Isn’t that such a beautiful cocktail? It’s called Norbu Lingka or “Jeweled Park” (scroll down for the recipe). Ahhhhhh……I was back in Boston early this month and was so happy to once again get together with friend and Trade’s head bartender Tenzin Conechok Samdo to to shoot another one of his gorgeous cocktail creations at this fabulous, eclectic restaurant in downtown Boston which is spearheaded by James Beard award-winning Chef Jody Adams of Rialto fame. Tenzin was recently featured – and well-deserved – in a Zagat article noting the nine up-and-coming bartenders you need to know in Boston. You can find that article HERE. We started in right away on the cocktails (and wine for Lafe and I as well lol) with a Chamomile Tea Soaked Bulleit Rye Sazerac cocktail that Tenzin whipped up while we were perusing the lunch menu. Yikes and wow. Yes, I sipped this baby and I’m not much of a hard liquor drinker. Whee! But seriously, the levels of flavors were outstanding. I moved right on to ordering lunch before any more sips and decided upon the Summer Squash and Zucchini Panzanella with Herbs and Pecorino which of course was delicious. Then it was down to serious cocktail creating…..
Hello Boston……happy to be “home.”
Exterior of Trade and Tenzin and I……
Interior of Trade and a couple of happy customers…..
Cucumber Mojito – recipe follows and can also be found on the Trade website HERE….
Tenzin working his magic. Was pretty busy at 3 pm on a Wednesday lol…..
Love this checklist……ha!
This drink is a “farm to glass” creation…love the edible flowers, chervil, and figs for the garnish. The edible flowers are from Blue Heron Farm in Lincoln, MA.
Please check out my photography blog Stacey Siegal Photography for additional pictures from Boston including The Gregg Allman concert in Hyannis and another visit to Row 34. Had to go there again. Just had to.
Norbu Lingka or “The Jeweled Park”
- 1 slice apricot
- 2 slices fresh figs
- 3 leaves basil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 4 dashes ginseng peach bitters*
- 2 ounces Four Roses Bourbon soaked in Mem’s Russian Caravan tea
- ½-ounce green chartreuse
- ½-ounce pineapple juice
- edible flowers, fresh chevil, and figs for garnish
- Muddle the apricot, fig slices, and basil leaves.
- Add the remaining ingredients, shake, and double strain.
- Garnish with the edible flowers, chervil, and fig slice.
*Ginseng cooked with orange zest, agave nectar, and peaches
- 1½-ounces Privateer Silver Rum
- ¾-ounce St. Germain liqueur
- 1-ounce agave nectar
- ½-ounce fresh lime juice
- club soda
- 6 mint leaves
- 4 cucumber slices
- Muddle the fresh mint and cucumber inside the shaker.
- Add Privateer Silver Rum, St. Germain, agave, and ½ cup crushed ice.
- Shake vigorously for 15 seconds and strain into tall glass.
- Fill the rest of the glass with crushed ice and top off with club soda
- Garnish: Use a vegetable peeler and peel the cucumber one length (no skin) to make a ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the inside top of the glass. Finish with a sprig of mint.
Give me ANYTHING caprese-style and I will devour it! This is a take on The Market Couscous that can be found HERE on my blog – I punched up the garlic, limited the number of ingredients, switched out the feta for fresh mozzarella, and added grape tomatoes and plenty of herbs. The result is a delicious combination of summer flavors that make a great side dish or just a salad on its own.
While not a huge fan of African couscous, I LOVE Israeli (or “pearl”) couscous which is a pasta. These little pops of pasta hold up great in so many dishes whereas another pasta shape or type may not necessarily. In this recipe, the Israeli couscous is cooked ahead and cooled, using a couple of tablespoons of the garlicky vinaigrette to prevent it from sticking together before the dish is completed.
I used grape tomatoes, but feel free to substitute fresh, chopped tomatoes if you have them. I don’t here in Florida so grape tomatoes were a better choice…..and I like the way they look in the salad and balance the shapes of the other ingredients.
It’s summer! Enjoy and enjoy good food.
Israeli Couscous Caprese Salad
- 2 cups Israeli-style couscous
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 large cloves garlic, pressed
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1 cup small bocconcini balls (I used the really small ones but you can use any type of fresh mozzarella and chop it)
- 2 tablespoons chives
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil (roll leaves like a cigar and thinly slice to make a chiffonade)
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir, cover, and reduce heat and cook according to the package instructions (usually 8-10 minutes).
- While the couscous is cooking, combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, pressed garlic, and oil in a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside. Season liberally with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper.
- When the couscous is done, spoon into a large bowl and drizzle a couple of tablespoons or so of the vinaigrette over it to keep it from sticking as it cools. Season with salt and pepper and stir.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the cooled couscous and pour over the vinaigrette. Taste again for seasoning.
The name of this appetizer may sound fancy, but tuiles are honestly the easiest thing to make and would be a perfect addition to your summer entertaining menu and will wow your guests. What is a tuile? It’s nothing more than a thin crisp or wafer of cheese for a savory version, or from a dough which is seen more often in sweet, dessert-style recipes. These are SO good paired with the tomato salad using baby heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs; the flavor combination is out of this world….salty from the cheese, the bite from the black pepper, and the freshness from the tomatoes and herbs. Totally addictive!! And I really feel that an important key to successful recipes – especially ones with few ingredients - is to source out the best ingredients you can find and afford. There are two ingredients I never ever scrimp on – Parmesan cheese and extra-virgin olive oil – and I’m usually reduced to tears when I find I’m running out of one or both because I do spend a pretty penny on them (and go through them quickly). I only buy Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and for extra-virgin olive oil I use the Colavita brand which is actually very reasonably priced, available in your grocery store, and my hands-down favorite for everyday use. California Olive Ranch is another good brand that won’t break the bank. And, on occasion, I’ll seek out a special extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling. Just not often…… I bought a 1-pound bag of baby heirloom tomatoes from my local The Fresh Market….you can use regular heirloom tomatoes or on-the-vine red tomatoes. My bag contained Plum Lemon, Green Zebra, June Flame, Black Plum, Red Zebra, and Lemon Drop varieties – love the names. Shop your local farmer’s market or farm stand – our growing season kind of fades away here in Florida this time of the year and doesn’t really resume again until October so I’m super jealous of you guys up north and out west. Enjoy what you eat……and eat what you enjoy.
