Friday, December 31, 2010

Serrano Ham and Tomato Bread Rolls (Chef Jesus Nunez)

Chef Jesus Nunez's (Graffit restaurant) appetizer twist on a Spanish traditional classic of bread, tomato, and Serrano ham. This is actually a modification of his recipe that can be found
here on Find. Eat. Drink.

- 1 small Ciabbata bread 
- 1 ripe tomato
- 4 slices Serrano ham
- Extra virgin olive oil

1. Cut the ciabbata bread into tiny cubes (the size of your pinkie nail.)
2. Chop the tomatoes into the same size pieces.
Note: you basically want equal amounts of tomato and bread.
3. In a bowl, mix both ingredients together to make a paste. Season to taste, remembering that the Serrano is reasonably salty.
4. Grab a slice of Serrano ham and put a tablespoon of the bread-tomato mixture on one end of the slice.
5. Roll the rest of the ham slice over the bread-tomato mixture so that it wraps around. 
6. Finish off with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

Wine Pairing
You can never really go wrong with a Lopez de Heredia Rose, but in this case, it is a wonderful pairing. But then again, you can't go wrong with bubbles either.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cocktail: Habitant

The Habitant
Created by Larry Denis, Seignory Club, The Log Chateau, Quebec
Adapted From Bottom's Up by Ted Saucier (1951)
From The Big Bartenders Book by Jeff Masson & Greg Boehm

This is a cocktail worth trying: balanced, bright, fresh, slightly rich and there's no sweetness from the small amount of maple syrup. In fact, I am going try this again with a touch more syrup, especially on a cold night.

- 1.5 ounce Rittenhouse Rye
- 1 ounce Lemon Juice
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Alberto Giacometti in the Galerie Maeght

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Alberto Giacometti in the Galerie Maeght
Paris, 1961 via wikipedia

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Wines

1) Txomin Etxaniz Eugenia (Sparkling Txakoli)
Carried back from Getaria, Spain in 2009 - as you'd expect from a Txakoli, it was bright, crisp, minerally - fun with bubbles - fine bubbles - not overly complex, but interesting nonetheless.

2) R. Lopez de Heredia 2000 Gran Reserva Vina Tondonia Rosado (Rioja)
One favorite producers - an amazing rose, just perfect with tapas, cheese, meats, fish. Complex, salmon colored, some sherried component, nutty, bright, beautiful texture.

3) R. Lopez de Heredia 1987 Gran Reserva Vina Tondonia Red (Rioja)
Opened up pretty tightly wound, not expressive, thin, awkward, but after a little while in the decanter and the glass, it started to sing. truffle, mushroom, earthiness, sweet raspberry fruit, elegant. Just brilliant.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


We dropped by PDT yesterday afternoon to talk to Jim Meehan (partner / mixologist at PDT) for Find. Eat. Drink. while David Engelhardt photographed him making cocktails. It's funny to drop by a blacked out bar at 1:30pm on Monday afternoon - there's a sense of guilt even if it's on business and you don't plan on drinking. Jim's become very well known for his cocktail work at PDT and for furthering the cocktail movement. He's passionate about his craft and has a definite point of view - I always enjoy talking to people who are following their passions.

If you haven't had the pleasure of enjoying a well crafted cocktail with tater tots and hot dogs from Crif Dogs, you should.

Thirty Century Man in Norway

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hot Toddy

Late fall, early winter getting you down already? That first cold kicked in hard? Some might say the answer is to lay low and get lots of sleep, or drink some hot tea. My answer: the hot toddy.
Here's a recipe I developed for a Find. Eat. Drink. article.
2 tablespoons whisky
2 tablespoons mild honey
3 whole cloves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup boiling water
1 lemon slice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1) In a mug or cup, mix the whisky, honey, lemon juice together.
2) Add the cloves, slice lemon, and the lemon zest.
3) Finally add the hot water and stir together.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Tintin - The Crab with the Golden Claws (1940)
(c) Hergé

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Braised Bison Cheek

When I picked up some bison cheeks from the Union Square Farmers Market, the guy responded to my question about how to cook bison cheek with "low heat, long time. Braise it."

