We’re always looking for new ways to play with our avocado, and here’s a take that we haven’t seen yet, even in our extensive ES guac-a-wanderings.
At New York’s excellent Mexicue, they make a guacamole with grilled serrano peppers, bringing a slow, deep heat that plays perfectly off of a fresh avo. Here’s the not-at-all-complicated recipe.
Grilled Serrano Guacamole
1 Serrano pepper, halved and seeded (use 2 for heavier heat)
4 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (plus more to taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
½ teaspoon chipotle powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1. Place Serrano pepper over high heat either on a grill or gas stovetop. Flip with tongs until both sides are slightly charred and it is soft. Cool and roughly chop.
2. In a large bowl add the pepper and remaining ingredients and use a potato masher to mash all ingredients together.
3. Taste for additional salt and lime juice.
On a recent visit back to my hometown of Seattle, my friends and I were in a dire hangover situation. We needed greasy goodness but after a night of questionable “dining” choices (midnight quesadillas and – dare I admit it? Domino’s pizza) we also wanted something that was actually well-made and worth our time. No ordinary diner breakfast would do.
Luckily pub/restaurant Lot No. 3 had us covered. This is their grilled cheese (made with Beecher’s – some of the best cheese ever, also Seattle-based) with three important additions: a runny fried egg, caramelized onions, and BACON. But not just any bacon. House candied bacon. Be still my heart (literally, I think I had a mini heart attack while devouring this, but it was worth it). Plus, it doesn’t come with some bullshit salad on the side or whatever. It comes with a miniature bowl of tomato soup. TOMATO SOUP! What else could you possibly need when you’re hungo and hangry?!
While it’s clear we that love craft beer here at ES, we do not play favorites. Which is why we took advantage of an opportunity to attend a four-course wine pairing dinner at Emeril’s Chophouse at Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA. The event was based on South American Wines (from Chile) and some fall-themed foods. My expectations for this event were pretty simple – learn more about wine (how it’s made, how to choose a wine for particular meals, what’s so special about Chilean wine?), have some great food that I couldn’t have otherwise, and taste wine that truly complements the food I’m eating with the wine. Rather than boring you with my oh-so-important and attention-worthy opinions of every course, I’ll give you the cliff notes version.
First, let’s talk about my educational expectations. Whenever I go to these kinds of events, I want to leave knowing more than I did when I first arrived. The woman in charge of the “educational” aspect of the event was a very well-versed representative from Southern Wine. She did a great job of explaining why she chose Chilean Wines for this event (it is under-represented and often under-rated) and giving a good run-down of the people that made the wine. Something that I appreciated was learning about what the winemakers intended for the wine, what kind of grapes they picked, and why they picked a particular region. For instance, when drinking my favorite wine of the night (Ritual Pinot Noir) I learned that the grapes are pressed with the berries still in a bunch. When this occurs, more pronounced tanin flavors come through in the wine (which is something that I look for in a dry red). The one thing that was missing from the education aspect of the event was that she really did not discuss why she chose the particular wine for each course. Like I said – she gave great information about the wines, but not as much about why the wine was chosen for the courses. continue reading…
If you ask me, October 15 means it’s officially time to start thinking about pumpkin, pumpkin everything…especially in our drinks.
Here’s an autumn cocktail for you that takes its pumpkin seriously, mixing a hearty spoonful of P up with some rum, honey, OJ and bitters for a seriously soothing fall drink.
2oz Privateer Silver Rum
1oz Orange Juice
1 Spoonful Pumpkin Puree
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and give a shake. Serve on the rocks, garnish with grated cinnamon (optional).
Who doesn’t like cheese? Where I used to work, we determined that chocolate and cheese are the only foods that could really go with just about anything. Including each other. Go ahead – try to say otherwise. Add in the fall mood of us good-hearted folks, and my fiance and I decided to try out a twist on The Chew’s acorn squash fondue. We’re both trying to watch what we eat, so we tried to modify it to a “light” version. I was skeptical of whether or not you would taste the squash in the fondue, but the flavor is there, adding a slightly sweet and buttery flavor to the creamy cheese.
As we were picking our acorn squash at the farm, we looked up “how to pick an acorn squash.” While things like bananas, tomatoes, and most other produce have specific ways of showing they are ripe and ready, acorn squash isn’t as easy. So here’s the scoop – you need to find an acorn squash that is “heavy for its size.” Then, you want to find one that also has a balance of orange and green color. So there you have it – now you know you’ll have the perfect acorn squash. For our fondue at least, we followed the guidelines and the squash came out well.
The recipe is pretty simple. You’ll need to pick a balance of cheeses that you enjoy. The Chew recommends using Mascarpone cheese in the mix to add texture. I don’t think it was needed, but she did enjoy it so it’s really up to you. We picked a blend of Swiss and Smoked Gouda (since that’s what we had) and it turned out well. Dippers are up to you – we limited our bread intake, but that is the clear front runner. We also had radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, and apples. My favorite dipper was the apples.
Acorn Squash Fondue
Okay! These are my new go-to snack/app when I have people over for lunch/dinner and want to throw something impressive (but actually very easy) together. They’re pretty, colorful, and obviously most importantly, taste awesome. You can add as much or as little curry and cayenne as you’d like, depending on how spicy you like it.
Curried Quinoa & Avocado Naan Flatbreads
Tick or treaters, horror films, American Horror Story, Walking Dead, Hocus Pocus marathons, ORANGE MILK. The list can go on (do I see a Halloween must-have list in our near future?) but for now, let’s talk about this awesome idea from TruMoo: Orange and Scream Milk. The green-dyed milk for St. Patrick’s day is cool, but does it change the flavor of the milk? NO. Orange and Scream is a play on words of…you guessed it – orange and cream. Not only is the milk a kick-ass Halloween orange, but it also tastes like a delicious creamsicle! I’m picturing myself downing tons of Halloween candy with a nice cold glass of orange milk. This could really change things for me…
Parent company Dean foods figured it out – you can get your kids their calcium while also tasting delicious and fitting the theme of the Holiday. More importantly, they even suggest some “Halloween concoctions.” First, there is the Monster Mash Float, which “comes to life by combining the limited edition milk with frozen yogurt topped off with chilled seltzer.” Then try the “Paranormal Pudding.” which “appears by combining instant vanilla pudding with TruMoo Orange Scream and layers of granola.”
I sent several emails to TruMoo and Dean foods to find out where I can get this ghoulish beverage. Unfortunately, the snobs in my region apparently don’t demand the product so I can’t find it near me. They did suggest to ask the local store managers to get some in. Obviously, an email has already been sent. I haven’t given up yet on finding this thing and neither should you. In fact, if you do find it, let us know and tweet us with your best HALLOWEEN milk mustache! Game on. Happy Halloween, Bitches.