Late Winter Appetites Dream of Sundrenched Climes

Leftover cooked brown rice mixed with lots of snipped dill and feta cheese is the ideal stuffing for stuffed peppers a la Grecque, baked with oil and vinegar.

Sweet and mild long red peppers recently showed up in markets across the Hudson Valley. Cafe Drake stuffed and baked them for a quick Mediterranean lunch, along with toasted pita wedges and a tuna mousse. Easiest thing ever: whip in a blender until smooth and silky one can of good tuna (packed in olive oil) with a few capers, some mayo, salt to taste and plenty of good olive oil.

Cafe Drake HRV misses terribly the Latin Caribbean lunch counters of South Williamsburg, the Lower East Side (before they were displaced by boutique hotels) and, dearest to our hearts, the one on 14th St. just west of 7th Avenue. The name escapes us but their rice and beans plate with house-made, garlicky hot sauce and sweet fried plantains (maduros) was legendary. Our nostalgic recreation featured yellow rice, slow-simmered pinto beans with onions, tomatoes and dried chilies and the aforementioned pan-fried plantains.


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