on MTV’s Jersey Shore
is the last guy I’d expect to see drinking a girly cocktail, but surprisingly his pre-partying drink of choice is his eponymous “Ron Ron Juice,”
a fuchsia-colored concoction of watermelon, cherries, cranberry juice and copious amounts of vodka blended with ice, which he always prepares bare-chested. “It gets the night going,” he says. “Whenever that stuff [sic] comes out it’s always a filthy night.”
Ah yes, “Ron Ron Juice” does often serve as useful fuel for one of Ronnie’s many bar fights.
“It’s the root of all evil,” says DJ Pauly D
. Plus, there’s nothing like a little “Ron Ron Juice” to provide the energy to “beat up the beat” of house music at da club. “First, we start off by banging the ground, we’re banging it as the beat builds ‘cause that beat’s hittin’ us so we’re fightin’ back, it’s like we beat up that beat,” says DJ Pauly D.
Here, a more refined selection of fruity cocktails to get fists pumping:Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails
(pictured)Watermelon SangriaWatermelon Coolers
More from Food & Wine:
50 Best Bars in America
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Best Pizza Places in the U.S.
Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.
When he isn't fist pumping, tanning or scavenging for women, Mike "The Situation"
from MTV's Jersey Shore
(2.5 million viewers' guilty pleasure—and mine, too) is cooking.
In the controversial reality show's latest episode, The Situation and his male roommates decide to make an "unbelievable dinner" and stay at home with Nicole "Snooki," who is recovering from being punched (by a man!). "There's going to be a feast on the dinner table, but 'The Situation' has got it under control," he says.
When The Situation refuses to help clean up after the "feast" of lobster, steak, asparagus, grilled corn and salad, his short-lived flame Sammi "Sweetheart" picks a fight with him. (In a previous episode, the two flirted while preparing sausage and peppers together.)
His retaliation: "From now on you are excluded from dinner then. You are excluded from surf and turf night. You are excluded from ravioli night. You are excluded from chicken cutlet night."
Oh no! Anything but chicken cutlet night!
Here are some recipes for Sammi and anyone else who might get banished from one of The Situation's "crazy meals" in a future episode:
Surf and Turf NightEric Ripert's Surf and Turf
Ravioli NightShrimp-and-Lobster RavioliPecorino Ravioli with Walnuts and Marjoram
(pictured)Sweet-Potato Ravioli with Brown Butter
Chicken Cutlet NightChicken Stuffed with SpinachChicken with Cherry Tomato Pesto SauceAnne Byrn's Chicken Piccata with Artichokes and Olives
© Tina Rupp
Super-Crispy Fried Chicken
Like every teenage girl in America today, I'm super-excited about seeing the new movie New Moon
, based on the second book in the Twilight
saga by Stephenie Meyer. When Bella Swan (the heroine of the saga) is not being hunted by bloodthirsty vampires or obsessing about her hottie vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen, she's often in the kitchen making home-cooked meals, like Super-Crispy Fried Chicken
Find more Recipes for New Moon Fans here
I have finally tasted what real chili is after testing Tom Mylan’s Chili with Guajillo and Ancho Chiles and Hominy recipe, from the new December issue. This chili is a deeply flavored bowl of red, beefy goodness that I could not stop eating. There are no tomatoes and no beans—just whole dried chiles, soaked and pureed, plus ground meat, onion, garlic and cumin. Tom adds corn flavor with hominy and a bit of cornmeal to thicken, but I was loving the dish even before I added the corn elements. It has a lightness to it that makes you feel great. I think powdered chiles, tomatoes, beans and bacon are distractions (and give me indigestion).
So without these other elements, the type and combination of dried chiles used are crucial. You want a blend of rich, sweet and hot—the best trio is anchos, guajillos plus just one of the spicy New Mexicos, and all are widely available. I am lucky to grow my own. Every year, I am always amazed at how productive my potted pepper plants are. My garden was bursting with assorted peppers and chiles in late summer, and I’ve just finished putting them up. I pickle the orange and yellow ajis, roast and freeze the poblanos and pimentos, and dry the sweetly hot corno di toro rossos, good-and-hot aji Colorados and long red Koreans. I will use a combo of those to create my own blend. Now that I know there is a chili I can eat and enjoy, I will be making Tom’s recipe all winter.
