Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pimm's Cup

Goodness.  It's about time for another post don't you think?

I'm almost back to Boston for goodness sake.

I've been working on another "What I've Been Eating" post but there are so many delicious things to include that it's taking me a while.  I'm just here to teach you patience.  And I think I'm doing one hell of a job.

But I won't require anymore for this post.  Before leaving Boston I spent an unbelievably warm afternoon with my amazing foodie friend, Zach.  I could talk about all of our culinary adventures but that would require rambling.  So let's talk about the drink.

Zach had been preaching about Pimm's for quite some time.  In his opinion we needed to make a Pimm's Cup.  I wasn't completely convinced that it would be the most amazing thing in the world but I was still completely willing to play along.  So on that unreasonably warm afternoon, we decided that the only way to kill the heat would be to create a thirst quenching boozy drink.  That included Pimm's.  Naturally.

And guess what?  Zach was absolutely, positively right.  The drink was out of this world delicious.  I mean...It's refreshing.  There's booze.  And a healthy dose of fruit is involved.  What more could you ask for?

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

1 3-inch piece English cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch slices, plus 2 spears (for garnish)
1-2 brown sugar cubes
3/4 cup Pimm's No. 1*
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
ice cubes
2 sprigs each fresh rosemary, thyme, and mint
2 lemon slices
2 fresh strawberries, halved
ginger beer, chilled

Place 1/2-inch-thick cucumber slice in cocktail shaker with 1-2 brown sugar cubes.  Using muddler or handle of a wooden spoon, mash well.  Add Pimm's and lemon juice.
Fill 2 pilsner glasses with ice and set aside.
Add ice to Pimm's mixture, cover, and shake vigorously 20 times.  Strain into glasses.
Push 1 rosemary sprig, 1 thyme sprig, 1 mint sprig, 1 lemon slice, and two strawberry halves into each glass.  Fill glasses with ginger beer.  Garnish with cucumber spears.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What I've Been Eating...

Hello lovely people!

I'm sorry it's taken so long to get a post to you.  Being on the road isn't exactly conducive to blogging.  But it is conducive to unplugging, enjoying a beautiful drive, eating delicious food, and of course doing some major exploring.

All of which I've been taking full advantage of.

Especially the whole eating delicious food thing.  Big surprise right?

Which is why I thought I should share with you some of my favorites so far!  I will go ahead and warn you that these are not my prettiest pictures.  But hey.  When you're trying to be sneaky in a restaurant while using an iPhone in a horribly lit do what you can.

The food was delicious.  So who cares?

Okay seriously?  This place operates on the HONOR SYSTEM.  Guided by some friends in the know, we pulled up to a seemingly abandoned house down a small road in Rhode Island.  We walked in to find a fairly picked over selection of homemade breads and refrigerated drinks.  The muffins had all been taken as it was quite late in the afternoon.  But none of that mattered.  I grabbed a loaf of the 14 Grain while my (in the know) friends grabbed some sort of Apple Cinnamon Raisin.  After we dropped our dues in the money box we all ran to the car to dig in.  OH MY GOD.  This bread.  Above and beyond.  If you're in RI...go find this place.  It's carbohydrate heaven.

Once again guided by a in the know friend, the clan pulled in to what seemed like your typical cute little diner in downtown Middletown, CT.  After receiving menus and generous pours of coffee we were brought some delicious homemade sweet bread bites.  Poppyseed and some sort of Blueberry Crumble I believe.  My mouth told me this place was going to be a winner.  I ordered the Portabella Delight, a marinated portabella with egg whites and spinach.  Sounds boring?  WRONG.  That portabella was unbelievable.  I have no idea what it was marinated in but I can only assume it was unicorn tears...or something of that nature.  Go get some breakfast.

As much as I wanted to eat at Triumph, the time was far too close to breakfast to allow an entire meal into my stomach.  So, I went the appetizer sharing route with this cheese board.  Are you ready for this description?  It's intense.  "Valley Shepherd Creamery Pepato, Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese, Cherry Grove Farm Rosedale, Terhune Orchards Apple, Paradise Hill Cranberry Jam, Truffled Bob's Buzzy Bees Honey, Terhune Orchards Apple Jelly, and Raw Almond."  Uhhh...yeah.  Local, sustainable, unbelievable.

