Archive for New Techniques

making Beer based Vinegar

making Beer based Vinegar

A few months back I read an article from one of my favorite chef’s Sean Brock about making your own vinegar. The recipe he provided made use of PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) to make vinegar. Since PBR is one of my favorite beers and I always am up for making something from scratch I decided I would try my hand at making some beer based vinegars.  You can find all the ingredients at most supermarkets or health food stores. The base of the vinegar (the mother) comes from Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider and all you do is add your beer of choice in a 3 to 1 ratio.

I chose three different beers to experiment with : PBR, Abita Strawberry Ale (seasonal) and a Southern Pecan brown Ale.  I have three jars each of the PBR and the Abita and two jars of the Southern Pecan. It should take about 4-6 weeks for them to be ready so I will update the site as they progress. If it works out I will probably play around with other flavors like Guinness, Mikes Hard Lemonade ( might infuse some lemon zest in those) and then try my hand at wine based vinegars :)

playing around in the kitchen for Gulf Pig

playing around in the kitchen for Gulf Pig

I swear there is a method to this madness, though you will have to be at one of April’s Gulf Pig dinners to find out :)

Blackberry Pie (in a jar)

Blackberry Pie (in a jar)

So we went to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning and picked up a big ol’ mess of Blueberries ( I always wanted to say that). My intention was to make a pie with them but my wife Ann also wanted a blackberry pie. We had already left the market at that point so when we went to the grocery store later that day I picked up a small package of fresh blackberries. There wasn’t enough to make a whole pie but I remember seeing a few people online using jelly jars to cook pies in. As my mother has been making her own jelly for as long as I can remember, we have quite a few empty jelly jars around the house. In this house jelly is like plastic cups, you don’t buy them in a store. We get jelly from my parent’s house and plastic cups from Mardi Gras parades.

These were really easy to make, I just kinda eye balled the measurements based on my recipe for Blueberry Pie. A little flour for thickening, sugar for sweetness, a little lemon zest for zing and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I also add just a touch of maldon sea salt to bring out the blackberry flavor. I lined 3 jars with pie dough and filled each with the blackberry mixture. I topped with just a dab of butter and a round of pie dough cut out with the jar lid. I cut a slit in the top for steam to escape and put them in the freezer till ready to bake. I baked one at 350 for about 40 minutes. Once cool I put it back in the fridge for later.

 

Ann ate this one last night while I was at the Wine Country Bistro / La Seafood benefit dinner. From what she says and seeing the empty jar on the counter it was a hit. At least I have two more in the freezer. :)

David Chang's Lucky Peach

David Chang’s Lucky Peach

Got my copy about two weeks a go at a local bookstore. This concept is interesting but I am  still going through it. Looking forward to what the other issues cover as well as the soon to be released IPad app.

 

Lavender recipe ideas.....

Lavender recipe ideas…..


Espresso marinated Ribeyes

Espresso marinated Ribeyes

About a month ago when I closed my coffee shop, I took some freshly ground espresso and added it to a mason jar filled with canola oil. I let this sit in my pantry, shaking it occasionally. Today I strained out the espresso grinds and marinated two Rib-eyes with the espresso oil, garlic and dried basil. I will marinate them for about 24 hours and then throw them on the grill. We’ll see how they turn out :)

 


 

Crawfish Butter

Crawfish Butter

Go to LSP&MB’s Facebook page or their Website for my Recipe.

Sometimes ideas for a dish come to me pretty fast once I settle on a main ingredient or a technique. In this instance I knew I wanted to do a grilled oyster dish but was unsure of what else I would use to pair with the oyster. I knew I needed to have something with a “bite” to cut through the richness of the grilled oyster. In the past I have used quick pickled apples, watermelon and just your standard mignonette to top off the oysters. I was thinking of a compound butter and while sitting on the couch one night and drinking a beer it came to me ( my brain is always running food ideas in the background ).
It’s the beginning of crawfish season so why not a crawfish butter. This of course changed what I would need to use as something to cut through the oyster and now the added richness of the crawfish butter. I went back and forth on ideas and consulted my wife for ideas as well as my friend Blake in New Orleans. The common consensus was pickled corn. I thought living in Louisiana it would be easy to find. I know every time I go into some sort of antique/old timey store there is a whole shelf dedicated to all things pickled.  Of course as usual none of the local stores here in Shreveport (that I visited) had anything I needed. I finally settled on pickled baby corn. The taste was not all that I wanted so I doctored it up a little. I cut the tiny little kernels off the cob and put them in a small bowl with white wine vinegar,a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper and let this sit for about 15 minutes.
This worked out pretty well. The corn worked out just as I hoped and the crawfish butter really paired well with the grilled oyster.
UPDATE : If I were to do anything different when I make this again I would fold the chopped crawfish tails into the butter rather than pulse them in the food processor.

 

 

Grilled Oysters with Crawfish Butter

Grilled Oysters with Crawfish Butter

This is my latest creation for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board. As usual go to their website or their facebook page for the complete recipe.

Stay tuned for the recipe for the Crawfish Butter.

Enjoy :)

Dark Chocolate & Guinness Frosting for cupcakes

Dark Chocolate & Guinness Frosting for cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Frosting, Maldon Sea Salt and Guinness “syrup” for Dark Chocolate,Espresso Guinness cupcakes

Gulf Pig Underground Dinner Club

Gulf Pig Underground Dinner Club