One of my favorite online pastimes is browsing recipes. Not just any recipes, but appetizers and pitcher drinks (yes, I am obsessed with cocktail parties). Since I'm partial to certain recipe databases, when I come across a preparation I've never seen before, like this watermelon sangria, I'm super excited. As I read it, getting more and more giddy by the minute, I wondered, how had I never seen it before? I went through the recipe rolodex in my brain. There was nothing labeled watermelon sangria. I sent a link with the recipe to YumSugar asking her if it looked familiar. She had not seen it either. Thus, I made it the following day and received rave reviews. It was so refreshing and easy to drink that I made it again. And again. No joke, this watermelon sangria is my new favorite recipe! It's fruity, cooling, and addictive. Want to learn how it's done? Get the method now.
Posts for July 30th 2010
It's hard to believe that Summer's already half over. Hopefully, you're beating the heat with our top stories from this week. During the final days of July, we giggled over a video montage of Iron Chef America, discussed the benefits of adventurous grilling, and bemoaned the downhill decline that is Top Chef 7. Oh, and we also made tons of berry recipes! Did you stay cool with us? There's only one way to find out: take our quiz.Take the Quiz
- Desserts, Pastries
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 1⁄2 lb. plums, pitted and sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
(about 5 cups) (use some firm under ripe fruit and some ripe juicy)
1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 rolled-out basic pie dough round
Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Place the plums in a large bowl, sprinkle with the sugar mixture and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to a 10-inch ceramic or glass deep-dish pie dish. Dot with the butter.
- Carefully position the dough round over the plums. Trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then place over the fruit, folding the overhang under and pressing against the sides of the dish to seal. Using a small, sharp knife, cut 5 or 6 slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking. Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. (I did one as described and one with a basket weave — see below.)
- Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.
- Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving.
- To serve, cut into wedges and spoon into individual bowls. Accompany each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Twice-baked potatoes are quite possibly my favorite dish of all time. It's odd how I've never written about them, because for the first 20 years of my life, my annual birthday dinner included my dad's famous twice-baked potatoes.
Seriously, these twice-baked potatoes are so good that I lick the bowl when making them. The secret to them — now keep an open mind here — is Velveeta. It's smooth and creamy and melts wonderfully, and makes these twice-baked potatoes absolutely addictive. We've tried other cheeses: gruyere, cheddar, monterey jack, but we always come back to the Velveeta.
Another key to a fluffy and thick filling is copious amounts of butter and milk. I never said they were healthy, but they are downright delicious. I advise serving them how my dad does: next to a generous portion of steak! To indulge in my beloved twice-baked potatoes, get my father's recipe after the break.
- Side Dishes, Potato
- North American
4 baking potatoes
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter
1/2-3/4 cup milk
6 ounces Velveeta
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 slice of cooked bacon, chopped (optional, for topping)
1 green onion, chopped (optional, for topping)
- Preheat an oven to 400°F. Wash the potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour until soft. Remove from the oven.
- When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut an oval on top of each potato. Remove the skin. Save the skins for making potato skins or discard. Scoop out the flesh of the potato being careful not to break the skin.
- Place the potato flesh in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and cheese and mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
- With an electric mixer, beat the potatoes and slowly pour in the milk. Beat until mixture is thick and creamy. Taste test: if mixture is too thick, add more milk. If not cheesy enough, add more cheese. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes until the tops begin to brown. Remove from the oven. If desired, top with additional cheese, bacon bits, and green onions. Bake for 1 minute more, until cheese melts. Enjoy immediately!
- Meet the contestants of Top Chef: Just Desserts. — Grub Street NY
- Rick Moonen's suggestions for sustainable seafood. — Eatocracy
- Rachael Ray: a portrait made out of Cheetos. — Eater
- Learn how to make your own tofu. — Chow
- Yum! Homemade Thai tea ice cream. — The Epi-Log
- Perfecting carnitas without all the lard. — Serious Eats
- Michael Batterberry, the founder of Food & Wine, has passed away. — Inside Scoop SF
- Find out what Andrea Curto, this week's outed cheftestant, would have done with the money if she won Top Chef. — Feast NY
- What the cast of Eat, Pray, Love ate at The French Laundry. — Huffington Post Food
Photo courtesy of Bravo
As of late, everywhere I turn, I see ravioli. Thomas McNaughton's pork and pea version was being prepped right in front of me at this year's San Francisco Star Chefs event. Then, I turned on the TV one Saturday to find Joanne Weir teaching newbies how to make ricotta and mint ravioli by hand. And on Sunday, I tasted perfection with an exquisite goat cheese and sorrel rendition at local restaurant Range.
I don't have a pasta maker, so I've never made ravioli at home before, but I'm starting to think I might buckle and finally splurge on the equipment so I can make my very own house-made ravioli. Have you ever made the stuff yourself?
Classic chicken marsala consists of chicken cutlets that are served with a thick mushroom and marsala wine sauce. Marsala is an Italian fortified wine that's similar to port. In this preparation, the traditional dish is Summer-fied. Instead of preparing the chicken in a saute pan, it's thrown on the grill. The mushroom sauce becomes a mushroom stuffing that's slid under the skin of the chicken. The resulting meat is moist and delicious with a wonderful smokiness. For a seasonal feast, serve with heirloom tomato panzanella and chilled Chardonnay.
Interested in this recipe? Here you go.