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Everything posted by lesliec

  1. That's great, Andie. Although I must say your old one looks quite cute. Like a fat beetle-shaped robot, bending over your cup and regurgitating ... no, maybe the new one is better.
  2. Well, we tried! My friend ended up bringing entirely nothing back for me, so I suppose I'm saved the angst of wishing he'd brought that rather than this. One must look on the bright side ... Time to get the Lear fuelled up again, it seems. More to the purpose, I quite like the idea of a caraway/anise gin. That's two botanicals I haven't tried in my gin.
  3. I don't think there are too many duds in this book. Having given it a rest for a while, I opened it again tonight and found the May Fair by Eryn Reece. Really, really good and is going down far too fast despite (I fear) its strength. Gin, aquavit, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura, Peychauds. I used my own gin, which is, let us say, quite assertive in flavour. The recipe calls for a split between Linie and Krogstad aquavits but I only have Linie so used an ounce of that rather than half of each. D&C have their 'house blends' of sweet vermouth (Dolin Rouge and Punt e Mes, equal parts) and Peychauds (2 Peychauds/1 Bitter Truth Creole) and, because I could, I pretty much went with those (Cocchi instead of Dolin, but there we are). I posted recently in the Drinks topic that the Diamonds on my Windshield is one of the finest uses of aquavit known to man. This is another.
  4. I'm sorry to do this to those of you with blizzards, but here it's very nice summer weather and a public holiday to boot. Out on the deck for cocktail hour, we had (not for the first time) Diamonds on my Windshield - aquavit, St Germain, dry vermouth, orange bitters. Really nice. One Kindred user has already commented that it seems lighter than it actually is, and I'd agree. But it's also one of the finer uses of aquavit known to man.
  5. lesliec