Black Pepper Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad
- 1½ cups chopped heirloom tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons chiffonade of basil (roll up leaves and then thinly slice)
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano)
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- kosher salt and additional coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the tomatoes with the chives, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, give it a stir, and set it aside so the flavors blend.
- Drop two heaping teaspoons of the cheese and black pepper on the baking sheet and slightly flatten into a round shape for each tuile, setting them about a ½ inch apart.
- Bake for 5 minutes or until crisp and golden in color. Allow them to cool and then remove them with a spatula.
- Top with the heirloom tomato salad and serve.
Makes: 12 (your quantity may vary according to size) @2014 Kitchen Serendipity | Stacey Siegal
This was actually one of the very first recipes that I put on my blog – and now is a good time to update both the recipe format and pictures in honor of the July 4th holiday because these would make the perfect dish! (And because that post did indeed look like a first-time experience – yikes!!)
This dish has a history behind it that local friends know and you may as seen my references to it on Facebook from time to time. I threw a party for my son’s sixth birthday back in 2005 for a number of his friends (and parents) and invited “Mad Science” to basically host it with fun tricks and activities to keep the kids busy. I am sort of smart that way.
The kids had, well, kid food – pizza….ice cream……cake. For the adults, I decided to make my Mediterranean Ribs along with adult beverages and two or three sides. Well, Mike Walter, husband of my friend Beck Walter, loved them so much that he asked for the recipe. I wrote it down, he brought it home, and Becky made them. They were, at that point, forever coined “Stacey’s Ribs.” (Thanks Becky!)
On kind of a weird and personal note……this was a dish I made practically every weekend when I was married. When we got divorced last year, I just stopped making these ribs. It just seemed to be a dish that really represented our family as a complete unit and to make it under different circumstances was something I guess I couldn’t bring myself to do. Plus it makes a nice quantity….who the hell do I feed?!? It’s just Alex and I.
So I had a moment a few weeks ago. The ex, Alex, and I had plans to eat dinner at my house (my ex and are are great friends thank goodness) – and you know what? I made them. Along with the usual side of oil and vinegar coleslaw from the Bradenton Chop Shop. It really hit me that I hadn’t made this dish in over a year and kind of makes me cry because as a food photographer and a foodie in general, there is really a story attached to what you eat and why. That’s what I try to capture behind my lens.
So this July 4th holiday weekend? Enjoy these!! I know grilled meats are all the rave this time of the year, but here in Florida it’s just too damn hot. And I don’t have a grill anymore. And I love these better anyway. Would love your comments if you make these……now off to delete the old post now (shudder).
And….this post wouldn’t be complete without a glimpse of the Mad Science birthday party back in 2005!
Mediterranean (a.k.a. Stacey’s) Ribs
- 4 pounds baby back pork ribs
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400. Arrange the ribs meat side up on a foil-lined baking sheet; brush on some of the marinade. Turn the ribs over and brush on more of the marinade, reserving some when it comes time to turn the ribs.
- Roast at 400 degrees for 30-32 minutes; turn and brush with remaining marinade. Use the drippings on the baking sheet as well when you turn the ribs.
- Roast for another 30-32 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
© 2014 Kitchen Serendipity | Stacey Siegal
If you’ve didn’t have a chance to catch my previous posts, I was one of the bloggers selected by blogger and cookbook author Jenny Rosenstrach (Dinner: A Love Story) to cook three recipes from her upcoming second book, Dinner: The Playbook. Although a terrific read with lots of great recipes for anyone that comes across it, it is especially useful for busy parents as Jenny unveils a 30-day master plan to get a good meal on the table each night. This recipe – once the ingredients were assembled – came together nicely. I really liked the heat that the red pepper flakes gave to the sauce – a nice little kick to offset the bit of richness. And overall, the layering of flavors in this dish really worked. I still failed at getting my son to try the artichokes, though. But what really stands out in my mind after cooking these recipes is just how much we “eat” with our eyes. For those of us who participated in this week-long challenge, we all received an advance copy of Dinner: The Playbook which interestingly enough does not resemble the final edition and all of the photos are in black and white. So as I selected the three recipes to make, there was really no visual “draw” to any particular recipe and instead I merely relied upon ingredient appeal and to best visualize how the dish would translate to a color image. Now I know there are some stunning black and white food photos out there, but there is a reason you rarely see black and white food images in mainstream magazines – it doesn’t sell. People clearly eat with their eyes first – and I love being behind the camera to capture that image. Again, unfortunately I can’t post the recipe at this time per the author, but hopefully the photos and summary of the recipes I made will interest you in her new book Dinner: The Playbook which is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. And, if you are on Instagram, please enter the hashtag #DinnerPlaybook to see many of the photographed dishes. I would appreciate your follows as well! You can find me HERE. Thanks for following along for this challenge……back to my recipes this week. :)