HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Chef Patrick Evans Hylton joins us with a delicious, candy-inspired martini and hummus that tastes good on everything!
LIFE IS SWEET-INI
It’s a new year, and my Life Is Sweet-ini is a fun cocktail for an optimistic look at 2020. It’s colorful and flavorful, and also perfect for National Candy Month.
I craft mine with vodka from Chesapeake Bay Distillery and accent with a rock candy swizzle stick. The rock candy swizzle stick we purchased online. Here’s how to make it:
In a cocktail shaker, add ice, 1-1/2 ounces vodka, 1/2 ounce grenadine, and 1 ounce cranberry juice and shake vigorously. Strain into an old fashined glass and garnish with a rock candy swizzle stick. Makes one cocktail.
Spirits came from Chesapeake Bay Distillery, www.ChesapeakeBayDistillery.com .
Other ingredients came from The Fresh Market, www.TheFreshMarket.com.
BAGELS WITH HUZZUS
It’s time to celebrate: not only is National Bagel Day coming up Jan. 15 but the second week of January is also National Pizza Week. I thought I’d mark the occasion by combining the two by offering toasted bagels from one of my favorite bakers, Yorgo’s Bageldashery in Norfolk’s Ghent, with my homemade pizza hummus recipe that I call Huzzus. Here’s how you make it:
In a food processor, add one 15-ounce can of chickpeas that have been drained with 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, 4 tablespoons of tahini or smooth peanut butter, and 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 2 tablespoons pizza spice
, 1-3 tablespoons water (start with 1 and add the addition water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture is too thick), and 1 garlic clove.
Pulse until smooth and season with salt. Serve with olive oil drizzled on top and garnished with crushed red pepper flakes and a sprig of fresh basil.
Spread the Huzzus thick on bagels. It can be also used as a spread on sandwiches, added as a filler to wraps, or enjoyed as a dip with crackers or fresh cut vegetables like carrots or celery. I also like to spread on a whole toasted pita and top with roasted vegetables and/or meats like pepperoni for a pita pizza. Makes 6-8 servings.
To make the pizza spice, combine 4 tablespoons dried oregano, 2 tablespoons dried basil, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1 tablespoon black pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to incorporate. Store in an airtight container. Yields a little more than half a cup.
Bagels came from Yorgo’s Bageldashery, www.YorgosBageldashery.com.
GREAT CHEFS OF VIRGINIA
There is a new series celebrating the Great Chefs of Virginia where guest chefs cook amazing meals at Becca inside the Cavalier Hotel in the spring and fall.
It’s called the Great Chefs Of Virginia, and it kicked off this January with Chef Amy Brandt, formerly of the much-lauded Lucky Star restaurant in Virginia Beach and now of Amy B Catering on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Chef Kenny Sloane of Fin will be the next Great Chef on Feb. 2.
During the evening, the chefs present a carefully-curated, multi-course, prix-fixe meal perfectly paired with wine selected by the Cavalier’s sommelier, Sara Bansahm. Chefs work in tandem with the Cavalier’s executive chef, Javier Cuesta to present a meal to always remember.
Other upcoming Great Chefs include:
Travis Brust of Williamsburg Inn on March 1
Tom Power of Fat Canary in Williamsburg on April 5
Willie Moats of 350 Grace in Norfolk on May 3
Autumn Great Chefs will be announced over the summer. Seating is limited and folks are encouraged to purchase tickets well in advance.
For tickets and more information visit www.GreatChefsVa.com.
BLUE RIBBON BEST BITES + IMBIBES
+ Virginia Eats + Drinks has started listing new dishes and drinks
+ Each week a different bite or imbibe will be ranked
+ The list is compiled by Critics and Peoples picks
+ Winners air on my radio show and website
+ The first week was Bloody Marys
Each and every week from now until the end of 2020, Virginia Eats + Drinks will be listing picks of favorite eats and drinks, or something related, with the Blue Ribbon Best Bites + Imbibes.
I’ll be giving my picks, and my cohort, Damien Hall, whom you hear along with me on The Virginia Eats + Drinks Show every Friday evening from 6 until 7 p.m. on AM790 WNI and on WNIS.com will be giving his as well. We will also have a guest food critic and a people’s critic too. During January the guest food critic is Marisa Marsey of Veer Magazine, and the people’s critic is Kathy Kretz of Suffolk.
So far in January we’ve ranked our picks for the best Bloody Marys and the best Soup in Coastal Virginia; each week is a different subject. You can join our Facebook page for updates, insider information, photos, occasional recipes, deals, archives of the picks, chime in on your favorites, and find out how you can be a people’s critic yourself. Join the group at www.facebook.com/groups/VirginiaEatsAndDrinks
MORE VIRGINIA EATS + DRINKS
For Reads, Recipes and Resources from Virginia Eats + Drinks, visit www.VirginiaEatsAndDrinks.com.