The Running of the Bulls occurs today in Pamplona, Spain, and coincidentally, Spain is also matched with Germany in the World Cup semi-finals. It only makes sense that the Recipe of the Day is Paella!
Today is National Fried Chicken Day- Try this Recipe of the Day for dinner tonight!
Did you know that the bikini was debuted today in Paris, France, in 1946? These cookies are a perfect compliment to that new summer bikini!
This Recipe of the Day was originally posted July 5th, 2010.
Baked beans are an excellent side for a cookout! Try this Recipe of the Day:
This Recipe of the Day was originally posted July 3rd, 2010.
Today is a mixture of National Bison Month and National Grilling Month- throw these delicious Bison Burgers on the grill tonight!
Happy first day of July! Today is Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day- what is the most creative ice cream flavor you have tried or made? If you haven’t, try this recipe of the day:
I recently had the pleasure of touring the back rooms of the Half Moon Bay Brewery courtesy of the head chef, Mark Hamilton. While Mark is genius in his own right as he expertly runs the kitchen, it’s the brewery and resulting output which really impressed me. Or rather, the beer and food pairing which followed our tour.
Mark and Gaston were kind enough to indulge us with a wonderful spread of food and a beer sampler to close out the day. And while I admit I’ve never considered beer in the context of food or desserts I was really impressed with the experience and flavors which came out of the tasting.
A few examples of the pairings we tried:
- Bootlegger’s Brown Ale and sliders or the spicy shrimp.
- Sandy Beach hefeweizen with it’s beautiful brown hue and sweet taste pairs well with an ahi starter or fried calamari. Surprise! It’s also great with the mango cheesecake.
- Mavericks Amber Ale and burgers.
- Pilar Point pale ale is earthy, hoppy and grassy and marries with earthy flavors like those found in mushrooms.
- The stout or porter pairs well with…chocolate.
A bit of online searching reveals a fair amount of interest in the topic of food and beer pairing as an experience and I suspect you’ll start to see more of this as you dine out. If you want to select the ideal beer for your next meal or outing, check out the chart below which was produced by the Brewer’s Association (you’ll look like the expert!) To find the perfect meal, check out Yummly!
I’ve never really met a cheese I didn’t like. I’ll even cop to the occasional burger with American cheese and have been known to eat the stuff from the squirty cans (a long time ago!)
My love of cheese made the prospect of a “cheese social” with 60 other like-minded people, a whole lot of Point Reyes Blue and Redhawk plus wine too hard to pass up. But what to serve alongside that would be unique and stand out? Sigh. The decisions I must make!
I felt like the occasion called for a recipe I’d clipped from a past issue of Gourmet magazine. Chardonnay Gelee (“no, it’s NOT jello”) sounded odd but interesting. The blend of reduced Chardonnay, sugar and star anise turned into a beautiful presentation which paired well with the more assertive types of cheese on display.
- 1 cup Chardonnay
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 segment star anise (not whole star anise)
- Scant teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
- 2 tablespoons water
Lightly oil a 1 cup ramekin or bowl. Bring chardonnay, sugar, and star anise to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and gently boil until mixture is reduced to 1 cup, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over water in a small cup and let soften 1 minute. Stir gelatin into hot Chardonnay mixture until dissolved, then discard star anise. Cool slightly, then pour Chardonnay mixture into ramekin and chill, covered, until set, at least 8 hours.
Dip bottom two thirds of ramekin in a bowl of hot water 20 seconds. Run a sharp paring knife around edge of gelee, then invert ramekin onto a serving plate and, holding ramekin and plate together, firmly shake to unmold gelee.
Pairs well with rich, strong cheese such as aged chevre or Stilton on a thinly sliced baguette.
If, like many, you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, then consider the ultra simple but delicious potato and leek soup. Although short on ingredients, it’s got a long list of options for making it appeal to your tastes and time. Dress it up (chilled it becomes vichyssoise) make it decadent (a little cream never hurt anyone!) or serve as is (chunky or pureed).
My personal favorite is pureed with a small touch of cream mixed in and truffle oil on top. If you’ve got a favorite version of potato and leek soup, add a comment or drop us an email.
Potato and leek soup
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 3 medium potatoes, any type, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and sliced into thin rings
- Salt and freshly ground pepper (we used white pepper)
- 4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
Put the butter or oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. When the butter melts (or the oil is hot) add the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring to soften. 2 or 3 minutes. Add the stock, adjust the heat so it gently bubbles, and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. At this point you may refrigerate the soup covered, for up to 2 days.
Pureed soup: carefully puree in a blender or with an immersion blender. Stir in ½ to 1 cup cream, sour cream, or yogurt. Do not let it boil if you use yogurt. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with minced chives.
Vichyssoise. Make the pureed soup, but do not reheat. Instead, chill thoroughly and serve garnished with minced chives.
Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything.
While at a recent event in San Francisco I spent some time talking with Alison Bing, author of the Lonely Planet Guide / San Francisco about her dining adventures (she has my dream job: she’s PAID to eat out!) Somehow the conversation turned to dining etiquette and how this can influence your experience while out on the town (or at your favorite joint).
The short list below is the culmination of our discussion and contains some things which seem obvious and others which are just simple, everyday reminders. In the end, of course, it’s all about enjoying food with family or friends – and not having to wash the dishes later (unless you forget your wallet!)
- Timing. The “be on time” statement seems obvious here, but remember, if you are even 10-15 minutes late your reservation COULD be in jeopardy. If you arrive too late, there might not be enough time between your reservation and the next one on the books.
- Menu closed signals you are ready to order.
- Napkin in your lap signals you are ready to eat! Hint: when sitting down immediately place your napkin in your lap. If you get up from the table, fold it and place on the table (not on the chair).
- Cell phones. If you need to use you cell phone step away from the table and into a space where you can talk.
- If using a computer (eg., working) consider ordering food/beverages regularly and tip (pocket change = not okay).
- Servers. Engage their expertise, ask opinions. This is the best guarantee you will have a better experience and food.
- 18% is the new 15%
- Leaving no tip is never acceptable unless the waiter is outwardly insulting (say he/she asks your date out in front of you, which might be flattering to your date but uncomfortable for you).
- 20-25% is given for above and beyond service
- Don’t forget to tip on wine!
- Remember the golden rule: restaurants are a shared community so try to behave neighborly and be forgiving of those around you!
Follow Alison Bing at Twitter/alisonbing