Anyhoo, I'll be sharing some food experiences and other New York gems while I'm here.
One of my favourite things to do in a new place is go to the supermarket. I try to do this wherever I go. I remember being completely bowled over by a supermarket in Salamanca, Spain. The seafood counter was out of this world - every kind of thing you could imagine. I love a Whole Foods - even though I find it quite overwhelming! And don't talk for Zabar's! Supermarkets, markets and delis give you a first-hand introduction to the food culture of a place, and, if you're adventurous about food, they give you the opportunity to try new ingredients too.
So as I mentioned, I'm in New York. Staying with my friend Rachel in Harlem. On my 2nd day here, Richard and I braved the icy wind to trek over to the local supermarket. It had a wonderful vegetable s
ection, and I couldn't resist a dazzling bunch of chard - all magenta stems and green leaves! I've never cooked chard before, so I looked on the internet for inspiration, and here's what I came up with:
You'll need a fresh bunch of chard (chop off and discard the bottom third of the stems as they're tough and fibrous, and then give everything else a 1-inch chop); 4 or 5 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped; an onion, diced; 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced; salt and pepper.
Cook the bacon for a minute or two on a medium heat in a large frying pan (one that has a lid). (By the way, you don't need to put any oil in the pan, as the bacon will spring its own fat.) Once the bacon has cooked for a couple of minutes, add your onions and garlic and cook them until the onions are translucent. Throw in the chard with a little salt and pepper. Give everything a stir and put the lid on. Continue to cook on a medium heat for another 2 or 3 minutes, and serve immediately.