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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Ladies and Gentleman: Cocktail Fodder!

July 8, 2010 Leave a comment

AWC’s wine jefe, the East Village Wine Geek, promoting your daily Fodder.

Summer heat calls for a light dish: pesto shrimp pasta with a side of spinach sprinkled with gorgonzola

June 30, 2010 2 comments

Pesto Shrimp Pasta with Spinach

The summer heat is currently oppressive. Some of the tell-tale signs: commuting to work and having your shirt gingerly wet upon arrival, walking lethargically in the streets hoping to see an open fire hydrant to frolic in and desperately waiting to hear the familiar sound of the ice cream truck (NSFW!) so you can grab a soft serve. This type of weather calls for the shoestring chef to offer something light and easy to beat back the heat. Here’s your solution: pesto shrimp pasta with a side of spinach sprinkled with gorgonzola. How does that sound to you?

Pasta is cheap and simple to make, pesto simply makes everything taste better (does anyone disagree?), and shrimp offers us great low calorie protein with solid levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and essential minerals (iron, zinc, copper).  Most importantly, a glass of Grüner Veltliner, which I delve into in today’s “Wine for Thought” post, would pair splendidly with this dish.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound Penne pasta, dry

12 medium-size precooked, peeled shrimp

2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 clove garlic

1 cup spinach

1 tomato chopped

1 ½ tbsp pesto

2 tbsp crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Start by boiling the pasta. Put the olive oil in a skillet pan over medium heat and add the shrimp for no more than a minute or two until they are warm. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and place in a bowl to the side. Heat the butter on a skillet and add the garlic until lightly sautéed. Add the spinach and cook on low heat until the spinach is nice and tender. While the spinach is cooking, take the finished pasta and drain it. Add the pesto into the pasta making sure it’s well mixed together. Sprinkle the gorgonzola cheese over the spinach once done. Plate with the pesto penne. There you have it. Cheap. Quick. Easy. Summery.

Regarding wine choices, other than our suggested Grüner, the penne pasta with pesto will pair well with a nice un-oaked Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. If you are feeling adventurous and want to chill a red wine for this meal go with a chilled Gamay Noir. Bon appétit!

Wine for Thought: A crowd-pleasing wine from Austria — Grüner Veltliner!

June 30, 2010 1 comment

A 2007 Berger Grüner Veltliner

In last week’s inaugural Cocktail Fodder wine discussion, I talked about the Italian wine Pecorino. I hope all of you have had the opportunity to try this remarkable juice and share it with your friends.

This week I am going to introduce you to a wine that is readily available on the U.S. market and is currently selling like hot cakes here at the shop in the East Village. As the most widely harvested grape in Austria, accounting for over one-third of the vineyard plantings in the country, Grüner Veltliner (GROO-ner, VEHLT-ly-ner) is an Austrian classic that is perfect for the spring and summer months.  Once known as Grüner Muskateller, Grüner Veltliner only became noteworthy post-WWII when more advanced viticulture allowed for the full potential of the grape to be realized. While there are some nice examples of aged Grüner Veltliners, it is better known for being a young wine. If your local wine shop carries it, they should have the most recent vintages of ’07, ’08, and ’09. These wines will typically be dry, light to medium-bodied, with a lively food-friendly acidity. That makes this wine great to beat back the heat and enjoy with a wide range of summer foods.  For pairings think tofu and vegetables, cold soups, Asian-influenced dishes, and lighter meat fare (veal, pork, and poultry).

"The Luncheon of the Boating Party"

Renoir's "The Luncheon of the Boating Party." That party is missing some Grüner, don't you think?

The Grüner that ABC Wine Company currently carries is the 2009 Berger Grüner Veltliner. It’s a 1L bottle in a crown cap (the same type of cap used to bottle beer).  At 11 dollars a pop, with flavorful notes of green apple and citrus and the capability of serving 6 people, this is a win-win situation for every recent graduate, cost conscious shopper and wine lover out there.

Let’s say it all together now: GROO-ner, VEHLT-ly-ner!

Martha Stewart we are not: chicken roll-ups from New Hampshire

June 23, 2010 4 comments

Chicken roll-up. Hearty and within the budget.

