Month: May 2019

Homemade Nutella (Creamy Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread)

Homemade Nutella (Creamy Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread)

Homemade brittle gives this Nutella-like chocolate-hazelnut spread a mellow sweetness, with notes of caramel to bring out its nutty complexity. Like the original Nutella, this version is silky-smooth and perfect for filling crepes, spreading on toast, or swirling into ice cream. Get Recipe! Source link

How to Make Nutella From Scratch

How to Make Nutella From Scratch

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] Crunchy Nutella was a staple back in my restaurant days, when I used it for everything: a drizzle for cake, a sauce for panna cotta, a spread over baguette, a dip for fresh fruit, a swirl in ice cream, a center for […]

Crispy Homemade Nutella (Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread)

Crispy Homemade Nutella (Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread)



Crispy Homemade Nutella (Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread)
Hazelnut brittle adds crisp and crunchy crystals to this thick and satisfying twist on homemade Nutella.
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Hash Browns, Tacos, and Beyond: 10 Savory Recipes for Breakfast Potatoes

Hash Browns, Tacos, and Beyond: 10 Savory Recipes for Breakfast Potatoes

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Morgan Eisenberg, Daniel Shumski.] We love eating potatoes at any meal, but they really can’t be beat at breakfast time. Whether you go for sweet potato hash, a Spanish tortilla with thinly sliced potato and onion, or just make the best, […]

Priya Krishna on Special Sauce: How Indian-ish Came to Be

Priya Krishna on Special Sauce: How Indian-ish Came to Be

[Priya Krishna photograph: Edlyn D’Souza. Sweet potato pie photograph: Vicky Wasik] I knew that Priya Krishna, author of Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics From a Modern American Family (I am predisposed to like any book with the word antics in the title), was smart and funny […]

16 Vodka Cocktail Recipes for Sunny Weather Sipping

16 Vodka Cocktail Recipes for Sunny Weather Sipping


20170607-summer-vodka-recipes-roundup-collage.jpg

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik, Elana Lepkowski]

If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t drink a lot of vodka. Sure, you might keep a bottle around for the occasional Bloody Mary. And yet vodka has its place—its crisp flavor is a natural match for refreshing summer cocktails. And because it’s fairly neutral, you can pair it with just about anything: Earl Grey tea, lemongrass, or even tomatoes. From a classic Moscow Mule and updated Cosmo to vodka-spiked LaCroix, we’ve rounded up 16 of our favorite vodka cocktails to keep you cool on a hot summer day.

Moscow Mule

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

My first choice when it comes to vodka cocktails any time of year, the Moscow Mule is even more refreshing once the temperature starts to rise. It’s so simple that you don’t really need a recipe—just spike ginger beer with vodka and squeeze in half a lime. The copper cup isn’t required, but I swear the drink doesn’t taste right without it.

Moscow Mule Recipe »

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Pamplemousse Cooler (Vodka-Cucumber Cocktail With Grapefruit LaCroix)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Simply pouring booze into LaCroix might sound good, but it doesn’t really work—most of the flavors have a bitterness that doesn’t work with alcohol without some help. Bring some other ingredients into play and the story changes—this Pamplemousse LaCroix and vodka cocktail is brought together with simple syrup, elderflower liqueur, and muddled cucumber.

Pamplemousse Cooler (Vodka-Cucumber Cocktail With Grapefruit LaCroix) Recipe »

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Fizzy Ginger Cocktail With Pickled Watermelon Rind

[Photograph: Elana Lepkowski]

This crisp, slightly spicy cocktail is made with bubbly Prosecco, dry vermouth, and vodka infused with fresh ginger. What really makes the drink is the garnish of watermelon rind pickled in a sweet and spicy brine flavored with cinnamon, peppercorns, clove, and red pepper flakes.

Fizzy Ginger Cocktail With Pickled Watermelon Rind Recipe »

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Great Gatsby

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Sometimes you want to keep it simple, so we make this drink with just three ingredients: grapefruit juice, vodka, and Lillet Blanc (a citrusy wine-based aperitif). With such a short ingredient list it’s important that each one is high quality—squeeze the grapefruit juice fresh and pull a decent bottle of vodka off the bar.

Great Gatsby Recipe »

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Lady Grey

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Mixing one or two individual drinks is fine, but pitchers are the way to go for summer entertaining. Next time you throw a cookout try stirring up a batch of this complex sipper made with Earl Grey tea, vodka, lemon juice, mint, and ginger syrup. Even better for entertaining, the tea and syrup can be made well ahead of time and kept in the fridge.

Lady Grey Recipe »

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Strawberry-Mint Sparkler

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

I never let strawberry season pass without mixing at least a few cocktails. To make this one we muddle the fruit with simple syrup, lime juice, and mint leaves, shake with vodka, and top with club soda. Muddle the strawberries first before adding the mint—you want the berries to be completely pulverized, but the mint will turn bitter if you’re too rough with it.

