This is something that has evolved over the last few weeks. I’m currently serving Semi-Smoked Beef Brisket on my menu right now. I love the really crispy, chewy burnt ends and wanted to highlight them some way. I started with a Burnt Ends Vinaigrette which worked out reasonable well, and I’ll definitely keep working on that. But then I saw David Bazirgan’s video on Tasting Table for Grilled Asparagus with Gribiche, and it all clicked. I took my favorite gribiche recipe and swapped in my BBQ sauce for the vinegar, and room temperateure, render brisket fat for the olive oil. I adjusted the seasonings a bit and added in some chopped burnt ends.
I’ve served it over both roasted asparagus and green beans. To be honest, I even scooped up the sauce with some cold pizza. This is not a recipe to try if you’re not already going to all the trouble of making brisket and BBQ sauce. But since we are, it worked out well for us. If you want, you can mix everything together, except for the raw egg yolks, and keep it in the fridge. Then you just have to put it in the microwave for 10 second increments and mix in the raw egg yolks as needed. Feel free to adjust ratios of meat, BBQ sauce, egg yolks and pickles to suit your tastes.
Burnt Ends Gribiche
Separate hard-boiled egg whites from yolks and coarsely chop the whites; set aside. Pass yolks through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.
Put egg yolk in a small bowl. Whisk in BBQ sauce. Slowly whisk in rendered fat, until sauce is thickened and emulsified. Fold in brisket (reheated if necessary), pickles, chopped herbs, chopped egg whites, and sieved egg yolks.
Serve over vegetables (Roasted/Grilled Asparagus, Green Beans) or eat out of the bowl.
I’m really enjoying Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits. It has recipes for both unique liqueurs and copycat versions. This week, I put together some Strega, Kummel and Cynar using recipes from the book. Most of them use vodka as the base. Like all good things, you get out what you put into it. I used Grey Goose for my infusions, though you could use a less expensive vodka.
I’m not sure how close the copycat recipes will be be, or if it will be less expensive to make my own versions. But that wasn’t really the point of this. It’s fun, and I like the feeling of making things. Once you master the base recipe, it’s easy to start making your own adjustments. I’ll do a progress update when these are finished.
New England Style Indian Pudding
I’ve been thinking about Indian Pudding a lot lately. It’s something I grew up with, and it had been a while since I’d eaten any. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a cornmeal and molasses pudding with cinnamon, ginger and other warming spices. Imagine making the filling for pumpkin pie, but using cornmeal instead of pumpkin. That will give you a good idea of what it’s like. For a really great starter recipe, check out this one from Yankee Magazine.
The challenge I’m having is that it doesn’t necessarily present well in a restaurant setting. It’s brown pudding, that quite often separates a bit, leaving a runny, broken maple liquid in the bottom of the bowl. My wife was first introduced to it in the prepared, canned form, which she says looks like dog food. It’s still delicious, and that won’t stop me from serving it. It’s traditionally served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, though we opted for our house-made Burnt Caramel/Bulleit Bourbon Ice Cream.
This is just the beginning. What would it be like to swap stone ground grits for the cornmeal? Or smoking the molasses (a new discovery for me) and/or quickly aging the maple syrup in an ISI on Jack Daniel’s Bourbon Chips? I also love Wildwood’s Hickory Syrup and think that it could replace the maple syrup. And even though there’s a lot of grumbling about bacon in desserts, some Edward’s Bacon Brittle would add the crunch component I’m looking for.
I’ll continue to work with this recipe until I find something that’s both unique, yet still reminds me of my favorite childhood dessert.
I just picked up my first shad roe of the season. It’s currently being served on my menu, but I wanted to reserve some for something special: making bottarga.
This is my first go at it. I followed instructions from Hank Shaw, with some great advice on Twitter & Instagram. Here’s hoping.
I didn’t grow up with the tradition of barbecue, so I don’t feel the need to adhere to any strict rules. I’m currently running a semi-smoked brisket on my menu. A liberal amount of Texas rub is put on the brisket before it is wrapped in plastic, and allowed to sit in the fridge overnight. The next day it’s smoked over Acadian Oak for 2 hours. We don’t have a smoker, so it’s rigged up on our…
Another year of Cochon 555 has come and gone. Here are a select few pictures from the event. I can’t really tell you what all of these are, so try to enjoy anyway. If you want a really great set of pictures from the event, check out these by Huge Galdones.
Here are some of my pictures from past years:
I see this drink as a bit of a Martini/Manhattan hybrid. The genever is like a malty gin, and the barrel aged version brings it even closer to the realm of whiskey. The Vya vermouth has a lot going on in the way of botanicals. I love both their sweet and extra dry vermouths.
I prefer to serve this drink on a large ice cube in a rocks glass as opposed to up in a martini glass. It’s a personal…