Italian Beauties

Italian Beauties

There was time in my younger days when a press and trade tasting in San Francisco was a small affair. The press, usually 10 to 15 wine writers, were treated to a quiet hour or so to make our notes in peace, before the trade were let in. In those days (1980s to early...
Idaho Idyll

Idaho Idyll

Until last fall, when I participated in a tasting tour of southern Idaho, I’d passed through the state perhaps half a dozen times, always on my way to somewhere else. It’s easy to forget how big the United States is, and how big the individual states are, particularly...
FIKA

FIKA

  Every so often one stumbles upon a culinary gem in the most unexpected place, as happened to me recently on a visit to the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Even without the restaurant, a visit to the institute would be worth a side trip if...
Napa and San Francisco on a Budget

Napa and San Francisco on a Budget

While every state now has a winery, when one hears the term “wine country,” I’d bet the farm that California is the first thought that comes to mind. Each of California’s wine regions has its charms, and you really can’t go wrong in visiting any of them.  ...
Duluth — An Uncommon Vacation

Duluth — An Uncommon Vacation

Our suite at South Pier Inn, with a warming fire and a jetted tub, commanded a 270-degree view encompassing the blue water of Superior Bay and the Aerial Lift Bridge at the entrance to Lake Superior. In the morning the surface of the bay was a glistening white slab of...
 AUTUMN IN VERMONT

 AUTUMN IN VERMONT

  text and photos ©2012 Driving down nearly deserted roads during the first two weeks of October, I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘If this is the busy season, what is Vermont like in the off-season.’ This, after all, was the “high season” as...
DIGGING DEEP IN THE CELLAR

DIGGING DEEP IN THE CELLAR

Properly aged wine may be an anachronism, but if you have the time and patience, the rewards can be stupendous. True, in aging wine you never know what you’re going to get. More often than not it’s a disappointment. But like digging in a mine, you will occasionally...

Rechedo Masala for Fish

  Here is a simple recipe that translates easily to Western kitchens. From the Leela Resort, Goa’s Jamavar Restaurant. Serves Four. Masala fish dish  Ingredients: 10 Red Chilis dried 1 Onion roasted 8 Garlic cloves 10 Pepper corns ½ tsp. Cinnamon 5 Cloves 1 tsp...

2 Parma Ham recipes

CORN on the cob with Sauce (Serves 4) 8 slices of Parma Ham 4 ears of corn 8.75 oz fresh cream 3.5 oz. Gorgonzola (or any mild blue cheese) Sprinkling of cognac Boil the ears of corn until well-done; drain and keep warm. In a saucepan melt the gorgonzola with the...

Parma Ham Recipe

The following recipe is courtesy of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma.GREEN MELONS WITH PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA (Serves 4) 7 oz. Parma Ham 4 small melons 7 oz. cheese flakes 1 T of coarsely ground pistachio nuts Sprinkling of Worcester sauceCut the tops off the melons...

Teacakes 

Makes: 4 dozen.  Ingredients:  1 c. butter or margarine, softened 2 c. sugar 3 eggs 2 T. buttermilk 5 c. all-purpose flour 1 t. baking soda 1 t. vanilla extract Directions: Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after...

Tea Biscuits

Ingredients: Serve warm, buttered, or with clotted cream, lemon curd, jam, or honey. (20 servings – one biscuit each). 2 c. all-purpose flour 4 t. baking powder 1 t. salt 1/2 c. shortening 3/4 c. milk Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C)....
Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula

Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula

  Though wine is now produced in all 50 states, here in California I see more wines from the West Coast, Europe, South America and Australia, than wines from other states. My experience with Michigan wines was limited to judging a few Rieslings at The San...
MOLISE

MOLISE

Molise is a tiny region with just 28 kilometers of seaside and very limited tourism. Wine has been made here since pre-Roman times, and was commented upon by Pliny the Elder. Today the area has about 49,000 acres under vine, grown on the long, low hills that stretch...
ABRUZZO

ABRUZZO

The political divisions along the Adriatic are merely arbitrary human delineations and bear only cursory resemblance to the landforms, so I think I should take a moment here to set the topography in the reader’s mind. Behind Molise, the mountains rise to about 3,000...
Marché

