Monday, 15 October 2012

MxMo LXVI :- It ain't easy being green

 Gosh its been a while, and summer has passed (mainly in a damp whimper round here ). Anyway Ed at Wordsmithing Pantagruel decided on MxMo LXVI. Now I've taken a pretty loose interpretation because I was focussing on the whole end of summer thing. To the extent I was down at the allotment on a frosty October morning & realised that the Fennel needed to be dealt with before the frost turned it to rotting mulch.
Now there were a few bulbs of fennel left, too many to use in one dish. So out came the Kilner jars & the vinegar. I added a strong dash of Chartreuse Elixir vegetale to the pickling mix and let the whole lot stand for a while.
Then came time to turn it into a cocktail.

Pickled Fennel Sazerac

So with it being Autumn I wanted a warming drink, not a long cool fruity drink and the sazerac seemed ideal, the fennel adding a last hurrah of Summer in the background.  Now there are arguments about whether a sazerac is made with rye or cognac. I tend to settle them using a 50-50 mix.

3-4 pieces of Pickled Fennel
1/2 barspoon of pickling liquor
4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1pt Rye whiskey
1pt Cognac

Muddle the fennel, pickle juice & Peychaud's in the bottom of a mixing glass, add a couple of cube of ice, the rye & the cognac & stir down. Double strain into a chilled glass, add an ice cube or two & a couple of fennel fronds as garnish. Sip in front of a roaring fire

Monday, 8 October 2012

Sausage & Potato Pie

It's autumn, so time for pie & stew & hearty warm meals that spend the afternoon cooking.
With this in Mind (and slightly embarrassed that it hadn't been opened in anger) I grabbed pieminster's "Pie for all seasons" cookbook and flicked to Autumn. I found many delights, the pulled pork pie looked great, but life got in the way & I needed something a bit less work. Sausage & potato looked spot on. Potatoes, apples and cider I had from the allotment, so just a case of nipping to the butchers and grabbing some sausage. The pie uses a suet crust, which is interesting, because I normally steam that rather than baking it.

Its an easy make, slice & par-boil the potatoes, fry an onion in butter add the apple & sugar then pour in cider & reduce. Empty the meat out of the sausages and mix it & everything else in a big bowl. Scoop the filling into your pie. Pop the lid on & put it in the oven for 40-45 minutes. If you've a digital thermometer its probably an idea to poke it into the pie to check the filling is done. Slice & serve. It's pretty filling you won't need much alongside it. I reckon its going to be pretty good cold

Next time I think I might make my own sausage meat, that way I can fiddle with the flavours as much as I like.