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NEW YORK CITY
NEW YORK CITY, where the whole world seems just around the corner...
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OMAR T IN NEW YORK CITY (coming soon)
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OMAR's UMBRIA ITALY RECIPES


New York City Recipes
Note: Father, Chef Royce, would not allow me to share “Chelsea Beat” recipes with you. So, instead I give you some international New York City favorites. ☺
Recipe Glossary
Tbl = tablespoon
t = teaspoon
lbs = pound
oz = ounce
g = gram
Note: Salt, for Omar T is either Kosher or Sea Salt
Not to be confused with the fictional, former, Club Kid
*throw away your highly refined salts

South American Arepas
Arepa/Corn Bread
1 cup and ¼ cup of “harina pan”
2 cups of water
Pinch of salt

In a bowl add the water, then the corn flour with the salt.
Mix with until it’s soft and there is no lumps of flour.
Make 4 balls of dough and flatten to create the characteristic form of arepas.

Cook in the pan for 10 minutes each side in medium heat.
(Either fried in a light layer of oil or dry on a non-stick pan)

(Arepa flour is a refined, pre-cooked corn flour (“harina de maiz refinada, precocida”.) It is not the same as the masa harina that is used in Mexico; for arepa flour, large-kernel corn is used that has large, starchy endosperms, making for a starchier flour than that which is used for tortillas.) 
Arepa Fillings/Toppings
Here are a couple of fillings, with some Omar T twists and tips.
The beauty of the Arepa is it is “open” to whatever you imagine, what looked good at the market and/or what’s in the frig. ☺ Arepas are a great source for leftovers. You can even freeze your arepa dough. Arepa fillings can be “upscaled,” though they make a great platform for using the less expensive cuts of meat. All these fillings work equally well with tacos. ENJOY!

Pulled Pork (shoulder or butt) pork is naturally sweet and relatively flavor neutral, thus it makes a grand base for most your favorite flavors, especially sweet and spicy. I boil my pork in beer with whole garlic cloves and a splash of liquid smoke. Once you “pull” or shred the pork by hand, toss it with a sauce, BBQ, mustard, tahini, chile sauce or your favorite secret sauce. ☺

Shredded Beef (chuck, round, rump roast, flank) Cut whichever of these cuts into 2” chunks and stew in moisture. Here is the recipe for Carne mechada, which classically is flank, but the beauty of stewing (slow cooking/crock pot) in liquid and shredding is its adaptability and flexibility. Your stewed meats will always be more flavorful if you brown them first. Experiment, make it an adventure.
500 gr flank steak
1 onion finely chopped
½ red pepper
1 garlic clove minced
⅓ cup coriander
1 tomato chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 cups meat broth
Sal and Black pepper
olive oil

Brown the meat, then add all of the ingredients to a pot or crockpot and slow cook until the meat easily shreds.



Chicken It’s the author’s opinion that almost any arepa benefits from the addition of avocado and even some other green stuff. Reina Pepiada, actually incorporates the sensual mouth feel and flavor of the avocado. Remember arepas for that leftover chicken.
Reina Pepiada (“Curvy” Queen – named after Venezualan Miss World 1955, Susana Duijm)

For the filling "La Reina pepiada"
400 gr. of chicken meat
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 ripe avocado
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
25 ml. of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Shred the chicken. In a big pan add some oil and put the onion and the garlic to cook for a couple minutes. Add the shredded chicken and stir for 5 minutes. In a bowl add the avocado, the green peas, the chicken and the mayo. Mix well and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Fill the arepa and enjoy!

Black Beans – Dominó (black and White)
Traditionally, just black of the beans with white shredded cheese. A great way to upscale this classic is to serve a green addition such as avocado and/or greens from your garden on the side, so you present the classic look, while allowing your guests to stuff in more flavor, texture and nutrition.

*Omar Tips:
When freezing, use two layers – first a tight plastic wrap and then also place in a plastic bag, preferably one you can label, date and seal. A general maximum on freezer time is 6 months.

Lesser cuts of meat. We don’t just serve a chunk of a lesser cut of meat for it is too tough. We shred, pull or slice it to maximize the experience. If you are slicing, look for the grain of the meat and cut it against the grain (opposite of the lines of the grain  

Chinese Pork Buns

Bao Buns
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, plus some extra for rolling
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (120g) water, ideally warm or at body temperature
1/3 cup (70g) sugar
(4g) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon shortening or neutral cooking oil

