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Roasted Black Bass with Orange-Flower Water

Roasted Black Bass with Orange-Flower Water


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Fried whitefish or smoked whitefish is most commonly eaten during Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and is said to represent life. The combination of the fish and herb rice is believed to bring good luck. Read more about throwing a Persian New Year feast here.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
  • ¾ teaspoon finely ground saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flower water
  • 1 large shallot, very finely chopped
  • 2 green garlic, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped, or 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1½ cups finely chopped parsley
  • ¾ cup finely chopped tarragon
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup finely chopped mint
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1½–2-pound whole black bass or branzino, cleaned, butterflied, patted dry

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly brush parchment with oil. Dissolve saffron in orange-flower water and 3 Tbsp. hot water in a small bowl.

  • Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook shallot and green garlic, stirring often, until shallot is soft, about 3 minutes. Add parsley, tarragon, cilantro, mint, and turmeric and cook, stirring often, until herbs darken slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chiles and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper.

  • Divide fish between prepared baking sheets. Open up and brush half of saffron mixture over flesh; season with salt. Stuff with shallot mixture; tie closed with kitchen twine, spacing 2" apart. Brush outsides of fish with remaining saffron mixture; season with salt. Roast until flesh is flaky and opaque, 16–20 minutes. Carefully move a rack to upper third of oven; turn on broiler. Working in 2 batches, broil fish until skin begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly; squeeze limes over.

  • Do Ahead: Fish can be seasoned and stuffed 2 hours ahead.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 410Fat (g) 12Saturated Fat (g) 2.5Cholesterol (mg) 150Carbohydrates (g) 2Dietary Fiber (g) 1Total Sugars (g) 0Protein (g) 66Sodium (mg) 250Reviews Section

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. Humboldt Distillery Organic Vodka
0.5 oz. fresh grenadine*
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 splash sparkling water
Lime slice

Instructions:
Pour grenadine into an empty glass. Add ice, pineapple juice, and vodka, in that order. Top with a splash of sparkling water and lime garnish.

*To make fresh grenadine, dissolve two parts sugar into three parts hot pomegranate juice.

Base Spirit: Bourbon/Whiskey


Makes 20 to 26 stuffed dates.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

260g Freshly blanched almonds

60g Granulated sugar + 50g for decoration

3 Tablespoons orange flower water

1 Tablespoon softened butter/20g

20g Roasted sesame seeds (optional)

Preparation:

In a food processor, grind the blanched almonds with sugar, orange flower water, grated Muscat nut and butter until it reaches the consistency of a paste.

Divide the almond paste into portions in separate mixing bowls and add food coloring as desired. Mix the food coloring in by hand (preferably) or using a spatula.

Wash and dry the Majdoul dates. Take 1 1/2 Teaspoon of almond paste, roll it between your fingers into a 1 1/2” long mini hotdog shape (adjust the size to that of the dates used) and place it on a flat surface.

Cut each date open, remove the bone and replace with almond paste. Roll the filled date between your palms to finish shaping the almond paste inserted into the date. Hold the date between your fingers and gently roll the almond stuffing in the granulated sugar or sesame seeds. Remove the excess from the date using a small brush or a soft napkin wrapped around your pointer finger.

For a natural look and a very earthy aroma, pin 3-4 clove buds into the almond paste stuffing.


Roasted Black Bass with Orange-Flower Water - Recipes

Grains are made up of three parts: the bran, germ and endosperm. The bran is the high-fiber outer coating. The germ is the protein and nutrient dense portion. The endosperm is a source of carbohydrate, along with some protein. A grain is “whole” if these three parts have been left intact. If it’s processed (e.g., cracked, rolled), it’s still considered a whole grain, if it retains its original balance of nutrients. When grains are refined, the bran and germ are removed (taking many nutrients with them), leaving just the endosperm. An example of a refined whole grain is white rice (though usually white rice is enriched to replace some of the nutrients stripped during processing).

Wheat berries

The terms “hard” and “soft” refer to the protein and gluten content of wheat. Hard wheat is made into pasta and bread flour, while soft wheat (lower in protein and gluten) is milled into pastry flour. Wheat berries can be cooked whole for a variety of sweet and savory dishes. Once cooked (simmered in boiling water for up to an hour), they are a great addition to soups, stews, salads and desserts.

