Monday, June 29, 2015

Improvised Smoker? For Creating Smokey Infused Oils! For Cooking! No Really!!!

Alex over at French Guy Cooking, is one of the funniest and cool cooking shows on youtube you can actually learn things from.  I found his channel awhile back from Jamie Olivers Food Tube Network and I've been watching ever since.

Recently Alex's has taken up trying to cook the best "brick oven traditional pizza" he can using only his home stove.  The first few videos are of him making a pizza peel, then various ways to configure your oven for that char on the bottom airy pizza crust you can only get by a 800+ degree oven, etc.  Well as a bonus video to this series Alex just release a video about how to make a quick infused oil using a few items around the house as the "smoker" hehe.  Check out the video below and don't forget to head over and subscribe to Alex's youtube channel!

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Soda Pop Review : Red Apple - Sprecher Gourmet Sodas

No Red Dye, and its Delicious!

Brand : Sprecher Gourmet Sodas
Flavor: Red Apple
Cost: $1.69 per bottle (on average)

**The bottles I used (pictured to the left) for this review were purchased at a local BevMo in San Jose, CA in the month of June 2015.(see below to why I make this declaration)**

The Red Apple from Sprecher I had was more akin to a lightly carbonated Martinelli's Apple Juice.  There was no dye, or too sweet apple candy flavor, and little to no aftertaste, which I personally was hoping more for more of a lingering finish.

When you first pop that cap on a bottle you certainly smell the soda.  I kept trying to place this smell, a mixture of apples and a spice of some sort, maybe clove, maybe mace, possibly even a hint of deep cinnamon, and on first taste was surprised to find none of those flavors, just a juicy mouthful of a red delicious or perhaps fuji apple flavor.  Once swallowed I waited for a lingering aftertaste which was surprisingly not present.  Sprecher sodas seem to have a very clean finish, unlike other gourmet sodas such as Henry Weinhard's

The soda is delightfully flavorful, and I could see sipping on this on a hot day, bottle after bottle, where you don't want something annoyingly sweet, and a nice refreshing crisp and clean finish.  Very similar to a nice pure cider, seemingly sweetened with just the apples sugars (though they do use glucose syrup),  and mildly carbonated for that delightful bubbly effect.

I could also see using this soda in various cooking applications, basting of a country ham, condensing into a syrup and using it for baked fruit, like a pear, or pineapple.

I would recommend this soda to friends who enjoy apple juices/sodas as well.

Not Sure if this is a formula from
the past.  But I'd try and find the
bottles with the red fox on them!
My initial declaration is because I've seen other reviews of the Red Apple from Sprecher and those reviews seem to indicate a vastly different experience, and maybe even formula, which one review indicated is dyed red.  (To the right is a pic of the "red dyed" version of the soda).  You can find these reviews  here and here.  Note that the bottles I sampled had different markings.  My bottles had a red fox, while the older bottles had a black crow.   I'd recommend searching for the Red fox label. :)

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Recipe : Sunday Gravy Or Sauce, The Italian Way!

So for whatever reason I decided to make "Gravy", as most Italians call it, or "Sunday Gravy", since it's typically made on Sundays in prep for the family coming over for dinner.  This is by no means a "end all be all" to this recipe.  In fact each family has its own quirks and traditions, which in a way I'm hoping this will be the start of my "traditional recipe".  Of course, I might make it completely different the next go around.

(just a fyi you can click on all the images here to enlarge them)

With that said, throughout most of the recipes the key components are plum tomatoes(crushed by hand), tomato paste, fresh basil, fresh parsley, dried oregano, plenty of garlic, a sofrito (onion, celery, carrot), and a few meats, typically for meatballs, braciole (jelly roll tasty meat snack), and/or italian sausage (mild or hot).

In my recipe I included some of the interesting bits from a few of the recipes I researched.  For example I  included rehydrated porcini mushrooms and some of their soaking liquid, some red wine vinegar, a dry red wine (zinfandel this time around), and bay leaves, raisins, pine nuts, Romano Pecorino cheese, and some  sweet Italian bread..  Obviously there is plenty of extra virgin olive oil to cook with as well as salt and pepper to season everything as you go along.

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