From wine spritzers to cabernet caipirinhas, this Summer, I've been all about sipping wine-based cocktails. The one I'm most infatuated with is sangria. I've experimented with tropical fruit sangria and floral liquor sangria. However, before I made this version, I had never enjoyed a sangria with fresh herbs. The star of this sangria is basil. It infuses the wine with an aromatic earthiness. Fresh-squeezed orange juice further flavors the sangria and club soda provides a subtle effervescence. To enjoy this refreshing drink, that's perfect for sipping on the deck, get the recipe and read more
Posts for September 4th 2009
We've spent most of this week mentally preparing (read: getting excited) for the long weekend. We bookmarked Chick-fil-A's holiday giveaway. We learned all sorts of fun facts about the food culture of Labor Day.Take the Quiz
How did a dead frog find its way into a Pepsi can? That's the seminal question at the center of the latest food safety gross-out. Fred and Amy DeNegri, a retired couple from Florida claim they discovered a dead frog in a Pepsi can, and have plans to take legal action.
Fred DeNegri took a sip of a newly opened Diet Pepsi and started gagging. DeNegri emptied the can in his sink, but could tell that a heavy weight remained inside. He shook it until something resembling "pink linguine" slid out, followed by "dark stuff," his wife said. They took pictures and called authorities. It wasn't until the sample went into lab testing that the larger object was identified as a frog or a toad "lacking internal organs," according to the FDA report, which could not conclude whether or not the frog was there before the can had been opened. The FDA conducted an investigation of the Orlando, FL, bottling plant, and found everything in normal condition.
On a recent CNN show, two correspondents discussed the controversy, insinuating that the situation could be a hoax, or even planted by competitor Coke. I'm repulsed by the situation — how could such a large animal find its way into an aluminum soda can? Do you feel for the traumatized couple, or do you see this as another finger-in-the-chili fabrication?
Source: Flickr User qnr
Grilled Pork Paillards
4 boneless pork chops (each 6 ounces and about 3/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
- Place a pork chop between two layers of plastic wrap on work surface. Using a meat pounder, pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with remaining pork chops. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag or nonmetal container. Add balsamic vinegar and oil. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade; season with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through and browned on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Serve hot, garnished with basil and tomatoes.
10 jumbo marshmallows
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 full graham crackers, crumbled
- Place the marshmallows on a skewer and roast over a stove top (at medium heat) or barbecue until toasted and golden. Be careful, the marshmallows should not catch on fire.
- In a blender, combine the ice cream and marshmallows until smooth. The warmth from the marshmallows will melt the ice cream a little.
- Fill popsicle molds with the blended marshmallow ice cream mixture and place in the freezer. Wait at least 6 hours or overnight, until the ice cream is completely hardened.
- Prepare the chocolate coating. Choose a vessel that allows for easy dipping of the popsicles. I found a small coffee mug works best. Place the chocolate chips in the bowl or mug and melt in the microwave about one minute. Once the chocolate has melted, add the oil. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Cool until the chocolate is at room temperature, but do not chill until hardened. The chocolate should be in a liquid state for the dipping.
- Set up a station with both the cooled chocolate coating and crushed graham crackers. Dip the popsicles in the chocolate coating and roll around in the graham crackers. The chocolate coating will harden. If you have extra chocolate, it's possible to do a double layer of the coating and graham crackers.
- Serve immediately or cover with saran wrap and place in freezer until you are ready to serve.
Makes 4-6 popsicles, depending on the size of your mold.
Got (one percent) milk? The Daily Mail reports that after a British watchdog organization cautioned against excessive intake of saturated fat, sales of one percent milk have skyrocketed in the United Kingdom. The Food Standards Agency warned that whole milk can lead to heart disease and clogged arteries, so shoppers swapped out whole milk in exchange for one percent, which contains more flavor than skim milk. It now accounts for 10 percent of sales.
I'm surprised to hear that people have just started switching from whole milk in Britain, considering whole milk fell out of favor years ago in the States. Do you drink whole milk?
From Martha Stewart
Vanilla Ice Cream
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped
2 cups milk, chilled
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the vanilla beans and scrapings with the milk. Bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, and let steep, covered, 30 minutes.
- Prepare an ice bath; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes.
- Place milk mixture over medium-high heat; bring just to a simmer. Slowly pour about 1/4 cup hot-milk mixture into egg-yolk mixture, beating on low speed until blended. Continue adding milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.
- Return mixture to saucepan; stir with a wooden spoon over low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat back of spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Custard should retain a line drawn across the back of the spoon with your fingertip.
- Remove pan from heat; stir in chilled cream to stop cooking. Pour custard through a fine sieve into a medium bowl set in ice bath; let stand, stirring occasionally, until chilled.
- Stir in extract. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes 1 1/2 quarts.