Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sun Dried

So I'm a little behind on my Mad Men viewing and blogging as I have been out of town, and will actually be missing in action again next week/end. (When I am occasionally cooking and not blogging, I can usually be found on Instagram as tinanders.) I think my next trip will provide some exceptional food and drink research. At least that is what I am calling it. Stay tuned!  

Anyhoo, my recent travels brought me to Colorado where I have been many times before, but this was my first time to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, probably most recognizable for the U2 Sunday Bloody Sunday video below.

Apparently when the amphitheater is not host to a concert, the venue turns into a personal outdoor gym! #onlyincolorado. I mean...I walked down to the stage and just stood there watching the insanity before me like it was some kind of performance art. It was mesmerizing! Dudes (and chicks) were jumping up the amphitheater seats, then crawling down, then hoisting themselves up the banks along the outskirts then running back down to do a million pull ups...and on and on and on! All at 6400 feet! I was exhausted just watching so adjorned to nearby Morrison for a few margaritas. And now that I am back home without much in the way of food, I scrounged up a few dry ingredients to make this sundried tomato pesto, a great topping on sandwiches, pastas or even eggs. And strangely the color of red rocks. A happy accident!

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

1 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 garlic cloves
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 pound linguine pasta

1. Combine sun-dried tomatoes, Romano cheese, basil, pine nuts and garlic in food processor. With machine running, gradually add olive oil and process until smooth paste forms. (Can be made prepared 2 weeks ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

2. Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Combine 3/4 cup tomato pesto with reserved cooking liquid in same pot. Add linguine and toss over medium-high heat to coat, adding more pesto, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mad Men Again. WWDD?

So it seems like my drink of choice last week should have been a Royal Mai Tai based on the Mad Men season premiere that opened at The Royal Hawaiian hotel. I have to admit that I totally love that hotel, in spite of the less than exotic location of Waikiki beach. It actually just makes me think of The Brady Bunch and the infamous tiki doll. Love that ep.

But I digress. I am working my way through the Mad Men cocktail list and tonight will be enjoying a French 75, supposedly the creation of Henry from Henry's Bar in Paris during the First World War. It can be served on the rocks or strained into a Champagne flute. I like to serve salty snacks any time I serve Champagne or a Champagne cocktail so you might want to try these zucchini fritters, especially later this summer when you can't seem to get rid of all of the zucchini that comes your way. WWDD? (What Would Don Do?) Smoke a cigarette and drink...alot.

Zucchini Fritters

3 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), coarsely shredded
Kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped mint
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 medium cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup Greek-style plain yogurt

1. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the zucchini into a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon salt, toss and let stand for 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible (press into the sides of a mesh strainer) and transfer the zucchini to a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, flour, chopped dill, parsley, mint, feta, and pepper. Mix to combine. 

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the oil sizzles when you drop a small amount of zucchini mixture into the pan. Carefully drop about 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture into the pan. Repeat, spacing the fritters a few inches apart.

3. Cook the fritters until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium. Turn the fritters, and continue cooking until golden, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the fritters to a plate; set aside on a warm place. Cook the remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to pan if necessary. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges, if desired. Serve.

OPTIONAL: In a food processor, coarsely puree the chopped cucumber. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the yogurt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of mint and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the fritters.

French 75

1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces gin
4 ounces chilled Champagne

1. Combine the first three ingredients into an ice-filled martini shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne, and garnish with a lemon peel.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Maddening Men

I'm so excited for the season six premiere of Mad Men (it's been a year - WTF??) that I had to make a drink from the suggested cocktail list. (Side note: I've read no reviews so that I will be surprised by any and all of the revelations to come.) Since there is no way to know in what year we will find Don Draper and what he will be drinking, I decided to go for a whiskey sour. He does appear to be drinking a Old Fashioned in the sneak peak photo below, but close enough! So light a cigarette (gross!), grab a bottle of whiskey and enjoy. Cheers!

Whiskey Sour

2 oz whiskey
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz tsp sugar
1 cherry
½ lemon slice

Put all ingredients in mixing glass and add ice cubes. Strain into highball glass. Add lemon slice and cherry to garnish.

Don Draper photos from AMCTV.com

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Go Blue!

I'm still feeling March Madness even though it's April. You may be surprised to find out that I will be glued to the TV today, watching the last four teams in the NCAA tournament play this afternoon and evening, paying particular attention to the Wolverines. CBS Sports is predicting Michigan and Louisville in the finals. That would be spectacular. But whatever way the ball bounces, I have enjoyed the tournament and getting to know Coach Beilein a little better through this great read.

I haven't thought specifically about sporty snacks for your game day watching (particularly with the Season 6 Mad Men premiere looming!) so I tried to come up with some inspiration from my existing maize and blue highlight reel below, though I was hard pressed to come up with any blue food! No, not gold and navy or yellow and royal. Maize and blue. Hail!
Fresh Corn Salad
Smoked Garlic Aioli
Lemon Tart
Buttermilk Biscuits
Mixed Berry Crumble
Rustic Berry Tart