Marché

For the gastronomic traveler, there are reasons enough to visit Marché (pronounced Mar´kay). From the culinary point-of-view, Marche is a little more sophisticated than Molise or Abruzzo, sharing borders and culinary traditions with Emilia-Romana and Tuscany, as well...
The Epicurean Traveler in  Alto-Adige

The Epicurean Traveler in Alto-Adige

  Text and photos ©2010 Tucked away in a steep-sided narrow valley in the Northeastern part of the country, Alto-Adige seems a world apart from the rest of Italy. It’s almost unknown to American tourists who stick to more traveled roads, though it’s a popular...
Féolde at Villa di Zano

Féolde at Villa di Zano

  When Lucy Gordan, our European Bureau Chief, sent me her interview with Annie Féolde of Enoteca Pinchiorri, I was instantly thrown into a reverie, for as a young man I’d met Annie Féolde during a memorable fortnight in May, 1985. I’d just come off an assignment...

Wild Boar Ragout with Bacon Dumpling

  from Marek Fichtner, Executive Chef, Kempinski Hotel, Prague Short story about the recipe I spent most of my childhood and early adulthood growing up around the “Krkonose” mountains. A very good friend of mine is an avid Game hunter and brought me along for one...
DISCOVERING CACHAÇA

DISCOVERING CACHAÇA

text ©2008 France has cognac, Scotland has scotch, Peru and Chile claim pisco as their national spirit, and yet until recently few of us in the United States had heard of cachaça, Brazil’s spirit of choice. With the caipirinha craze, as well as the opening of...
CHIANTI FAMILY COOKING

CHIANTI FAMILY COOKING

One of the highlights of my life was a week spent at Villa di Zano in Greve in Chianti, in May of 1985. I was part of a contingent of press who were invited to preview Giovanna Folonari’s cooking school, “The Ruffino Tuscan Experience.” It was a week...
Inside Paris-Insider.com

Inside Paris-Insider.com

  Review by Scott W. Clemens For the most part, I prefer the country and small towns. Yet there are in this world a few cities that I look forward with eager anticipation to visiting again and again. With its intertwining layers of history, art, and the art of...

CHOCOLATE TART with Whisky Cream Liqueur

From Chef Graham Tinsley, Castle Hotel   Makes 1 x 8” Tart   Ingredients   5 Egg Yolks 10 oz. Double Cream 4.5 oz. Bailey’s Liquor 3.5 oz. Dark Chocolate 5 oz. Superfine Sugar   Sweet Pastry   1 lb. Plain Flour 8 oz. Butter 4 oz. Superfine...

TREACLE TART

 From Graham Tinsley, Castle Hotel TREACLE TART Ingredients 6 oz. Butter 12 oz. Fresh Brown Breadcrumbs 3 lb. 4 oz. Golden Syrup Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon Zest and Juice of 1 Orange 2 tsp. Ground Ginger 4 Eggs 5 oz. Double Cream Pinch of Salt Method 1. Line 2 pastry...

WELSH RAREBIT

Here are two slightly different versions of Welsh Rarebit. WELSH RAREBIT The following recipe is basic, but is often elaborated individually by adding herbs, rendered leeks, bits of tomatoe or bacon. Ingredients 1 oz. butter 12 oz. Welsh cheese 4 oz. ale (or beer or...

WELSH CAKES

Ingredients 8 oz. plain flour 4 oz. butter 3 oz. superfine sugar 2 oz. currants ½ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp mixed spice 1 egg A pinch salt A little milk to bind Method Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, mixed spice) together into a mixing bowl. Cut up the...

Blueberry Ricotta Custard Pound Cake

  Yield: One 9” Loaf Created by Executive Pastry Chef Tara Smith — Standard Baking Co. (see Harvest on the Harbor)   Ingredients:   1 ½ c. Cake flour 2 ½ tsp Baking powder 1 tsp Salt ½ tsp Nutmeg 10 T (5 oz) Butter (softened) 1 ¼ c. Sugar 10 oz Whole...

4 TARTINES (open face sandwiches)

from “Poilâne – Star Breadmaker of Paris,” Epicurean Traveler, Vol.1 #1   Here are a few tartines, open face sandwiches, from the booklet “The best tartines of Lionel Poilâne.” The tartines are ideal to go with a cocktail, or as...

