Tag Archives: Flemington restaurant

Mint, White BBQ Sauce, & Summer Wine Classes

Magnificent Mint

Spearmint, Wikipedia

In my previous post I talked about lunching at Duke Farms. But I also took a class there, on the magic of mint. Here’s the link to my July 20 Princeton Packet report .

Since those of us who grow mint currently have too much, here are two of my favorite recipes that employ it in abundance (reprinted from that column):

CUCUMBER WITH FETA AND MINT
The Foods of Greece by Aglaia Kremezi

1 large cucumber, half-peeled in lengthwise strips to give striped appearance
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Wash and dry the cucumber and cut it into very thin crosswise slices. Place the slices in a salad bowl, sprinkling with the feta and mint. In a small bowl whisk the oil and lemon juice with the salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss thoroughly. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

SPAGHETTI WITH RICOTTA, MINT, & THYME
La Cucina Siciliana di Gangivecchio by Wanda & Giovanna Tornabene

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups drained ricotta*
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. While waiting for the water to boil, heat the olive oil and butter with the garlic cloves in a large skillet over low heat, stirring often. When the garlic cloves begin to turn golden, discard them and stir in the ricotta with a wooden spoon.
2. Add the tomato sauce, chopped mint, and chopped thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir 1-1/2 tablespoons of salt into the boiling water and add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente, stirring often.
4. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and add it, 1/4 cup at a time, to the pasta sauce, until the sauce is the desired consistency. Transfer the spaghetti, drained, to a serving bowl. Add 1 cup of the sauce and toss. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and toss well. Garnish the bowl with a little bouquet of fresh mint and thyme sprigs, and serve with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

*To drain ricotta: Wrap it in a double thickness of cheesecloth set it over a fine-mesh sieve suspended on the rim of a bowl. Refrigerate overnight and discard the liquid in the bowl.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce?

Just when I think I know all there is to know about regional barbecue styles, I come across this entry on serious eats about Alabama white bbq sauce. I haven’t tried it yet, but I can see how it would be fabulous. If you’re familiar with it, let me hear from you.

summer wine classes in flemington

A set up of Merlot wine tasting

A set up of Merlot wine tasting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If, like me, you’ve already spent all your summer vacation time and are looking for something fun to get you through the slog that is August, wine expert (and all-around nice guy) George Staikos of The Educated Grape has lined up three evening wine classes at 55 Main Restaurant, each featuring 6 wines and 3 dishes. You can sign up for individual sessions at $70 a pop or the series for $180.

Aficionados of Cab won’t want to miss the first one, on 7/31: The Great California Cabernet Vintages of the Last Twelve Years. For complete details on all classes visit The Educated Grape or phone George at 973.699.2199.