Momofuku’s Big Apple in NYC: Fuji Apple Salad Kimchi Bacon and Maple Labneh

Time for another trip down travel memory lane. This time I will reminisce about the Big Apple, NYC. My favorite time was going during a Canadian long weekend at the end of May. Its is the perfect time to go because the city is pretty quiet (for NYC standards), the cherry blossoms are in bloom and it is usually warm enough to wear shorts which would not necessarily be the case at home yet. I think my last trip goes back a good 10 years, boo!

I am a metropolitan kinda gal so New York City feels like  home to me, just way bigger than my city. Although I have visited a few things (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Empire State Building, the list goes on), with each trip we always end up spending most of the time walking around. My first trips were exclusively in Manhattan but the last trip we explored a little bit more by visiting Brooklyn, Queens and driving (accidentally) through the Bronx. If you are looking for flights to New York, visit dialaflight.com.

Even if all my NYC trips where in my pre foodie days, I have so many food memories attached to these trips. Let’s see there was the cannoli devoured while chilling on a house stoop (like in the movies) in Brooklyn, my first street hot-dog, pasta dinners in Little Italy, awesome brunch in the Upper West side where we are sure we spotted Richard Dreyfus and the most incredible Cuban roast pork in a whole in the wall in Queens. My weirdest food experience was at a drag queen restaurant called Lips where an odd ritual was performed when it was a birthday or bridal shower. It just so happened that we were celebrating my friend’s 40th and my birthday was 2 days after. I won’t go into details but it involved having to go down on our knees in the middle of the restaurant lol. Cosmos were pretty new and they had a Cosmo slushy machine. After 3 we were hammered. Such a fun night!

I really need to plan to go back soon. One of the first tings I would do is hit a Momofuku restaurant. I hear so much about the crazy creative chef David Chang and his restaurants. He really pushes the boundaries in his dishes. I wanted to prepare a very NYC dish at first for this post but nothing inspired me. But an unusual apple recipe by Chang yelled out my name. Apples, kimchi, maple syrup, yogurt, bacon! Sounds CRAZY right? Well it was amazing and a perfect balance of all flavors. This dish is a perfect inspiration for a future trip.

Fuji Apple Salad: Kimchi, Bacon & Maple Labneh
from the Momofuku Cookbook

4 Fuji apples, peeled (or a very crisp apple)
1/2 cup  Kimchi, pureed
1/2 cup labneh, or more to taste (or strained yoghurt or Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup maple syrup, or more to taste
1 pound sliced thick-cut bacon
1 loosely packed cup arugula (or mixed greens)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cut the apples into wedges or very large cubes: the size of the apples will dictate what works best–what you want are pieces that are one big bite or two small bites. Toss the apples in the kimchi puree. You can do this just before making the salad or up to 6 hours in advance—any longer, though, and the apples will be sublimated by the kimchi.

2. Combine the labneh and maple syrup in a small bowl and whisk together until they’re married in a smooth and homogeneous mixture. It should be assertively sweet from the syrup and perceptibly tart from the labneh. Adjust if necessary, but don’t play down the sweetness too much.

3. Heat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet and pop it into the oven. Bake for 18 minutes, or until it is browned and crisped. Transfer the meat to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

4. Just before serving, toss the arugula with the olive oil, a large pinch of salt, and a few turns of black pepper. To serve, plop 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sweetened labneh in the middle of each plate and top with one-quarter of the kimchi apples. Stack 3 or 4 pieces of bacon over the apples and drop a handful of the dressed arugula over the bacon. Hit each plate with a couple turns of black pepper, and serve at once.

Want more creative salads? Check out:

Mad. Sq. Eats in New York City, a special correspondent post

Today I have a very special post for you from my very good friend Karyn who spent a lovely weekend in NYC not too long ago with her friend Sari. Karyn mentioned to me they would eat their way through a street food festival so I could not help but ask her if she would like to write a guest post as a special on location correspondent. Happily she agreed.

If you are a regular CEE reader you will remember Karyn in past posts such as when she made Dutch Baby Pancake with Peaches, she was a dinner guest during the luxurious dinner party for PFB, I picked vine leaves out of her backyard to make dolmades, she was here for the miracle fruit dropping trip and finally I did an interview about her Pastry Chef on the side career.

Without further ado, here is Karyn with a special report from NYC. Thanks and love you hun!

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Every year, my friend Sari and I head to NYC for 4 days of adventure. This is the eighth year of this trip, which is based around shopping and eating. It seems that as the years advance that it’s really more about the food and yet we had never ventured into the world of street food – except for Sari having a NYC hot dog in year 2, but it was nothing memorable! This year we decided that it was the year to crack the street food scene and see what NYC has to offer. My research led me to the Urban Space NYC blog about a street food festival in its second year, and wouldn’t you know it, it was happening exactly when we would be in NYC! It was meant to be!