Polenta is made from ground corn, as is cornmeal. They differ in how they’re ground (in both the method and the fineness of the grind). Polenta makes a delicious base for sauces (ragu, mushroom, gorgonzola) and sausages it’s also good grilled or layered in casserole dishes.

Short Grain Brown Rice

Short Grain Brown Rice has fat kernels that are plump and round. They have a high starch content, which helps keep it moist and sticky. Short grain rice can be used for risotto if soaked overnight or parboiled before making the risotto.

Farro is the Italian name for emmer wheat, an ancient strain of hard wheat from the Fertile Crescent in western Asia. Often confused with spelt due to their similar taste and texture, farro comes in perlato (pearled) and semi-perlato (semi-pearled) opt for semi-perlato as it has more of the fiber-and nutrient-rich bran intact (or buy whole farro if you can find it). It comes in three grades: long, medium or cracked. If you purchase long or medium farro, you will need to crack it yourself in a coffee grinder or blender for maximum freshness.

Farro is beloved in Italy – and more recently in North America and other European countries as well – for its roasted, nutty flavor and distinctive chewy texture. Because farro contains a starch similar to that found in Arborio rice, it behaves much like risotto, releasing a creamy, binding liquid when cooked. But unlike risotto, farro doesn’t become gummy instead, it retains its tender, distinct bite, even if it sits awhile after cooking.

Farro’s tough husk makes it more difficult to process than other commercially produced grains, but that husk also helps protect the grain’s vital nutrients. With a higher fiber and protein content than common wheat, farro is also rich in magnesium and B vitamins. As a type of wheat, farro is unsuitable for those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or a wheat sensitivity or allergy.

Note: as with all grains, pearled farro will take less time to cook than semi-pearled, which will take less time to cook than whole.

Cooking time: 25-40 minutes. Liquid per cup of grain: 2 cups

How to cook farro: Combine with water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for up to 40 minutes, or until grains are tender and have absorbed all of the liquid.

Farro and Chicken Stew

  • 1 cup semi pearled farro
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onions (2 large)
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini (2 small)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium)
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • Parmesan cheese (4 ounces), grated

Rinse farro. In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups water to boiling. Stir in the farro. Return to boiling reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until farro is tender. Drain.

In a large skillet bring the 3 cups of chicken broth to boiling. Add the chicken breasts, salt and pepper. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink (165 degrees F). Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a cutting board. Cool slightly. Coarsely chop or shred chicken. Set aside. Reserve broth.

In a 4-quart Dutch oven heat the olive oil and add the onions, zucchini, celery and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in oregano and crushed red pepper. Stir in reserved broth, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to boiling reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in cooked farro and chopped or shredded chicken. Cook and stir until heated through. Top with grated cheese.

Breakfast Polenta Casserole

  • 1/4 cup red onion (1 small), diced small
  • 1 1/4 cups unpeeled Yukon gold potatoes (1 large), diced small
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces Italian pork sausage, casings removed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup coarse polenta
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

The night before serving:

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet and sauté the onions over medium-low heat until golden brown. While the onions are cooking, steam the potatoes in a small amount of water in a covered pot until they are tender.

Add the steamed potatoes to the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook the potato/onion mixture until the potatoes are browned. Set aside in a covered bowl.

Cook the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, until it is no longer pink. Drain and cool. Refrigerate the onion-potato mixture and the sausage separately overnight.

The next morning:

To prepare the polenta,

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta, Italian seasoning and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thick and smooth (approximately 7 minutes).

Pour the polenta into an ungreased 9吉-inch baking dish. It will firm up as you scramble the eggs.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Pour in the eggs and scramble them until slightly firm but still wet. Remove from the heat. (The eggs will finish cooking in the oven.)

Spread the potato mixture, sausage, Parmesan and cheddar over the polenta. Pour the eggs on top of the entire dish. Bake until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.

