup of cheese and the chili.
  5. 5. Spoon the chili mixture inside each bell pepper half and return to the baking dish. Top each pepper half with a tablespoon of cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. Serves 2.
Food & Wine Chickie Insider http://www.foodandwinechickie.com/
Cheers,

Veronique

National Pi Day at Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

National Pi Day at Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

On Tuesday, March 14 in celebration of Pi Day, Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas will offer $3.14 personal pizzas all day long.

This offer is valid  for dine-in guests at the Clifton, NJ and Garden City, NY locations.

Happy Pi Day! Veronique

South Hill Cider Bluegrass Russet

South Hill Cider Bluegrass Russet

When I was doing winery visits last Fall in the Finger Lakes, I was introduced to South Hill Cider Bluegrass Russet by one of my favorite FLX wineries – Heron Hill Winery. I was intrigued that a winery would carry and sell a cider by what could be considered a competitor, so I decided to try it.

The ciders at South Hill Cider are crafted in small batches by Steve Selin who calls himself “apple-hunter, cidermaker, orchardist”. The apples at South Hill Cider come from wild trees, abandoned orchards and orchards of high quality cider apples. South Hill Cider produces ciders with “individuality, quality, and elegance reflecting the terroir of the Finger Lakes region”.

The cider I sampled, Bluegrass Russet, is made using a New York state native apple, the Golden Russet. It’s a crisp, sparkling, off-dry cider with tons of mousse-ish bubble and lovely acidity. Beyond the apple flavors, there are notes of tart berries that help not create an overly sweet cider, something I don’t enjoy.

If you can find this cider, it’ll set you back around $18. It’s one of the best ciders I’ve had and worth searching around for it.

Cheers,

Veronique

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

I love Indian food and the deep flavors of the various dishes I’ve tried thus far. Over the years, I’ve fine-tuned my recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala that’s slow cooked and delicious, but this past weekend, I decided to pull the old Crockpot out of the attic and make this comforting recipe in it. So perfect for a cold winter day!

Nothing could be simpler to make, as long as you have the necessary spices. All are easy to find at local grocery stores, but if you live very remotely, perhaps the Garam Masala might give you a bit of trouble to find. Luckily, there’s Amazon to the rescue!

There’s just one issue with this recipe – your house will smell intoxicatingly amazing all day long….it’s best to make this recipe on a day you’ll be out of the house or else you’ll be salivating (like we did) most of the day!

If you want to make this vegetarian – simply replace the chicken with a 29-ounce can of rinsed chickpeas! 

Long Simmering Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 29-ounce can of tomato purée
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (if you don’t love spicy food, make this ¼ tsp.)
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 bay leaves

Finishing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Chopped cilantro, optional (could also use flat leaf parsley)

Directions:

  1. Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray (or rub with olive oil).
  2. In the slow cooker, combine all the “Long Simmering Ingredients” and stir well to coat all the chicken pieces with the spices and tomato puree. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the cream and the corn starch until smooth. Add to the chicken mixture, stir well to incorporate and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice, stir to incorporate.
  5. Serve with Easy Basmati Rice and chopped cilantro, if using.

Makes 6 servings.

Enjoy!

Veronique

 

Recipe inspired by this.

2013 Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

2013 Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

2013 Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest GewürztraminerIt’s the first time I’d bought this dessert wine in my Williams Selyem allocation and won’t miss that opportunity again!

Classic ultra floral / tropical fruit Gewürztraminer aromas. In the mouth, this wine has lovely Asian pear, ripe sweet melon flavors with non-cloying sweet notes. Perfect level of acidity to balance out the sweetness, which dessert winemakers don’t always successfully accomplish.

Pairings: Pear/peach tart, foie gras, crème brulée. 

Style: Dessert Wine

Grape Type(s): Gewürztraminer

Region: San Benito County, California, USA

Price: $40