San Sebastian, Spain

IMG_0353.JPG
This coastal city on the Bay of Biscay in Basque is famous for its food. It is home to no fewer than four Michelin-starred restaurants, and two are in the top ten of San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. In addition to this critically acclaimed cuisine, pintxos (Basque tapas) bars abound.

A Fuego Negro

At A Fuego Negro in San Sebastian, Spain, you get into the groove with cutting-edge pintxos (tapas) as well as a taste of Basque tradition… Olives stuffed with roasted red pepper puree and vermouth Crab and avocado topped with crab ice cream Shrimp with a quail egg and mayonnaise foam Mackerel escabeche with garlic cream … Continue reading

Misunderstood Muscadet

If you drink mineral-rich Muscadet only with oysters, think again… Eric Asimov explains how it’s much more complex than that, and it can age as well:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/20/dining/muscadet-a-great-value-isnt-getting-its-due.html?ref=dining&_r=2&referrer=

To Tip or Not to Tip

IMG_0250.JPG
As an American, I am accustomed to tipping servers. When in France, I tip less because a service charge is included in the check–and it’s acceptable not to tip at all. Or is it?
http://m.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28793677

Preserve

IMG_0148.JPG
It’s time to preserve all types of fruit… Christine Ferber, an Alsatian pastry chef who makes world-class confiture, has a book called Mes aigres-doux, terrines et pates. It includes a section on confits to serve with cheese or charcuteries, duck or pork–even yogurt. I prefer the sour savoriness of this recipe to the cloying sweetness of a sauce such as chutney.

Start with a kilo, or a crate, of ripe summer pickings that pair well with vanilla, like apricots or figs. Combine the following in a pot: 240 g white wine vinegar, 430 g Gewurztraminer wine (spicy Alsatian wine–taste it!), 110 g sugar, 220 g honey, 20 black peppercorns, and 3 split and scraped vanilla beans and seeds. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved and liquid becomes syrupy, maybe 30 minutes. Take off heat and set aside for 10 minutes, so as not to cook the fruit. Arrange clean, halved apricots or figs in jars, as many as will fit, and strain syrup over them to cover. Screw on lids, let cool, and keep refrigerated.

Truc (Tip): Remove vanilla beans from syrup and place in jars for more flavor.

A Berthillon Tribute

IMG_0202.JPG
The founder of the famous Berthillon on the Ile Saint-Louis in Paris has died at 90 years old. A true tribute is to patronize his place, especially if you have never stood on the sidewalk and waited in line at this exceptional ice cream shop. For a cone of ever-changing flavors like candied chestnuts, you will be doing yourself a favor…

Sustainable Seafood

Sable from Alaska is an exceptional fish, but Americans prefer sea bass. And wild salmon is being depleted when bluefish is delicious. We are eating the wrong seafood; this article explains why:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2014/08/11/relearning-how-to-eat-fish/?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=HL_RHT_20140811&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000

Epicurean Avenue

IMG_0178-0.JPG
A wealthy French entrepreneur is turning a street in Paris into a row of high-end restaurants and shops that will share produce in his zero-waste plan. It will be a one-stop gourmet grocery that will eliminate the need to tread all over the city in search of fine food (although, that’s part of the fun).
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/world/europe/an-epicurean-village-is-too-rich-for-some-paris-appetites.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140810&_r=1&referrer=

Cava in Catalonia

IMG_0217.JPG
It’s not Champagne, but cava is made with the same traditional French techniques. Catalan cork suppliers used to travel to Champagne, and they learned this wine-making method along the way. Read how reserve cava can resemble Champagne…
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/dining/cava-is-overlooked-everywhere-but-catalonia.html?partner=socialflow&smid=tw-nytdining&_r=1&referrer=

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 155 other followers