Our Global Kitchen
Upper West Side, New York
I visited the American Museum of Natural History last week for “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture” a special exhibition that will be ending in August.
Needless to say, it was pretty fucking awesome…
This is a diorama of what the future might hold for agriculture. Growing food vertically is just one of many ideas being tested that could help feed a global population of 9 billion expected by 2050.
Check out my Instagram page @Ayquericonyc for more of my visit where you can find a big-ass yuca, a dish from Ferran Adria, things Hispanic children get beat with, and a funny quote by Julia Child among other things.
Best Summer Cocktail
Harlem, New York
I never like to visit a friend of mine empty-handed, especially when I’m in the Washington Heights/ Harlem area where I can always grab a quick and cheap something something. On this particular visit, I decided to bring over some fresh agua de coco, or coconut water.
During the hot summer months, Dominican fruit vendors haul an array of exotic fruits & vegetables over from the Dominican Republic to sell right in the middle of the street. Guaguas, vans, filled with raw stalks of sugar cane, tamarind, pineapples, guineps, avocados, yucca, and bottled mauby, park by a sidewalk and vendors wait for the herds of customers longing for the good stuff.
A fresh, machete hacked, green coconut water with all the coconut meat & jelly scraped into a cup, will run you up to $4…
When I got to my friend’s, we shared the water over some ice and caught up with things. Talking about the BBQ we were about to head off to, I remembered to show the bottle of St. Germain I just bought. When my Bajan friend’s mom walked in, I fixed her a glass of agua de coco con hielo, and she wondered what I brought for her this time and that’s when it happened…
I explained to her that it is an elderflower liquor, it has a floral, sweet-n-tart taste, and that it was one of our (my friend & I) favorites. She looked at me and said, “And when are you going to give me some?,” with a laugh & a smile. I said, “Well, I was thinking I’ll let you try a bit in a shot glass to see how you like it.” “No go ahead, put some in the glass. We island girls love our sweet drinks honey!” She was pointing to her glass of coconut water with the coconut meat. I did as she asked, and stirred her drink since St. Germain is a bit syrupy…
She took a sip and, “WOW!” My friend and I both shot an anticipating glare at her mom, “What happened? Do you like it?”
"This is the BOMB! That’s my new drink of the summer! I’m takin’ this to Barbados… where you got this?"
Intrigued, we both shared a sip of the new cocktail and quickly fixed us a drink of the brand new "St. Germain Agua de Coco."
I shared a dorky but genuine high-five with my friend’s mom as we took turns congratulating each other for discovering the new drink of the summer.
"St. Germain Agua de Coco"
- 3 parts fresh coconut water (from the green, water coconut) with the meat & jelly diced up
- 1 part St. Germain
- I ripe cherry from the greenmarket for garnish
My latest #SummerCocktail creation: #StGermain & fresh #AguaDeCoco! #AyQueRico!!!!!!! Chin chin ;D
Queens, New York
Summers in city are not for the faint of heart.
Heat waves, major subway delays, hot ass, and stank attitudes, don’t necessarily make for the little Julia Child in all of us want to turn up in the kitchen. (Just imagine Julia Child in an NYC apartment for a second… hahahaha! She’ll probably take her top off in desperation… “Breathe girls- breathe! Ooooo!” Hahahaha!)
Sometimes the best things to cook on a hot summer day are vegetables… yeah I said it: vegetables. But not just any vegetables- I’m talking about Chinese vegetables and greens.
Chinese mustard greens, bok choy , Chinese long beans, and Napa cabbage are all crispy, refreshing, meaty, and best of all- freagin’ fast to make. A Chinese veggie sauté can be cooked in about 5 minutes; check it out:
1) Gather and wash all of your favorite green Chinese veggies. (If you’ve never had any, don’t be shy to do some exploring in any neighborhood Asian market. My favorite one is Pacific Supermarket in Jackson Heights, Queens on 7501 Broadway.)
2) In a hot frying pan with a bit of oil (I use grapeseed) on high heat, toss and stir in “Chinese Trinity;” minced garlic, minced ginger, and slivered scallion whites until fragrant (about 1 min).
3) Stir in a spoonful of organic miso (fermented soybean paste), low sodium tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce), and for spice, a pinch of red chili flake, and cook until the sauce begins to bubble and cackle (about 1 min).
4) Now throw in your Chinese greens alongside other goodies (sliced mushrooms, split okra, whatever you like), and toss and turn with tongs until the leafs on your greens wilt (about 3 mins.)
5) Take the pan off the flame and plate your sauté with a generous sprinkling of cilantro and slivered scallion greens over the top. Serve with white rice and enjoy!
Not only will these veggies be crisp and satisfyingly meaty, this dish will cool you down and reinvigorate your body- something where a dish with meat could bitch slap you into hot itus oblivion. Give it a try and tell me how it went- I know you’ll love it.