Picnic or Garden Party, serve this drink from The Picnic, Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket (Artisan Books, April 2015)by Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, Jen Stevenson...
Elderflower Pimm’s Cup
Is there anything better than a summer sipper that contains a sizeable snack? You’ll like this light spirit just as much as its pretty accompaniments. Pack your cooler with individual cocktails for a delicious, cheerful refreshment.
2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
1 ounce St. Germain liqueur
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Lemon Simple Syrup
1 strawberry, hulled and quartered
1 thin slice orange, quartered
3 thin slices cucumber
1 mint sprig
11⁄2 strips lemon peel, from Lemon Simple Syrup
In the Basket:
1. Combine the booze, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a Mason jar. Add the strawberry, orange, and cucumber. Replace the lid and pack in a cooler filled with ice. At the picnic, add ice, top with club soda, garnish with a mint sprig and lemon peel strip, add a straw, and serve.
Lemon Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 small lemon, zested with a peeler into ½ inch strips
1. Bring sugar and water to a gentle simmer in a small pot. Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Remove from the heat and add the lemon peel. Let the syrup steep for 1 hour. Strain the syrup into a jar. Reserve the lemon peel for garnish.
(*Excerpted with permission from The Picnic by (Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, and Jen Stevenson -Artisan Books- Copyright (c) 2015. Illustrations by Emily Isabella)
Heat up your vegetarian dip with this recipe from Salsas and Moles, Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More (Ten Speed Press, April 2015) by Deborah Schneider of Sol Cocina...
Salsa Verde (Cooked Tomatillo Salsa with Cilantro and Jalapeño)
Makes about 3 cups
Native green tomatillos are the most widely used base for salsas throughout Mexico. They have a tart-sweet taste that greatly enhances other flavors. The most common is the green tomatillo, but cooks love to use tiny purple tomatillos de milpa (milperas), and yellow tomatillos are prized and expensive.
This typically simple salsa verde will become a staple in your repertoire. At the store, choose firm tomatillos with their papery husks intact. Before using, remove the husks and wash off the sticky film under cold running water.
6 medium tomatillos, husked and washed
1 clove garlic
1⁄2 white onion cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large jalapeno or serrano chile, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
10 sprigs cilantro, stemmed
Place the tomatillos, garlic, onion, jalapeño, and salt in a 11⁄2-quart saucepan. Add just enough water to barely cover the tomatillos and quickly bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the vegetables until the tomatillos have softened and the tip of a knife can be inserted, about 5 minutes; do not overcook.
Drain off the cooking water and transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender, along with the cilantro leaves. Pulse the salsa until smooth. You will still be able to see some seeds, along with flecks of cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Serving Ideas: Spoon this salsa onto anything and everything— eggs, simmered or grilled meats, tacos, quesadillas, or huaraches (masa cakes) with beans and cheese. This is the salsa used to make classic chilaquiles verdes as well as elegant, rich enchiladas suizas: corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and cheese and bathed in tart salsa verde and rich Mexican-style crema. Salsa verde is also the base for chicken or pork chile verde.
One of my main chagrins at wine tastings and events is the paucity of food.
It will not be the case at Raw Fair, the natural wine event in London created by Isabelle Legeron.
2015 edition (May 17) will have an appetizing line-up of food offerings:
"Three of London’s top natural wine venues will be onsite serving a delicious array of dishes. The latest addition to the booming Hackney dining scene, The Richmond, will be hosting a Raw Fish Bar, all freshly caught in Cornwall. Rawduck, known for producing their own in-house pickles and ferments will be serving up enticing salads and you can enjoy a selection of top charcuterie from Antidote, London’s original natural wine bar.
The capital is a hub for artisan food producers of the highest quality and they’ll be out in force at RAW. Sample the likes of Hansen-Lydersen salmon, sustainably sourced from the Faroe Islands and smoked in Stoke Newington, a range of cheeses from Bermonsey-based Kappacasein Dairy and Mons Cheesemongers and handmade croissants, brownies and other sweet treats from The Little Bread Pedlar, who deliver their wares to cafes across the city by bicycle. Other not-to-be-missed delicacies include Maldon Oysters and traditional handmade pasta from pastificio Burro e Salvia, based in Shoreditch & East Dulwich. Rude Health , purveyors of delicious, healthy cereals and snacks, will be on hand, providing each wine producer with their Mini Thins - the perfect palate cleanser."
To paraphrase the weatherman announcing icy mix, half-inch layer of Pimento Cheese is ready to fall on Super Bowl table courtesy of this recipe from Heritage (Artisan Books, October 2014) by Sean Brock.
Makes 2½ to 3 cups
I’ve seen people almost get into fistfights over who has a better pimento cheese recipe. Southerners don’t mess around when it comes to their cherished “pâté de Sud.” We slather the stuff on everything from celery stalks to saltine crackers, and some people won’t even consider eating a hamburger without a half-inch layer of pimento cheese in the stack.
Everyone has his or her own way of making pimento cheese, but the biggest debate always revolves around what kind of mayo is used. I prefer Duke’s; it happens to be my favorite. But you can use your favorite brand—that’s what making a signature pimento cheese is all about. Of course this is best made with pimento peppers you roast yourself, but if you can’t get the fresh peppers, substitute 12 ounces jarred whole pimentos, drained and diced (don’t use jarred chopped pimentos—they have no flavor).
3 large pimento peppers (about 12 ounces) 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature ½ cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s ½ teaspoon Husk Hot Sauce (page 238) ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon sugar ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika (see Resources, page 326) ¼ cup Pickled Ramps (page 233), chopped, plus ½ cup of the brine 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1. Roast the peppers over an open flame on a gas stovetop, one pepper at a time, on the prongs of a carving fork. Or place on a baking sheet and roast under a hot broiler. In either case, turn the peppers to blister all sides. Then transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to let the peppers steam until cool enough to handle.
2. Carefully peel the blackened skin off each pepper. Cut the peppers lengthwise in half, open out flat on a cutting board, and carefully scrape away all the seeds and membrane. Dice the peppers.
3. Put the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until softened. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Add the hot sauce, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and smoked paprika and stir to blend. Add the ramps, ramp brine, and cheddar cheese and stir again. Fold in the diced pimentos.
4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Tightly covered, the pimento cheese will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Note: For creamer pimento cheese, combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.