• Try these New Year’s Eve cocktails and punch recipes for your holiday party

    Looking for a perfect New Year’s Eve punch recipe or a celebratory cocktail or two? Here are perfect recipes to kick off 2019, from bubbly and fruity to ‘champagne’ on a budget.

    Pomegranate thyme bubbly rose

    Rosé is light and fruity, and has been enjoyed since ancient times, as those from yesteryear felt classic red wine was a bit too harsh. These days, you’ll find that a quality rosé is still a great accompaniment to a meal, especially if you enjoy seafood, and it also makes for a terrific New Year’s drink. This inventive cocktail is a rosé with a bit of flourish, thanks to the addition of the secret ingredient — a syrup made from an infusion of pomegranate seeds and fresh thyme.

    Pomegranate Rosemary Cocktail for New Year's Eve.
    Pomegranate Rosemary Cocktail for New Year’s Eve.

    RECIPE: Pomegranate thyme bubbly rose

    MORE: What is the best coffee maker?

    Faux champagne

    Nothing feels quite as festive as raising a cheerful toast with an elegant flute of bubbly, but good champagne can be pricey. Our sweet and fruity faux champagne is the ideal celebratory alternative. It’s not only delicious, but, with only three simple ingredients, is also much more affordable than champagne or sparkling wine.

    Faux champagne, for a New Year's toast appropriate for all ages.
    Faux champagne, for a New Year’s toast appropriate for all ages.

    RECIPE: Faux champagne

    You can whip this up in just a few minutes for impromptu get-togethers, and it’s suitable for guests of all ages. This is an ideal drink for a toasting beverage for kids on New Year’s Eve, or an option for those who don’t indulge in alcohol but want something more special than humdrum cola or water.

    If you want to save a few calories, try using diet ginger ale and your favorite sugar-free drink mix or some flavored sparkling water. 

    Cranberry cava cocktail

    If you love a good sparkling wine but want to keep within budget, look no further than cava, a wine that hails from Spain and is often less expensive than champagne and its Italian counterpart, prosecco.

    Cranberry cava cocktail
    Cranberry cava cocktail

    Cava is sweeter than champagne and drier than prosecco, but you can play up its flavor with the addition of cranberries. Not only does cava up the fancy factor of your flutes (with the addition of sugared cranberries and mint leaves), it’s a refreshing twist on a delicious drink.

    RECIPE: Cranberry Cava cocktail

    Cranberry pomegranate bourbon sparkler

    Cranberry Pomegranate Bourbon Sparkler.
    Cranberry Pomegranate Bourbon Sparkler.

    This drink recipe is a tribute to the tiny-but-mighty cranberry. It might be small, but it is bursting with that seasonal taste we all love. So raise your glass in a toast to the unsung hero of the holidays: the sweet, tart, mighty little cranberry. Cheers!

    RECIPE: Cranberry pomegranate bourbon sparkler

    Basil moscow mule

    A traditional Moscow mule contains vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, and it is often garnished with a slice (or wedge) of lime. While the traditional version is terrific on its own, we’ve added a little extra oomph for your New Year’s Eve shindig. Our version contains freshly ground ginger and fresh basil leaves, which makes this delightful cocktail really work. And, of course, you should serve this drink in that classic copper mug, which is unique to Moscow mules and makes them taste that much better.

    RECIPE: Basil Moscow Mule

    Basil Moscow Mule
    Basil Moscow Mule

     French 75 cocktail

    The French 75 is a simple yet elegant drink for any occasion, whether you’re ringing in the new year, toasting to a successful new job or just celebrating a new pair of shoes. The drink’s bubbles, spirits and fancy presentation in a champagne flute are sure party-pleasers.

    French 75.
    French 75.

    Despite the name, the drink contains only four (not 75) simple ingredients; gin, lemon juice, champagne, and simple syrup. It’s a sweet and sour blend with the kick of gin and a pleasing fizz.