- bison cheek
- onion chopped
- carrot chopped
- garlic finely chopped
- celery stalk sliced
- can of whole peeled tomatoes
- red wine

1) Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
2) In a heavy bottom, oven proof saucepan (dutch ovens from Le Creuset work very well) over medium high heat, add some vegetable oil, season the cheek with salt and pepper, and brown it on both sides - a few minutes per side.
3) Remove the cheek and put it in a bowl. Reduce to medium heat, and add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrot to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and cook until the onion is translucent.
4) Add a cup or so of red wine and deglaze the pan.
5) Add the can of tomatoes and stir to break up the whole tomatoes. Or when putting the tomatoes into the pan, squish with your hand.
5) Stir everything together and add the cheek with its juices into the pan. Pour over some vegetables and juice over the cheek. Cover and put in the over.
6) Cook in the oven for several hours, stirring, and flipping the cheek every so often.
7) The meat should be fork tender and juicy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Citroen DS 1962

Citroen DS 1962
Photograph from Deutsche Fotothek
Taken in Dresden, Germany on Freiberger Stasse

Citroen DS & Concorde

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chicken & Garlic Sausage & Broccoli Rabe With Saffron Pappardelle

A simple Sunday evening meal using some ingredients picked up at the New Amsterdam Market.

- Chicken and garlic sausage from Brooklyn Cured (Brooklyn, NY) - cut into chunks
- Fresh saffron pappardelle from The Ravioli Store (Long Island City, NY)
- Broccoli rabe from the local market (chopped)
- Yellow onion from the local market
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper

- Get a large pot of salted water boiling
- In a saute pan, over medium high heat, brown the sausage in a little olive oil. Remove from pan when browned.
- In the same pan, add a little more olive oil and sweat the onions over medium heat for a few minutes until tender and translucent. Season.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water - this should only take a couple of minutes with fresh pasta.
- Add the broccoli rabe, red pepper flakes, and saute. Season. Add some pasta water to help cook and wilt the broccoli rabe.
- Add the sausage back into the pan and combine.
- When the pasta is done, add it to the pan, with a little pasta water as needed and combine. Grate some Parmigiano-Reggiano into the pan.
- Serve.

Wine Pairing
Nebbiolo or Barbera.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Natural Pickles

Pickle fest was a couple of weeks ago in the Lower East Side and I got to try some natural / lacto fermented pickles. Lots of pickles today are made with vinegar (and spices, flavorings) and this provides consistency and doesn't require immediate refrigeration.

Lacto fermentation or natural pickling on the other hand is pickling using wild fermentation - think yogurt culture, natural wine...As you can see from the photo, there's living things in there.

The taste? Less obvious upfront acidity, a more mellow pickling if you will. It's almost as if there's a yogurt type flavor in there. Very interesting and definitely worth trying. Try Adamah pickles.

Here's a more detailed explanation of natural pickling from Sandor Katz:
“Wild fermentation involves creating conditions in which naturally occurring organisms thrive and proliferate. Fermentation can be low-tech. These are ancient rituals that humans have been performing for many generations. They are a powerful connection to the magic of the natural world, and to our ancestors, whose clever observations enable us to enjoy the benefits of these transformations.
By eating a variety of live fermented foods, you promote diversity among microbial cultures in your body. Biodiversity, increasingly recognized as critical to the survival of larger-scale ecosystems, is just as important at the micro level. Call it microbiodiversity. Your body is an ecosystem that can function most effectively when populated by diverse species of microorganisms. By fermenting foods and drinks with wild microorganisms present in your home environment, you become more interconnected with the life forces of the world around you. Your environment becomes you, as you invite the microbial populations you share the earth with to enter your diet and your intestinal ecology.”
— Sandor Katz,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pork Loin Roast

Pork loin roast with Dijon regular and whole grain mustards and ground fennel salt. Based on a recipe from

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Equipo Navazos La Bota de Fino #15

There's lots of chatter in the wine geek circles about Equipo Navazos - so I thought it was time to try a bottle of the fino. Fino and Manzanilla are one of the great ways to start an evening and fortunately (from a cost perspective), sherry is still unpopular and can be relatively inexpensive. Why is that? Do the oxidative notes scare people? Is it too confusing? Or is it just that it's an "old" persons drink? Whatever the reasons, people should get over their preconceived notions and drink a drop of sherry.

