A perfect holiday gift for both the visiting and local passionate foodies in your life, Keren Brown's Food Lovers' Guide to Seattle is a fabulous collection of everything you'll ever want or need to know when it comes to dining out in the Emerald City.
As the mastermind behind the blog Frantic Foodie, and the Seattle/Portland popular food event, Foodportunity, Brown offers plenty of behind-the-scenes advice and fun tips in this "ultimate guide" for those seeking unforgettable dishes in our food-lovin' city. (To learn more about Brown, check out her recent interview in our December "Foodies on Food" feature.)
Sure, we all may have our "rainy day" Seattle complaints, but when it comes to local food, we've got a whole lot to brag about. Our local chefs, farmers, and purveyors don't mess around when it comes to what is offered on the table, and Brown does a terrific job of reminding us of just how lucky we truly are when it comes to local edibles:
"Whether foraged or farmed, Seattleites are blessed with a backyard full of the Northwest's most diverse, unique produce and local seafood... For many, the Seattle food scene is a lifestyle, a way of life that embraces the homemade, the local, and the sustainable. Bakers using organic ingredients, restaurants making pasta by hand, and consumers demanding fresh and sustainable seafood have become standard."
(Like we said, serious bragging rights!)
Food Lovers' is divided into five comprehensive chapters, covering all of the main areas throughout Seattle: North, Central, Downtown, South and West Seattle. Each area offers great information for almost 400 nearby restaurants -- including trendy neighborhood joints, landmark staples, local purveyors of Seattle-made products, and most importantly, an ongoing "Food Lovers' Faves" section with insider tips on where the foodies go for mouthwatering, must-have meals. But that's not all -- Food Lovers' Guide also highlights great kid-friendly spots; dishes up the lowdown on the best happy hour deals in town; and scopes out a complete calendar of all the annual food festivals and events in the region.
We are not joking when we say that this compact book gives you plenty to work with -- even for those of you who believe that you've already seen it all!
Also not to be missed: for the home cooks who appreciate a warm meal in just as much as those Saturday-night reservations, the recipes section has some delicious surprises in store. Packed with favorite recipes from local top chefs such as Ethan Stowell, Tom Douglas, and Maria Hines, you'll find appetizers, main courses, desserts, and even cocktail ideas that are easy to make at home for friends and family.
And on the topic of recipes, feast your eyes on this great seasonal how-to for golden beet risotto from Kurt Beecher Dammeier, of Beecher's Handmade Cheese. One of the many dishes featured in the pages of Food Lovers' that we can't wait to make this holiday season!
Golden Beet Risotto
Serves 4 as a main course, or 6 as an appetizer
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
3/4 lb. golden beets, peeled and coarsely shredded
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 oz. Beecher's Flagship cheese, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 tsp. turmeric
Salt to taste
In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest heat possible to keep the stock warm until you are ready to use it.
In a large heavy-bottomed skillet (at least 10 inches wide), heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the buter melts. Add the onion and salt. Sauté until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add the beets and sauté, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until the pan is dry. Transer half of the beet mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
Add the rice to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to coat the rice with oil. Ladle 1 cup of the hot stock over the rice and stir frequently. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and your stirring spoon leaves a trail showing where it ran across the bottom of the pot, ladle in another 1 cup of liquid, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding stock until the rice grains are al dente and pleasantly creamy, about 30 minutes total. You might not use all the stock; it will depend on the rice.
Stir in the cheese, reserved beet mixture, and turmeric. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. Serve immediately.
Photo credit: Life, In Recipes