    RECIPE: French 75 cocktail

    Spiced rum apple cider

    Apple cider is a classic cold-weather favorite, but if you’re looking for something with a little more spice for your New Year’s fête, we’ve got good news and an even better recipe. If you take your favorite apple cider and add a few choice spices, such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, as well as some brown sugar and rum, then you’ve got a comforting New Year’s Eve cocktail that will warm your heart and help you keep the celebration going.

    Spiced rum apple cider
    Spiced rum apple cider

    The flavor comes out when you heat the cider, spices and brown sugar together on your stovetop. Then, combine the rest of the ingredients for a drink that will make you (and your guests) smile.

    RECIPE: Spiced rum apple cider

    Spiced sangria

    Spiced sangria is a classic option for a New Year's Eve drink.
    Spiced sangria is a classic option for a New Year’s Eve drink.

    You can hop to your local store and buy some pre-made sangria for your New Year’s Eve party, but why not create your own sangria this year? Make a simple syrup with a variety of aromatic spices — including peppercorn, ginger, cinnamon sticks, star anise and clove — and add the syrup to a cocktail of dry red wine, cider, brandy and juices. Before you know it, you and your guests will be enjoying the spiced sangria of your dreams. And don’t forget the fresh fruit garnish, which can include oranges, apples and pears.

    RECIPE: Spiced sangria

    There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a sweet-tart glass of cold apple cider — and a little festive bubbly makes it even better by combining both of those treats in one sparkling glass. 

    Food may be the focus of most holiday parties, but this special signature drink will make your celebration even more memorable. You can adjust the sweetness by choosing your favorite wine — whether you prefer a German riesling or an Italian moscato — it’s up to you!

    Caramel Apple Sparkling Cider
    Caramel Apple Sparkling Cider

    Your younger guests can also enjoy a non-alcoholic version of this drink. By simply omitting the wine and substituting it with an additional bottle of sparkling cider, you can create a special fizzy drink that both kids and adults will love! 

    Whichever version you choose, serve it up in a pretty pitcher or punch bowl, and break out your favorite glasses for a festive feel. And don’t forget to garnish it with a few apple slices, in honor of the humble-but-delicious apple.

    RECIPE: Caramel apple sparkling sangria

     Jalapeno cranberry cosmo

    Jalapeno cranberry martini.
    Jalapeno cranberry martini.

    A holiday cocktail with a spicy kick? Sign us up! This tangy, holiday take on a traditional cosmopolitan is the perfect add-on to festive gatherings with friends and family.

    The classic vodka, cranberry and lime drink gets an upgrade with some extra flavor, courtesy of one of the most popular peppers out there — the jalapeño. First, you make the juice by way of this awesome sauce recipe: Jalapeño cranberry sauce.

    This perky pepper combines swimmingly with the other ingredients, especially since it pairs so well with the flavor of cranberries. Jalapeño has a spicy essence for sure, but it’s also almost pleasantly fruit-like, and will make your cosmo truly sing.

    RECIPE: Jalapeno cranberry cosmos

    Cranberry wine Moscow mule

    Cranberry Wine Moscow Mule.
    Cranberry Wine Moscow Mule.

    The Moscow mule is a true classic drink, and it’s easy to add a bit of cheer to this super-easy recipe with the ultimate cranberry wine flavor burst.

    This festive beverage is easy to create and looks fantastic, and for an added touch, add frozen cranberries and a lime wedge or two to top off this cheery mixed drink. 

    RECIPE: Cranberry wine Moscow mule

    Hot toddy

    Hot toddy.
    Hot toddy.

    The hot toddy is a traditional cold-weather beverage that is ideal for sipping beside a roaring fireplace, but it especially appeals for New Year’s Eve. While the jury is still out on whether it helps you deal with a cold (the story goes that it was given to feverish children back in the day — adults only these days!), it remains a popular accompaniment for those cold and brisk winter nights. Whiskey is paired with comforting ingredients — like honey, cinnamon sticks and cloves — and added to boiling water to make a dreamy concoction perfect for your winter party.

