As if creating a restaurant empire, publishing a cookbook and becoming an Iron Chef champion weren't enough, Jose Garces--the brains and knife behind Amada, Tinto and Distrito--is now sending takeout to a whole new level. For a limited time, Garces is offering a whole roasted suckling pig dinner to go. For $50 per person (for at least five people), foodies can call Amada to special-order a pig dinner and then wait a painful, but worthwhile, 48 hours while Garces brines, confits and roasts the pig to create tender, flavorful meat wrapped in crispy skin. Each pig comes with four vegetable side dishes and dessert. Garces suggests the meal for an easy holiday dinner party. I say have it on a Tuesday and feel blissful all week.
Take a break from holiday cooking and shopping and duck into Foster's Homeware on Sat., Dec. 20, to get free baking tips from Philly food expert Aliza Green. Green will be baking sweets and giving tips from her new book Starting With Ingredients: Baking: Quintessential Recipes for the Way We Really Bake. The demo is free; no reservations required.
This New Year's Eve, raise a tequila cocktail and kick off 2009 with a Mexican- style feast at Xochitl. Chef Dionicio Jimenez will offer a special four-course menu with cocktail pairings. Jimenez will serve fresh and spicy dishes like Nantucket Bay scallop ceviche and grilled corn flan with chorizo. On the big night, try the menta con jengibre, blanco tequila with ginger liqueur, muddled mint and fresh lime. If you enjoy the meal and want more from Jimenez, stop back in at Foster's on Dec. 27 for a free demo of his signature dishes.
If you're planning a home party to ring in 2009, check out the deals on sparkling wines by looking for the PLCB Chairman's Selections at local liquor stores. Each month, the chairman picks some faves and lowers the prices on wine and spirits. This month features two Gloria Ferrer sparklers, a fruity Blanc de Blanc and crisp and spicy Royal Cuvee that make for delicious bubbly toasts.
To add some glitz to your bubbles, pick up a jar of wild hibiscus flowers in syrup from Williams-Sonoma and drop the blooms into your champagne flutes. The flowers and syrup tint your bubbly a lovely shade of pink, add a sweet and tangy flavor, and make your drink pretty as a posie. Cheers!