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Weekend Reading.

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Weekend Reading

Weekend reading. I ordered a reprint of the 1946 edition of The Stork Club Bar Book, and it is absolutely delightful. There are over 17 pages of just morning cocktails, with serious notes to bartenders about which to serve for particular customer ailments. Also picked up a history of gin book on my Kindle along with The Joy of Drinking by the eloquent and highly quotable Barbara Holland, my favorite essayist.

Crawfish and a Belmont.

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A bit of cajun crawfish and andouille sausage in reduced wine sauce and a creamy Belmont gin cocktail made with homemade raspberry syrup. The most I’ve cooked in a week. My fridge is a barren desert. My recipe for a Belmont: a shot of gin, 1/2 a shot of raspberry syrup and 1 shot of heavy whipping cream, shaken vigorously on ice and strained into a champagne coup.

Decadent Weekend.

Decadent Weekend update: I woke up around 11 to realize that I’m out of cheesecake, but I’ve started some lobster tails steaming, so me and the cat will survive. I’ve also caught up on my nerdy research, and I now know several more famous martini recipes, including Hemingway’s Montgomery, most variations of Ian Fleming’s Bond nonsense (Do not. I repeat, do not), and the martini habits and recipes of the last dozen Presidents, including Hoover, Roosevelt, Reagan and Nixon. I have ascended to the next belt in martini-fu.

On Roasts.

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Lamb Roast, The Next Day

On roasts: I’m a strong advocate that all red meat roasts should be cooked as rare as possible (with potatoes to sop up the roasting juices) and then aged overnight in the refrigerator. You can then slice it into lazy medallions and fry it up in its own fat. If you bought a lean cut, any other fat will do. I’ve duck fat, lamb fat, and a jar of whiskey-fried bacon fat that makes angels sing when I drop a dollop into a pan.

Whiskey-Fried Bacon.

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Whiskey-Fried Bacon

This is a recipe I received from a dear friend in Scotland: bacon slow-fried in whiskey. The instructions were a little vague, so I filled in the blanks: the thickest bacon I could find, a quick marinade in good whiskey, then slowly fried over 40 minutes with continuous pourings of fresh whiskey every 5 minutes. I then drizzled the finished product in a whiskey reduction sauce.

I could say it came out okay, but that’s a lie. This is ambrosia of the gods. With the marinade and the sauce my house smells like the Willy Wonka factory of whiskey. Whiskey doesn’t smell this good in the bottle.

Quiche and Gratin.

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Quiche and Gratin.

My French kick continues with some lovely little smoked salmon and spinach crustless quiche and gratin aux fruits de mer (gratin of creamed salmon). I used gruyère in both and a fantastic French vermouth (Noilly Prat) in the gratin and it tastes amazing. The house smells amazing. Next up, a special bacon recipe, more homemade risotto and some gin cocktails.