    RECIPE: Hot toddy

    Candy vodka with Jolly Ranchers

    This lively recipe features one of your childhood favorites (Jolly Ranchers candy) paired with an adults-only beverage (vodka).

    When you’re on the hunt for New Year’s Eve drinks, this colorful concoction is a must-serve. It does involve some waiting time — after all, it takes time for the candies to add their delectable flavor and bright colors to the vodka. However, once the waiting game is over, you’ll have a super-fun cocktail that will make an enchanting addition to your NYE drinks game.

    RECIPE: Jolly Rancher-infused cocktails

    Classic Bloody Mary

    A classic Bloody Mary.
    A classic Bloody Mary.

    While it’s fun to experiment with new cocktail recipes, there’s something to be said for tried-and-true classics. The traditional Bloody Mary is one of those drinks that never gets old or goes out of style. It’s a hearty cocktail that combines vodka and tomato juice, but there’s a lot more going that makes it a truly delectable drink.

    We add hot sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and a few tasty spices to make it an engaging cocktail that will make your tastebuds soar. Get your Bloody Mary vibe going this New Year’s to get your party started — or keep it going.   

    RECIPE: Classic Bloody Mary

    Orangecello and honey martini

    A citrus burst makes this unique martini shine. You might be familiar with the Italian liqueur called limoncello, but did you know about orangecello?

    Orangecello and honey martini.
    Orangecello and honey martini.

    Thankfully for everyone, orangecello makes a terrific addition to your New Year’s Eve cocktail repertoire. Honey lends its smooth sweetness to the drink, and our version (uniquely steeped with thyme) really helps add even more flavor. Get your cocktail shaker ready, and prepare this bright and cheery drink that will wow your guests before the countdown begins.

    RECIPE: Orangecello and honey martini

    Sparkling pear cocktail

    Sparkling pear cocktail.
    Sparkling pear cocktail.

    Served in a champagne flute, a sparkling pear cocktail is the fresh and fruity drink your New Year’s Eve party deserves. Sparkling wine, pear brandy and the zesty lemon flavor blend to make a refreshing drink. A few extra touches, such as a flute rimmed with green sugar (really!) and a sugar cube merrily bubbling in the bottom, take this drink to its own level. Don’t forget to garnish it with a thin slice of pear, and as the clock strikes midnight, toast to the upcoming year. 

    RECIPE: Sparkling pear cocktail

    From: USA Today

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  • The most memorable restaurants, bars, snacks, and food halls Coconuts Manila tried in 2018

    There’s never a shortage of new restaurants in Metro Manila to try, and here at Coconuts Manila, 2019 has been particularly busy with hitting up trendy new hot spots, cafes, fancy joints, and trying out the latest F&B gimmick.

    Some were misses, but many were hits — offering delicious food and, often times, Insta-worthy interiors, to boot.

    From a mall kiosk to a sprawling food hall, and even an underground restaurant, here are all the places we tried in 2018 that are getting the most love from our Coconuts crew.

    Flossom Place in San Juan houses a neighborhood cafe and a one-stop shop for your event planning needs

    Flossom Kitchen + Cafe is exactly the type of place every neighborhood needs.

    It’s an intimate space located in San Juan City that’s decked in fresh flowers and colorful industrial furniture.

    While not everything on the menu got an A+ from us, we appreciate its modern take on classic Filipino comfort food like the Ube Champorado made with purple yam instead of chocolate.

    Photo: Therese Reyes

    Read more here

    Run Rabbit Run: New ‘neighborhood bar’ serves up cocktails co-created by S’pore’s Bitters & Love

    Many of the seen-and-be-seen bars and restaurants in Makati’s Poblacion area can get really crowded, so we were glad to have found Run Rabbit Run, a low-key bar on the quieter side of the neighborhood that’s fit for imbibers who just want to chill.

