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Everything posted by Ktepi

  1. Bitter Lemon's one of my favorite mixers -- terrific with Campari or tequila. No one here carries it, though. (It probably doesn't help that NH liquor stores only carry wine and liquor -- no beer, no bitters, no mixers.) This summer I have rediscovered my love of the Dark and Stormy, with plenty of lime juice. I'm going to try it with the GuS Extra-Dry Ginger Beer later, and am curious how the reduced sweetness plays.
  2. Ktepi

    Pickles--Cook-Off 32

    I have a digital camera finally, but I do not have a white plate. Kool Aid watermelon rind pickles.
  3. Just wanted to point out that Lull Farms has garlic scapes right now -- they have a pretty brief season, and grocery stores don't often carry them. (Speaking of grocery stores, Hannaford's reorganization has taken forever, but they seem to be expanding their wares as they go -- they have Tastykakes now! I've never seen Tastykakes in New England before.) I've become hooked on the flavored milks from Sherman Farm that Lull's carries -- the coffee and chocolate aren't strong enough for my taste, but the blueberry and vanilla are awesome.
  4. I love garlic scapes, and right now I'm cooking some potatoes in order to make a potato salad dressed with a mayo/scapes/arugula dressing that smells amazing. I'm going to try roasting them tomorrow, per Abra's suggestion -- that's my favorite way to have asparagus, and it never occurred to me for scapes. Has anyone tried pickling them? Do they stay crisp at all? I used to make a "tartar sauce" with pickled garlic, and using pickled garlic scapes might be an interesting variation.
  5. I keep telling friends "they taste like lard! ... no, that's a good thing!", because eating them made me aware of how much some potato chips (even ones I love) taste like the vegetable oil they're cooked in. It was like eating a chocolate bar after a life of Sixlets. And of course, now it has me wishing someone would market some goose-fat-fried potato chips. I know I can make them fresh, but that's not what I want. I want to open the bag and dump a couple handfuls out on the plate next to my Boar's Head hot dog and Kool Aid watermelon rind pickles, and just have the best Fourth of July ever.
  6. oh my god those are my favorite and I can get them everywhere in maryland, but they are really hard to find here in the boston area. ← Here too (Nashua). Most of the grocery stores don't have them, but smaller non-chain stores and gas stations sometimes do. Same with Herr's and Mrs Vickie's. (And as it turns out ... if anyone really gets a craving for them ... Amazon has them, though shipping is about $10.)
  7. Oh wow. I'd had Utz chips before, but I tried Grandma Utz's Hand-cooked chips because of their mention on eGullet, and they're fantastic -- got to be the best plain chip I've had. Salty and ... well, lardy.
  8. Ktepi

    Bought fresh currants

    I don't have a recipe, but they're great in pie -- when I could get them from the Farmer's Market in Indiana, I would just combine them with whatever other fruit I was able to get that week. Sour cherries, blueberries, strawberries, elderberries -- currants go with all of them, black or red. (Likewise gooseberries, which are a type of currant or a close relative, I don't remember which.) Good with duck, too -- just cook the currants a bit with one part sugar, one part vinegar, until you've got a sauce you can pour over duck breast. And they freeze great, which is nice since (at least for me) they were available so briefly.
  9. A friend sent me TWO BOTTLES of Luxardo Maraschino for my birthday. I live in New Hampshire, where it isn't sold in the state-controlled liquor stores and I never see it for sale from the few online vendors who have licenses to ship here. So I've been missing this since I moved here a year ago. Two bottles! I may even make some maraschino cherries, though I wonder if they'd be as good with Bings or Rainiers as they are with Montmorencies. Right now: A Last Word, with Tanq Rangpur. Even aside from the taste, I could just sit here smelling this all night.
  10. 1: A good baked potato. I have eGullet to thank for the way I bake potatoes: rubbed with fat of some kind (bacon fat or drippings of some kind, if they're available; goose fat has proven to be the best so far), sprinkled with coarse salt, and baked for an hour or so at high heat. 2: I honestly think that good potato chips are one of the best potato dishes around, and if I have to pick a specific one, I'll go with these chips I don't even remember the name of, except that they may have been from Eagle? They were DARK, and I think kettle-cooked, and had the most potato flavor I've ever found in a chip. 3: The potatoes in chicken vesuvio, especially if you use fingerlings -- garlicky, flavorful, crispy and creamy.
  11. Peanut butter bacon cookies. Nuff said.
  12. Ktepi

    Kool-Aid Pickles!

