Karen Schuld Photography: NYC Food Photographer

Sprouts in the Hood

Sprouts in the Hood
Exploring My Hood Through Food and Lifestyle Photography

Monday, September 27, 2010

Herb, Walnut and Mushroom Appetizer with Gargonzola Cheese

Yesterday, I enjoyed the sunset with a margarita and some tasty appetizers.  The margarita's orange glow is both arresting and soothing as the late afternoon light passes through the glass.  I use the earth tones of the porcini mushroom and the sprinkling of bright green herbs to complete the art of my Sunday meal.

Baked Porcini Mushroom
This was very easy to make.  I stuffed a porcini mushroom with a  herbs, walnuts, and a small amount of gargonzola cheese and then baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Peach Nectar Margarita with Infused Thai Basil

 Peach Nectar Margarita
Peach Nectar Margarita with Infused Thai Basil

Juice of 3 limes
3 shots of tequila
Nectar of 1 over ripe, juicy peach
1 tablespoon of local honey 
Thai Basil
Ice to fill a glass

Makes 3-4 drinks

I love infusing the tequila with some fresh herbs - gives it that garden taste!  My choice of tequila is Don Nachos (100 percent agave).  It tastes like premium tequila at half the price.   I think I might freeze some of this peach nectar.  It will remind me of some great summer days.  Cheers!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ode to a Peach

Peaches at Eastern Market
It’s about the last week for peaches at the NY farmer’s market, but in DC you get an extra week or two.   I’m not ready for Halloween pumpkins yet, so let me savor one last taste of a 2010 peach in Washington, DC.   This weekend, I am visiting some great friends and picking up some amazing produce at the Eastern Market, located in Capitol Hill  near the aptly named Eastern Market metro stop.   The market includes both an open air farmers market and an indoor market where you can buy fresh fish, cheese, flowers, and produce or just sit down for a nice lunch.
Shopping at Eastern Market
White Peaches
Eastern Market on Capitol Hill, 7th Street SE

Yogurt Dip Mixed with My Cilantro Chutney

Last week I whipped up a really quick and easy vegetable dip recipe to bring to my friend's dinner party.  It took me less than 5 minutes to make the dip.   My friend Howard loved the dip on his shrimp.

Combine and mix these ingredients:
1/4 cup plain yogurt,
3 - 4 tablespoons of my Cilantro Chutney (view my recipe),
a dash of sea salt,
2/3 finely-minced cloves of roasted garlic

Mix the ingredients to make a dip that can enhance anything from vegetables to to a fish or
poultry dish.

I sliced a piece of chayote (a Caribbean squash with a crunchy texture) to
serve with my yogurt/cilantro chutney dip.

Note:  You can find out who sells rBGH free dairy locally at -

My Cilantro Chutney Mixed with Yogurt and Served with Sliced Chayote

Caribbean Fruit and Vegetable Varieties

Uptown, I love going to the little neighborhood market and exploring different types of produce. I am leaning about the different fruits and vegetables that are commonplace in the Caribbean Islands.  Also, I am learning a little Spanish too.
Plantinos, Lemons, Limoncillo

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Morning Espresso Con Leche

Washington Heights, located between the Harlem and Hudson River, is one of the last areas in Manhattan that has not been invaded by a Starbucks.  Right now, I am sipping on some cafe con leche from the little bakery on the corner.  Delicious!!  Although, When ordering, ask for an espresso con leche because they might think you are asking for a regular cup of American joe.

 Enjoying My Espresso Con Leche and View of Harlem River

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Roasted Sunflower Seeds and Cilantro Chutney Recipe

Roasted Sunflower Seeds and Cilantro Chutne
Mix in a chopped onion and juice of three limes.  Pour into a blender or food processor, then add 2 garlic cloves and a hot pepper to spice it up.  Slowly add cilantro until the mixture liquefies.

Mix this chutney with coconut milk to make a great marinade for fish.  Also, for a quick salsa, you can chop a tomato and mix in the chutney.  Then, as I mentioned, for a salad dressing, just add in some olive oil. By adding a green bell pepper and tomato, you can make a sofrito, which is a base for many Latin dishes.  Sofrito will keep up to 3 weeks in my refrigerator.

Roasting Raw Sunflower Seeds:

I pour my raw sunflower seeds into a skillet and stir until they brown.  Do no add oil – just add some salt, turmeric and if you would like, some hot red pepper. 
The turmeric adds a nice color and subtle flavor. Then just squeeze some lime juice on top and add some chopped onions.

I eat the sunflower seeds as a snack or I use it as a garnish for foods like eggs, rice or any type of salad.  The turmeric add a beautiful mustard yellow color.  Add some hot pepper if you like more spice too your food.  The limes and salt will counteract the spice.  The store bought, already roasted sunflower seeds can have a rancid flavor.  It is easy to roast your own and add the spices you enjoy.

Both the chutney and any kind of spiced nut can bring some extra zest to your dish!

Colorful Salad: Caribbean Inspired

Inspired by the fruits at my neighborhood market,  I have selected a combination of fruits and vegetables with contrasting textures and colors.  The chayote has a really nice crunchy, pear-like texture that works nicely with the soft-textured papaya.
bright orange, yellow citrus, combined with light and dark greens make a
colorful presentation that can be served alone or with your favorite fish, Asian or a Caribbean dish.

First step:  Mix these ingredients  

Julienned chayote
Very finely chopped  small red pepper –  (for more spice use 2 peppers)bite size chunks of One mango and one papaya
Thinly sliced  medium sized red onion
1 teaspoon  of course sea salt
1 squeezed lime

Marinate for an two or three hours
The lemon with the salt and juices from the fruit will fuse together giving a perfect flavor!

Second step:  Add these ingredients before serving:

Macro greens or watercress (I also like using beet greens)
Top with some toasted sunflower seeds
Sliced avocado up in bite size chunks also finishes the dish off nicely.

Serve with my cilantro dressing
1 bunch of cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1 medium to large onion
Juice of 3 limes

Caribbean Inspired Salad

Saturday, September 18, 2010

La Frutera

Washington Heights is filled with bright colors fruit and vegetable markets.  The local fruteras offer all manner of of the Caribbean fruits and vegetables.  The limes up here are amazingly  juicy. They have a thinner skin and have an arresting yellower color.  My friends in downtown Manhattan always want me to bring some uptown limes to them.

Colors fill the streets along with the sounds of salsa

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Dimelo" Welcome to the Heights

  Hop on the A or 1 train to 181st Street, the center of Dominican culture in Manhattan.
This Spanish neighborhood in upper Manhattan is filled with Caribbean markets and the sounds of Reggaeton and Baccatta. On every corner you can find a juice or fruit vendors I love the treating my self to some fresh coconut  or naranja (orange) juice.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Love at First Sprout

It all started on my first trip to India ..... Crunchy, tasty, healthy little sprouts that were added to many dishes prepared by my host family.

The flavors of fresh ginger, garlic, onion and tomato --- plus an array of spices and sprouts --- made for a new culinary experience that I wanted to recreate in my own home.  I wanted to learn how these little sprouts appeared magically overnight from the kitchen to the table.  So this is how my love affair began.......The seed was planted in India, and then it took root and sprouted in my neighborhood, Washington Heights, Manhattan.