Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pequin Margarita with Guajillo-Lime Salt

Happy National Tequila Day! While interning at a food magazine I have become aware of most (if not all) of the random food "holidays" that take place throughout the year. When I found out what today was then I knew immediately that I had to partake in the festivities. I had been planning to make this drink for the Marx Foods Fire on Ice Chile Recipe Contest anyway, so it seemed like today just had to be the day to create and post this recipe.

One fun fact I've learned over the years is that tequila is often the adult beverage of choice for those with gluten intolerance because it is one of the few liquors that is guaranteed to be safe to drink. Although there are also brands of vodka and other non-grain alcohols that exist, one of my friends in particular is infamous for her drink order of tequila with pineapple juice. It's definitely a double-edged sword to have everyone automatically know what one's drink order is, but she (usually) manages to get by just fine. In any event, she can always pawn it off onto some other thirsty soul that might later find themselves hunched over waiting for a bus back to NYC after an impromptu weekend trip to Boston (I'm not naming any names...). 

Below is a beverage worthy of being added to anyone's reportoire—my spin on a fairly simple margarita with a little extra kick added by the use of two different dried chiles.

Pequin Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 10 dried pequin chiles, crushed
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; remove from heat.
  2. Let steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain out peppers and reserve.

Guajillo-Lime Salt:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • zest of 4 limes
  • 1 dried guajillo chile, roughly chopped
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend until well combined.

Pequin Margarita with Guajillo-Lime Salt:
  • 1 lime wedge
  • guajillo-lime salt
  • 1 part pequin simple syrup
  • 3 parts silver tequila
  1. Rub lime wedge along rim of glass. 
  2. Dip glass in salt mixture to coat edge. 
  3. Add ice cubes. 
  4. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add simple syrup and tequila; shake. 
  5. Pour drink into glass and garnish with lime wedge.

Cheers! Remember to always drink responsibly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mexi-Tot Scramble

Here's another entry of what I (at least in my mind) refer to as "Random Things Hutch Eats That May Or May Not Get Posted To The Blog," or "R.T.H.E.T.M.O.M.N.G.P.T.T.B." for short. Other such items have included my hot dog chili, as well as my clever idea of what to do with a Ramen noodle packet. Not necessarily anything restaurant quality, but still tasty and there when you need a quick meal in a jiffy. To this day, I—even after going through culinary school—always try to keep hot dogs in the freezer and Ramen in the cupboards for whenever I need to make something to eat in 2.8 minutes. But I digress...

One Saturday night in March I met up with a few friends that were at a random karaoke bar in Williamsburg for some girl's birthday. I remember the L train wasn't working (shocker!) and I had to take a cab in order to get there. Thankfully my roommate's boyfriend—whom I sometimes think of as my third roommate—drove that night and was able to chauffeur us back to Astoria. But before that could happen, we were stricken with hunger as we exited the land of off-key singing, with the exception of the one guy that was supposedly on American Idol. Seeing as how the 'Burg was my old stomping grounds, I knew exactly what I wanted: a falafel sandwich with hummus from Oasis to the tune of $3.50. At one point, my previous roommate started to make fun of me for how much I ate it. Other members of the group that evening were in the mood for something slightly different, so after I devoured my sandwich we trekked down the block to Crif Dogs.

Crif Dogs is, of course, known for their scrumptious wieners with all manner of accoutrements, but they also have tater tots! Did you hear me? TATER TOTS!!! (They and hash browns are neck-and-neck for my favorite form of potato to consume.) We get one order to share among the five of us, which quickly disappears, and so we decide to order another. Fortunately for next day me and current you, our eyes were too big for our stomachs at that point.

Enter the next morning/afternoon when I make this lovely concoction of three eggs mixed with a splash of heavy cream, seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with day-old tater tots, and garnished with a Mexican shredded cheese blend and salsa from a jar. Semi-homemade at it's finest.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bloody Caesar

As important as the food is to one's brunch meal, the drinks are just as much a part of the experience (especially in NYC it seems)—some might even argue more so. (Can you say all-you-can-drink mimosas? Sometimes I can't by the end of it...) Whether you like to keep it calm by only having one or two Bellinis, or prefer to throw caution to the wind by making the server run a marathon in order to keep your Bloody Mary glass full, a brunch-time cocktail can go a long way in easing your body back to life to enjoy your Saturday/Sunday.

My last post featured a ham, potato, and cheddar frittata to line your stomach, and here is the accompanying masterpiece to drink with it. I pretty much used the ingredient list found on the label of the Clamato juice bottle and adjusted the ratio to my liking. When it comes to mixology, as with cooking, I'm a huge believer in the taste and adjust approach to preparing drinks. I have found that I have a high tolerance—and preference—for strong drinks, whereas this usually isn't the case for most. Included in the Bloody Caesar are vodka, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and lime juice. (My preference is roughly 1 part vodka, 2 parts Clamato juice, 4 dashes of hot sauce, and the juice of 1 lime wedge per rocks glass.) You can either prepare in the cup or shake with ice.

Remember: Always drink responsibly.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ham, Potato, and Cheddar Frittata

Breakfast/brunch is one of my favorite meals of the day. Usually I don't wake up early enough to take full advantage of such a luxurious event and am relegated to a bowl of cereal at my desk, but MAN! is it great when I can indulge. Unfortunately, those times haven't really occurred recently due to my rather hectic schedule of interning and working the brunch shift at a restaurant—however, I wait with baited breathe for my morning feasts to return. I'm a much bigger fan of the savory side of life, so what better than meat, potatoes, and cheese?

That's what I thought.

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 Tbsps. half-and-half (can substitute milk)
  • 1/2 cup (or more) shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat your oven to 450˚F.
  2. Fry the diced potatoes in a skillet with some oil. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. When the potatoes are almost done, add in the ham to sauté with the spuds.
  4. Beat the eggs with the dairy (the half-and-half/milk helps tenderize the eggs) and add to the skillet.
  5. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and place in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, cut into wedges, and serve.