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Andrew Bird-Pulaski at Night
 
This week in New York, the temperature dropped below freezing. With the wind chill it was frigid. When I asked Jeff Held our Chef if he had biked to work on a morning speckled with snow flakes, he looked at me with disappointment and answered, “you didn’t?” So, I did the following day. Upon arrival, I wasn’t sure if my face would ever defrost. It is on days like these that warm, wholesome stews are an imperative. Growing up in New York, I never asked for the first days of winter to hit, but I knew it meant my grandmother’s goulash was around the corner. That, and my mother’s butternut squash soup kept me going through the winter months. Now that I am old enough to cook on my own, I’ve found catharsis in chopping vegetables and waiting for them to stew.
 
Finding Swiss Chard to be the best looking vegetable in the local market, I picked up a couple bundles to use as the main ingredient for both my stew. I added the usual suspects–carrots, shallots & celery–to my shopping list. Then a can of white butter beans, a clove of garlic, tomato puree, white wine and fresh herbs to complete. After throwing it all together, I waited while it simmered. Days later, tense with chills of a morning bike ride, I reheated my stew and with the first bite, my face began to regain feeling.
 

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Illustration by Daniel Strongwater

At the end of the summer, we took a trip to the great state of California. We started in San Francisco and ventured down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. We drove from SF to Big Sur to San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara, to Los Angeles. We even drove north to Napa Valley. We drove approximately 500 miles. And, along the way, we ate and we drank as much as the California Republic had to offer in 9 days. We ate dry farmed tomatoes, figs off the trees, pig ears and chops, cuban and japanese food, sandwiches, tacos and croissants. We drank plenty of coffee and wine; Anchor California Lager, and some of the world’s greatest cocktails. We embarked on a culinary road trip. We hope you will join us for the ride.
 

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Washed Out–It All Feels Right
 

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New York’s winter was quite long, and the artic chills are finally starting to wear off. When the sun is out, reflecting off skyscrapers, New Yorkers feel compelled to engage in certain springtime activities: wearing sunglasses, shedding layers of clothes, picnicking in parks, riding over bridges, and most of all, drinking during the day, preferably outside, on a sidewalk cafe or rooftop bar. They also enjoy listening to brighter tunes while consuming those very drinks, tunes with upbeat guitar riffs or a synthetic loftiness that both compliment the sunshine, sandals, t-shirts, and dresses. So, with that in mind, I have provided you with a mixtape and some cocktail recipes meant to lift your spirits as the temperature continues to rise. Let’s hope it doesn’t get too hot too soon.
 

——————————————————————————————————TRACK LISTINGS—————————————————————————————————— 
“Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker
“Always Alright” by Alabama Shakes
“Line of Fire” by Junip
“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk (ft. Pharrell)
“Big Love” by Jamie Lidell
“Adorn” by Miguel
“Hang with Me” by Robyn
“Little Numbers” by BOY
 

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01/11/2013 Pickled Fennel by Nate


Pickling Music

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Jessie Ware: Devotion

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Tennis: My Better Self
 
It has become a tradition that with each holiday or birthday or spontaneous present, I am gifted a new cookbook. Some may say it has to do with my affinity for food and photographs. When December rolled around this year, I found myself unwrapping my most utilitarian recipe book yet, one that will forever teach me the science of making pickles and preserves. The Preservation Kitchen is a compilation of ratios, coupled with interesting ideas for the contents of your next Ball Jar. While in the past I’ve dabbled in pickling, I haven’t had very much success, but this time around, I have a good feeling that Michelin recognized Chef Paul Virant may pull me out of my slump.
 
