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Food & Spirits

Francesca Moisin

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Glorious FOOD Stuffed zucchini flowers with truffles SERVES 6

1 pound wild mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed

2 egg yolks

1 lemon, juiced

6 zucchini flowers with zucchini attached

1 tablespoon, plus 1 cup, unsalted butter

6 small truffles (about 1 ⁄2 ounce each)

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 pound fresh young spinach leaves, cleaned and stemmed

1 teaspoon minced garlic Salt and pepper

fresh chervil sprigs, for garnish


⁄4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, heavy cream

• In a food processor, finely chop mushrooms. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. • In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter; sauté shallots and garlic. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper; sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Drain mushrooms, but reserve the liquid. Place mushrooms in another saucepan and cook over high heat until all excess moisture has evaporated. • Combine cream and yolks and mix until blended, then whisk this mixture into the mushrooms; let cook over high heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. • Gently open the petals of each blossom and fill the centers with 1⁄2 tablespoon of mushroom mixture. Nestle

More than mere

a truffle in each center and carefully close the petals. Place zucchini on the wire rack that fits over a shallow


sauté pan. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. • Pour water about halfway up the pan and bring to a boil, then place covered zucchini rack on top of the pan, steaming for 15 minutes or until zucchini is fork-tender. • In a small sauté pan, reduce reserved mushroom



liquid to 2 tablespoons. Cube remaining butter and whisk into mushroom liquid. Season with salt and pepper.

rankly, they look unappetizing: wrinkled, warty

• Spread spinach leaves on a platter. Place zucchinis on top

and knobby. Yet if beauty is only skin deep, so is

and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with chervil sprigs.

its opposite—truffles are among the world’s most coveted foods. Both the black and the white truffle typically command $3,000 to $5,200 per pound—

Truffle-friendly wines

though last December a man paid $330,000 for just

Wondering what vintage to drink

one of these delicacies. Perhaps it’s their elusiveness

while savoring a truffle? Michel

that makes them so seductive. Truffles are finicky

Couvreux, who as head sommelier

fungi, sprouting under the soil in hot, dry climates

for New York’s Cru restaurant over-

and near the roots of only certain trees: oak, beech,

sees an impressive 65,000-bottle wine

hazel and poplar. Should you come to possess such a prize, wash it thoroughly and pat it dry with a paper towel, as the entire pod will be used unpeeled. The flavor is intense—just a few hair-fine shavings can season soup, soufflés, pasta, rice, chicken and sauces. Any way you slice them, truffles are treasures. ■ 68


APRIL 2008

list, offers these suggestions:

Hermitage, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave 1983; $250 (Rhone Valley, France)

Clos de la Roche, Domaine Dujac 1989; $700 (Burgundy, France)

Rioja, Lopez de Heredia “Tondonia” 1978; $125 (Rioja, Spain)

Gevrey Chambertin, Domaine Bachelet 2001; $65 (Burgundy, France)

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wine + sPiriTs

GoinG Greek?

Tim Vlahopou los, beverage director Taverna in Tenafly, recommends these at Axia time you’re looking to try the wines bottles next of Greece. · red · 2006 PAliVou VineyA AGiorG iTiko-s AinT GeorGe rds , nemeA ($16) 2008 Thimio Poulos XinomA Vro Gi kAi ourAn os, nAousA ($21) 2008 TsAnTA li moschomAVr o, mAced oniA ($14) · white · 2011 domAin e siGAlAs AssyrT iko, sAnTor ini ($18) 2011 domAin e TselePo s mAnTin moschofilero, PeloPo nnese iA ($17) 2011 kir-yiA nni PeTrA rodiTis , Amyndeon ($13)

Wine’s ancient homel and offers enticing pours once more Long before the creation of

french bordeaux or napa sauvignon, greece was deeply devoted to the worship of dionysus, the god of wine. “Wine has been an integral part of hellenic culture for more than 4,000 years,” says oenologist sofia perpera, director of the greek Wine bureau’s north american operations and founder of the consulting company all about greek Wine. “greece was the first to develop an appellation system to define grape-growing regions, and records show severe penalties for breaking those rules.” elegant decanting vessels discovered by archaeologists further attest to the level of wine sophistication this society enjoyed. in fact, it was the greeks who introduced viticulture to southern france, italy and spain. despite this venerable vino history, greece is a relative newcomer to prominence in the modern commercial wine world. “most wineries are family-owned


april 2013


and three to four generations old,” explains perpera. but change abounds. the country’s 1981 european union entry marked an industry milestone, as eu subsidies gave growers access to contemporary vinification technology. today’s greek vineyards support more than 300 indigenous grape varieties, some of which have been cultivated since antiquity. there are seven major winemaking regions—northern greece (including thrace, macedonia and epirus), central greece, attica (which includes athens), the peloponnese, crete and the aegean and ionian islands—yet they all have something in common. “in greece, wine is meant as a complement to food,” says perpera. “less manipulation and lower alcohol levels create elegant varietals that pair well with most cuisines.” eager to start sampling? here are some of the most popular grapes:

