Sunday, August 31, 2008

An enterprising blogger has taken it upon himself to publish all the recipes from cocktail hour in New Orleans. I link to mine but am going to spend some time looking at everyone else's. Cocktail hour is about my favorite event at Tales (because of all the people you meet) but, unfortunately, you never get a chance to try everyone else's drinks. Now I can rectify that.

I make my ancho chile syrup, incidentally, with dried anchos, fresh poblanos and occasionally a few other complementary peppers should they be in season. I bring to a boil with sugar in about the same ratio that I would use for a normal simple syrup, then simmer and then strain through a cheesecloth.

Sue and I make a few bar syrups (grenadine, lime cordial, ginger and seville orange). They'll be for sale at the Gremolata re-launch at Hart House September 25th - should you wish to buy and save yourself the trouble of tinkering with spice to sugar ratios.

P.S. One more thing. Somebody commented on the fact that a Brazil-inspired cocktail should have cachaca in it. I tried to leave a comment to this effect on the Slashfood board but it's not up yet. This is an excellent point and, of course, my original recipe called for Leblon. Things get lost in the mix when logistics for making thousands of drinks and sponsors are involved.

The original recipe was as follows:

The Capoeira

Leblon Cachaca 1.5 oz
Grand Marnier .5 oz
Acai frozen pulp 1 oz
Lime juice 1.5 oz
Ancho Chile Syrup 1 oz

I think it's a really different animal than a lot of the other cocktails going around. This is gritty and spicy balanced with sweet.


Monday, August 25, 2008

From the Star's Food and Drink section: all about terroir.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I am a little jealous of this guy. I'll admit it.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Aside from Auntie Mame, here are some other things that happened at Tales.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

This, to me, is a fascinating topic. In case anybody cares, I don't drink milk - raw or cooked. I was weened on wine. Still, somebody in the comments section who likes to use ad hominem to advance his argument wondered whether I'd compared it with skim in order to produce results. Raw won - taste, colour, mouthfeel and smell.

Clearly, this silly twit doesn't know me. I don't drink or eat skim (or fat-reduced, or calorie reduced, or alcohol reduced, or sodium reduced) anything - ever. The milk I compared it with was the highest fat I could get at the store, my reasoning being that would be the most fair comparison. After a blind taste test (although the smell gives it away with eyes closed) I concluded that if I were a milk-drinker, I would prefer the raw.

Now, not trusting my own judgment, I took my milk samples out to my local and did blind taste tests on consenting adults who signed waivers and all that. One of my consenting adults even seemed to be a super-taster (we did PROP tests too that night) It was unanimous. They preferred the raw milk over the 3.5% I'd bought at the store. Some of the descriptors I used in the article were from my guinea pigs (since I have a hard time getting past the milk taste. Nobody came down ill, btw.

In case anyone's interested, I thought I'd add one more thing: nobody came up with any other sources for raw milk for me. One person suggested I try a Mission Impossible-type break into Riverdale Farm. If Schmidt hadn't come through for me, I wouldn't have gotten any.