The La Bota de Fino #15 is definitely a good sherry, but at $40 for a bottle, it's pretty expensive. Upon first opening, the nose seemed pretty closed, but on the second day, it was much more expressive. Lots of nuts, minerals, citrus, salt - like a sea breeze. The second evening, I drank it with pan fried sardines - and it was an excellent pairing.

NY at Night

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Not really a fisherman, but really enjoyed this video.

Summer Tarpon Reel from Cavin Brothers on Vimeo.


The perfect summer soup - cool, crisp, bright, refreshing.

- 2 roma tomatoes
- 2 heirloom tomatoes
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes
- 1 english Cucumber
- 2/3 green pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 0.5 tablespoons Pedro Ximinez Sherry vinegar (sweet)
- 1.5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Salt & Pepper to taste

- Quarter 1 each of the types of tomatoes (half the amount) and add to food processor
- Peel 1/2 of the cucumber, roughly chop, and add to food processor
- Clean and de-seed/de-vein the green pepper; take 1/3 of the pepper and roughly chop, and add to food processor
- Add the minced garlic to the food processor
- Process the tomatoes, cucumber, and green pepper in the food processor - the tomatoes will turn a light, creamy, pink color.
- Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and process.
- Taste for flavor - depending on the acidity of the tomatoes more vinegar can be added. Taste for salt and pepper.
- The remaining half of the tomatoes, cucumber (skin on), and green pepper should be finely diced and added to a large bowl.
- Pour the blended mixture on to the diced vegetables and stir them together.
- Taste for seasoning.
- Let the soup rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Top with quartered cherry or grape tomatoes, home-made croutons, shrimp.

Wine Pairing
- Fino or Manzanilla sherry
- A bright, crisp white wine such as txakoli or albarino
- A dry rose: a txakoli rose from Ameztoi would be great or one of my favorites Lopez de Heredia Rioja Rosado.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Galaxy Diner

Galaxy Diner, Route 23, Butler, NJ.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pimm's No. 1 Cup

Pimm's No. 1 Cup

- 1 part Pimm's No. 1
- 3 parts Gus' Extra Dry Ginger Ale - also try Fentimans Ginger Beer
- Ice
- Seedless (English) cucumber wedges or slices
- Mint sprig
- Strawberry
- Orange slice

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Marinated anchovies
Roast red pepper and Parmigiano Reggiano
Ricotta with balsamic glaze, olive oil, salt

Prunotto 1990 Barbera d'Alba

Prunotto 1990 Barbera d'Alba Pian Romualdo
Still going strong. Delicious. Dark red fruits, savory, earthy. Paired with roast chicken with potato and squash gratin.

Sardines Sandwich

Sardine sandwich with boiled egg, celery leaves, boiled potato, capers.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Vesper Version 2

The Vesper Version 2
Berkshire Mountain Ethereal Gin (3 parts)
Ketel One Vodka (1 part)
Cocchi Americano (1/2 measure)

Summer Night

Hot summer night, Hudson Street, NYC.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coffee @ RBC in Tribeca

Cortado at RBD in Tribeca - yes the new coffee joint with the Slayer espresso machine. It was pretty tasty and the chocolate chip cookie wasn't half bad either.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bordeaux and Lamb

There are some wine and meat combinations that just excite me - lamb and Bordeaux is one of those things. The only thing missing was a chunk of sharp old cheddar. The lamb was a small hunk from a leg I picked up Whole Foods on Union Square, just simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. And the Bordeaux? A fun little Chateau Bourgneuf 1989 from Pomerol. It was fresh, alive, youthful, structured, with minerals, dark fruits, berries, and smoke. Just the way a Bordeaux should be - and just spot on with the roasted leg of lamb.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ithaca is... Art

I always liked I.M. Pei's Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum at Cornell, but did they improve the art work contained in the building since 1993? I also discovered they are building an extension to the museum using the original I.M. Pei design. Even if you don't enjoy the artwork, the views alone are worth the visit - both from the top floor and the open air sculpture area.