Credit English satirist Jonathan Swift for noting, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”
To some, no food looks less appealing than an oyster on the half shell. But few foods have become more closely associated with amorous feelings and sexual potency than the world’s most bisexual bi-valve.
On Valentine’s Day, nothing can help the proceedings with your significant other better than a shared cocktail.
The most romantic cocktails, of course, are those that have a special meaning for the two of you. But if you seek something that will open hearts as well as doors, then I recommend one of the following selections. They tend to the sweet and, dare we say, sensual side, which helps get the job done.
Winemaker Philippe Coquard knows that nothing goes better with winter’s biting winds than a warm fire and a glass of port, the fortified dessert wine favored by sophisticated palates. For Coquard, co-owner of Wollersheim Winery north of Madison, winter is a time for reflection and relaxation – and a bracing glass of the winery’s red or white port.
“In my younger days, I used to drink a lot of port as an aperitif wine while my friends were drinking mixed drinks,” says Coquard, who grew up in a winemaking family in France’s Beaujolais region. “Like anything made from the grapes, port was just a natural fit for my taste buds.”
When it’s bitterly cold outside, is there anything better than the inner warmth that only a piping hot bowl of soup can provide?
Winter is definitely soup season for us, a time when we take to the kitchen with piles of fresh vegetables, succulent meats and seafood and a cupboard full of herbs and spices. Whether the result is bouillon or bouillabaisse, bisque, borscht or bird’s nest soup, a hearty, nutritious meal is only a matter of combining the right ingredients and setting the stove to simmer.
Nothing relaxes us faster on warm evenings than a cool, refreshing adult beverage. Come the depths of winter, however, the tables turn in favor of hot, spirited drinks designed to warm both body and soul and maybe even “cure” the common cold.
Anyone who has added a dollop of distilled spirits to a steaming mug has mastered the basics of cold weather cocktail preparation. But there is more to the process for those who want to brew up a truly special drink. The list below can serve as a primer for turning those mugs into little masterpieces of flavor and nuance.
You and your partner have decided to entertain on New Year’s Eve this year, inviting old friends and new to welcome 2013 in style.
Not a bad plan, but what will you serve to make your event memorable? After all, New Year’s Eve is just not a chips-and-salsa event, and it’s too late to hire a caterer or personal chef.
Are you strapped for ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve? Have you received a last-minute party invitation and don’t know what to bring?
Relax. Nothing shows sophistication like Champagne – if you can afford the product from the Champagne region of north of Paris, where the concept of sparkling wine originated. Lesson one: All Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine can legally be called Champagne.Lesson two is that there is a broad array of delicious sparklers produced around the world that sell for a variety of prices, often much less than Champagne. You can broaden everyone’s palate by serving a sparkling wine they never experienced before.
Here are some suggestions to help add a little effervescence – at a reasonable cost – to the last night of 2012.
Most Americans never will sip the watermelon margarita at Guy Fieri’s behemoth Times Square restaurant, nor savor the chicken Alfredo at the Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D.
Yet both eateries somehow shot to the top of the nation’s culinary zeitgeist in 2012, for this was the year of the viral restaurant review, when the rants and raves of seasoned pros and naive octogenarians alike got superstar treatment on the world wide smorgasbord.
My research for this article led me to a cookbook published in 1891 by the Ladies of the Plymouth Church in Des Moines, Iowa. The book’s introduction contained the following caveat:
“The Ladies who compiled this manual have thought it best not to include alcoholic condiment, believing it better to lack a certain piquancy in food and drink than to bring to the home table anything which may so easily work mischief.”
Balderdash. The holidays will arrive and with them good spirits and spirited cheer. Parties will pop with Champagne corks, percolate with fragrant punches and sparkle with spiced wine. Lively libations will pour all around.
Vittorio Giordano knows that the holidays are best celebrated with truffles. He doesn’t mean the overwrought chocolate kind that come wrapped in colorful foil, but the exotic fungus that grows underground and is considered a delicacy worldwide.
“Truffles are rare, unique and can’t easily be cultivated,” says Giordano, vice president and U.S. truffle buyer for Urbani Truffles, based in New York City. “That’s what makes them exciting.”
Those characteristics also make truffles the world’s most expensive food, commanding as much as $250 per ounce from chefs and foodies across the U.S. Despite the high prices, truffles often are in short supply, and Urbani’s seasonal stock of white truffles, the rarest of all, will soon be gone.
“The white ones from Italy’s Piedmont and Alba regions are only available for several months of the year,” says Amanda Dentici, purchasing manager and truffle buyer for Glorioso’s Italian Market, 1011 E. Brady St., Urbani’s outlet in Milwaukee. “They are the perfect luxury commodity, precious and getting more so all the time.”
The “triskele,” a symbol from ancient Greece, utilizes three interlocking spirals, three bent human legs, or any other threefold element to convey rotating motion. The symbol is especially popular in Celtic culture.
Former River Lane Inn head chef JoLinda Klopp and her partner Lynn Winter chose the name Triskele’s for their quaint South Side Milwaukee neighborhood restaurant. The eatery has been on a continual path toward success, celebrating its fifth anniversary on Oct. 31. The small corner location at Third and Maple streets, formerly home to Nina’s Horsefeathers, has become popular for its casual, comfortable atmosphere and exceptional food.
The Food Network is getting into the restaurant business in a location not always associated with good food: An airport.
The channel has opened its first Food Network Kitchen at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in South Florida in the JetBlue terminal.