Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Nuts

Sweet & Spicy Nuts

Based on the recipe printed in Gourmet magazine December 1994. The original includes pecans instead of peanuts and only uses cayenne. The recipe has some back heat, but not too much. It's definitely rounded out by the sweetness from the sugar.

- 2 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 teaspoon New Mexican hot chili powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
- 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
- 1 1/2 cups peanuts
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2) Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until very foamy.
3) Gradually beat in sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.
4) Stir in nuts and butter, combining well, and spread in a large shallow baking pan. Make sure there is a single layer of nuts.
5) Bake nuts in middle of oven, stirring every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes.
6) Spread nuts on a sheet of foil and cool.
7) Break up nut clusters.

Nuts can be stored for a week in a airtight container.

Obviously perfect for enjoying with cocktails, but they really enhance the flavors of a well-made Manhattan.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Wines

Radikon 2004 Oslavje  Venezia Giulia IGT
Chateau Mouchac-La Rame 1982 Bordeaux
Chateau Beau-Site 1989 Saint-Estephe
Chateau La Grolet 1973 Cotes De Bourg

Radikon 2004 Oslavje Venezia Giulia IGT (1 Liter)
Love this wine, it's truly brilliant -- 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Grigio and 30% Sauvignon -- orange, rich, tannic, peach skin, apples, nuts, herbs. The bottle is unique, the neck is narrow and the cork tiny. Paired with Chicken Faux Gras and Garlic Chili Crab Dip.

Chateau Mouchac-La Rame 1982 Bordeaux
Found by my friend in his fathers basement -- probably untouched since purchased for a pittance in the early '80s. Sometimes it can be really fun to taste a well stored aged wine that was never meant to be something. Youthful and aged in the same taste. It worked well after starting with the Radikon.

Chateau Beau-Site 1989 Saint-Estephe
Structured, young, vibrant, mineral, like crushing blackberry on graphite and slate with a hint of smokiness. Paired with roasted guinea fowl, roast potatoes, roast brussels sprouts and celeriac puree. Also paired with stilton and cheddar cheeses.

Chateau La Grolet 1973 Cotes De Bourg
Very light, better nose than on the palate, but interesting nonetheless. Not much sense of fruit left, but definitely some tertiary flavors.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Luigi Perazzi 1971 Vino Bramaterra

Luigi Perazzi 1971 Vino Bramaterra

A delightful wine - light, elegant, not much weight or fruit, started out a little stinky, but blew off. Mushrooms, rose, tar -- classic stuff.

Paired with roasted rack of pork from Dickson's Farmstand Meats.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Patti Smith @ MoMA

Patti Smith performing at the MoMA in the atrium in celebration of Jean Genet's 101st birthday.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some '78s And Other Italians

Giuseppe Mascarello 1978 Barolo Villero

Dinner @ Tomate Rouge with some esteemed wine fellows, a collection of wines of Piedmont and one Tuscan.

The highlights were:

Giuseppe Mascarello 1978 Barolo Villero: started very bright, almost hot, but quickly mellowed into a lovely aged Barolo full of life and energy. The best wine of the night.

Roagna 1978 Barbaresco Crichet Paje: all meaty beef broth on the nose with some classic Barbaresco flavors.

Giuseppe Mascarello 1991 Barolo Monprivato: very young, but in a good way, not in a lean muscular way. Structured, but with a solid base of fruit. With some air and time it opened up nicely.

The Tuscan: Talenti 1985 Brunello di Montalcino was a good showing, but up against unfair competition. Had the wine been opened on it's own then it would have been more welcomed. It was definitely less exciting than the Piedmonts.

An unfortunately loser of the evening was the Giacosa 1978 -- corked.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Sausage Martini A La Joe Beef

The Sausage Martini A La Joe Beef

Take a classic vodka martini recipe, skip the twist, skip the olives, add a little Vienna sausage, and you have the Joe Beef Sausage Martini.

This fantastically fun recipe sparked me to laugh when I read it in their new book: The Art Of Living According To Joe Beef.

The ingredients are vodka, dry vermouth, some of the sausage juice, Tabasco sauce and garnish with a Vienna sausage -- get the ingredients.

If you haven't had a Vienna sausage in a while, the smell from the can might surprise you, but can you really beat having a little meat in your martini?