A delicious and balanced cocktail doesn't need a lot of fancy ingredients. Take this recipe, for example, from San Francisco's Erick Castro. It involves gin, lemon juice, mint, and muddled berries. It's simple but absolutely sublime. In each sip you can taste the distinct ingredients. Even if you aren't normally a gin drinker, you'll enjoy this beverage. My guests loved it. Be sure to cheers to the Fourth! To make this for your friends and family, you'll need the recipe.
Posts for July 2nd 2010
With the promise of a long, leisurely weekend ahead, we've barely been able to sit still this week, passing the time by mulling over our favorite red, white, and blue recipes, planning an all-American celebration, and constructing our own edible version of the stars and stripes! Did you pay attention to our musings? Find out now.Take the Quiz
Still don't know what to serve on Sunday? How about grilled red, white, and blue pizzas?! This festive and fabulous idea comes from Chef Eric Lee of Simi Winery's Landslide Terrace Pizza Cafe in Healdsburg, CA. While you could enjoy these pies at the cafe, they are fun to make at home and absolutely delicious.
The red pizza is the most classic, with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and a BLT garnish. The white pizza celebrates the ingredients of the season with a fresh corn, zucchini, and leek topping. The blue is the most exotic, with Peruvian purple potatoes, blue cheese, and caramelized onions.
Get started a day in advance on preparing the toppings, then all you have to do during the barbecue is grill the dough and finish the pies. Serving the pizzas as a trio is an excellent conversation starter; each of my guests were eager to say which was their favorite. I loved them all! For the recipes, keep reading.
From Spike Mendelsohn
Southlawn Herb Garden Mayo
2 large eggs
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon of chopped thyme
pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced scallions
2 green apples, cored and diced
1/2 cup canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 cup store-bought mango chutney
30 ounces ground turkey
1/2 cup grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh chives
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Multigrain potato buns, cut in half
6 leaves iceberg lettuce
6 ruby-red tomato slices
2 cups thinly sliced Spanish onions
6 slices Swiss cheese
- Make the mayonnaise: Add the eggs, mustard, vinegar, and salt to a food processor blender or blender food processor. Process for 30 seconds in the food processor or 10 seconds in the blender. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil slowly at first, then after a few seconds add the oil in a thin, steady stream until all the oil is added and the mixture is smooth. Stop the motor and taste. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little hot water. If too thin, process a little longer. The mayonnaise can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Add lemon, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, scallions, and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add the chipotles and 1/2 tablespoon of adobo sauce from the can and the chutney to a blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the celery mixture and stir until well combined.
- Add the turkey, lemon zest, lemon juice, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper and stir until well combined.
- To make the patties, roll six 5-ounce turkey balls and form each ball into a patty. Arrange on a tray, cover, and refrigerate.
- Butter bread on both sides. Lay on flat top for 1 minute on each side. Set aside.
- To make caramelized onions, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions -- don't worry if they're piled high; they will cook down. Turn with a spatula so all the onions are evenly coated in oil. Continue to cook, turn the onions every 8 minutes, until the slices have turned a dark, rich brown color, about 25 minutes. If the onions begin to burn, reduce the heat to medium-low and add more oil. Remove the onions and place them in a bowl.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add enough just oil to cover the entire bottom. After 2 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and place the patties into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Flip, and cook on the other side for 1 minute.
- Place 1 slice cheese on each patty and continue cooking 2 minutes more for medium-rare. Cover with a lid for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
- To assemble the burgers, place 1 patty on a toasted bun bottom. Top the patty with a tablespoon of caramelized onions, 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, 1 onion slice, and a spoonful of the Southlawn Herb Garden Mayo. Cover with the bun top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Wrap the sandwiches in wax paper. Place burger in the middle of wax paper. Pull one corner over then pull in right side corner and left side corner. Finish by pulling the remaining corner over top. Let rest 2 to 3 minutes and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.
From Susannah Chen
1/2 cup pitted, peeled rambutans (fresh is preferred, but canned will work, too)
1-1/2 ounces ginger-flavored vodka, such as Skyy Infusions Ginger
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce club soda
- In a cocktail shaker, combine rambutans and muddle until they are broken up and have released their juices, but not completely pulverized.
- Fill the shaker halfway full with ice, then add ginger-flavored vodka, Cointreau, and club soda. Shake vigorously, then strain into a martini glass.
I've always considered it a privilege to meet the person who's behind my fine dining experience, which is why I was surprised to come across a recent essay in the Guardian, entitled "Meet the chef? No thanks." In the diatribe, Marina O'Loughlin condemns what she calls "chefly schmoozing," pointing out that anytime a chef comes out to say hello at the end of a meal, one is expected to gush with high praise. She writes: "If you're a chef with your name above the door, shouldn't you be, well, cooking my dinner?" I'd never thought of it that way, but now I understand another perspective. Where do you stand on the matter?
Source: Flickr User David Sifry
Happy (almost) long weekend! In the City by the Bay, the sun's shining, skies are fair, and it looks like it'll be perfect weather for busting out the barbecue. Which brings me to an important question: what will you be eating over the holiday? Are you going the all-American route with hot dogs, burgers, and macaroni salad, or do you have plans to do something different?
I'm returning to my hometown of Houston to spend time with the fam. I'll undoubtedly hit up one of my favorite Bayou City spots, Goode Co., for brisket and perhaps even a slice of pecan pie. I'm also looking forward to spending some time in front of the charcoal with Dad, which means there'll be some beautiful barbecued chicken, steak, and corn to look forward to. What are you noshing on while you celebrate your independence?
From Erick Castro of The Rickhouse in San Francisco
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Fresh Raspberry and 3 Fresh Blueberries
4-6 Mint Leaves
.75 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Gin (recommended: Bluecoat)
- Put the lemon juice, mint, and berries into mixing glass and lightly muddle.
- Add the simple syrup, gin, and ice. Shake vigorously.
- Fine-strain over the rocks into a double old-fashioned glass and top with a splash of soda. Garnish with lemon wheel and one raspberry.
Makes 1 cocktail.