Tag Archives: recipe

Cocktail Coquetry #1: The Vintage Slip

In line with continuing occasional series here at T&C, like Booze Crews and the now retired Sunday Supper Club, I’m introducing a new series, Cocktail Coquetry, in which I share new cocktail recipes developed by me or in my presence. Cocktails are relatively new to me, but local mixology-obsessed places like Teardrop Lounge, Clyde Common and the pending Beaker and Flask, all these new artisan distilleries and friends now sharing their sizable bitters collections have found me in the presence of good cocktail makings, beyond my usual liquor + ice.

The first cocktail to be posted here is so named for the attractive backdrop in the photos. Invented at a weekend brunch, the Vintage Slip is a delicious addition to the battery of brunch drinks, and, dare I say, slightly less ghetto than a Brass Monkey.

The Vintage Slip undresses for you after he jump.

Continue reading Cocktail Coquetry #1: The Vintage Slip

Transitional stew

Here in Portland, the clouds gather and the rain begins to fall, flexing our storm-drains to overflow, 1/8 of an inch at a time. I’m not giving up on summer quite yet, but there is a large contingent of masochistic portlanders who all start to get strangely happy–yes happy–when the grey mornings and damp air return.

Yet the farmers markets are still bursting with summer produce: tomatoes, eggplant, beautiful bountiful greens and all the fruitful trappings of a successful summer growing season. The vibrant, fresh flavors demand simple salads and outdoor bbqs, picnics and ethereal moments of eating melon in the sunshine.

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Two birthdays

I had the good fortune to wish two friends of mine happy birthday this week (well, three, but one didn’t allow me to cook anything). The first occasion was a sort of haphazard surprise BBQ party–we all gathered at the birthday boy’s house and sort-of-surprised him. He’d have noticed the gathering peoples if he hadn’t had his head in the groove banging on his Rhodes in the basement.

The impromptu BBQ had obvious challenges–mainly, that nothing had a chance to marinate. Off I dashed to the kitchen to make some sauces to go on the chicken, steak and skewers that abounded.

(N.B. all amounts are wild guesses–I was winging it, people)
Sauce 1
1 c. sweet/hot mustard
2 tbs. grated horseradish (from the bottle, natch)
2 c. Trader Joes apple cider
2 cl. minced garlic.
s/p to taste.

(mix well, ya wanker)

Sauce 2
1/2 cup olive paste (I made my own with some pitted kalamatas from new seasons, so it was nice and inconsistent.)
4 cl. garlic, minced
1 tsp bird chile powder
2 c. yogurt
1 tbl lemon juice

(mix well, ya wanker)

Sauce 3
1 c olive oil (or E-V-O-O if you suck, like rachel ray)
1/2 c rice wine vineagar
1 tbl. sambal
4 cl garlic, minced
1″ ginger root, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
smattering of pepper flakes
1/2 tsp soy sauce.

(mix well and often, ya wanker)

I called them the international trio–German, Greek and Tiki (as in anglicized, kinda-sorta-pan asian)

Party #2 was a much more composed, prepared affair with an Italian Theme, so I made something radically neo-romanesque

melon “caprese” salad with a lemon-basil gastrique

the salad was, essentially, frenched Tomatoes and Cantaloupe from the co-op layered with whole Basil leaves–I put it in a straight sided, 1″ deep circular dish w/ a bottom layer of cantaloupe, then basil, then tomatoes, then basil etc… with some nice starburst patterns on top. I scattered a fair amount of hawaiian pink salt throughout. The gastrique–which I explained to curious minds as ‘the french version of sweet and sour sauce–was the only cooked element, and man was it tasty:

Lemon-Basil Gastrique-dressing
1 c. braggs apple cider vineagar
1/2 c. raw sugar
simmer until reduced by half, or for me, the prep time for the melon and the rest of the gastrique ingredients (my knife skillz are still here, for the most part)

toss in 1 bunch of basil stems and small leaves and simmer for 5 minutes–remove. You could and probably should leave them in a bit longer–the basil flavor was muted in the final product–but I had more than enough basil in this dish already.

add in 2 tbl. Lemon zest, minced to microscopic minutiae

prep your first tomato and then add 3 cloves of minced garlic

prep your second tomato then add 1/2 a giant walla walla sweet onion, finely diced (about 2-2 1/2 cups of cut onion)

keep it simmering while you finish the prep/construction of the salad. When the onions are nice and glossy/translucent take the pot off heat and let it sit for a few minutes. Adding the onions late means that the gastrique will get diluted by the liquid exuded from the cooking onions, and that’s good, but it lengthens cooking time. That’s the gastrique. For this use, I wanted something more ‘dressing-like’ so I added about 1/2-3/4 c. olive oil to round out the flavors as well as the juice of one lemon.

I kept the dressing and salad separated and allowed people to compose their own.

Another adventure in avocado

First, the Ambien cookbook is hilarious.


I’m going ape-shit with avocados these days, enjoying every sliver of sunshine produce I can. Avocados really are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.

This time around I was again playing with my meager pantry, but it was slightly better stocked after a trip to the Co-op over the weekend. With little to do with my evening, and a personal promise not to hit my local until late (or at all), I started flitting about the kitchen determined to make something weird.

Continue reading Another adventure in avocado

Pensive Pasta

When I’m pensive, worried or stressed out, I often find myself in my kitchen, dazed and chopping for the sake of chopping. There is an element to cooking that I find amazingly cathartic, like the concerns of real life, like the vegetables on the board, are being deconstructed into perfect squares–bite size palatable chunks that I can configure and comprehend in many different ways.

For some reason, pensive cooking is also when I make the weirdest shit imaginable. Night before my thesis defense? From scratch jerk-marinara sauce (which I never ate). After my last bad breakup? curried noodles with blueberry sauce. (I ate that one, and it was damn good)

I’m contemplating a rather serious decision these days. What do I do? I cook an avocado. That’s right folks, I cooked a fucking avocado. No, I wasn’t drunk.

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