Food and Drink

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

On today's Show we're talking about food and drink. First, Allen Katz, from the New York Distilling Company, talks about cocktails. Then New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov talks about this memoir and manifesto, How to Love Wine. Plus, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, of, talk about their new cookbook.

Shake It: Mixing Cocktails

Allen Katz, from the New York Distilling Company, gives tips and shares recipes for mixing festive holiday cocktails for New Year’s Eve.

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Eric Asimov on How to Love Wine

New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov discusses why, for many people, wine is an anxiety-inducing mystery. He sets out to dispel some of the mystery and makes wine more approachable in How to Love Wine: A Memoir and a Manifesto.

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The Food52 Cookbook

Food writers and editors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs talk about discovering and celebrating the best home cooks in the country. Each week for 52 weeks, they ran recipe contests on their website,, and the 140 winning recipes make up their book The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks.

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Recipe: Short Rib Ragu

By Minimally Invasive / Serves 8 to 10

WHO: Minimally Invasive, a graphic designer and freelance writer living in Ringwood, New Jersey, is always up for trying something new. Her latest projects are perfecting her smoker technique, as well as turning out the perfect focaccia. She blogs at

WHAT: A hearty, earthy ragu best made a day in advance. We’re confident this would be just as satisfying over pasta as it is over polenta.

HOW: Mushrooms, which are pureed with the rest of the sauce once the short ribs are fall-apart tender, make the liquid cloaking the shredded short ribs nice and meaty, and the wine, anchovy, tomato paste, and mustard make it sing.

WHY WE LOVE IT : Minimally Invasive wrote, “Let’s be honest, short ribs are great in any incarnation, but I wanted to use them in a ragu that had a little more oomph than the typical braise, so I went into umami overdrive with porcini.” The gremolata is a nice bright touch at the end. On a frosty winter evening, this would be perfect with a big green salad and the other half of that bottle of red wine.


Recipe: Burnt Caramel Pudding

By Midge / Serves 4

WHO: Midge lives in Boston and is a journalist specializing in travel. She says, “Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day.”

WHAT: A rich pudding that has just the right balance of bitter and sweet.

HOW: Starting the water bath with cool water, rather than hot, cooks the pudding very gently, giving it the most incredibly silken, glossy structure.

WHY WE LOVE IT: Puddings thickened with cornstarch make great comfort food, but Midge’s luxurious caramel custard, which uses egg yolks as its only setting agent, elevates pudding to dinner party fare. As with any egg-enriched custard, the key is careful tempering. As for the caramel, be sure to brown it as far as your nerves allow.

Midge says: “So far, one of the best parts about living in Boston is my proximity to Toscanini’s burnt caramel ice cream. I’m not even that into ice cream, but this flavor, with its slight bitter edge to cut the richness, is cracklike. I attempted to capture it in a pudding, and after incinerating a lot of sugar, I think I finally got it.”


Recipe: Kentucky Hot Toddy

By Table9 / Serves 1

WHO: Table9 is a Greensboro, Alabama, youth program director and passionate home chef.

WHAT: A refreshing, balanced toddy that won’t make you feel as if you’ve been hit over the head with booze.

HOW: Table9 was adamant about using Maker’s Mark bourbon—“the only true bourbon to drink”—as the base of this toddy.

WHY WE LOVE IT: It turns out that bourbon and citrus are a great match, and just a hint of honey smooth out any rough edges. Cheers!


1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (regular lemon juice will do in a pinch)

1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice

1 teaspoon honey

1 shot (1 1/2 ounces) Maker’s Mark bourbon

1 cinnamon stick


1. Combine the citrus juices with the honey and bourbon in a tumbler. Add just enough hot water

to fill the glass almost to the top. Serve with the cinnamon stick.


What the Community Said:

hardlikearmour: “Congrats! What a beautiful drink. Love the blood orange.”

From The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks, by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs.


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