Cocktail O’Clock: Olives + Tequila?

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We’re big fans of dirty martinis here at Endless Simmer, not to mention pickle-tinis, and pretty much any other way to salty up a cocktail. What we’d never heard of before was an olive-and-tequila concoction.

With National Tequila Day just around the corner (July 24, as you surely know), it’s about time to take a look at the Mexican martini.

This Austin, Texas speciality comes to us by way of Tex-Mex cantina El Original in New York City and we have to say this one looks worth trying.

Mexican Martini 

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Yes, You Can Have Soup for Summer: Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole

Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole 3 copy

Tomato soup has got to be the only food that is equally as warming in winter as it is refreshing in summer…when served as a cold gazpacho, of course. If you’re ready to kick your summer soup up a notch, why not top it with guacamole? (I mean, why not top everything with guacamole, really)…but in this case, it takes soup up a serious level. Enjoy Francois Payard‘s chilled tomato soup with guacamole recipe.

Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole

Makes Enough for 20 Small Glasses

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Pork and Pesto Picnic Bites

pork bites

Woo-hoo for BBQ season! If there”s one thing we Simmer-ers love most about the weather getting warmer, it”s the opportunity to cook outdoors all day, every day, And as much as we like to do epic BBQ experiments, this time of year the weekends are filled with so many cookouts and picnics that sometimes we just don”t have the time to get super fancy-pants for every grill session.

When I had to make something super-quick for a BBQ/picnic party after work this week, I improvised with what I had on hand and came up with this winner, which took me about 20 minutes total.

I had one of these Smithfield Seasoned Pork Tenderloins in Teriyaki Marinade (I”ve previously cooked these up in the slow cooker and in the oven) but they can actually be quick and easy too, if you just slice up casino pa natet thin pieces of the pre-seasoned pork and throw it on the grill for a few minutes on each side.  Here”s what I did:

Pork and Pesto Picnic Bites

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Cocktail O’Clock: Sparkling Summer Sangria

Sparkling Sangria 2

I don’t know what it’s like where you guys are, but here in NYC it’s about ninety-way-too-freaking-sticky degrees, which IMHO means that Cocktail O’Clock is allowed to start before noon on this particular Friday.

Here’s a refreshing drink that’s tailor-made for these hot summer days. A spin on classic sangria, this recipe subs in Cava for white wine — a neat trick that adds a little fizz, without requiring too much of a spend, as the light Spanish bubbles are an excellent and affordable sub-in for Champagne.

Sparkling Summer Sangria

· 1/2 oz. simple syrup
· 1 orange quarter
· 1 lime quarter
· 1/2 oz. orange liqueur
· 1/2 oz. Spanish brandy
· 3-4 oz. Freixenet Carta Nevada Cava (chilled)
· 2 oz. lemon-lime soda (chilled)
· 1 maraschino cherry

Muddle fruit slices in a shaker cup with simple syrup.

Add liqueur and brandy with ice.

Shake, then strain into a cocktail glass.

Add soda and top off with Cava.

Drop in cherry or secure to an orange wedge using a toothpick, to decorate the rim of each glass.

Alternatively, multiply everything by 5 (our favorite rule!) and put it all together in a pitcher.

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This Exists: Pizza-Topped Pizza

Photos: Vinnie's Pizza

Photos: Vinnie’s Pizza

Last week, it was a slow day at a Williamsburg, Brooklyn pizzeria and the cooks decided to try something new: whipping up mini-sized pizzas and layering them on top of other pizzas. It was really just a joke — until they put a photo on Instagram, bloggers picked up the “news” and crazed customers demanded a taste of this pizza-topped. So Vinnie’s Pizzeria actually started offering “pizza on pizza” and in just a few days have sold some 400 slices. America: Is there anything we can’t do?

Read the full story on DNA Info.

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The Endless Road Trip: Our Top 5 Favorite Cities for Eating

At Endless Simmer, we love to travel, and when we travel, we love nothing more than eating. In fact, when we do visit a new place we almost can’t think of anything to do except for EAT. Museums? Um, sure…maybe if you need to kill some time in between meals. In our travels across six continents, we’ve sampled street food and Michelin-starred cuisine in hundreds of cities. But these five stand out as the very best for foodies.

5. Melbourne

australian hamburger with the lot

Australia often gets a knack for having bland food, but that bad rep is not deserved. From deep-fried dagwood dogs to burgers with the works—which redefine what the works are—those Aussies come up with some pretty crazy concoctions. And super-hip Melbourne, more than anywhere, makes good use of the upside-down continent’s year-round harvest, with over-the-top farm-to-table meals on seemingly every street corner.

4. Paris

macaroons
People (whiny Americans like us, mostly) love to complain about how Paris cuisine ain’t what it used to be. You can’t get a good steak frites anywhere these days; the croissants are often of middling quality; and the bistro are too packed with…well, whiny Americans like us. But despite the perception, eating in Paris has never really been about the fancy restaurants. It’s about popping into random boulangeries, grabbing a fresh-baked loaf of bread and a stinky hunk of cheese from the nearest fromagerie, and sitting in an otherworldly pristine park all day. Oh, and it’s about the macaroons. Obviously.

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Welcome Spring! (And Pork Season!)

cornbread

Even though it was only like 58 degrees in New York this weekend, it’s still the closest thing we’ve seen to spring yet this year, which means most of us did a classic warm-weather overreact, heading outside for picnicking, playing, outdoor drinking etc…before realizing that it really isn’t THAT warm yet. For me, warm-ish weather got me thinking about summer cooking, which in my house means BBQ. And since I was pretty much legally required to go out and enjoy the weather, I needed something I could basically set and forget.

I decided to make slow-cooker pulled pork from my Smithfield rosemary and olive oil marinated pork sirloin, but instead of loading it up with a heavy, wintry sauce, I relied on only a fresh tomatoes and onions to bring the flavor here. I started with a layer of onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, placed the pork on top, and sliced tomatoes above it all, so that when the veggies broke down over the course of a few hours, they developed into a fresh (but still quite porky) sauce.

Of course, there’s not much at the farmers market yet to herald spring, so aside from the aseasonal tomatoes I snagged at Trader Joe’s, I had to make do mostly with winter vegetables. However, I took it as my last chance of the season to play around with turnips – IMO one of the most underrated veggies of all. But I didn’t want the turnips to break down into mushy stew, so I added them close to the end of the cooking time, just long enough to soak up all that porky goodness. I served it all with a slice of Serious Eats’ cast-iron cornbread recipe.

Yellow Tomato Pulled Pork with Cornbread and Pork-y Turnips

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