The Daily Drink: Sweet and Sour Chicken and Peppers

By Cathy Huyghe   |   Friday, August 6, 2010
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For today’s dish and beverage pairing, why not step into something a little bit unfamiliar? Maybe you’ve already had sweet and sour chicken, but have you made it yourself with a spice as unique as tamarind? And maybe you’ve already had Riesling — which is my recommendation for a wine pairing with this dish — but have you had Riesling from the Finger Lakes region of New York state? The Finger Lakes, just like the better-known producers of Riesling, namely Germany and Alsace, produce both sweet and dry versions of the wine. Depending on your palate and whether you want to highlight the sweet or the sour of the dish, the choices are ever-expanding. Howie Rubin, co-owner of Bauer Wine & Spirits on Newbury Street, has just returned from a tasting and buying trip to the Finger Lakes. On sale in his store right now is one of his favorites from the trip, the 2008 Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling ($15, normally $18). It would be a lovely pairing with this dish, plus it gives you the chance to try a dry Riesling. Many Rieslings on wine store shelves in the US are sweet or off-dry, but a classic dry Riesling is a revelation.

Blueberry and Peach Prosecco Soup
By Lidia Bastianich

Friday, August 6, 2010
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It’s finally summer! Berries are in!

They are sweet, delicious, and full of antioxidants. And there’s no dessert that I love more than a berry and fruit salad, such as this Blueberry and Peach Prosecco “Soup.” It’s a seasonal favorite at our restaurant Del Posto in New York City.

I promise you will enjoy this refreshing dessert for eight — or more.

10 ripe, peeled, and sliced peaches
1 to 2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 oranges
2 lemons
Fresh mint

In a large bowl, set 10 ripe, peeled and sliced peaches, a cup or two of blueberries, add a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, the juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons, and about 15 torn mint leaves.

Pour in a half a bottle of sparkling wine (or a little more depending on how thirsty you are!). Prosecco is best; make sure to mix it in well. Let all marinate together for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Serve in fancy glasses, as is, or with vanilla ice cream, and you’ve got yourself one fancy and juicy dessert!

lidia bastianichLidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44."

WGBH Kitchen Crew: Corn and Tomato Tart

By Judy Mattera   |   Friday, August 6, 2010
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"By Judy Mattera, member of the WGBH Kitchen Crew

This is a perfect summer recipe utilizing local corn and tomatoes. It can be served many ways:

   1. for lunch with a mixed green salad
   2. as a first course for a plated dinner
   3. as an accompaniment with grilled chicken, pork or fish dish for your summer barbecue

Recipe Suggestions for Pie Crust:

Cube butter; place in freezer. I like to use my butter frozen so when you pulse the sifted flour, salt and butter in the food processor it will resemble small pebbles or corn kernels as stated in recipe.

You should rest your dough for 30 minutes before rolling.

You can also make your pie crust a couple of days before making this tart. After rolling and placing in pie or tart pan, cover and place in freezer. This will save you time on day of assembling.

When blind baking crust, remove pie weights or dried beans after 15 minutes. Return to oven and continue to bake for 5 more minutes.

Wine Suggestions:

La Crema Chardonnay is a great match with the corn and creamy filling which will complement the buttery traits and richness of this wine.

Completed corn and tomato tart, by Judy Lebel.

By Judy Lebel, member of the WGBH Kitchen Crew

The seasonality and freshness of the ingredients was the appeal of this recipe.

Who knew that making a pie crust is as easy as putting air in your car tires? I learned how to do both this week and feel quite liberated!

Once committed, I realized there was neither a food processor nor a rolling pin in the kitchen. Fortunately, I do have a blender and, of course, a wine bottle. Zin, to be specific. Both did their jobs beautifully.

There is plenty of time to prep the filling while the crust is baking. And, during 10 minutes of the cooling time, you can have the corn cooked and ready to go. This will keep the total cooking time to a minimum.

