This cocktail wasn’t on the menu the night I walked into Rye, an excellent and adventurous young restaurant in Louisville’s East Market District. But after a short chat with the bartender, the drink came up in conversation. I ordered it as a sort of dare, to see if it was possible that lethally strong absinthe could function as the base of an Old-Fashioned. “We wanted to do a menu based on the Old-Fashioned with the basic recipe coming down to base spirit, bittering agent, and sweetening agent,” said Petry. “We wanted to try it with some spirits that weren’t typical and thought absinthe would be a fun way to go with it. After a few missteps, we found a recipe that we liked and went with it.” It takes an equal measure of sweet stuff —in this case a combination of simple syrup and elderflower liqueur—to tame the fiery power of the absinthe. But tame it, it does, while also nicely toning down the licorice flavor. The Peychaud’s adds a needed dry note as well as provides some color to the milky green liquid. Still, don’t make the mistake of drinking two of these. In fact, make it your final drink of the night. You won’t need another.
Combine the absinthe, simple syrup, and St-Germain in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until chilled. Strain over a large chunk of ice in an Old-Fashioned glass. Float the Peychaud’s bitters on top.
From Page 73:
SIMPLE SYRUP, MAKES 1 CUP 1 cup sugar 1 cup water
Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. The moment the water begins to boil, remove from the heat, let cool, then refrigerate. Stored tightly sealed in the refrigerator, the syrup will keep for 1 week.
(*Reprinted with permission from The Old-Fashioned by Robert Simonson, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photographs (c) 2014 by Daniel Krieger)
A French guy always has a weekness for dishes with snails so I could not resist mentioning one of the dishes tasted by Robbie Swinnerton of Tokyo Food File on his visit to Sojiki Nakahigashi restaurant in Tokyo, dishes created by Chef Hisao Nakahigashi..
Funa Zushi, Fermented Sushi, served with Water Snails
People and nature in the open, in a nutshell Festival Photo La Gacilly, in my native Morbihan (Brittany, France) could be described that way.
Now in its 11th year with the 2014 Edition (May 31 to September 30), the festival stages all its exhibits outdoors
Special guest country in 2014 is the USA as 70th anniversary of D Day is under way.
On a culinary note Jean-Jacques Naudet in his festival showcase for L'oeil de la Photographie suggests you stay away from festival's official restaurant and instead walk to Les Enfants Gat'thés, a combination fine food and tea shop and restaurant.
(* Poster of festival from Festival Photo La Gacilly Facebook page)
Let's start with Martin's version of scallops sashimi.
CONCHAS BORRACHAS DRUNKEN SCALLOPS
I have always been a huge fan of scallop sashimi. After experimenting with various flavor combinations through trial and error, this scallop dish was born. It’s one of the prettiest, most delicate, and most loved dishes on our menu.
12 large sea scallops, each cut horizontally into 3 thin slices 2 limes, cut in half Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate 1 limo chile, seeded and finely chopped 2 tbsp pisco (or a good-quality vodka) 4 tbsp Cilantro Oil A small handful of freshly torn cilantro leaves or micro cilantro Fine sea salt
Arrange the slices of scallop on individual serving plates. Don’t worry if you have to overlap them slightly.
Sprinkle some salt over them and squeeze half a lime over each plate.
Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and chile and then drizzle over a few drops of pisco and the Cilantro Oil.
Decorate with torn cilantro and serve straightaway.
Rather than serving on a plate, you can serve these scallops on clean scallop shells.
We use this a lot in the Ceviche kitchen. If you love cilantro, it’s worth making a large batch, as it will keep in the fridge for around a month.
Put 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro (leaves and stalks) in a saucepan with a scant 1/2 cup / 100 ml vegetable oil and set over medium heat.
Heat gently for 5 minutes, without boiling, to let the cilantro wilt. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
Transfer the cilantro and oil to a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and decant into a sterilized bottle (see page 227).
Store in a cool, darkplace. Makes a scant 1/2 cup / 100 ml.
Flavor Profile Rich, complex, sweet, tangy, and slightly salty
Try It With Kaeng Khanun (Northern Thai young jackfruit curry), page 166, or Yam Samun Phrai (Northern Thai–style herbal salad), page 65. Needs Khao Niaw (Sticky rice), page 33.