 

 

We planned on hitting the Mad. Sq. Eats festival the day we arrived in NYC, and basically were just waiting to get there and eat! It was a perfect day for an outside festival and there was a fantastic collection of restaurants participating.

We took a walk around the grounds to see what caught our fancy and decided that we should start in style at Red Hook Lobster Pound, with Lobster Macaroni. We placed our order and waited, mouths watering, as we watched our order come together. There were a few technical difficulties as the blow torch being used to melt the cheese on top ran dry during our order, but Emma, our hostess was very pleasant and it gave us a chance to explain that we were doing this blog. I took a picture of Emma and the way her arms came out, made her look kind of lobster like, don’t you think?

Finally, the blow torch was ready for action! It was great to watch it come together.

Et voila!

The noodles were very large macaroni noodles, the biggest we’d ever seen and WOW for 9$ we sure got our money’s worth in lobster! There were quite a few large chunks and I think we each got a claw! Definitely a great start although I would have preferred the cheese sauce to be a bit warmer, but fantastic street food otherwise!

We barely paused before searching for our next victim, deciding on Fatty Snack, which I had read about. They have a restaurant in their group, the Fatty Crab, and I was very excited to try their food. We decided on one order of pork buns, which were actually two little buns overflowing with wonderfully spiced pork for $6.

They were fantastic. I would go back for another one anytime but maybe not for a first date as it’s not the most elegant thing to eat!

That’s Sari in the pic, waiting for our buns. The man in the picture was wandering around the grounds trying to decide on what to eat and he approached Sari, asking about what to try and she gave him great feedback yet he continued to wander… I don’t remember what he finally ended up with, but there was something there for every palate. He looked a little overwhelmed with all the choices.

Sari was parched after this and decided on a beer from a place whose specialty was beer and chocolate. She had a Southern Tier Pumpking. I’m not too sure if the g in Pumpking was intentional or not, but I took a pic of the sign to prove that I can spell! They also had chocolate covered bacon caramel that I really wanted to try, however they were out of it and were only receiving more the next day.

 

Did you think we were done? Not even close! Next on the tour was a stop at Waffles & Dinges. Of course we needed to know what a Dinge is. Well, it’s a term that basically means “Things”. We ordered a waffle with Spekuloos! I was SO excited when I saw they had Spekuloos and they were even selling it! I showed some restraint and didn’t purchase as I would have had to carry it all day… oh yeah and I have a bottle at home.

We’re not sure what the guy in the pic above was eating, but boy did it look like he was enjoying it!

Our waffle: Spekuloos and fresh fruit, cut in two for us to share.

Ah… OK, after that was done we thought, OK, we’re ready for dessert! Sari had spotted the cannoli and wanted to try it, so we did. The man working there not only guessed that we were Canadian, but Montrealers! He was an expat, having left in 1984 and could pick out our accent!

The cannolis were $5 for 3 of them and we decided on Peanut butter, Kahlua and Salted Chocolate. I am not a cannoli fan and even less of a peanut butter fan so I tried the last two only. The Peanut butter cannoli is missing from the picture below – I think Sari was just too excited to try it! I didn’t care for the Kahlua one as it was very cheesy… and the Salted Chocolate tasted good but the shell was way too hard for a cannoli, but the chocolate and salt was a really nice combination.

OK, after this we were stuffed! It was a great festival and intro to street food. The door to street fare has been opened and is far from being closed. The only advice I would have to someone going to a festival like this is to go with someone that you can share with so you can try more things!

Good Things from NYC

Another successful exchange arrived in the mail. This one is from Andrea of High/Low Food/Drink. Andrea is originally from Toronto but now resides in New York City. We decided to do the care package exchange after she signed up for the Foodie Exchange Group.

Now I had fantasies of stree cart hotdogs and roasted nuts but I knew that was not gonna happen. I was so curious to see what she would send me. And I was beyond pleasantly suprised from the treats I received:

– a fat Fat Witch brownie
– Nulty’s so delicious smelling and tasting tea
– Bagel-It topping (which is a bit ironic because only Montreal does real bagels…wanna pick a fight??)
– Mustard from Coney Island
– A chocolate square

nycxchange

Andrea’s attention to detail is amazing. She sent an adorable detailed handmade card and also sent a business card and bag of most places.

My package to her was a bit delayed as it was her package that was filmed for the TV segment  for Sunday Bite. Have not heard from her yet as to my package arriving.

Hoping to hear from you soon and a big thank you Andrea