Quickies (with Amon): Bring back your dead!

Corpse Revivers are an old hair-of-the-dog staple from pre-prohibition days. You know—the sort of classic drink that was invented to make you feel better the morning after a night in which you had too many classic drinks. There are several different corpse revivers and they are super different, so you should probably experiment repeatedly to find your favorite. (Besides, repetition is part of the reason corpse revivers were invented in the first place, so it all goes together.) Personally, I’ve become partial to Corpse Reviver #2, a sweet-tart, gin-based elixir that works as well at night as it does in the morning.


Good juju.

To make it, simply combine 1oz each of gin, lillet, cointreau and lemon juice; shake well with ice and strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Drip precisely 3 drops of absinthe onto the drink. Sip and feel the life return to your bones.

Also, this, of course.

To the Stocks With Ye!

This Monday I attended a cooking demonstration/interactive chicken processing class, delightfully referred to as Chicken 101. It was put on by my CSA (yup, I’ll pretty much pimp these guys anytime) and Cleveland farm-to-table legend, Parker Bosley. He’s an absolute delight and knows way, way more about food and farm-to-table than I ever hope to. Ever.

The class itself was excellent; we all could use refresher on how to bone from time to time.

Sadly, I continue to butcher this process.

I’m also not sure we’re still talking about food.

…Moving on.

There was one question raised during the event to which I found the answer unsatisfying. Being a polite and courteous guest at functions such as this wherein I actually don’t know more about the subject than the presenter, I don’t go about correcting them unless their facts are egregiously wrong. In fact, even then I generally wait till the end unless they’re irreparably destroying the audience’s grasp of the underlying subject matter.

On the internet, however, this will not stand. Why yes. That comic IS compulsory, thank you for pointing out the entire internet has used it.

The question was that old chestnut of, “what is the difference between stock and broth?” And while this has probably been answered a thousand times. I personally prefer the axiom put forth by Alton Brown in [citation needed]: “Broth is made with meat, stock is made with bones.” Which, quite unfortunately, doesn’t alliterate the way one would hope.

I guess one could say that stock sounds like stalk, and bones are like stalks for animals. Sorta. What? If you don’t like it, make up your own and put it in the comments, damnit.

The point of stock is to dissolve out the collagen, gelatin (yes, it WAS made from animals, get over it already) and connective tissues of the critter into the cooking liquid. This creates that luxurious, full mouth-feel that makes stocks such great sauce fodder.

This implies stock, in and of itself, isn’t meant to derive flavors, but rather create that unctuous texture.

The point of broth, on the other hand, is solely to impart flavor into a liquid. Generally you think of broths from a meat source, but this could be from anything: ginger scallion broth, lamb broth, Porsche 911 broth. Water, boiled with tasty things to dissolve into the cooking liquid.

But if you have an Porsche 911 around and are thinking of making broth with it, I humbly beg you to reconsider and just send it to me.

So in the REAL world, “stock” is a combination of brothery and stockery. There’s always some leftover tasty bits clinging to the bones, and those makes everything taste better.

Yes, you, there, in the back? Why yes, there is such a thing “labeled” as vegetable stock. But in my opinion, it’s not stock. It’s broth. Proper vegetable stock (again, my opinion) would be cooked with completely stripped bones and connective bits to impart the texture, and vegetables only for flavor. Definitely not vegetarian.

At the end of the day, what’s really important is to understand the process. Knowing how the dissolving bits work is imperative to understanding how flavors exchange in, well, pretty much every other dish in the world. It’s not complex, it’s not magic. It’s just…

[Insert your own copyrighted food show theme with 10 notes here]

First Principles, Clarice. Simplicity.

Turns out June has finally rolled around here in the midwest, which means Spring is still about a month away from boinging.

Seriously. It barely hit 60F today.

Fortunately my Fresh Fork Market CSA that I love so dearly started up the summer shares this week, so I got to prematurely boing. Into spring. …Yeah, that’s what I mean.


No, really. Booooing.

What we have here, besides a failure to boing at a proper time, is a quick primavera of asparagus (pee!), pea (pea!) tendrils, garlic scape linguini, and chicken (leftover), quickly blanched in a white wine/garlic/olive oil sauce. Well, more like a dressing really. Then, add as much parmesan as you can stand. I, myself, can stand a lot.