Whites santorini’s volcanic island soil yields the crop that’s high in sugar and acidity, making for dry, full-bodied bottles with citrus notes and subtle mineral tang. malagousia: nearly extinct in the ’70s, the plantings now flourish in central greece. on the palate this wine exhibits peach, basil and green bell pepper flavors. moscHoFilEro: crisply spicy whites made from this peloponnesian fruit perfectly complement seafood dishes. savaTiano: the most widely planted grape in greece. drought-resistant, it’s found mainly near athens, producing balanced blends that match with mediterranean dishes. —Francesca Moisin assyrTiko:


The grapes of greece

reds agiorgiTiko: this one is grown in the gorgeous nemea region of the peloponnese, and its name means “grape of saint george.” it’s one of two common heatresistant varieties, producing luscious, velvety reds. Xinomavro: the other temperatureresilient planting, this “acid black” grape is cultivated mainly in macedonia. rich tannic qualities ensure ideal aging, while aromas of gooseberry, olives and sun-dried tomatoes encourage quick consumption. koTsiFali: the benchmark red of crete, it’s often blended with other varietals to intensify aromas of flowers and black fruit. limnio: this northern greek berry is moderate in color and acidity and light to drink.

wine + spirits The Big CounTry iCed Tea aT rIvEr PaLm TErracE, EdgEwaTEr

Still reveling in the sparkle of the new Year? a Prosecco floater imparts merry fizz to this black-tea cocktail. “It’s refreshing, as opposed to super-sweet,” explains bartender angela russo. “and because tea is made with water, it doesn’t dehydrate you as much as other alcoholic mixed drinks.” IngrEdIEnTs 3 oz. black tea 2 oz. citrus-flavored vodka

¾ oz. triple sec ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice ¼ oz. Prosecco 1 lemon, cut into wheels

brew tea and chill until it’s cold. combine vodka, triple sec, lemon juice and tea in a shaker over ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a mason jar or eight-ounce glass. Finish with Prosecco, and garnish with a lemon wheel.

The Shanghai Tea aT chakra, Paramus

before jasmine tea even makes an appearance in this drink, sweet vermouth is first boiled with cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Then the vermouth is combined with cognac, Pama pomegranate liqueur and fresh lime juice—along with the tea—and the mixture is shaken with ice and served in a hurricane glass.

The Spring Fling aT Park wEsT TavErn, rIdgEwood

green tea–infused simple syrup meets Hendrick’s gin, resulting in a happy citrus union heightened by lavender bitters. The perfect way to sip this refreshing vernal offering? In a glass over one large cube of ice.

The l aTesT libaTion fad? CoCk Tails ThaT are infused wiTh Tea

STep aSide, eSpreSSo marTini. Today’S hoTTeST CoCkTailS aren’t concocted with coffee—they’re infused with tea. and why not? after water, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world, reports the national Tea association. many love its antioxidant properties, or the fact that tea’s natural flavonoids are thought to lower the risk of certain cancers and combat cardiovascular disease. americans alone gulped more than 65 billion servings of the brew last year, a number sure to skyrocket now that mixologists know it blends with so much more than breakfast scones. “From citrus notes to floral aromas, tea’s many subtle flavors marry beautifully with a wide variety of spirits,” says andrew mcIntosh, bartender at Park West Tavern in ridgewood. Indeed, as tea takes its rightful place beside orange juice, club soda and other beloved mixers, “tipsy” teas can be sampled at several local haunts:


march 2013


made famous by the eponymous golf guru, this reinterpretation of the classic iced tea and lemonade mixes earl grey, Stoli vodka, club soda and bitters. Legend has it that the potent potion may actually improve your swing, which may be why it’s often enjoyed (pardon us) at tee time. (bonus tip: If you’re feeling inspired, grab a virgin arnold Palmer bottle, available year-round at Iron Horse in Westwood, and stir it with the spirits of your choice.)

The ChimonaS aT axIa TavErna, TEnaFLy

bearing the greek word for winter as its name, this drink is served hot, like a toddy. Its combo of fragrant cinnamon-scented Tentura liqueur, b&b (a blend of bénédictine liqueur and French brandy) and soothing honey makes it the perfect antidote to a cold day. —Francesca Moisin

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The arnold palmer aT BonEFIsh grILL, Paramus

Francesca Moisin Portfolio-Food & Spirits  

Francesca Moisin Portfolio-Food & Spirits