Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Rebecca Albright of Ted’s Bulletin (Part 2)


Montgomery Pie
Courtesy of Rebecca Albright/Linda Roth Associates

As that chill in the air grows, there’s one thing I’m always up for baking: pie. It’s comforting, rarely complicated and the smell of spiced fillings permeates my apartment with a delightfully sweet scent.

And what better recipe to have as we near the holidays than a recipe for a gingerbread pie. Pastry chef Rebecca Albright of Ted’s Bulletin shares her recipe for Montgomery Pie. Check out the recipe after the jump.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Ann Cashion of Johnny’s Half Shell (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Scallops with beets at Johnny’s Half Shell
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

We’ve done a a couple of scallops recipes on here by now, all ranging in difficulty. I’ve come to find that chefs in this town are really into scallops recipes for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because scallops are versatile, maybe it’s because the home cook can make them with minimal effort but still look fancy.

This recipe for scallops with bacon, roasted beets and a rice wine vinaigrette from Ann Cashion is completely accessible. The bacon adds a nice smokey flavor, and the beets in season right now are pleasantly sweet. That should count for something extra coming from someone that doesn’t think of herself as a big beets fan. Plus, the fried ginger slices and fried red onions for garnish make the dish stand out more. I had never had fried ginger before trying this dish and now I could see myself going hog wild with it as a garnish. It’s got that really nice bite to it.

After the jump you’ll find the full recipe. Enjoy.

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Ann Cashion making vinaigrette
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: Imperial Stout

Photo courtesy of keith_and_kasia
Grandfather Raven Imperial Stout
courtesy of keith_and_kasia

The British are not the only ones to fall in love with the Stout. The Russians went crazy for the black British brew as well.  The problem, as the Czarists soon realized, was that the dark beer didn’t travel well.  Luckily for the Russians, the British had experienced this problem before, in shipping ale to quench the growing British population in India.  The British discovered that in order to allow ale to survive the long journey to India, the solution was to increase the preservative qualities of the alcohol and hop content of the ale, thus creating the Indian Pale Ale style.  The British applied this same technique to satisfy the growing Stout fan base in Russia.  The result was a thicker, hoppier, more potent style of Stout referred to as Imperial Stout, or Russian Stout.

In general, Stouts (particularly Dry Stouts) possess dark color and a light body with low alcohol content and hop presence.  To help the Stout endure the voyage from London to Moscow, British brewers capitalized on the bacteria-killing characteristics of alcohol and hops.  To achieve this, the quantities of malt and hops were increased from the standard Stout recipe to raise the amount of fermentable sugars and hop presence in the final product.  The Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of Imperial Stouts can range between 8% and 12% as compared to 4% to 5% ABV of the average Dry Stout.  The increased specific gravity from the additional malt gives the Imperial Stout a thicker mouthfeel.  Hop flavor and aroma, which is often barely detectable in Dry Stouts, has a relatively high presence in an Imperial Stout.

Imperial Stouts are essentially Dry Stouts with an increased specific gravity and more hops.  Similar to Dry Stout brewing, when creating your own batch of Imperial Stout from extract it is best to use light malt extract and focus on the specialty grains to give the brew its dark color and roasty flavor.  Use around nine pounds of malt extract as the base.  This increase in fermentable sugars will yield the higher ABV percentage.  The specialty grains are similar to those used other Stout varieties such as the dark varieties of crystal and caramel malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, and black malt.  These specialty grains will produce a nice opaque, dark color and add roasty flavor.

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: $12 (or so) Cream Ale

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Brewing Cream Ale
courtesy of timomcd

This is another in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of RealHomebrew.com. Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.

I wrote about cream ale before. It is a good beer for the coming summer, light and refreshing, not too bitter, and easy-drinking – a perfect companion to while away the time with as you enjoy the evening whir of insects or traffic, whichever is more pervasive in your neighborhood.

The American Homebrewers Association recently had what they call $12 Cream Ale as a homebrew recipe of the week. I just about howled at the moon, I was so excited. $12 for a whole batch of beer? Sign me up! It sounded almost too good to be true. I looked at the recipe, and I am sure it would produce a fine brew, but the only way this is a $12 recipe is if you get half the stuff for free. The grain alone, 11 pounds of it, will cost nearly $2 per pound at Northern Brewer. Even if you buy a giant sack of it at 50 Pound Sack, it is slightly more than $1 per pound. That’s almost $12 right there.

Maybe if you are buying in bulk at wholesale prices, you can get down to almost $12. I priced it at my local-ish homebrew store (yes, they ship too, and have great prices, as does Derek at My Local Homebrew Shop) and it is a little more than $30 before tax. Northern Brewer could get me everything for more than $40. Even if I malted my own regular supermarket barley, that is $1 per pound at the cheapest. No way this whole brew is $12.

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: Dry Stout Recipe

Photo courtesy of Bernt Rostad
Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel
courtesy of Bernt Rostad

This is another in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of RealHomebrew.com. Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.

If you are like me and are a big Guinness fan, you may have toyed with the idea of trying to craft your own black brew. If you have, then good news: stouts are easy! This homebrew recipe is exactly what you are looking for.

