Posts from June 2015

June 9, Clear your New York Evening Schedule for 37th Museum Mile Festival, Free

June 9, Clear your New York Evening Schedule for 37th Museum Mile Festival...


From 6 to 9 pm, you get free access to The Africa Center, Museo del Bario, Museum of the City of New York,  The Jewish Museum, Cooper Hewitt, National Academy Museum and School, Guggenheim Museum, Neue Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

5 Days of Bicerin, Porta Palazzo Market and Mole Antonelliana, 10 Do's and Don'ts of Turin by Lucia

It's been a while since the last 10 Do's and Don'ts , New Orleans (September 2014) was published.

This new installment on Turin was actually first published by Lucia Hannau on Turin Epicurean earlier today (June 6).

10 Do's and Don'ts in Turin

Our Twitter friend Serge the Concierge invited us to write this post following his do's and don'ts frame. 

Naturally, there are many things to do and see here, but these are the basics.

1. Spend at least 5 days because Turin is amazing and 1 day isn't enough.

2. Start your day with a bicerin, the local decadent coffee made of espresso, cream and chocolate:P Life is short!

Via Garibaldi near Piazza Statuto
3. Walk downtown as much as you can: from Piazza Statuto to Piazza Vittorio Veneto, going through Via Garibaldi, Piazza Castello, Via Po, Via Roma and Via Lagrange. There are many pedestrian streets and lots of shops, coffee places and beautiful palazzos, it will give you a sense of the city. if it rains no problem, we have over 12km/7miles of porticoes!
4. If you are staying somewhere with a furnished kitchen and you can cook, do your grocery shopping at the neighborhood market, even better at Porta Palazzo market, the largest open air market in Europe, located in the heart of Turin.

5. Try a different gelateria - gelato place, every day! Each gelato production is very different and each gelateria has its own specialties :D

this is Chef Giachello's aperitivo at Ristorante La Smarrita
6. Take advantage of aperitivo - aperitif! This Italian custom was born in Turin, so you'll experience first hand the real Turin lifestyle: after 6pm, most coffee shops cover their bars with finger food trays, lunch meats, bite size cheese portions, antipastos and even pastas! You can fill up your dish at least 2 for about 12Euros including a glass of wine or beer. This is indeed a scrumptious dinner on the budget!
7. Do visit in November because there are many things going on! On November 1 the light installations are turned up for the winter and each street displays a different pattern. The Turin Cinema Festival is around mid-November and during the last 10 days of the month there's the Chocolate Fest!

8. Do visit in April because our chocolate Easter eggs are huge and all the bakeries and coffee shops around town have amazing windows and displays

9. Visit the National Cinema Museum in Mole Antonelliana after lunch, so you can relax on the red velvet chaises longues, plus it's cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As this is the tallest building in Europe, the view from the top is just unbelievable!
Pepino in Piazza Carignano is a gelato institution 
10. Take the city's piazzas like your living-room: when you are tired sit down in one of the manyhistorical cafés, order a velvety hot chocolate in the cold months, a vermouth before dinner or an iced coffee in the summer and enjoy your time and the people watching. 
1. Don't rely on Milan's airports, land and depart directly from Turin (TRN) if you are flying, it's just more convenient.
2. Don't cross the street without checking the traffic in both directions and don't expect bus drivers to speak English; walk or use the metro (subway) it's quicker and easier.
3. Don't order wines from other Italian regions or countries! Piedmont is the Italian Burgundy because it produces top quality wines and you can easily try a new one at every meal.
4. Don't miss the Royal Palace of Venaria aka Turin's Versailles: in the summer you can have an early dinner in the royal gardens. If the King had his parties here, you can only imagine how beautiful it is!
5. Don't forget to visit the Queen's villa! This is a royal residence with one of the 3 urban vineyards in the world!! The Villa itself is beautiful and always open but before visiting the vineyard, contactBalbiano to know when it's open for the harvest (usually between the end of September and the beginning of October depending on the weather).
6. Don't skip the Egyptian museum!! You'll be amazed by its impressive collection of everyday objects, perfectly preserved papyri and mummies!
Agnolottini del plin
7. Don't be scared and try the local culinary specialties: Turin is a real epicurean capital with the most refined Italian cuisine. From risottos to desserts, a whole new culinary world will open up to you! Forget about the Italian food you already know.
8. Don't leave Turin without sampling local wines, beers, grappas and cocktails but: don't get wasted, Italians don't get drunk in public and usually have food with their cocktails. Turin has such a long spirits tradition there's always a new drink waiting for you.
"Sar.To 2014" to celebrate the Turin hometown of Italian fashion and its designers
9. Don't look for mainstream fashion designers! Turin is the leading capital of design and there are LOTS of very talented indie fashion designers making one of a kind handmade pieces, like: 
10. Don't assume Turin is just an industrial city, there is always something going on: art festivals in October, Fashion week, lots of special exhibits all year round, free concerts in the piazzas (jazz, classical), electronic music and DJs week-ends, chocolate festival, sports events, parades, you name it!

