Blog Posts by Saveur

  • Cocktail of the Week: French 75

    Anna StockwellWhile sorting through books for an upcoming move, I came upon my husband's cache of Agatha Christie mysteries and have been devouring them all summer. My favorites were written during the 1920's and 1930s, a period that roughly coincides with the heyday of the cocktail. While Christie's characters aren't heavy drinkers, they do like their gin: pink gin, double gin, gin fizz. In The Murder at the Vicarage, the fussy Mrs. Ridley describes her reaction to hearing a gun shot: "Clara had to bring me a glass of damson gin!" And here's Tony Marston, pausing on his way to an island retreat in And Then There Were None: "Heaps of time! . . . He'd have a gin and ginger beer. Fizzing hot day!" Given his fate, poor Mr. Marston should have stayed for a second and missed his ferry to Indian Island.

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    No wonder I've been craving gin cocktails. While I've never met a gin drink I didn't like, it's the French 75 I turn to when I want something that's pretty to look at,

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  • MENU: An English Countryside Luncheon

    With the 2012 Summer Olympics around the corner, we've been giving some extra thought to the host country's cuisine. Little seems more emblematic of English food than traditional countryside fare. So while you may not have coveted tickets to the London games - or a summer cottage in the hills of Britain - you can still go on holiday with this menu for a pastoral English luncheon. These dishes are all best served cold, making them perfect for a garden buffet. A classic pork pie is great topped with a generous dollop of tangy mustard, while an onion and bacon tart compliments the earthy sweetness of chilled pea and basil soup. Poultry confit and figs tossed over peppery arugula round out the spread, best enjoyed with a cold English ale. And be sure to leave room for the summer pudding, studded with lush berries that lend the dessert a stunning red hue.

    The Menu

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  • Cocktail of the Week: Lemon Lavender Fizz

    Maxime IattoniWhen I think about lavender, rarely does it come up as anything more than a simple, pretty flower with a relaxing scent and therapeutic qualities. It's perfect for a luxurious bubble bath, and a beautiful pop of purple color to any garden. But this shrub's tendency to be grouped together with the other soap scents does a disservice to its culinary strength: a relative of the mint family that's not uncommon in Provençal cookery, lavender deserves a permanent place in your pantry.

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    The flower's light, dusky flavor makes for a spectacular infusion in simple syrup, a mixture that's a cinch to put together and which has quickly turned into one of my kitchen staples. Two of my favorite recipes include a refreshing lavender honey sorbet and rich and creamy lavender fudge. It's also perfect in a drink, particularly paired with a nice dry gin. While gin can be hit or miss with certain mixers, its juniper-scented undertones play off nicely

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  • Simple Weeknight Meals: Brick Chicken, and More

    Landon Nordeman Brick Chicken
    Using a weight (such as a brick or a few soup cans) to press down on a partially deboned chicken as it cooks in a skillet reduces cooking time and yields an especially juicy, crisp bird.
    SERVES 2

    1 3-4-lb. chicken, halved, backbone, ribcage, and thighbones removed
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 tbsp. canola oil
    1/3 cup chicken broth
    1 tbsp. lemon juice

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    1. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 10" skillet over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add the 2 chicken halves to skillet skin side down. Place another 10" skillet, right side up, on top of chicken and gently place a heavy brick or several soup cans in it (weight should be at least 20 pounds).

    2. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook chicken until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 18 minutes. Remove the top skillet and weight,

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  • Fresh Off the Grill Satay Skewers

    There's nothing more delicious than satay fresh off the grill, when the skewers of seasoned meats are hot, juicy, and infused with the flavor of smoldering charcoal. Though it's the ultimate southeast Asian snack, satay is believed to be a descendant of the kebabs that Middle Eastern merchants introduced to Java, in western Indonesia, in the eighth century. Local cooks adapted the dish to include indigenous ingredients, and in the centuries that followed, satay proliferated, resulting in countless regional variations.

    Todd Coleman Satay Kambing
    A sweet-and-sour marinade typifies this west Javanese-style satay.