Stouts are mostly associated with England and Ireland and are offshoots of Porters. As Porter styles evolved, the thicker and more robust Porters began to be referred to as “Stout Porters.” Eventually, the Stout developed into its own style and gained a devoted following.

In general, Stouts are very dark to black in color and have a roasty flavor. The hop flavor and aroma are minimal, though there are a few style exceptions with a pronounced hop presence such as the Imperial or Russian Stout. Stout styles can range from dry to sweet, relatively low to high alcohol content, vary from light to heavy bodied, and may have a hint of fruity esters.

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: American Cream Ale

Photo courtesy of Kevin H.
Liquid Light and Gold
courtesy of Kevin H.

This is another in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of RealHomebrew.com. Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.

I recently decided to try a homebrew recipe for American cream ale. It reminded me of a guy I worked with who would walk from desk to desk in the office every afternoon and say, “It’s almost Genny time,” humorously referring to Genesee Cream Ale. Bob was fun to drink with. He was an older guy and naturally charming to everyone he met. He also had a penchant for drinking out of ten-ounce glasses, which I found interesting, if odd. “Give me a shorty,” he would tell the bartender.

Bob drank Genesee quite often and I drank it with him on occasion, so this beer kit I bought is more about reminiscing than it is about the particular style. Even if it is not my favorite, Genesee is an American original.

This style is light and slightly malty, not very bitter at all. It is an easy-drinking beer but has a good amount of alcohol, measuring in probably between five and six percent. That is a little high for what you might call a session beer, but not terribly so. I can imagine knocking out a couple of these with Hank Hill and the boys. A slight sweetness comes from the corn sugar, but the sugar is really there to boost the alcohol, so you get to taste what the hungry yeast cells never got to before they gave up the ghost. Continue reading

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Billy Klein of Café Saint-Ex (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Udon Carbonara at Cafe Saint-Ex
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

A good pasta carbonara separates the strong from the weak, the great from the average. Master that dish and you can certainly wow some dinner guests. The carbonara from Café Saint-Ex’s executive chef, Billy Klein, uses udon noodles and fresh pea shoots for a slightly different spin. The result? A pasta dish that remains light and fresh, even with a creamy sauce.

I can’t make any guarantees that yours will turn out as good as it does at Café Saint-Ex, so if I were you I’d head there first to check out the original with what was the best pork belly I’ve ever had (not an exaggeration)—crisp on the outside and not a bit of grizzly fat on the inside. And while you’re there the rest of this month, check out some of Billy’s creations for National Grilled Cheese month (read: grilled cheese on “potato bread”–gooey cheddar cheese and bacon in between slices of potatoes or the brioche encrusted with Fruity Pebbles and melted brie inside).

The full recipe, broken down by parts (roll up your sleeves and get ready for a little challenge!), is after the jump.

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Food and Drink, Homebrewing, The Features

Homebrew DC: Kölsch, Springtime’s True Delight

Photo courtesy of ilovebutter
Adding the hops
courtesy of ilovebutter

This is the second in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of RealHomebrew.com. Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.

Now that springtime is upon us, it’s time to start drinking like it. I brought this beer to fellow We Love DC authors Tom and Tiff’s house recently for a barbecue and it was met with a standing ovation. Well, most people were standing anyway, and truthfully there was no real ovation, but people expressed their desire to have more by, well, having more. Another almost-empty keg…

A Kölsch is an ale that is light, crisp, and great to drink. I think of a kölsch as a great springtime drink, cool and refreshing, clear, malty, and with a definite but not overpowering hoppy flavor. This is a pretty simple homebrew recipe, using some grains, but relying mostly on malt extracts. It’ll make you the popular house on the block on those warm spring nights. Continue reading

Alexandria, Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Tony Chittum of Vermilion (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Brussels Sprouts Salad at Vermilion
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Move over, quinoa. Sayonara, root vegetables of winter. This bright salad recipe from chef Tony Chittum combines the sweet flavors of apples and dates, with the savory notes from blue cheese, farro, walnuts and brussels sprouts. It’s a simple and straight forward recipe, but elegant and filling. Click through for the full recipe.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Ari Gejdenson of Acqua al 2 (Part 2)

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Pasta with beef ragu at Acqua al 2
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Clearly I’ve been on a bit of an Italian food kick lately. As well as a ragu binge. But is there anything better than a huge, warm pot of zesty, savory tomato sauce cooking away while it’s cold outside? Chef Ari Gejdenson’s recipe for beef ragu at Acqua al 2 is simple and delicious. Click through for the full recipe.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, Penn Quarter, The Features

Capital Chefs: Fabio Trabocchi of Fiola (Part 2)

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Tuscan Tomato Soup & Buffalo Mozzarella Toast at Fiola
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Put down the Kraft singles. Step away from the cheese whiz or whatever else you’re holding in your hand. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is about to be taken to a whole new level. Fiola style. And in this frigid weather as of late, this hearty soup and sandwich will keep you warm and your belly full.