    Their craft cocktails were concocted by the team behind Bitters and Love, a bar in Singapore’s Telok Ayer neighborhood, but also includes drinks inspired by Filipino flavors like the flower Sampaguita and the shaved ice dessert halo-halo.

    Photo from Run Rabbit Run.
    Photo: Run Rabbit Run

    Read more here

    Burrow Café: This almost inaccessible cafe is the place to escape the chaos of Manila

    The coziest place we visited this year was by far Burrow Café.

    As its name suggests, the restaurant is underground. It’s located in Antipolo, a city right outside Manila and has brick walls, a wood-paneled ceiling, and hammocks for swinging in.

    All these factors make the place the perfect retreat for Manileños who want to get away from the bustle of the city.

    A look at Burrow from our table. Photo by Rachel Malaguit.
    Photo: Rachel Malaguit

    Read more here

    From NYC to BGC: Magnolia Bakery brings its famous cupcakes, banana pudding, and more to Manila

    Another taste of New York City was brought to Manila earlier this year when the famous Magnolia Bakery opened in Bonifacio Global City in August.

    Known here as M Bakery, the shop serves favorites like the creamy banana pudding and the iconic “Carrie” cupcake featured on Sex and the City, as well as classic desserts like a chocolate icebox cake and chocolate chip cookies.

    Quite expensive but for the most part, they were all really good.

    The Carrie cupcake. Cupcake prices start at PHP120 (US.26) (Photo: Therese Reyes)
    Photo: Therese Reyes

    Read more here

    What’s good at The Grid, Rockwell’s new curated, minimalist chic food hall

    Like other food halls, The Grid in Rockwell’s Power Plant Mall has some delicious and not-so-delicious offerings.

    But we liked it for the sheer idea of having Thai, Japanese, Filipino, Spanish, Mexican, and American food housed in one minimalist chic space.

    It’s best for big groups that can’t seem to agree on where to have dinner.

    Outside The Grid. (Photo: Therese Reyes)
    Photo: Therese Reyes

    Read more: What is the best coffee maker?

    Inside the Paw Club Philippines: A pet cafe, grooming salon, and hotel in one

    This one is for the dog lovers out there.

    Paw Club Philippines is a pet cafe that also houses a grooming salon and pet hotel.

    Its owners wanted to create a place for doggos and their hoomansto bond indoors — perfect during the rainy season.

    The food was just OK and we mostly only liked the Glazed Pork Ribs but that’s fine because dining there meant our pet dogs could order their own food too. Pupcakes, anyone?

    Photo: Kaka Corral
    Photo: Kaka Corral

    Read more here

    We lined up for almost 4 hours at a MAXI Mango pop-up to see what the hype is all about

    To be honest, we only tried MAXI Mango because we were curious to find out why so many people were lining up for it. We quickly found, though, that the hype was real.

    The kiosk’s main offering is the mango float, their version of the classic Filipino refrigerator cake. It’s made with graham crackers, condensed milk, mangoes, and soft serve ice cream.

    Heaven in a cup, if you ask us.

    Maxi Mango. Photo: Kaka Corral
    Photo: Kaka Corral

    Read more here

    Modern Merienda: Manam Cafe recreates classic Filipino snacks

    It’s easy to get Filipino food wrong, especially when restaurants try to change it up too much, but Manam is one of the few places that successfully serves the national cuisine with a twist.

    This year, Manam opened a Cafe that has the same signature dishes people love from its main restaurant alongside cafe-exclusive items.

    One of our favorites was the Calamansi Tart, a Filipino take on a lime pie that has a creamy center and a crumbly crust.

    We still daydream about it from time to time.

