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Sneakeater

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Everything posted by Sneakeater

  1. This wine and surrounding vintages of same are so much better now than they were when I drank them younger that I can only conclude that Norton not only can age, but must.
  2. Another dish that it had never occurred to me I could like make.
  3. Don't listen to me. I'm senile.
  4. This was at least Seasonally Correct, as one of the first things I'd do upon returning to Binghamton each Fall was to grab a Spiedie or five.
  5. Too much eating at the West Indian Day Parade yesterday so . . . Labor Day Dinner today! (It only benefited from the extra day's marinating.) An entirely Upstate dinner. Binghamton Spiedies (using the historically accurate lamb). Syracuse Salt Potatoes (OK they don't toss them with tarragon and marjoram in Syracuse) (at least they didn't in the '70s -- now that everybody's a fucking foodie they probably do). A grilled ear of corn. As far as I can tell, there are no Upstate green vegetable preparations. The braised greens they eat in Utica contain as much salumi as greens. I did have a tomato, though. Syracuse Salt Potatoes are really good, BTW. It has to be like 50 years since I've had any. We've already established what the wine pairing is for this. 2006 Stone Hill Winery Norton This isn't a case of "what grows together goes together". Spiedies are beyond the imaginings of Virginia (where the Norton grape originated) and Missouri (where this wine comes from). And Norton isn't a labrusca grape as grows Upstate. The pairing just works. The pissy acidic wine complements the Spiedie marinade (as close as I could come to replicating bottled Italian dressing). And the wine actually tastes kind of good with charred lamb (people scoffed when Sam Sifton recommended putting sugar into the marinade; but aside from counteracting the vinegar, it so nicely promotes caramelization -- i.e., char -- that you can see exactly what it brings to the table here). Ecclesiastes was right!
  6. Sneakeater

    Gigs

    What a good song.
  7. Sneakeater

    Gigs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP2EvSNHqh0
  8. Sneakeater

    Gigs

    Nope. Now that I bothered to look it up, while the album was called Strong Persuader, the song that contained the album's title phrase was called "Right Next Door (Because of Me)".
  9. Leslie Nielsen was inspired to go into acting by the success of his uncle, Jean Herscholt.
  10. I feel like I'd much rather buy what's local and in season. Stuff like this seems anti-food to me. Not to mention the carbon footprint.
  11. Here. Don't listen to me. Listen to Simon Difford. (I swear I didn't read this till after I wrote the post about Kina Lillet above.) https://www.diffordsguide.com/beer-wine-spirits/298/kina-lillet
  12. This is especially the case when you use an essentially juniperless Gin, as I did here. The bite you lose from the Gin has to come from somewhere. Otherwise you'll be drinking mush.
  13. Actually, let me talk about the Lillet Blanc replacement for a moment, since Lillet Blanc was discussed here recently. OG Lillet Blanc was very different from what you can buy now. It had a substantial quinine component, making it much bitterer than its current iteration. Indeed, as fans of the James Bond novels know, it was originally called Kina Lillet. Sometime since then, Lillet Blanc was reformulated to make it more universally palatable for the international market (meaning it was dumbed down for the American palate). The Quinine was removed to remove the bitterness. So current Lillet Blanc is milder, more anodyne than its OG predecessor. Since the cocktails calling for Lillet Blanc are almost all old classics, the recipes really call for something different than what is currently available. They're expecting a bitter flavor component that Lillet Blanc no longer has. So attentive mixologists have sought substitutes. The most popular one is that excellent aperitivo Cocchi Americano. It has a bitter component, but (as you'd expect from an Alpine aperitivo) it's supplied by Gentian in addition to (and even more than) Quinine. So it's similar, but different. A very good substitute -- but not the same thing. In the wake of the Cocktail Revival, it's not surprising that attempts were made to reverse-engineer a Kina. The most notable one is Tempus Fugit's Kina l'Aéro d'Oro. People who've had Kina Lillet say it's not the same: harsher, less integrated. I say it's fine. I like it more in drinks like a Corpse Reviver No. 2 than Cocchi Americano (which I love in general, don't get me wrong). It sharpens them up.
  14. As I thought, eating at the West Indian Day Parade this afternoon pre-empted dinner. So ice cream (McConnells!) and cocktail(s). Since everybody knows how to make a Corpse Reviver No. 2 (that most sheerly delicious of all cocktails), the interest here was in the choice of specific ingredients. Using Kina l'Aéro d'Oro in place of Lillet Blanc is old news. (I know some people who think Kina l'Aéro d'Oro is too gross, too harsh. Those people can BITE ME.) So let's talk about the choice of Gin. The consensus favorite Gin in a Corpse Reviver No. 2 is probably Plymouth. The thought is that the prevalence of floral botanicals and the deemphasis of juniper as compared to a London Dry promotes the flavor blend of this cocktail. I decided to take that even further. G'Vine Floraison is a French "modern" Gin. I usually have no use for these, which typically -- like this one -- have practically NO juniper. Juniper is what I WANT in a Gin; it's what I go to Gin for. (To me, it plays the exact same role as hops do in beer.) This Gin is almost entirely floral botanicals (and, further softening it, it's wine-based rather than using neutral spirits). I wouldn't want this in a Martini or a Gin & Tonic. But in a Corpse Reviver No. 2? I think this really worked. Mixing metaphors, I would have to call this drink (pair of drinks, TBH) (I did stop short of Harry Craddock's four) melifluous. It was a symphony of soft flavors -- except for the Absinthe rinse, which provided just the right kick. (Some people say that if you use Absinthe rather than Pastis in a Corpse Reviver No. 2, you should use a dash rather than a rinse, lest the more powerful Absinthe overwhelm the drink. Those people can also BITE ME.) I really feel sorry for people who don't mix cocktails.
  15. Cheeseman Steve Jerkins is now peddling olive oil (off on his own).
  16. I made fried okra last night! Cosmic!
  17. Sneakeater

