Thursday, December 18, 2014

Go Nog Go!!!!!!!!

I love eggnog. It is one of my favorite winter drinks. That's right, not just for Christmas but from November until February I'm rocking the nog when the spirits (and there are plenty of spirits) pique my fancy.

It wasn't always this way. When I was younger, eggnog was a detestable drink. Thick, viscous, overly sweet and oddly flavored sludge was what we were served from a waxed cardboard carton every year. At least the adults got to drink that bullshit with a few shots of Seagram's 7 to thin it out and give it some natural flavor. Ahhhh memories.

It was about seven or eight years ago that I started making my own on a whim. I knew that the real stuff had to be worth trying and with no magical eggnog yak around to milk, I was on a mission.

The first batch I made, cobbled together like an alcoholic Frankenstein from various recipes, was a revelation. Real nog was fresh, bright, clean and pleasantly high octane. I was hooked.

Since then I have honed this franken-recipe to be my own while and now I'm here to share it with you wonderful people.

The recipe, as you can see, has been painstakingly preserved for both it's penmanship as well as it's spelling. The Rheb's phone number is a small token of my affection.

By the way; I will be doubling this recipe for our purposes. The double recipe makes a volume that is great to give a bunch away while also having enough to get you good and ready to be merry and bright.

©2014 John Houser III

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mary and Vincent's Bread

©2014 John Houser III
Today is a snowy day in Baltimore and I have the day off. I was making cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for my wife and son when I ran across a recipe in A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price for herb bread that looked intriguing. The original thing that caught my eye was that the bread called for powdered ginger to be mixed in with dough ingredients but that it also called for "powdered chicken stock" (AKA chicken bouillon) which basically replaces the regular salt with a flavored salt. 

I was so enamored with the recipe that I immediately started on the bread (not to worry, my wife and kid were out playing and wouldn't be back for a while, they got their soup and sandwiches when they came in from the cold).

 I had to adjust the recipe to fit what I had in my pantry because I do not have powdered chicken stock but I do have chicken stock base with is reduced down chicken stock that when mixed with water becomes a descent substitute fro real chicken stock. I unashamedly use the stuff and fuck you for judging me. 

©2014 John Houser III
I also had to figure out a weight for the flour because using "3 cups" of flour will get you a different bread every time. The flour might be packed tighter of looser depending on how hard or light you scoop it so I picked a weight used for the recipe. Luckily for me (and you) it turned out a beautiful product. This way the recipe will be consistent every time it is baked. I also used bread pans that were lined with parchment paper for easier release (instead of greasing them). 

©2014 John Houser III
The resulting bread is a soft and luxurious loaf  that has a tight crumb, is great for sandwiches (I wish I'd have had it for the grilled cheeses) and has a faintly earthy and herb-y scent and flavor. The crust is even and thick with a fantastic crunch. Roast beef or smoked turkey would be perfect for it. 

I only have pictures of the final product because I never had any plans to put this recipe up but it was so damn easy, delicious and lovely that I felt the need to post it up. 

©2014 John Houser III

A slather of soft butter and a sprinkling of  Maldon salt and fresh ground black pepper made for a great snack. My son ate three large slices, crust and all (well.... he ate most of the crust). When I dipped the bread, just plainly buttered, into a big bowl of chili I wondered why I ever used cornbread. 


The recipe is after the jump.