July 10th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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Editor's Note: In the midst of a record-breaking heat wave, we could all probably use a cold drink. Here to help us are Karl Injex and Navarro Carr, the owner and bar manager respectively of the Sound Table in Atlanta.Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.

You are probably acquainted with the mint julep, made with Kentucky bourbon and often enjoyed while sporting an elaborate chapeau at the Churchill Downs Racetrack.

The Genever julep is its lighter-spirited relative; substituting gin for the brown water. (Genever, sometimes referred to as Holland or Dutch gin, is oak-aged and less dry than the later styles like Old Tom gin.)

A heap of crushed ice keeps the drink frigid, while the mint adds a tongue-tingling sensation.  Fun fact: Menthol, the organic compound in mint, stimulates the same nerve receptors in your mouth that cold temperatures do - hence the cooling sensation.

Despite the urge to gulp down anything cold in a glistening arm's reach, sipping is advised.
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June 28th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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While Pat LaFrieda Jr.'s notable sandwich has cheese, steak and onions on toasted bread, it's definitely not a cheese steak. It’s in a league of its own.

"This has nothing to do with Philly cheese steak," LaFrieda said, with an air of pumped-up regional pride.

The third-generation butcher conceived the sandwich as a hat tip to the Brooklyn sandwich shops he grew up visiting.

The sandwich features black Angus beef topped with Monterey Jack cheese and caramelized onions, and served au jus on a toasted baguette. It debuted at LaFrieda's concession stand in 2012 at the New York Mets' Citi Field, and hungry fans have formed a meaty, cheesy, greasy bond with it ever since.

While filet mignon (a very tender cut from the small end of the tenderloin) may seem extravagant, LaFrieda says it's a natural choice for the sandwich. If the beef is too tough, the whole piece of steak will pull out of the sandwich with one bite, so tenderness is key.

Here's how to make the heavy hitter at home.
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June 7th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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Editor's Note: It's Friday, and it's been a long week – we could all probably use a drink. Here to help us are Karl Injex and Navarro Carr, the owner and bar manager respectively of the Sound Table in Atlanta.Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.

The first rule of Pegu Club? Don't talk, drink.

In "The Savoy Cocktail Book," famed mixologist Harry Craddock wrote of the gin-based libation: "The favourite cocktail of the Pegu Club, Burma, and one that has traveled, and is asked for, around the world."

Rudyard Kipling also patronized the popular gentleman's social club in British colonial Rangoon. In his collection of travel letters entitled "From Sea to Sea," he wrote: "The Pegu Club seemed to be full of men on their way up or down, and the conversation was but an echo of the murmur of conquest far away to the north."

Now that the club is deserted and a derelict reminder of colonial rule, the only way to visit the Far East watering hole is by making its namesake cocktail at home.
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April 26th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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Editor's Note: It's Friday, and it's been a long week - we could all probably use a drink. Here to help us is Greg Best, the mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta. Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.

This drink was conceived in an effort to be contrarian to the contrarians. It’s no secret that there are many affiliated to bar culture who can’t help but cringe when the word "vodka" is mentioned in their presence. I’ve never understood this, because it’s the first thing most drinking folks ask for. Sure, I understand that it’s not the most expressive or exciting spirit to play with, but let’s face it, it’s not going anywhere.

Enter the Punch Wagon. Delightfully refreshing, bright and snappy, this is a perfect example of what I’d call a "gateway cocktail," or "trust-building drink." Using well-known ingredients in a playful recipe allows for the feel of a user-friendly cocktail experience without some of the more eccentric trappings that we drink geeks are prone to.
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March 8th, 2013
12:00 PM ET
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One of a bagel’s greatest virtues is that it's a single serving of fresh-from-the-oven bread, baked just for you.

Even better: if you do the baking yourself, there's usually at least 11 more just like it cooling nearby, creating a perfect excuse for a weekend get-together.

Bagel lovers, especially New Yorkers and people of Eastern European descent, have strong opinions about what makes a bagel great - or not so great.

For the owners of Surfside Bagels in Far Rockaway, New York, the hand-rolled boiled and baked bread should be dense and chewy. Its exterior, shiny; its interior, yeasty but not too sweet. Fortunately, they’re willing to spread their knowledge.

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January 4th, 2013
07:00 PM ET
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While you were scribbling down your 2013 resolutions, is there any chance you thought to include "Get really good at making cocktails"? Nope?

Well, the year is young and we're here to help: "we" being Turner's photography director Mark Hill and Greg Best, mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta.

In a 62-33 vote, Louisiana House of Representatives declared the Sazerac to be New Orleans' official cocktail. It's a potent blend of rye whiskey, sugar, two kinds of bitters (including the city's native Peychaud's), lemon peel and a little hint of absinthe. For many years, that last one got in the way because it was banned in the United States. New Orleanians made do with Herbsaint - a kindred licorice-tasting pastis - until absinthe's legality was reinstated in 2007.
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Holiday how-tos: recipes for gingerbread, peppermint bark, cocktails and more
December 25th, 2012
09:15 AM ET
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Just in case you still have eggnog to spike or plums to sugar before the gang arrives, consider us Santa's little helpers.

We're sharing our time-tested Christmas tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities, hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Christmas with a jolly smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on December 26 with your sanity intact.

Here are a few helpful holiday posts that may make your holiday bright.
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Filed under: Chilled Out and Cheery • Christmas • Christmas • Feature • Holiday • Holidays • Homemade Gifts • How To • Recipes • Step-by-Step • Techniques & Tips


December 19th, 2012
08:00 AM ET
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Sugar cookies in every seasonal shape - from snowflakes to Christmas trees, stars to Santa hats, snowmen to holly leaves - overcrowd the dessert table this time of year. Even Santa is crying "Uncle!" for a little variety by the time he reaches St. Louis.

This year, try adding a little New York attitude to the traditional cookie swap with black-and-white cookies, a staple of New York bakeries and deli counters.

More cake-like than cookie-like, this oversized sweet is downsized into a fantastically festive treat by pastry chef Stephanie Teekaram of Kutsher's Tribeca in, where else, New York City.

"Seinfeld" fans might remember the baked good being forever immortalized in the episode, "The Dinner Party."

"The thing about eating the black-and-white cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite," said Seinfeld. "Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate, and yet, somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved."

In this season of good tidings, peace and goodwill toward all, harmony vis-à-vis a cookie is a welcome addition.

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Filed under: Baked Goods • Christmas • Cookies • Hanukkah • Holiday • Homemade Gifts • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


December 10th, 2012
12:15 PM ET
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CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski and paska.

When we were kids, stuck inside during a long, cold winter or seeking respite from the summer heat under a shade tree, my friends and I often played board games. These games could go on for quite a while, and we'd get to talking about sports and whatever else young boys think about. Eventually we'd get around to the topic of our favorite foods.

We all agreed that stuffed cabbage, known as holupki, was the best of all. Second to pizza, of course.
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Filed under: Cooking • Cultural Identity • Culture • Family Recipe Index • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


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