Posts from January 2015

Warm Up your Soul with Chateau du Mourre du Tendre Red Rhone 'Old Vines'

Warm up your soul with Chateau du Mourre du Tendre Red Rhone 'Old Vines'.

Mourre du tendre

This rustic Cotes du Rhone Village 'Vielles Vignes' 2011 really spoke to me.

80% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre...Retails in $27 range

Aged for 3 and a half years in concrete tank, bottled unfiltered

Sake Up Valentine's Day with Romantic Sake Cocktails Class, Japan Society, Feb.10

Sake Up your Valentine Day with Romantic Sake Cocktails Class at Japan Society in New York on February 10, 2015.

Creamy pink sake cocktail

"Stir your passion with this hands-on workshop led by certified sake sommelier Chris Johnson. Whether solo or with a date, you'll leave with the skills and recipes to shake up your Valentine's Day menu! Participants will learn about the varieties of sake that exist and how they can fit into any mixologists' cocktail-making repertoire, especially for this time of the year. Under Chris's guidance, each participant will mix and enjoy several Valentine's Day-themed sake cocktails and receive a cocktail-making kit to take home after the workshop."

Tickets: $69/$64 Japan Society members (ticket includes cocktails, snacks & cocktail-making kit)

Romance with Japanese Flair for Tokyo Thursdays #302

( * Illustration is Cloudy Cherry Sake 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)

Get full Cloudy Cherry Sake recipe Here...

Half-inch Layer of Pimento Cheese Ready to Fall on Super Bowl Table, 'Heritage' Recipe

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.

Pimento Cheese

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

Pimento Cheese

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.

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.

(*Excerpted from Heritage by Sean Brock -Artisan Books, Copyright © 2014- Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards)

Menu for EAT Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival 2015 Fresh Off the Press

Menu for EAT! Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival 2015  is fresh off the press.

Quoting from press release:

As part of the expanded week-long lineup, EAT! Vancouver will host 15 top chefs from across Canada who will participate in 35 unique culinary events including: 
  • Collaborative Chef Dinner Series that sees EAT! guest chefs paired with Vancouver’s hottest kitchens to create 12 unforgettable dining experiences; 
  • Seventeen exclusive Hands-on Workshops being held throughout the week at premier restaurants, chef’s private homes and artisan kitchens across the city;
  • The Canadian Flavors Gala in partnership with the Naramata Bench Wineries Association, featuring more than 15 top chefs from across Canada pairing unique local dishes with the first spring release wines from the Naramata Bench;

Eat vancouver

From May 1 to 3, EAT! Vancouver at BC Place features over 250 exhibitors celebrating food, drink and cooking, celebrity chefs from across Canada, including Ned Bell, Rob Feenie, Susur Lee, Mark McEwan, Anna Olson and Vikram Vij, as well as all-new programming such as:

  • The Canadian Food Artisan Pavilion sponsored by Edible Canada, which spotlights the country’s leading culinary artisans and their products;
  • The Craft Beer Alley sponsored by the BC Craft Brewers Guild, which features the best local craft beers, recognized globally for excellence;
Tickets for all EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival events go on sale March 5.
This 13th edition of EAT! Vancouver runs from April 26 to May 3rd, 2015.

Theise Trio, Selbach, Von Winning, Spreitzer 101, Riesling 3 Ways for Snow Day

It just happens that 3 Rieslings I purchased recently were all imported by the house of Terry, Terry Theise.

Theise Trio

From left to right, creamy Selbach 'Incline' from Mosel, tangy acidity of Von Winning 'in Deidesheim' from Pfalz, and green apples Spreitzer "Riesling 101' in Rheingau.

Shaking It, Paris Cocktail Week, Semaine Coquetelle, Paris, January 24 to 31

From Dirty Dick in Sopi (South Pigalle) to Mabel (Montorgueil-Sentier) and Le Hibou in St Germain-Odeon, the city of lights is shaking it pour 'une semaine coquetelle'.

Paris cocktail week

A celebration of cocktails every which way, Paris Cocktail Week opened on January 24 and concludes on January 31, 2015.

Thanls to Forest Collins for putting Paris Cocktail Week on my map.

(* Illustration from Paris Cocktail Week Facebook page)

Healthy Kind of Fat, Walnut and Banana Bread from 'The Paleo Diet Cookbook' by Daniel Green

Not from Stonehedge, add this recipe from The Paleo Diet Cookbook, Food Your Body is Designed to Eat (Kyle Books, by Daniel Green to your brunch-breakfast offerings.

Walnut and Banana Bread

I first tried this fantastic banana bread when filming a show with the American cooking icon, Paula Deen. I have tried many versions to reduce the fat, and think this one is the winner.