It was, spectacular. If you couldn’t tell.

What I really love about these early spring meals is that they take approximately 15 minutes from start to finish (omitting the chicken — honestly it would have been just as good…ugh…vegetarian). I simply pulled everything from the fridge, boiled some water, and some quick sautéing later, dinner was ready to be Instagrammed.

Or at least posted on E-Ho’s.

And it’s not difficult at all. Not time consuming. It’s just using what’s ready to go right now. It’s not hours of planning, worrying about some insane fusion flavor profile. It’s simple stuff. Put together. Un-thought about. Un-doctored by demi-glace or elderberry gastrique. Simple.

Whatever you do, don’t over think. Don’t even over think. Over think and your dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t over think.

Good luck.

Kitchen Knife Review: Miyabi 6000MCT “Artisan” 8-inch Gyuto

Blade: 210mm long; mirror polish, hammer finish; SG2 steel (target 63 HRC); double-bevel edge
Handle: oval cocobolo pakkawood
Weight: 212g
Price: $125 discounted ($200 standard)


Yay, it’s another knife review!  This time we’re looking at the 8” chef’s knife from Miyabi’s flashy and (relatively) new Artisan line. We’ll begin with the obvious. The first thing you’ll notice about the Artisan line is that these are some seriously blinged-out blades. The handle sports a mosaic pin and multiple rows of spacers, the endcap has a deeply embossed Miyabi logo and the blade itself is mirror polished and wrapped in hammer-dimpled cladding. There’s also a hazy stripe of cladding beneath the hammered portion; this is described as “damascus” in the marketing blubs but it clearly isn’t. I don’t really know what they were trying to go for here, but I’ll admit to kind of liking that portion. I think a bunch of layers of faux damascus crammed into the middle would have really been too far over the top. The haze calms things down a bit. Anyhow, if you want something really eye-catching, this’ll do it. If you prefer simple and subdued, you’d best look elsewhere.

Once your eyes recover from the initial radiance, a closer inspection reveals a number of details about the blade. The profile is similar to Miyabi’s Kaizen line of knives, with a long, gentle curve to the belly. This is different from the Fusion gyuto, which has a lower tip and flatter profile. The blade is definitely slim overall; less than 2mm wide above the heel and quite thin behind the edge. That thinness remains fairly constant, however, and the blade doesn’t taper much until about the last inch and a half or so before you reach the tip.
artisangeometry artisanspine




Okay, we’re done with the looking, let’s get to the touching! (No, not like that. Jeez, you perverts.) The knife weighs a pretty substantial 212g (10g more than the Miyabi Fusion gyuto) and the balance point is is right at the end of the handle, which makes the knife slightly handle-heavy (a feeling that becomes more pronounced if you use a pinch grip). Aside from the balance, I found the oval handle more comfortable than a standard D handle but less comfortable than an octagon or western handle. Spine and choil of the blade are eased, which is a nice amenity. The blade was very sharp out of the box and this combines with the thinness to make it a great slicer right from the get-go. (That thinness will also continue to be an asset over the life of the knife.) The belly lends itself to easy rocking but means that push-cutters like myself will be less pleased. The high-hardness steel should lead to good edge retention, though I’ll admit that I haven’t used it enough at this point to really make a comment on whether that theory holds or not.

So, would I recommend it? Yes and no. It’s got plenty of good qualities that I think a lot of people will like, but at the same time it has qualities that may really turn some people off. Personally, I prefer the Fusion gyuto, but the Gastrognome prefers this one. The one thing I will definitely knock here is the price—there are a lot of cutlery options for $200 that are significantly more serious than this one. If, however, you can find it at a discount and are interested, I’d say a good bet is to see if you can try it out and decide if it might not be a good fit for you!

tl;dr version:

spine & choil rounded
thin behind the edge & along spine
good for rocking & mincing

on the heavy side
standard price is high–definitely look for a sale/discount
too much belly for push-cutting

Could go either way/your preference:
balance optimized for hammer/sword grip instead of pinch grip
very flashy looks


