Suzi and I hope you enjoy this Sunday with its very special game. We hope Peyton can end his career with a win.
I did not post anything yesterday. I'll be back at it Monday.
Actually, Suzi and I are in a bit of recovering mode. You may have heard about the terrible crane accident in New York City. It occured right in front of our apartment. I mean, twenty feet outside our front door.
The first photo is from our third storey front window, showing the crane cab that was flicked upside down. The cab and its counterweights weighted perhaps 400,000 pounds. The slam into the street woke Suzen. I was out for a doctor's appointment and she gave me a phone call beginning with, "The crane fell." We'd been watching the 565 foot tower for a week and worried about stability.
The second picture is from our side window, pointing east of Worth Street. You can see the tower stretching all the way up the street for a long way. If the tower had fallen sideways, instead, someone else would be writing this blog.
The Super Bowl deserves a Super Beverage. This is it. Whiskey, rum, and fruit juice galore.
I recently posted review of Whiskey Cocktails by Warren Bobrow. This collection of cocktails gems can only be described as imaginative. It’s a book about both cocktails and the various versions of whiskey that we find around the world.
Most commonly, whiskey is made from corn, 100% corn. We hear “whiskey” and we think “corn mash.” But there are options, like rye. There’s scotch, which legally can only be made in Scotland, from barley.
But wheat is a grain option too. In the United States, to have the “wheat” label the mash has to be at least 51% wheat. The result is a whiskey that Warren says is softer in the mouth and with a longer finish.
This cocktail, Tropicalista Sunrise, may have you imagining beaches and paper umbrellas stuck in the glass with pineapple slices and rum. There is rum here, no umbrellas this time, but a citrus garnish is most welcome.
The recipe here calls for Homemade Grenadine Syrup. Warren is all about doing things from scratch, but you can cut a corner here. However, I do encourage you to get his book, Whiskey Cocktails, and try this and his other wonderful syrup idea.
Ah, and the recipe calls for Grilled Pineapple Juice. I’ve made this cocktail by cutting a second corner and just opening a can. Still a great cocktail. If you want to make the grilled juice, just grill some pineapple slices until they begin to char. Cool, put into a blender, and strain. Yes, the can is simpler. And I apologize to Warren.
Yield: one portion
3 ounces (90 ml) Grilled Pineapple Juice
½ ounce (15 ml) Homemade Grenadine Syrup
2 ounces (60 ml) wheat whiskey
½ ounce (15 ml) dark rum (try twelve-year-old rum aged in bourbon oak casks, if at all possible; the deep vanilla-smoke flavors in each sip are too good to miss)
¾ ounce (22 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
1 ounce (30 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, strained Pinch of sea salt
2 ounces (60 ml) club soda
Add the first six ingredients to a mixing glass with a few chunks of ice. Stir well. Add the pinch of sea salt (don’t skip the salt: It's an essential ingredient!) and stir again. Add one large cube of hand-cut ice to a rocks glass. Strain into rocks glasses, top with the club soda, and then garnish each glass with a spear of grilled pineapple and a lemon zest twist, squeezing it gently to release its fragrant oils. Serves two thirsty heads.
Source: Whiskey Cocktails by Warren Bobrow [Fair Winds, 2014]
If you have cookbook collection from the last 20 years, there’s a good chance that you have one of the many tomes by Joyce Goldstein. She is, in a word, prolific.
This work, Enoteca: Simple Delicious Recipes in the Italian Wine Bar Tradition, was published in 2001 and is as lovely today as back then. And, this week as Super Bowl approaches, it’s a wonderful source for those “little but wonderful” snacks we all crave on Sunday.
We watch the game, of course, but also the commercials. It’s difficult to arrange a bio break. So all food and beverages really have to be staged in advance. Rather than do the standard wings or nachos, let’s look at the chapters in this book and some of ideas you can sample this Sunday:
Fritters and Frittatas: Saffron Rice Croquettes, Meat-Stuffed Deep-Fried Olives
Savory Pastries and Breads: Rustic Meat and Cheese Pie, Chicken Liver Crostini
Pastas and Grains: Stuffed Pasta Rolls with Spinach, Ricotta and Prosciutto; Pasta Gratin with Leeks, Sausages, and Mushrooms
Fish and Shellfish: Sicilian Swordfish Rolls, Shrimp Wrapped in Pancetta
Meat and Poultry: Duck Beast with Balsamic Vinegar and Orange, Little Pork Meatballs from Bari
Vegetables: Potato Pie from Apulia, Sweet Pepper Ragout
Cheese: Cheese Crisp from Friuli, Stuffed Figs with Bay and Fennel
There are some old friends here, like the Pork Meatballs from Bari, but these are made with a combo of veal and pork with pecorino and then deep fried. Speaking of frying, how about those Meat-Stuffed Deep-Fried Olives?
These are all tapas style dishes, smallish nibbles designed to let you nosh for hours. In a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon, you can knock off a few of these treats and be well-prepared for all four quarters.
You might want to make a couple of extra dishes, just in case we go to overtime.
Beyond this Sunday, Enoteca is a resource for you to turn to every time a dinner party is on your agenda. Authentic regional Italian recipes are always welcome.