In these times of quarantine, we are passing the time with cocktails, board games, books, and baking. But we don’t want to drink up all of the whiskey right away, so we are turning to less-used bottles and getting creative.
This week? Chartreuse!
Yellow or Green? Whichever you have. Yellow is a little sweeter, lower proof, and less bitter than Green, but both are delicious.
The most well known Chartreuse cocktail is the Last Word. The bad thing is that I don’t have any citrus, and I bet few of you do, either. So I got to work digging through books and asking bartenders I respect on Twitter what their favorite Chartreuse drinks are. Here are three that don’t need citrus, plus notes on variations.
I know, not a great name for the current time. But that is what it is called.
This is a classic cocktail from the 1895 Modern American Drinks by George J. Kappeler. It is considered a digestif, so drink it after dinner.
- No Benedictine? Double the Yellow Chatreuse.
- No Calvados? Apple Jack will work, too.
Here is one I made last night:
The Bijou is another classic!
Oh My Word
This is essentially a Last Word without lime juice. Introduced to me by Sother Teague.
- I don’t have lime bitters, so I’m using rhubarb bitters
- No Amaro Montenegro? Try Amaro Nonino
- No Old Tom gin? Or any gin will work. (But if you want to make your own Old Tom, add some simple syrup to regular dry gin and age it in a barrel for a week.)
Have a bottle of liquor that you don’t know how to use? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with what you have on-hand and I’ll brainstorm some ideas with you!
Want to get into bread baking during this quarantine but don’t know where to start? Here are two ideas:
- Navajo Flatbread: Simple and fast, minimum ingredients, no yeast needed. Most cultures have something like this. Think naan, pita, frybread, etc. H/t to Ilya Radchenko for sharing this link!
- No-knead bread – Simplest regular loaf-style bread I know about. From Jim Lahey at Sullivan Street Bakery. Needs yeast and a dutch oven to bake. I use this same recipe but sub in sourdough starter for the yeast and give it a long fermentation in the fridge before baking. H/t to Tyler Machovina for sharing this recipe with me 4 years ago, and for sharing the sourdough starter with me!
A friend asked me this on Friday:
The marinade I want to make calls for soy sauce, which I’m out of. What can I use instead?
Marinades are essentially mixes of three components:
Soy sauce fills both the Umami and Salt components. In its place, you can try:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Balsamic vinegar with a less of the other acid component you are using
Making your own Marinades
Want to experiment with making your own marinades? Try one from each category, then add olive oil and your favorite spices, and give it a shot:
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Rice wine vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- White vinegar
- Italian salad dressing
- Soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Fish sauce
- Coconut aminos
- BBQ sauce
- Hot sauce
- Liquid smoke
- Balsamic vinegar
- Well…salt. There are different kinds, so you get the idea. Smoked salt is pretty great!
Note: None of these combinations will taste the same. You’ll like some more than others. Some components are stronger than others. I like to taste each component and be mindful of how the flavors will come out in the finished dish. Keep in mind other ingredients and the cooking method.
Did you panic buy a bunch of rice and have no idea what to do with it?
My favorite rice condiment
If you happen to have a bunch of fresh ginger and scallions, make Momofuku’s ginger scallion sauce. It is wonderful. A bowl of rice, chicken thighs, and a soft-boiled egg, all slathered in this sauce, is one of my top 5 favorite meals.
Sadly, I don’t have any scallions right now and I’m not particularly keen on going to the grocery store here in NY. Thankfully, I have some items in my pantry to get me through and I want to share them with you, Dear Reader.
Things to order on Amazon while you can still get deliveries
Vermont Curry – This is a Japanese curry that is delicious and versatile. You can use chicken, beef, pork, or tofu for the protein and whatever veggies you have on-hand. Frozen veggies work, too! My favorite is chicken, potatoes, and broccoli.
Green Thai Curry Paste is excellent with whatever random veggies you have on-hand + rice. I prefer it with coconut milk. If you don’t have any, you can get coconut milk powder on Amazon for eazy storage.
Both Green and Red Thai Curry make great soups, too. Here is my favorite quick recipe. Sub in the rice you already have in place of the vermicilli noodles.
Like Spanish-style yellow rice? Sazón con Azafran is what you need to make it. I like to cook mine with chicken stock instead of water, too. Don’t have chicken stock? Boullion cubes will work, too.
Three more tips
- Salt your rice before you eat it. It needs salt.
- Butter makes most things better, plain rice included.
- I’ve been known to eat leftover rice with butter, salt, and Sriracha.
Have any cooking questions you want answered while you are social distancing? Have a bunch of ingredients but don’t know how to cook them? Email me and I’ll do my best to help: email@example.com