    Photo: Therese Reyes.
    Photo: Therese Reyes

    Read more here

    Review: Grand Cafe 1919, the restaurant that resurrected an abandoned colonial-era building in Manila’s Chinatown

    Last on the list: Grand Cafe 1919. Admittedly, the actual food isn’t much to write home about — but we still can’t forget about the place because of what it represents.

    Grand Cafe 1919 is found inside a beautifully refurbished colonial building in Manila’s Chinatown that was almost taken down.

    As a restaurant, it gets low marks, but we love how it is proof that historic architecture can and should stay relevant.

    Photo: Angelica Reyes.
    Photo: Angelica Reyes

    What’s the best restaurant you tried in 2018? Let us know below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.

    This article, The most memorable restaurants, bars, snacks, and food halls Coconuts Manila tried in 2018, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company. For more Coconuts stories, you can download our app, sign up for our newsletters, or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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  • The 19 Best Dishes Our Restaurant Editor Ate This Year

    The sacrifices I make for you people. In 2018 I traveled extensively in search of amazing chefs and the outstanding food they serve, despite what it is undoubtedly doing to my cholesterol and waistline. As the year comes to a close, I ponder the weight I’ve gained, the Instagram followers I’ve lost, and the dishes that actually made it worth it for me to log that extra mile on my morning run. Across the country I enjoyed Korean fine dining, the reemergence of classic French cuisine, and a nostalgic look back at Midcentury fare. I also had the opportunity to see the future of American cooking by dining at the restaurants of some of the best young chefs in the U.S. today. It was exciting year of feasting, and these are the 19 best dishes I had along the way.

    Crab Three Ways, Addison, San Diego
    At this year’s Robb Report Culinary Masters, there were plenty of culinary fireworks on display. From Dominique Crenn’s buckwheat tart with trout roe and crème fraiche to Gavin Kaysen’s chicken ballotine. But my favorite dish came from the chef at the Addison, William Bradley. He served crab three ways featuring a crab chip, a generous chunk of king crab leg, a crab salad with coconut and curry on top, and then accompanied by a passion fruit sauce.

    100-Day-Aged Tomahawk, APL Restaurant, Los Angeles
    I’ve devoted plenty of actual ink (print is not dead!) to Adam Perry Lang’s new Hollywood restaurant and for good reason. The Zenmaster of meat has turned his focus away from barbecue and toward the nuances of sourcing and aging beef. And when you eat his tomahawk steak with more than 100 days of age, other beef can almost taste bland in comparison. Lang achieves a depth of flavor to his steak without being overly funky. There’s also something viscerally satisfying about gnawing on that giant bone in the middle of a respectable establishment.

    More Stories: Quick steps to get rid of mold in coffee maker

    Halibut with Foie Gras, Butternut Squash, and Doenjang, Atomix, New York
    The husband-wife duo behind Atoboy—Junghyun and Ellia Park—opened their personal take on Korean fine dining earlier this year. Inside an old townhouse in Nomad, there’s a basement with a U-shaped counter where 16 patrons dine on a progression of delicate and refined dishes. One of my favorites was the steamed round of halibut served with cured foie gras, a butternut squash dashi, and a brown butter made with a fermented soybean paste called doenjang.

    Hawaiian Rolls, Bellemore, Chicago
    I named Jimmy Papadopolous one of America’s Best Young Chefs and Bellemore the country’s Best New Restaurant, so I obviously like a lot of what I ate here. While many people would think Jimmy’s perfect little oyster pie served with caviar and apples would be my top choice, I went far more normie than that. I really really loved his Hawaiian rolls inspired by growing up in the Midwest and eating them at Thanksgiving. As he was preparing to open the restaurant, and actually eating a Hawaiian roll, he told his staff his plan to incorporate a homemade version in the menu, “We’re going to do it with a house made cultured butter, but we’re going to take the cream from upstate Wisconsin, and steep it with country ham scraps, so that the cream cultures and tastes of salty, smoky ham,” Papadopolous says. “They’re the most basic-tasting sweet delicious roll, but the magic is that butter. The fact that we culture our own cream in house, and we take the steps to making our own butter and churning it—it’s those little things that you hope resonate with people.” It did.

