Dinner at ABODE: A Pop Up by Sarah Ashley Schiear & Gregg Drusinsky

Sarah Shiear The Taste

When I found out my friend Sarah Ashley Schiear would be a contestant on the ABC cooking showing The Taste, I couldn’t have been more excited! I have been watching  and cheering for her each week on Tuesday nights as she advances to the next round, one bite at a time.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit Sarah in NYC at her latest undertaking; ABODE,  a pop up restaurant opened in a renovated subway station with fellow team Ludo teammate Gregg Drusinsky.

 ABODE combines the talents of a trained chef (Gregg) and a home cook (Sarah)who share a vision for a new type of dining experience: Homestyle meets fine food.

The atmosphere in this supper club style pop up is casual and chic, with subway tiled walls and communal tables shared by guests; lending a true dinner party feel to the experience.

Debi Shawcross and Sarah Shiear

I was seated at the bar, which I later found out was made from recycled bowling alley floor (how cool is that?) which provided the perfect view of the open air kitchen and the chefs at work.

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The menu, with complimentary pairings:

Crostini to Start

smoked dungeness crab, avocado

butternut squash, ricotta, pistachio oil

mushroom conserva, quail egg

Winter Salad

cauliflower, tangerine, marcona almond

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 Roast “Bobo” Chicken

Truffle Sauce

Fingerling Potatoes

Romesco Sauce

Brussels Sprouts  

crisp-roasted with herbs, bacon and lemon

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 Buttermilk Cakes

Peanut Butter Buttercream

Chocolate and Toasted Almond Topped

 

I found the menu very approachable. The simplicity of the roasted chicken with perfectly crisp skin (Sarah’s home cook approach) combined with the  luxurious truffle sauce (Gregg’s Le Bernardin saucier pro skills definitely at work there!) kind of summed up exactly what Sarah and Gregg are all about in the kitchen at ABODE.

Catching up with Sarah, meeting Gregg (who btw is quite charming in person) and enjoying an amazing evening of food & wine made for a memorable experience.

Grab your chance to reserve a space in their upcoming events here on Eventbrite. In the meantime, here’s a quick video for a look at ABODE. –And don’t forget to keep watching Sarah and Gregg on The Taste; they are among the remaining 10 to compete!

Abode Teaser from Abode Popup on Vimeo.

 

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Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper SaucePretty poblano peppers, stuffed and lined up all in a row. When I looked down at them  sitting in their vibrant red sauce, I knew I needed to grab a quick picture  before they went into the oven. I wasn’t planning to do a post about them, but after I shared this picture on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter, I had requests for the recipe.

So here we go, with just one picture that will have to do, taken on my iphone.

When we first moved here from California the only place you could find poblano peppers was in the latino market we had in town. Not exactly around the corner from me, but when I wanted to take care of my Mexican craving, I would make a point to drive out and get them. Thankfully a lot has changed since then, and all of our grocery stores carry a wide variety of chile peppers. I still can’t figure out why they don’t seem to know the code when I get up to the register though, or what the pepper is called…?  Even if I have to wait while the checker calls for help, I don’t mind (too much), because I am grateful they have them for me to roast when I get home.

I roast poblano peppers and stuff them with all sorts of things like shrimp & goat cheese, roasted vegetables & Monterey Jack, Corn & Feta…the list goes on. It usually comes down to what I have in the refrigerator at the time, and then it all comes together. They are a favorite in our house regardless of the filling, and they are popular with me too, because on busy days I can prepare them ahead and pop them into the oven just before dinner.

So here you go, Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. I hope you like them!

Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (4 servings)
 
Ingredients
  • 8 large poblano peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 pound chicken Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper
  • Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 red bell peppers (may use jarred roasted red peppers)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Line the top oven rack with aluminum foil. Place peppers on foil under broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in foil 10 minutes. Peel chilies. Using small sharp knife, carefully slit chilies open along 1 side. Remove seeds, leaving stems attached.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, red peppers and sausage. Use a stiff spatula to break the sausage into several pieces. Cook until chicken sausage is cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir an additional minute. Add cooked quinoa and chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Carefully spoon filling into peppers, pulling up sides of peppers to close slightly. Ladle enough Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (recipe follows) to cover the bottom of a 13x9" pan. Place stuffed peppers atop sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
  4. For sauce:
  5. Line the top oven rack with aluminum foil. Place peppers on foil under broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in foil 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop bell peppers.
  6. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and chili; sauté until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer mixture to blender; add bell peppers and chicken broth. Puree until smooth. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

 

 

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Baja Style Tofu Tacos with Beet & Carrot Slaw: A Vegan Challenge

January marks the beginning of a brand new year, fresh with opportunity and sometimes some changes. Our 5 Star make over group is taking the opportunity to embrace a little bit of change, and have reorganized under a new name: Creative Cooking Crew. Our goal each month is to create original dishes inspired by a mutual theme. Laz of Lazaro Cooks and Joan of Foodalogue will graciously host our monthly roundups so that you can see what we have all come up with!

This months challenge: “Choose one of your favorite rich, heavy, fatty animal-protein based meals and give it a healthy VEGAN spin.”

With the snow and cold weather we have had (in-between 70 degree days), I have been missing the beach A LOT! One of my favorite things to eat when I’m in southern California or Mexico are Baja style fish tacos. An indulgent treat: battered and fried strips of succulent halibut nestled into warm corn tortillas with avocados, crema, and salsa fresca.

It’s the combination of textures and flavors in fish tacos  that really do it for me. Now the challenge: could I capture that same experience with tofu instead of fish and make it vegan?

Actually….yes! To recreate that batter fried finish  I dusted the tofu strips in almond meal before cooking in coconut oil which gave them a crispy bite. I added some habanero and lots of lime to the Beet & Carrot Slaw that topped the  tofu. The avocado mash provided a creamy balance to the whole thing, so I never missed the crema.

The only thing I did miss? The margarita I usually have along with the tacos at the beach. Will have to make them again and fix that.

 

Baja Style Tofu Tacos with Beet/ Carrot Slaw & Avocado Mash
 
Ingredients
  • Beet & Carrot Slaw:
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 large beets, grated
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
  • Juice from one large lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ habanero pepper, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tacos:
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 12 ounces extra firm tofu, drained, patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Avocado mash:
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garnish:
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Instructions
  2. For the Beet Slaw:
  3. Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  4. For Avocado Mash:
  5. Using two forks, mash avocados in a small bowl. Add garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper; stir into avocados.
  6. For tacos:
  7. Slice tofu into 3x1 inch strips. Place almond meal on a plate and roll to coat tofu strips on all sides.
  8. Heat coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add tofu strips and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning after a minute or so on each side.
  9. To Serve:
  10. Place two corn tortillas on each plate. Top with crispy tofu, Beet & Carrot Slaw, and Avocado Mash. Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and chia seeds
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