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Archive for Food Holidays

TIP OF THE DAY: Bargain Caviar

It’s Caviar Day, but don’t worry—you can celebrate without taking out a second mortgage. Pressed caviar is made from the ripest beluga, osetra and sevruga eggs that were broken or otherwise damaged in handling. The eggs are pressed together until they become like a spread, and are sold for substantially less money than regular caviar. Because three pounds of eggs are made into one pound of pressed caviar, it is much oilier, saltier and more pungent than whole caviar eggs; but many people find it a good substitute for a pricier caviar fix. A bit of crème fraîche can diffuse the saltiness. Try some on toasted brioche, and see if you agree. Pressed caviar also works well in canapés (we like it with slices of foie gras terrine).

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TIP OF THE DAY: Unusual Ice Creams

Today is Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day. Our wine editor is in demand for his beet, lavender and saffron ice creams—and he even makes ice cream from rare black truffle. If you don’t have time to make something special, look in your specialty foods store. One of our favorites, Reed’s Ginger Ice Cream (available at Whole Foods Markets, Trader Joe’s and elsewhere), comes in Original, Green Tea Ginger and Chocolate Ginger—each exquisite. One scoop of each—a dance of ginger ice creams—would make a memorable dessert. You can use them to top regular or chocolate pound cake, and apple pie, too.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Make Waffles For International Waffle Day

It’s International Waffle Day! Make your favorite waffles for breakfast, lunch or dessert. For a savory main course, top waffles with sour cream or crème fraîche and salmon caviar; with smoked salmon or poached salmon, sour cream and dill; with poached chicken or seafood and dill; with creamed chicken or seafood and mushrooms. For dessert, top with ice cream, chocolate or caramel sauce, dulce de leche, custard sauce and fresh fruit, or simply a touch of powdered sugar or jam. But don’t waffle-choose one!

  • You won’t believe how many different types of waffles there are! See them in our Pancake & Waffle Glossary.
  • Use a waffle iron that makes heart-shaped waffles (plus a recipe from Jacques Pépin)
  • From Villaware: Mickey Mouse waffles for the kids, beautiful rosette waffles for the aesthetes.
  • Great pancake and waffle mix from San Saba River pecan Company.
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Best Onion Tip

    June 22 is Onion Rings Day (yes, there’s an official holiday for every food). If you’re ready to start cutting onions today or any day, try this tip: Put onions in the freezer for 15 minutes before you chop them. This helps reduce the spray of culprit onion oils that vaporize and sting your eyes when you cut into the onion.

  • Click here to read more about veggies.
  • Learn about the different types of onions.
  • Check out our recipe for Beer-Battered Onion Rings.
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    FOOD HOLIDAY: 6/19 Is National Martini Day

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    Shaken or stirred? Who cares—it’s ‘Tini Time. Photo courtesy of European Sources Direct.

    Ladies and gents, it’s not only Friday, it’s National Martini Day! So, here’s some martini trivia, and a link to recipes you can enjoy tonight, plus mix up for Dad and/or Hubby on Father’s Day.

    First, that bit about James Bond liking his martinis “shaken, not stirred,” a variation actually called a Bradford (as you can tell, the concept didn’t originate with 007). The traditional way to create a martini is to mix all of the ingredients in a mixing glass, not shake them in a cocktail shaker, so as not to “bruise the gin.” What, you say? Yes, the shaking action breaks up the ice and adds more water, slightly weakening the drink and altering the taste. Evidently, British gin martini drinkers take their mixology seriously: No less than W. Somerset Maugham declared that, “Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other.”

    So what does this mean for 007, bruising (or weakening) his martini? We’ll have to defer to experts to comment on that.

    In the interim, your mission is to go out and have a martini to celebrate, be it shaken, stirred or whirred. But first:

    • Read the history of the martini and traditional martini recipes, including the Gin Martini, the Dirty Martini, the 50-50, the Gibson, the Perfect Martini and the Vodka Martini.
    • Throw tradition to the winds with fun martini recipes: Chai Martini, Greentini (green tea), Lemon Meringue Pie Martini, Pomegranate Martini, Watermelon Martini and numerous other ‘tinis.

    O.K., get moving. It’s ‘Tini TIme.

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