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Archive for October, 2009

Smoked Fish Pilav

Yesterday came out with a really nice dish worth of recording: scallop and smoked whitefish pilav:

On my favorite F&W site i stumbled on the smoked fish jambalaya but while the fish part fo the dish sounded nice i didn’t care much for the flavoring. Instead i decided to make a celery battuto for a base. Here’s the final recipe:
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Sultry Peruvian

These days i’m on the look for cocktails including pisco, and the F&W magazine website is always a great start. I chose some nice sounding recipe: Vermouth Sin Nombre for tonight but Wegmans had only blood oranges. I hesitantly picked one but actually it was a perfect choice!
With just one more change – cinnamon infused agave syrup instead of a simple one i ended up with one of the most sophisticated and tasty drinks in my life… so much so that it deserved a new name 🙂

I guess using Carpano Antica for vermouth didn’t hurt either adding to the overall complexity of the drink…

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Love Unit 405

My variation on the Ryan Magarian’s Love Unit theme resulted in a truly great concoction: after careful consideration of different basic formulas i modified his recipe using yellow bell pepper instead of red, creme de cacao instead of vanilla rum, changing some ratios and skipping sugar syrup altogether – creme de cacao is sweet enough…
Now i never met a creme de cacao cocktail i didn’t like but this one came out truly amazing! And so harmonious, each of the ingredients contributing to the final complexity of the drink. You can probably discern their flavors only if being told of the contents.

* 3 yellow bell pepper rings, sliced 1/4 inch thick
* 4 basil leaves
* 2 oz white rum (Havana Club is amazing)
* 1 oz creme de cacao
* 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
* 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice

1. In a cocktail shaker gently muddle two bell pepper rings and 3 basil leaves. Add remaining ingredients. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously until very cold.
2. Pour drink through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Float a basil leaf atop drink. Balance a bell pepper ring on rim of glass.
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Ok so i’m officially on the roll today. Great success with my Love Unit drink and now this.
Or maybe all the cooking and reading of Kennedy and Bayless finally comes to fruition 🙂

So here is my shepherd’s pie variation.
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Donna Corleone

A while ago i was infatuated with making various infusions. One of the results was grappa infused with chamomile and dried apricots.
So when i stumbled on a recipe that sounded nice and involved grappa i decided to give it a try.
Well this was one of the tastiest drinks i ever made! Crazy aromatic… Intoxicating… Over the top…

The original recipe is called Corleone and comes from the Robert Hess’s book. 6 white white grapes muddled; 1.5oz Hendrick’s gin, 3/4oz homemade chamomile apricot infused grappa, 1/2 oz lemon juice, pinch of sugar, dosh of orange bitters.

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IMHO fregola is the tastiest version of couscous. For the dinner tonight the point of departure was couple recipes in Bugialli’s “Foods of Sicily and Sardinia” book.
Took me less than half an hour to come up with a great dish!

Serves 4.

1lb of shrimp, peeled.
1-1.5 cups of fregola cooked al dente.

tiny dice (i pulsed the stuff in food processor) – leaves from a bunch of parsley, white part of 2 bunches of scallions, 4 celery stalks, 2 plump garlic cloves.
in a large skillet sauteed the battuto in olive oil with 4oz of very small cubes of pancetta on med heat. Increased the heat, added shrimp, roasted for couple of mins turning once, mixed in fregola, covered and put into 375F oven for 10mins.

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