I used to drink these in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Los Angeles. It's coffee made by expanding water vapors and then some vaccum process that occurs when the water cools. The coffee never boils thus it tastes amazing. Now, I am jones-ing it, BIG TIME.

Almost everything about using a siphon coffee maker is sensory involved: aromas, fragrance, motion, touch, action. Grind the coffee, add it to the top vessel. Add cold (or hot) water to the bottom. Put the bottom on a heat source. Add the top vessel with its attached siphon. Watch. Liquids defy gravity. The brew gurgles, but it's not boiling. Remove from heat source. Watch the coffee move back down, or "south". Watch the bottom vessel's brewed coffee gurgle as air is drawn through the spent grounds to release the built up vacuum. Remove top vessel. Smell. Pour. Taste. Insane goodness!
CoffeeGeek.com has a great page about the entire process...
BTW, those stove top espresso makers are called macchinettas and work on a very similar process. This is a good page that explains that process well too...
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • juice of 6 lemons
  • 4 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • fresh orange or lemon slices and sprigs of mint for garnish
Preparation:

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Place mint leaves in a small bowl; add sugar syrup, orange juice, lemon juice, and grated orange peel. Cover and let steep for 1 hour.

Strain into a 1-quart container. Cover and keep refrigerated.

To serve, mix 1 part lemon mint mixture with 2 parts water. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon or orange slices and sprigs of mint if desired.


Makes about 1 quart syrup, or 3 quarts of lemonade.

Feel free to add your favorite chilled vodka and/or rum to inebriate.
 
 
__Even with equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth, the bitterness of a Negroni firmly establishes the drink as a Campari-based cocktail. No one is undecided about a Negroni. This Italian big brother to the Americano and distant cousin to the martini is so bitter that its dissenters swear it should be stored in the medicine chest. Its fanatical adherents bask in its ruddy glow and tongue-tingling taste. Some contend that this classic cocktail dates back to Florence in the 1920s, when the flamboyant count—and noted tippler—Camillo Negroni asked for a splash of gin added to his Americano. Others say that the drink, mixed with vodka or gin, has been around as long as the Americano. The Campari company, itself unsure of the origin, eventually decided that the drink should be called a Negroni to avoid confusion with all the other Campari cocktails.

For a longer drink, serve a Negroni with a splash of soda. The cocktail may also be shaken and poured straight up in a cocktail glass.
_
INGREDIENTS:
1 ounce gin
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce Campari
Slice of orange

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. In a mixing glass, pour the gin, Campari and vermouth.
  2. Add ice. Stir along the outter edge 7 times, then strain into a cocktail glass.
  3. Express the orange peel over the glass and drop it in.
 
 
When i was in Mexico, we came across something that changed my bbq life. While out and about, we came across several food carts that sold corn. Although the corn they used looked coarse and overcooked, i decided to try one of these grilled corn on the cob with brightly ornate sprinkles of chili powder and cheese. They were, for lack of a better word, f@cking amazing.

You do not need to travel all the way to get Elote (Spanish for corn or to grilled corn). In fact, you can make a better version at home with sweet corn from your local farmer's market.

Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 4 ears sweet corn
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper of chile powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 2/3 cup crumbled cotija anejo cheese
  • lime wedges
  • extra cayenne pepper of chile powder, for sprinkling
  • fresh finely chopped cilantro for optional garnish
Preparation:
  1. Soak corn (in husks) in cold water for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Prepare a medium-hot grill. Peel back the corn husks leaving them attached at the end. Remove the silk. Pull the husks back up and tie with a spare piece of husk or a small piece of cooking twine. Place the ears on the grill. Cook 20-25 minutes, turning several times to ensure even roasting. The kernels should be soft when fully cooked.
  3. If you’d like the kernels more charred, then simply follow the above instructions, but cook in husks for 15 minutes only. Then cool ears slightly, pull back the husks (to use as handles) and place the ears directly on the grill (with husks overhanging the side) for 5-7 minutes, or until they reach desired level of charring.
  4. Place crumbled cheese on a plate large enough to fit an ear of corn. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, lime juice, cayenne pepper or chile powder, and salt. When the corn is cooked, brush each ear with some mayo sauce then roll in the cheese. Serve with lime wedges, additional cayenne pepper or chile powder, and fresh finely chopped cilantro.

** Cotija anejo, a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, can be found in Mexican markets or in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets. Queso fresco, another mild Mexican cheese, is a good substitute and also can be found in most major supermarkets.

Note: If you are unable to grill outdoors, then you can oven roast the corn. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place corn in husks (no need to soak first) directly on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until corn is soft to the touch. Allow to cool slightly, then remove husks and silks, and add toppings.
_** Cotija anejo, a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, can be found in Mexican markets or in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets. Queso fresco, another mild Mexican cheese, is a good substitute and also can be found in most major supermarkets.

Note: If you are unable to grill outdoors, then you can oven roast the corn. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place corn in husks (no need to soak first) directly on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until corn is soft to the touch. Allow to cool slightly, then remove husks and silks, and add toppings.
 