For Fabio Trabocchi, the chef and mastermind behind Fiola, he says “there’s a lot to learn from what a kid likes,” and occasionally uses it as inspiration in the kitchen. In this dish, Trabocchi takes a childhood classic and makes a grownup version that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Click through for the full recipe and here for more pictures.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, Penn Quarter, The Features

Capital Chefs: Mike Isabella of Graffiato (Part 2)

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Mike Isabella’s Pork and Beans
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Pork belly, the stuff of Gods. And if you’ve had the delectable version at Graffiato, you know exactly what I’m talking about–melt in your mouth pork with that nice seared, caramelized outer edge, complimented by a roughly pureed bed of cannelini beans. Chef Mike Isabella shared the recipe with me in the most recent Capital Chefs which you can find after the jump. On a cold winter’s day, this dish is perfect.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Todd Gray of Equinox and Watershed (Part 2)

Shrimp and grits at Watershed
‘Shrimp and grits at Watershed’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

With winter approaching, I’m feeling more in the mood to spend time in the kitchen cooking up warm meals. Chef Todd Gray’s recipe for shrimp and grits is one of those that you can spend a little extra time preparing and will hit the spot when you’re cozy inside on a chilly winter’s day. You can find the dish on the menu at Watershed Restaurant or make it at home with the recipe after the jump.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Takashi Ohseki of Cork (Part 2)

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‘Stuffed french toast’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Ah, breakfast. Some say the most important meal of the day. So why not spruce it up a bit, ditch the usual bowl of cereal and start the day off right with something a little decadent? After the jump you’ll find chef Takashi Ohseki’s recipe for ricotta-stuffed french toast that’s on the current brunch menu at Cork Wine Bar. Bring out the maple syrup and roll up your sleeves for this one.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Amy Brandwein of Casa Nonna (Part 2)

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‘IMG_1930′
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

It’s slowly getting a little cooler outside, which means that I can actually spend extended periods of time in my kitchen without melting. So here’s a recipe from Amy Brandwein of Casa Nonna for a homemade tortelloni stuffed with a delicious and soft cheese mixture. Don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe or the idea of making homemade pasta. Turn on Netflix or your favorite playlist and spend a few hours in the kitchen with your pasta. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon on the weekend, if you ask me.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Will Artley of Evening Star Cafe (Part 2)

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‘Chopping tomatoes’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

It’s summertime and if you look around, you’ll notice that tomatoes are ripe and abundant. They’re in salads, they’re on sandwiches, they’re in your gazpacho. They’re everywhere! So here’s a recipe for something a little different from Will Artley: a tomato jam. The chef suggests serving it on scallops, on toast, and I think it would even go quite well on some roasted chicken. Plus, if you are a little more advanced, you can can the jam and have it last for months. Click through to find the full recipe.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Haidar Karoum of Estadio & Proof (Part 2)

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‘Haidar Karoum’s Spice-Grilled Chicken’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Everybody needs a good chicken recipe now and then. And chef Haidar Karoum has just the recipe for his spice-grilled chicken with salsa loca. It involves a straight-forward but powerfully tasty marinade and the salsa adds another level to the dish. You might have even had it at Estadio before. So roll up your sleeves and fire up the grill; the full recipe is after the jump.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Jaime Montes de Oca of Zentan (Part 2)

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‘Watermelon and feta salad at Zentan 3′
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Some might say there’s nothing better than biting into a sweet, juicy wedge of watermelon in the summertime. So to take that watermelon to the next level, you’ll find chef Jaime Montes de Oca’s recipe for a watermelon salad with mint, feta and a black pepper vinaigrette after the jump. It’s incredibly easy to make, and the soy sauce and black pepper with the sweetness of the watermelon and saltiness of the feta make for a great and refreshing combination. You can make it an hour or so in advance, although this is not a salad that needs time to marinate. Enjoy it on a picnic or underneath the breeze of a fan on a hot summer’s day.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, Penn Quarter, The Features

Capital Chefs: Kaz Kazmi of Merzi (Part 2)

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‘Food’
courtesy of ‘MichaelTRuhl’

It’s easy to be intimidated by the prospect of cooking Indian food. Will it turn out right? Will my kitchen smell like curry for days? Am I better off ordering from a restaurant in town that actually knows what they’re doing? But take my word for it: making Indian food, really good Indian food, doesn’t have to be that hard. Save your pennies on having someone else make you chicken tikka masala; you can do this.

After the jump you’ll find Kaz Kazmi’s recipe for pakoras, a traditional Indian fried vegetable fritter. They’re flavorful and spicy and taste so good that before you know it the entire batch you made will be gone.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Eric Brannon of Ted’s Bulletin (Part 2)

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‘Walk of shame burrito from Ted’s Bulletin’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

We’ve all had a Saturday morning where we’ve woken up parched, head throbbing and stomach gurgling for something heavy and delicious to cure a bad hangover. Granted I tried Eric Brannon’s breakfast burrito for dinner (who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?), but I’d imagine on a weekend morning hungover or not, this burrito would really hit the spot. It’s easy enough to make, and certainly don’t feel obligated to eat it before noon. You’ll find the full recipe after the jump.
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