Killer Cold and Flu Foods, Tacos at bartaco, and Resolve to Improve Yourself (with These Great Food and Wine Classes)

Killer Cold and Flu Dishes

Yeah, you’re feeling it right about now, with the catarrh down in your lungs and the post-nasal drip on your soft palate. Maybe your voice sounds like Harvey Fierstein’s. Maybe you go through Kleenex like, well, Kleenex.

What you need are  some nutriceuticals, those healing foods that kill the cooties. No, they’re not exactly JAMA-endorsed, but this stuff will make you feel better and it tastes great going down.

Pork Soup at Juniper Though Chef Alex Sze’s lunch menu changes daily (and all of his soups reward braving the cold), his simple, brothy pork soup is our idea of cold and flu food. A simple, intense broth holds a couple of juicy slices of roast pork—we could eat this stuff all day long, even when we’re not battling Ebola.

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Jook at Kang Suh in Yonkers It’s known by a lot of names—“jook” in Korean, “congee” in Chinese—but basically, it’s a pulverized rice porridge in meat broth studded with chunks of roasted meat. It’s one of those dense, oatmeal-like foods that retains heat practically indefinitely–it burns going down, scorching away all those mucus monsters.

Peekskill-Based Birdsall House’s Deep Fried Soft Boiled Egg with Mascarpone Wild Hive Soft Polenta, Wilted Spinach and Spicy Sofrito As in the jook above, this dish is all about a deep bowl of warming slurry, though Birdsall House’s dish packs the extra, added heat of chili. Plus, you can always wash it down with a serious Scotch, which works just like Nyquil (but tastes much better).

Ginger Tea at Kam Sen Market (22 Barker Ave, White Plains 914-428-4500) Okay, it’s not really tea in the traditional sense—more like a big jar of semi-dried ginger-root slices packed in sugar syrup, but dilute some of this stuff in hot water, and it makes a fabulous, soothing tea. Plus, it offers the added benefit of candied ginger for chewing on after the tea is gone.

Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Country Bread Toast from The Kneaded Bread  says it all—good consumed in bed with towel over brow; even better if spooned into your mouth by a loving, attentive spouse.

Harvest Cocktail at Restaurant North Pull some trou over those sick-bed  jammies and hie to Restaurant North in Armonk, where Stephen Paul Mancini and Eric Gabrynowicz will cure you with this cold-killing potion: 3 ounces of very hot local apple cider, 1 ounce of maple syrup, ½  ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice; 3 dashes of old fashioned bitters (or 1 teaspoon of grated cinnamon), and 2 ounces of Maker’s Mark bourbon. Beats Robitussin!

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New Year’s Resolutions

Sure, you could lose weight or volunteer to help someone, but we’re resolved to learn how to cook, eat, and drink better.

Chef’s Central’s Moussaka and Baklava, Adult Hands-On Class
January 5, 6:30pm
$65 per person
From the site: “Moussaka is probably the most well known Greek dish, usually made with eggplant (melitzanes). However, it may be made with other vegetables. Baklava, which is made with phyllo dough and layered with nuts, sugar, syrup, and cloves, is probably the most widely known of the Greek desserts. In this class, you will collaborate with our chefs in making both of these two standards as well as other Greek favorites. The menu will include: •Spanakopita •Lamb Moussaka with Currants •Greek Salad •Baklava”

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles at Wine Geeks of Armonk
January 14, 7pm
$35 per person
From the site: “An exploration of festive sparklers, white, red & rosé,
from Champagne to Prosecco and points in between.”

Wines by the Glass Class at Barcelona Wine Bar, South Norwalk, CT
January 15, 2pm
$20 per person
From the site: “With over 40 wines by the glass in the Barcelona program, and most of them rotating seasonally, our wines by the glass selection is the most important and labor-intensive section in the beverage program. It consists of 60% Spanish wines, 30% South American and 10% other European countries. There will be no lecture for this class—just an unadulterated, massive wine tasting (approximately 15-18 wines, depending on time) with background information on each wine, a great chance to get great “exercise” with your palate!” Yum.


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Surfside, Beachside … Byramside

Ilove this introduction to Port Chester’s new bartaco, launched as we wallow in dirty, knee-deep snow. “A cottage by the water. Real tacos. Great drinks. Cool music. Nearly nirvana.” How frikkin unfair is that?

But all is forgiven with this HotPlate from cool bartaco; it’s a casual, quarter-sheet pan slung with the flavors of the Caribbean vacation we didn’t take. Fresh tortillas, rolled with fresh fish, house-made sauces and relishes, lime, and lots of cilantro.

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