Blog Posts by Saveur

  • Cucumber Gin Cooler

    By Helen Rosner
    I'm a die-hard fan of the gin & tonic (going so far as to insist, editorially, on ampersand usage instead of the written conjunction when writing the drink's name), and I know exactly how I like it: one part gin, one part tonic, juicy lime wedge squeezed and dropped in. But in certain contexts - and with certain gins - I've found that pushing the drink's flavor components to extremes can result in a drink that's entirely different in character, and often just as good.

    RELATED: Refreshing Cucumber Recipes »

    That's the case in this Cucumber Gin Cooler, which takes the standard three elements of the G & T (gin, tonic, and lime), and boosts the citrus to a dominant role. Instead of the scant half teaspoon of juice you'll get from a lime garnish, each serving of this drink is made with the juice of an entire lime, which dulls some of the gin's alcoholic tang while still allowing its herbal notes to shine through. Shaking the juice and gin with slices of cucumber further

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  • Mom's Banana Bread

    Banana bread was a mainstay in all our childhood kitchens, and the smell of this freshly-baked quick bread is one that brings us right back to sitting in mom's kitchen, eagerly awaiting a warm, buttery slice.

    Today, one of our favorite versions is an exceptionally moist quick bread based on a recipe from Judy Mims, the mother of SAVEUR's assistant kitchen director, Ben Mims. Ben was inspired to revisit his mom's recipe after reading Dan Koeppel's fascinating story about the history and fate of bananas from our May 2010 issue.

    Delicious as a snack or on-the-go breakfast, Mom's Banana Bread also makes the perfect addition to a Classic Spring Brunch!

    Butter, for greasing pan
    1 cup flour, plus more for pan
    ¾ tsp. baking soda
    ¼ tsp. kosher salt
    1 cup sugar
    ½ cup canola oil
    ⅓ cup buttermilk
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
    ⅔ cup chopped pecans
    3 very ripe bananas, mashed

    1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9" x 5" x 2 ¾" loaf pan with butter and dust

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  • 10 Easy Champagne Cocktails

    You might drown your sorrows in a whiskey or martini, but when it's time for good news, only sparkling wine will do. And when it's time for a celebratory brunch, there's nothing more delightful than a Champagne cocktail.

    The most familiar sparkling cocktail for morning is likely the Mimosa, a simple mix of orange juice and sparkling wine. But if you're looking to drink something a little different with your eggs benedict, there's an endless array of possibilites to be made with a bottle of sparkling wine and a bit of creative mixology. Here are ten of our favorite combinations:

    1. Add a splash of pomegranate liqueur (like Pama); garnish with mint.

    2. Add a bit of amaretto and a good amount of pear juice.

    3. Soak a sugar cube in bitters then drop it in a full glass of bubbly.

    4. Mix in a spoonful of coconut cream.

    5. Add a dash of grenadine; garnish with freshly ground pepper.

    6. Stir in a splash of elderflower liqueur; garnish with a large lemon twist.

    7. Muddle a handful of

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  • The Perfect Picnic Menu: Grilled Chicken with Red Onion Jam

    When I visit my family in Las Vegas, my favorite thing to do is pack up a cooler of sandwiches and hit the road for a picnic. We love to visit Red Rock Canyon in Nevada, but there are many majestic parks to choose from all over the Southwest. No matter where you lay out your picnic blanket, this menu, featuring grilled chicken with red onion jam and a spread of salads that travel well, is perfect to enjoy while you bask in the sun. -Kellie Evans, SAVEUR Kitchen Director

    The Menu

    RELATED: Easy Chicken Wing Recipes »

    Cucumber Limeade INGREDIENTS
    1 cup fresh lime juice (about 7 limes)
    1 cup sugar
    Zest of 3 limes (about 1 ½ T)
    ¼ cup mint leaves
    1 1-liter bottle lemon/lime seltzer, chilled
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  • Friday Cocktails: The Mint Julep

    By Helen Rosner, Photo by André Baranowski

    Forget the horses, forget the ladies in giant hats - nothing says Kentucky Derby like a mint julep. It's a perfectly balanced cocktail: Bourbon, mint, sugar, and gently melting ice, strong at first and (depending on how long it takes you to drink it) sweetly sippable by the bottom of the glass. But bourbon isn't the only one that can play this game: the julep is part of the family of cocktails known as smashes, where mint and crushed ice combine with any number of sweetening agents and spirits.

