Melon Baller: Jim Meehan's Take on a Watermelon Margarita

 

I like the idea of a watermelon margarita. But you can't really substitute watermelon for lime juice—it just doesn't have that acidity. And sure, you could add watermelon on top of the lime juice, but to me, that's kind of like making a banana daiquiri. Is it a tasty drink? Sure. But should you do it? Out of principle, probably not. Also there's the issue of strength. People tend to think of the margarita as a light and refreshing drink, but between the tequila and tripe sec, your typical margarita can be stronger than a Manhattan. So I like the idea of adding tequila to something traditional and quite light, like aguas frescas. These are the natural sodas of Mexico, typically made with watermelon, hibiscus, or tamarind. I operate on the "what grows together, goes together" principle, so adding tequila to a traditional Mexican beverage just makes sense.

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On the Menu: Week of August 24

 

Here’s what’s coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:

 

Monday, August 24, 7:00 P.M.

Virginia Beach Bash

With its endless beaches, idyllic national parks, and abundance of fresh seafood, it’s no surprise that Virginia Beach attracts visitors in droves. Indulge in vacation luxury with a feast curated by the team at Zoës Steak & Seafood, a regional institution dedicated to highlighting the state’s decadent seasonal and sustainable offerings.

 

Tuesday, August 25, 7:00 P.M.

New Appalachian

This special Beard House dinner is a celebration of the often less-traveled culinary terrain of Appalachia. Anne and Richard Arbaugh, whose South Hills Market and Café is a West Virginia gem, will present a menu that features their at once modern and highly personal take on their re... Read more >

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Sustainability Matters: August 21, 2015

 

Oyster week education: learn how your favorite bivalves benefit our shoreline. [Edible Brooklyn]

 

Celebrated Seattle chef Renee Erickson talks climate change, sustainable seafood species, and ocean acidification. [Grist]

 

It’s time to give your organic fruits and vegetables a second rinse: they could be covered with fracking wastewater. [Mother Jones]

 

Rising amounts of organic foods are being recalled because of bacterial contamination. [... Read more >

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Waste-Less Recipe: Amanda Cohen's Beet Greens Pesto

 

Our latest mantra: think before you toss! Chances are you can stretch your market haul into many more meals by just reimagining items you’d normally chuck in the trash (or, for bonus points, compost). Here, vegetable maven Amanda Cohen of New York City's acclaimed Dirt Candy recommends combining the oft-discarded beet greens (rich in vitamins A, C, and folate) and addictive pistachios into a rich, vibrant pesto. This simple, delicious recipe makes creative use of a kitchen staple you’re probably already buying, and in turn, does wonders for your wallet—and the environment.

 

Get the recipe.

 

We're focusing on solutions to fight food waste all mon... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Remembering James Beard

 

 

August is coming to an end, and the first day of school is right around the corner, but we still have one last outdoor holiday to look forward to. Labor Day usually means one final hurrah with the family: backyard barbecues, picnics, beach trips, and grilling—lots of grilling. This Throwback Thursday we’re sharing some of our favorite James Beard quotes that demonstrate our namesake’s love for summer foods, the great outdoors, and the art of entertaining in any environment. 


“I love a casual picnic just as much as, or even more than, an elaborate gastronomic delight.” (Beard on Food, p.264)

 

“Arrangement is one of the secrets of a perfect composed salad. There should be a blend of colors, tastes, and textures. The ingredients should be attractively cut and the salad beautifully arranged on a large platter or in a bowl so that it becomes almost a centerpiece for the table.” (Beard on Bread, p.332)

 

“In recent years all America h... Read more >

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What We're Reading: August 20, 2015

 

Sweet, creamy, and tropical: devour this winning coconut cream pie recipe at home. [Food 52]

 

Politics aside, Myanmar offers a wide range of native delicacies. [NYT]

 

Vikings bravely paved culinary roads before us, one glass of bjorr at a time. [MUNCHIES]

 

Fast and cheap: brew your own lip-puckering sour beer at home. [Serious Eats]

 

Say hello to oocha: the mellower younger sister of matcha. [... Read more >

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Stems and Shells: Cooking with the Whole Vegetable

 

With "nose-to-tail" flying around the culinary scene like a swarm of bees, it was only a matter of time until the ethos of full, purposeful utilization made its way into the world of vegetable scraps. In this series, Tasting Table talks to food experts who are treating former cast-offs like broccoli stems, potato peels, or cabbage cores as ingredients to be cherished.

 

Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot are the married brains behind Ideas in Food, a combination blog, workshop, consulting firm, and all-around culinary brain trust that serves as a point of inspiration for many professional chefs. Their approach involves taking a second look as a starting point and seeing what others take for granted as an opportunity to explore new avenues in the kitchen. Can we do it better? Can we create b... Read more >

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Test Your Eat-Q: Food Waste

Reduce, reuse, and recycle your conservation knowledge with this food waste quiz!

 

 

 

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We're focusing on solutions to fight food waste all month long! Get the full coverage here​​

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What We're Reading: August 19, 2015

 

Momma’s boys (and girls): the love-hate relationship between bakers and their starters. [Serious Eats

 

Behind the scenes at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where JBF Award winner Dan Barber has made eradicating food waste his delicious mission. [The Takeaway

 

Agent orange powder: you have the U.S. military to thank for all those bags of Cheetos. [Wired

 

New science suggests we shouldn’t fixate on cutting down on fat, carbs, or any other single macronutrient. [... Read more >

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Eat This Word: ‘Nduja

 

WHAT? Nestled at the “toe of the boot,” Calabria, Italy, is surrounded by crystal clear water and blanketed with rocky coasts, sandy beaches, and copious amounts of local agriculture. While Calabria has long been notorious for the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, it’s also the birthplace of ‘nduja: a spicy, spreadable salami, made with ground pork and red Calabrian chile peppers. Originating from a tiny village named Spilinga, the pigs destined for 'nduja are raised in a summery climate, and fed a diet of mostly acorns, grains, chestnuts, beets, and pumpkins. The time-honored process of making ‘nduja, one of the region's most cherished foods, begins with mixing the hand-ground pork trimmings together with salt and the chile peppers, and then kneading the combination into a smooth paste. The pork is then stuffed into a natural casing, briefly smoked, and then aged for months.  
 

‘Nduja tends to be on the spicy side, so combine it with a spoonful of ricotta cheese for a milder bite. This spreadab... Read more >

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