Oh, 2010...here we come!
Special to AmNews | , Kysha Harris | 10/12/2012, 4:29 p.m.
We made it through the year. And what a year it has been. Banks collapsing, the inauguration of a new president, foreclosures, job loss, war. But we are a hopeful nation. We are in a time that I like to call "the great equalizer." Black or white, rich or poor, we are all uncovering new ways to live and thrive, all the while realizing that our greatest common denominator is happiness and love of family and friends. And we are all rich in that.
I looked back at some of the best of 2009 for me. It all starts with the inauguration of our new president on a cold day in January. I wasn't there, but the feeling resonated throughout the country. However, I did make it to D.C. for my first visit to the cherry blossoms and a rousing good Moroccan meal at Marrakech, filled with finger food and belly dancing.
I visited some great restaurants in the city this year. In that, I found some great brunch spots like Good on Greenwich Avenue with their jalapeno grits, Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn for my Eggs Orleans, fried oyster eggs benedict with the best hollandaise I have ever had, and Hundred Acres just for the jus of it all! Also, I finally got to the Spotted Pig for the divine ricotta gnudi. Absolutely worth the wait and you must get there for them.
I wouldn't be a foodie if I didn't shout out my best of 2009 NYC food on the run. The slow roasted pork sammy with pickled red cabbage, jalapeno and Dijon mustard at 'wichcraft must be hunted down and consumed ferociously! The next is the complicated and delicious flavors of the bahn mi at Baoguette--go for a Sloppy Bao!
As for my home, Harlem, my best of 2009 is:
Lolita's Mexican Restaurant
The food and service are great! They have now expanded to offer a spacious, authentic dining room.
Il Cafe Latte
While I have still not been for dinner, I enjoy the design of the space and the eclectic group that gathers there for fare that includes vegetarian dishes.
Relatively new to Lenox Avenue, their delicious morsels put smiles on faces from ages 2 to 102. I love a red velvet shot!
Of course, I cannot leave you without an annual black-eyed peas recipe for luck in 2010. First up is a traditional recipe from Emeril Lagasse for Hoppin' John:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large ham hock (or smoked turkey)
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
Salt, black pepper and cayenne
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
3 cups steamed white rice
Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.