Pickle Powder

Pickle Powder
I got an Excalibur Dehydrator for Christmas mostly so that I could venture into making raw vegan foods during my January cleanse. For the April dinner party though, I dehydrated a quart of sliced kosher dill pickles and then ground the dried flakes in our spice grinder. The resulting powder is an ultra concentrated explosion of tangy pickle flavor that we heavily dusted over popcorn.

I can imagine that it would be handy for sneaking acidity into any number of dishes- perhaps a bit over some creme frache with crudites, or dusted over sashimi, or pretty much anything involving a crispy potato.

Dragon Wing Sauce


To kick off Memorial Day weekend, our friend Joanna hosted an awesome Game of Thrones barbecue that was full of cleverly themed dishes like Nightshade punch, Theon’s Dick Sausage, Moongate Pies, and Battle of Blackwater cupcakes.

I made some dragon wings that were coated in a sauce of several ingredients that we’ve just had kicking around in our regrigerator and freezer. The result was something pleasantly spicy, sour, sweet, and just slightly numbing.

I started by making a simple syrup with chicken stock, palm sugar, cane sugar, ginger, sour orange juice, and peel. Then I infused some old duck confit fat with sichuan peppercorns and used that to saute some some mulato peppers, fresh habaneros, and pickled mustard root. The two were blended together and then brushed on the chicken wings after they were confited and grilled.

I added just a dash of fish sauce because the glaze was already pretty well seasoned, probably from the confit fat and the mustard root?

I’d love to be able to whip up this sauce every time I’m grilling chicken, but it’s a collection of ingredients that aren’t so easy to come by. That duck fat was perfumed with star anise and fennel seed, as well as a few dozen duck thighs from our SE Asian supper club two years ago. The chili peppers, sichuan peppercorns, and sour orange aren’t exactly common grocery aisle items, and the pickled mustard root is pretty much exclusively available in an asian grocer.

It was fairly easy to throw together. I doubt I’ll be able to do it again any time soon… *sigh



Dolsot Bibimbap

Lately we’ve been obsessed with toasting cooked rice in a cast iron with a bit of sesame oil. Once it’s crispy we add whatever vegetables are on hand, a sunny side up egg, and a mixture of gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste) and vinegar. It makes an awesome chewy and spicy homemade version of Dolsot Bibimbap which is good for snacks, lunch, dinner, or even breakfast.

Recipes for bibimbap (literally translated from the Korean as “mixed rice”) can be found all over the internet; for the video we used Nick Kindelsparger’s recipe from Serious Eats. His version isn’t done in a dolsot (stone pot), so it doesn’t produce that crunchy layer of rice, which is, in our opinion, the best part. Since we don’t own a dolsot and have no plans for finding space for one of those heavy guys, we used a cast iron skillet. We highly recommend throwing some rice in any kind of heavy-bottomed pan with sesame oil the next time you cook. It takes 10-15 minutes on medium heat for the rice to get deliciously crispy but is well worth the wait.


Paul and our friend Jae Song got crazy in the kitchen a few days ago making this V-Day themed dish: beet juice pasta filled with goat milk ricotta and some toasty artichoke hearts to top it off. Here’s a little vid that shows what went down. Special thanks to Jae for shooting and for all his help. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy New Year

Well, it’s grey and gloomy and cold outside which must mean it’s new years again. We hope you all had a fun past week of time off and that you spent it eating as much food as you can hold. Here’s a little video holiday card from us to welcome in 2013. Paul shot footage of me baking my latest kitchen creation, a whiskey and Christmas tree syrup filled sandwich cookie.

Hope to have many more delicious adventures with our friends in 2013. Scroll on down or click here for the recipe.

Whiskey + Spice Sandwich Cookie


I’ve been a big fan of Mugulio syrup since I discovered it last year. It’s similar to maple syrup but comes from pine trees and has a lovely unexpected “what is this delicious thing that I’m eating” kick. I was looking for a way to incorporate it into a cookie for Christmas (it comes from Christmas trees after all) and came across Melissa Clark’s posting of reader recipes that included a spice cookie begging to be paired with some Mugulio. After a lot of testing and a few failed experiments I ended up turning the original recipe into a sandwich cookie, heavy on Mugulio and even heavier on the whiskey, which makes all baked goods taste better. I also turned the usual sandwich cookie inside out, choosing to frost the top of the cookies instead of the bottoms. This allows for a crispy outside and lets the cookies stack a little easier. The recipe calls for 2 sticks of butter total but I’ve divided that amount below based on the cookie and frosting proportions.

We made a video with some closeups of the baking process which you can see here.


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Caesar Salad Dressing


I’m getting a little tired of kale salads these days but I’ll never get tired of kale with caesar dressing. It’s one of our favorites and a hit every time we serve it. For an extra special dish try serving with these homemade torn croutons.


Full recipe is after the jump.