    Dry whites for cooking

    Even without a winery nearby, why not repack a commercial bottle into smaller screwcap ones, either recycled or bought from a suitable source? Keep the 'spares' in the fridge until you're ready to use one; I can see them keeping for months.
  6. Thanks, Dan. It's not that it's not tasty on its own; it's just a little too much for my taste. The Fall of Man was pretty good, and I also have Sonic Titan on my list (not least because of the last part of the instructions).
  7. Every now and then, this little country I live in surprises me. We can usually only get a couple of average mezcals, rye is rare (but fortunately includes Rittenhouse), Smith & Cross was impossible until only a few months ago. Then I find one of our better booze shops has this: Not being a trained Hungarian, I don't think I'll be drinking it on its own - it's a bit too seriously medicinal (heading in a Fernet direction, but not as intense as that). But it works really well in one of these. A 500ml bottle is the equivalent of USD30 or so, but I can see myself getting it again.
  8. The Fall of Man, using some of my just-acquired Zwack Unicum. I rather like this. Bourbon, Zwack, Punt e Mes, Cherry Heering and Cointreau, over ice 'seasoned' with the oil from five (yes!) strips of orange zest. Unquestionably boozy, and a tad medicinal in a good way (that's the Zwack). Not in the top 10 (with the other 100 or so by now) but definitely one I'd do again.
  9. They look great on the website, Franci. Put me down for some of the Cinque!
  10. For the second year running since I determined to make some nocino, I feared I would again be possessed of ample alcohol but lacking nuts. Stop sniggering up the back there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. But no: Thanks to some kind friends in Palmerston North I'm at last able to give it a try. And just in the nick of time, too; unfortunately I had to discard quite a few of the walnuts as they'd already formed shells. But enough were fine that I should end up with somewhere north of three litres of finished nocino, which is not to be sneezed at. So it's on the way: It now has to sit by the window until March, at which point it gets filtered and sweetened. Further reports will follow. Wish me luck!
  11. Hi Martin. Welcome to eGullet. Sounds like the beginning of a great, if terrifying, journey. Don't hesitate to ask for help here - we have some very experienced chocolate people (you know what I mean!) posting regularly. And don't forget to show us your results, good or bad. Good luck with your plans, and have fun on the forums. Regards, Leslie
  12. I think he may have done. Is the lad insane? Thanks for that. Damn - now I need to get some Drambuie ...
  13. I'd like to try that, Rafa. Can you confirm the recipe and get it into Kindred? Thanks.
  14. Beautiful colour, Craig. Is the salt on the sage, or a couple of drops of salt solution in the drink?
  15. Hi Shelby. Good to see you've taken to SV like a duck to precisely-controlled water. First things first: short ribs for 48 hours are amazing, but 72 is even better. But you shold try both at some stage so you can cook to your own preference. You may not have an evaporation issue if you use plastic wrap or foil. I don't seem to in a stock pot, but it's certainly wise to check (say) just before you go to bed and again when you get up that all is still well. If the water level seems to have dropped, just top it up with hot water from the tap. You may get a few degrees of 'wobble' for a short time, but the circulator will soon sort itself out. You're unlikely to lose an entire pot full of water overnight to evaporation even, I suspect, if you didn't cover it at all (which I don't suggest you try). Yes, a cooler is useful for big jobs if you really need it. I'd recommend cutting a hole in the top with a hole saw just a little bigger than your circulator's circumference. The top of a cooler isn't usually insulated, so get a can of expending foam to squirt in once the hole has been made, and give it plenty of time to set before you start using the cooler for SV. The answer to your question about interupted long cooks is one of those 'it depends' ones. If you're planning 72 hours but have to pause at 48, say, the meat should be well pasteurised by then (see Douglas Baldwin's tables to check) and you'd be quite safe to chill it quickly and keep it in the fridge for a while before giving it its final 24 or so hours. This assumes you have control over when the interruption comes. If you wake up in the morning and find the power had been off at some stage during the night, the best advice, unless you can be very certain of how long the power was off and thus can work out whether you'd got to pasteurisation level before that, is to sigh deeply and dispose of the meat. SV isn't anywhere near as finicky as some would have you believe, but safety first. Always.
  16. A Martoni? Or has that been done already? Maybe Negrini, but that doesn't feel right.
  17. It's been mentioned in several other topcs, if not this one - vermouth generally, blanco vermouth, and Kerry and Anna have had a few on Manitoulin. But it's a damn good drink and should be mentioned everywhere. Maybe the Drinks topic next?
  18. Rafa, your cocktail names are getting worse. Keep it up. Just don't get carréd away. Our treat tonight was a variant on our old favourite the Tolkien, made this time with some of my extremely fragrant Buddha's Hand liqueur in place of the tangelo. That stuff is well capable of going head to head with Smith & Cross.
  19. Hi MCDForm. We've had a few discussions about building up a bar, such as here. You might also want to consider sites like the 12 bottle bar. But the best answer is to skim through the Death & Co book, decide what you like the look of and get the appropriate bottles. Looking at what you've already got I'd suggest you add (at least) a golden or dark rum, rye and scotch, but it very much depends on your taste. And certainly a couple of vermouths in different styles, and a bitters collection (start with Angostura and an orange bitters and go from there) The problem really is knowing when to stop!.
  20. Hi SB. I've made a rye by a very long and laborious method that was unjustified by the result. Of course with a still you always have the option of tipping the rubbish back in and running it through again! I've recently acquired a mash tun from a friend who's getting rid of his brewing equipment; it's going to make getting the liquid off the grain so much easier. I have a quantity of 'rum' made before I had the alembic that looks at me acccusingly every time I go downstairs - it needs a second run, and the alembic is just the thing for the job. I really should do something about that. It's the StillSpirits alembic, in case you hadn't seen one before. You just buy the copper dome and the condenser (even the dome is optional - the condenser will bolt onto the standard top) and it fits straight onto the T500 boiler. A relatively cheap way into pot stilling for those of us with a T500.
  21. Indeed you don't. And in fact the Modernist Cuisine team found that the fat doesn't penetrate the meat anyway, so it's just as effective to brush a bit on when the confit comes out of the bath! When you're out looking for duck fat, see if there's any goose fat available. It's not easy to find here as duck but it does exist. I think I've generally seen it in cans from a French producer whose name escapes me. A little stronger in taste than duck fat, but highly appropriate for your bits of goose. And spuds roasted in either duck or goose fat are marvellous things - boil the potatoes until almost falling apart, drain then tip into your favourite roasting pan that's been heating in the oven with a nice layer of fat. Add a bit of salt, back into the oven for anywhere between 30 - 60 minutes (I think longer is better) and you'll be in spud heaven.
  22. The Art of Choke tonight: Very nice on a warm summer evening out on the deck. Bonus: I've managed to create something that resembles Cynar, so that was in this. It's slightly less sweet and slightly more alcoholic than the original, but I'm pretty happy with it.
  23. That seems a long time, Rotuts. The meat isn't very thick. I won't dispute your temp recommendation, though - that's exactly what I'd go for. Kay, the time will partly depend on whether your two steaks are in the bag 'side by side' or stacked, which of course would double the thickness. But either way I wouldn't go much beyond three hours, since you're then going to cook them again with the sauce. But in principle the 'double cooking' technique is a great use of SV. I've done it several times and it takes away one whole variable, since when you come to finish the dish your meat is already cooked and you can concentrate on other aspects, like the sauce as Rotuts says, without worrying if the meat is going to be ready at the same time as everything else We expect reports and pictures, naturally. Have fun.
  24. This is one of those mystery picture things: But since we're in this topic, you've probably guessed that the full picture would look something like this: Yes, another batch of gin has been born. Looking at my notes I see I'm coming up on three years doing this, and the new batch is Batch 7. I've generally been pretty happy with the gin I've produced, but I have particularly high hopes for this one based on the lovely smell as it was coming out of the still. I have tasted it and there's a heap of flavour, but it really needs a few weeks of 'settling down' time before I can give a proper opinion. I used my usual mix of juniper berries, coriander seeds, orange and lemon zests, orris, angelica and licorice root, chamomile, cinnamon, cardamom and kawakawa leaves (a local herb). Two differences: the orange, lemon and kawakawa were all fresh rather than dried, and for the first time I used my alembic still for gin - previously I've used my copper reflux column as a pot still, but because of its design there's still a certain amount of refluxing going on. [For those not up on the technicalities of still types, generally a reflux column is used for neutral alcohol - vodka - while a pot still is used for (eg) whiskies and rum. A reflux still gives a purer spirit with little taste (if you do it right!) while pot stills retain much of the flavour of what you're distilling but give a lower percentage alcohol. This is a vast generalisation but will serve us for now.] Anyway, based on this batch I'll continue to use the alembic. The next experiment will be to see if I can get a more delicate gin (mine's pretty assertive) by suspending the botanicals above the boiling vodka rather than floating in it. That's essentially how gins like Bombay Sapphire are made (again, that's omitting vast amounts of detail!). But first I'll need to make some more base alcohol, which means I'll have to buy more sugar ... it never stops. Please note that home distillation of alcohol is legal where I live. It almost certainly isn't where you are.
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