It’s no secret that I grew up in South Carolina, okay, yes my parents were yankees, but there are just some things that come with growing up in the southeast. One of those things is that I eat grits, I love them, anytime of the day. However they can’t just be those 15 minute instant kind of grits (truth be told I’m not sure that this is not the true start of the civil war), but real grits, the kind that take time, love, and when done right, just melt in your mouth. Hit the link for more on grits.
Continue reading True Grit
Sometimes your friends bring you food, sometimes its good, other times not so much… When my friend Liza brought her zucchini bread into work, this was a case were it was excellent! I had to have the recipe, and with a few minor tweaks I give it to you… The Ultimate Zucchini Bread after the jump.
Continue reading Zucchini Bread, Heaven in a Loaf Pan
After being told on many occasions by Katt that the barbecue sauce I was using was wrong (it was ketchup based) I started to believe she may be right. Don’t get me wrong I still like my red BBQ sauce but Katt won’t go near the stuff. This sent me on a journey to make some homemade Carolina style BBQ sauce since in the Chicagoland area there just isn’t any to come by. After several weeks of trying, some hits and some misses, I finally came up with a sauce that is my Yankee interpretation of a mustard based Carolina style BBQ sauce. I am calling this sauce round 1 since I think there is still room for improvement but this is a good start. Hit the jump for the recipe.
Continue reading BBQ Sauce: Carolina Style
Long before the Italians started what most people now associate with, and Starbucks tries to pass off as, coffee, the Arabs roasted and brewed coffee in a manner that has not changed much since the 16th century. To those in the west this brew is know as Turkish Coffee, in Turkey and the Middle East however it is simply known as kahve which originates from the Arabic word for ‘coffee’. The unique brewing style used requires just a couple of pieces of equipment and some coffee and the resulting, often spiced, dark elixir is as rich in taste as it is in history. Read on to find out how to make it.
Continue reading Turkish Coffee
Nothing is better on a hot summer day than a daiquiri, unless of course you can get your hands on some daiquiri ice. But if that hot summer day falls during the week and in the middle of the day odds are your boss won’t appreciate you eating alcoholic ice desserts, no matter how hot it is. Enter coffee ice cream, the perfect way to sober up after a couple of scoops of daiquiri ice. Keep reading to find out how I make them both.
Continue reading Two Desserts: One will get you drunk and one will sober you up
Recently at work a conversation about crack lead to a discussion of sugar stages. So what are sugar stages you ask? Anyone who owns a candy thermometer has probably seen, in addition to temperatures, words like thread and hard crack written on its face. Those words correspond to the stages that sugar goes through as it is heated. Continue on for more info on the sugar stages and find out how the firm ball stage leads to divinity.
Continue reading Sugar stages are the way to Divinity
The year is 1898. The place is the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France. In this fateful year a delicious mistake saw the creation of the Tarte Tatin. No one is really sure how this happy accident came about, much like the great chocolate/peanut butter debate. Some say that a greatly overworked Stéphanie Tatin, the cooking half of the two Tatin sisters that ran the hotel at the time, accidently overcooked the apples for a traditional apple pie. In an effort to save them she quickly covered them with pie dough and tossed them in the oven. Inverting the apple tart, and much to her surprise, the guests of the hotel loved the dessert. Others believe that she was simply creating an ordinary apple tart and accidently baked it upside down. I personally believe she was probably just having fun in the kitchen. Regardless of how the Tarte Tatin was created all that matters is that it was, and this upside-down apple tart made with apples caramelized in butter and sugar has been delighting diners ever since. Read on to find out how to make your own Tarte Tatin.
Continue reading This tart won’t get you in trouble
While researching for another post I ran across an interesting food item that I was not previously aware of. That item was fried Coke, the culinary sibling of braised heroin. Seriously though, fried Coke, this is a dish made from frying dough made with Coca-Cola, on which Coke syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon and a cherry are added. Created for the 2006 State Fair of Texas the official recipe has never been revealed. Noting the decided lack of alcohol and paying homage to my favorite drink I set out to create my own version. Read on for fried Captain and Coke.
Continue reading Deep Fried Captain and Coke
Memories are funny things. Some of them are perfectly vivid down to the smells and tactile sensations. Others evoke an emotional response with the details obscured by the fog of time. Artichokes induce such an emotional response in me, giving me a sense of calm, a feeling of safety, and a feeling of warmth. You see, when I was growing up artichokes where a special treat at our dinner table, a time when the stresses from the day disappeared and for a brief moment everything was perfect. We would each receive our own artichoke accompanied by a small bowl of melted butter. Peel a leaf, a light dip of butter, and just enough flesh on each to give a taste of the treat waiting ahead, the ritual was almost as good at the meal. Finally after what seemed like an eternity you would reach a furry center. I was convinced this would kill me if not for the valiant efforts of my father who would expertly remove the “choke” making the heart safe for consumption. A final dip into butter and we would consume the heart, perhaps one of the best of all epicurean delights, only made better by the work required to obtain this other worldly delight. Until very recently I had only ever prepared artichokes in the same way as my mother. She would carefully steam them until the flesh of the leaves yielded to the tooth and the heart was soft and warm. Awhile back while preparing a grilled meal I decided to finish the artichokes on the grill, and my world has never been the same. Read on to see how I prepare my grilled artichokes.
Continue reading Dr. Thistlelove or: How I learned to stop steaming and grill the artichoke
What do you do when you have left over duck fat from the slow-roasted barbeque pulled duck sliders you did for your company’s pot-luck? Why you deep fry stuff in it of course! Katt is the fried chicken connoisseur around here so when she said she wanted to make fried chicken I decided to take it to the next level and make it ridiculous. I did and my heart will never be the same. What I ended up with is buttermilk battered duck fried chicken with a bacon, onion and mushroom white gravy. Hit the jump for a run down.
Continue reading Duck fried chicken with bacon & duck fat country gravy