Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The New Brooklyn Cookbook

Last night I was lucky enough to be able to go to the book party for "The New Brooklyn Cookbook" by husband-and-wife team Melissa and Brendan Vaughan. And when I say "lucky enough," I mean lucky to have gotten a babysitter because the party was open to the public.

Even though it was a big turnout (especially for a rainy Monday night), the crowd of over 250 people felt quite cozy -- perhaps because I recognized so many folks from my kids' school (where the Vaughans also send their son).

The party was held at the spacious powerHouse Arena in Dumbo. You can see pictures here (and if you look closely, you can see my hair -- it's like Where's Waldo except it's Where's Paula's hair?)!

It was a pretty impressive (and fabulous) crowd including Brooklyn authors Gary Shteyngart and Steven Johnson; documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus, literary agents Larry Weissman and Sascha Alper (who repped the Vaughans book), Brooklyn restaurateurs and chefs Doug Crowell (Buttermilk Channel), Jacques Gautier (Palo Santo) and al di la duo Anna Klinger and her husband, Emiliano Coppa.

And, of course, there was food (assorted cheese and charcuterie from Stinky bklyn and Smith & Vine) and drink. I opted for the Brooklyn Rumble, a house specialty at The Jakewalk in Carroll Gardens.

Here is the recipe (from The New Brooklyn Cookbook):

2 ounces Scarlet Ibis Aged Trinidad Rum or other aged rum
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce framboise
Dash of Angostura bitters

In a cocktail shaker, shake the first three ingredients and strain into a lowball glass filled with crushed ice. Pour in the framboise (it will sink to the bottom) and top with a dash of Angostura bitters.

It was as tasty as it sounds! I might have Avo try to replicate this cocktail at home (he's the house mixologist).

Of course, I purchased a copy of the book, which also features recipes for "new" Brooklyn specialties including: Dumac and Cheese (Dumont), Steak and Eggs Korean Style (The Good Fork), Duck Legs and Dirty Rice (Egg), Chicken Liver Crostini (Franny's), Braised Rabbit with Black Olives and Creamy Polenta (Al Di La), and well as many other gourmet treats.

The truth is that I'm unlikely to attempt any of these at home (although I'm not discouraging you from trying). It's challenging enough for me to make something as simple as basic lasagne these days. I'm not sure I'm game for the inevitable comparisons to some of Brooklyn's best restaurants.

But looking at the pictures (by Michael Harlan Turkell) sure does make me want to go out to dinner to one of these spots...Good thing my birthday is coming up!

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