Rechedo Masala for Fish

  Here is a simple recipe that translates easily to Western kitchens. From the Leela Resort, Goa’s Jamavar Restaurant. Serves Four. Masala fish dish Ingredients: 10 Red Chilis dried 1 Onion roasted 8 Garlic cloves 10 Pepper corns ½ tsp. Cinnamon 5 Cloves 1 tsp...

Annie Feoldés  La Panna Cotta All ‘Arancio

  (Cooked Cream with Oranges) 6 Servings   1 ¼ c. sugar 2 c. heavy cream 1 packet unflavored gelatin ¼ c. Grand Marnier 2 navel oranges   In a small, heavy saucepan, dissolve the sugar in ¼ cup water over low heat. When dissolved, increase the heat to...
EAT SMART IN SICILY

EAT SMART IN SICILY

By Joan Peterson and Marcella Croce Sicily is the melting-pot of the Mediterranean, having Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Arabic, Norman, Germanic and French influences, and sitting down to a meal in Palermo is much more than stopping in at the local fast food franchise....
Combing the Crystal Coast

Combing the Crystal Coast

photos and text ©2008 From fine dining to dives, from centuries-old towns to the pastel seaside mansions of Bogue Banks, North Carolina’s Crystal Coast offers the epicurean traveler a sea-to-table experience, with plenty of activities available to burn off the...

RECIPES OF THE CRYSTAL COAST

  Amos Mosquitos Scalloped Scallops INGREDIENTS: 1 ½ pounds sea scallops 1 ½ t.onion powder ½ t. salt ¼ t. ground black pepper 2 c. ½ cracker, ½ breadcrumb mix 1/3 c. butter, melted 1 c. half and half 8 T. Parmesan cheese METHOD: Puree one-cup cracker crumbs with...
WHERE TO STAY IN CAJUN COUNTRY

WHERE TO STAY IN CAJUN COUNTRY

  WASHINGTON   Camellia Cove B&B (3 rooms) 211 West Hill Street Washington, LA (337) 826-7362 Herman & Annie Bidstrup Built around 1825, Camelia Cove offers large rooms, beautiful antiques and private baths, plus 2 acres of garden and shade trees....
WHERE TO EAT IN CAJUN COUNTRY

WHERE TO EAT IN CAJUN COUNTRY

    There are thousands of good restaurants in Southern Louisiana. Here are a few of our favorites around Lafayette and St. Landry Parish. Charley G’s 3809 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy. Lafayette, LA 70503 (337) 981-0108 email: amg@charleygs.com Dishes like...

LIVER MOUSSE RECIPE

          From Chef Rene Bajeux of La Provence restaurant Ingredients: 1 lb. duck liver 1 c. duck fat or butter 3 eggs Salt and pepper to taste 1 oz. finely chopped celery 1 oz. finely chopped garlic 1 oz. finely chopped onion Method: 1. Pureé...

OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER

recipe from Breakfast at Brennan’s 1 pound butter 1 celery rib, finely chopped 2 bunches scallions, finely chopped 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon Tabasco 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup Herbsaint or Pernod 11⁄4 cups seasoned bread...

Eggs Owen

from Brennan’s Restaurant, New Orleans   Ingredients: 1 large Idaho potato 1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) butter 1 pound beef tenderloin, diced (beef tips can be substituted) 1⁄2 cup onion, finely chopped 1⁄2 cup celery, finely chopped 1⁄2 cup green bell pepper 2...

Egg’s Ellen

from Brennan’s Ingredients: 8 salmon fillets, about 3 ounces each salt and black pepper 8 poached eggs 2 cups hollandaise sauce (see note*) Method: Preheat a grill or broiler. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then grill or broil the fish until flaky and...

CREOLE ONION SOUP 

From Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans (8 servings) 1⁄2 c. (1 stick) butter 1 large onion 1⁄2 c. all-purpose flour 2 quarts beef stock 2 T. Worcestershire sauce 1 t. white pepper Salt to taste 2 tsp. eggshade or yellow food coloring (optional) 1⁄4 c. freshly grated...