XL Gianduiotto - Turin's staple chocolate, at the Chocolate Fest
 (* All photos and illustrations courtesy of Lucia and Turin Epicurean)

Savory Chorizo Donuts, Vegan Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts, Your Pick for National Donut Day


Vegan Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts  from Sweet Avenue in Rutherford (New Jersey)

Apple cider donuts

Or edgy offering, Savory Chorizo Donuts, courtesy of Olympic Provisions from The Mighty Gastropolis Portland (Chronicle Books. 2012) by Karen Brooks with Gideon Bosker and Teri Gelber.

Make your pick for #NationalDonutDay

Deep in the Molasses, Dark, Fudgy Muscovado Brownies from 'Real Sweet'

We are deep in the molasses with this second recipe from Real SweetMore Than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Made with Natural Sugars (William Morrow, March 2015 ) by Shauna Sever.

Dark, Fudgy Muscovado Brownies

Makes Twenty-Five 1½-Inch Squares

Dark muscovado sugar pulls double duty in this insanely rich, fudgy brownie—the sugar’s deep molasses flavor marries fabulously with bittersweet chocolate, and its moist quality (along with a gooey hit of brown rice syrup) contributes a chocolate truffle-esque chew. If there ever was a mysterious “bad boy” version of a brownie, this would be it.

6 tablespoons (3 ounces/84 grams) unsalted butter

6 ounces (168 grams) bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cacao), chopped

3 tablespoons (⅝ ounce/18 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder

¾ cup (6 ounces/168 grams) firmly packed dark muscovado sugar

3tablespoons (2¼ ounces/63 grams) brown rice syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

2 large eggs, cold

½ cup (2⅛ ounces/60 grams) whole wheat pastry flour, spooned and leveled

Real Sweet Brownies

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line an 8 × 8-inch metal baking pan with an 8-inch- wide strip of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on 2 sides. Lightly grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter.

2. In a large heatproof bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave with 60-second bursts of high power, stirring well after each interval until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Whisk in the sugar, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, and salt until well blended (a few small lumps of sugar may remain—the rough charm of dark muscovado!). Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Switch from a whisk to a spatula and add the flour, stirring gently just until no traces of flour remain. Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

3. Bake until a toothpick comes out mostly clean, with a smudge of chocolate at the end, and the brownie slab has just begun to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the brownies using the foil or parchment “handles” and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

TIP: Using a plastic knife—the humble, disposable kind used for picnics—makes for the cleanest-edged brownies you’ve ever seen.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Real Sweet' by Shauna Sever, published by William Morrow, March 2015, Photographs by Leigh Beisch)

Look for a Lean Shoulder, Tacos al Pastor from Kevin Gillespie 'Pure Pork Awesomeness'

You'll need a shoulder to lean on for this recipe from Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World (Andrews McMeel, March 2015) by Atlanta chef Kevin Gillespie and David Joachim. 