Simple recipe #1: Chicken Roll ups

Our first shoestring recipe comes from my friend Allison from New Hampshire. I had the pleasure of having this dish served to me by her mother last summer and made sure to get the recipe soon afterwards. NH Chicken roll-ups is a hearty dish that will have you coming back for seconds. Live free or die.

Ingredients (for 1):

–       1 chicken breast

–       1 packet of frozen spinach

–       Paprika

–       Onion powder

–       Oregano

–       Garlic powder

–       1 can of tomato sauce

–       Muenster cheese

–       Spaghetti

Directions:

Take the chicken breast and place it on a cutting board with wax paper over it. Use the flat side of a meat cleaver to pound the chicken breast thinner. While you cleave the chicken breast, cook the frozen spinach by placing it in water to heat it up. Take the chicken breast and season it with paprika, oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder (1/2 to 1 tsp of each, depending on taste). Once done, take the spinach and roll it around the chicken breast. Place the rolled up chicken in an oven-safe bowl or casserole dish and pour a can of tomato sauce in the bowl/dish. Place one or two pieces of Muenster cheese on top and sprinkle more paprika and oregano. Set the oven at 350 degrees and cook the chicken for an hour. Check periodically and once done serve with spaghetti.

* NPR or classical music should accompany you while you cook. Also, wine should be imbibed at all times whenever you are cooking.  I suggest a crisp Sauvignon Blanc to warm the palate.

* The picture above is not an accurate representation of the dish but is rather to give you an idea of what chicken with spinach would look like if based solely on color schemes. (Minus the red of the tomato sauce.) Actual photos of dishes will be included in the following recipe posts. We’re new to all of this!

Enjoy!

A Feel for Cocktail Fodder

June 18, 2010 3 comments

A martini glass. Accentuate it with your mind.

Here at Cocktail Fodder, we debated whether to jump right into substantive material or to present our new readers with a inaugural entry that gives them a feel for what we’re trying to do with our nascent blog. As you can probably tell from the title of these ramblings, we chose the latter route.

Chances are, you don’t talk about only one subject with your coworkers, friends and family but rather span a vast array of nuggets of knowledge you collect reading, conversing with others, traveling, surfing the web,watching TV, etc. Keeping that in mind, everyday of the week Cocktail Fodder will be centered around a new theme….

Mondays:  “International Intrigue” – We’ll try to present you with the hottest headlines, or most unique, in the international infosphere. One week may look at the drug trade in West Africa and the next might delve into the British election system. We’ll try to stay varied and constantly viable.

Tuesdays: “Domestic Diary” – Tuesdays will bring you the must read stories of the past week’s domestic politics. From Tea Party rallies to unbalanced budgets to the upcoming November elections, the Domestic Diary will look towards Washington with a critical and, hopefully, vigilant eye.

Wednesdays: “20 Somethings Eating Well” – The vast majority of twenty somethings, including your own Cocktail Fodder authors, live on a budget. A budget that doesn’t often include the culinary accutrements that they would like to treat themselves to. On Wednesdays, we’ll try to bring to light new culinary trends, off-the-beaten path wines and budget recipes to eat like the culinary expert you are at heart.

Thursdays: “Not Your Average Sports” – The word shmorgishborg does not begin to describe the litany of sports blogs at the disposal of the average net-surfer; specifically the average American internet user. On Thursdays, we’re going to try to feature a new take on the weeks news stories in the American and international sports scenes. Be forewarned though, we are soccer fans, enthusiasts if you will, and we will invariably bring the joy of the beautiful game to you.

Fridays: “Week In Review” – This is not a unique idea, we’ll freely admit that. But everyone needs a trusty and compelling week in review to get their intellectual juices flowing before well deserved weekend laziness. We’ll try to give you that in an idiosyncratic manner that will leave you wanting more Cocktail Fodder.

So that’s it. That’s what we’re starting with. It could change, but this is our raison d’etre. We hope you enjoy the reading and come back for more. We also want to hear from you. Comment, email us at cocktailfoddertalkback@gmail.com or tweet us. Let us know what we’re doing wrong or what we should try. No suggestion or comment is a bad one.

We start daily blogging on June 21st. Get ready.