30 December 2008

Delving briefly back into the culinary...

First, a nice little invention I made during my highly-productive time off from work. My wife has been getting over a cold/flu/plague, and to get enough vitamins she was drinking juice. We only had grape juice on hand, which was too sweet, and you can't drink enough of it to stay hydrated easily. We tried watering it down...I was told this was gross. Then I somewhat accidentally came across something that tasted like Kool-Aid. Here's what it is:

1 orange
1 lime (optional)
Cold water
Grape juice

First, take an orange and a peeler and peel off a good bit of the outer zest layer of the rind, maybe 2/3 of the orange, in large pieces. Try not to get a lot of the inner white pith. Put the large pieces of orange zest in a gallon container. Juice the orange; add the strained juice to the aforementioned container. Fill to 1 gallon with cold water. I later discovered doing the same with a lime, as well, enhanced the taste, but the orange is all that is required.

Then let this citrus water sit in the refrigerator for some time...fill a glass 3/4 full with it, and top it off with 1/4 of grape juice. For some reason we both really liked it. A lot less sugar than straight juice, but full of flavor, with no added sugar or flavorings other than natural fruit. If you prefer it sweeter or less sweet, vary the ratio of water to grape juice accordingly.

Also, on Boxing Day I got to use my Christmas gift, a Swiss-made 12" Forschner slicing knife. Got up before dawn to get a full packer brisket on the smoker, 12 pounds of good smoking beef. I used a wet rub marinade on it (all the usual ingredients of a dry rub, paprika, brown sugar, salt, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, etc., plus a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco Habanero sauce) the night before, and here it is before the sun has risen:

After 9 hours in the smoker and 2-3 in a slightly higher temp oven to finish, it was ready. In this picture I've shown only about half of the flat, maybe a quarter of the whole brisket, sliced up in a bowl. The Forschner knife was superb, and with some practice my ability to slice meat thinly is likely to improve. With the food is my first draft homebrew, an Oktoberfest Maerzen.


Percussivity said...

Rather unnecessary of me to mention this... but that looks tasty!

The Unabashed Blogger said...

1) How is the Oktoberfest?!

2) When are you gonna start making your own sauce?

3) When are you gonna share???

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

1. Very nice. Ummm...I would have offered it to you.......but its gone. It was nice while it lasted.

2. I do make my own sauce on occasion. I've made a lot of different kinds of sauce, but for Kansas City BBQ, the sauces I make aren't quite as good as some of the classic local sauces like Gates and LCs. And for brisket, I like those less sweet sauces like that. Ahhh man, now I'm hungry, thanks a lot...

3. We must come up with some sort of excuse. South African Military History Movie Night? (double feature Breaker Morant/Zulu)

The Unabashed Blogger said...

1) I can't believe you...

2) You should have a taste contest for your own stuff....if I can be a judge.

3) Sounds good to me!