I hate to pick favorites here.  But I may have to.  I may be biased because it's still so fresh in my mind or I may be biased because of the sheer volume of things I was able to try.  Either way.  I'm biased.  I loved the look and feel of the restaurant itself and the drink list was incredibly impressive but...the food is more important.  So here it goes.  The table had:

deviled eggs
duck fat french fries with sly-fox cheddar sauce
herb cherry tomatoes with ricotta, olive tapenade, and grilled sourdough
the village burger-sesame roll, tomato, boston bibb, house made thousand island, and a fried egg
the veggie burger-black bean & lentil, guacamole, and pickled red cabbage
the kentucky hot brown-sliced turkey, toasted brioche, smoked bacon, and mornay sauce

As I sit trying to pick favorites now, I just can't.  It was all so darn good.  The pickled tomatoes were life changing.  But the duck fat french fries?  Not far behind.  The veggie burger was one of the best I've had.  And the kentucky hot brown was so deliciously indulgent.  If you're in Philly and haven't been yourself a favor.  And get there early, rumor has it this place gets PACKED.  Can't imagine why.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mango and Candied Ginger Sorbet

Oh come on.

You didn't actually think I was going to leave for three weeks without doing another blog post did you? think that sounds like a typical move of mine?  Well.  You're right.  But not this time!

It's one of those mornings that I totally have my priorities in line.  I should be packing and getting everything ready for the trip but instead I'm sitting in the leaving room, listening to the storm outside, and working on blog posts.  I'm going to be freaking out in a couple of hours but it's totally worth it.  There's nothing like blogging on rainy mornings.

A rainy and somewhat cold morning doesn't seem like the ideal time to be posting about a fruity summer sorbet.  However, I feel that sorbet is ideal at all times and therefore negates the whole issue.

I decided to go with mango in this recipe because I loved the idea of mango and ginger together.  But it would be divine with basically any other ripe fruit.  I say head to your garden, farmers market, or local grocery store and scope out the best looking fruit around.  If it's ripe and looks delicious you're sorbet will probably be even more delicious.  And if you come up with mind blowing flavor combinations I would love to hear about them!

It tastes like a treat, it looks like a treat, and it's super healthy.  What more can you ask for?  Go make some sorbet!

PS- I'll try to be as diligent as possible about posting while I'm on the road for the next three weeks!  I definitely have some stored up recipes and some guest bloggers to share so keep your eyes peeled!

Adapted from Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta 

Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours in the freezer + 10 minutes preparation
Cook Time: None!
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

1 1/2 bananas (about 1 cup), chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 cups ripe mango (or other fruit), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
zest of 1 lime
2-3 tablespoons minced candied ginger, or more to taste
edible flower to garnish (optional)

  1. Freeze fruit cubes on a sheet pan for several hours until they are solid.  Remove from freezer and let stand about 5 minutes.
  2. Place the fruit in the bowl of a food processor with the orange and lime juice, the lime zest, and ginger.  Puree until creamy.
  3. Add ginger, as needed, to taste.  Serve in chilled sorbet dishes, martini glasses, or bowls.  Garnish each serving with a flower or two.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lobster Reuben

Sorry about the lack of Meal Plan Monday this week.

In order to cut down on throwing out delicious food before leaving for the three week tour adventure, I'm trying to scrape by and eat every last bite of edible food in the apartment.  I feel like the creativity will be rampant come Friday when I only have a few ingredients to make a meal of.  So, we'll see how that goes.

I've been waiting to share this recipe with you for far too long now.

As I mentioned a while back the first experience with a "Lobster Reuben" came in March while visiting my parents in Florida.  As soon as I walked in I noticed that at least half of the people on the patio had a lobster reuben in front of them and I knew immediately A) Must order and B) Must recreate.

So here it is.  It's nothing too crazy.  Just a reuben...with lobster meat.  Could anyone ever be upset by that?  Surely not.

But here's the thing.  There are things you must do to make it something more than just a reuben.  It's all in the perfect ingredients.

So, you should definitely make the russian dressing and find fresh lobster meat if at all possible.  Whip up some homemade rye bread, or if that's too crazy (it was for me at the time) pick some up from your local farmer's market.  And most importantly...homemade sauerkraut...get your hands on some.  Trust me, it makes this sandwich.

And that's it.  A little mixing, a little assembly, some melting/toasting and you have a mouth watering sandwich in front of you.

Makes: 3-4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3-5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

for the russian dressing-
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons relish (I used delicious homemade zucchini relish)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
to assemble-
1 lb lobster meat (I used claw and knuckle meat)
8 slices rye bread
1-2 slices swiss cheese per sandwich

  1. In a small bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients.  Stir until combined.  Slowly add dressing to the lobster meat until you have "dressed" the lobster to your preference. (Some people like a tiny bit of dressing...others like to bath in it.  So it's up to you here!)  Set aside.
  2. Set oven to broil.
  3. Butter and toast slices of bread, top with swiss cheese, dressed lobster, and a small amount of drained sauerkraut.  Place under broiler for several minutes to melt cheese but watch very carefully so you don't burn the bread!

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