Farro-Stuffed Peppers

  • 1 (14 ½) ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ cups corn
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup snipped fresh basil
  • 4 large red sweet peppers

In a medium saucepan combine broth, farro and water. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes or until farro is tender. Drain farro, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid set both the farro and cooking liquid aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the Italian seasoning. Add corn and green onions. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in reserved farro, salt and black pepper cool slightly. Stir in 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of the basil.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds and membranes from the peppers. Fill pepper halves with the farro mixture. Place stuffed peppers in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Pour the reserved cooking liquid into the dish around the peppers. Cover dish with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or untilthe peppers are crisp-tender and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining basil.

Brown Rice Risotto

Add your favorite ingredients, if you wish.

  • Salt
  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion or large shallot, chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups any chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley

Bring medium pot of water to a boil and add salt to taste. Stir in brown rice, adjust heat so that water bubbles steadily, and cook without stirring, until rice is swollen and half-tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain. (Alternate, soak rice in water to cover overnight. Drain)

Put oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion or shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with oil, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper add the wine. Stir and let liquid come to a boil. Reduce heat slightly.

Begin to add the stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition and every minute or so. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more. Keep the heat medium to medium-high and stir frequently.

When rice is just about tender and mixture is creamy, add the Parmesan, then taste and add more salt or pepper (or both) if necessary. Garnish with basil or parsley and serve.

Italian Pastiera (Wheat Berry Pie)

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons icy water as needed

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor bowl fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to mix the dry ingredients.

Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and drop them in through the feed tube along with the lemon zest and pulse the machine in short bursts, about 10 times. The mixture should be crumbly.

Put in the eggs and pulse a few times to mix the eggs into the dry ingredients.

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water on top of the dough. Pulse 6 times for just a second or two. The dough should resemble cottage cheese. Pick up some dough and press it together. If it doesn’t hold together, add another teaspoon of water until the dough holds together.

Scrape the dough onto a floured board and knead to form a smooth, tight dough.

Press into a flat disc and wrap the dough in plastic. Refrigerate for a few hours before using.

  • 32 oz. ricotta, drained
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange flower water (or orange flower oil)
  • 1/2 cup minced candied citron, lemon peel and orange peel
  • 1/3 cup hulled wheat berries soaked overnight and boiled in lightly salted water for about 30 minutes or until tender. (Use pearl barley or cooked rice if you can’t get the wheat berries.)

Put the ricotta, eggs, sugar and orange flower water in a large bowl and mix the ingredients well.

Mix in the candied fruit and wheat berries.

To Assemble the Pastiera

Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan.

Cut off about 1/3 of dough and set aside.

With a rolling-pin, roll out the remaining pastry dough to about 15 inches in diameter. It should be about 1/8 inch thick. Flour the board and top of the dough to avoid the dough sticking to either the board or the rolling-pin.

Place the dough in the pan to fully cover the bottom and sides.

Cut off any excess dough from the pan rim. If the dough breaks just patch it.

Pour in the ricotta mixture.

Tap the pan on the board to ensure the filling is well settled.

Roll out the reserved dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle (the pastry should be about an 1/8 inch thick) and cut 1/2 inch lattice strips on a diagonal.

Loosely place the lattice on top of the ricotta mixture. (You can brush a beaten egg wash on the lattice and rim crust to get a more golden color.)

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the ricotta filling is well set and a skewer place in the center comes out dry. Rotate the pastiera once to ensure even baking.


With a bright citrus taste and a hint of sour, begonias are a flavorful edible flower that’s quite versatile. They can be eaten alongside savory or sweet dishes equally well. Eat the weeds notes that begonia blossoms and leaves are tasty raw, and that the stalks can be cooked like rhubarb.

Try any of these begonia recipes:


Interview with Chef Rizwan Ahmed

Chef Rizwan Ahmed is a decorated chef who can be found most days imparting wisdom in his teaching kitchen at Johnston & Wales University or serving up creative local fare from his food truck, Rhode Rage.

Eating with the Ecosystem has known Chef Riz since his days as chef-proprietor of the Hourglass Brasserie in Bristol, RI. We still remember with awe the time he served skate cartilage chips (died with squid ink) at an Eating with the Ecosystem dinner at the Hourglass. Most recently, we have been honored to collaborate with Riz (and several of his JWU students) on the creation of a new cookbook, Simmering the Sea: Diversifying Cookery to Sustain Our Fisheries.

