Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bits & Morsels cooks with the Bushes

The table is set with Sharon Bush's zucchini pasta and marinara sauce, and a side salad.

by Erin Frankel

Cooking for a cause with the Bush ladies. Last Thursday, I spent a lovely afternoon with Sharon Bush and her daughter Lauren, watching and learning how to make a delicious and nutritious dish. When I walked into the FEED offices and approached the kitchen, Sharon, dressed in her checkered apron and blue dress (and wearing a huge smile on her face), greeted me with a big bear hug. We immediately began talking about the FEED Project and Teddy Bear Share, both of which she and her two daughters have been spearheading to raise money for hungry children across the world. Her energy was infectious and we soon turned to the zucchini pasta ("a raw, vegan dish") she would be making for us this afternoon.

Sharon Bush with her daughters Ashley and Lauren.
Before I knew it, she had me peeling a whole zucchini, placing it in a vegetable spiral cutter, and slicing it into zucchini strings. Viola, the zucchini pasta was done.

Then we quickly worked on the marinara sauce: 1 ripe tomato, ½ cup of sun-dried tomatoes, ½ chopped bell pepper, 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of minced fresh basil, 1 teaspoon of oregano, ½ teaspoon of crushed garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt, dash of cayenne. Into the food processor it all went.

Once the marinara sauce was smooth (but not too), we slowly poured it over the zucchini pasta and sat down to eat this incredibly light and delicious meal!

Over lunch, Sharon filled me in about the recipe's purpose and in the process, a very cool new website called KeepRecipes. KeepRecipes is a digital cookbook (currently with over 15,000 recipes) that allows members to keep recipes from popular websites and cookbooks, as well as family favorites. Members can also access key ingredients and instructions for recipes from an iPhone, iPad, or computer.
Sharon Bush whipping up her vegan zucchini pasta.
The finished dish!
Lauren and mom ready to dig in.
This summer, Sharon and Lauren have teamed up with KeepRecipes founder Phil Michaelson to raise funds for FEED Projects and Teddy Share. Anyone who donates a minimum of $10 to FEED and Teddy Bear Share can get recipes like the one Sharon Bush cooked for us--as well as a fantastic chicken salad recipe served in the White House and an addictive chocolate covered bacon recipe courtesy of Abigail Kirsch.

So start cooking for a cause!! And help feed hungry school children. Donate now!
Michelin Star Chef Anita Lo. Bond St.'s Marc Spitzer.
For a $10 donation anyone can start a KeepRecipes account with access to recipes from such hot name chefs as Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michelin Star Chef Anita Lo, best selling author Mark Bittman, and even Lauren Bush.
KeepRecipes highlights: Savory Watermelon Towers by Abigail Kirsch; Mark Spitzer's Tacos from Bond St.; Chocolate Covered Bacon by Abigail Kirsch.
What else I ate this week:

You can add a new destination to your summer eating itinerary. Georgica Restaurant sits on the banks of Georgica pond in the exclusive hamlet of Wainscott, NY (my favorite places to spend summer weekends). Tucked inside an intimate yet swanky tudor-style house is where young and ambitious chef Seth Levine does some bold and upscale New American cooking.

Seth started cooking at a very young age, astonishing his family with full five-course dinners by the age of eight! His nascent passion for cooking is clearly evident in his elaborate, sophisticated, and inventive dishes. Nearly everything on the menu is worth mentioning, but we still have some favorites.
Interior of Georgica on Wainscott Stone Road.
Start with the rock shrimp tempura, which is paired with a spicy sriracha aioli, the creamy velvet lobster bisque, or the watermelon and heirloom tomato salad, which is sprinkled with feta cheese, micro basil, and doused with a light Athena vinaigrette. As for your main course, I recommend the bouillabaisse (a mixture of shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, and Chilean sea bass in a light saffron tomato broth) or what may be the best pan roasted Chilean sea bass that I’ve had in my life (carefully placed over a pancetta white bean ragout and drizzled with a sun-dried tomato beurre blanc sauce).

The sides are among Levine’s specials here, so leave some room for two of these hearty favorites: the white truffle parmesan pomme frites and the white truffle lobster mac and cheese. Georgica’s most popular order is made with large chunks of Maine lobster and white truffles in a creamy white truffle cheese sauce. Need I say more?

Georgica Restaurant
108 Wainscott Stone Road
Wainscott, NY
Velvet Lobster Bisque.
Watermelon & Heirloom Tomato Salad.
White Truffle Parmesan Pomme Frites.
Bouillabaisse. White truffle mac and cheese.
Shrimp Tempura.
Chilean seabass.

On a beautiful Friday afternoon, I went to Il Gatopardo (The Leopard) in Midtown to have lunch with my editors here at NYSD. Il Gatopardo is a small yet airy space in midtown specializing in fresh, seasonal Italian fare. I highly recommend going with the specials each day, like the burratta and heirloom tomato topped with a pesto sauce. Il Gatopardo also has a great selection of homemade pastas and fresh, seasonal fish. I had the thinly sliced poached wild bass over a crispy salad seasoned with a precise lemon olive oil dressing. A perfectly delectable dish for a midday summer lunch.

33 West 54th Street
Il Gatopardo has a few choice tables on 54th Street.
Mini fried meatballs, compliments of Il Gatopardo.
Zucchini blossom filled with provola and buffalo ricotta served with tomato and basil.
Burratta and heirloom tomato topped with a pesto sauce.
Tomato and cucumber salad with aged ricotta cheese, red onions and basil vinaigrette.
Poached thin sliced wild bass over crispy salad.
Lasagna “di Carnevale” with meatballs, ricotta and smoked mozzarella.
Artichoke ravioli.
Photographs by Erin Frankel.
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