As some of you know, Tricia Wheeler, our publisher, absolutely loves everything British and she even named her daughter Kensington after Kensington Palace! One of her favorite brands is the British firm Marks and Spencer, which now ships free to the United States. In celebration of their recent expansion, they have shared a delicious recipe and some great wine tips with us.–Leah Wolf
It is a fact: a good selection of wine can improve and even make a simple dish sumptuous. Since there are a wide variety of red wines that can be paired with a meat-based dish, there are some basic red wine pairing tips that wine connoisseurs need to consider.
For instance, if you are going to pair red meat with red wine, you need to consider the cut of meat, preparation, and other flavors which are present in the dish.
Red wine varieties, such as American Red Zinfandel, Cabernet, Spanish Rioja, and Priorat are great varieties if you are looking for a thick fruity taste. For pan-fried red meats, California, Oregon or Washington Merlot, Australian Shiraz or Cabernet blends, and Argentinean Malbec or Merlot wines are perfect variants that will bring out the spices in your dishes.
If you are thinking of a delectable red meat dish that would match your bottles of Pinot Noir from M&S Wine, a recipe from the popular brand is provided below:
Lamb and roast fennel salad with hazelnuts and a maple dressing
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 2 large heads fennel, sliced
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
- 4 lamb leg steaks
- 2 tablespoons of whole hazelnuts
- 100 grams of spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- crusty bread, to serve
- 2 tablespoons of fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
1. Preheat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius or 375 Farenheit. Slice the fennel into thin wedges. In a roasting tin, arrange the wedges in one layer. Scatter over the thyme and garlic. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast for about 25 to 30 minutes.
2. In a small roasting tin, put the hazelnuts and toast for 5 minutes in the oven. Use a clean tea towel to remove the wispy skins. Chop and set aside.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon of Sicilian Extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the lamb for 3-4 minutes on each side.
4. Mix maple syrup and the remaining olive oil, and season. Cut each lamb steak in half and arrange on top. Garnish with parsley and nuts. Sprinkle over the dressing and croutons.
In celebration of the completion of the first retrofit green roof on The Ohio State University campus, we wanted to share this time-lapse video of the project. For more information, check out the project's website.
Recipe from Who Wants Seconds: Sociable Suppers for Vegans, Omnivores and Everyone in Between, Prospect Park Books. For more information about the book and related events, visit the publisher's website.
There's a French term of endearment, "mon petite chou," which translates to "my little cabbage" and implies "my little darling." It's a funny expression. I don't think of the darlings in my life as cruciferous vegetables, but then again, we're not talking about just any vegetable. We're talking about cabbage, the star of the cabbage patch, the amazing heavyweight head.
It cannot be denied—cabbage is a compact powerhouse, the sturdiest of the brassica family. An average head of cabbage weighs between two and three pounds (that's easily fifteen servings) and keeps a ridiculously long time in the crisper. It can get bitter as it ages, and it takes on a radish-like spiciness, but even then, it remains delicious.
Cabbage is typically available year-round at the farmers' markets in one variety or another. I'm a big fan of Napa cabbage for salads, spring rolls, and noodle dishes. It's the best kind for making kimchi, and it's a crispy addition to an Asian chicken salad or Thai steak salad.
Its versatility is unmatched. Red cabbage makes a perfect pickle. Whether it's in a quick pickled cabbage (with a little salt, vinegar, and red onion) or in a fully fermented sauerkraut, red cabbage is a stupendous representation of a near-perfect food. For starters, it's red, and that helps fill the daily rainbow we're all supposed to be eating. All that redness means more vitamins and phytochemicals (we all need more phytochemicals). I recommend getting in there with your hands and massaging the shredded cabbage for a softer texture.
Pickled cabbage is nice to serve on the side at every meal for another amazing reason: Cabbage is a natural remedy for tummy troubles. They've actually been making cabbage pills since the 1920s to remedy ulcers with great success.
McDonald & Woodward Publishing Co. embodies a lot of what you think of as a small town business. Their offices are in the second floor of a beautiful old white house in Granville, Ohio, and the staff can probably be counted on one hand, maybe two. What this quaint exterior belies, though, is an internationally known company devoted to the dissemination of important information packaged in language accessible to the average reader.
One of their newest titles perfectly represents this: Groundwater for the 21st Century: A Primer for Citizens of Planet Earth, by John A. Conners. It's a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the science of and issues surrounding groundwater, which comprises 98% of liquid fresh water on the planet and is increasingly depleted year after year. Groundwater is incredibly important to agricultural systems, and many of the issues surrounding modern agricultural practices overlap with issues surrounding groundwater. Jerry McDonald, co-owner of the company, speaks about this book with quiet verve as we sit in the office, green summer light filtering through trees and windows. Talking to him, it is clear that he is very knowledgeable on many topics, and genuinely interested in every one of them. This breadth of interest is reflected in the topics published by the company.
Claire Paniccia: What makes you different from other publishers?
Jerry McDonald: Generally, we formed the company to focus on natural and cultural history, as broadly defined as possible. We've since expanded into natural resources and teaching resources. What makes it unique, other than breadth of interest and subject matter, is the fact that we have three criteria that we look for in every publication: material that is well organized, is written in accessible language and is substantive. So that's the philosophical framework for wrapping around the texts.
CP: You have a new title, Groundwater for the 21st Century. Can you talk about it? What's important about this book?
JM: Groundwater fits easily in our big picture. It's important to understand how resources are procured and manipulated. Think how rich that matrix is. It's mind boggling, if you get too close to it. It is appropriate as something we would consider, a part of a larger effort to create awareness of different kinds of people and ethnic groups, to encourage tolerance, not being closed to being aware of different things.
One reason I might have appeared not to show how broad and important the question of sustainability is is that it's infused in everything we do. That's why I'm so happy with Groundwater; it's probably the most inclusive book with respect to a critical resource that we have ever published. It's a big book. About 80% of it is devoted to the science of water, and is presented in language accessible to the general reading public. The other 20% is an overview of the global uses of groundwater and implications of those uses. It's a global view. I think it's just so valuable to have that kind of comprehensiveness packaged in such an accessible way. Anyone who wants to should have no problem getting the information. It has to be considered our most important book that we've ever published.
Water is important. That is the great purpose of the book—ready access for the big picture. The concept includes every water molecule in Ohio — and beyond. I've been doing a lot of face-to-face sales calls with Ohio public librarians. Ninety percent bought the book, no questions. They understood the importance of the book and its timeliness. I am amazed at how we have shown this book to a wide range of people, and how it has almost without exception been accepted as an important product.