Riz brought to this project not only his keen sense of flavor and texture as a chef, but a multifaceted appreciation for marine life that he gained through an earlier career path as a marine biologist. You can enjoy these recipes for yourself by ordering Simmering the Sea HERE.

We hope you enjoy these snippets of an interview that we did with Chef Riz several years ago while preparing for a dinner in his former restaurant:

What made you want to become a Marine Biologist initially?

Being brought up in a third world country for the first eighteen years of my life, one comes to realize that the environment is put on the back burner. My early interest in the environment was when my family built their house close to a beautiful beach outside the main city of Karachi, Pakistan. We had a view of the mudflats right outside our doorstep. These mudflats had a large diversity of marine species as well as birds. But that didn’t last for long. Within a few years, without any laws or protection, the mudflats deteriorated leaving a wasteland that was replaced with commercial buildings and homes. This was only one example of what was happening around to the suburbs of Karachi and I knew something needed to be done.

I had made up my mind and when I finished school I applied to colleges in the States that had some sort of environmental degree with a concentration in Marine Ecosystems. I was accepted to the University of Maine, Machias. While attending college I would visit the coastal waters of Karachi in the summer and take back samples of species to identify and record. This helped establish a chart of what the Arabian Seas coastline had to offer.

When I finished college I moved down to Florida to work in the Marine Fisheries industry including Mote Marine Laboratories in Sarasota, Florida. Finally laws were put into place to prevent cities and industries from polluting the Arabian Sea. And now the beaches across the coastline of Pakistan are seeing a slow comeback in marine life and biodiversity. This gave me hope that if a third world country can come to the realization and save their marine ecosystem then we as a world can do far greater things.

What made you decide to switch paths and become a chef?

I’ve been passionate about food as long as I can remember. Coming from a very close knit family my favorite and most fond memories were gathering around the dinner table for a meal cooked by my Mother. Each dish was a celebration of flavor and this is probably what fueled my passion for becoming a chef.

I decided to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts in 2002 and would then decide between the two degrees. I moved to London, England to attend the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. Upon graduating with honors, I wanted to work with the best in the industry and sort after some of the most respected names in the field. I managed to get some extensive experience as a chef in many fine-dining establishments. I apprenticed at the prestigious Lanesborough Hotel in London, under Executive Chef Paul Gayler. I also worked at several famous Michelin starred restaurants including the Orrery, under Andre Garret and Le Gavroche, under Michel Roux in London. I then moved to Bermuda to work with the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts at the Newport Room, one of only hundred and fifty AAA five diamond restaurants in North America.

I met my beautiful wife in Bermuda while she was working there as a nurse. We fell in love and came to Rhode Island to see the in-laws. When I saw Bristol, Rhode Island, where my wife had lived for many years, I knew this would be the place for us to start our lives together.

What special insight do you bring as a chef that came from your knowledge of Marine Biology? How do you bring your Marine Science experience to bear in your work as a chef?

After being disappointed with the quality of food produced by some of the restaurants I had been to and the lack of understanding ones product and where it came from and to appreciate and respect the abundance and variety that our oceans have to offer I decided to open up my own restaurant.

There is an abundant diversity of marine life that can be used and prepared for by chefs to put on their menu. But nine out of ten restaurants have species like cod. This puts a heavy load on the cod population. People have now become so accustomed to a limited choice of seafood that they are not willing or are not aware of other species that taste just as good if not better. To me it is the duty of the chef not just to provide an excellent meal but to educate the guest on what they are eating when it comes to seafood, to have an understanding of “eating with the ecosystem” and to work with it. Not to put a heavy load on a few selected species but to utilize a wide range as to not negatively affect the ecosystem as a whole.

But my biggest respect goes to the French chef, who tries to utilize as much as possible from a product with the least amount of waste. This to me shows that with a little insight one can do wonders and provide a guest with a memorable and educated dining experience.


Ask A Bartender: What's One Cocktail You're Really Proud Of?

Many of the best bartenders are constantly designing new drinks, revisiting old ones, and revamping the bar's menu. But every once in a while, there's a concoction that feels truly exciting. We asked our bartender crew about their best ideas in drinks and the cocktails they're truly proud of.