    1 tbsp. tamarind paste
    1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
    2 tsp. peanut oil
    1½ tsp. ground coriander
    1½ tsp. ground turmeric
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    3 large shallots, chopped
    1 2" piece ginger, chopped
    1 lb. lamb shoulder, cut into 1"-wide, ¼"-thick slices

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  • MENU: An Afternoon at the State Fair

    Inspired by Jane and Michael Stern's article Fair and Square, we've combined classic state fair treats like crispy corn dogs and caramel apples with summer favorites like corn on the cob and slices of fresh watermelon, for a celebratory, eat-with-your-hands menu. Even if you won't make it out to a state fair this season, you can still get powdered sugar on your face while eating funnel cake in your own backyard! The Menu

    More About This Menu

    The root beer should be mixed ahead - how long it's left to ferment depends on the flavor you're looking for. After 2 days, it will taste strongly of molasses; at the end of 5, it will be milder and slightly alcoholic.

    The pickles can

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  • Laura's Mom's Chicken Salad

    The one dish in the entire world that fully captures for me what it was like to be a kid growing up in rural Virginia is chicken salad. Not shrimp and grits, not cornbread, not pulled pork or any of the other classic Southern foods at which the region excels - just a bowl of chicken tossed with mayonnaise, onions, and pickle relish. It's my mom's recipe, and she serves it at every opportunity: It's there at Christmas, it shares the table with the turkey at Thanksgiving, and no summer cookout is complete without it. I don't recall my first taste of it; it's just always been there.

    See 6 More Chicken Salad Recipes »

    I'd bring my mom's chicken salad with me to school in a zippered cooler, where other kids would beg fruitlessly for me to trade lunches. My friends would ask for it when they came over to my house. One particular friend loved it so much that she pleaded for weeks with her mother to get the recipe so she could have it at home. When our mothers finally spoke and

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  • Fettuccine with Heirloom Tomatoes

    RECIPE: Fettuccine with Heirloom Tomatoes
    The flavor of heirloom tomatoes takes center-stage in this divinely simple, summertime dish. Use good quality store-bought pasta for a quick weeknight meal, or take the dish to the next level with our step-by-step guide to making foolproof fettuccine from scratch.

    SERVES 6-8

    6 cups roughly chopped heirloom tomatoes
    1 cup halved heirloom cherry tomatoes
    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    15 basil leaves, thinly sliced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 package fettuccine
    Thinly shaved parmesan, for serving

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    1. Make the sauce: Combine tomatoes, oil, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl; cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to meld flavors.

    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, and add pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta and add to bowl of sauce; toss to

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  • Simple Weeknight Meals: Pasta with Sausage and Cheese, and More

    James Osland Pasta with Sausage and Cheese
    The simple combination of pork sausage, blue cheese, and fresh oregano add remarkable complexity to al dente pasta in this delicious dish.
    SERVES 2-4

    2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    6 oz. semi-cured Greek pork sausages or sweet Italian sausages, cut into 1" pieces
    Kosher salt, to taste
    8 oz. pasta, preferably garganelli or penne
    ½ cup white wine
    ½ oz. blue cheese, crumbled
    ¼ cup heavy cream
    ¼ cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
    ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    RELATED: What to do with Peaches, Plums, and Apricots »

    1. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, bring a 4-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Strain pasta, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid; set aside.

    3. Add wine to sausages and cook until reduced by

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  • Cocktail of the Week: Watermelon Spritz

    Maxime IattoniCentral Park was about as close as I ever got to the countryside as a kid. It was there that I enjoyed my first picnics, warm summer afternoons full of delicious, messy food- chief among them watermelon, which captured my imagination with its gargantuan size, its marbled rind, and its vibrant, seed-studded, sticky-sweet fruit. Still, it's been some time since I've actually considered hauling home one of the huge, heavy things, let alone bringing one to a picnic. So it was with with as much surprise as delight that I found myself buying a watermelon for the first time in years in order to make a pitcher of Watermelon Spritz, a gin-based cocktail from Santa Monica chef Jeff Mahin (it's called "The Merchant's Wife" on Mahin's menu) that takes its vibrant pink hue and subtle flavor from the melon's sweet juice.

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    The drink itself is sunny and rich: A bright mix of watermelon, Aperol, and lemon juice, topped with a splash of club soda for

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