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Chef suggests a summer drink and new local eats

HAMPTON ROADS, Va - Chef Patrick Evans Hylton is mixing up some fun with a summer drink, picnic pickles, and some local restaurant news. Learn more at www.VirginiaEatsAndDrinks.com.

THE CARDINAL CRUSH
The Cardinal Crush is a take on popular crush drinks you find across Coastal Virginia, such as the Orange Crush, originally made famous at Waterman’s Surfside Grille at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

In our drink, we shake Chesapeake Bay Distillery rum with pineapple juice; grenadine gives it the hue of Virginia’s state bird, the cardinal. The drink is garnished with a grilled wedge of pineapple. The fruit is an old Virginia symbol of hospitality and is seen throughout Colonial Williamsburg.

How to make the Cardinal Crush:

Make the grilled pineapple garnish: Heat grill to high. Select a whole, ripe pineapple. Cut off the crown, and about a half-inch from the bottom. Stand the pineapple upright, and cut off the skin from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit, as thinly as possible. Cut away the eye spots, cut into quarter-inch slices, and cut out the core. Brush each slice with melted butter and sprinkle brown sugar on each side, pressing in. Place slices on grill and grill for 3-4 minutes, flip, and grill for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Cut into wedges or cut a wedge from the ring to affix to the side of the cocktail glass.

Make the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 4 ounces pineapple juice, 3 ounces rum, 1 ounce grenadine, and shake. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and top with a lemon-lime soda.. Garnish with a grilled pineapple ring or slice and leaves from the pineapple crown, or fresh mint. Yields 1 cocktail.

Rum in this recipe comes from Chesapeake Bay Distillery; visit www.ChesapeakeBayDistillery.com

Other ingredients, including pineapple, comes from The Fresh Market; visit www.TheFreshMarket.com

REDWOOD SMOKE SHACK OPEN
PLUS PATRICK’S PICNIC DAY PICKLES
Pitmaster Bob Robert’s Redwood Smoke Shack has opened in Norfolk’s Ghent in the former Dog-n-Burger.

The popular barbecue biz now transitions from food truck to brick-and-mortor, offering a board menu of barbecue and the other tasty treats within its orbit.

On the show today we sample pulled pork barbecue sandwiches from Redwood Smoke Shack, embellished with our own homemade Picnic Day Pickles. Want to make the pickles at home? Here’s how:

Slice 2 pounds of cucumbers 1/8-inch thick and add to a large bowl with 1 large sweet onion, like Vidalia, sliced thin. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons kosher salt, toss, and place in a large colander over a sink to drain for one hour.

In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups cider vinegar, 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric and bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and add cucumber/onions. Cover the pan and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer pickles, onions, and liquid to a gallon glass jar and refrigerate at least 24 hours before use. Keep refrigerated. Pickles will keep 1 month.

For more information on Redwood Smoke Shack visit www.RedwoodSmokeShack.com

NEW CHEF AT ESOTERIC
There’s a new tall toque at the popular Oceanfront eatery, Esoteric. Brett Michael McDaniel is the new executive chef at the restaurant, located in the Virginia Beach ViBe District.

Chef McDaniel began his career began washing dishes at age 16 and honed his skills at Culinary Institute of Virginia. New menu additions reflect his style, such as the Scallop Risotto.

The offering showcases a pan-seared U-10 scallop atop ramp risotto and park belly with smoked pepper jelly over a confit of vegetables separated by a parmesan cheese crisp.

“I had a lot of fun with this,” the chef says. “I wanted to do something cool with the parmesan crisps, and I finally figured out how to stand the parm up and create a cool ’S’ shape.”

For more information on Esoteric visit www.EsotericVB.com.

THE BAYOU BOOGALOO
Bayou Boogaloo, the 30th annual celebration of Cajun food and music, takes place June 28-30 at Town Point Park along the downtown Norfolk waterfront. Look for dishes including crawfish, dirty rice, gumbo and jambalaya. Special Louisiana guest chefs Ailsa Von Dobeneck and Sherman Harris - both formerly of Norfolk - will be conducting cooking demos with Virginia Eat’s Patrick Evans-Hylton as emcee.

It’s three days of good eats and good music, and you can get $20 off two tickets with promo code VAEATS while supplies last

For tickets and more information on Bayou Boogaloo visit www.Festevents.org

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