Sunday, May 22, 2011

Canned Seafood - Angulas - Baby Eels

They are expensive and you can try the surimi version for a lot less cash. But, if you've discovered the world of fine canned seafoods, then these are worth the extravagance. Unlike the fake ones on the surimi version, the black dots on the real thing are really little eyes.

They are pre-cooked in olive oil, so if you can't wait, just enjoy them right out of the can on a slice of bread. The flavor is pure fishy indulgence. You can also sautee them in a pan with a little garlic, but don't over do it, these little guys are fragile. And have lots of bread on hand to sop up the oil - there's tons of flavor in there too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Old Barolo

Cappellano Chinato - back to the fifties

Bartolo Mascarello 1964




Giuseppe Rinaldi

Looking for some of these wines? Try shopping here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lime Cordial

I grew up drinking Rose's Sweetened Lime Cordial - it was a great addition to water or lemonade (the British version) and for a kid, it was the perfect combination of sweet and tart. In fact, it was used to be a staple for tennis players to drink as a thirst quencher.

So when I read this article in T Magazine about making your own lime cordial as a much better starting point for a Gimlet, I was intrigued. I haven't had Rose's in years, but I am always on the look out for interesting new twists on cocktails.

The recipe has just a few steps and once you get the hang of peeling and squeezing it's fairly easy. And the result is truly eye opening. Yes, there's sugar in there, but it's all about the pure expression of the lime juice and zest.

Ingredients (adjusted quantities from the T Magazine recipe)
- 6 limes
- Just under 1 cup of sugar

1) Wash and clean the limes.
2) Cut off the ends of the limes.
3) Peel the limes, removing as little pith (the white stuff) as possible.
4) Cut the limes in half and juice them into a non-reactive bowl.
5) Stir the sugar into the lime juice, until the sugar is dissolved - a few minutes.
6) Add the lime peel, handfuls at a time, crushing and smushing the lime peel for adding.
7) Stir the lime / lime peel mixture.
8) Refrigerate, covered, for 12 to 24 hours.
9) Strain and put in it's final container (glass bottle).
10) Refrigerate for another 12 to 24 hours to cure.

Immediately after it's ready, make a Gin Gimlet. In a cocktail shaker, add 1.25oz gin (Plymouth's) and 1oz lime cordial over ice, and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime twist or lime slice. This recipe is more of a guideline than a prescription, although this version produced a really balanced, enjoyable cocktail.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shrimp Head Powder

I've been meaning to make shrimp head powder since learning how to make it from Graffit chef Jesus Nunez. He used it along side a shrimp carpaccio, but I planned to use it as an garnish for shrimp risotto.

The flavor of shrimp head powder is pure shrimp essence. It really tastes like the dry powder version of sucking the juices out of a freshly cooked shrimp head.

Here's a bad cellphone picture version of his powder with the carpaccio.

- 6 Blue Shrimp Heads

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Place shrimp heads on a baking tray.
3. Bake shrimp heads for 45 minutes to an hour or until the heads are dry and crispy.
4. Remove from the oven and let the shrimp heads cool.
5. In a coffee mill / spice grinder, grind the heads into a powder.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mezcal & Margarita 2.0

Mezcal's taking 2011 by storm. If you love the fact that wine has terroir, then single vineyard, unique, artisanal mezcals are for you. Everyone seems to be writing about them - probably because it's Cinqo de Mayo and probably because it's deserved.

A couple of days ago at F.E.D., we published the recipe for the Margarita 2.0, which was created by Jim Meehan of PDT for Sombra mezcal (co-owned by Master Sommelier and cool guy, Richard Betts).

With mezcal, limes, grapefruit juice, agave syrup, cucumber slices, salt all in hand, it was time to get a head start on Cinqo de Mayo. Actually, I was just really intrigued to try a margarita made with mezcal.

It's a really good cocktail - hints of the smokiness, lots of bright tartness, and a balance from the sweet components.

Bottom line: get some mezcal, try it on the rocks to experience the full flavors, then experiment and have some fun. Incidentally, @yobetts (as Richard Betts is known on twitter) recommends trying these five mezcals:
- Del Maguey
- Sombra
- Los Amantes
- Los Danzantes
- Ilegal.