Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Entries in alcohol (7)


Ginger Peach Sangria: Because I Owe You Something Summery

I'm hammering out a quick post today, a) because I owe you something summery and delicious, and b) because in fewer than 24 hours, I'll be on a plane to Newark. Then to Tel Aviv. Then, 15 days later, to Istanbul. Then, in rapid succession, to Tel Aviv, New York, and Atlanta. Then, 14 days later, to Maine. Then, six days later, back to DC. Then for a weekend in Ocean City, MD.

Then the next day, law school starts.


While I'm traveling, expect the occasional mini post featuring grainy pictures of Turkish kahve or falafel. Until then, enjoy this recipe for Ginger-Peach Sangria!

Yes, I know this isn't a superb photo. I think I made up for the noise by going artsy and blowing out the colors and upping the contrast. It almost looks like a photo of a watercolor. Or maybe a watercolor of a photograph. You tell me if it still looks delicious. Recipe after the jump!

Click to read more ...


Try a New Beer this Weekend/Year

I first tasted Dogfish Head's Sah'tea beer several months back, and I was hooked. It's one of their "super-expensive-only-comes-in-750-ml-bottles" varieties, but I was lucky enough to find it on tap for normal prices at a time when I was feeling adventurous in my beer selection.

Now, don't get me wrong. As you know from my thorough exploration of Custom Brewcrafters over the summer, I do enjoy experiencing new and exciting developments in liquid bread. However, when I hit the bars (let's face it, I'm an old man. When I hit "a bar"), I often set aside my Magellan-like indefatigability and opt for a basic sipping beer.

Put differently, sometimes, you don't want The Bridge on the River Kwai; you just want to watch a rerun of How I Met Your Mother. You don't want Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back; you want Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.

On this fine evening, however, I was piqued to try something new. I chose the now-fabled sah'tea, nevermind that I had no knowledge or understanding of the pleasures that awaited me. Obviously, I'm now a fan -- both because of the magnificence of the beer as well as the knowledge that the sah'tea is Dogfish Head's creative, modern spin on a Finnish style of beer called sahti

Click to read more ...


Hungry Sam is Going to Mexico! (And Will Bring Back Xtabentun)

Tomorrow, I depart for my first big boy vacation since entering the workforce! I'm crossing a line item off my life's to do list: Visiting, exploring, and climbing Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. 

Not my photo...yet. From Wikimedia Commons.

Though not the primary impetus, there's not a doubt in my mind that I'll be seeking out odd dishes and culinary experiences as well as bringing back interesting foods, coffees, and liquors for future enjoyment -- I look forward to sharing this with you, loyal readers.

Among the gustatory gifts and savory souvenirs with which I'll inevitably return is a bottle or two of a very special liqueur: Mayan Xtabentun.

Click to read more ...


Avocado Margaritas, Decoy Cakes, and SLIDERS TO GO

I hope all my hungry readers had an excellent and food-filled Labor day weekend! I was in Santa Fe at a pretty fantastic wedding, so mine was jam packed with interesting and decadent foods and drinks. And some incredibly cool touches, like sliders! In a doggy bag! After the wedding at like 11 PM. I was physically and gastronomically incapable of leaving that wedding hungry.

Read on for more.
Although I was in constant possession of my camera, you'll have to forgive me if I was primarily focused on people. I did, however, get a few good pictures of some of the dishes served. Perhaps the most exotic of these (and one for which I have yet to find a recipe) was this Avocado Margarita:

"That's right, woah," I respond to your inevitable exclamation. "Woah indeed."
Come to think of it, this might be as simple as blending the makings for a margarita with half an avocado. 

Click to read more ...


Hungry Sam's Friday Food (News) Digest!

Welcome to the second hebdomadal (vocab dork!) installment of Hungry Sam's Friday Food Digest! Herein, we shall together encounter the edible, appreciate the absurd, and glance askew at the tastiest, grossest, most interesting and/or horrifying food-oriented news of the last week. Or longer, depending on when I find this stuff. As always, your submissions make this publication better (and easier)!

Lobster-themed Hockey Tourney: Keeping Those New England Stereotypes Alive!
Allow me, as a native New Englander, to translate this article back to its mother tongue: Ayuh, whelp, those theyah kid hawckey playuhs dinnt have themselves a decent tahnahmint so we cooked up the Lawbstuh Pawt Tahnamint so they could play. And we made ahselves some flags, too! Best line from the article: "The Canadian Maple Leaf flag inspired the result, with the leaf replaced by a cheeky-looking lobster holding a hockey stick." Cheeky? You be the judge.

