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Archive for July, 2010

Make sure to access the address http://www.doubletherecipe.com without .wordpress.com in the website title.

www.doubletherecipe.com

All previous posts will still remain archived here for reference.

Thanks!

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Look at those wriggingly fresh mopani worms plucked right from a tree in the African bush. (Photograph by Marius Coetzee; Check out more of his stunning wildlife photography at: www.mariuscoetzeeafricanphotography.blogspot.com/. )

When I asked my South African friends to suggest a recipe I might share on the blog I had no idea I would have to eat worms not once, but TWICE! For some Africans mopani worms (really more like caterpillars since they turn into butterflies) are a delicacy, for others they are a common, tasty nosh, especially yummy during a night of drinking. My friend Sam told me I would love them.

Here are the worms in dehydrated form. First the gooshy centers are squeezed out, then the carcass is salted and dried. The crunchy buggers have a briney and musty taste. After the flavor dissipates, you are left with a sensation that I imagine is very similar to chewing bark.

Dried mopani worms go best with World Cup viewing and cold beer, preferably Castle.

Mopani worms are more than bar food: Sam says the most delectable way to eat them is rehydrated and flavored with tomatoes and chiles.

While rehydrating the worms in a cup of boiling water, saute onions, chiles and tomatoes in olive oil.

Let those worms plump up while the tomato mixture softens.

Add the tomato mixture to the worms and stir.

Cooked, the worms are more flavorful and meaty – the rehydration process plumps them up a lot. Still, you’ve got to love to gnaw if you go for mopani worms.

You only live once!

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Years ago, during a stay in London, I had a memorable meal at Roast, which overlooks Bourough Market, the foodie mecca of farmers’ market stalls and specialty food and drink vendors.

Leaving Roast, I spied a chalkboard sign advertising chorizo, rocket (arugula) and paquillo pepper sandwiches. The stand was closed but I did not forget the craving that sign ignited in my traveler’s belly.

This week I was again in London and on the trail of that sandwich, which had since achieved Oz-like status in my memory: Does the sandwich actually exist? Did I dream this sandwich?

My quest landed me back at Bourough Market where, after a few laps through the stalls, looking for people with smiles on their faces and chorizo grease on their brows, I had yet to rediscover the sandwich of my fantasy. Until, in another’s grip, I spotted what looked pretty close to the image concocted in my mind and pled, “Where did you get that sandwich?”

It was wonderful. Maybe I will call this the London Traveler’s Sandwich, close cousin to the Hitchhiker Sandwich.

LONDON TRAVELER’S SANDWICH

Make a sandwich out of:

1) Two slices of grilled ciabatta  or ciabatta-like bread, drizzled with olive oil.

2) One or two spicy andouille sausage(s) cut in half and grilled well. *A note about the sausage: The chorizo used in the Bourough Market original is neither the soft Mexican nor the hard Spanish variety. After consulting with a master of flavor and good judgment, my Uncle David, I offer his suggestion to substitute andouille sausage. It will give the right consistency and spice.

3) Arugula

4) Roasted Red Peppers

I guarantee this is a great alternative to typical grilling fare this summer. Beach, picnic, backyard, cricket tourney. Yes, please. And not bad with a batch of Erin’s refreshing drink suggestions. Not bad at all.

Some scenes from Bourough Market….

EAT HERE:

St. John Bar and Restaurant

Fergus Henderson’s nose-to-tail dining temple promises you a great meal. The space is a one-time smokehouse, turned Marxism Today headquarters, turned hip bar/bakery/restaurant.

What else can you ask for?: A lively, inviting place to linger over a delicious meal. And shhhhhh!!!!…I spied my favorite, favorite, favorite film director dining and doodling on his paper tablecloth.

Don’t Miss –

Roast Bone Marrow with Parsley Salad

Braised Rabbit

Madeleines baked to order and served warm from the oven. Heaven.

Take-away madeleines make a great midnight snack.


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Refreshing drinks for all this summer, says I.