As my first experiment, I used Fennel, a vegetable that contains fresh herbs in the fronds, which protrude from the most delicious meat at its bulbous roots. Fennel is a common ingredient mainly in Mediterranean cooking; in the past I have sliced, caramelized, sautéed, braised and roasted the bulb, including it in many a pasta dish or topping it with Parmesan for a perfect side. Yet, I had never pickled Fennel and I was quite happy with the outcome. Using champagne vinegar for the base of the brine, as Chef Virant recommends for all of his pickles, the pickles took on a bright acidity. The recipe was simple: vinegar, salt, sugar and water. For more flavor, toast red pepper flakes on a dry pan with coriander and fennel seeds, and add them to the bottom of a jar. Add the sliced Fennel, and pour the hot liquid over to cover. My first use for these pickles was a turkey sandwich I made on Amy’s Sourdough Bread, and topped with Comté cheese, fresh cherry tomatoes, arugula and whole grain mustard. My second use will be for a garnish, to compliment a whole roasted white fish with stewed tomatoes.
 

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Album Artwork by Colin Sutherland

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Big Boi (feat. Gucci Maine)Shine Blockas//Amy WinehouseValerie//Frank Ocean-Thinkin About You (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)//Flight Facilities- Dreams (Fleetwood Mac Remix)//Bon Iver-Towers (Jonathan Lee Remix)//RhyeThe Fall//Andrew BirdOrpheo//Local NativesBreakers//Sky FerreiraEverything is Embarrasing//GoldroomFifteen
 
This mixtape is a tribute to a season where the weather is not yet freezing, where the leaves change colors, squashes and pumpkins hit the farmers markets, and there is a plethora of good seasonal beer. I go through phases of obsession with different beverages, in the spring it was wine, in the summer it was cocktails and this fall it has been American microbrewed beer. Below is a list of a couple of beers that I hope you all can get your hands on at one point or another, some are only made this season and others just go well with the chilly weather:

Shipyard Pumpkinhead, Portland, ME
Victory Festbier, Downingtown, PA
Abita Turbodog, New Orleans, LA
Bluepoint White IPA, Bluepoint, NY
Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale, Boonville, CA
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale, Atlanta, GA
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Galesberg, MI
Full Nelson Pale Ale, Afton, VA

 
 


——————————————————————————————Tuesday Dinner: Empire State South——————————————————————————————

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Ever since receiving Hugh Acheson’s cookbook, A New Turn in the South, a couple of months back as a gift, the thought of heading down to Georgia to experience one of his restaurants has been fresh in my mind. Luckily, one of my closest childhood friends, Matt Lipkins, is a musician whose band, The Shadowboxers is based in Atlanta, and Chef Acheson opened his newest restaurant, Empire State South downtown in that very city. Hugh Acheson is known for his modern approach to Southern Cuisine, using French and Italian culinary technique and applying it to the local ingredients and traditions. ESS is no different. We kicked it off with a rye based cocktail, a spiced up Sazerac, mixed with Aperol, orange bitters, antica and sugar, and an impeccable Charcuterie plate, possibly the best part of the meal. Five meats — bologna, terrine and a chicken liver pate in a small ball jar — accompanied by freshly baked bread, three homemade mustards and an assortment of pickled veggies. The waitress picked the rest, sending a plethora of small plates: Farm Egg w/ Crispy Rice & Bologna (pictured above), Prime Steak Tartare (pictured below), Crisp Pork Belly, Crisp Sweetbreads, Octopus & Pork Sausages, Foie Gras Ravioli, and a light Vegetable dish to cap it off. The food was paired with a gin cocktail w/ rosewater, and two Uinta Wylde Pale Ale’s, both fantastic for the heavy food we were ingesting. For dessert, we got a taste of the “Not Carrot Cake” made with Parsnip, instead of carrot, and two perfect double espressos to sober us up for the evening’s rehearsal. The Shadowboxers were gearing up to play a big show on the final day of my trip, and I was content be a spectator.
 
I must give a shout out to Jarrett Stieber, ESS’s brilliant butcher, whose hospitality and charcuterie plate were unprecedented. Thank you for showing us what Atlanta food is all about. Hotlanta, as it’s called may not be know for its food, but this was a spectacular start of two days saturated with innovative Southern cuisine.
 

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