All posts by robiulo

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey
There’s Scotch, Irish and Canadian whiskey and in America we have Rye and Bourbon. Here are three more cocktail ideas.

 Derby
There are at least three different cocktails called the “Derby.” This is the one associated with the race held at Churchill Downs in Kentucky.Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel. Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Whiskey Crusta
A New Orleans classic, invented in 1850.Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Shake with ice, strain into a sugar rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel. The glass should be prepared in advance so the sugar can harden.Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Scofflaw
This rye whiskey drink was invented in Paris while America suffered through Prohibition.

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

It was invented in Paris so, of course they used French vermouth. Try it with Italian vermouth – much better.Some More Cocktails Made With American Whiskey


Robert Iulo – Writing Site and  Yelp

Some Cocktails Made With American Whiskey

Some Cocktails Made With American Whiskey
There’s Scotch, Irish and Canadian whiskey and in America we have Rye and Bourbon. Here are three classic cocktails made with American whiskey.

Vieux Carré
This one was invented at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans, and is named for the “The French Quarter” – le Vieux Carré (“Old Square”).

Mix all the ingredients in a rocks glass with ice.


Bourbon Smash
Not unlike a Mint Julep but with a bit of lemon added to offset the sweetness.
 Muddle the lemon and 3 sprigs of mint in a shaker. Add the bourbon, simple syrup, ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

 Sazerac
My wife Bridget and I went to four bars in the New Orleans’ French Quarter to try Sazeracs and take away the best recipe. This was our favorite but after four Sazeracs I could only remember the recipe and not the name of the bar where I got it – maybe the Hotel Monteleone? Put ½ shot of Anisette in a small rocks glass. Coat the sides of the glass with it and then add some ice. In another small rocks glass add: a few dashes of Peychauds Bitters and 1 tsp of simple syrup. Mix, add ice and stir. Add a shot of rye and stir. Empty ice and excess Anisette from 1st rocks glass and strain mix of Peychauds, syrup and rye into it. Float a few dashes of Angostura on top.

*Simple syrup – Heat one cup of sugar in one cup of water. Stir until it’s clear and liquid.


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Robert Iulo at Yelp

Rhythm and Power

Rhythm and Power

Salsa in New York – now until November 26, 2017Rhythm and Power

ILLUMINATING SALSA AS A SOCIAL MOVEMENT FROM THE 1960s TO TODAY

The story of New York salsa—an up-tempo performance of percussive Latin music and Afro-Caribbean-infused dance—is one of cultural fusion, artistry, and skilled marketing. Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York illuminates salsa as a social movement from the 1960s to the present, exploring how immigrant and migrant communities in New York City — most notably from Cuba and Puerto Rico — nurtured and developed salsa, growing it from a local movement playing out in the city’s streets and clubs into a global phenomenon. The exhibition also looks at the role of record companies and stores in supporting and promoting the movement, and salsa’s often-overlooked ties to activism in the city. Rhythm & Power features dance costumes and musical instruments from some of salsa’s leading figures, as well as audio and video that bring the sounds and movement of salsa to life.

Rhythm and Power

I donated some of my photos from the early days of Salsa in New York for use in the exhibit and on promotional literature.
Rhythm and Power
Eddie Palmieri and Patato at the Beacon Theater, NYC – 1977

Jamming on Bethesda Terrace

Rhythm and Power

Go to the Museum’s website for full program details.


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Robert Iulo – Writing Site and  Yelp

Roast Chicken and Tomatoes

Roast Chicken and Tomatoes
A fairly simple recipe with just a few ingredients but when it’s done it has complex flavors. And it looks like you put a lot more effort into it than you actually did.

Roast Chicken and Tomatoes

Roast Chicken and Tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 450° with the rack toward the top. Finely chop 1 garlic clove and place it in a bowl with salt, black pepper and red pepper, oregano and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Thoroughly coat the room temperature chicken with this mixture.

Depending on their size, cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters. Cut the remaining garlic in half lengthwise. Add salt, black pepper and ¼ cup of olive oil and toss until coated. Arrange in an even layer in a pan.Roast Chicken and Tomatoes

Cut each breast in half and place the chicken pieces on top of the tomato garlic layer. Roast until done –  about 40 to 50 minutes – then 5 minutes under the broiler.  Let chicken rest for 10 minutes and serve.Roast Chicken and Tomatoes


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Robert Iulo – Writing Site and  Yelp

A Buttered Roll

 Buttered Roll
A Buttered Roll
I didn’t realize it until I read it in the New York Times this morning that one of my standard breakfasts is something typically New York. You can get a buttered roll and coffee at any street cart or deli and what more would you need to start your day? A buttered roll isn’t sticky like a Danish or greasy like an egg sandwich and it doesn’t make crumbs like a muffin. So, it’s the perfect breakfast.
Here it is in the Times

 

Buttered RollButtered Roll


Robert Iulo – Writing Site and  Yelp

The Ham Sandwich

The Ham Sandwich

Rushing home to get on my computer for a one pm meeting, I still had time to stop at the deli and get something to go. I’d mute my mic while I ate and no one would ever know the difference. Glad there was no line when I arrived, I was upset to see Ali the Master Sandwich Maker wasn’t behind the counter. He took pride in his work, as any craftsman should. But he wasn’t there. Instead, a pretty young woman new to the deli stood in his place. Pretty or not, could she fill Ali’s shoes and live up to his excellent sandwich making skills?

“Hi, where’s Ali?”

She smiled but didn’t answer. Maybe she didn’t hear me.

I let it go and said, “Ham and Swiss cheese on a roll with mustard and lettuce, please.”

