The Drink Tank: New Orleans Cocktail History with Elizabeth Pearce

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Elizabeth Pearce, drinks historian and the drinks curator for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum

Elizabeth Pearce is a drinks historian and the drinks curator for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in the cradle of American drinks culture, New Orleans.

Gibson and Elizabeth explore the rich and storied history of drinking in the city of New Orleans, from its early days as a French colony, to the rioting (and hangings) that took place when the Spanish took control of the city and outlawed French spirits in favor of those produced by Spain, through Prohibition – it took one Federal agent just 37 seconds to be served a drink when he inquired, pulled from under the driver’s seat of the taxi that picked him up at the train station – and onto today.

The two also discuss Elizabeth’s book, The French Quarter Drinking Companion, in which she and her two co-authors recount the tales of what happened to them in each of the 100 bars they visited in the city’s French Quarter.

More about Elizabeth, her book and blog, and the historical tours she offers can be found at Elizabeth-Pearce.com.


Buy the book at your favorite local Indie Bookstore

 

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The Blue Plate Special: In the Prairie Kitchen with Summer Miller

Summer Miller Blogs at ScaldedMilk.com

Kurt & Christine chat with Summer Miller, author of New Prairie Kitchen, about the burgeoning cuisine of the Heartland.  Summer spent 4 years touring and tasting at farms and restaurants to find the best of this oft-neglected region, where the best soil on earth makes growing and eating local food easy.  Summer Miller blogs at ScaldedMilk.com.

There’s also a quick plug for the newest show int he Edible Radio lineup, Cuisine KaChing, and a mention of the forthcoming food writers conference, Eating Words.

The conference will be held October 2-4.  Make your plans now!  Tickets are available here, hotel arrangements here, travel info here, and the agenda is posted here.  You can follow updates via Facebook and Twitter.

Recipes below the fold…

 

 

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Underground Airwaves: Kris Soebroto & The Sisters of the Road Café

Kris Soebroto with Underground Airwaves host Chris Segal

Kris Soebroto with Underground Airwaves host Chris Segal

On Underground Airwaves, we talk a lot about the enjoyment of food. But for many people there are economic and social factors that keep them from the opportunities of enjoying good, healthy food. At the Sisters of the Road Cafe, they are attempting to make eating good food available to all people. Their hot food barter model allows them to serve fresh foods that you would normally not find in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. They also focus on dining with dignity, which creates an inclusive community where everyone’s needs can be served. We have a story from Kris Soebroto who has worked at Sisters of the Road for several years. She has gotten to know the community at Sisters intimately and has seen first hand the humanizing effect of a dignified dining experience. She talks about the work they are attempting at Sisters and how some of the things we take for granted, such as giving a gift, can be incredibly meaningful. The story and interview were recorded at KBOO Community Radio in Portland, OR. Find more information about the Sisters of the Road Cafe at SistersOfTheRoad.org.

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Cuisine Ka-Ching: Tastee with the Apple at the Core

Greg Hackenbracht of Tastee AppleGreg Hackenbracht Grows a Tastee Apple…

Family-owned and operated since 1974 in the historic Village of Newcomerstown, Ohio, Tastee Apple, Inc. has sold over 250,000,000 apples with candy, chocolate, caramel, and other toppings.  Entrepreneur, Greg Hackenbracht joins us on this segment of Cuisine KaChing. Greg started the Company along with his father, John, when he was only 19 years old.

For 40 years, Greg, along with his management team has been guiding the enterprise with his focus on quality, innovation, culture, process and profit with a passion for constant improvement. And, they’ve frown the Company organically by simply listening to their customers.