CHEEKY! And yes, I own one of those hats.
Via the Barnstable Patriot. Of course.

HEAVENS TO BETSY! Kurt Russell is Making His Own Wine!

If you're rolling your eyes thinking, Yeah, yeah, another movie star "making" his own wine. Don't. According to Rebecca, the actor was intimately involved in the entire process, "pruning, picking, on the bottling line, blending."
Why should this prevent me from rolling my eyes? So he was involved! I could be intimately involved in the creation of my OWN wine -- I could sing sweet, soft love songs to the grapes, choose the finest petrified wood casks, and laugh evil little laughs at how much money I was going to make -- and STILL end up with a crappy wine. Sorry, The Daily Meal, I'm still going to roll my eyes.
Via the Daily Meal

Does the eye-patch allow for better grape selection?

Libyan Rebels LOVE Themselves Some Snickers Bars
Reprinted in full:
"Now we are eating Snickers bars, before we could only just look at them in the store," said Ayman Ahmed, a 23-year-old volunteer for the rebel forces who together with a group of friends took over the abandoned house of a oil refinery worker in the Ras Lanouf residential area.
"We are really experiencing freedom now," he said, in a living room filled with discarded juice boxes and wrappers from packaged sweet cakes.

I'm concerned about the future diabetes epidemic in Libya if the rebels oust Gadhafi, but as I too love a good Snickers bar, I am sympathetic to Mr. Ahmed.
Via Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish, at The Atlantic

Satisfied? Not until a democracy flourishes in Libya!
Finally, with a hat-tip to my favorite Jerusalem-based rabbinic student:

If Ever a Dip Were to Cause a War, Hummus is it
Ok, so this article focuses on savory, smooth, garlicky, Israeli hummus, but let's face it: Lebanon once sued Israel over the latter's assertion of hummus as its national condiment. There may yet be an all-out hummus war. But it's worth reading this ode to hummus, which ends with TWO bonuses -- RECIPES!
Via Tablet, with hat-tip to Liz!

Also via Tablet
Happy Weekend, Happy Hummus, and send me your food stories!


The (Ginger-Cognac) Truffle Shuffle!

The Stuff I used. Mostly!
Jen and I were pretty much on the same page vis-a-vis Valentine's Day. Granted, it helped that she was in town not for the "holiday" (I'll keep my feelings on contrived holidays to myself), but rather, primarily for a family celebration. But either way, we both independently chose to exchange gifts that reflected a gift of time and effort, not of shininess (or whatever). 

My gift to Jen was homemade chocolate truffles. I'd never made such a thing -- if you haven't noticed, I'm not hardcore into dessert-making. So I suppose that part of this gift was developing a skill she'll be able to take advantage of more than once. 

I kind of like this take on V-Day -- I think I've always tried to be a little subversive about the holiday by doing something simple, but in a way that reflects effort and thoughtfulness. 

The recipe I found called for:

-8 oz. of high quality bittersweet chocolate
-4 oz. of unsweetened chocolate
-1 (12 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
-8 T. unsalted butter

Clearly, it was in the last two ingredients that my creativity had room to shine. The recipe offered suggestions for "flavoring"; most involved a few tablespoons of a flavored liqueur and some essence of the corresponding flavor (i.e. 6 T. Grand Marnier and 1 T. orange zest). 

Never wanting to rely completely on a recipe, I thought and thought and thought. Finally, it hit me -- among my favorite liqueurs is Domaine de Canton, a ginger cognac delicacy (great in champagne or with a splash of whisky). Add to that a little fresh-grated ginger root, and I figured we had a solid start on our hands.

I started by coarsely chopping my chocolates. For the bittersweet, I'd opted for a solid Godiva; for the unsweetened, I used Baker's, which (usefully) comes packaged with each one ounce segment individually wrapped. 


Next, I went at the ginger, peeling the root then finely grating it. I wanted to prep this stuff first because, as anyone who's worked with melted chocolate knows, it can be fickle and require a lot of attention. Hah. Anyways, I wanted to have everything ready.

