51. Spring restaurant in Paris. Highly recommended by my husband's son who ate there in November. I'll have the chance to go in April and really look forward to it! The chef creates a daily menu with fresh ingredients from the markets.
52. Chipotle Peppers in Adobo. Dried, red jalapeño peppers are first smoked then packed in a special tomato and vinegar based sauce. The result is a rich, smoky and tangy flavor that adds a nice kick to mayonnaise, chicken salad, soups and barbecue sauces. I always have some in my pantry.
53. Raw Oysters. One of my favorite things to do in New Orleans is to sit at the bar at the Acme Oyster House and order a half dozen oysters and a cold beer. I slurp them down drizzled with lemon juice and hot sauce on a Saltine cracker and I won't eat them any other way!
54. Tuscan Chicken Liver Spread. I found this recipe a few years ago and often take it to parties when asked to bring something to nibble. People try a bit, have a bit more, ask me what it is and when I tell them they get a horrified/surprised look in their eyes. "But I don't like liver." Then they eat some more.
Tuscan Chicken Liver Spread
Makes about 8 servings
From The Campagna Table by Mark Strausman
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound chicken livers
1/4 cup Cognac or other brandy
1 teaspoon capers
salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and the butter over high heat until the butter is just starting to brown. Add the onion, garlic and chicken livers to the pan and stir around a minute. Tilt the pan away from yourself and carefully add the Cognac, you don't want it to ignite. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are cooked but still pink in the middle.
Remove from the heat and stir in the capers, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until cool then put the mixture into a food processor and process until smooth. Taste again for salt and pepper.
Serve on toasted or grilled peasant bread slices (rubbed with garlic if you like)
55. Crémant de Limoux. A lovely, sparkling wine from the Languedoc region of France made via the méthode champenoise. Cousin to another sparkler, Blanquette de Limoux, which was created an entire century before Dom Perignon came onto the scene, Crémant de Limoux is a mixture of mainly Mauzac grapes with smaller amounts of Chardonnay and Chenin grapes.