Saturday, October 11, 2014

What's for Breakfast?

I've seen many versions of Juevos Rancheros but my favorite is a version taught to me by an old friend from New Mexico. You will need:
a corn tortilla
Salsa
Mexican Chorizo or bacon
A can of Refried Beans
Cheese -- American, Cheddar or Pepper Jack
2 eggs
Enchilada Sauce

Start with a nice warmed corn tortilla. Place slice of cheese and a dash of salsa on it. One may add some broken up bacon though I prefer crumbed Mexican chorizo. Begin warming refried beans. Fry 2 eggs over easy and lay them on top. Now cover the whole thing with hot refried beans and top this with enchilada sauce. If you want to get fancy, you can garnish with guacamole.

And what drink goes well with this? How about a Mexican Howler?
2 ounces Tequila
2 ounces Orange Juice
a dash of Grenadine
a splash of Absinthe

After this hearty breakfast, you'll be ready to face whatever the day has to offer.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ringing in the New Year Southern Style

Happy new year to all of you. New Year's Eve is my favorite holiday, filled with gratitude for surviving and hopes for a better year, not to mention the wonderful combination of good friends and lots of booze. The Tippler likes to ring in the new year with the southern tradition of Blackeye Peas. Here's how I make 'em.


1 sack of dry Black eye peas
1 large onion, diced
3 or 4 slices of smoked Hog Jowl
1 Ham Hock
1 clove of Garlic
Black Pepper
a dash of Cayenne
a dash of Smoked Paprika

Soak the peas overnight. In the morning, fry the Jowl until translucent. Toss in the diced onion and saute until translucent. Add pepper, spices and garlic. Add beans and water. Bring this to a boil, skimming off any foam. When it begins to boil, add the ham hock and turn the heat down low. Let this simmer slowly throughout the day and until guests arrive filling our hoe with the rich smell of smokey, black eye peas. It is also traditional to cook a pot of rice to mix in with the beans making "Hopping John."

This dish is said to bring luck in the coming year though this has never been my experience. It does bring warmth and enjoyment to your get together and is best served with good Bourbon or Rye. A late solid bit of food helps soak up some of that booze which by later in the evening you've probably had plenty of. Happy new year to all, may the coming year bring you new and wonderful culinary discoveries and delights!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Brokers Gin

In my search for affordable but delightful Gins, I have discovered Brokers on the shelf of my local package store,

and a fine package it is!

This gin is made in old copper stills. It has a nice round, full flavor with juniper up front; peppery with citrus notes. This is an old fashioned Gin, not as sweet as Bombay Saffire and without noticeable angelica. At $25.00 a fifth is it more than a bargain. Great for G&T's and will hold its own neat or in a Martini.

Summer Delights

Your Tippler has been pretty busy with other things this summer. One of my favorite regional delights is our simple but delicious Hatteras Clam Chowder

12 chowder clams chopped of 1 pint of shucked clams
1 Onion, diced
1 slice of smoked jowl or 2 slices dry cured hickory smoked bacon
6 potatoes, chopped
5 cups of water
a pinch of Thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Fry up that smoked pork, add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the pinch of Thyme, salt and pepper and stir. Add in the clams (juice and all), potatoes, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for an hour.

This is best served with saltine crackers and maybe some corn bread. A good hoppy beer is an appropriate accompaniment as well.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Boodles Gin

In looking at the top shelf Gins available in my area's state stores, I came across this Gin.


One thing that attracted me to it was that it states it has been distilled four times. This includes a triple distilled base of English Wheat. A clean liquor is a good liquor and those hearts are close to mine.

The other thing that attracted me was the price, which was almost $10.00 below Bombay Saffire and the Tippler, while a picky, picky eater and drinker, is a painfully penurious penny pincher. That said, I found this to be a very nice, high quality Gin; invitingly herbal and woodsy with an initial aroma of sage, nutmeg and cassia bark. Nice nuanced but present juniper behind the assertive spice and herb flavorings. This Gin is much like the Saffire but lacking in the Angelica root.

It works well with that Ramos Gin Fizz as well as with Q Tonic. Quite nice in the torpid heat of a Southern summer.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Avocado Soup

I've been too distracted lately to post and too hot to cook. I've been preparing cold meals of different kinds and remembered a wonderful Avocado crab soup I used to enjoy at a neighborhood Mexican style restaurant long gone.

Needing to play in the kitchen in spite of the heat I came up with this delicious version.

Avocado Crab Soup

Ingredients:
2 Ripe Avocados
2/3 cup Yogurt
2/3 cup Milk or Almond Milk
1 1/2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
2 Artichoke Hearts (bottled)
1 tbsp minced Onion
2 tbsp chopped Cilantro
1 tsp ground Roasted Cumin
a pinch of Cayenne
a pinch of ground Chipotle
a dash of Tequila
1/2 cup of chicken stock
Lump Crab Meat
Pico de Gallo
Salt to taste

Blend all of these ingredients except the Crab in the blender. Garnish with crab meat, about a tablespoon or 2 per bowl, and top with Pico.

I served these with fish tacos and Tequila Espolón on the rocks with a lime wedge. I delightful summer combination.

Monday, June 17, 2013

An Oldie but a Goodie

Many arcane pre-prohibition cocktails are, in my opinion, superior to the overly sweet juice-heavy concoctions of today which use such things as flavored Vodka. One such cocktail is the Ramos Gin Fizz demonstrated here.