    Chicken Milanese, Cosa Buona, Los Angeles
    I can be a sandwich obsessive. Years ago, when a reputable publication put out a round-up of the best 100 sandwiches in New York, a friend and I tried to eat our way through the entire list. This year my favorite entry in the genre of meat between bread was Zach Pollack’s outstanding chicken Milanese sandwich from his nostalgia-tinged Cosa Buona on LA’s Eastside. It’s a place where he’s doing a perfect Caesar, the ideal fried mozzarella sticks, and one hell of a fried chicken sandwich that’s covered in a peperoncini slaw to create a salty, slightly sweet sandwich.

    Brouillade, Frenchette, New York
    On their own, soft scrambled eggs and escargots covered in butter and parsley are so very French. But together? Not so much. But that’s not how I felt when I dug some rich, creamy eggs studded with a row of snails. It felt so classic, so right. That’s the essence of Frenchette in New York, helmed by the seasoned duo of Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson. Their deep understanding of the classics and mastery of technique allows them to play with French conventions and create delicious results. And why wouldn’t you want to eat a dish that Hanson describes as such: “There’s an emulsion that’s happening where there’s about as much butter and cream as the eggs can hold to create a fluffiness and creaminess.”

    Peanut Ritz Crackers with Foie Gras, Gem, New York
    This is truth in advertising when it comes to the what you get with this outstanding little appetizer at 20-year-old wunderkind Flynn McGarry’s Lower East Side restaurant. Between two house made Ritz crackers is a disc of foie gras terrine that’s topped with jelly that provides a fruity acidity that balances out the richness of the liver.

    Forest Chicken, Geranium, Copenhagen
    One of the year’s truly transcendent dining experiences was at Rasmus Kofoed’s Michelin three-star Geranium. Kofoed and GM Søren Ledet have created a remarkable restaurant that just happens to be tucked inside the stadium where the national soccer team and FC Copenhagen play (you can see the field from the prep kitchen). The service is outstanding without being stuffy, and the same can be said of the food. It’s surprising, delicious, and sits slightly outside of the prevailing trends in Copenhangen, where many restaurants take their cues from Noma. Kofoed, who won an unprecedented bronze, silver, and gold at the culinary Olympics Bocuse d’Or, combines a streak of naturalism with a style that is more modern European than New Nordic. His forest chicken with pickled blackcurrant leaves, juniper, and aromatic herbs was pitch-perfect capper to the lunch’s 12 savory courses.

    The Seagram Crab Cake, The Grill, New York
    Another one of our Best New Restaurant winners, the Grill brought swagger back to the tired former Four Seasons space in the landmark Seagram Building. A lot of the press was focused on the prime rib carts rolling around, and rightly so. But for me, the best dish at Mario Carbone’s midcentury stunner was a competition between the Seagram crab cake and the pasta a la presse where delicate noodles are bathed in a jus made from duck bones pressed tableside and. When dining at The Grill, honestly, both should be ordered. But the crab cake seasoned with old bay topped with thinly sliced golden potatoes and served with a mustard sauce took the prize.

    Oysters, Henrietta Red, Nashville
    I’m touting the oysters I ate in a landlocked state? Yes, because Julia Sullivan—a Per Se and Blue Hill alum—knows how to source great product. At Henrietta Red she offers as many as 16 varietals sourced from around the United States, from the Atlantic to the Gulf to the Pacific. Beside each name is a place of provenance and a trio of evocative descriptors to help guide diners’ decisions. The choices span the flavor spectrum ranging from briny Night Tides to creamy Murder Points to sweet Saucey Lady Shells.