    RELATED: See all our Friday Cocktails »

    The classic julep will never go out of style, but this Derby Day we're planning to shake up something different. We've concocted 7 variations on the original - mint-spiked tipples that make great use of cognac, moonshine, peaches, strawberries, ginger, and even Chartreuse - plus one ultimate recipe for the original; they're all perfect whether you're spending a sunny afternoon watching the ponies, or just

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  • A Tex-Mex Menu for Cinco De Mayo

    Often mistaken for Mexico's Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the victory of a small Mexican army over a much larger French force at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, during the French occupation of that same year. This small but symbolic triumph signaled to the world Mexicans' determination to remain free of foreign interference. Today this event is remembered with fiestas, feasts, and parades, particularly in the border towns of Mexico and the United States, where entire communities come together in an enthusiastic display of appreciation for the shared history and heritage of both cultures.

    RELATED: Guacamole, Step-by-Step »

    Although I can't claim any Mexican ancestry, I still find great fun in inviting a few friends over to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Since I have a long day ahead of me before I get home tonight to kick back with margaritas, I want to keep things simple when it comes to providing food for the festivities. My husband is a big fan of taquitos,

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  • What's in Season: Recipes for Spring Lettuces

    Mesclun-the name means "mixed" in French-is the traditional combination of baby lettuces available year-round in most supermarkets. But during spring, when newly sprouted baby lettuces begin to appear at local farmers' markets, it's possible to appreciate the particular characteristics of individual varieties. Bibb is a delicate, buttery leaf; arugula is a long, spiky, mildly bitter one; crisp romaine is ideal for Caesar salads; watercress has a bright, peppery flavor; and mizuna has a gentle spicy zing. And those are just a few of the more widely grown varieties. The distinctive flavor of a green early in the growing season tends to hold as the lettuce matures, but baby greens are sweeter and have a much more concentrated flavor than mature greens. In texture, baby greens are more delicate, refined, and tender than mature lettuces. Best when eaten raw, baby lettuces are ideal in salads and sandwiches, while mature lettuces can withstand the heat of cooking. Most farmers sell both

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  • Friday Cocktails: Strawberry-Rhubarb Smash

    By Jenny Lee-Adrian On a recent warm spring evening, I sipped on a lively red cocktail at Little Giant, a restaurant on the Lower East Side in New York City. More acidic than sweet, their Strawberry Rhubarb Smash has bourbon and lemon juice like a whiskey sour, but brightened with an unsweetened rhubarb simple syrup and fresh spring strawberries.

    RELATED: Cooking with Booze, Beer, and Wine »

    A few days after my dinner there, I decided to make the drink myself. I cut rhubarb stalks into small pieces and simmered them in water along with seeds of half a vanilla bean. (Tasha Garcia Gibson, who co-owns Little Giant with Julie Taras Wallach, says the pulpy rhubarb mass that's leftover after the syrup is drained is great on yogurt with granola or Grape-Nuts.) I mixed the syrup with bourbon, muddled strawberries, lemon, and mint. It was like holding spring in a glass, with the whole summer ahead of me to look forward to. See all our Friday Cocktails »

    RECIPE: Strawberry Rhubarb Smash

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  • A Classic Steakhouse Dinner at Home

    There's nothing like a good steak, and the meals at Las Vegas steakhouses are legendary. Conjure up a leather booth, mix a martini or a Manhattan, and tuck into this classic menu: iceberg wedges with creamy blue cheese, crisp home fries, creamed spinach, and a perfectly-seared steak topped with a velvety horseradish zabaglione. And don't forget the chocolate layer cake for dessert!

    RELATED: Easy and Wholesome Chicken Recipes »


    RELATED: Spring Produce Guide »

    RECIPE: Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese
    This hearty wedge salad, which contains the classic elements of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, is a version of one served at Old Homestead Steakhouse in New York City. SERVES 2-4

    4 oz. blue cheese, such as Maytag
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  • What's in Season: Cooking with Fava Beans

    Fava beans, also known as broad beans, grow in places as diverse as China and South America, but we associate them mostly with Mediterranean cuisine. These large, flat legumes, which resemble lima beans, grow in pods that are discarded unless the beans are especially young. Usually favas must be skinned as well as shelled; this is easy to do after they've been cooked briefly in boiling water and dropped into ice water. Fava beans work well in stews and thick purées, or can simply be steamed and eaten with salt and a squeeze of lemon.


    • When purchasing fresh fava beans, look for bright green pods that are free of yellow patches. Large beans are starchy and firm, while smaller ones are sweeter and more tender.
    • If you are buying shelled beans, make sure they are tender and have a smooth surface.
    • To store shelled fava beans, spread them out in a single layer and cover them loosely with plastic wrap for up to three days.
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