What can someone like me, a girl living in Queens, NY, possibly learn from a bunch of Park Avenue socialites with names like Muffie Potter Aston? A lot, I learned, after I read Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations
, a new book by New York Times
columnist Florence Fabrikant; it's a compilation of recipes and entertaining tips from some of the city’s most celebrated hostesses and members of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
(proceeds from the book will go to the center). Here, a few surprisingly down-to-earth tips from high society that I'll actually adopt:
1. Be worldly—follow the Swedish tradition of eating birthday cake for breakfast on your birthday.
2. Drink a cocktail before party guests arrive—it'll loosen you up and make you a better hostess.
3. Be a gracious and unflappable hostess, unperturbed by spilled wine or a crying child. Note: See #2, which will help.
4. Lottery tickets make great place cards—that’s one way to make it to Park Avenue.
5. Note for next year: Hand out to-go wine cups for parents accompanying trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
Each year on Halloween, my husband and I carve a jack-o’-lantern and then roast the pumpkin seeds to snack on. So a few days ago, while I was cleaning out a butternut squash to make my daughter’s favorite soup, Curried Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup
(pictured), I thought, Why couldn’t we roast the squash seeds as well? I cleaned the flesh off the seeds, then rinsed and dried them well. I tossed them with olive oil and salt, spread them on a baking sheet and roasted them for about 10 minutes in a 300-degree oven. (Take the seeds out when they start to pop and get golden, because they keep cooking after coming out of the oven.) The hulls are thinner than those of pumpkin seeds, and I think they’re more delicious as well, with a flavor a bit like popcorn.
In Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, Eating Animals (Little, Brown and Company), out today, the vegetarian writer ponders the ethics of eating meat. Here, outstanding dishes for the vegan, vegetarian and almost-vegetarian:
• Vegan: 12 great vegan dishes like a vegetable curry that gets its richness from coconut milk (right), an ultrasimple black bean soup with crispy tortillas, and a spicy chickpea salad, a twist on the classic Indian street food called chana chaat
• Vegetarian: 15 excellent vegetarian dishes like a warm spaghetti-squash salad, a cassoulet of slow-cooked leeks with meaty porcini mushrooms and cranberry beans, and a chanterelle and fontina frittata
• Pescatarian: 15 delicious fish dishes like snapper with lime-coriander broth, Provençal fish soup, and salmon sashimi with ginger and hot sesame oil
I've always thought Mai Tais were kind of campy, something fun to have with roast pork shoulder and pineapple. Now I know better. Recently my friend Joe Raffa, a Hawaiian native, mixed the world's greatest Mai Tai from his extensive rum collection. He calls it the $100 Mai Tai because it would cost $100 to buy bottles of all the necessary ingredients. But the drink itself costs much less. And with last week's news about the growing GDP, it seemed ok to post. Especially because it's just so good: caramelly yet tart, smooth yet bright, perfectly balanced — and supersmart (case in point: instead of Cointreau, Joe uses Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb, an orange liqueur made from rhum agricole instead of neutral spirits. "It keeps the rum with the rum," Joe says. And in place of ordinary simple syrup, he uses Depaz cane syrup, a Caribbean sweetener gives the Mai Tai a richer maple note.) The best part, Joe is José Andrés' chef de cuisine at Oyamel in DC, and has been dropping hints that his boss should open a Hawaiian restaurant in DC serving roast pork and really good Mai Tais. All I can say is, José, please, listen up. Recipe after the jump.
© Quentin Bacon
Marathoner Joe Bastianich's white bean stew with swiss chard and tomatoes
While my colleague Kate Krader is on a permanent sugar high this week from her pre-Halloween candy binge, I am overloading on carbs in preparation for the New York City Marathon. The race takes place this Sunday, the day after Halloween. This year’s field of 40,000 runners, the largest in history, includes a number of food and wine world stars who’ve been juggling 20-mile training runs with kitchen duties and late-night pasta binges. Mark Bittman, the New York Times Minimalist columnist, has been swapping cooking tips for training tips with America’s fastest woman marathoner, Deena Kastor (rumor has it she’s shopping around a cookbook while in town for the race). F&W Best New Chef 2005 Daniel Humm of NYC’s Eleven Madison Park has been training with a running coach from Kenya to help him beat his insanely fast time from last year.
I’ve been following winemaker and restaurateur Joe Bastianich’s game plan, fueling myself with the complex-carb-heavy recipes he shared with F&W in our October issue and throwing back an occasional beer (for more carbs).
For more pre-marathon carbo-loading recipe ideas, click here.
John Irving’s latest novel, Last Night at Twisted River (Random House), out this week, revolves around cook Dominic Baciagalupo and his son Danny, who hail from a New Hampshire logging and sawmill settlement. Here, stellar New England dishes like chicken stew with cider and parsnips (pictured), molasses-sweetened baked beans, and cinnamon-and ginger-flavored Indian pudding.