Here's what they had to say.

"My cocktail, Gin Blossom, was my entry for the Bombay Sapphire/GQ Magazine Most Imaginative Bartender competition that took me to Vegas to compete against 50 of America's top bartenders. It contained Sapphire, lime juice, elderflower liqueur, and an infused honey that had ginger, basil, toasted coriander, and orris root, garnished with burdock root and Vietnamese mint leaf. I felt the cocktail was formidable and well-balanced with a bit of intrigue." — Trent Simpson (La Urbana)

"I made an Old Fashioned that I gelatinized in an orange peel. It's cut like an orange wedge and served alongside a neat pour of whisky." — Justin Fairweather (Evelyn Drinkery)

"My favorite cocktail at work is the Sparta Side Car—Metaxa (a Greek brandy), Michter's bourbon, triple sec, and our mint infused lemonade. It's a refreshing twist on the classic sidebar and it perfectly reflects our restaurant's mix of Greece and NYC." — Kevin Thurston (Snack EOS)

"Anytime I make a cocktail with no more than 3 ingredients, I am proud." — Erik Sorensen (Freddy Smalls)

"Yuzu margarita with a black salt rim." — Jaime Pait (E&O Asian Kitchen)

"I like to infuse flavors into different spirits. Most recently, I made the cocktail called The Bramble & Buck, which is made with one ounce of apple and blackberry-infused gin (which infuses for two weeks), half an ounce of lime juice, topped with housemade ginger beer." — Ergys Dizdari (Filini Bar and Restaurant)

"My Little Rascal is made of bourbon, Cynar, tamarind, and club soda. I love that it uses simple ingredients but still has a complex flavor." — Josh Berner (Zentan)

"We are really liking our barrel-aged program and the results you get from that. It isn't a new phenomenon, but it is fun for us because we get to take some great ingredients and manipulate them much the same way a winemaker or distiller gets to with their final product." — Jimmy Marino and Stephen Shelton (The Lexington House)

"Dark Depths—Woodford Reserve, espresso-vanilla syrup, chocolate bitters. Makes a great after-dinner drink." — Dan Andruss (312 Chicago)

"The Elder Statesman: 1 1/2 ounces rye, 3/4 ounce bianco vermouth, 1/4 ounce Sambuca, less than a bar spoon of créme de cassis. Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with star anise." — Scott Brody (Presidio Social Club)

"I'm infusing Brugal Extra Dry white rum with Sichuan peppercorn, and using that as the base for a drink with pomegranate and lemon. It makes for a frothy, tingly, dry cocktail. It's a little naughty, and it's called the 'Mr. Tingles.'" — John McCarthy (Greenwich Project)

"The 'Elegance and Grace,' a cocktail inspired by legendary actress Grace Kelly, the princess of Philadelphia—3 ounces rosewater-infused Ketel One Vodka, 1/2 ounce rose nectar, 3/4 ounce Demi Sec Rose Champagne" — Pablo "Papi" Hurtado (The Rittenhouse)

"The Bayou was just recently published on the Men's Journal website and I was particularly proud of that one. Pine-infused rye, smoked honey, green Chartreuse, and egg white, garnished with garden lavender." — Derrick Bass (Willie Jane)

"The Secretariat. It's a citrus whiskey cocktail inspired by the Brown Derby, using Old Overholt Rye, lime, grapefruit, Peychaud's bitters, and a hopped Aperol cordial made from Cascade hops and grapefruit peels." — Chris Amirault (The Eveleigh)

"We recently did an inverted julep that I loved. We infused moonshine with chamomile, served it chilled with a splash of simple, then floated a tea made of mint and bourbon chips on top." — Dan Bronson (The Strand Smokehouse & Crescent & Vine)

"I love our Ron Burgundy cocktail. It has Scotch, obviously, fresh lemon and grapefruit, brown sugar syrup, and orange and Angostura bitters. Rich and refreshing." — Nate Howell (Cusp Dining & Drinks)

