Posts from July 2013

Win Party Game this Summer with Ace of Spades Cocktail Recipe from 'Tipsy Texan'

Everyone loves a winner.

Win party game with Ace of Spades cocktail recipe from Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State (Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2013) by David Alan, the Tipsy Texan .

Ace of Spades

This cocktail combines some of my favorite early summer flavors and is a great reminder that tomatoes are in fact a fruit. Blackberries give the cocktail a stunning color, and the tomato—barely perceptible—lends it a supple mouthfeel.

5 ripe blackberries
1 small tomato wedge, or 1 plump cherry tomato
½ ounce Simple Syrup (page 83)
1½ ounces 100% agave silver tequila
½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon twist, for garnish


In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle the blackberries, tomato, and simple syrup. Add the tequila and lemon juice and shake vigorously with ice to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or serve over ice.

Garnish with the lemon twist.

(* Recipe from Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State by David Alan- Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2013- reproduced with permission of publisher)

Malva Nuts Too in refreshing Thai Basil Seed Drink from 'Banh Mi' by 'Phamfatale' Jacqueline Pham

Not just sandwiches, drinks too in Banh Mi 75 Banh Mi Recipes for Authentic & Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches (Adams Media, July 2013) by Phamfatale Jacqueline Pham. 

Thai Basil Seed Drink

Nước Hột É

Yields 12 servings

This odd-looking drink is, despite its appearance, very refreshing. Once soaked in warm water,
the seeds form a kind of gooey-textured shell. In addition to the Thai basil seeds, soaked malva nut
tree seeds are usually included in this unusual drink.

¹⁄³ (2-ounce) package dried malva nut tree seeds (đười ươi)
¼ cup Thai basil seeds
2 quarts water
½ cup superfine sugar, to taste
4 tablespoons honey
3 cups ice cubes, or more
2 limes, freshly squeezed

Basil Seed Drink

1. Preparing the malva nut tree seeds: Cover the malva nut seeds completely in warm water and soak for 30 minutes. Separate the cotton-like texture from the skin and seeds, discard the skin, and rinse the cotton-like texture in cold water. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible using paper towels. Set the seeds aside.

2. Preparing the Thai basil seeds: Place the basil seeds in a large strainer and rinse them under running water. Place the rinsed seeds in a large heatproof pitcher.

3. Assembly time: In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of the water to a near boil. Pour into the pitcher. Let the basil seeds gain in volume, which will take about 5 minutes. In the same saucepan, dissolve the superfine sugar with 1 cup of the water. Bring to a near boil, then add the honey. Pour the resulting
syrup into the pitcher. Add the remaining 5 cups of cold water and complete with lots of ice cubes. Add the lime juice and the malva nut tree seeds. Stir well. Adjust sweetness if necessary.

(Excerpted from Banh Mi by Jacqueline Pham, Copyright © 2013 by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.)

Just another Boat Sails Paper Boat Route in Lisbon with Natalia Irina Roman July 013 Show

Just Another Boat exhibit by Natalia Irina Roman in Lisbon sails the paper boat route during month of July 2013. Event is curated by Luisa Santos

"Taking place in July, in the old town of Lisbon, an area filled with used but also abandoned tram tracks, where horizontal and vertical lines cross,  “Just another Boat” (2013) is composed of paper boats - the character in the story - spread along two meters ropes hanging from the ceiling to the floor. At Round The Corner, a small room where every exit is also an entrance, the visitors are invited to pass through a dense curtain of ropes and the space becomes an integral part of the mixed media installation with its mysterious character of passing through, both on horizontal and vertical ways."

"Co-inhabiting a space between installation and performance, “Just another Boat” (2013) makes use of the wind present in the room when doors are open and looks differently at every person’s entrance in the space. In the opening day, Sophie Bazy plays an accordion in between the boats. The instrument can be seen both from inside and from the street that here, becomes part of the scenario (or site) for the installation, which is, above all, a story."

Round The Corner (pictured below) is located Rua Nova da Trindade, Doors 9F – 9G Lisbon, Portugal.


Thanks to Luisa Santos for exhibit details.

Vodka from Vermont, Gin from London, 2 Interviews

Missed it or want to give them a second read before preparing an evening cocktail, here's a replay of 2 interviews i made with 2 distillers.

First Got Milk Sugar and Maple Sap, Vermont Made Vodka with Harry Gorman of Vermont Spirits (January 26, 2011).


Second, delving in details of history and making of Gin and Martini in 10 Toes Deep in Martini World, 'Shaken Not Stirred' Conversation with Jared Brown, master distiller at Sipsmith in London, and Anistatia Miller (January 5, 2013).


Toasting or not another scorcher. 

Cuisine de Rue, Street Food, Montreal, 27 Food Trucks, 9 Locations, Summer 2013

Until September 29, 2013, Cuisine de Rue ('Street Food' en Anglais) is in full force on the streets of Montreal.

27 foodtrucks, which I believe are mobile versions of brick and mortar restaurants will serve 9 downtown locations on a rotating basis.