    Quenelle de Brochet, Le Coucou, New York
    Daniel Rose isn’t making your father’s French food—he’s making your grandfather’s. He’s taken the anachronistic French fare filled with butter and cream and breathed new life into it the last few years at Le Coucou. A perfect encapsulation of his embrace of the classics is his quenelle de brochet, a labor-intensive dumpling made by deboning a fish, mixing it with egg and cream, then poaching it before topping it with the lobster-filled sauce Americaine. It’s a dish that simultaneously light and frothy as well as decadent and creamy.

    Pork Collar, Michael’s, Santa Monica
    We’re going to miss the talented young chef Miles Thompson at the icon of California farm-to-table dining Michael’s. He’s left the restaurant in pursuit of a new project, but while at the restaurant that’s older than him he created some truly memorable dishes, like his pork collar with rosewater jaew, radish kimchi, and flowering cilantro. It’s a dish I went back for multiple times. One time, I even brought along a particularly exacting food critic, my mother (the daughter of an acclaimed chef, who herself has moonlighted as a caterer for decades). Miles, if you’re reading, Barb wants the recipe.

    Duck Ssam, Momofuku Vegas, Las Vegas
    I’ve long been a sucker for Momofuku. After my wife and I ran the New York CityMarathon, the place we wanted to celebrate was Ssam Bar in the East Village. So when I was in Vegas last, I had to check out what chef Shaun King was doing there. They’re not just turning out the Momofuku hits, but working a lot of large format dishes perfect for big parties out for a night revelry in Sin City. One of those is whole duck, aged two weeks, dipped in hot water to slowly render the fat, then rubbed with salt, maltose and soy sauce, cooked in a rotisserie, and then carved tableside. It comes with housemade kimchi, hoisin, ginger pancakes, and duck fat rice.

    Yakimono, n/naka, Culver City
    Another contender for meal of the year was the modern kaiseki served by Niki Nakayama. It’s really is hard to single out one dish from the dinner, but I especially loved the portion of the meal referred to as ‘Yakimono” where grilling is the featured technique. On this iteration of her menu, Nakayama served foie gras with duck, glazed purple cabbage, purple cabbage glass, and a mustard seed sauce.

    Shawarma of Celeriac and Truffle, Noma, Copenhagen
    This year I took the journey across the Atlantic to experience Noma 2.0. Now situated on the outskirts of the city, the restaurant celebrates three distinct seasons and changes their menu accordingly. The first part of the year is devoted to seafood, the middle is vegetables, and the third is to game. I happened to arrive during the months René Redzepi and team served their vegetarian menu. The finale of the savory courses featured a smiling young chef presenting us with what looked like a giant shawarma turning on a vertical spit in a shop. But this rich, meaty, delicious course had no meat at all. “We sliced celeriac super thin, and between the layers is a truffle puree, and a celeriac puree,” says Mette Søberg, the head of Noma’s test kitchen. “To build one, which is 40 to 50 portions, it takes one person three hours and that’s even after you have all the components ready. It’s very labor intensive.”

    Whole Hog BBQ Sandwich, Rodney Scott BBQ, Charleston
    Another crown jewel in my sandwich sojourns was James Beard Award-winning Rodney Scott’s pulled pork. Attached to the back of the restaurant is a smokehouse where Scott takes up to 24 hours to cook his whole hogs. This old school preparation is looks simple, but controlling the heat to different parts of the pig is an art that Scott has mastered. The sandwich came with a tangy vinegar and pepper sauce with some citrus that played perfectly with the pork.

    Pork with Dark and Stormy Glaze, Roister, Chicago
    Roister is what happens when you take the care and attention that the people behind Alinea put into their Michelin three-star restaurant, and direct it toward more elemental cooking. Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas’s Roister is focused on cooking in the hearth and creating craveable foods. Until recently the kitchen was led by Andrew Brochu, who turned out ideal versions of fried chicken, cheese rillettes, and their outstanding pork butt glazed with a dark and stormy sauce and served atop a bed red peas, then sprinkled with fried pecans.

