Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guests Bram and Monica Meehan: Food and Drink Blogs

Special Guests Bram and I had a great time on the show (as always) sharing our current favorite food blogs and websites. Thanks, Stacy! As promised, here's the roundup, with links:

monica's sites

The Bitten Word Zach and Clay live in Washington, DC and in 2008 resolved to put their extensive subscription list of food magazines to work. They cook recipes from Bon Appétit, Cook's Country, Cook's Illustrated, Everyday Food, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, Food Network Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and Saveur (yes, they miss Gourmet) and report back on how it goes. Their homemade/takeout comparisons are also great fun.

101 Cookbooks Heidi is a San Francisco-based photographer who decided — upon realizing she owned more than 100 cookbooks — it was time to stop buying, and start cooking. She started her blog back in 2003, and it has evolved a bit — now she writes about the recipes that intersect her life, travels, and everyday interests. She focuses primarily on natural, whole foods and ingredients. Here are two of her recipes we mentioned on the show:

Magic sauce

I made a batch of this the other afternoon, and it is quite yummy!

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 medium cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste
1 well-crumbled bay leaf
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon + fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Gently warm the olive oil over medium-low heat in a skillet or pan, until it is just hot. When hot remove from heat. While the oil is heating, lightly pound the rosemary, thyme, and oregano in a mortar and pestle. Stir the paprika, garlic, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and salt into the oil. Then add the bruised herbs and lemon juice. You can use it immediately, but she suggests letting the oil age over a few days. Keep it in a refrigerator for up to a week/ten days-ish. It thickens up when cold, so if you need it in a liquid state, place it in the sun or in a warm place for a few minutes. Here's a link to the original recipe, with suggestions for ways to use it.

Lillet Buttermilk shake

1 pint vanilla ice cream (or, creme fraiche ice cream)
1/3 cup Lillet
1/3 cup buttermilk
basil flowers, optional garnish

Let the ice cream sit out for 5 minutes or so, just to soften a bit. Add it to a bowl or milkshake cup. Pout the Lillet and buttermilk over the ice cream, and mix to combine. If you don't have a milkshake maker, you can use a hand blender, or just let the ice cream soften a bit, and mix by hand. In a pinch, you can make the milkshakes a bit ahead of time, and leave them in the freezer until needed. But not more than an hour or so — if you like a thick shake, you don't want them to set up / freeze too much. Serve in little glasses topped with a few basil flowers if you have them handy. Makes a bunch of little shakes, or 4 larger shakes. Link to the original recipe, with (as always) gorgeous photos.

Bram's sites

Again, we discussed The Santa Fe Barman, the blog of Chris Milligan, mixologist at Secreto. Always informative, it's worth following.

Bram's latest discovery is Caskstrength by Andrew Bohrer, a bartender in the Seattle area. "A reference for new bartenders … that want to learn classic style," it serves up plenty of attitude and some great insight on how to go back to basics, explaining how and why these old recipes work and what makes them successful.

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