There are 3 time slots, Breakfast (or Matin, 7 to 10 am), Lunch (or Midi, 11 am to 2:30 pm) and Dinner (Soir, 5 to 10:30 pm).

For example, according to Ville de Montreal event calendar (they sponsor Cuisine de Rue), on July 19 (today) for Dinner, L'Assommoir Mobile will be at Parc du Mont Royal near Belvedere Kondiaronk).

There is also an association of 'restaurateurs de rue du Quebec' named Cuisine de Rue which aims to represent and guarantee quality and standards of that expanding segment of the food scene. They seem to be part and parcel of the 'Cuisine de Rue' event.

Please note that information on sites I linked to are in French only.

(* Cuisine de Rue image from Cuisine de Rue Montreal Facebook page)

Enjoy Beer with a Clear Conscience Before Your Flight from Munich Airport at Airbrau

If your flight from Munich Airport is not the 'greenest', Airbrau, the airport's beergarden professes a commintment to 'sustainable brewing' in their words "so you can enjoy our beers with a clear conscience: Airbräu is committed to sustainable brewing techniques and regional ingredients."

Rene Jacobsen is the master brewer.

His beers are unfiltered.

The theme for the place seems distinctly Bavarian. 

(* Airbrau logo from their Facebook page)

Heatwave Proofed, Chilled Beet, Orange and Buttermilk Soup from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook

From Animal Farm in Orwell (Vermont), Diane St. Clair serves us some of her recipes in The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013).

With East Coast heatwave still going strong, a cool dish sounds like a perfect first take.

Beet, Orange, and Buttermilk Soup

Beet and orange is a classic combination, but they can be almost cloyingly sweet together. With a bracing dash of butter- milk, you can enjoy the best of this combination but cut some of the sweetness. Sometimes I sprinkle fresh dill on top, for a different flavor profile. It’s a wonderfully refreshing soup on a hot summer night.


3 or 4 medium red beets (about 1 pound), trimmed
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Juice of 2 large oranges
2 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


1 Place the beets in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the pan to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer the beets until tender, about 1 hour. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2 Slip off and discard the skins. Slice the beets coarsely directly into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 cup of the buttermilk and process until very smooth.

3 Pour into a large jug or bowl and whisk in the remaining 1cup buttermilk, the orange zest and juice, and the vinegar to your taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired when the soup is cold. Sprinkle with the dill before serving.

Makes 4 servings


(* Recipe from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook by Diane St. Clair -Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013- Photography by Colin Clark- all rights reserved)

Creamy Pink Cloudy Cherry Sake from 'True Brews', Make your own Nigori

After sensible Mango Lassi Kefir Smoothie from 'True Brews' How to craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir and Kombucha at Home (Ten Speed Press, Spring 2013) by Emma Christensen, here's something way stronger.

Cloudy Cherry Sake

Makes 1 gallon

This may just be the prettiest sake you’ll ever drink. Nigori is a style of unfiltered “cloudy” sake, so named because the rice sediment left in the sake turns it milky white in the glass. Or, in the case of this sweet cherry sake, the creamy pink of cherry blossoms. Since the sediment settles over time, you’ll need to give the bottle a quick snow-globe shake before pouring.

11⁄2 pounds fresh or frozen sweet cherries
1 gallon dechlorinated water (see page 14)
1 Campden tablet
10 cups / 5 pounds short-grain rice
21⁄2 cups / 11⁄4 pounds koji rice (page 146, or see Resources, page 176)
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1⁄2 teaspoon acid blend
1⁄2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
11⁄2 tablespoons (1/2 tube) liquid sake or lager yeast, or 2 teaspoons (1 packet) white wine yeast

Cloudy Cherry Sake

Starting 24 hours before you plan to brew, sanitize a 2-gallon bucket, its lid, the air lock, and a spoon for stirring. 

Pit and coarsely chop the cherries. Combine the cherries with the water in the bucket. Crush the Campden tablet and stir it in. Snap on the lid and attach the air lock. Wait 24 hours for the Campden to sterilize the cherries.

The next day, soak, steam, and cool rice as described on page 140. Add the steamed rice, koji rice, yeast nutrient, acid blend, pectic enzyme, and yeast to the bucket with the cherries. (If you are steaming your rice in batches, combine everything with the first batch and add the remaining rice to the fermenter as it is cooled and ready.) Stir vigorously to distribute the yeast and aerate the rice mash.
Snap on the lid and attach the air lock. Store the sake somewhere cool and dark, ideally around 55°F. You should see active fermentation as evidenced by bubbles in the air lock within 48 hours. Ferment the sake for 2 weeks, stirring daily with a sanitized spoon.

To finish the sake, sanitize a strainer, flour sack towel, stockpot, funnel, a 1-gallon jug, and its stopper.