    Crispy Salmon Skin, Sea Creatures, Seattle
    Under the name Sea Creatures, Renee Erickson’s burgeoning Seattle empire now includes Walrus and the Carpenter, the Whale Wins, Bateau, and more. At this year’s Aspen Food and Wine she served some delicious bites at an afternoon party, highlighted by her crispy salmon skin topped with crème fraiche, salmon roe, and chives. Erickson has the ability to take what seems so simple and straightforward and make them so delicious.

    Pigtail Curry Bun, Somni, Beverly Hills
    Inside José Andrés’ Bazaar in Beverly Hills is an intimate 10-seat, wood-ensconced space where chef Aitor Zabala breezes through a suprising and delightful tasting menu. Both Zabala and Andés are disciples of el Bulli, deploying techniques that allow them to play with their food, like a little pizza that doesn’t have an actual crust, but a merengue made with tomato water that’s topped with cheese. The most delicious bite of the night was this golden-brown bun, that was almost like a light doughnut hole stuffed with braised pigtail. Upon completing it I thought to myself that I wish they’d open up a to-go counter where I could buy the buns by the dozen.

    From: Robb Report

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  • curry chicken

    EASY CURRY CHICKEN

    E

    Step by step instructions and pictures showing you how to make delicious yet easy curry chicken. The secret is adding the curry powder to the chicken way before cooking it.

    EASY CURRY CHICKEN RECIPE

    • 1 chicken
    • 1 onion
    • 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger
    • 2 to 5 tablespoons of Baba’s meat curry powder: it’s an ideal curry mixture, easily available at online Malaysian shops
    • 2 to 3 potatoes
    • butter or ghee or cooking oil
    • coconut milk (at least 2 cups or half a liter made from coconut cream powder)
    • salt to taste (1 teaspoon)

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    curry chicken with potatoes

    HOW TO MAKE EASY CURRY CHICKEN

    1. Cut the chicken in small pieces of equal size, so each chicken piece won’t take too long to cook and all pieces will be evenly cooked.
    2. Add 2 to 5 tablespoons of curry to the chicken and rub it over the pieces. Let rest at least 15 minutes so the curry flavor can permeate into the flesh. The longer you let the chicken in the curry, the better.
    3. Meanwhile, cut the onion in half and cut each halve in slices.
    4. Cut the ginger as fine as you can (picture is still not very fine, but it works, just be prepared to chew on a ginger piece when you cut this size).
    5. Peal the 2 potatoes and half lengthwise and halve again. (smaller pieces also work fine, especially if your cooking time will be about 15 minutes).
    6. Put some butter or ghee in a pot on a low fire and saute the onion and the ginger for a few minutes.
    7. When the aroma is filling your kitchen, add the chicken pieces and the potato pieces. Fry the chicken pieces for at least 4 minutes, making sure to stir from time to time so all sides of the meat gets browned.
    8. Take a packet of (Chao Thai) coconut cream powder and add it to some water to make coconut milk. Of course freshly squeezed coconut milk from grinded coconut is even more tastier. Use what is easy to find.
    9. Poor the coconut milk over the chicken pieces so that they are almost covered: the less liquid, the thicker the gravy. Scrape with a wooden spatula anything that sticks to the bottom of the pan back into the liquid.
    10. Add salt to taste (1 teaspoon), bring to a boil and let simmer until the meat is cooked (20 minutes, when the meat starts coming off the bone) and the potatoes are tender.
    11. Have a look after 15 minutes: if the gravy is too thin, take the lid off the pot and simmer further. Taste and adjust saltiness (or add soy sauce to taste)
    12. Meanwhile you have just enough time to cook your rice.

    This curry chicken recipe can easily be altered by simply adding a cinnamon stick, a star anis and 2 pods of cardamom whilst sauteing the onions. Blending cashew nut into the coconut milk with a blender makes a thicker even more tastier gravy.