Eggs are a staple in my kitchen. A fried egg was one of the first things I learned to make, and thanks my obsession with watching cooking shows, Jacques Pepin taught me how to cook the perfect fried egg. The problem lots of people have with cooking eggs always comes at that point when the yolks are perfectly runny, but the tops of the whites are still slimy and clear. The secret to ensuring set whites with runny yolks is adding a splash of water to the pan and covering it with a lid so the steam cooks the top of the egg. No need for fancy tricks like flipping the eggs– with this method, you’ll have perfect fried eggs each time.
With no major plans this weekend, I’m slowing things down. Most people, including myself, are always looking for the easiest and fastest way to eat. Lately, I’ve been getting more and more into slow fermented foods, the kind of recipes that require a lot of time and patience. First up, homemade bread. I’ve got my proofing baskets ready– wish me luck!
I have to confess, when Karen told me she was making jam, I was jealous. Why, you ask? Because it’s down in Los Angeles and I’m up here in the Bay Area! Selfish reasons of course. Oh, and did I mention that it was a boozy jam? I knew I had to follow suit. Jam is a perfect cocktail ingredient – sugar and fruit. I immediately thought of my trip to NYC a few years back and a stop at Madam Geneva for one of their delicious gin and jams. While they make their jam in house, I picked up a jar of polka raspberry from INNA jam. Avoiding the urge to eat it straight from the jar, I mixed up this lovely cocktail for you. Think of it as an adult raspberry lemonade . . . perfect for the weekend.
Yesterday, I showed you what is now one of my favorite jams, blackberry vanilla bourbon jam. Really this jam is so good it can go on just about anything, but I especially love the deep red-purple jam peeking through a linzer cookie. This is a simplified linzer, without almonds, that is really more of a shortbread. Of course, you can use any jam you want. I played around with different circle, heart and star shaped cookie cutters. If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can easily make linzer cookies with the edge of cups or ramekins, one smaller than the other. These cookies are simple to make and really beautiful!
Some time ago after seeing bourbon-soaked blackberries on the internet, I had gotten the idea of a blackberry bourbon jam stuck in my head, but never got around to developing a recipe and making it. I finally got this beautiful Hudson bourbon (another thing I’ve been dying to try) and after doing some research, saw this recipe that called for the addition of vanilla. I couldn’t think of three flavors that complimented each other better. The result is a sweet and mellow blackberry jam that has a bold, but subtle, touch of bourbon. I added no pectin to this jam but used some techniques to help develop the pectin in the blackberries, like using young blackberries, adding lemon rind to the jam, and mashing the blackberries with sugar. I love the seeds in a fruit jam so kept them all in, but you could also strain out seeds from half the blackberries. This flavorful jam is just perfect on a slice of buttered toast, but stay tuned tomorrow to see how I use it in one of my favorite treats!
Earlier this week we sweetened things up with our Sazerac cocktail syrup. We even drizzled it over ice cream! I suppose it’s only fitting that we use it in the drink itself. This historic cocktail is traditionally sweetened with sugar, which I subbed-out for our syrup. It’s amazing how such a simple variation can impact the texture and flavor of a drink. The thickness of the syrup makes for a richer mouthfeel, while the added flavor amplifies that classic Sazerac taste we all know and love.