First, pour the sake through the strainer into the stockpot. Discard all the rice and cherry solids. Set the funnel in the 1-gallon jug and line it with the flour sack towel. Strain the sake again, this time into the jug. Because of all the rice sediment, this can take a while. Stir the liquid in the funnel frequently to prevent the sediment from compacting and slowing down the straining. If the flour sack towel becomes clogged, rinse it out, sanitize it, and replace.

Clean the stockpot. Set the jug of sake, uncovered, inside the pot and fill the pot with water until the water is level with the surface of the sake. Set the pot over medium heat. Warm the sake to 140°F to pasteurize the sake and stop the koji and yeast activity (this does not affect the alcohol content). Allow the sake to cool.

To bottle the sake, sanitize ten 12-ounce bottles or six 22-ounce bottles (or five 750-milliliter wine bottles), their caps (or corks), the siphon hose, the racking cane, its tip, and the bottle filler. Shake the jug of sake to make sure the sediment is fully suspended in the sake during bottling. Siphon the sake into the bottles, shaking the jug again if the sediment begins to settle. Cap (or cork) the bottles and label.

Sake can be drunk immediately or aged for up to 1 year. Shake the bottles before serving and serve chilled.

Make your own Nigori for Tokyo Thursdays # 260

( Reprinted with permission from True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda Kefir & Kombucha at Home by Emma Christensen, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Paige Green © 2013)

Wild Foraged Cocktails in Canadian Tasting Room at Tales of the Cocktail 2013, New Orleans, July 17-21

Today is opening day of Tales of the Cocktail 2013 in New Orleans.

Among the country specific participants is an All Canadian Tasting Room focused on Wild Foraged Cocktails.

"Taking place Friday, July 19 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Regal Suite of the Royal Sonesta at 300 Bourbon St., “Wild Foraged Cocktails - The Canadian Shield” is the brainchild of award-winning mixologist/sommelier Lauren Mote and celebrated chef Jonathan Chovancek, creators and co-proprietors of Vancouver-based Bittered Sling."

"Mote and Chovancek, co-sponsors of the tasting room with Victoria Spirits,Pemberton DistilleryCollingwood Canadian Whisky and wild foraged spice provider Société-Original, will showcase homegrown, top-shelf spirits and cocktails that reflect truly Canadian terroir: vast forests, snow-capped peaks, pristine lakes and windswept grasslands. Joining Bittered Sling in bringing the Maple Leaf to the Mardi Gras are fellow Canadian bartenders Evelyn Chick (Blue Water Cafe), Robyn Gray(PiDGiN) and Grant Sceney (Fairmont Pacific Rim) of Vancouver, and Solomon Siegel (Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar) of Victoria."

(* 'Tales of the Cocktail 2013' poster from event website)

Breakfast tomorrow, Vegan Vanilla Mixed Berry Muffins from Flour Too

My last pick from Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories (Chronicle Books, June 2013) by Joanne Chang from Flour Bakery in Boston was Farmers' Market Salad for lunch.

This time, let's think breakfast for tomorrow.

Vegan Vanilla-Mixed Berry Muffins

We have a rule at Flour that if something is labeled “gluten free” or “low fat,” it has to be just as delicious to those who are not concerned about the label as to those who are. The same goes for our vegan items. We created this muffin to satisfy our growing number of customers who have converted to veganism, and it has as many non-vegan fans as vegan ones. In fact, most people don’t believe us when we tell them that it’s vegan. To the nonbelievers the proof is in the tin. In developing this muffin recipe, we realized that many vegan pastries make up for their lack of dairy and eggs by being super sweet and extra oily. We held back on the sugar and oil to create a scrumptious fluffy muffin that people of all dietary preferences will enjoy.

Makes 12 Muffins

2 2⁄3 cups/370 g all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp/210 ml vegetable oil
1 1⁄3 cups/315 ml plain soy milk
2 tbsp distilled white or cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup/130 g fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup/150 g fresh or frozen blueberries
special equipment: 12-cup standard muffin tin

Vegan Vanilla-Mixed Berry Muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line the cups of the muffin tin with paper liners or generously oil and flour them.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and 3⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp/175 g of the sugar and stir until well mixed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, soy milk, vinegar, and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the middle of the well. Stir with a rubber spatula until well mixed. Add the raspberries and blueberries and mix until the fruit is evenly distributed.

3. Spoon an equal amount of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins are pale gold and the tops spring back when pressed gently in the middle. Let cool in the tin on a wire rack before popping them out. The muffins taste best on the day they are baked, but any uneaten muffins can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for 2 or 3 days. For the best results, refresh them in a 300°F/150°C oven for 4 to 5 minutes. vegan apple-cinnamon muffins variation: Omit the vanilla extract, raspberries, and blueberries. Mix . tsp ground cinnamon with the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Peel, core, and chop 2 Granny Smith apples and fold them into the finished muffin batter. Proceed as directed.

(* Recipe from Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories - published by Chronicle Books, June 2013- by Joanne Chang, reproduced with permission, all rights by Michael Harlan Turkell)