THE STEAMBOAT WAREHOUSE LOUISIANA PECAN PIE

    From Jason Huguet, Chef/Owner of Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant in Washington, LA Ingredients: 1 c. light corn syrup 1⁄2 c. granulated white sugar 1⁄2 c. light brown sugar 3 eggs, lightly beaten 3 tbsp. melted butter 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1⁄4 tsp. lemon...

EGGPLANT BELLE ROSE

  From Jason Huguet, Chef/Owner of Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant in Washington, LA 1 large eggplant 2 quarts Heavy whipping cream 1⁄2 lb. fresh backfin lump crabmeat 6 eggs 1 qrt. buttermilk 2 c. whole milk 6 c. corn flour 1⁄4 c. fresh chopped parsley 1⁄4 c....

Crabmeat Au Gratin 

From Chef Jason Huguet of Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant Serves 4 Ingredients: 3 c. crabmeat 2 stalks of Celery 1 c. Onion 1/2 lb. real Butter (unsalted) 4 Egg Yolks 1 c. White Flour (sifted) 2 cans Evaporated Milk 1 t. Salt 1 t. Red Pepper 2 c. shredded cheddar...

Randol’s BBQ Shrimp

Jumbo Gulf shrimp simmered in a rich Creole Herb Velouté with garlic toast points for dipping. For the Seasoning, mix: 1 t. salt 1/8 t. Oregano 1/4 t. Garlic 1/4 t. Black Pepper 1/8 t. Onion Powder 1/16 t. White Pepper 1/8 t. Paprika 1/16 t. Red Pepper 1/8 t. Thyme...

Randol’s Hush Puppies

“Makes 16” 1 cup Yellow Corn Meal 1 cup All-Purpose Flour 2 tsp. Baking Powder 1/2 cup Sugar 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda 1 Egg 1/2 cup ButtermilkHeat approximately 3 inches of pure vegetable oil to 350° F. in a deep pot. Meanwile, in a large bowl,...

Creole Shrimp & Okra Gumbo

    From Mama Redell of Vermillionville Ingredients: 1⁄4 c. cooking oil 2 lb. bag frozen okra 1/3 c. vinegar 1 1⁄2 c. stewed tomatoes with green chilies 2 medium onions, chopped 2 lbs. shrimp, seasoned to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne 1 1⁄2...

Hush Puppies

    from Mama Redell of Vermilionville, Louisiana  “Makes 16” 1 cup Yellow Corn Meal 1 cup All-Purpose Flour 2 tsp. Baking Powder 1/2 cup Sugar 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda 1 Egg 1/2 cup Buttermilk Heat approximately 3 inches of pure...

Crawfish Etouffee

  Ingredients: 1 lb. crawfish tails 3⁄4 to 1 c. butter 3⁄4 to 1 c. flour Trinity (1 1⁄2 c. chopped onion, 3⁄4 c. chopped bell pepper and 1⁄2 c. chopped celery) Seasoning to taste (salt, cayenne pepper and hot sauce) 4 – 6 c. water...

Cajun Corn Macque Choux

                  from Mama Redell of Vermilionville, Louisiana Ingredients: 4 to 5 c. whole kernel corn, drained 1 c. to 1 1⁄2 c. sugar 3⁄4 c. margarine or butter 1 c. trinity (onions, bell pepper, celery) 1 c. stewed...

Mama Redell’s Bread Pudding

  Ingredients: 3 loaves French bread 6 eggs 2 c. sugar 1⁄2 c. cinnamon 1 stick butter 2 cans evaporated milk (milk can be added for more moisture) 1⁄4 c. vanilla extract Procedure: 1. Break bread into small pieces and place into a large bowl. 2. Add all other...

PECAN VINAIGRETTE 

  From Chef Holly Goetting, Charley G’s Seafood Grill in Lafayette, LA Ingredients: 11⁄4 lb. pecan meal 3 qts. Olive oil 3 c. apple cider vinaigrette 2 oz. balsamic vinaigrette 11⁄2 oz. creole mustard 1⁄4 c. minced garlic 11⁄2 oz. lemon juice 1⁄2 t. salt 1⁄2 c....

