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.