Festive Cocktails for Company
Making that first round of cocktails for a crowd of dinner guests can be a handful. Everyone (at least the polite ones) arrives at pretty much the same time and descends on the bar like a swarm of thirsty mosquitos. Having a batch of interesting, refreshing and, most importantly, made- ahead cocktails on hand can make this crush much more manageable and even more fun for the guests.
Griddle Cheeseburgers with Parsley-Shallot Butter
I’ve been tossing burgers on the grill for more years than I care to admit. Nothing wrong with that, but recently, I have started making an “indoor” burger that is a mean rival to the grilled one. It harkens back to the diner burger, that deliciously juicy patty cooked on a griddle that oozes with beefy flavor.
Key Lime Mousse
Let’s admit it. It’s hard not to love Key Lime pie. For all its touristy, clichéd connotations and its ubiquitous presence on Duval Street menus, this pie really can be amazingly good! We can argue until sunup about the right way to make it (that’s a discussion for another day), but almost all variations are pretty darn good in their own way if properly prepared with fresh ingredients. Rather than re-engage in debates about merengue, color, crusts and all that, how about we go a different way all together?
Boxing Day Sausage Rolls
The New York Times is an essential part of my day. I buy a printed copy every morning (yes, I’m still attached to paper) except Sunday, when I have it delivered directly to my steps so that I can read it in bed with a steaming cup of coffee. I particularly look forward to grabbing the Wednesday edition with its weekly Food section. The contributors to Food have become like familiar friends to me. It is indeed rare that I don’t learn something about cooking, restaurants, ingredients or books every week.
Fried Grouper Cheeks with Tartar Sauce
Key West has some of the richest fishing waters in the world. You couldn’t dream up a more perfect situation than ours – 130 miles out to sea, the warm, shallow Gulf of Mexico to our north, the surging gulfstream to our southeast and balmy tropical breezes blowing all year long. Something tasty is swimming nearby all year long! Sleek tuna and king mackerel are abundant in winter, while neon dolphin fish liven up the summer. The reef is teeming all year long with snapper, grouper, cobia and jacks. Our only problem is choosing how to cook this bonanza.