    Gigs

    (Although I'm pretty sure the song is actually called something other than "Strong Persuader".)
  18. Sneakeater

    Gigs

    I heard a song on the radio a few days ago. I thought, "this is really good." Then I thought, "wait, I know this." Then I thought, "this is 'Strong Persuader'!"
  19. I always wonder why Sable's isn't more famous than it is. It's so great.
  20. What you might not know, though, is that fried okra and fried green tomatoes are made differently. They both are coated with cornmeal. But fried okra is made in what I've come to think of this Summer as the Ligurian manner:* you just dredge it in cornmeal and throw it into the oil (in Liguria it would just be flour you dredge it in). Fried green tomatoes, OTOH, get a batter: you dredge them in flour, then dip them in an egg/buttermilk mixture, then coat them with cornmeal. (Which means I got to make myself some Special Treat Fritters, an artifact of my childhood.) _________________________________________________ * The Ligurian manner arose because Ligurian fishermen would get home from fishing quite late. They were hungry. Their wives were hungry. Their children were hungry. So their wives developed a cooking method for the day's catch with as few steps as possible, to get dinner right on the table.
  21. FUN WITH MENU PLANNING See, my original plan was to make some roasted okra and tomato to have with the burger. But then, today, it occurred to me that fried okra would go better with a burger than roasted. But what about the tomato? I had planned to use a tomato up tonight. I don't want any of my gorgeous tomatoes bought for this week to go bad and get wasted. Then it hit me: FRIED GREEN TOMATO! Not just a dish, but a famous one!
  22. The next time you're having a hamburger with alpine-style cheese and mushrooms, think hard about this.
  23. Cheeseburger with an alpine-style cheese, mushrooms (Chantarelles -- or Citronellas, as the counterperson called them as she rang them up -- yo), PA Dutch onion relish, and brown sauce. (I know this seems repetitive of last night's dinner. But holiday conventions impose limitations.) A grilled ear of corn. (That's something I'm HAPPY to repeat.) In order to finish up my garlic chives, I made another garlic chive butter to slather on the corn. (The dinner I have planned for tomorrow -- if I have room left after Carnival -- wouldn't accommodate such frippery.) Fried okra and green tomatoes. (Doing some research before this first attempt ever at making fried green tomatoes, I was pleasantly shocked to learn that this dish was probably introduced to the U.S. -- as it turns out, it really originated in the Midwest, not the South -- by Jews.) My overly literal geographic specificity went off the charts tonight. 2006 Caves Cooperatives de Donnas "Donnas" So I used an alpine style cheese. Originally, I was gonna use Gruyere, until I realized I had this old chunk of something more obscure and unfortunately less melty sitting around waiting to start rotting. Now the Vallée d'Aoste borders on Switzerland, and isn't even that far from Gruyere. And, of course, Nebbiolo loves mushrooms. And for all its seeming lightness, it has plenty of tannins to bond with the fat in a burger. And a soft red like this one is perfect for the whole gestalt (Merlot would be the classic pairing for Swiss cheese and mushrooms). Caves Cooperatives de Donnas is one of those Italian coops that unexpectedly make some of the finest wine in their appellation. (The Produttori del Barbaresco are everybody's key example.) This wine is kind of inarguable. It's mostly Picotendro (a grape that you and I would call Nebbiolo) with some Freisa and a very local grape called Neyret (which doesn't have some other name that you and I would know better). It would be a prototypical Atlo Piemonte, if it weren't so Alto that it's no longer Piemonte. Meaning it's a very soft Nebbiolo, both on account of the softening blending grapes and the higher altitude reached in what are more hills than foothills. Most people would say you shouldn't keep a wine like this for as long as I did. Most people are wrong. This still has a good deal of cherry/cranberry fruit. But it also has an extremely integration, where the primary flavors flow into the secondaries -- some smoke, some herbs, some forest -- with no perceptible break. And where the whole thing goes down rico suave. You don't get that without years in the cellar. Even a $20 wine can benefit from that -- if, like this one, it's got the stuff.
  24. Doing some research, I see that in Macedonia Negroska is kind of Merlot to Xinomavro's Cabernet Sauvignon (even if Xinomavro tastes more like Syrah).
  25. (And then a week later you can have a day where you bum yourself out over what a horrible person you've been, but if you get bummed enough all your defalcations melt away.) (These ideas might really have staying power!)
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