Saturday, February 16, 2013

Recipe | Ramen Cacio e Pepe

Ramen Cacio e Pepe

In Lucky Peach and on his YouTube show "Mind Of A Chef", chef David Chang creates a ridiculously simple and untraditional Cacio e Pepe using instant ramen noodles. Healthy? Definitely not. Delicious? Of course.

- 2 packages instant ramen
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup Pecorino Romano
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- Fresh ground pepper

1) In a pot add the water, butter, olive oil and a good amount of black pepper.
2) Bring to a boil, stir and reduce to a simmer when boiling.
3) Add cheese and stir, then quickly add the ramen.
4) Mix up the noodles and when they separate, constantly stir them until the noodles are soft and well dressed.
5) Serve in a bowl and add more fresh ground pepper on top.

Note: the noodles will start to coagulate very quickly after serving, so eat quickly and don't bother with leftovers.

For another untraditional twist, add some frozen peas to the water in the first step.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Homemade Gin

Back in 2008, this is what Gourmet called "Kitchen Gin" and when this was published, I mentally bookmarked it for future reference. It just took me over 4 years to actually make it. I adjusted the recipe here and there, but it really only takes 24 hours and you can put your own stamp on a personalized gin.

- 1 liter bottle of inexpensive vodka
- 3 tablespoons juniper berries
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1/3 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf, torn into pieces
1 small sprig fresh rosemary, a couple of inches long
1 piece of fresh lemon peel, a 2-inch piece sliced into smaller pieces (this just makes getting them out easier)

1) Add the juniper to the vodka and infuse overnight.
2) Add remaining spices and herbs the next morning and infuse all day.
3) At the end of the day, strain out the botanicals.

The gin will be yellow-tinged, but should still be clear and pretty aromatic.

Taste, drink, enjoy, experiment, repeat.

Friday, February 1, 2013

BBQ Bitters

In the recent issue of Garden & Gun there's a recipe for BBQ Bitters. They recommend adding some drops to spice up a Bloody Mary, but it was the suggestion of using them in a Manhattan that made me head to Kalustyan's to pick up gentian root. Well, actually, it also was the thought of making something with gentian root that inspired me.


- 1 tablespoon black peppercorn
- 0.5 tablespoon cumin seed
- 0.5 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
- 0.5 tablespoon black mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon espresso beans
- 1 dried chipotle peppers
- 2 sun-dried tomato halves
- 6 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 fistful thyme (stems and all)
- Zest of 1.5 oranges
- Zest of 1.5 grapefruits
- 1.5 tablespoons gentian root
- 2 bay leaves
- 375 ml grain alcohol

1) Toast peppercorns and cumin seeds in a saucepan and when they start become aromatic, quickly add the two mustard seeds.
2) In a spice grinder, crush the peppercorn, cumin, mustards, and espresso beans.
3) Add all the ingredients into a glass mason jar.
4) Shake well and let it all macerate for 10 days.
5) Remember to shake up the mason jar each day.
6) After the 10 days, strain thoroughly through cheesecloth and strainer a couple of times.
7) Store in an eye-dropper bottle and give some to your friends.