CHARLEY G’S SMOKED DUCK AND ANDOUILLE GUMBO

From Chef Holly Goetting, Charley G’s Seafood Grill in Lafayette, LA   Ingredients: 1 4-5 lb. duckling 2 onions chopped medium 4 chopped rib celery 2 chopped bell peppers 2 tbsp. garlic 2 c. dark roux 2 tbsp. season salt 1 T. Tabasco 1 lb. andouille 1 tsp. white...

CHARLEY G’S SEAFOOD GRILL CRAB CAKES

  From Chef Holly Goetting, Charley G’s Seafood Grill in Lafayette, LA   Ingredients: 11⁄2 gallon milk, scalded 3 chopped onions 3 chopped green bell peppers 3 chopped red bell peppers 1⁄4 c. chopped garlic 1 quart white wine 4 lbs. lump crabmeat 4 lbs....
CREOLE & CAJUN RECIPES 

CREOLE & CAJUN RECIPES 

from LOUISIANA’S CULINARY TRAILS  CAJUN COUNTRY CAPITAL CITY GRILL: Seared Duck Breast with Foie Gras, over fresh Corn and Sage Polenta with Swiss Chard and Dandelion Greens CHARLEY G’S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT: Crab Cakes Smoked Duck and Andouille Sausage Gumbo Pecan...
PAKO SALAD

PAKO SALAD

from Chef Paul Poblador of Kusina Salud restaurant, The Philippines The salad is made from fiddlehead fern, which has a flavor similar to watercress but not as peppery (he also uses ferns in stews and soups). For the salad he shocks the ferns in icy water instead of...
DEEP FRIED PORK BELLY

DEEP FRIED PORK BELLY

from Chef Paul Poblador of Kusina Salud restaurant, The Philippines This rustic dish is made by boiling the pork belly for two hours. Cut into cubes and dry in a low heat oven (200 degrees F.) for 30 minutes to remove any moisture, since water and hot oil can be...

Salmon and Berry Sauce with Pinot Gris

McCormick & Schmick’s Northwest Berry Sauce  Yield: 2 cups 1 1⁄2 cups frozen, mixed berries 1⁄4 cup water 1⁄4 cup white wine 1⁄4 cup white vinegar 1 large chopped shallot (or 2 tablespoons chopped onion) 4 to 5 whole black peppercorns 1⁄4 cup heavy cream 1⁄4 pound...
Insalata Dicembrina

Insalata Dicembrina

Parmigiano made the leap from mere cheese to symbol of the Good Life in 1353, when Boccaccio wrote in the Decameron of a beautiful mountain of grated Parmigiano in the land of Bengodi. By the 1500s it began turning up regularly as an ingredient in recipes and Italian...
2014 PINOT NOIR SUMMIT

2014 PINOT NOIR SUMMIT

To arrive at the wines for this year’s PINOT NOIR SUMMIT we tasted over 400 Pinots. We weedled that list down to the top forty-four wines, which ranged from $20 to $60 with an average price of $32. My favorite dozen were: Asuncion Ridge Vineyards, 2010 Estate, Central...
Wine Reviews November 2014

Wine Reviews November 2014

  2012 Dry Creek Vineyard, Clarksburg, Chenin Blanc: In the mid-1970s Chenin Blanc was more popular than Chardonnay. But as it fell out of fashion Dry Creek Vineyards never gave up on it. They’ve been producing a Clarksburg Chenin for decades, and the current...
ASPARAGUS ELLEN

ASPARAGUS ELLEN

From Brennan’s in New Orleans   ingredients: 64 fresh asparagus spears 2 cups cold water 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 2 pounds lump crab meat, picked over to remove any shell and cartilage 1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) butter Mousseline Sauce (recipe below*) Freshly grated Parmesan...
ASCHERI: Bra’s Premier Destination

ASCHERI: Bra’s Premier Destination

While attending the Alba Wines Exhibition, I took the opportunity to visit Cantine Giacomo Ascheri, which quietly became a destination winery with the 2007 opening of a hotel and restaurant on-premise in Bra (the capital of the Roero area and the center of the Slow...
TRAVEL PLANNING ON THE INTERNET

TRAVEL PLANNING ON THE INTERNET

text ©2007 by Scott W Clemens I’ve been planning a family vacation to Ireland. In the past I used Frommer’s travel guides to research our destinations and lodgings, as well as brochures provided by my travel agent. This time I decided to do most of my planning on the...