5 Things You Need to Eat and Drink in January

Eat your veggies—and your beef
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Yaaaaaaay, health food.

Happy New Year! This month, our food and drink recommendations are all about balance: 

Get juiced.
Planning to detox after the heavy holiday indulgence? We’re longtime fans of Juicebox (and they have 1-, 3-, and 5-day cleanses available), but there’s a new spot with an aggressive expansion plan that plans to make fresh juice more accessible around the city. Pressed, a chain imported from L.A., opened its first Seattle location in the recently redesigned Westlake Center a few weeks ago, and has plans to open three more local spots in the early part of 2017. The seasonal spiced almond milk sounds delicious, and I love a bottled cold brew, but you should probably stick to the greens if you’re planning to detox

Drink for a cause.
Speed Rack, an all-female national speed-bartending competition, is back and heading to Washington Hall on Jan. 8. See the PNW’s most badass lady bartenders—talented period, not talented for a girl—go head-to-head. Each $25 ticket (21-and-older only) allows sampling of sponsors’ boozy punches and bites from local restaurants; all proceeds go to support breast cancer research. Jason Stratton of MBar will be DJing.

Celebrate Chinese New Year.
Ring in the year of the rooster on Jan. 21 as part of the International District’s annual celebration. The schedule always includes the fun-for-all dragon/lion dance and displays of martial arts and music, but the real treat is the $3 food walk, where you can wander the ‘hood and sample tastes from around Asia for just a few bucks.

Go vegan.
My former 22-year-old vegetarian self would have loved Veggie Grill (and the truth is, I still think it’s pretty damn good). The menu at this plant-based chain makes it easy to eat your veggies. And now, they’re the first place in the city you can find a Beyond Meat burger: a vegan patty that bleeds beet juice and is meant to more closely emulate the soul-satisfying taste of a real burger (read the Tasting Table review here). Veggie Grill is serving it on a sesame seed bun with American “cheese”—please note quotation marks—and special sauce, naturally.

And then go try the Mt. Fuji.
Is it too much to have two burgers on one list? Me thinks no, even in the month of restraint. Katsu Burger opened officially in Capitol Hill on Thursday, squeaking in as one of the final openings of the year—Capitol Hill Seattle Blog says it’s the 36th food and drink opening in the ‘hood in 2016, which is just… wow. Katsu Burger specializes in Japanese-inspired burgers topped with shredded cabbage and options like curry mayo, miso honey mustard, etc. The Mt. Fuji is a little bit of everything: panko-crusted beef, pork, and chicken patties, plus American cheese, bacon, pepper jack, cheddar, fried egg, wasabi mayo, spicy mayo, and tonkatsu sauce. 

Recipe of the Week: Casco Antiguo's Corn Mash

Recipe of the Week: Casco Antiguo's Corn Mash

Serve it as a side dish or eat it straight from the pan
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A little like mac 'n' cheese... but with corn!

Comfort food takes many forms. That satisfying combo of sweet and savory are almost necessary. Plenty of cheese doesn’t hurt. Now here’s a recipe that hits on all the best elements of comforting cuisine, plus a little Serrano chili for heat. 

Casco Antiguo is a Pioneer Square Mexican restaurant best known for its 30-ingredient mole. But it’s this modest corn side dish that’s a favorite among regulars. Owners say it's a play off a traditional Mexican street food called" ezquites," where corn is boiled with epazote and butter, then served in a disposable cup with cheese, salt, lime, chili powder and mayo. 

Since it's damn hard to find fresh corn this time of year, so I used all frozen, and I think the flavor was still good. If you don’t have crema on hand, I used sour cream in a pinch—it was firmer than crema, but I think leant a similar flavor. I used a whole Serrano and was disappointed in the lack of heat, though that’s a fault of the pepper and not the dish. Perhaps leave the seeds in if you want it a little hotter (I will next time). At the restaurant, it’s served alongside everything from braised pork cheeks to baby octopus—I think it would be a great with a Southern-inspired barbecue feast as well. 

Casco Antiguo Corn Mash
Makes 6-8 Servings

1 tbsp canola oil
2 ½ cups raw sweet corn
2 ½ cups pre-cooked frozen corn, thawed
½ -1 Serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
¾ cups crema Mexicana (found in Mexican markets or specialty stores)
¾ cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated

In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add canola oil and raw corn. Sauté for two to three minutes. Add the thawed corn, chopped peppers, salt and pepper. Sauté until corn and peppers are tender. Fold in the cream cheese until corn and peppers are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the crema Mexicana until the dish becomes creamy in texture. Add the Monterey cheese and continue to whisk until the cheese is melted and the dish is smooth and saucy. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes before serving.