Kumquat-Ginger Whisky Sour

I love tart drinks but I hate commercial sour mix (too many memories of cheap margaritas and the horrors that come from imbibing them with youthful abandon). What’s nice about this cocktail is that the tart flavor comes from three kinds of citrus (lemon, lime and kumquat) so it’s fresh and light, not cloying and chemical-tasting.

Kumquat-Ginger Whisky Sour

Kumquat-Ginger Whisky Sour

This was Matt’s favorite of the three cocktails we made using our Kumquat-Ginger Syrup.

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Kumquat-Ginger Rosé Cocktail

Inspired by this Saveur recipe, we adapted our drink to use the Kumquat-Ginger Syrup instead of a kumquat-infused gin. One benefit is that the syrup can be used as soon as it’s cool, whereas the infusion can take a couple of weeks.

Kumquat-Ginger Rosé Cocktail

Lillet Rose is a French aperitif wine from Bordeaux.

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Kumquat-Ginger Smash

Once you’ve made the Kumquat- Ginger Syrup, whipping up this drink is about as simple as it gets. Muddle some of the kumquats and their syrup in a rocks glass, add rum and a few ice cubes and stir. Top with some club soda. Bam, done. 
Kumquat-Ginger Smash

Dark rum tends to have notes of vanilla and clove which is a lovely complement to the sweet/tart flavor of the kumquat syrup. The ginger in the syrup adds to the spiciness, making this a perfect drink in both warm and cold weather. It’s basically a Dark ‘N’ Stormy, with a twist. Yes, please.  Read More →

Kumquat-Ginger Syrup

The majority of things that I buy at the grocery store or farmer’s market, I know exactly what I want to do with. Broccoli rabe looks good? Let’s make a pizza or maybe pasta with white beans. Carrots are on sale? Let’s roast them with honey and thyme or make carrot cupcakes. Totally reasonable.

Then there are the impulse buys. I saw these kumquats and I just had to have them. I mean, look at them!

Kumquats

They’re like teeny, tiny oranges meant for a doll! I ask you, reader: how could I resist them? Well, I couldn’t, which is why you’re looking at pictures of them right now. The thing is, I had absolutely no idea what to do with them once I got them home.

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Spicy Asian Chicken Skewers with Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

Hooray, it’s allergy season! I don’t know about you guys, but I could power a small town with the force of my sneezing alone. I basically look like a teary-eyed, puffy-faced medical emergency this week, to the point where even my beloved dog is giving me side-eye and calling around to find a replacement begging target should I expire before dinnertime.

Be that as it may, I will not let a little thing like debilitating histamine reactions stop me from doing what I’ve been waiting months for. That’s right, grilling! Last night Matt dusted off the old grill, gave the spiders living inside it their eviction notices and warned the neighbors that delicious smells would be wafting their way soon.

And I gotta tell you, we have made this chicken three times in the last month and it is amaaaaaahhhhzing. The first two times we cooked it inside on a grill pan and set off our smoke alarm about 15 times during the process. You know what? I REGRET NOTHING. It’s that good. It’s spicy and sweet and tangy and sticky in exactly the way you want food on a stick to be.

Spicy Asian Chicken Skewers with Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

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Miso Glazed Crispy-Skinned Salmon‘Sup nerds!

Not you’re not crazy, I’ve blogged this recipe before but I’m re-posting it for two reasons; One, I wrote out the recipe in a bit more detail so it’s easier to follow and two, I took much better photos. This is the first time I’ve updated a post for mostly cosmetic reasons but the truth is, this is one of my favorite recipes ever and the original pics were just not doing it justice. Can you tell that I really, really want you to try it? Therefore I present to you, Miso Salmon, Part Deux. 

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If you’ve never cooked with miso, this is a really great recipe to start with. While most of us are probably familiar with miso in soup form, it’s also fantastic in all kinds of dishes, from savory to sweet. I use it in salad dressings, I love it drizzled on roasted vegetables (try this same glaze on eggplant, yum).

One of the great aspects of miso is that it keeps for ages in the fridge (seriously, months and months), so you won’t have to go on a miso bender just so you won’t waste it. I mean, you’ll probably go on a miso bender anyway because the stuff is delicious but it won’t be for economic reasons.

This salmon recipe is certainly what I use miso for most often (and how I love it best). The glaze has a great balance between savory and sweet, and the skin gets wonderfully burnished and crisp. It also literally takes just a few minutes from start to finish, so it’s my absolute favorite weeknight dinner. Quick or not, for me, this is one of the best salmon recipes of all time. I could have it twice a week, happily.

Miso Glazed Crispy-Skinned Salmon

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Ramp and Cheddar Biscuits

Hello, friends. If you’ve been following this blog from the very beginning (and if not, WHY) you might remember a recipe for ramp and fontina biscuits from a couple of years ago. Here it is. We were not tricking you, it was indeed a fine recipe and made good-tasting biscuits. However, the consistency of the final product was more like that of a scone, and did not have the rise nor the flakiness of a really excellent biscuit. I thought we could improve on that with a new technique.

Ramp and Cheddar Biscuits

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Ramp Butter

“Ahem,” [Taps mic, looks around nervously]. “It all started around ’98. ’99. It was like they were giving it away, you know? We just thought, ‘hey, these are pretty good!’. We didn’t understand. We didn’t know what would happen.” [Squares shoulders, takes deep breath]. “My name is Emily, and I am addicted to ramps.”

This is me at the farmer’s market during ramp season.

I feel a tiny bit bad about evangelizing a vegetable that can be very hard to find but this was just too good not to share. It’s also, along with pickling, the best way to preserve ramps so you can enjoy them all year round.

Ramps!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with ramps, I’m going to shamelessly cut and paste the description from our last ramp post, Brown Butter Ramps and Oyster Mushrooms on Ricotta Crostini;

Your basic ramp, Allium ursinum, is a North American species of wild onion that grow across eastern Canada and the eastern United States. I know that doesn’t sound very exciting but they have a unique oniony-garlicky flavor that, if you like that kind of thing, is really fantastic. They are also notoriously difficult to cultivate and their growing season is very short, so they are a true delicacy. That means crazy people (me), will travel far and wide to find them, so if you’re lucky enough to have them in your region, don’t expect to saunter over to the farmer’s market at noon and expect to find any left (because I got there at 7 and bought them all).

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Brown Butter Ramps and Oyster Mushrooms on Ricotta Crostini

If you have no idea what ramps are, you would be forgiven for thinking it’s some kind of disease that turns people into drooling, seasonal zombies. Because like Walkers, we (the afflicted) wander the countryside, arms outstretched, moaning “Raaaaamps. Raaaaaaaaaaamps.”

Come spring we wistfully scan shady hillsides for tell-tale green shoots. We travel great distances to far-flung farmers markets. We meet dodgy ramp dealers* in back alleys, taking our very lives in our hands, all in hope of scoring some of that delicious, garlicky goodness.

*Note: I have never actually met a dodgy ramp dealer but I bet they exist. I can just picture some bearded hippy dude standing on the corner whispering, “Pssst. Ramps. Meet me behind the compost bin in 5. Namaste.”

Bundle of ramps.

Ramps. Beautiful, glorious ramps.

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