Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Food & Wine Finds: September 17, 2010

Once again, it's Friday and I haven't posted a recipe all week. I sort of feel like a slacker, but in my defense, I just got back from San Antonio on Wednesday. That's a good excuse, right?? No? Well, maybe these food and wine links will help...

The Top Chef finale. What can I say (without revealing the winner's name for those of you who DVR like me)?? It was a completely shocking decision, and one that I certainly didn't see coming (neither did he. Padma: "You are Top Chef." The winner: "I am??") Please Pack Your Knives and Go has a recap, and it's clear they're just as befuddled at the judge's decision as I was (when the winner was declared, I shrieked "WHAT???" in an octave which can only be heard by dogs).

Turns out Bravo accidentally revealed the winner a little early. Whoops.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Food & Wine Finds: September 10, 2010

Happy Friday! I'm currently writing this dispatch from the glamorous Des Moines airport, where the vast food and beverage choices would make your head spin. OK, I'm kidding. There's a coffee shop, and that's about all I can say. But luckily, I'm off to San Antonio today and looking forward to some excellent Tex-Mex food. Anyone have recommendations for me? Leave them in the comments!

On to the food and wine finds...

This NY Times article describes the recent rise of boozy ice cream drinks. Um, with all due respect to the Times, I'm pretty sure my roommates and I invented boozy ice cream drinks back in college. Captain Morgan ice cream floats, anyone?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Food & Wine Finds: September 3, 2010

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

Seriously, September 3rd is National Grilled Cheese Day. (Would I make this up?? I heard it on Twitter, so clearly it must be true.) Actually, Foodimentary says today is also National Welsh Rarebit Day. Though in this particular case, I'm fairly sure "National" refers just specifically to the nation of Wales. I doubt that anyone in this particular country has taken to the streets to celebrate Welsh Rarebit. Though perhaps they should... it sounds like a slightly more sophisticated grilled cheese. No wonder it shares a day of celebration with my beloved grilled cheese.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Recipe: Risotto with Tomato and Goat Cheese

Risotto gets a bad rap as a laborious and time-consuming dish, but the truth is, I secretly enjoy making it. Maybe it has something to do with the the fast pace and busy workload of a typical weekday, but I find that the whole process of infusing hot liquid into rice is incredibly relaxing. For twenty minutes, all I have to do is stand in front of the stove, wait, and occasionally stir. The best part? At the end, I get to enjoy a creamy, rich risotto.

I almost always have Arborio rice in my cupboard, but I rarely have chicken stock. For a long time, this kept me from making risotto as often as I'd like. For some reason, it never occurred to me that a quick vegetable stock - or even hot water! - could create risotto equally as well as chicken stock. A couple of weeks ago, I read a Mark Bittman article on how easy it is to make risotto with any hot liquid. Lacking chicken stock (as usual), I decided to take his advice and make garlic stock.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Food & Wine Finds: August 27

Hi everyone! I'm off to Kansas City today, but thought I'd throw together a quick round of food & wine finds before I go. By the way, I keep hearing conflicting opinions - really, what's the best barbecue in Kansas City? Arthur Bryant's or Oklahoma Joe's? I know Anthony Bourdain is a big Oklahoma Joe's fan, which tends to sway me. Let me know in the comments if you feel otherwise (or if you have any other fun KC recommendations for me).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

For a quick summer meal that's fresh and seasonal, there's nothing tastier and easier than gazpacho. The term 'gazpacho' usually refers to a tomato-based soup which doesn't require cooking and is served chilled; beyond that, there are infinite variations. More often than not, gazpacho recipes include liquids like chicken stock, tomato juice, or even water to thin out the vegetable puree. Because it's August and the farmer's market is filled with truly wonderful heirloom tomatoes right now, I wanted to make a gazpacho that would allow their flavor to shine through. I added a little olive oil and red wine vinegar for texture and taste, but all the rest of the liquid in this recipe comes from the tomatoes themselves rather than from stock or purchased juice. Because it highlights the flavor of the fresh vegetables so well, it's the perfect vehicle for my best farmer's market finds.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Food & Wine Finds: August 20

Happy Friday! Today marks the start of Restaurant Week in Des Moines, which means $25 three-course dinners all week long from some of my favorite spots around town. (Most restaurants are also offering 2-for-$25 lunches, but since I'm never in Des Moines during the day, I won't be partaking in any lunch specials and thus I like to pretend they don't exist.) 

To celebrate the best week of the year, I've decided to devote this edition of Friday Food & Wine Finds to highlighting the best-looking Restaurant Week menus around town. Since Restaurant Week actually runs for ten days (August 20-29), I'll choose my top ten destinations, one for each day. Just for fun, I'll also tell you what I would order at each restaurant. Here they are!