A Modified Batali Pasta Recipe That Was Great!

Okay, I don’t like radicchio. Specifically, I am not enamored of cooked radicchio and, for that matter, most cooked lettuce analogs. So when my lovely wife found an interesting pasta recipe (that included radicchio) in Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes To Cook At Home, I was intrigued but suspicious. I graciously allowed her to suggest using arugula instead of radicchio, so that she could feel empowered in her position as sous-chef. And it turned out very, very well. I will further modify it when I next make it, but this Batali fellow knows how to cook. Continue reading “A Modified Batali Pasta Recipe That Was Great!”

Another Great…Err…Interesting Combination

I wanted steamers, but my wife is not a big fan of the little alien looking buggers. So I picked up a small piece of yellow-fin tuna, but with no particular plan in mind. When I got home, via a travel softball game (don’t worry, there was plenty of ice piled on the food), I was no closer to a coherent idea. So I did what I usually do…and punted. I marinated the tuna in my gold medal, patent pending, world-class tuna marinade. As I cooked the steamers I seared the tuna in a hot pan, and then let it cool slightly before slicing it into bite-sized pieces. I had a great avocado so I whipped up a simple guacamole, again with no coherent plan. But it all came together as my wife looked on and quietly pulled out some great tortilla chips and suggested that tuna, guacamole and chips would be a perfect compliment to the impending Yankees win. Continue reading “Another Great…Err…Interesting Combination”

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

From the beginning of the experience, a beautiful copper-colored beer with a nice creamy head, this beer makes me happy. And it just gets better. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA might be the best American IPA I have ever tasted. It’s got some great hoppy flavor that is nicely balance by the sweetness of the malt, and maybe some nutty, yeasty flavors (I’m terrible at naming flavors) too. It also packs a punch at about 6% alcohol, so this isn’t the kind of beer that lends itself well to sitting on the patio and drinking a 12-pack while you barbecue a pork shoulder. Or maybe it is, because it isn’t highly carbonated and goes down really, really well. Just don’t go to the store for more charcoal after the beer is done.

Outright Theft, But A Good Dish!

Otto is a great pizza joint with lots of other good food available, in addition to having an excellent bar and a fantastic wine list. To top it off, the bartenders are pros, and so are some of the waiters. Some guy named Batali runs the place, or at least wanders in occasionally, and obviously he knows what he is doing. Anyway, I have had a wonderful antipasto there that they call, simply, “Shrimp, Ceci, Chiles.” Great stuff, and almost as simple as it sounds. Tommy:Eats has written about it, breaking down the dish pretty damned well. So, I happily stole it and served it on Saturday night, to great fanfare and rejoicing. Now, Mario Batali stole it from someone, and Tommy stole it from Batali, and I have stolen it from Tommy. At some point it will enter the public domain, but don’t let that stop you from making it now. Thievery in the service of your palate is a noble thing. Continue reading “Outright Theft, But A Good Dish!”

Cold And Red?

It is officially hot, and time for all of those wonderful summer drinks that go so well with sitting on the patio, doing absolutely nothing. The usual suspects (and I say that lovingly) are gin and tonics, margaritas, gimlets…and about a dozen other fun, hot-weather drinks. But they all have distilled spirits, and sometimes I feel like drinking something different. Yeah, yeah, what about Sangria? Well, what about it? I think that it is disgusting, a crime against nature, and there ought to be a law against it. Continue reading “Cold And Red?”

Killibinbin 2004 Blend #2 Cabernet Shiraz

Yum, yum yum.

Perhaps that doesn’t pass as a review of this wine, but really, that’s all you need to know. It’s an Aussie blend, it has a screw-top, and it tastes great. If I had to provide a down side, I would say that the name isn’t as amusing as that of some of its competitors. But for all of you who won’t take my word, here is what I think.

It’s a dark purple, thick-looking wine, with a nice nose of mild spices, maybe some smoke (or cedar…I can’t be sure) and a hint of fruit. It has a great, thick mouth feel, almost velvety smooth. There is plenty of fruit, but it is subtle, with a nice backbone of tannins and more of that smoke. I’m not sure how it will age, but why bother, when it tastes so damned good right now. And for $16 at deep discount, it is a steal.