"The Willamette Weak Sauce: We recently got a less-than-favorable review from a local hipster street paper. In retaliation, I designed a cocktail to be delicious, sophisticated and affordable. It caught on and is one of our top 10 selling drinks. The best part is: the editor's best friend came in and spotted the drink and asked about its origins. He loved the drink and the story behind it so much that he told the editor. A month or so later, they showed up in our bar to try the drink and actually do some research on our tavern. The follow-up was much better—they said it was a sincere pleasure to be insulted with such articulacy." — Brandon Lockman (Red Star Tavern)

"Crescent Moon—qamar al-din (a stewed apricot drink) with whiskey, orange flower water and a hint of cinnamon. It's great for people who don't normally order brown spirits." — Lauren Lathrop Williams (Jsix Restaurant)

"I'm really excited about the Anejo Carrito—a 'translation' of Sidecar in Spanish. It uses dark rum instead of brandy, and instead of Cointreau, we use a housemade brown sugar-roasted pumpkin puree that really celebrates the flavors of the season. To rim the glass, we combine pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar." — Gianni Cionchi (FishTag)

"The Serpent King: Ruby Port, bourbon, St. Germain, honey, chamomile, and hibiscus water. On its own, it's pretty sweet, but we add a touch of malic acid (derived from apples) to perk it up. Makes it taste like a fresh red apple." — Jonathan Harris (Firefly)

"Easy Pilgrim: housemade pumpkin reduction, rye whisky, angostura bitters." — Jen Queen (Saltbox Dining & Drinking)

"One of our newest cocktails at The Bazaar is called the North Side Boogie, which is made with pisco, lemon verbena syrup, lime juice, and vermouth. For me, this cocktail brings together a myriad of beautiful flavors and aromas." — Juan Coronado (The Bazaar by Jose Andres at SLS Hotel South Beach)

"I created a new cocktail for Upstairs called the Bittered Sling—rye whiskey, amaro, Fernet, bitters, freshly squeezed lime juice and honey. The sweet-bitter flavor makes this a delicious drink to sip on at the bar or cozy up to next to the fireplace." — Miri Kolici (Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel)

"Strawberry Black Mission Fig Old Fashioned. Muddle fresh strawberries and cherries. 2 ounces of rye. Add two dashes of black mission fig bitters. Stir, double strain and serve up. Actually, I made it over the summer, but I'm still pretty proud." — Thomas Gebbia (Thistle Hill Tavern)

"I filled a mason jar with dried figs, topped it off with vodka, stuck it in the armrest of my truck and literally forgot about it for a month. It was summer and the car got up to 100 degrees some days. When I re-discovered the concoction it was incredible. We are combining it with Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, Amaretto, and walnut bitters. It only takes a couple of months to make!" — Kevin O'Reilly (Castle Hill Inn)

"The Old Armchair. I wanted to make an all-spirit cocktail with no citrus or syrups. Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Pierre Ferrand Orange Curacao, Fernet Branca, Rittenhouse Rye, and Peychaud's bitters. Served over one big rock. It's sort of Sazerac-inspired cocktail with some twists. One of the top pieces of prose in the year 1840 was a poem called the Old Armchair—hence the name." — Dan Rook (South Water Kitchen)

"Everything on the menu at Play. I'm really fond of the Miller's Crossing (jalapeño-infused tequila, highland tequila, celery bitters, Suze, lime, cane syrup, cucumber, and IPA) and the Bearing Straight (mezcal, sparkling nigori sake, yuzu, ginger, and Kiuchi No Shizuku, a beer distillate from Hitachino brewery)—but don't tell the other 22 drinks." — Jim Kearns (PLAY)

"2 ounces Woodford Reserve infused with Rare Tea Cellars loose leaf Sakura Kyoto Cherry Blossom , 1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino, 3/4 ounce simple, 1/4 ounce yuzu juice, 1/4 ounce lemon juice, 2 dashes Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters. Shake it all and serve over fresh ice." — Ryan Prevost (Kabocha)

"A recent cocktail that I created was the Pear Paradiso. It consists of vodka, apricot brandy, fresh pear, fresh lemon, and tarragon. You have the pear and the brandy as a sweetener, balanced out by the lemon juice, and finished off with a nice anise flavor from the tarragon." — Kris Doyle (Trattoria Neapolis)


From Flavors of Greece: The Best of Classic and Modern Greek Culinary Traditions in More Than 250 Recipes Flavors of Greece by Rosemary Barron

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  • Categories: Dessert Greek
  • Ingredients: sweet white wine honey vanilla beans coriander seeds fruits of your choice
  • Accompaniments:Rich cream

Buy this now: Beets, with 12 recipes

Which scorned salad came first? Beet or kale? I can no longer recall. It seems that both have been with us always, though I can vividly remember times when no sane person would ever admit to liking either.

