March 30, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson
I always believe a book finds its way to you! 😉
It has been “known” at my local library that books “literally” fly off the shelf at me too! 😉 (No, I’m not possessed, just PASSIONATE about food and ENTHUSIASTIC about life! 🙂 )
Being New York born and bred, I LOVE “everything” about New York! I LOVE New Yorkers! I LOVE the New York cultures! I love the New York “unique” neighborhoods and I LOVE New York food!
Think I am PASSIONATE STILL about New York? 😉
When I came across New York a la Cart Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple Best Food Trucks by Alexandra Penfold & Siobhan Wallace and published by Running Press, I was “immediately” drawn to the book. (Or perhaps, the book was drawn to me lol)
I “knew” it was “on the list” for me to S-L-O-W-L-Y read and devour too! Food Truck cuisine is only recently caught on in Adelaide, but seems to be the “next best food craze” amongst children of all ages.
What I LOVED about this book is not only did it “highlight” 50 vendors (including their most popular recipes), but I LOVED the stories behind the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and HOW. (like Princess Svetlana in Bilby’s Baubles and used to ask via Kumato Choc Cherry Tomato Bread ? )
I have to admit, the first time I read the book, I kept reminding myself HOW (lol) I wanted to S-L-O-W-L-Y devour each and every word, then take in the recipes too!
I read it in one sitting the first time because I “literally” could NOT put the book down, TRUE!
I have “subsequently and S-L-O-W-L-Y” re-read the book many times as I honestly did not want to miss a word story or recipe! THEN, I imaged deciding what to eat at the Food Carts was ME! 🙂
I LOVE food stories and almost “cried with New York pride” about hearing the chef from who pursued his dreams from Bangladesh to 46th Street in New York City! Or the IBM 6 figure exec who quit his job to flip waffles, TRUE! And the second generation souvlaki makers who are “carrying on the family traditions too!”
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book you read! As your “food heart and soul” it will DEFINITELY feed!
It WILL make a GREAT present for someone who appreciates food and who LOVES New York! 🙂
The History of the New York Food Carts is explained and I especially enjoy the quote:
” A vendor at an accustomed spot becomes a familiar neighborhood asset, part of the community fabric.” HOW TRUE! 🙂
The Street Vendors Project is explained; there are currently 1500 members ranging from 5 star chefs to vendors; half who sell food. They make decisions on a daily basis and do a lot of organizing too!
Some of the vendors highlighted are:
Kelvins Natural Slush Co.
(Princess Svetlana and I used to LOVE slushies too!)
Choose your Slushi Base Flavor, Choose your Mix-In 😉
Donatella’s Meatball Wagon
The red cart rolled out in front of mia dona offers Mamma Maria’s Meatballs
“slow braised in ragu, smothered in caciocavallo cheese, garnished with arugula and sandwiched between two squares of homemade potato-ricotta foccacia.“
“New York’s Worst Push Cart Where People Go for the Wurst”
“NYC’s 1st Venezuelan Food Truck & Restaurant Specializing in Venezuelan Sandwiches.”
Wafles & Dinges
“All the world is a wafel and all of us are merely dinges.”
Mexican, Korean, Moroccan too! I could go on, and on and on, but I am getting hungry now! YOU? 😉
It was a VERY difficult choice as IF I was in New York, I would pick a different Food Truck to “indulge” once a week (if not more) from too!
I chose LU ROU FAN from Bian Dang (Taiwanese Pork Over Rice — made with minced pork belly (I got special from my butcher) from Yummy Taiwanese Food! formerly known as NYC Cravings Bian Dang: Taiwanese Rice Box.
I also made my own pickled mustard greens (using bok choy); pickling for “several” days with pickling spices, chilli and my “secret ingredient” TLC! 😉
I have always wanted to try pork belly mince, pickling greens and with tea smoked eggs (inspired by Steven Yang’s recipes), this is how LU ROU FAN with Mustard Greens and Smoked Tea Eggs made it “on the list” to make!
Recipe for LU ROU FAN
1 pound pork belly, minced
4 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup pickled mustard greens
2 cups cooked white or brown rice, for serving
Combine mince pork belly with 2 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce and sugar well; cover and marinate 30 minutes or longer.
Heat fry pan on high; add pork and stir fry, breaking up pieces, stirring “constantly” until meat is browned. (About 5 minutes) Scoop out; set aside.
I must have watch one too many episodes of Iron Chef as (and I KNOW you can picture me in my kitchen doing lol) I used two wooden spoons, banging away (in an up and down motion) in the pan, until the pork has crumbled to the consistency I wanted it to be! 🙂
Add garlic and shallots ( I used spring onions too as had on hand 😉 ); stir fry over medium heat 3 – 5 minutes.
Add remaining soy sauce and five-spice powder; return pork to the pan.
Dissolve 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch into cups of water; add to pork mixture.
Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
Serve hot with pickled mustard greens over rice.
Tea soaked eggs are a popular Taiwanese snack.
Recipe for tea eggs
6 large eggs
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons tea leaves ( I used Country High Tea Rainforest Magic Black tea blended with hibiscus, lemongrass, blackberries and sweet oranges; HIGHLY recommend the tea too! 😉
3 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
Place eggs in medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
Remove from pan; rinse under cold water until shells are cool enough to handle.
CAREFULLY crack the eggs to “slightly” break the shell.
It takes practice 😉 “Carefully and G-E-N-T-L-Y” would be my pearls of wisdom; and some over cracked eggs lol lol lol
Return eggs to the pan, add soy sauce, salt, sugar, star anise and cinnamon; stir.
Cover; bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer for 3 hours! (Yes, 3 HOURS!!!)
You will “probably” need extra water, so monitor the egg’s progress every so often. 😉
Remove from heat; refrigerate in a covered pan to seep for 12 – 18 hours; ); serve cold!
These recipes came out GREAT, TRUE! But it would NOT be the same than to experience Bian Dang firsthand in New York City too!
Thankfully, New York a la Cart Book “transported” my New York heart and soul and this LU ROU FAN with Pickled Mustard Greens and Tea Eggs YOU get to see! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :
Where can you purchase the book, I “hear” you say? 😉
The book is “officially” released the 2nd of April.
For ease and convenience, you can order online or obtain it from a local bookseller; international orders welcomed with links too!
Book Order links
Do YOU now share my LOVE for New York and will YOU look forward to purchasing New York a la Cart too! I hope my post has “inspired” you to do! 😉 🙂
Would LOVE to hear about your favorite cuisine and am SURE there is a Food Truck for YOU!
Book Cover Photo