She held up two rolls, one on each side of her cheerful face, sesame on the left and poppy on the right. Now that was something Ali never did. He’d just pick up any old roll and that’s what I got. I pointed to the poppy and started to think that maybe his replacement wasn’t going to be too bad after all.

I got home and to my desk just in time, about two minutes to one. The meeting started and I muted so they couldn’t hear the crinkling of wax paper as I unwrapped my ham and Swiss. It was a good thing they couldn’t hear me because I said something unprintable when I saw orange American cheese instead of the Swiss I had asked for – very disappointing. As I explained some figures on a spread sheet to my associates, I quietly began to peel off the offending American cheese when I almost cursed again – mayo instead of mustard.

That was two strikes against the new sandwich maker. As quickly as I could, I ran to the fridge and grabbed the Gulden’s, reached in a drawer for a knife to spread it and got back to my meeting before anyone missed me. Most of the mayo was on the lettuce so I removed it and scrapped the rest of it off the bread. My desk began to look like a compost heap.

I thought I was finally ready to eat but no, I couldn’t. She might have been pretty, but she didn’t understand the underlying structure of a well-made sandwich. One has to be built, with each item carefully placed to evenly cover the bread to the right thickness, as Ali did. She cut a few slices of ham, folded them over and just laid them there leaving one side higher than the other. And she left bare spots, where a bite would result in a mouthful of bread and nothing else. I had to relocate each slice and by the time I corrected her amateurish mistakes, my keyboard was smeared with mayo and mustard.

American instead of Swiss and mayo instead of mustard.

Could she have sabotaged my sandwich on purpose? She seemed so sweet I couldn’t accept that. The only other explanation was that she didn’t understand English, and not just that, she must have come from a culture that didn’t understand sandwiches. When I made my order, she got “ham” and “cheese” but all the rest seemed to have been guess work on her part.

I half-heartedly ate my sandwich and continued with the meeting but I was distracted. I thought about the time Judge Sol Wachtler was in the news a few years back. Dissatisfied with the way the New York grand jury system worked, he felt it should be done away with. He said prosecutors had so much influence they could always get an indictment. They could even get the jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” If ever a ham sandwich deserved to be indicted, it was the one I had just eaten.


Another meeting, another sandwich – just right this time.


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Robert Iulo – Writing Site and  Yelp

Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma
This is a Sicilian recipe that my Aunt Lena, who married a Sicilian, used to make. She called it simply “rigatoni with eggplant.” I didn’t learn that it was formally known as “Pasta alla Norma” until I was an adult. It was named for the heroine in Bellini’s Norma.

* Ricotta salata comes in 2 types – fresh for eating and dry for grating. If you can’t get it, use parmigiana.

Slice the eggplant into about 1/2-inch rounds (don’t peel it). Salt and drain it. Cook it over medium-high heat in a pot, in olive oil adding more oil as needed. Do it in batches so it doesn’t crowd. Cook it until it’s browned and soft. Don’t worry about a few burnt edges – that adds flavor. Move it to a plate and don’t drain it or put it on paper towels.

Meanwhile, put up a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
Using the same pot the eggplant was cooked in, add some oil and on medium heat fry garlic with salt, black pepper and red pepper. After a few minutes when the garlic begins to color, add the tomatoes. Cook for about 20-25 minutes on medium. Taste for seasoning.
Cook the pasta until almost done. Cut the eggplant into approximately 1-inch pieces (they’ll be irregularly shaped and that’s OK) and add to the tomato sauce.

Gently stir it in. Drain the almost cooked pasta (saving a cup of pasta water in case the sauce is too dry) and toss it with the sauce. Again, gently, so the eggplant doesn’t break up too much. Serve with freshly grated  ricotta salada.


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Robert Iulo at Yelp

Lac du Saint Sacrement

Lac du Saint Sacrement

You can go for just the boat ride or include a buffet lunch on the Lac du Saint Sacrement.  We had the lunch. The trip started at the southern end of Lake George and took about 3 hours.

Lac du Saint Sacrement

The food was simple and good with friendly and professional servers. They had a full bar too.Lac du Saint Sacrement

Lac du Saint Sacrement

After we lunch we went to the upper decks to enjoy the Adirondack scenery.

Lac du Saint Sacrement

Lac du Saint Sacrement

Lac du Saint Sacrement

Lac du Saint Sacrement


If you’re in the Lake George area in Upstate New York and want to spend a pleasant afternoon on the Lac du Saint Sacrement check out Lake George Steamboat.

Lac du Saint Sacrement


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Robert Iulo at Yelp

Michele’s Shrimp & Rice

The Fisherman’s Wharf – corner of Houston and Mott Street in New York’s Little Italy
Michele’s Shrimp & Rice
Michele was the chef at the Fisherman’s Wharf, our family restaurant when we were kids (the drawing above was done by my sister Nicki).  Shrimp & Rice was one of his specialties. I don’t have his recipe so I had to make a few guesstimates. What I came up with was pretty close.

Sauté onion and celery in oil with 1 anchovy (or a squeeze of anchovy paste) and  Cajun spice When veggies are soft (not brown), add 3 cups of stock and ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce and stir. Check for seasoning. Sometimes stock can be salty and there are other salty ingredients so you may not need any additional salt. Bring it to a boil, add the rice and cook covered on low for 15 minutes.

Add the shrimp and the 4th and last cup of stock and complete cooking – 10 minutes on low heat covered.

If necessary, add some hot water to maintain a soupy consistency.

Fish stock involves fish heads, bones and shells. Make it if you like, but I prefer “Better Than Bouillon Fish Base.” One teaspoon mixed with one cup of hot water is all you need to do.


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Robert Iulo at Yelp