The only U.S.A.-based company in the industry certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute, all of the apples go through a unique, seven-step rating process to guarantee the quality and freshness of the fruit. They work with several select apple growers from Missouri, Washington and other locations, favoring the northern-most suppliers because they tend to produce a firmer, longer lasting apple, one that is most optimal for their particular process. Only fresh packers are used

Perfectly-ripe apples are “dipped” in made-from-scratch, small-batch, kettle-cooked caramel or a candy coating. After the apples cool, they are rolled in gooey toppings like milk, dark or white chocolate and then rolled in fresh peanuts, pecans, cookies, or pretzels. The candy and caramel apples are then carefully packaged, stored and shipped to stores throughout the country to enjoy with family and friends.

The company has achieved a fascinating balance of “home-made-from-scratch quality along with process-manufacturing and massive scale.

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The Kitchen Workshop: The Nourished Kitchen with Jennifer McGruther

McGr_Nourished KitchenMary Reilly of Edible Pioneer Valley spoke with Jennifer McGruther, blogger, writer and author of The Nourished Kitchen. They talked about home-made soda and fermenting leafy greens.

Jennifer shared her recipes for beet kvass and creamed collards with us – find them below.

 

Photo courtesy of Kevin McGruther

Photo courtesy of Kevin McGruther

Beet kvass with ginger and mandarin

Beet kvass tastes of the earth, faintly reminiscent of mineral-rich soil with a mild sweetness that fades to sour as the tonic ferments and ages. Like many traditional foods, beet kvass, which is nothing more than the juice of fermented beets, can overwhelm the palate of those unaccustomed to the strong flavors of the Old World. Yet, with time, many people find that they develop a yen for the robust earthiness and sour-sweet flavor of the tonic.

My interest in other homemade sodas and herbal tonics waxes and wanes, but my love of beet kvass remains constant. I like to serve it over ice, diluted with sparkling or still mineral water. While I often prepare plain beet kvass, I also find that ginger and mandarin oranges temper its earthiness, providing a nice variation. The beet’s betacyanin content not only gives beets and this kvass their characteristic color, but it also provides potent antioxidants.

beet kvass with ginger and mandarin Makes about 6 cups

1/4 cup strained Ginger and Wild Yeast Starter for Homemade Sodas (page 289)

2 teaspoons finely ground unrefined sea salt

6 cups water, plus more as needed

3 pounds beets, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

2 mandarin oranges (with the skin on), sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

2 tablespoons peeled and freshly grated ginger

Pour the strained starter into a large pitcher, then whisk in the salt and water.

Put the beets, mandarins, and ginger in a 1-gallon fermentation crock. Pour in the liquid until the crock is full within 1 inch of its lip and the beets are completely submerged, adding additional water as necessary. Weigh the beets down with a sterilized stone, a glass or stoneware weight, or other utensil small enough to fit within your crock but heavy enough to act as a weight. Seal the crock and allow the kvass to ferment at room temperature for at least 7 days. Taste the kvass, and if you prefer a stronger or sourer flavor, continue fermenting for another week.

Strain the kvass and funnel it into pint‑size flip-top bottles. Discard the mandarins, but reserve the beets, if you like, and serve them as you would a pickle or other fermented vegetable. Store the kvass in the refrigerator for up to 1 year, noting that it may thicken slightly as it ages.

Creamed collard greenscollared greens

There’s an old-fashioned charm to the sturdy collard green, whose tough stems and broad leathery leaves spring from garden beds throughout the year. Despite near year-round availability, collards are at their best in the cold months after the first frost, which sweetens the otherwise notoriously bitter green. Here, heavy cream and caramelized onions add luxurious sweetness to counterbalance the collards’ briny undertones.

Serves 4 t o 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 bunches collard greens, about 24 ounces, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When it froths, decrease the heat to medium, stir in the onion, and fry until fragrant and a bit caramelized at the edges, 6 to 8 minutes.

Toss the chopped collards into the skillet and cook, stirring until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low, stir in the heavy cream, and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, until the cream is reduced by half and thickened. Sprinkle with the nutmeg and serve.

