Posts in Food
In a Pickle

This originally appeared in a slightly different form on the now defunct (RIP) food blog, Root (Underground Food)

During the cruel winter of 1812, at an abandoned medical college in Lithuania, some of Napoleon’s starving soldiers dined on preserved human organs.

The French had lingered in Moscow until November of that year - a critical error. Half a million troops quickly dwindled to less than 40,000 along the frigid 900 kilometer return route. Those who remained were crazed with malnutrition and exhaustion and disease.

By the time they lurched into Vilnius, the alcohol-soaked human offal bobbing in jars must have looked like a banquet. A trick of the protein-deprived mind.

So shut up already about how bad the weather is, because I’m pretty sure you’re not ghoulishly gnawing on people parts while you browse your Netflix queue. (Pretty sure.)

In the cold dark months where soft comfort foods rule the day, it’s good to have something piquant and crunchy to reawaken the winter weary palate. Quick pickles are a fast and easy way to accomplish this.

Spicy Bok Choy Quick Pickles

  • 3 or 4 small bok choy (I used a curly variety, but any will do)

  • Salt

  • Chili flakes or fresh chilis diced fine

  • Rice wine vinegar

~ Wash bok choy and cut into quarters

~ Place a single layer of bok choy into a specimen jar procured from an historic Eastern European medical college, cover it with a fairly generous amount of salt and chili to taste; repeat until you run out of bok choy

~ Put just a tablespoon or so of rice wine vinegar over the top; seal the lid on the jar and shake a bit to ensure everything is well combined

~ Refrigerate, pack into glass jars (preferably not the ones used to house medical specimens)


Scandalous Jam

This originally appeared in a slightly different form on the now defunct (RIP) food blog, Root (Underground Food)

~ Tallulah Bankhead’s last words

Called "an extremely immoral woman", Tallulah Bankhead was actually investigated by MI5 for reported "indecent and unnatural practices" with Eton schoolboys.

She liked cocaine. And gin. And men. And women. She smoked 100 cigarettes a day. She swore like a fucking sailor. Her parties lasted for days on end. Her drink was bourbon and water (without the water), and she could down a bottle by herself in 30 minutes. 

I like to think this delicious Bourbon Bacon Jam is fit for a woman of Ms Bankhead’s caliber. A woman with lust for life. If you choose to consume this, pray do, but do so with abandon. No small nibbles to be polite. No guilt. No apologies.

If you are too uptight - too square to roll with the wild kids, then you might want to look away. You won’t like what you see - this is a sticky, sweet, boozy, piggy perversion. 

Bacon/Bourbon Jam, Dahling

• 1 lb applewood smoked bacon, cut in 1 inch hunks

• 1 medium yellow onion, sliced

• 3 cloves garlic, smashed

• 1 large shallot, grated

• ½ an apple, grated

• 4 T apple cider vinegar

• ¼ C strong brewed coffee or espresso

• ½ C bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve, because it’s yummy)

• 3 T light brown sugar

• ¼ t freshly grated nutmeg

• 1 t smoked paprika

• 1 t black pepper

• 2 t chili flakes

• 3 T Hot Sauce

• 2 T honey

~ Cook the bacon until done - crisp around the edges, but still meaty and moist on the inside. Remove from pan, drain.

~ Caramelize the onion in the bacon fat and brown sugar - wait until it starts to go golden amber, then add in the shallot, apple, and garlic. Continue to slowly caramelize until dark and sticky.

~ Return bacon to pan, then add honey, hot sauce, and dry spices; stir to combine and coat

~ Add liquids to pan, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let it simmer and thicken until it has reached a deep golden brown. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until it has a consistency you like (I made it fairly fine and spreadable; you may wish to leave it chunkier. Do what you like best - Tallulah would!)

Spread this on good toasty bread and serve with cocktails. Slather it onto a bun for the best hamburger condiment ever - it’s got everything! People at your next BBQ will hail you as a deity. Or you can add a spoonful to some scrambled eggs for a lazy but delicious breakfast fit for a silver screen diva with a wicked hangover and a stranger in her bed.