Strawberry-Mint Sparkler Recipe »

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The Kangaroo

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

These days gin is the most fashionable spirit for making a Martini, to the extent that some bartenders refuse to use the name for a version made with any other spirit. Vodka Martinis probably get a bad rep because of the sweet, flavored versions that took over in the ’90s, but the simple mixture of vodka and sweet vermouth makes for a totally respectable cocktail.

The Kangaroo Recipe »

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Fresh Tomato Martini

[Photograph: Autumn Giles]

If you are going to flavor your Martini, stick with good, natural ingredients. This summery version turns to in-season produce by using tomato-infused vodka. We keep the drink super dry with just a dash of vermouth and add a tiny bit of acidic white vinegar to highlight the tomato.

Fresh Tomato Martini Recipe »

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The Cosmopolitan

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

I can’t think of many drinks that are as maligned as the poor Cosmopolitan, and I don’t doubt that most versions are less than stellar. But all it takes are better ingredients to make the Cosmo into a drink worth keeping in rotation—we make ours with citrus-flavored vodka, high quality triple sec, unsweetened 100% cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice.

The Cosmopolitan Recipe »

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The Upgraded Cosmopolitan

[Photograph: JL Studios]

This recipe keeps the citrus-flavored vodka (Ketel One Citroen works well), Cointreau, and fresh lime juice from the classic Cosmo recipe, but from there we make a few changes. The big one is replacing the cranberry juice with cranberry sorbet, which adds just a touch of extra sweetness to the drink. We finish the cocktail with a float of sparkling wine for a little fizz.

The Upgraded Cosmopolitan Recipe »

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Thai-Style Bloody Mary With Cilantro and Fried Shallots

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

A classic Bloody Mary is never a bad choice for a summer brunch, but this intense Thai-style variation is even better. We start with the standard vodka and tomato juice, but replace the Worcestershire with fish sauce and the Tabasco with sambal oelek. Cilantro brightens the drink up, a brown sugar simple syrup adds sweetness, and beer gives it a little fizz.

Thai-Style Bloody Mary With Cilantro and Fried Shallots Recipe »

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Thyme for a Salty Dog

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

One reason to use vodka over, say, gin, is that its more neutral flavor gets out of the way and lets other ingredients shine. That’s the case in this spin on the Salty Dog, which is all about the bitter grapefruit and woodsy thyme. Don’t skip salting the rim—it further amplifies the flavors.

Thyme for a Salty Dog Recipe »

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Lemongrass Sour

[Photograph: Elana Lepkowski]

A far cry from the vodka sour you’ll find in the average dive, this cocktail is made with lemongrass-infused vodka and shaken with eggwhite to produce an elegant foam. You can infuse the vodka the old-fashioned way in a week or two, but with a whipped cream canister you can do it instantaneously.

Lemongrass Sour Recipe »

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Rhubarb and Ginger Cocktail

[Photograph: Kelly Carámbula]

Rhubarb is puckeringly tart, so recipes often pair it with sweet fruits like strawberries or raspberries. Here we go in a different direction, making the rhubarb into a syrup and mixing it with spicy ginger ale (or ginger beer, if you want it even stronger). If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, this tastes great without the vodka.

Rhubarb and Ginger Cocktail Recipe »

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The Phil Collins

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

The Tom Collins—made with gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup—is ripe for variation. Scott Marshall of The Hawthorne in Boston came up with this version, swapping the gin for cucumber vodka, which gets mixed with lime juice, Yellow Chartreuse, and a dash of cranberry bitters.

The Phil Collins Recipe »

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L’Aventura Punch (Vodka, Mint Tea, and Amaro Cocktail)

[Photography copyright: Kelly Puleio © 2019]

Vodka plays a supporting role in this batch cocktail, adding a kick of alcohol without disturbing the other flavors at play. Amaro, vermouth, and a mint tea syrup are allowed to fully shine in this bright, refreshing, and perfectly balanced summertime punch.

L’Aventura Punch (Vodka, Mint Tea, and Amaro Cocktail) Recipe »

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Asparagus, Mushroom, Leek, and Cheese Galette Recipe

Asparagus, Mushroom, Leek, and Cheese Galette Recipe

1. Prepare Old-Fashioned Flaky Pie Dough according to the recipe. After rolling, folding, and dividing dough in half, roll one portion into a 14-inch round. Transfer to a parchment-lined aluminum rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic, and refrigerate to relax and chill dough, at least […]

Broccoli and Cheese Galette Recipe

Broccoli and Cheese Galette Recipe

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat butter with flour over medium-high heat, until butter has melted and formed a paste with flour. Continue to cook, stirring, until raw flour scent is gone, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk until smooth and cook, whisking to […]

How to Make Savory Vegetable Galettes

How to Make Savory Vegetable Galettes


[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Some days when I stroll through the farmers market in spring, what I desire is to eat all those fresh vegetables in their purest and cleanest form, as if I’d just plucked them straight from the ground. I want the taste of new shoots and green life. And then sometimes I want to melt those green vegetables until tender, fold them with cheese, and wrap it all in a silky sheet that’s half-made from butter. In short, vegetables luxuriating in a bath of fat, cradled in more delicious fat. That’s called a galette, FYI.

