Fishing for Restaurant Recipes in New York

This is the last day of my visit in New York, and I have never sampled so much wonderful food before. New York seems to have more restaurants per person than any other city I have visited, and many of them serve very tempting and tasty food. I don’t know if all of the walking has improved my taste buds, but even the food from street vendors tastes unusually good. Even though it is early summer, the mornings can be quite cool, and a hot pretzel is a really welcome treat.

There are also small carts that sell everything from fresh fruit to very tasty Indian food, prepared on the spot. I wanted to add the sambar I got from that street vendor to my restaurant recipes, but the vendor didn’t speak enough English for me to get it all down.

Now I am in the lower part of Manhattan at the Tribeca Grill, eating my new favorite fish dish. I have to add this to my restaurant recipes, or else I would be sorely tempted to drive from northern New England frequently just to sample it again. I have spent the day walking through Greenwich Village and Soho, and looking at the changes since my last visit of ten years ago. I must come again soon to visit some of the restaurants in Queens and the other boroughs, and collect more restaurant recipes. Perhaps next time my collection will concentrate on Asian and Middle Eastern recipes. Today, however, is trout that I would recommend to everyone, even those who don’t think that they like fish.

Trout with Hazelnuts, Lemon and Parsley Brown Butter, serves four

3/4 cup dry Italian-style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons crushed toasted hazelnuts
8 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 whole boneless trout
4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Toast hazelnuts, then put in bag and crush with rolling pin. Set oven at 350?F. Oil large rimmed baking sheet. Combine breadcrumbs, 1/2cup hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons parsley in medium bowl. Open trout and sprinkle flesh side with salt and pepper. Press hazelnut mixture into flesh side of butterflied fish. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 whole trout, hazelnut side down. Saut? until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer trout, hazelnut side up, to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining olive oil and trout. Transfer trout to oven and roast until opaque in center, about 5 minutes.

While fish is in oven, melt and brown butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons crushed hazelnuts, 6 tablespoons parsley, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon peel; stir to combine. Season sauce with salt and pepper; pour over fish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon lemon peel and serve immediately.

The TriBeCa section of New York has seen a resurgence, due in large part to the efforts of the actor Robert DeNiro. Take the subway to Canal Street and find the Woolworth building, which used to be one of the landmarks of Old New York generations ago. It is an area worth investigating by everyone from film enthusiast to food lovers.

Any visitor to New York can find dozens of dishes that would be worthy additions to any file of restaurant recipes. The four days here have ended too soon.