The measurements were perfectly balanced, although the extra sharp cheese wasn’t detectible. My tart took an additional 14 minutes to cook and still wasn’t exactly golden brown even though the egg mixture had set.

This is an extremely tasty dish that makes a beautiful summer presentation. The crust was flaky and the fresh sweetness of the corn and tomatoes complemented each other quite nicely.  This is an excellent basic tart recipe that can be modified to showcase vegetables of any season."

Ruth Reichl talks food at Berkshire WordFest

By Cathy Huyghe   |   Friday, August 6, 2010
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"Ruth Reichl is a familiar face to WGBH viewers and listeners, from Gourmet’s Adventures with Ruth to Diary of a Foodie. I’ve heard her speak in person on several occasions, most recently at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California shortly after she heard the news that Gourmet magazine (where she had been editor-in-chief for some ten years) was closing its doors. At the time Reichl seemed shell-shocked, which she undoubtedly was since the news of Condé Nast’s came so suddenly and so, well, shockingly.

What’s clear now is that she’s over it.

On Saturday, Reichl spoke in dialogue with Albany-based WAMC‘s Joe Donahue at the first annual Berkshire WordFest, held at Edith Wharton’s estate in Lenox. Sure, she was asked about Gourmet – but mostly she talked about what she’s doing now and what’s on the horizon. She talked about her craft. She talked about how she does what she does.

Here’s how she does what she does:

    * With imagination. Reichl wrote her very first restaurant review, for New West magazine when she was living in Berkeley, as a short story. The food — the obvious point of a restaurant review — was woven through the story, but Reichl understood that even more than the highlights on the menu, readers want to be told a story. It’s a smart move.
    * With a strong sense of candor. “I think privacy is overrated,” Reichl said on Saturday afternoon. “Scratch the surface and we’re all pretty much the same. It’s comforting to know that.”
    * With the big picture in mind. “Restaurants are theater,” she said. “I’ve never thought they were just about the food. They’re about the experience.”
    * With a consistent voice. Reichl is at work on a novel now but, she said, “even if I think I’m not writing about food, I’m writing about food. I see the world food-first. I just do.”

Cathy Huyghe writes for the WGBH Daily Dish blog. Read new WGBH Daily Dish posts weekdays, where you can explore myriad ways and places to experience good food and wine."

The Daily Drink: Baked Penne & Mushrooms

Friday, August 6, 2010
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"Think mushrooms, and you probably think Pinot Noir. At least that’s been the rule of thumb within the food-wine pairing world for a long time. There’s a good reason for that, as the earthy, woodsy character of mushrooms matches well with the same qualities in a glass of Pinot Noir. Look for Anne Amie Pinot Noir from Oregon for about $18.

Or, depending on your mood when you make this dish, you might want to think outside the mushroom-Pinot Noir box. Just for kicks, consider what other liquid ingredients go into mushroom recipes you know. Port wine, for example. Or even white vermouth. Get a little retro. Invite some friends over. Have a little fun. This recipe — and the pure comfort of pasta, cream, cheese, plus mushrooms — makes plenty to share.

The Daily Drink: Sausages in the Skillet with Grapes

By Cathy Huyghe   |   Friday, August 6, 2010
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"Is it weird to drink wine — made from grape juice, of course — with a recipe that already features grapes? Not exactly, but it is potentially clamorous, assuming that the table grapes you use in the recipe will not be the same kind as those used in the wine you’ll be drinking. This leaves us with a wide swath of options for beverages that pair well with the sweet heat of the sausages and the concentrated juices of the grapes.

When many people think of what to drink with sausages, they think beer. Choices like Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager, Kingfisher Premium Lager, and Stone Ruination IPA would work quite happily with this dish. But for an unusual twist that can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, try elderflower. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur is an exceptionally popular ingredient right now in cocktails at bars all over the city (it’s also available on the shelves of many wine stores to take home), and in specialty food stores you can find juices pressed from elderberries. Use either and play with your own version of a trumped-up, out-of-the-ordinary “lemonade” that will be refreshingly compatible with today’s Daily Dish.

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