    I wasn't crazy about the color I got from adding double-strength Kool Aid to the pickle brine, and the flavor wasn't noticeably different from a dill pickle (contrary to what the article describes), so rather than start from scratch, I just dumped the liquid and added Kool Aid mix and sugar to the jar -- the sugar drew enough liquid out of the pickles to immerse them in brine by the end of the day. We'll see how those go. In the meantime, these came out just right: Kool Aid Watermelon Pickles all amounts are approximate 2 cups watermelon rind, peeled and sliced 1 cup water 1 cup white vinegar 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 packets cherry Kool Aid Combine all ingredients and simmer until rind is tender. Remove rind to container with slotted spoon and reduce liquid until a little thicker. Jar, chill. They come out a brilliant stop-sign red, all the way through.
  13. Someone else can better explain jaggery and lemonade, but perry is to pears as cider is to apples. In the US, I believe Woodchuck and Ace both make them (labeled as "pear cider"). Ace's is very good -- Woodchuck's isn't one of their better ciders, but I think it'd be fine as a mixer.
  14. This was something I made as a free sample for customers at my last job: Porter syrup and roasted pineapple: Cook porter down (not on a high boil, if possible) until almost syrupy; eyeball how much porter reduction you have, and add about a third as much sugar as that, by volume. For myself, I actually like to use Dogfish Head's IPAs, but Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter has a broader appeal. The syrup should have a really full complex flavor, the kind of thing that develops on your tongue, and then keeps developing when you think it's finished. Drizzle over roasted pineapple -- fresh pineapple, cut into chunks, roasted and occasionally basted with pineapple juice until it's become drier and denser, with noticeable browning. When I used to cater small informal parties, the roasted pineapple was a must-have and the fastest thing to go, and people will eat damn near anything on it -- but the combination of tartness and the caramelized flavor from the roasting really does go well with the porter syrup.
  15. Ktepi

    Source for Sassafrass?

    I have a pound of sassafras root (thanks, eBay). I've googled and found some recipes, but does anyone have any suggestions for usage? I've made a pitcher of tea, and it has a bitter aspirin-like undertone which -- while not unpleasant once the tea is sweetened -- wasn't present in the sassafras tea I've had from concentrate.
  16. This must exist, but I can't figure out or remember what it is -- 2 parts grapefruit juice 1 part Tanqueray Rangpur quick squeeze of lime juice (probably not necessary if the grapefruit juice had been tarter) healthy shake of Regan's orange bitters in a glass rinsed with green Chartreuse I wasn't sure how three citrus flavors would work, but I love the combination of these bitters with grapefruit juice, and had just made a granita/sorbet/something using these same ingredients in different proportions. "Rinsed" is probably an understatement for the Chartreuse -- it's more than the amount of absinthe in a Sazerac, but it's not a lot. A drizzle, maybe. A drizzle of Chartreuse.
  17. Ktepi

    Ramps: The Topic

    Chicken leg wrapped in bacon, with bacon used to hold sliced green chiles and ramps in place; tasted good, but not crazy about the texture of the ramps cooked this way. Two more things to keep the ramp flavor around a little longer, since they're starting to wilt, both with minced ramps -- Ramp mojo: ramps, lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, a couple slices of chile Ramp vinaigrette: ramps, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tiny bit of Dijon mustard. This is awaiting the arrival of my Penzey's shipment since I happen to be out of most dried herbs right now, but I'm figuring I'll throw a little marjoram in. It'd make sense to use ramps in herbs salees, too.
  18. Ktepi

    Ramps: The Topic

    I just did it like pickled garlic (just the bulbs), something I do by ear (this recipe looks right, though I use a less sugar and no celery seed). Since I don't go through all the canning procedures, I keep it in the fridge. I haven't done this with ramps before, but I happened to be out of pickled garlic, so I figured ... why not. (I generally chop up pickled garlic to use as a condiment on red beans and rice, or to put on a sandwich, especially cold homemade roast beef.) Since that post, I've also made a batch of puttanesca sauce -- though the kalamata olives really drowned out the ramps! -- and chopped up a ramp to put it in a little tupperware container (the ones the size of shotglasses) of olive oil, along with a little rosemary and a couple peppercorns. That's in the fridge too, because I don't know if ramps have the same botulism concerns as garlic. I'm figuring that'll go on steak sandwiches with pepperoncini.
  19. Ktepi

