Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Habanero Pasta with Maitake Mushrooms


After an extremely successful trip to the Strip District, Andy and I were able to create an absolutely delicious meal. The best part was that it only took about five minutes and used a few ingredients! We love cooking meals together, but somehow it always takes us much longer than needed. This quick meal was a nice change.

The first main ingredient was this super-spicy habanero linguine from the public market. We didn’t test it before buying it, so when we got back we were shocked at how awesomely spicy it was. It seriously burned!


Strangely, this pasta isn’t made locally (I thought everything at the public market was), but the choices of pasta from this vendor was really great. Lemon basil, red pepper, etc. Yum!


The second great find of the day was this giant hunk of Maitake mushrooms, also known as hen of the woods. This was also bought at the public market from a man that sells different types of mushrooms. At $16 per pound, it was pretty pricey, but the half pound that we bought made two seriously large portions.


This was really lovely and very fresh. It even held up after sitting in my car for a few hours. According to the man who sold us the mushrooms, all of their supply comes from Kennett Square, PA. Kennett Square is outside of Philly and is the mushroom capital of the world. The town smells like mushrooms…seriously.


I chopped it up into large bite-sized pieces. I didn’t know how much the pieces would shrink while cooking, so I wanted to keep them pretty big.


Without a side of veggies, I thought it would work to just slip some spinach into the pasta. We also put a dab of minced garlic with the mushrooms while they cooked. I sautéed the mushrooms for only about three minutes, which was the general consensus online for cooking Maitake.


It all came together very quickly! All of a sudden we were out on my patio enjoying the nice weather and delicious meal.


The pasta lost a little spice from being cooked, but it was still pretty fiery. I loved the mushrooms and spinach together too – it was very earthy and super filling.


Definitely try out these vendors in the Public Market in the Strip District. An almost gourmet meal at home for way less!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Penn Avenue Fish Company

Yesterday I met my two friends Veronica and Kat downtown for lunch at the new location of Penn Avenue Fish Company downtown on Forbes. I’ve never been to the original location on the strip, but I’m so glad we got to try this one out!! The inside is so vibrant and surprising compared to the dull afternoon and downpours we walked through to get here. There are bright greens/blues/purples everywhere. The inside is super tiny, but it never felt too cramped. Veronica and Kat waited in line while I held our table.


Their menu is pretty spectacular – not too pricey either. There was a great selection of sushi, and the rolls were very unique.


…and there’s more! SO MANY sandwiches that I just had to stop looking…I would have never been able to decide.


I finally made up my mind and went with the Chirashi Bowl…a delicious choice! Four kinds of fish (salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and…?) on a bed of sushi rice. A bundle of crab meat graced the top of the lovely mound of fish, and a seaweed salad went with it as well.


Definitely some of the best sushi I’ve ever had! Super fresh, and the added flavors of the sesame seeds/crab/roe/seaweed mingled perfectly with the fish.


Veronica chose the shrimp tempura roll which looked amazing.


Kat was brave enough to tackle the long list of sandwiches and went with the Sneaky Pete. It had grilled salmon, arugula, hearts of palm, and spicy avocado cream sauce. That’s a bad shot of the sandwich, but the inside looked delicious!


I’m so happy I can finally say I’ve been here, and now that I know how great it is, I’ll definitely be hitting up the original location the next time I’m in the strip. I can’t wait!