Quick comparison to other 8-inch knives: Top: Zwilling 4-Star chef's Mid: Miyabi Fusion gyuto Bottom: Miyabi Artisan gyuto

Quick comparison to other 8-inch knives:
Top: Zwilling 4-Star chef’s
Mid: Miyabi Fusion gyuto
Bottom: Miyabi Artisan gyuto

More kitchen knife reviews:
MAC 10″ gyuto/chef’s
Miyabi Fusion petty/utility
Miyabi Fusion 8″ gyuto/chef’s

Veloces (con Falquan): Delizioso Colla





Goddamned dough sticks to everything. It’s like I’m rubber and it’s glue and everything it comes into contact with is also glue. And F it too.




What? I’m not going to post a picture.




Little known fact, pizzas are made of hate.

Little known fact, pizzas are made of hate.

Shut up, I’m not proud.

Quickies (with Amon): the Right Stuff

What holiday is coming up soon? Why it’s my favorite holiday of the year! (Even if calling it a “holiday” is a bit over the top.) Yes friends, I’m talking about Cinco de Mayo. And even though I don’t know anybody in Puebla I would be lying if I didn’t say that I think there should be (significantly) more days of the year in which people (outside of Mexico, of course) celebrate with Mexican food. So let’s get this party started, shall we?

Bam!  Guacamole!

Bam! Guacamole!

When making guacamole as a dip, I like it chunky and with lots of flavor. This one features avocado, chopped tomato and jalapeño, minced garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and a touch of cinnamon. Also featured: the gastrognomie’s home-toasted tortilla chips.

It hasn’t been nominated for any major awards (yet), but it’s still a great way to kick off a celebration! In fact, having your own, fresh guacamole is so much better than eating the green mousse that most stores pass off as guac, that it’s pretty much grounds for a celebration in and of itself! Pass the chips (and the tequila)!

Quickies (with Amon): Feeling blue?

I don’t know what things are like in your part of the world as you read this, but over here in my part of the world as I write this, things are totally wacked out. Now, I understand the whole “April Showers” thing, I really do. But I’m starting to get the impression that Spring is feeling guilty for arriving so damn late and is trying to make up for it by cramming a month’s worth of weather into every day. Seriously, there’s no reason for there to be 30-degree temperature fluctuations every 24 hours, not to mention the freak cloudbursts and tornadoes. The Germans really nailed it when they coined the rhyme “April, April, der weiss nicht was er will” (literally, April doesn’t know what it wants). And that’s Germany talking! One of the sunniest nations on the planet!

Anyhow, if you, dear reader, are feeling down because of the weather, your work, or really any reason, perhaps this can help perk up your day:

It's time to turn that frown upside-down!

It’s time to turn that frown upside-down!

Not only does the Sloe Berry Blue gin sour have a punny name, it also tastes wonderful. Plus, it’s not very alcoholic, so knocking one back at the end of the day might make you feel better and hopefully won’t make you feel worse the next morning. If you can’t find sloe gin, you can always swap it out for damson gin, which is made with little plums that have a similar taste to sloe berries.

To make it, combine 2oz gin, 1oz lemon juice and 3/4 oz simple syrup; shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

You Ain’t Got the Stones

I don’t expect it’s any secret that I enjoy an adult beverage or 7. And while vin rouge is my true poison, I do loves me a nice whiskey. Frequently.

This brings up two intertwined issues. One: I enjoy whiskey at an ever so slightly cool temperature, and two: I enjoy whiskey neat.

The simple solution, I suppose, is keep the whiskey in the fridge or freezer. Well, the freezer is WAY too cold, and completely masks all the subtile nuances that makes different whiskeys so unique and interesting. Same goes for the fridge.

I suspect the purists in the crowd will say that the nuances are still lost at anything other than room-temperature or warmer. And they’re probably right. But this is one of those moments where I like what I like, and you like what you like, but really we both like the same thing: getting super drunk whiskey.

And lots of it.

Whiskey Stones in Woodford Reserve

Passed, but not with flying colors

I recently procured some whiskey stones, which are nothing more than small cubes of granite that you stuff in the freezer to use in place of ice cubes in your drink. This in theory would cool your drink while not melting like said ice, and diluting the perfect flavor.

