Ice Cubes Filled With Fruit

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Downtown Brooklyn: Junior’s Restaurant

What I know of the dining out experience probably began as a child in Brooklyn, New York, being dragged by my relatives to Junior’s restaurant, whether by my Aunt Harriet or my mother. The big treat experience, as I envisioned it as a kid, was their oversized meals. Junior’s did oversized before the trend of oversizing began.  However, the crowning glory of Junior’s is their dessert.  Milkshakes, strawberry shortcake and the legendary classic cheesecake.juniors

Junior’s is an old fashion restaurant.  The decor transports one to the 50’s, if not earlier, but people don’t go there just for nostalgia. Okay, maybe sometimes they do go there for nostalgia, but they also go for classic food such as rueben sandwiches, cheeseburgers and fries. Oh yes, and did I mention the cheesecake? Just checking.

Junior's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

History & Recipe of Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The idea of cooking a cake upside down, is an old technique that started centuries ago when cakes were cooked in cast iron skillets. It was easy for cook to add fruit and sugar in the bottom of the pan and a simple cake batter on top and put it over the fire to cook.

Then flipping it over onto a plate was a natural way to show the pretty fruit and let it run into the cake as well.

The idea of the pineapple soon after 1911 when one of James Dole’s engineer had invented a machine to cut his

pineapple upside down cake

pineapples into nice rings. Soon the convenient and pretty rings were used in this age old technique of the skillet cake. The invention of the maraschino cherry added the necessary color needed to make this cake stunning.  READ MORE

Click to See Recipe

Grilled Food and Wine/Drink Pairing

Photo Credit: warginwines.com

As we head into the heart of summer, it’s time to get the barbecue cleaned up and prepared for a good stretch of home grilling. Unfortunately, if you are like most people, including me, when it comes to matching those outdoor delights with a good wine or beer, your lost.

Fear no more!  The MultiCulturalCookingNetwork reached out to our friend Ed Draves, the wine know it all for the Premier Group in Buffalo, New York for a quick primer in making your summer feast a success, at least when it comes to drinks.

 

MCCN: Ed, thanks for taking a few moments to help us out on this.  So, we want to have some folks over for a little summer entertaining and we need some help making sure we’ve got the right wine on the table.  If I’m putting together the classic backyard BBQ, you know, burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, what should I pair with that?

 

Ed Draves: Dave, with the classic burger cookout, a nice Rhone wine from France, think Syrah/Grenache, is perfect.  You can usually find really nice ones in the $10 range.  If you are thinking beer, look for a pale ale and if you can find it, the Live Pale Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company would be a winner.

MCCN: Okay, but what about some of the other options.  What if I want to grill some chicken, do a little cedar plank salmonor even a light summer fruit or pasta salad?

 

Ed: All these scream for Riesling, sweet or dry depending on taste but always cooler climate with ample acidity.  There are lots of great local examples for people living in Idaho, Michigan, NY, Ohio, and Washington.   The German examples (Kabinett level) are also fantastic.  The lemon you’d put with the Salmon has me really exited to match with a Riesling, something from the slate soil of the Moselle region.

 

Also, for the salmon or the salads, you could try an unoaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.  If you really want a red wine, try a Pinot Noir, it goes great with both salmon and chicken and is a nice light style wine.

 

MCCN: Okay Ed, that’s the light stuff, but sometimes you need to turn up the heat and throw a couple of T-Bones on the grill.  What works with that or a big juicy Porterhouse?

 

Ed: That’s when you reach for a nice rich Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  Deep red and full-bodied.

 

MCCN: Thanks Ed for your help on this.  Any further thoughts?

 

Ed: Dave, just that if you are doing summer and drinks, why not try something on the cutting edge?  Leave the vodka and rum in the cabinet and go for some premium Wahaka Mezcal [Joven Espadin] straight out of the freezer, ice cold and undiluted.  It’s a great alternative if you are looking for something different in the spirits category.

 

So there you have it, our summer guide to putting your best foot forward  when it comes to the backyard barbecue and drinks.

 

Again, our thanks go out to both Ed Drave and Premier Group VP Jon Notarius for their help and input.

© Copyright Dave Miller, MultiCulturalCookingNetwork, 2013 – 2016. All rights reserved.