Today’s cocktail post was inspired by a question on Twitter asking for a good Bloody Mary recipe, and it is indeed a good topic because they are often so mediocre. And it’s not the vodka’s fault this time. It’s rather that the Bloody Mary is carelessly prepared, a fault I am guilty of, especially on a crapulous Sunday morning. So herewith a more thoughtful and refined Bloody Mary worthy of being called a cocktail. The key is fresh tomato juice. V-8 vegetable juice or canned tomato juice is heavy and thick and obscures the other ingredients (which is why many prefer Clamato juice, for a “Bloody Caesar,” a choice I encourage). Now that we have an abundance of huge overripe tomatoes, it’s the perfect time to make your own juice. You want the fiber, but Read On »

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That 30 cases of salmonella have been reported in 18 states is, of course, troubling (HuffPo story here). I buy bottled stuff—mustard, mayo, ketchup, hoisin, etc.—and feed it to my kids. But the salmonella—have they isolated its source?—makes it an an opportune time to encourage people to make their own peanut butter. Why? It tastes better, it’s easy to make if you have a food processor, and it won’t have nasty bugs that can make your kids sick. And, it’s cheaper by far than buying commercial. At my local Asian grocery, a five-pound bag of peanuts costs me $9.99. A pound of peanuts ($2) will yield a little more than a pound of peanut butter, less than half what you’ll pay for decent peanut butter (Smucker’s All-Natural costs $4.83 at my local store and a whopping $11.66 from Read On »

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Some cocktails seem worthy of making based on the name alone, regardless of what’s in them. Since reading that there was a cocktail called a Sidecar 20 years ago, I’ve wanted to make one. But the brandy threw me off. Brandy is an after-dinner sipper, not a mixer. And if it’s just brandy, rather than Cognac, why bother at all? And if it is Cognac, why mix it? But damned if the Sidecar didn’t keep itchin’ at my heart, wanting to be scratched. I loved it for its simplicity, 2 parts brandy, 1 part orange liqueur (such as Cointreau), 1 part lemon juice (which seemed like a lot of lemon—¼ lemon juice). I happened to be shopping at a good independent grocery store here in Cleveland called Heinen’s, and they had a basket of Meyer Read On »

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Just when I was back home I thought, I’m off again, in NYC and up to no good if I run into Chef Pardus. But while I was home, I noticed sadly that the corn was getting fatter. Now is the time for baked corn, an easy and delicious way to make use of the abundant fat corn that we’re getting now. Delicious with salted tomatoes. That and a crunchy baguette are all you need. Tomorrow, another multiple repost, but it’s one that was created because so many asked for it. Also, check back next week for a special offer and giveaway from my favorite cookware company. I mean, seriously, the best cookware made on the planet, period. Feel free to guess—who knows, the company might reward you. Humor welcome! Back next week. —M.R. Originally Read On »

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Mark Bittman shares his recipe for shortbread cookies, which are a true classic, via NYT.

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