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Drink In Some Eternal Bliss


Eternal Bliss

In celebration of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, here are three cocktails to wet your whistle.

Eternal Bliss

Eddie V’s of Austin is serving this seductive sweetie just in time of Valentine’s Day.

2 strawberries
2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Rosé sparkling wine
Mint, for garnish
½ strawberry, sliced, for garnish

Build this cocktail in a shaker tin

Muddle strawberries.

Add ice, gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake and pour into a rocks glass

Float a splash of rosé sparkling wine on top.

Garnish with a sprig of mint and a cut ½ strawberry.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Eddie V’s

Cherry Margarcia

Cotton, a restaurant in Manchester, N.H., offers the following tips for making better martinis:

  • Chill your martini glass by filling it with ice cubes and water an letting it sit while you make the martini.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add all the liquid ingredients and skaes vigorously.
  • Empty the ice and water from the martini glass
  • Rim the glass with the appropriate rimmer — sugar, salt, etc.
  • Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish and serve.

This margarita variation uses a splash of maraschino juice. You can also add lime, if you like.

2 ounces Patrón Silver tequila
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce sour mix
Splash of maraschino cherry juice from a jar of cherries

You can certainly use whichever tequila you prepare and can also substitute Cointreau for triple sec. Fresh cherries make a nice garnish.

Mix the tequila, triple sec, sour mix and maraschino cherry juice in an ice-filled shaker. Pour into an iced martini glass rimmed with sugar.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From “Cotton’s: The Cookbook” by Jeffrey Paige

Limoncello and Mint Sparkler

“Limoncello, a liqueur made by steeping lemon peels in a neutral spirit, has long been a staple in the lemon-producing region along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, where it is usually served well chilled in the summer months. It offers even more of a lift when infused with mint and mixed with club soda and fresh lemon juice,” according to “Gourmet Today” edited by Ruth Reichl.

1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
8 ounces (1 cup) chilled limoncello
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
3 cups chilled club soda
Ice cubes
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Lemon slices, for garnish

Combine mint and limoncello in a bowl and bruise mint by gently mashing with a wooden spoon. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.

Pour limoncello through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher, pressing firmly on mint; discard mint. Stir lemon juice and club soda into limoncello, then add enough ice to fill the pitcher. Pour drink and ice into six 8-ounce glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs and lemon slices.

Note: The strained limoncello-mint infusion can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 hours.

Makes 6 cocktail.

From “Gourmet Today” edited by Ruth Reichl

 

 

 

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Griffin to Go: Goodbye, Gourmet. May You Live Forever


Gourmet2Was it some sort of cosmic joke that the cover of the last Gourmet magazine was a turkey?

The last issue of the 68-year-old culinary magazine has been released, and it features a turkey on the cover. Unfortunately, in its attempts to be rustic, the big bird is photographed up against an unappetizing blue-gray barn background that takes up too much room, negating any warmth one might have had about the thoughts of a comforting Thanksgiving dinner.

In fact, the image is so blue and cold, it reminds me of a fleeting shot from some Robert Altman movie, whose work critics also dismissed as cold. Could this have been one of the ghastly dishes Shelley Duvall’s character cooked up in his “3 Women”? (If you don’t know the film, think of the gawky yet brilliant actress, then add Cheez Whiz and tuna casseroles to the unholy mess of a mix.)

The fact that hot dips inspired by the ’70s closes out the issue seems to reinforce the comparison.

But you know what? It doesn’t matter. I plan on making the White Clam Sauce Dip soon. And just as I have loved Robert Altman movies – even “Popeye” – I have loved Gourmet, even when one issue wasn’t as good as the one that preceded it.

Yet why did it die?

Gourmet was killed by parent company Condé Nast largely because of changing economic times and trends. According to one report, its readership just wasn’t as great as sister magazine, Bon Appétit, and the average household income of its subscribers was not as attractive. In a world where advertising dollars is all, the last statistic, more than anything, spelled its doom.

But if the last issue of Gourmet is any indication, editor Ruth Reichl contributed in a more subtle way. As those who have read Reichl’s volumes of memoirs knows, her definition of “gourmet” is not always in alignment with others. She takes a broader, more global approach to the great foods of the world, opening her arms and her kitchen to all manner of cuisines, great and small.

When she was at the New York Times, Reichl faced criticism from readers and newspaper colleagues alike because she would pay attention to restaurants that went beyond the established Western European scope. She dared to place  Japanese and Thai food on a pedestal once reserved for French fare.

She continued to do that at Gourmet, where such cuisines had once been reserved largely for the travel pieces. Not under her editorship. In the last issue, there’s a recipe for Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup that is as peasant in origin as anything you could name. It’s on a page with Smothered Pork Chops with Mushrooms, a dressed-up soul food staple, and Apple Noodle Kugel. Granted, all are part of a feature dubbed Gourmet Every Day Quick Kitchen, but the message was clear: Anything that tastes great can – and should – be considered gourmet. And that rankled those who wanted Gourmet to be as elite as the name.

The growth and proliferation of culinary websites was also a contributing factor. Many are more willing to print a free recipe from an Epicurious.com, a Pioneer Woman (thepioneerwoman.com) or even a SavorSA.com than pay a subscription price for a magazine.

Fingers could be pointed all day, contributing factors could be dissected more thoroughly than that Thanksgiving turkey.  In the end, we have to face the fact there will be no new issues of Gourmet. But “Gourmet” the TV show with Reichl has just begun its life, and the massive “Gourmet Today” cookbook is also for sale.

Gourmet also lives on in its back issues, with its wealth of recipes and stories of what and how we eat. That will never die.

White Clam Sauce Dip

3/4 cup chopped flat-leat parsley
1 tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup bottled clam juice
3 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, drained
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste

Purée parsley with bread crumbs and 1/4 cup oil in a food processor.

Cook onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine and clam juice and boil, stirring, until slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in clams and cook until heated through, then stir in parsley purée. Remove from heat and season with lemon juice and salt. Serve with crackers.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

From Gourmet magazine

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Daily Dish: Gourmet to Cease Publication


Gourmet magazine, which has been around for 68 years, will cease publication after the November issue, according to the New York Times.

The magazine, edited by Ruth Reichl, has been a venerated source of quality food and wine writing, much of which has been collected in books over the years. The magazine recently released its latest cookbook, “Gourmet Today.”

It has also been a supporter of San Antonio’s dining scene over the years. Twice it named Andrew Weissman’s Le Rêve among the best restaurants in the nation. The last time it updated the list, the restaurant at 152 E. Pecan St. made it to No. 6 in the entire country.

Most recently, it included Rosario’s, 910 S. Alamo St., as one of the restaurants in the country to offer the best bang for the buck.

For more on the magazine, click here.

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