Spring is here and so is the annual mad dash for ramps. Though this is getting published a few weeks after they made their way into my local markets, they are still available in places. If you are unaware, Ramps are a wild leek that imparts a fresh spring oniony flavor to anything and people go cult like cookoo for them. These Ramp and Jamon Serrano Biscuits do a great job of accenting that flavor while taking out a little of the onion pungency. Adding some Jamon Serrano or prosciutto or other cured ham gives them a little porky kick and why the hell not right? These are easy and can be made the morning / afternoon before you serve them. If you can’t find ramps, wild onions or spring onions will work ‘aight. Slightly adapted from here.
Instead of composting or throwing away those fennel fronds, make fennel frond pesto. Easy as hell and very tasty. Perfect on pasta, as a sandwich spread or on pizza.
I know. Is it really necessary to have another recipe for pot roast on the intertubes? Probably not, but the fear of doing stupid unneeded things never stopped me before. Spiked with some of every thinking person’s favorite and frequently over used condiment, Sriracha, and braised in a combo of your favorite beer and beef stock with fragrant spices and ginger, this slightly spicy fall apart pot roast is easy and perfect for the rainy ass early spring still wanting to be winter weekend we just had in Charleston. Serve over creamy grits. Perfect for dinner or add a fried or soft-boiled egg for breakfast. Or lunch. Or late night or whenever you damn feel like it.
If you’ve preserved lemons before, this is pretty much the same recipe. Not much too it but like preserved lemons you end up with something powerful and different. Use them in any dish you want a spike of concentrated orange flavor.
- 2-3 medium, ripe oranges plus 1 for juice
- a pile (technical measurement) of coarse sea salt or kosher salt. I use sea salt.
- 1 pint mason jar with top and ring
What to do
- Slice oranges into 1/3 inch rounds, then slice in half across to make half moons
- place a layer of salt in the bottom of the jar
- layer oranges then salt then oranges then salt etc..
- do not be concerned with over salting, go nuts
- as you layer press oranges down to release juice
- when jar is full cover oranges with more juice and salt
- turn upside down and back a few times to mix
- makes sure oranges are covered
- seal jars and store in a dark place for 2-3 months
- to use remove oranges, cut away pulp and use the peel / rind
Oh no a vegetable recipe! Billed as a Moroccan dish I can see this as a great side for grilled pork, beef, lamb or sausages. Harissa is a widely used North African condiment that is spicy and complex and stores well in the fridge, so make a pile and keep it around for marinades, rub or adding a kick to vegi dishes.
- 10-12 large peeled carrots cut into 1/4 – 1/3 inch discs
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- zest of one lemon
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbs harissa
- 1/4 bunch of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tbs beer vinegar or Braggs cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 5-6 oz mixed de-seeded dried chiles (New Mexico, Guajillos, Pasilla, Anaheim or get some spicy and some for flavor)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
- 3/4 tsp. caraway seeds
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
What to do
- Cover all chiles in almost boiling water and soak until soft, about 30 mins
- In a small skillet toast caraway, cumin and coriander seeds over medium low heat until fragrant stirring constantly
- In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle grind seeds into fine powder
- drain chiles and add to the bowl of a food processor with remaining ingredients and powdered spices
- process until very smooth
- add to a small canning jar and cover with a layer of olive oil (when you use some make sure to cover with a thin layer of oil and it should stay good in the fridge for a while).
- boil carrots in salted water for 8-10 mins or until just soft but still have some bite
- drain carrots and combine with remaining ingredients, refrigerate overnight
- adjust salt and vinegar level if needed
Making mustard at home seems a lot like cheating. It’s so damn easy that there’s almost no reason to give it a try. It’s also a good way to use any leftover beer (leftover beer, what is that?) you may end up with after a night of overly aggressive bottle opening. To my embarrassment I ended up with half a bottle of Sierra Nevada’s Barrel Aged Bigfoot Ale leftover one morning, so that spawned looking for a way to use it. Make sure you refridge the mustard for at least a day before using as it allows the mustard to “settle” and lose some of the raw bitterness of the mustard seeds.
- 3 Tbs Yellow mustard seeds
- 3 Tbs Brown Mustard seeds
- 2 Tbs yellow mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup Braggs cider vinegar
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup Sierra Nevada Barrel aged Bigfoot ale (or whatever malty beer you have on hand)
What to do
- Soak mustard seeds, powdered mustard with vinegar and half of the beer overnight covered at room temperature
- add salt and blend mixture in a blender or food processor until desired consistency
- refrigerate for at least 24 hours
- taste and adjust salt level and consistency with more beer.
- slap it on a sandwich or hot dog or bratwurst or whatever you think mustard should accompany
Should keep in the refrigerator for a few months no problem, if it lasts that long.