Guinness beef stew pot pie is a regular menu item in our household. I’ve been making it for years and it’s always, without fail, a crowd pleaser – especially on chilly evenings during the fall and winter months. Honestly, it’s comfort food at it’s best. The stew, with Ireland’s famous black stout, requires the most simple ingredients yet is so incredibly flavorful and hearty. The puff pastry topper makes the perfect buttery, flakey accompaniment and serving it in individual bowls is the only reasonable way to do it. With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, this is a better time than any to share one of our family favorites.
It’s been a crazy week, in a good way. Karen is in town, which equals a lot of delicious food everywhere! Sure, it has to be prepped, cooked, styled, and photographed, but hey, someone has to clean up at the end. Oh, and by clean I really mean devour. Anyhow, I can’t wait to share all the recipes and other fun stuff we have in the works. In the meantime, check out this stunning Danish breakfast spread that Ana put together. I have dibs on the smoked salmon!!
I’ve always been fascinated by ice. When mixing cocktails, you quickly realize that ice is a big deal. Different drinks call for different types of ice. For example, a mint julep requires a mountain of crushed ice both to account for its sweetness, and to beat the Southern heat. An old fashioned, on the other hand, is perfect with one large cube, thereby keeping it cold but while minimizing dilution. It’s okay, you can say it, I’m an ice geek. Well, not as much as these guys, but you get the idea. So it’s no surprise that when I saw ice being used both as an ingredient AND a vessel, I was eager to give it a go. Inspired by the Aviary’s Old Fashioned in The Rocks, I decided to “sphere” one of my favorites: the Negroni. Be forewarned, this DIY is tricky at best (there’s another wonderful tutorial here). Assuming you’re not using a blast chiller, and with several other variables in play, it can be difficult to get this one on your first try. But once it works out, it can be the trick that has your guests awarding you the title of happy hour legend.
Popovers are my go-to breakfast food. Crunchy on the outside and eggy and airy on the inside– they’re delicious smothered in butter and jam. The key to the perfect popovers is keeping the oven closed the entire time (no peeking!) and using room temperature ingredients. Popover pans are pretty cheap and I use mine all the time. This recipe makes a batch of 6-8 popovers– the amount of one popover pan. Double the recipe if you plan to make two batches. Enjoy with some eggs or top serve with butter and fruit!
The Oscars are here and I’ve been on a movie watching tear – cramming in as many nominated movies as I can before Sunday. I mean, can we talk about Matthew McConaughey performance in Dallas Buyer’s Club? Or Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine? Or Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years A Slave? I can go on and on. In lieu of a big Oscar viewing party this year, I’ve invited Karen and her boyfriend over for a more mellow affair. And in honor of my guest, I’m making homemade stovetop popcorn the Karen Chan way: buttered popcorn with movie theater candy mixed in. It’s the ultimate marriage of savory and sweet! Making popcorn over the stove is really easy, without the unwanted additives that microwavable popcorn has. I’ll be using ghee instead of peanut oil, which has an equally high smoke point and gives the popcorn a nice buttery taste without making it at all greasy. Add your favorite candy and bit of glimmering gold and you’ve got yourself an award winning snack.
I’m no man about town, but I do enjoy a good happy hour. Yet these last few weeks I’ve barely made it off the couch. I seem to have been in some sort of Winter Olympics trance. I blame the figure skating . . . or Bob Costas. Needless to say, the closing ceremony is complete and it’s officially time for a cocktail. One of my favorite local cocktail menus is that of Comal, here in Berkeley, CA. Designed by Scott Baird and Josh Harris, now of Trick Dog fame, Comal’s bar is overflowing with tequila and mezcal. The Palomaeque has been one of my favorites from the start. The smokiness of the mezcal plays beautifully with the delicate aromatics of the Cocchi Americano. Now, if this can’t cure my Olympics hangover, nothing will.