Lovard x Off The Menu: Rule of Thirds
If there’s one thing we are dreaming about while stuck inside, it’s having a glass of wine and bite to eat outside on a patio in one of our favorite cities. Whether we're in New York, Texas or exploring around the world the Ladies of Lovard always have a new restaurant or cocktail bar on their radar. It’s no secret that the Coronavirus has impacted the hospitality industry. Thousands of kitchens have closed around the country with nearly a million restaurant professionals left without any source of income. The bartender who always gives you a free shot or the chef who makes the pasta you have to have every time you’re in a certain city is likely without a job. Over the next 6 weeks we'll be chatting with some of our favorite New York City chefs, sommeliers and bartenders on how to bring their favorite restaurant staples to life in the comforts of their own home. We will contribute 10% of every bag sold that week to the featured GoFundMe page, set up to help each restaurant's staff during this uncertain time.
‘You have to try…’ is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in New York. A workout class that will change everything, a hole in the wall cocktail bar that makes the greatest negroni of all time, conversations like this with friends and strangers alike are some of the moments we miss the most while in quarantine. Back in March when a friend told us about Rule of Thirds, a new spot in Greenpoint that we had to try, of course we were one hundred percent down. The second we walked through the restaurant's sculpture filled alleyway and entered the dining room filled with music and friendly staff who you can tell are beyond proud of where they work, we knew we would be adding Rule of Thirds into our New York rotation. The restaurant is the first joint effort from the teams behind two of our favorite Williamsburg staples Sunday in Brooklyn and Okonomi and opened in late February, just a few weeks before the world changed forever and was coincidentally our last meal out on the town. Sipping sake while noshing on Korean fried chicken and sushi with Kool and the Gang blasting in the background, is what we like to consider...going out on a high note. We caught up with our friend and favorite ‘Sake Sensi’ George Padilla, who is a partner in the project, to find out to drink with a few of our favorite Rule of Thirds staples.
Sake and Sushi
We’ll admit we don’t make our own sushi half as much as we would like to. It’s one of those rituals we have always left up to the professionals. After a month of strolling through instagram watching our friends try something of their comfort zone, we figured what time better than now.
We were looking for some ‘liquid courage’ to tide us over while we cook and that would transition well with the rest of our meal. George suggested “Brooklyn Kura "#14"-Junmai Ginjo Namazake. “This is somewhat of a hometown hero, made by New York's first sake brewery. It's a bright, juicy match for sushi at home”, he tells us. This unpasteurized (nama) and undiluted (genshu) sake has a satisfyingly full, lively body that especially shines in between bites of fatty/oily fish. A perfect match for the salmon. Bonus recommendation for fans of cloudy (nigori) sake, Kato Sake Works bottles a silky, textured brew that finishes fresh and dry.”
Thirsty? We thought so. Now it’s time to pour yourself some sake and make that sushi!
At Home Maki Rolls
Here’s What You’ll Need...
For The Rice
2 cups short-grain Japanese rice
1/4 cup sake-mash vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons salt
For The Fillings
Salmon (sliced across the grain into strips about 4 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.)
Cucumber (skin and seeds optional!)
Avocado (Cut a ripe avocado in half. Remove the pit and cut each half in half again.
For the Roll
1 package of Nori - even in these unusual circumstances it would take longer to make our own nori than to ship a package from Amazon. You can likely find nori at any local grocery store or order online.
Putting It All Together
Rinse the rice 5 times, then drain in a colander and let dry for 15 minutes.
If you have a rice cooker- that’s always the best option, but if you don't it's no big deal, a medium saucepan is the perfect substitution. If you’re going the saucepan route, combine the rice with 2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sake-mash vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar and salt and warm over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Pour the rice into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with 1/2 cup of the seasoned vinegar. Grab a spatula or flat spoon and make a slicing motion, separating the rice grains while mixing in the seasoning. Wipe down any stray grains from the side of the bowl. Cover the rice with a damp towel to keep warm.
The Final Product
Place your nori, shiny side down, on the bamboo rolling mat if you are using one.
Cover 2/3 of the nori (from the short end) with 1/3 - 1/2 cups of your sushi rice. You'll want the rice layer about 1/8" thick. If the rice is too sticky to spread easily, moisten your fingers with water before spreading.
Lay filling ingredients in a line, 1/3 of the way up the nori.
Take the bamboo mat and gently pull the bottom section (with just 1/3 of rice) up over the filling.
Continue to roll the sushi, pulling the mat straight away from you into a well shaped roll. Once complete, pick up the mat with the roll and press firmly. This will press the rice into position, and the last naked bit of nori will stick to itself, sealing the roll.
Cut your roll using a large, sharp knife. If you find things sticking to the knife as you cut, moisten it slightly with a little water.
Serve with pickled ginger, soy sauce, and/or wasabi as desired.
Korean Fried Chicken and Beer
Fried Chicken and Beer, can you name a better duo? We can’t. Social distancing calls for the feel good favorites. George was lucky enough to give up some pointers on how to take our favorite combo to the next level. “Orion Japanese Lager is a crisp, simple, refreshment from the tropical island of Okinawa, Japan, he tells us. With a label reminiscent of an Olympic logo, it's hard to imagine a better treat than this thirst-quenching beer along with Korean fried chicken. Also available in a large 22oz bottle which is perfect for sharing if you’ve got a quarantine buddy!” Now crack open a cold one and get to cooking!
The Ultimate at Home Korean Fried Chicken
Here’s what you’ll need....
For The Precoat
1/4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch or corn flour
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 grinds black pepper
2 chicken drumsticks, 2 thighs and 4 wings with tips (you can really use any cut of chicken, these are just our favorites)
Oil, for frying (we’ve been using simple vegetable oil)
For The Batter
1/2 cup cornstarch or corn flour
1/4 cup panko or matzo meal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Korean chile flakes (any brand will do...you can easily find them at the supermarket)
1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules
2 1/2 teaspoons onion granules
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water
1/3 cup vodka (the alcohol will cook itself off, can definitely be left out if need be)
2 tablespoons Korean chile paste
For The BBQ Sauce:
3 tablespoons Korean chile paste
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 packed tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons grated ginger (from about a 2-inch piece)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
In a large bowl, whisk together the first 4 ingredients. Add the chicken and toss well until evenly coated. Move the chicken over to a cooling rack or large plate. Shake the chicken well to get rid of any excess coating. Let rest uncovered for 1 hour. Pour enough oil into a 6-quart Dutch oven to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Just before frying, combine the two mixtures into one large bowl. The consistency should be relatively thin and runny. Dip each piece of chicken into the batter, letting excess batter drip off. Suspend the chicken in the oil for a couple of seconds for it to set before letting it slip completely into the oil, otherwise the chicken will fall and stick to the bottom of the pot.
Fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes per batch.
Transfer to a wire rack or colander to drain once it’s done.
Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
We know how much effort goes into turning a dream into a reality and can only imagine how badly the Rule of Thirds team is dying to get back to doing what they love. Here’s the link to donate to the teams GoFundMe. Want the full experience? We’ve made a playlist for you to boogie down to while you cool. Show us your final product and stay safe!