Add a teaspoon of sugar and yeast to the warm water, and leave it for 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. Sift the flour, baking powder, and the rest of the sugar together. In a stand-mixer with a dough hook, add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, and knead on medium speed for approximately 30 seconds until it comes together to form a rough dough. Then, add the shortening or oil and knead on low for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. At this point, the dough should no longer stick, but if it does, add one tablespoon flour at a time and mix for 30 seconds or so, until it no longer sticks. Cover the mixing bowl containing the bao dough with a towel. Leave it to proof until it doubles in size. (This should take 30 minutes, to 2 hours depending on the room temperature.) Meanwhile, prepare 10 square pieces of parchment paper, roughly 4-inches long on each side. When the dough is proofed, punch it down and portion into 10 roughly equal pieces. Knead the individual pieces of dough 2-3 times. Then, on a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape with rounded ends, roughly 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. Fold the dough in half lengthwise, and place on the parchment squares. Cover lightly with a towel, and let it proof for 30-45 minutes. It won’t quite double in size by the end of the proofing time, but should be slightly puffier than when you left it. Ready a pot of boiling water (it should be at a steady boil; more than a simmer, less than a raging boil) with a steamer rack/basket. Transfer the baos onto the steamer setup, cover the pot with a lid, and steam the baos for 12 minutes. They should be all soft and pillowy when done. The baos can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before eating, re-steam it for roughly 3 minutes to get it all soft and fluffy again.

Pork Belly:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless uncured pork belly (cut into (8) 3-inch x 1-inch thick slices)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup black or dark soy sauce
1/3 cup white wine
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 quarter size slices fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
3 scallions (cut into 1-inch pieces)

Brown the pork belly in an oven compatible pan.
Combine with a little stir and then add the remaining ingredients to the same pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook 10 minutes. Cover and transfer to the oven and cook until the pork is very tender, about 2 hours.

Slice bun down the middle, leaving the two halves attached. Garnish with green scallions.  

Falafel, Tahini Sauce & Tabbouleh
Falafels:
225 g / 8 oz dried chick peas (cannot substitute canned)
1 cup parsley leaves , roughly chopped
1 cup coriander/cilantro leaves , roughly chopped
6 scallions/shallots , white and light green part only finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic , minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp flour (plain/all purpose) OR chickpea flour
5 tbsp water

Place chickpeas in a large bowl and fill bowl with plenty of cold water. Let soak 12 + hours (up to 2 days). Drain chickpeas well. Place in food processor, add remaining Falafel ingredients.
Blend for 2 to 3 minutes on high, scraping down sides as necessary, until the chickpeas are very small grains. Mixture should look like smooth guacamole. Shape into balls – 20ish Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or dome, disc or torpedo), place on a tray. Should make around 20, about 2.5cm / 1" wide.

Fry in 2 cups or more vegetable oil (at least 2/3” deep) 180 - 190C / 355F – turn/flip in oil as needed approximately 4 minutes each

Tahini Sauce (classic Falafel sauce):
4 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
(it will thicken, add water to loosen its viscosity)

Serve on their own, in Pita bread, in or on other flatbreads, classic also with tabbouleh as a salad. Add yogurt and/or hummus.


Tabbouleh
2 tbsp Bulgur soaked in 3 tbsp boiling water then fluffed. Add 2 cups roughly chopped parsley, 1/2 cup roughly chopped mint, 1/2 red onion finely chopped, 2 large red tomatoes, deseeded & chopped. Dress with lemon juice and sprinkle of salt - adjust to taste depending on what you're serving it with. For falafel, I use very little salt and lots of lemon juice.

Jamaican “Run down” Sauce for Fish
1 1/2 -2 pound red snapper fillet /mackerel or any fatty fish)
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 bay leaf
¾ teaspoon or more I used creole seasoning
½ medium onion diced
2 teaspoon minced garlic or ½ tablespoon garlic powder
1-2 tomatoes with its juice
1 teaspoon thyme
1 canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 whole scotch bonnet pepper optional
Salt to taste.

Cut fish in large chunks, rinse and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add garlic, onions, bay leaf, thyme, whole scotch bonnet pepper and stir for about a minute.
Throw in tomatoes, paprika followed by coconut milk, white pepper and salt. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 4-5minutes. Then add fish, chopped into chunks or whole, continue cooking for about 7 minutes or more until fish is fully cooked and reached desired doneness and texture. Adjust sauce thickness and seasonings, if desired, and according to preference. Add parsley. Simmer for a minute or two. Remove from heat, toss out bay leaf and serve warm

Corned Beef

water and/or beer (1 gallon)
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
Spices
1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
12 whole juniper berries
2 bay leaves, broken up
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
1 small onion, quartered

Phase One: Brine
Whisk brown sugar, curing salt, and the gallon of water and or beer, in a large pot or container (at least 8 quarts) until sugar and salts are dissolved. Combine the spices, scoop out ½ cup of the mix to save for the cooking phase. Add remaining spice mixture to brine. Place the meat in a container and submerge it with the brine. Weigh it down with a cover or lid to keep it submerged (it’s okay if brisket needs to be crammed into the container, just don’t fold it; you can also cut it in half if you can’t find a large enough container you can also add more beer/water to better submerge the meat). Chill, flipping meat once a day, 5–10 days.

Phase Two: Cooking

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water; discard brine. Add brisket to simmering water along with reserved ½ cup spice mixture and cook, covered, until corned beef is fork-tender and easily shreds with the grain, 4–4½ hours.

Slice corned beef against the grain and serve.

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