 
_Dosa (crispy savory pancakes/crepe) from South India is a staple food in its region. In the rest of the country too, Dosas are extremely popular and Udipi restaurants serving them and other South Indian foods can be found in almost every suburb. This easy recipe will make approximately 20 Dosas.
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups rice (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup skinless split urad daal (skinless black gram - soaked overnight)
  • 3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (soaked for 15-20 minutes)
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • Handful of finely chopped onion
  • Handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 3-4 finely chopped chilies (of your choice)
  • Handful of finely grated cheese (of your choice)
__Preparation:
  1. Wash the rice properly by changing the water few times until the water is clear. Soak these washed rice in enough water overnight.
  2. Grind the separately soaked fenugreek seeds, rice and urad daal in grinder and make a fine smooth paste. add salt to this paste, cover with a lid and keep aside overnight at room temp.
  3.  Lightly grease a griddle and put on medium heat. Pour the prepared paste on griddle and spread it in a circular motion immediately with the backside of ladle and by swirling the pan around.
  4. Sprinkle the oil on sides of dosa and then cover it with a lid for a minute.
  5. after a minute, add few of green chilies, a tbsp of grated cheese, chopped coriander and onion and over the dosa and leave it for few seconds.
  6. When the dosa is ready, fold over the Dosa and take it out of the heat. Your south Indian cheese dosa is now ready, serve hot.
  7. For a non-cheese version, first and last picture, just omit step 5 and continue onto step 6.
 
 
_A Croque Madame is a grilled cheese and smoked ham sandwich topped with a sunny side up egg. i use Black Forest ham, Gruyère cheese, and thick ass white bread because i do what i want.
_Ingredients:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (1 1/3 cups)
  • 8 slices firm white sandwich bread
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked ham (preferably Black Forest)
  • 4 large eggs
Direcrions:
Make sauce:
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 1/3 cup cheese until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and cover surface directly with a sheet of wax paper.

Make sandwiches:
Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce evenly over each of 4 slices of bread, then sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese (1/4 cup per slice). Spread mustard evenly on remaining 4 bread slices and top with ham, dividing it evenly, then invert onto cheese-topped bread to form sandwiches.


Lightly oil a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately low heat, then cook sandwiches, turning over once, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove from heat and transfer sandwiches to baking pan, then wipe out skillet with paper towels.

Preheat broiler.

Top each sandwich with 1/3 cup sauce, spreading evenly. Broil sandwiches 4 to 5 inches from heat until sauce is bubbling and golden in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off broiler and transfer pan to lower third of oven to keep sandwiches warm.

Heat remaining tablespoon butter in nonstick skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then crack eggs into skillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry eggs, covered, until whites are just set and yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Top each sandwich with a fried egg and serve immediately.

Side Note: The egg yolks in this recipe should not be fully cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area...or you do not care if your food tastes good. You can use pasteurized eggs (in the shell) or cook eggs until yolks are set.

 
 
In case you do not know what currywurst is...kill yourself. But here's a quick lesson:

Currywurst is a german food truck dish that consists of a grilled pork sausage served with fries and topped with ketchup and curry powder. This stuff is crack. When i was in Germany, i ate it like it was going out of style. Many think that bratwurst is used, but that is incorrect. Honestly, it is more like knockwurst than anything else...which means I do not know what kind of wurst they use in a currywurst stand. (If you know, please tell me!)

The best Schnell-Imbisse (fast-food stands) make their own currywurst sauce, essentially a curry powder–flavored ketchup.  Here's a recipe i found on Saveur.com.
  • Heat 2 tbsp. canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add 1 finely chopped large yellow onion; cook until soft, 8–10 minutes.
  • Add 2 tbsp. curry powder and 1 tbsp. hot paprika; cook for 1 minute more.
  • Using hands, crush 2 cups whole peeled canned tomatoes (with juice) into pan.
  • Add 1⁄2 cup sugar, 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar, and salt to taste; stir well.
  • Increase heat to high; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 minutes.
  • Purée sauce in a blender until smooth.
  • Strain sauce through a sieve. Serve hot over sausage.
  • Makes about 1 1⁄2 cups.
Now grill the sausage, serve with fries and top with copious amounts of said "ketchup" and more curry powder. Oh my god, i am starving! (now where do i get those plastic 2 prong forks...)
 
 
_I am jones-ing for a bowl of proper hot and sour soup right now. Where the stock isn't overly sweet (ahem, Golden Dragon in Mayfield Road) or too sour (ahem, the rest of the Americana Chinese restaurants in Cleveland).

The keys to a proper H&S soup are:
1. Proper use of white pepper
2. Proper use of corn starch "slurry"
3. Cutting all the ingredients into thin julienne strips proportional to the rest of the ingredients
and 4. Not overloading the soup with ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 5 dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup dried lily flowers
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup diced bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 cup pork loin, thinly sliced and quick marinated with sesame oil, salt/pepper and cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 package firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
Directions
  1. Soak the dried mushrooms and lily flowers in warm water for 20 minutes. After trimming off any tough stems, slice the mushrooms. With your hands, break apart the lily stems. Julienne them all into thin, similarly sized strips.
  2. Saute the the pork in a sauce pan with a little oil. When it's about half cooked, place the mushrooms, lily flowers, stock and bamboo shoots into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in soy sauce, sugar, salt, white pepper, sesame oil and vinegar. Combine cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water. Add a little of the hot soup to the cornstarch, and then return all to the pan. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the firm tofu, and cook for a few minutes more.
  4. Just before serving, turn off the heat. Gradually pour the beaten egg in circular motion, let stand for a few moments before very lightly and very gently stirring. Taste and season if needed.
  5. Ladle into bowls and garnish each bowl with diced scallion and a splash of red chili oil.