Kidding. Galettes are free-form pies, and while they can be sweet like fruit pies, they can also be savory. Decadence should know no bounds.

Here’s how to make them, plus two recipes, one starring broccoli, the other starring asparagus and leeks, both starring cheese. And both starring buttery, flaky pastry.

Choose Your Vegetables, Then Cook Them

A vegetable galette isn’t just for spring—they can be made at any time of year. You just need to think about what you want in the galette, and how you want to handle it. In the two recipes I’m sharing here (see links at the top of this article), I’m using asparagus and broccoli as the featured players, rounding them out with leeks (for the asparagus) and onions (for the broccoli). For some extra meatiness and earthiness, I also worked mushrooms into the asparagus one.

But you could use leafy greens, or tomatoes, or various summer or winter squashes, or corn, or eggplant, or potatoes even. There’s hardly anything that won’t work, as long as you handle the combination with a little forethought. There are two things in particular you want to think about: the texture and water content of the vegetables.

Unlike sweet fruits such as peaches and apples, many vegetables, if packed raw into a galette, will never tenderize sufficiently in the time it takes to bake the crust. Others, like tomatoes, will dump their juices, threatening to turn the filling into soupy slop. With fruit galettes and pies, starches are added to thicken those juices, but I can’t think of too many cases where a savory, starch-thickened vegetable sludge sounds appealing.

The solution in most cases is to pre-cook the filling, eliminating excess liquid, tenderizing the vegetables, and concentrating their flavor. Tomatoes can be roasted in the oven, leafy greens can be cooked down spanakopita-style, and winter squash can be roasted until browned and softened.

Exactly what form your vegetables take is also up to you. You could leave them in beautiful big pieces, or chop them smaller, or go for a more purée-like texture. You could also do a mix, possibly even keeping some components separate and then layering them into the galette during assembly.

A slice cut from an asparagus galette

For my asparagus galette, I sautéed the mushrooms first to brown them, then added asparagus-stalk segments and cooked it all together until tender; I reserved the asparagus tips, adding them raw on top of the filling, since they cook through more quickly, and make for a more beautiful presentation when they’re not hidden in the depths of the filling. At the same time, I melted diced leeks until very soft and silky, then mixed them with the asparagus and mushrooms.

Picking up a wedge of broccoli and cheese galette

For the broccoli galette, I sautéed the florets until they were beginning to soften, then mixed in sliced onions, and continued cooking until the onions were wilted and everything was beginning to turn golden.

Any spices, herbs, or other flavorings you’d like to add can go into the mix at this stage.

Enrich the Filling (Preferably With Cheese)

Sautéing leeks and mushrooms for a savory galette filling

Now, you don’t have to add a megadose of dairy to make a good vegetable galette. You could leave the vegetables as they are for a presentation that lets the greens speak for themselves. I support this. But I also support embracing the inherent richness of a pastry-wrapped pie and running with it. I’m not terribly creative with this kind of thing, so extra richness to me more or less equals cheese.

For the asparagus galette, I folded grated fontina into the filling. You could use many other good melters, such as Gruyère, Jack, or mozzarella, or a cheese like feta that will keeps its shape and add a briny punch.

Cooking broccoli and onion, then adding a cheese sauce, for a savory galette

For my broccoli version, I took inspiration from broccoli with cheese sauce, making a Gruyere-spiked béchamel sauce (more succinctly known as Mornay sauce) and drizzling it into the vegetables.

Make Sure You Have Some Killer Pastry (We Do)

Once your filling is ready, it’s time to assemble the galette. But first you need a crust! We’ve got you covered there. Stella’s old fashioned pie crust is one of the best I’ve ever had, and because it has a minimal amount of sugar in it, it works just swell in a savory setting like this.

Assemble and Bake

Assembling a broccoli galette

To assemble a galette, pile the filling onto a 14-inch round of the pie dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a two-inch border all around.

A savory vegetable galette filling on a round of pastry

Cut slits into that ring of dough every five inches or so. Fold each flap of dough up and over the filling, making sure each successive flap makes a good seal with the one before it. By the time you’ve gone all the way around, you should have a nice rim of dough hugging and exposed center of filling.

A galette before baking, with egg wash on the pastry crust

Brush the pastry with an egg wash for a glossy look, then bake in a 400°F oven until the pastry is golden and flaky and the filling is hot and bubbling. For my broccoli one, I sprinkled more cheese all over the crust midway through baking, to create a crackly, frico-like crunch.

You may never go back to the sweet versions again.

A broccoli-and-cheese galette

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Flour Frosting: The Not-Too-Sweet Buttercream for Whipped-Cream Lovers

Flour Frosting: The Not-Too-Sweet Buttercream for Whipped-Cream Lovers

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] While it may sit on a relatively obscure branch of the buttercream family tree, flour frosting is among the easiest to prepare—no eggs or meringue, candy thermometers, or powdered sugar in sight. Flour frosting is a starch-thickened, milk-based frosting made with granulated […]