That’s how fast food fashion changes these days. At one moment, you’re the star of every menu in town. Then before you know it, you’ve become a cliché. But it’s important to keep a perspective that is a little bit longer than what’s trending on Twitter.

Certainly, beet salads no longer have the ability to shock us the way they once did — but good is good and a well-prepared beet salad is great.

Beets, which once could only be found in Harvard red, now can be bought in deep gold, white, even bull’s-eye stripes. The differences are basically decorative — all varieties taste pretty much the same. They’re sweet and earthy with a slight tannic finish like spinach.

(Fun fact: that distinctive earthy flavor comes from a naturally occurring chemical compound called geosmin, which is also a contributing factor in petrichor — the smell in the air after a good rain. Far less pleasant, it also contributes to that muddy flavor in badly farmed fish such as tilapia and striped bass.)

All beets can be prepared the same, simple way. Trim the leaves leaving an inch or so of stem (save the greens and stems they’re delicious, too). Give the beets a good scrub (particularly around the bases of the stems, where cracks tend to collect dirt). Don’t trim the long taproot at the base — the beet will bleed juice.

Too cook them, just wrap a bunch of them in foil and roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees. They’re done when a paring knife slides in easily, about an hour.

Let the beets cool slightly before peeling the skins away with your fingers. They’ll just slip right off. Pro Tip: Work on a surface that’s easily cleanable there are few things in the food world that will stain like red beet juice.

Once the beets are prepared, you can make a salad with almost anything you can find in the refrigerator.

You can make it with all kinds of cheeses – it’s equally good with creamy burrata, salty ricotta salata or blue, or, of course, goat cheese. You can pair it with a crisp bitter green like radicchio, tender butter lettuce or sweet slices of oranges. Top it with toasted nuts or croutons. It’s all good.

How to choose: The key to selecting the best beets is to look at the tops, not the roots. The tops will start to wilt and fade long before the roots show any trouble at all. Look for greens that are crisp and vibrant. Only then should you check to make sure there are no nicks or cuts on the roots.

How to store: Beets keep well – just stick them in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

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Russ Parsons is a former Food writer and columnist and the former editor of the Food section at the Los Angeles Times.

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Beard Between the Breads: A Cocktail Party

For our annual summertime soirée, we&rsquore hosting a party fit for royalty&mdashspecifically, the Earl of Sandwich. This walk-around cocktail reception will feature some of the sammy&rsquos greatest hits (think: sliders, panini, burgers, and more), crafted by a roster of top-notch talent from around New York City.

Click here to see photos from this event!

Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches

Walter&rsquos Signature Hot Dogs

Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

Miso-Roasted Salmon Sandwiches

Fried Pork Chop Sandwiches

Cured and Cold-Smoked Salmon with Pastrami Spice, Smoked Cream, Pickled Cucumbers, and Dill on Rye

Wagyu Beef Short Rib Sliders with Jalapeño Aïoli, Pickled Red Onions, and Potato Chips

Caprese Paninetti with Garden Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Fresh Basil

Assorted Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes

Assorted Cookies from Insomnia Cookies

Beverages

Gimme Gimme > Deep Wells Gin with Dimmi, Lime Juice, Orange Flower Water, and Cilantro Oil Smokey

Summer Legs > Diamond White Rye with Smoked Lemon, Peppercorn Syrup, Mint, and Seltzer Villa

Russiz Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Laroche Mas La Chevalière Rosé de la Chevalière 2017

Chateau du Moulin-à-Vent Couvent de Thorins 2015

Ommegang Brewery Pale Sour Ale

Ommegang Brewery Witte Wheat Ale

Tickets to events held at the James Beard House cover the cost of food and a unique dining experience. Dinners are prepared by culinary masters from all regions of the United States and around the world. All alcoholic beverages are provided on a complimentary basis and are not included in the ticket price.