220 calories | 15.8g fat | 1.9g saturates | 11.3g sugar | 0.1g salt | 7.5g
protein | 2.3g fiber

Serves 8

oil, for greasing
2 ripe bananas
3 eggs
1 heaping cup almond flour
11/2 tablespoons raw honey
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Walnut Banana Bread

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil an 8 x 41/2 inch nonstick loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas thoroughly with a fork. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add the flour and honey. Stir in the walnuts and mashed banana.

Pour the cake mixture into the pan and bake for 20–30 minutes, or until a thin skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

TIP: Walnuts are high in calories and fat, but like avocados, it is the healthy kind of fat, which keeps you feeling full. they’re also a great source of fiber and protein.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from  'The Paleo Diet: Food Your Body is Designed to Eat' by Daniel Green- published by Kyle Books- 2014)

Young European Photography Festival, Circulations 2015, Opens January 24 at CentQuatre, Paris

Young European photography festival Circulations 2015 opens Saturday, January 24. 

Circulations 2015

This 5th edition of the festival takes place at CENTQUATRE-PARIS 5 rue Curial, Paris 19th, and runs until March 8.

This year's godmother is Nathalie Herschdorfer, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland.

Exhibitions featuring 40+ European photographers are on the menu

You can also get a glimpse of the festival offerings at Gare du Nord 'Exposition Hors Les Murs - Gares&Connexions' with works from Karolin Klüppel (Germany), Charlotte Lybeer (Belgium) and Guillaume Martial (France)

Access is Free

Closed Mondays

Open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 7 PM

Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 7 PM

Get full preview of festival on L'oeil de la photographie...

Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Sinaloa Style Chicken Chorizo Tamales from 'Tamales'

In contrast to Vegan Jalapeno Pesto Potato Tamales from Tamales, Fast and Delicious Mexican Meals (Ten Speed Press, October 2014) by Alice Guadalupe Tapp, here's a meat filled recipe from same book.

Chicken Sinaloa Tamales

This is a great version of Sinaloa-style tamales. Sinaloa is a state in Mexico where my father was born—Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, and Acapulco are all in located in Sinaloa. These tamales are simple to make with the Super Easy Red Pasilla Chile Sauce. We offer these tamales in our shop at Christmas, as it is a traditional Christmas tamale in my father’s birthplace and a family favorite.

Makes 18 Tamales

1/4 cup olive oil
1 small to medium onion, diced
1 medium potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 pickled jalapeños, minced
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped green olives
3 or more cups Super Easy Red Pasilla Chile Sauce (page 36)
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
31/2 cups Basic Fresh Masa (page 22)

Heat the oil in large pot over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potato, carrot, zucchini, jalapeños, and salt and stir to combine. Sauté for 15 minutes or until the potato and carrot are barely soft. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the tomato, raisins, olives, chile pasilla sauce, and chicken. Fold well.

Taste and adjust the salt.

Assemble the tamales (see pages 5-6), using 1/4 cup masa and 1/4 cup filling for each tamale.

Transfer to a steamer and steam for 50 minutes.

Chicken and Chorizo tamales

Super Easy Red Pasilla Chile Sauce

A simple version of the famous red chile sauce, this recipe cuts the preparation time down from 2 hours or more to 45 minutes. If you have leftover sauce, make enchiladas or chilaquiles. If the sauce is too hot, add 16 ounces of tomato sauce. If you want more heat, use New Mexico hot dried chiles instead of the pasilla chiles, which are milder.

Makes 7  Cups

1 (2-ounce) package dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded, or 4 tablespoons prepared chile paste
2 (28-ounce) cans enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Place the cleaned chiles in a medium bowl and pour boiling water to cover, place a dish on top to keep the heat in, and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until the chiles are completely soft. Place the chiles into a food processor or blender and process until you have a smooth paste, then add the enchilada sauce, oregano, sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper and process or blend until well combined, about 5 to 10 seconds.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the sauce, cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool. The sauce can be refrigerated or frozen for future use.

Basic Fresh Masa

To make this type of masa dough, my grandmother used lard, and my mother used vegetable shortening or a combination of both. I switched to butter. Traditional cooks use even more fat than what is called for here, but I think this 1:5 ratio of butter to masa is perfect. Feel free to use your preference of lard, shortening, butter, or margarine.

Makes about 60 Tamales

1 pound butter or margarine, softened
5 pounds stone ground fresh masa (unprepared)
2 to 3 cups stock (chicken, pork, beef, or vegetable)
2 tablespoons salt (or less to taste)

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add one-third of the fresh masa alternating with one-third of the stock, then add the salt. Beat until well mixed, adding more stock if needed, turn the mixer to high, and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the dough resembles spackling paste.

Take a small piece (about 1/2 teaspoon) of the dough and drop it into a cup of cold water. If it floats, it is ready; if it sinks, whip for another minute and test it again. Repeat this process until the masa floats.

Note: The fresher the masa, the faster it will become light and fluffy enough for use.

(*Reprinted with permission from Tamales, by Alice Guadalupe Tapp, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Sara Remington)