What I found was that the stones didn’t really cool the beverage very much at all.

However, they had several other fantastic benefits:

  1. They added a pleasant heft to the glass, making my rather budget rocks glasses feel much classier.
  2. The stones didn’t constantly fly forward and hit me in the face while sipping, unlike every ice cube I’ve ever encountered.
  3. There’s fucking rocks in my drink. If that’s not manly, I don’t know what is.

So, I’ll continue to use them if for not other reason their aesthetic qualities. But quite honestly, if you want to drink your whiskey cool, not cold, put it in the wine cooler with your red wines. They should be held around 55 degrees, which is pretty much exactly where you want your whiskey.

Or, just go ahead and crack open that Châteauneuf. It’s your call.

Quickies (with Princesszyrtec): Bi-curryous

Curious to see if I could create something other than salads or sandwiches, I begged my friend Ahmad for his mother’s recipe for dry curried chicken.  While most stores now sell pre-mixed Indian spice blends like garam masala or prepared curry, Ahmad’s mother custom blends her own sweet spice mix.  After picking up some spices that I did not previously have in my cupboard, I began ‘tweaking’ the process, beginning with a dry spice coating before the spiced yogurt coating. Marinated for  24 hours instead of 3. Fry onions, then coat the chicken in the onion mixture. Then added extra yogurt and spices on top and baked for about 25 minutes.  Plate.

retro meat


      But that’s just meat.

      Meat on a plate.

      All alone.

      It needs company.




Part of the fun of planning the menu was looking up recipes for possible side dishes.  I decided to look beyond the usual recipe sites and peruse sites written in India by Indians, for Indians. (B.I.F.I.).  I encountered unusual instructions and ingredients, such as “take numbers of 3 to 6 ingredient and vigorous stir first, then add to pan and cock together.”

But I digress. (I should warn everyone right now that my idea of a satisfying quickie is to indulge in 8 hours of heavy petting first).

The side dish was a blend of basmati and wild rice blended with a vegetable curry I made the night before. The texture and consistency of the veggie curry was that of a thick soup, so it mixed well with the rice. The rice’s flavor was not as complex as the chicken curry, but delivered a pleasant kick of heat that balanced well with the rich sweetness of the chicken coating.

I decided to whip up some hummus (the night before so the flavor was well blended) with fresh veggies and the ever delish Stacy’s Pita Chips to nibble on while I finished cooking, and falquan was kind enough to keep me well hydrated with champagne.

Things that make you go hummus

Things that make you go hummus

Finally, we get to eat!

Hurry, hurry; eat some curry! I cocked it just for you.

Hurry, hurry; eat some curry!
I cocked it just for you.

I had brought some lemon Moravian crisps for desert, but Falquan had something else in mind. Something decadent.

Maceration. Heh. You said 'tion'

Maceration. Heh. You said ‘tion’

Honey, lemon, and the rest of his Cointreau. Awwww yeaaaah! Wait – there’s more? Baked biscuit, sauteed strawberries, yogurt. Oven.

Here there be decadence.

Beware. Here there be decadence.


     Several glasses of wine later…


1 fork. 1 knife. 2 mouths.

1 fork. 1 knife. 2 mouths. Sticky fingers.


Needless to say, the kitchen was a cornucopia of knives, pans, wine glasses, champagne flutes, and stickiness. I started wiping up the counter and  Falquan admitted he needed someone to help him clean up occasionally, and I suggested he get a concubine. . .

“Concubines don’t do dishes! They are only good for sex!

What use do I have for a concubine!”

Falquan, truer words have never been spoken.

Rapides (avec Falquan): La Vache

Fine, call me light in l’œufs, but I now demand fried egg on everything. After seeing Amon’s previous post, and having a delightful lunch at Nano Brew, I continue to assume that anything can be made better with a fried egg (yolk still running all over the god-damned plate, please).


Stella Artois was probably necessary for the full effect.


1/2 pound bison burger, herbed chevre, aroogula, local Scenic Acres egg, ketchup, dijon, pretzel bun (toasted, thank you).