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Cuisine KaChing: Executive Chef, Jonathan Perno at Los Poblanos Farm

Home_Slideshow_FarmDH

I recently visited with Executive Chef, Jonathan Perno at Los Poblanos Farm. A native New Mexican, Jonathan trained at the California Culinary Academy and spent time at Postrio under Wolfgang Puck, Splendido and Alain Rondelli in San Francisco, Sweet Basil in Vail, Colorado, Splendido at The Château in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Metropolitan in Salt Lake City, Utah. His résumé also includes the requisite European culinary tour, a return visit to work at La Tante Claire in London.

In addition, he spent a year in Berkley, California at an organic farm learning raised bed farming.

Jonathan is the perfect fit for Los Poblanos. His first few months here found him doing everything from harvesting honey from our bees for his homemade chocolates to preparing a 6-course chef’s meal for an anniversary dinner for 75. He is a strong advocate of the Farm to Table philosophy and the Slow Food Movement. While he’s absolutely content to let the fresh ingredients take all the credit, Jonathan has already impressed the most critical of foodies with his own unique perspective on food.

The Los Poblanos land was originally inhabited by the Anasazi (ancient pueblo Indians) in the 14th century. Many of the original settlers in this area were thought to have come from Puebla, Mexico, a citizen of which is called a “Poblano.” The land became part of the Elena Gallegos land grant around 1716. The original ranch land was owned by Ambrosio and Juan Cristobal Armijo through the 19th century but was reassembled by Albert and Ruth Simms in the 1930s. Los Poblanos today encompasses the original headquarters of the 800-acre ranch owned by the Congressman, Albert Simms, and his wife, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms that extended to the crest of the Sandia Mountains. Our historic inn was their private residence and the center of operations of their dairy, farming, nursery, art businesses, and dynamic cultural and educational endeavors. In 1932, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms commissioned architect John Gaw Meem and numerous WPA artists and craftsmen to renovate the ranch house and create the Cultural Center for political and community events and recreation with gardens designed by Rose Greeley.… Read More

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The Kitchen Workshop: Cookie Love with Mindy Segal

Sega_Cookie LoveKitchen Workshop host Mary Reilly, editor and publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley, speaks with Mindy Segal about her book Cookie Love, treating a cookie like a meal and building  your cookie making pantry. Mindy is the author of Cookie Love and the proprietor and pastry creator of Hot Chocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar in Chicago. She has graciously shared her recipe for Fleur de Sel Shortbread with Vanilla Halvah.

FLEUR DE SEL SHORTBREAD WITH VANILLA HALVAH

Segal_Mindy

 

I AM ALWAYS ON a quest to find more ways to use halvah in desserts. Coffee, chocolate, and cocoa nibs are my usual pairings with the Middle Eastern sesame confection, but one day I shifted gears in favor of vanilla and fleur de sel. It worked—halvah anchored the vanilla-flecked frosting, for a sweet, salty, nutty result. To finish the cookies, I dip them partially in dark milk chocolate and then place a shaving of halvah on top. The frosting is seasoned well to balance its sweetness, but because the cookies themselves carry a noticeable salt level, you may prefer to add less. If using a sea salt that is not as light and flaky as Murray River (see page 267 for a description of the salt), reduce the salt by 1 tablespoon.

To cut out the cookies, you will need a rectangular cutter approximately 13⁄4 by 21⁄2 inches. To pipe the frosting, you will need the Ateco tip #32.

Makes approximately 28 sandwich cookies.

SHORTBREAD

11⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (13 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

11⁄4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sea salt flakes

FROSTING

8 ounces plain or vanilla halvah, cubed

2 ounces white chocolate, melted

11⁄4 cups (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt flakes, or to taste

TO FINISH

Piece of plain or vanilla halvah, for garnish

8 ounces milk chocolate, melted

Fleur de Sel Shortbread with Vanilla Halvah CookieStep #1: Make the Shortbread

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the sugar and mix on low speed to incorporate. Increase the speed to medium and cream the butter mixture until it is aerated and looks like frosting, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.

Put the yolks in a small cup or bowl and add the vanilla.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

On medium speed, add the yolks, one at a time, and mix until the batter resembles cottage cheese, approximately 5 seconds for each yolk. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together. Mix on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds to make nearly homogeneous.

Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together but still looks shaggy, approxi- mately 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand.

Stretch two sheets of plastic wrap on a work surface. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of the plastic wrap. Pat each half into a rectangle, wrap tightly, and refrigerate until chilled throughout, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Let the dough halves sit at room tempera- ture until the dough has warmed up some but is still cool to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes.

Put a sheet of parchment paper the same dimensions as a half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pan on the work surface and dust lightly with flour. Put one dough half on top.

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough half into a rectangle approximately 11 by 13 inches and 1⁄4 inch thick or slightly under. If the edges become uneven, push a bench scraper against the dough to straighten out the sides. To keep the dough from sticking to the parchment paper, dust the top with flour, cover with another piece of parchment paper, and, sandwiching the dough between both sheets of parch- ment paper, flip the dough and paper over. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and continue to roll. Any time the dough starts to stick, repeat the sand- wiching and flipping step with the parchment paper.

Ease the dough and parchment paper onto a half sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough half and stack it on top. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and refrigerate the layers until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a couple of half sheet pans with parchment paper.

Let the dough sit at room temperature for up to 10 minutes. Invert the dough onto a work surface and peel off the top sheet of parchment paper. Roll a dough docker over the dough or pierce it numerous times with a fork. Using a 1 3⁄4 by 2 1⁄2-inch rectangular cutter, punch out the cookies. Reroll the dough trimmings, chill, and cut out more cookies.

Put the shortbread on the prepared sheet pans, evenly spacing up to 16 cookies per pan.

Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the cookies feel firm and hold their shape when touched, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let the cookies cool completely on the sheet pans. Repeat with the remaining pan.

Step #2: Frost the Cookies

Blend the halvah in a food processor until fairly smooth. Drizzle in the white chocolate and blend until incorporated. The halvah will turn into a thick paste.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter briefly on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until the butter mixture is aerated and pale in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the frosting together. Briefly mix in the vanilla and salts until incorporated, approximately 1 minute. Add the halvah paste and mix until smooth, with a little texture left from the halvah.

Fit a pastry bag with the Ateco tip #32 and fill with the frosting.

Make pairs of similar-size cookies. Turn half of the cookies over. Leaving an 1⁄8-inch border, pipe rows of dots onto the cookies. The frosting should be approximately as thick as the cookie. Top each frosted cookie with a second cookie and press lightly to adhere.

Step #3: Finish the Cookies

Freeze the piece of halvah until chilled, 30 minutes.

Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Dip a quarter of the long side
of each sandwich cookie into the milk chocolate, shake off the excess, and place on the prepared pans. Using a vegetable peeler, shave a piece or two of halvah and place onto the chocolate- dipped part of each cookie. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, approximately 1 hour.

The cookies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.Read More

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The Kitchen Workshop: Put ‘Em Up!

112612_SherriL-034rtOn the Kitchen Workshop, host Mary Reilly from Edible Pioneer Valley, speaks with Sherri Brooks Vinton about boiling-water canning and getting your kitchen “canning ready” so you can take advantage of the market when the mood strikes! Sherri is the author of the Put ‘Em Up series of preserving and canning cookbooks.

book_PEUcoverPutEmUpFruitPutemUpPreservingAnswer

Read on for recipes for Lemon-Ginger Marmalade and Pickled Mushrooms. Learn more about Sherri and get more recipes at www.sherribrooksvinton.com.

LEMON GINGER MARMALADE

153_cJenniferMayPhotography_LemonGingerMarmalade_PutEmUpFruitMakes 5 cups

Lemon and ginger, a classic combo of sunny and warm together in one great spread. The rind from the lemon give this marmalade some bite so it’s not all frills. This is a great topper for some hearty rustic bread that can stand up to a jam with attitude.