Once I was set to proceed, I threw the chocolates into a small saucepan over low heat with the butter (cut small) and the milk. The key here was to stir or whisk constantly to avoid burning the chocolate; I could have sped the process up by using a double boiler, but I don't own one and I was too lazy to MacGyver one up.

Still lumpy.
After my chocolates melted, in went the liqueur and the ginger. I transferred the mixture into a large bowl, and into the fridge everything went to set, theoretically for two hours.

For anyone trying to do this at home, this whole "getting cool" part did NOT take two hours, it took approximately forever. Since I was in a rush, I used the freezer for part of this process and the chocolate STILL wasn't where it was supposed to be. Whatevs, time, she was a wasting.

When it was time to start up again, I prepped my coatings. I had put together three options -- toasted walnut, unsweetened cocoa, and cinnamon. Only after I tasted the mixture did I realize it would be a crime to introduce a new flavor at this late stage. And it would be rookie. So, I whisked the cocoa with a half teaspoon of ground Chinese ginger, and put this into a largish cereal bowl.

Using a scoop, I began the awesome and messy process of molding about a tablespoon at a time of the chocolate into a ball, then tossing it with the coating. After about 30 minutes of this, I had FORTY TRUFFLES.

Oh, also: MESSY, right?
What the hell was I going to do with forty truffles? "Here, Jen: a satchel of truffles. A saddlebag of truffles. A... lot of truffles." How romantic, right?

Instead I gave her a pretty little bag of six (because truffles are the sort of thing that should be given in numbers to savor, not chow, right?). I scored brownie points by giving the rest to her family. POINTS.

Here is the ALMOST final product: 

I say "almost;" in a stroke of creativity I decided to roll them in my palms once more before wrapping, which had the effect of knocking off excess coating and smoothing the ovoid shape a tad. Sadly, I didn't photograph the product after this additional step. But trust me, they looked awesome.

Final thoughts: This was fun. And really not that expensive, which makes me feel dumb for buying 4 or five dollar truffles in the past. And there's room for endless creativity, which is pretty fun -- I might even say this would make a fun date activity. All around -- a keeper!


Pineapple-and-Ginger Infused Rum

WHIMSICAL. And delicious! And alcoholic!
I get to have a little Christmas morning every month: the day on which my Everyday Food magazine arrives. I suppose it's more a of Christmas eve, in that looking at the little magazine is more like viewing the potential treats, the meals yet to be made.

I know I talk this magazine up, but Everyday Food really does seem to hit a good balance, proffering numerous affordable and interest-piquing dishes and desserts without falling into the traps so many other food publications do (recipes with overly-esoteric or wicked pricey ingredients, for example).

Each month, they spend a little time highlighting fruits and/or vegetables which happen to be in season, and this month Everyday Food included several dishes and recipe ideas with my personal favorite: pineapple. I LOVE pineapple. I can, and have on numerous occasions, eaten a whole fruit in one sitting -- it's among my favorite treats and one I frequently use to quell my sweet tooth, with great success. Even after it starts to hurt a little, I just don't want to stop eating pineapple.

Now, I'll eventually get down to the pineapple black bean salsa, or the pineapple jerk pork chops, but I was a little TOO excited to see the recipe for pineapple-and-ginger infused rum. I've made infused spirits before, but always with vodka, and always using the zest of citrus fruits. This recipe constituted some new ground, and for every bit of enjoyment I'll wring from the liqueur, I'll gain in equal measure from the soon-to-be pineapple rum cake WITH RUM INFUSED PINEAPPLE.

So, win-win, right?


Although I often use recipes as a jump-off point for creativity, in this case I followed the recipe closely. The hardest part by far was securing a 2 Qt-ish glass jar, it not being canning season -- I eventually found a big jar of Mott's apple sauce, which I emptied into another container and washed. Then, in went thin, inch-long slices of fresh ginger root.

Then, After removing the pineapple's rind and frond, I cut the fruit into long strips and began to see how much I could fit into the jar (note: about 3/4).

Then, with the rum. The recipe called for decent stuff; I went for Bacardi silver. Sue me. I managed to fit a full fifth (.750 L) into the jar. Now, it's supposed to sit for a few weeks in the fridge with a daily shake-up, but I'm more than a little excited to give it a shot.
I'm still pretty entertained by the fronds atop the jar.

I'll keep you all posted.