The blessing and curse of Park Slope is that we can't walk two feet without running into a restaurant of some sort. The blessing, obviously, is that we don't have to cook—like, ever. The curse, of course, is that eating out all of the time is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. Just look at the FIPS Throwdowns if you want proof—$17 for some noodles and breaded chicken? COME ON, SZECHUAN DELIGHT, SOME OF US HAVE FAMILIES TO SUPPORT. And since we spend all of our money on rent, it's difficult to justify shelling out $20 for a single meal, especially since $20 can buy a week's worth of groceries.
Cue The Art of Eating In, the blog-turned-book of Brooklyn's own Cathy Erway. The book details Erway's two-year jaunt not eating out (the experiment was also documented in her blog, Not Eating Out in New York).
The idea behind it might seem a little extreme, but as someone who gets annoyed whenever I fork over hard-earned cash for food that I could have made taste better in my own kitchen, for cheaper, I can relate to this line of thinking. Cook more, eat out less (that's what she said?).
But you're lazy, and you're thinking, "Yeah, yeah, Amanda, we'd all like to save money, but I couldn't go one week without getting [this dish] from [that place]!"
You're in luck! Cathy Erway has graciously agreed to dissect a couple of beloved dishes from local Park Slope restaurants and provide us with easy-to-follow recipes that we can make at home. BAM! No more excuses, cry babies!
So, what are your favorite dishes? What do you want to learn to make for yourself? Is it in the Hangtown Fry from Stone Park Cafe? The brown butter-laced Malfatti from Al Di La? The Yucatan Shrimp from Barrio?