Clean out the spice shelf and drink rosé in winter: These are my culinary resolutions for 2015. Here are a few other suggestions for the new year.
There is now a rare chance to study Mexican cooking with Diana Kennedy, the doyenne of the craft, at her ranch and study center in Michoacán, west of Mexico City. A small group will meet in Mexico City on Jan. 18 and travel to Quinta Diana, staying at Rancho San Cayetano, a luxury property, for nearly four days of classes. A side trip either to a monarch butterfly reserve or to the markets of Zitácuaro is included in the seven-day trip: $3,500 double occupancy,dianakennedycenter.org/classes.
To Acquire: A Grain That Carries the Weight of History
Kamut, quinoa, farro and emmer are among the grains that in recent years have come from the shadows of history to the dinner plate. Now there’s tumminia, from a tiny corner of Sicily. It’s an heirloom wheat said to have originated in Greece, and it produces a dark flour that has a slightly sweet hazelnut flavor. Tight taupe-colored corkscrews of busiate pasta, made from stone-ground tumminia and semolina, convey the same flavor: Busiate, $16.50 for 17.6 ounces from gustiamo.com.
To Make: Your Cocktail Needs Go by the Book
Calling it a “bar book” does not do this fat little orange volume justice. It also covers wine and beer, defining terms encyclopedia-style, A to Z, for alcoholic beverages, their manufacture, history and service. Recipes are given for more than 100 cocktails: “The Essential Bar Book” by Jennifer Fiedler Ten Speed Press, $19.99).
To Eat: Seafood That Swims Straight to Your Door
There was no nail-biting, clock-watching moment as I waited for a seafood delivery from the Lobster Place, the fishmonger in Chelsea Market, which has just begun offering an online delivery service. It arrived as promised, early in the window of 1 to 4 p.m. the day after I ordered it. There are 12 options that include shipping; the excellent smoked salmon assortment consisted of a half-pound each of four different varieties, including one of gravlax, along with scallion cream cheese, a loaf of pumpernickel, a lemon and jar of capers. The salmon was obviously hand-cut and wrapped, not just an array of sealed plastic packages: Smoked salmon sampler, $80; other options $45 and up,lobsterplace.com.
To Grind: Your Coffee Starts Fresh Every Morning
I’ve relied on a burr grinder to have freshly ground beans for my coffee for decades. It can be adjusted for texture and quantity. And I may even be happier in the morning with a new one, made by Capresso, because it is capable of producing a somewhat coarser grind than mine, perfect for my French press. The quantity setting is given in cups, another advantage: Capresso Ceramic Burr Grinder, $59.95, available at Gracious Home stores in Manhattan, 800-237-3404,gracioushome.com.
To Drink: A Summer Wine Worth Enjoying in Winter
Do you drink rosé only in warm weather? Get over it. Roberta Morrell, an owner of Morrell & Company wines, said that more people are drinking rosés year-round. Start with the portfolio of rosés produced by Sacha Lichine at Château d’Esclans, his estate in Provence. The top of the line, called Garrus, is produced mostly from 80-year-old grenache vines. The wine is pale peach, light and elegant, with sleek fruit and even a welcome whisper of tannin on the palate. In a big bottle, it’s a showstopper: Garrus, Château d’Esclans, Domaines Sacha Lichine, $95 for 750 milliliters, $199 for a magnum, $399 for 3 liters at Morrell & Company, 1 Rockefeller Plaza (49th Street), 212-688-9370, morrellwine.com. (Photo credit : Hiroko Masuike)