Up to 1 week in advance: Make the curry paste and the tamarind water Up to a few days in advance: Make the curry Up to 2 days in advance: Make the fried shallots
A Thai granite mortar and pestle
Serves 6 to 8 as part of a meal
1 ounce thinly sliced lemongrass (tender parts only), from about 4 stalks 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 (14-gram) piece peeled fresh or frozen (not defrosted) galangal, thinly sliced against the grain 7 grams stemmed dried Mexican puya chiles (about 4), soaked in hot tap water until fully soft, about 15 minutes 1 1/2 ounces peeled Asian shallots, thinly sliced against the grain 1 1/2 teaspoons Kapi Kung (Homemade shrimp paste), page 274
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 ounce peeled Asian shallots, thinly sliced with the grain (about 1/4 cup) 1 1/2 teaspoons mild Indian curry powder 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 pound skinless pork belly, cut into approximately 1 1/2-inch chunks 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into approximately 11/2-inch chunks 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce 2 tablespoons Thai black soy sauce 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid from Thai pickled garlic (straight from the jar) 1 1/2 ounces palm sugar, coarsely chopped 6 tablespoons Naam Makham (Tamarind water), page 274 2 cups water 1 (1-ounce) piece peeled ginger, cut into long (about 11/2-inch), thin (about 1/8-inch) matchsticks (about 1/4 cup) 1 1/2 ounces separated and peeled pickled garlic cloves (about 30 small cloves) 4 ounces long beans, trimmed and cut into 11/2-inch lengths (about 2 cups) 6 tablespoons Hom Daeng Jiaw (Fried shallots), page 273
MAKE THE PASTE
Combine the lemongrass in the mortar with the salt and pound firmly until you have a fairly smooth, slightly fibrous paste, about 2 minutes. Add the galangal and pound until you have a smooth, slightly fibrous paste, about 2 minutes. Drain the chiles well, wrap them in paper towels, and gently squeeze them dry. Add them to the mortar and pound them, then add the shallots, and then the shrimp paste, fully pounding each ingredient before moving on to the next. You’ll have about 1/2 cup of paste. You can use it right away, or store the paste in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
MAKE THE CURRY
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat until it shimmers. Add all of the paste, breaking it up slightly and stirring occasionally, until it’s fragrant and turns a slightly duller shade of red, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the shallots and cook until they soften slightly, about 3 minutes, then add the curry powder and turmeric powder and stir frequently for a minute or so to bring out their fragrance. Add the pork belly and shoulder, stir to coat the pork, and cook for a few minutes, so the pork has a chance to absorb a little of the flavor of the paste. You’re not trying to brown the meat; crowding the pot is fine.
Stir in the fish sauce, black soy sauce, and pickled garlic liquid, then add the palm sugar. Increase the heat slightly to bring the liquid to a simmer, cook until the palm sugar has more or less completely dissolved, then stir in the tamarind water along with the 2 cups of water. Increase the heat to high, let the liquid come to a strong simmer, then immediately decrease the heat to low and cover (or partially cover, if your lid doesn’t let any steam escape), adjusting the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, stir in the ginger, then remove the lid and cook at a steady simmer until the pork shoulder is very tender but not falling apart and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 45 minutes more. The curry should still be fairly soupy (not gravylike and dry) with a layer of reddish liquid fat near the surface. You want some of this fat, but depending on the pork’s fattiness, you might have too much; use your discretion and spoon off as much as you’d like.
Stir in the pickled garlic cloves, cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the long beans and cook until they’re just tender but still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes more. Let the curry cool to warm (it’ll taste even better after half an hour), then taste it. There should be a balance between sweet, salty, and sour flavors, with sweetness taking the lead. If necessary, season with more palm sugar, tamarind water, and fish sauce.
At this point, the curry will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (it actually tastes better the day after you make it).
Before serving, gently reheat the curry. Just before serving, top with the fried shallots.
I cook a lot with curry leaves, especially after having spent summers cooking with Indian chef Suvir Saran and his partner, Charlie Burd, at their American Masala Farm in upstate New York. And as I have experimented over the years with ways to infuse simple syrups, I’ve found that curry leaf makes for a super-fragrant and spiced hit of syrup. I like it with a dry sparkling wine or mixed with gin, muddled cucumber, lime juice, and mint.
Curry Leaf Simple Syrup
1 cup water 1 cup sugar A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice About 20 fresh curry leaves Brut Champagne or sparkling wine, such as prosecco or cava Cucumber spear, for garnish
1 To make the simple syrup, combine the water and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Add a few drops of lemon juice to keep the sugar from crystallizing. Add the curry leaves. Remove from the heat and let steep for about 1 hour. Remove the curry leaves and chill until ready to use. The syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks.
2 For each cocktail, pour 1 to 2 teaspoons simple syrup into each champagne flute; fill the rest of the way with Champagne. Garnish with the spear of cucumber.
(* Recipe from A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels by Kim Sunee -published by Andrews McMeel, May 2014- photographs by Leela Cyd...all rights reserved)