    Ramps: The Topic

    I bought quite a few ramps on eBay, and even given the cost of postage and the loss of some of them in transit, it was comparable to what I paid at the Farmer's Market in Indiana. So far, I froze some, pickled some, and had some with fried potatoes last night. Late breakfast (okay, it's lunchtime now, so really late) today is ramps and potatoes fried in bacon drippings with a fried egg. I made caldo verde last night with a bunch of them instead of the onion/garlic, and will have that later (I like caldo verde better when it's been in the fridge overnight) -- making it made me think that ramps would be terrific in champ or colcannon, too.
  20. Yeah, it's harder to find than it used to be even here, and I'm an hour north of you. Other mixers I really dig: I may have been the only fan of Coca-Cola Blak, but I loved it with rum, with whiskey, with Auburn vanilla liqueur, and with any combination of the above. (Lately I've been mixing Coca-Cola 1:1 with cold unsweetened Moka from my Bialetti, but that's not alcoholic. I'm sure it'd be nice with rye, though.) Sort of similarly, club soda and coffee syrup -- like they use for Rhode Island coffee milk, another New Englandity that's harder to find here than when I was a kid -- is a nice base for a sweet drink that isn't as sweet as a rum and Coke, maybe more along the lines of a gin and tonic, thanks to the slight bitterness (both real and psychosomatic) of the coffee syrup. I think it would be too sweet to mix with a liqueur like Frangelico, but again, whiskey, rum, they go just fine. Oh, and Newman's Limeade is really nice with tequila, especially when you want a fast cold drink.
  21. I'll second Dry Soda -- both the lemongrass and the kumquat are great with Campari. Sadly, they don't carry it here, only GUS (Grown-Up Soda), which I don't like as much. But I'm going to play with it. Sun Drop goes great with all of the major base liquors. All of them. Okay, maybe not brandy, haven't tried it. But all the rest. Buffalo Rock Southern Spice soda -- a ginger ale that's spicier than Vernor's but not as hot as things like Reed's -- is terrific with Campari or in a Dark and Stormy. I'm sure it's good with other things, but I didn't try playing around with it until I ran out of Campari. I had no idea Campari would go so well with hot ginger, but ... damn. They don't make it anymore and I can't even find a mention on the internet, but Mexi-Cola was a cinnamon-flavored cola (cinnamon like cinnamon toast, not like "cinnamon Red-Hots") that went amazingly with dark rum. And Cel-Ray is good with gin. I should try it with the Rangpur. bostonapothecary: You're up here in New England and you like playing around with things, have you mixed Moxie with anything? I haven't had any luck.
  22. When it was obvious that Pepsi Blue was going to be cancelled, I bought up a bunch of it -- and discovered before long that hoarding 20 ounce bottles (all I could find, at that point) is no hoarding at all. It went flat much faster than cans, and I wound up boiling it down into a syrup and recombining it with club soda (and vodka, for Blue Pepsi schnapps), but some of the flavor was lost in the transition. I pretty much stopped hoarding temporarily-available soda after that, and haven't got any Red Fusion left, or Pepsi Holiday Spice, etc. (The hoarding started, actually, with Moxie -- which isn't cancelled at all, and there's no last anything of Moxie, but for the years I lived in New Orleans, my carry-on luggage was always the same when I came back from trips to New Hampshire: 24 cans of Moxie and two pounds of pastrami.) Oh man, and I had some Ore-Ida Tato Dogs or Tater Dogs or ... something like that ... in the back of the freezer for a year, in a double layer of Zip-Loc freezer bags. This was when I was in grad school, that was the last convenience food I really loved -- they were like mini corn dogs with Tater Tot instead of cornmeal -- but they went from "difficult to find" to "obviously discontinued and this is the last of the stock" in pretty quick time. I wound up reserving them for use as comfort food, cooking a snack-size portion whenever papers piled up or something.
  23. Here's a more positive review that suggests the mash is heavy on the rye, something I was curious about. Apparently McKendric's is charcoal-filtered like Tennessee whiskey. They list the price as $40; NH liquor stores are especially cheap with domestic product (I assume because the tariffs on international products are responsible for a lot of the price there), and it sells for $25 here. I'm really tempted to try it, especially since I have just enough Booker's left for one mint julep.
  24. There's a passing mention of this in a thread about a John T. Edge article on Prichard's, but that's it. The New Hampshire liquor stores just started carrying McKendric, and although I can only afford one bottle of whiskey today (I'm a freelancer, next check is in July), I'm strongly considering picking it up in lieu of authentic bourbon for Derby Day. New products disappear from the state liquor stores quickly sometimes, and I can't mail order it. Anyway, there's not much online about this. The website for McKendric Whiskey is slim on details, except that the whiskey is made in Abilene and is "mellowed with mesquite." Most other mentions online just repeat the company phrasing; response at straightbourbon.com doesn't seem to be good, but I don't have any luck following the links mentioned on that thread. Anyone have any experience with it?
  25. Equal parts, by volume, Campari and lemon sorbet. It's pretty strong on the Campari; if I were serving it to someone else, I'd probably top off with another equal part of club soda or Sprite.
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