Peach Basil Sangria Anti-Recipe

Many years ago my dear friend Ashton came to visit and I had made a batch of sangria the night before to have on hand for the weary travelers when they arrived. It, and the vodka filled watermelon were a hit. A year or so later Ashton called to ask what my recipe was… Truly I didn’t know how to respond because it’s such a nebulous thing. I recall sending him a few sample recipes and telling him to piece it together himself. (Nice friend, huh?) Well, Ashton found his was around the sangria and is now quite the expert.
When we were on the same side of the country a few months ago we worked side by side in the kitchen throwing together a batch for a last-minute party we didn’t even need to speak, we both just threw our things into the mix. We’re in tune like that. Today I called him to ask him a question about “his” sangria and he just laughed… Sounds like his has become as nebulous as mine. Yours will be soon too but this is a good place to start.

2 bottles white wine, ideally not chardonnay (but in a pinch, it works)
1/2 cup peach liqueur (Pallini Peachcello White Peach Liqueur is delicious)
3 peaches, sliced
2 limes, sliced
1 orange, sliced
15 cherries, halved (or blackberries, whole)
1 bunch opal basil leaves
Champagne, prosecco or Sprite

Mix first seven ingredients in a large pitcher and refrigerate 4 hours, or better overnight. Pour into glasses, scooping fruit into each, top each glass off with a splash of bubbly to taste.

Hoping for Clear Skies Mint Tea

The myth about southern California is that it is always sunny and warm. The truth is that it is full of microclimates that cover the map like a gradient from coastal areas to low desert up to high deserts and mountains. When the rest of the country is really getting the feel of spring and getting ready to kick off the summer it’s common for a marine layer to nestle itself comfortably over the coastal areas like fluffy down comforter. And there it sits. For the better part of May/June/July the sun can be non-existant in the mornings and scarce in the afternoons, the temperature hovering in the 60’s. (Ironically, with each mile you travel away from the coast it gets progressively more sunny and warmer.) On these gray mornings, I like a cup of tea that reminds me of what’s happening outside all those clouds- the sun is shining and growing beautiful things all around us.
When we travel to Chile our friends always serve a sprig of fresh mint with a pot of hot water for those that are not partaking in coffee. It’s bright, refreshing and comforting. Great for unseasonably cool temperatures. Also delicious chilled over ice for those sweating it out these days.

Place 1 sprig washed mint (any varietal) into a mug and cover with boiling water. Breathe deeply while steeping for five minutes.

Rosemary Makes Great Lemonade

If, say, you happened to have squeezed twenty pounds of lemons this spring and frozen the juice you might be looking for something to do with it about now.

1 cup sugar (or 3/4 cup agave nectar)
2 cups boiling water
3 sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish
2 cups lemon juice
sparkling water

Place sugar in heat-proof container with rosemary. Pour hot water over and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to rest until cool. Mix in lemon juice, strain if you like. This is your base, when ready to serve, fill glass with ice and pour 2/3 cup lemon mixture over, top off with 1/3 cup sparkling water. Vodka would not be amiss here.

Cheers all!

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This holiday try a switcheroo:
Trade out some beef based burgers for a nice meaty portobello (it will not make you smell like a hippie, I swear). Some of you have seen this trick already, but I’m telling you, Bello Burgers are back. Well, I think they should be anyway.

Just remove stem, brush with olive oil/salt/pepper and grill as you would its bovine based counterpart. Place on toasted bun with your best toppings and condiments. Be sure to toast or grill that bun, it is happiness.
Nutritionally it’s so guilt free that you can splurge on extra potato salad. Emotionally it has that nice chew you’re used to and luscious juices to soak into the bun and maybe dribble down your chin.
But the main attraction, really, is what’s on top, right?
Of late, I’ve been addicted to roasted red pepper with goat cheese and pesto. However, this holiday may warrant grilled onion, blue cheese and barbeque sauce… Or heirloom tomato, fontina and a drizzle of aged basalmic? One of each, please.

P.S. If you’re tight on grill space just throw these on for a few minutes, gill side up and then transfer to a warm oven to keep warm.

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