  • 2 pounds lemons (8–10)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 (4-inch) knob fresh ginger, minced

Prepare

1. Using a vegetable brush, scrub the fruit with a nontoxic, odorless dish soap and hot water.

2. Cut off the tops and bottoms of the lemons deeply enough to remove the solid disks of pith and reveal the flesh of the fruit. Quarter the fruits and cut away the center rib. Flick out the seeds with the tip of your knife. Thinly slice the quartered lemons crosswise. Combine the lemon slices with the water in a large nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside overnight to soften the rinds.

3. The next day, measure the volume of the lemon mixture (you should have about 4 cups). Return the lemon mixture to the pot and add an equal amount of sugar, along with the ginger. Slowly bring to a hard boil, stirring frequently to avoid burning the sugar. Continue cooking until gel stage is reached (see page 28), about 15 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat. Allow the marmalade to rest for 5 minutes, giving it an occasional gentle stir to release trapped air; it will thicken slightly. Skim off any foam.

Preserve.

Can

Use the boiling-water method as described on page 20. Ladle the marmalade into clean, hot 4-ounce or half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace between the top of the marmalade and the lid. Run a bubble tool along the inside of the glass to release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands until they are just fingertip-tight. Process the jars by submerging them in boiling water to cover by 2 inches for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, and let the jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove the jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check the seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

 

PICKLED BUTTON MUSHROOMS

216_cJenniferMayPhotographyInc_PickledMushrooms_PutEmUpMakes about 2 pints

A number of cultures lay claim to mushroom pickles: Italy, Germany, and Poland all have their style with these tasty bites. I’ve taken the United Nations’ approach — this is a mash-up recipe that takes a little bit from each tradition.

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, stemmed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

PREPARE

Combine the vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and fennel seed in a large nonreactive saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add the mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

PRESERVE

Refrigerate: Transfer to bowls or jars. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Can: Use the boiling-water method. Ladle into clean, hot pint canning jars, covering the solids by 1/4 inch with liquid. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.… Read More

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The Kitchen Workshop: Modern Juicing With Mimi Kirk

Ultimate Book of Modern JuicingOur Kitchen Workshop host, Mary Reilly of Edible Pioneer Valley, talks with Mimi Kirk, the author of The Ultimate Book of Modern Juicing. In this fast-paced discussion they discuss making nut milks at home (you don’t need anything more than a good blender), and ways to create juices on the fly––no recipes needed!

Read on for Mimi’s recipes for Almond Milk and A Cold Killer juice, guaranteed to quash any spring sniffles.

 

32945576Almond Milk

Only 60 calories for an 8-ounce glass, and there’s no cholesterol or saturated fat so it’s heart healthy.

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
  • 3½ cups filtered water (more if you prefer a thinner milk)
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Strain soaked almonds and rinse well. Soaking releases the enzyme inhibitors and makes for easier digestion. Place nuts in high-speed blender and add water, dates, and vanilla, and process until smooth. Place a nut milk filter bag or paint strainer bag over a bowl, and then pour the almond milk into the bag. With one hand hold the top of the bag, and with the other hand proceed to squeeze all the milk from the bag into the bowl. If you don’t have a bag, a wire strainer or cheesecloth will work, but a bag makes the job easier. (A nut milk filter bag can be purchased online and paint strainer bags can be found at your local hardware store.)

Once all the liquid is squeezed into the bowl, pour it into a large glass container with a screw-top lid, such as a Mason jar, and store in the refrigerator. Milk will last about 3 to 4 days.

 

Chocolate Almond Milk

Cacao powder and cacao nibs are a great source of magnesium, which plays a role in muscle function, circulation, and bone strength.

  • 1½ cups almond milk
  • 3–4 tablespoons cacao powder (more if you like it richer)
  • 2–3 tablespoons maple syrup or 4–5 dates

Blend all ingredients adding maple syrup or dates to taste. Refrigerate to chill.

 

mimi-kirkA Cold Killer

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • ½ beet
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • Liquid of choice as needed

Blend all ingredients, adding liquid as necessary.… Read More

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