Tacos al Pastor

Feeds 4

When I was 20, my Mexican friend Vincente took me to Mexico City for tacos al pastor. We walked up to this super-busy stall that had spits of marinated, sliced, and stacked pork rotating near a fire—almost like the meat for gyros. Pineapples rotated near the fire right next to the pork. The tacos are called al pastor because missionaries came from Jerusalem to Mexico and brought their Middle Eastern foodways with them. Over time, tacos al pastor became one of the most popular Mexican tacos. Go figure. Anyway, here’s my veiled attempt to nail down the spicy-sweet-savory flavors. The texture is nearly impossible to get right without 200 pounds of sliced pork rotating on a spit. Instead, I use trim and scraps of pork shoulder, cut them small, and then sear the pork in a smoking-hot pan. Garnish the meat with spicy salsa and some chopped onion and cilantro, and it makes a damn fine taco.

1 pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch cubes, about

2 cups, or 1 (20-ounce) can unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained

1 medium Vidalia onion, cut into rough chunks

10 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons ancho chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound lean pork shoulder, cut into ¾-inch chunks (see Worth Knowing)

3 teaspoons grapeseed oil or canola oil

8 fresh corn tortillas

½ cup sour cream

1 lime

1 bunch cilantro

58 tacos al pastro

Reserve ½ cup pineapple chunks and onion and refrigerate for later use. Combine the remaining pineapple, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes in a blender and blend to a paste. Place the meat and marinade in a gallon-size zip-top bag, squeeze out excess air, and zip closed. Refrigerate overnight.

Strain the pork and discard the marinade.

Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add just enough of the oil to the pan for a thin coating and heat until the oil just starts to smoke. Working in batches, add the tortillas in a single layer and heat just until starting to char, about 1 minute per side, then flip and cook for another minute. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.

Add just enough of the oil to cover the pan, swirl to coat, and heat until smoking. Add the pork and reserved pineapple and cook for 1 minute, or until browned. Shake the pan to flip the meat and cook until the pork is cooked through and the pan juices have cooked dry, about 7 minutes, shaking the pan frequently.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream with the juice of ½ lime and whisk until smooth. Cut the remaining ½ lime into 4 wedges. Coarsely chop ½ cup cilantro leaves. Reserve 4 sprigs.

Serve the tortillas topped with the meat and pineapple mixture, reserved pineapple and onion, chopped cilantro, a drizzle of the lime sour cream, a lime wedge, and whole sprig of cilantro.

Worth Knowing:

Look for a lean shoulder roast for this recipe. It will be a piece of a boneless Boston butt. Get the smallest and leanest roast you can find, which will probably be 2 to 3 pounds. If you get a piece with excess fat, just trim it away before cutting the meat into chunks.

( * Recipe reproduced with permission from Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World by Kevin Gillespie and David Joachim. Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, March 2015)

Elote, Mexican Grilled Corn, Taste of Summer on Rainy Monday from The Grilling Book

Grilled corn is a summer staple that brings a little sun on rainy Monday with this recipe from The Grilling Book (Bon Appetit/ Andrews McMeel Publishing, April 2013) edited by Adam Rapoport...

Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn)

8 servings

Vegetable oil, for brushing

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

8 ears of corn, husked

¼ cup mayonnaise or unsalted butter

½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese, Parmesan, or ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta cheese)

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Special Equipment: A pastry brush


In recent years, this addictive way of preparing corn—brushing charred kernels with mayonnaise and a tangy, spicy combination of chili, lime, and Cotija cheese—has become incredibly popular. It’s also great for serving family-style: Put all of the ingredients out separately and let your guests top the corn however they wish.

Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high. Brush grill grate with oil. Combine chili powder and cayenne in a small bowl.

Grill corn, turning occasionally with tongs, until cooked through and lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Remove from grill and immediately brush each ear with 1½ tsp. mayonnaise. Sprinkle each with 1 Tbsp. cheese and a pinch of chili powder mixture. Squeeze 1 lime wedge over each ear and serve.

(* The Grilling Book by Bon Appetit/ Andrews McMeel Publishing- April 2013- edited by Adam Rapoport)