Poutine is all the rage these days, and so is pizza. Put them together, and what do you end up with? Why, poutine pizza, of course. In what may be the pinnacle of drunk munchies food, Brado Pizza in Vancouver, British Columbia, is serving a thin crust, topped with french fries, melted cheese curds, and a thick, beef-tinged brown sauce. While I've never tried poutine before, the calorically massive combo of curds, fries, and gravy doesn't intimidate me — and I love a good pie. I say bring it on! What say you?
Posts for April 8th 2010
It's high time I set the record straight: macaron is not an alternate spelling of macaroon! In fact, the two terms refer to distinctly different things. Both macarons and macaroons are confections, and both names are derived from ammaccare, which is Italian for "to crush" — but that's where the similarities end.
A macaron specifically refers to a meringue-based cookie made with almond flour, egg whites, and granulated and powdered sugar, then filled with buttercream or fruit spread. The delicate treat has a crunchy exterior, and a weightless interior with a soft ending that's almost nougatlike in its chewiness. To add to the confusion, it's often called a French macaroon.
In contrast, the word macaroon is a generic phrase that is applied to a number of small, sweet confections. Mostly, the term is equated with the the moist and dense coconut macaroon, which is composed of egg whites, sugar, and dried coconut, piped with a star-shaped tip, and often dipped in chocolate. The coconut macaroon, or congolais, as it's known in France, is frequently served during Passover because it contains no flour. Which would you rather eat?
Aristocrat Sparkling Punch
1 cup cube sugar
1 quart of sparkling water
1 bottle Burgundy
4 ounces brandy
1 ice block
2 bottles of Champagne
seasonal fruit, for garnish
- Dissolve sugar cubes in 1 cup—from a quart—of sparkling water, and pour into a punch bowl.
- Add the Burgundy and brandy, stirring well. Place a block of ice in the bowl, and pour in Champagne and the rest of the sparkling water.
- Garnish the top of the ice block with strawberries or raspberries, or other fruit in season, and float thin slices of 2 oranges on the punch.
While some people believe that punches, especially the sparkling sort, should only be consumed around the Winter holidays, I happen to disagree. A beautiful and bubbly punch is too good to only enjoy once a year! I serve sangria, pitcher drinks, and other punches no matter what month it is. A celebratory dinner that honors a new season, like Spring, is the perfect occasion to bust out the punch bowl and ice block. This effervescent recipe combines red wine with brandy, Champagne, and fresh fruit. It calls for strawberries and raspberries, but I recommend using rhubarb instead of raspberries; they scream Spring. Want the easy recipe? Please read more.
For a quick and comforting meal, turn to instant polenta. The rich Italian staple is simple to prepare and fun to flavor. While you could top it with all sorts of vegetables and cheeses, this recipe uses mushrooms and gorgonzola. It makes for a satisfying vegetarian dinner that's elegant enough to entertain with. Serve a mixed green and roasted asparagus salad on the side and pour a light, smooth red wine. To make it an entire meal, offer olives, grissini, and burrata for appetizers. Follow the polenta and mushrooms with a no-fuss puff pastry strawberry tart. Get the recipe and read more
Last night saw the debut of the sophomore season of Top Chef Masters. At least 75 percent of you said you were tuning in, so I want to know what you think: will it be more exciting than season one? Who made the best food this time around?
Good or bad, we know you'll have a lot to say, so that's why we're debuting a new Top Chef group in the YumSugar community! It'll be the spot to check out action shots, talk new favorite chefs, and dish about last night's episode.
Photo courtesy of Bravo
Oh those celebrity chefs and food personalities! Sometimes it seems like they spend way more time out of the kitchen than they do in the kitchen actually cooking. Over the past couple of weeks, everyone from Food Network talent to James Beard nominated chefs have been out and about town. Can you guess who's who?
Between dips, nachos, and an assortment of crostini, it's hard for me to say what my signature appetizer is. However, the other day when I was discussing this with my sister, she said, "I know what your signature appetizer is: it's gambas!"
She was referring to gambas al ajillo, the classic Spanish tapa that combines sizzling pink shrimp with spicy, garlicky olive oil. It's always served with bread for mopping, meaning it's a dish that's somewhere between a dip and crostini. I quickly realized she was right: garlic shrimp are my signature appetizer.
I've made them more times than I could ever remember, and when I don't know what to serve, I always turn to the succulent gambas. It's a super easy, simple recipe that comes together quickly, so I highly recommend you add it to your arsenal. For my rendition of Spain's most flavorful and famous shrimp, read more