While I may not have been familiar with Fire & Ice prior to my cooking session with Executive Chef Chris Nguyen, apparently the Old City restaurant is known to quite a few locals for their monthly “Drag Yourself to Brunch” event which is–yep, you guessed it–brunch and live drag show. Now, I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing I love more than a plate of scrambled eggs, it’s a crew of fabulous drag queens.
The next edition will be going down this Sunday, May 19, featuring special VIP guest Johnny Weir. Admission is $35 if you wanna eat and drink (price includes a free Bloody Mary or mimosa) and just $10 should you just want to catch the show.
Either way, I recommend sticking around for lunch/dinner. Perhaps these pics might entice you…
PW’s new biweekly column, “Forking Stupid,” sees 25-year-old Nicole Finkbiner persuading professional chefs from Philadelphia’s great restaurants to please teach her, for the love of god, how to cook—one dish at a time. This week, Nicole visits Fire & Ice in Old City to cook up some classic Viet-Thai dishes.
Red Curry Noodles
2 oz. thinly sliced chicken breast
1 cup of sliced baby bok choy, or whatever seasonal veggies you have available
5 oz. julienned onions
5 oz. julienned bell peppers (any color)
1/4 tsp minced galangal (Thai ginger), if available
1/4 tsp minced kaffir lime leaves, if available
1/2 tsp red curry paste
1 pt of wide rice noodles, soaked in cold water overnight
2 tbs coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbs torn Thai basil (the widely available Italian basil is OK, too)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
pinch of sugar
1. Heat wok on high. Add 2 tablespoons of corn oil, and add, in order, onions, peppers, galangal, lime leaves, red curry paste, sliced chicken. Stir constantly for three to five minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
2. Add the chicken stock, the bok choy/veggies, coconut milk and noodles, and stir until evenly mixed.
3. Stir in the torn basil. Serves 2.
Shaky Beef Salad
3 oz. cubed uncooked strip steak
1 oz. diced red or yellow bell peppers
1 oz. diced onions
1 tsp minced garlic 2 oz. french fries (fried separately)
1 oz. torn watercress lettuce (or any lettuce available)
1/4 of a plum tomato cut in small wedges
|1 hard-boiled egg
½ tsp soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbs corn oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1. Heat wok in high. Add corn oil, and add, in order, the beef, onions, peppers, garlic, salt (to taste) and a pinch of sugar.
2. Cook meat until desired internal temperature is reached, then add crispy fries.
3. Meanwhile, combine the lime juice, garlic, pepper and soy sauce.
3. In a bowl, toss greens with the lime jus, then top with the hot beef so that it wilts the greens.
4. Arrange tomatoes and egg. Serve immediately.
At roughly the same time this week’s installment of Forking Stupid hit newsstands, it was announced that this fall, The Farm and Fisherman’s Chef Joshua Lawler will be bringing his farm-to-table cuisine and hospitality to the good people of New Jersey, opening a second and much larger restaurant, The Farm and Fisherman Tavern & Market, in Cherry Hill (1442 East Route 70).
The Market will feature the freshest seasonal and local products, ranging from sustainably, humanely raised meats and fish, butchered by hand, to fair trade coffees, craft beers, bountiful produce and painstakingly aged cheeses. Meanwhile, the Tavern will serve similarly honest and artfully prepared small plates, snacks, entrees and family-style meals in a casual, 100-seat dining room.
Now that I’ve filled you in on this exciting piece of breaking news, check out the elaborate spring salad Josh and I crafted as well as the unmentioned masterpiece I used my fingers to create with the salad’s remnants…
PW’s new biweekly column, “Forking Stupid,” sees 25-year-old Nicole Finkbiner persuading professional chefs from Philadelphia’s great restaurants to please teach her, for the love of god, how to cook—one dish at a time. This week, Nicole visits Farm and Fisherman in the Gayborhood to make a spring salad.
8 oz. salad greens
2 bunches baby beets, roasted, peeled and quartered
1 cup fiddlehead ferns, cleaned and blanched until tender
12 spears of asparagus, 6 peeled and grilled and 6 sliced raw
4 oz. fromage blanc
2 baby radishes, thinly sliced
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons honey
Combine in a blender with 1½ cups of grape seed oil or canola oil.
1 cup toasted pistachios, peeled (reserve some for salad garnish)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Combine in blender until consistency is light and smooth.
1 cup cooked beets, peeled
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Combine in blender until consistency is smooth.
Spread the pistachio butter and beat puree onto four plates, a few centimeters apart to keep the individual flavors separate. Next, arrange the greens (about 2 oz. per plate), and dress with the lemon vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Here’s your behind-the-scenes look at the latest installment of Forking Stupid in which Chef Lucio of La Calaca Feliz showed me how to master two delicious Mexican staples. I highly recommend hitting up this Fairmount restaurant for happy hour drinks and grub. They’ve got a great little outdoor seating area in the back, not to mention some killer guac.
PW’s new biweekly column, “Forking Stupid,” sees 25-year-old Nicole Finkbiner persuading professional chefs from Philadelphia’s great restaurants to please teach her, for the love of god, how to cook—one dish at a time. This week, Nicole visits La Calaca Feliz in the Fairmount section of Philly to make guacamole and tortilla soup.
1 cup diced tomato
1 jalapeno, diced
¼ cup diced onion
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2-3 limes, juiced
½ tsp Kosher salt
¼ cup each of seasonal fruit, such as diced pomegranate seeds or apples
Remove skin and pit from the avocados. Mash with a fork until creamy. Fold in remaining ingredients and season with salt. For extra spicy guacamole, add 1 tsp diced habañero. To make it extra-extra spicy, add 1 tsp hot sauce as well.
8 plum tomatoes (charred on a grill or in a cast-iron skillet)
3 cloves garlic (charred on a grill or in a cast-iron skillet)
1 Spanish onion (charred on a grill or in a cast-iron skillet)
2 oz tomato paste
3 Pasilla chilies
3 Gaujillo chilies
2 chipotles in Adobo sauce
1 qt fried tortilla chips
1 gallon chicken stock
For the poached chicken:
2 chicken breasts or a whole chicken
In a large stock pot, heat vegetable oil until hot. Add the charred tomatoes, onions and garlic. Cook for five minutes on medium heat. Add tomato paste, Gaujillo chilies, Pasilla chilies and chipotles in Adobo sauce. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Make sure to stir the pot often so the ingredients do not burn. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes. Add tortilla chips and cook for another 10 minutes until tortillas are soft and tender. Puree with an immersion blender on high and strain soup through a China cap. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, poach the chicken, skin removed, in a pot of water seasoned with the onion, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Simmer gently for 20 minutes if using just breasts, 45 minutes for a whole chicken. Pull chicken with a slotted spoon, let rest, and dice or shred as desired. Add chicken to the soup and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer soup to a bowl and garnish with cilantro, diced onion, queso fresco, Mexican crema and tortilla strips or chips.
As hard as I may have tried to convey just how juicy and mind-blowingly flavorful Goat Hollow’s Merguez Sausage was in this week’s installment of Forking Stupid, there really aren’t enough words in the English dictionary to do that sandwich justice.
But as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. So here’s a whole bunch…