Tag Archives: lemon

Lemon Basil Bitters

Fresh and bitter at the same time. Sip on that why don’t cha.

As you know we love getting freaky with our cocktails. While on a tear making all manner of bitters we wanted to think of something that had a slightly fresher flavor that we could pair with lighter spirits. Enter the lemon basil bitters, which pair well with gin and tequila. Try it in our Sloppy Swede or do whatever feels right (or wrong as the case may be).

Equipment Needed: 2 – 1 PT Mason Jars with Lids, Vegetable Peeler, Coffee Filter, Drip Coffee Filter Basket

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C 160 proof vodka (we used Devil’s Springs; about $17.99/750 ml)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 1/3 C basil (we used Gotham Greens for a little locavore flair; $3.99/1 oz)
  • 3 pieces dried lemongrass (about $4.99/oz)
  • 1/2 TSP black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz jar)

Preparation:

  • Break the lemongrass stalks in half and add them to one of the pint jars. Pour in the peppercorns and tear up the basil into smaller pieces and add them as well.

Tear the basil into smaller pieces but don’t shred them too tiny.

  • With your vegetable peeler remove the peel of a lemon being careful to get as little of the pith (white part) as possible. Add this to the jar with the other dry ingredients and pour in the vodka.
  • Seal the jar and give it a good swirl. Place it in the fridge and let it steep for one week, swirling the mixture every other day.
  • After week one remove the basil pieces and place it back in your ice box. Infuse for another week with the same swirling schedule.
  • At the end of the second week, place a coffee filter in the basket of a drip coffee maker and place it over the mouth of the other mason jar.
  • Pour the liquid through the coffee filter to strain out the solids. Mix with  1/4 C of our base bitters recipe and let sit for at least a day for the flavors to meld.

Kale Caesar Salad

All kale Emperor Caesar!

Caesar salad; delicious classic that can run the risk of getting boring. Without bastardizing things too much we found some baby kale to add a little bitterness and texture, added bacon (surprise!), and used sourdough for the croutons. The result was a slightly heartier version that played well with our more traditional dressing (make your own and you’ll never go back to the store-bought stuff). Um…romaine who?

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Blender or Food Processor, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon, Paper Towels, Sieve or Salad Spinner, Small Mixing Bowl, Fork

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc 

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pale Ale, Black IPA, Dry Stouts

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz baby kale (you can use two bunches of normal kale if you can’t find the other stuff) ($4.49/5 oz package)
  • 6 slices sourdough bread (about $3.99/loaf)
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon ($7.99/lb)
  • 4 eggs ($12.99/lb
  • 2 lemons ($0.50/each)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 4-5 anchovy fillets ($1.99/12 oz tin)
  • 1/2 C Parmigianna Reggiano cheese ($12.99/lb)
  • 1 TSP capers ($2/3 oz jar)
  • 1/2 TSP ground mustard ($3.49/3 oz)
  • 1/2 TSP cayenne pepper ($2/3.5 oz jar)
  • 1/4 C & 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, separated ($8.99/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Dressing Preparation:

  • Separate your eggs and pour the yolks into your blender (or food processor). Peel and crush the garlic cloves and toss them in as well.

Separate your eggs over a different bowl so you don’t run the risk of getting egg whites in the dressing,

  • Squeeze in the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and grate in about 1/2 a cup of Parmigianna Regianno. Throw in the anchovies, mustard, cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a teaspoon’s worth of capers. Blend the whole lot together.

Start with the juice of one lemon and add more to taste. We ended up using 1 1/2.

The anchovies will provide the umami backbone for the dressing.

  • Once the solids have broken down slowly pour in 1/4 C of extra virgin olive oil. Be careful not to thin it out too much, though; the dressing should still be able to coat a spoon without running off that easily.
  • Taste, taste, taste. Caesar dressing is all about the right balance and is more art than science. The flavors will need a little time to meld, though, so stop when it’s at the brink of where you want it then pop the dressing in the fridge for an hour. You can always go back and readjust more later.

Salad Preparation:

  • Sift through your kale and throw out any overly wilted or rotten leaves. Rinse, dry and set aside.
  • Place the frying pan over medium heat and add your strips of bacon. While your piggie pieces are crisping up take the sourdough bread and cut it into 1/2-1 inch cubes and set aside.
  • When the bacon is nicely crisped up remove it from the pan and drain it on paper towels. Leave the fat in the frying pan, though, as this is going to help flavor your croutons. Yes, bacon fat croutons.
  • Thow in the bread cubes and stir so they get evenly coated with the remaining fat. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over everything to provide the extra lubrication required and salt and pepper liberally. Leave the bread to sit for about 4 minutes per side and once it’s crisped stir it up to fry the other sides.

Don’t stir the bread too much but make sure it doesn’t burn.

  • In a large mixing bowl add the kale and pour the dressing over the top. Toss the leaves thoroughly to ensure even coverage.
  • Cut the bacon into thin strips crosswise. Sprinkle over the greenery and add croutons until you’re satiated. Stir it up if you want to further incorporate the dressing or eat it as is to keep the flavors distinct. Grate some extra cheese on top if your heart desires and get to it.

Garlicky Pickled Scallions

A perfect pickled produce for plentiful pairings.

Another one fresh from the fields, this CSA bumper crop works great on sandwiches, chopped up on a hot dog, as a side for BBQ. You know, whatever. Yes we need to learn how to pickle things properly so they last longer but for now stop complaining and just enjoy the fact that we’ve given you yet another brilliant idea that will make you look epicurean in front of your friends.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot with Lid, Wooden Spoon or Whisk, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Measuring Cup

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 12 ish

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches scallions (about $2/bunch)
  • 5 cloves of garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 1 C white vinegar ($2.89/12 oz)
  • 1 C sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 2 TBSP coarse kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 1 TSP black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz)
  • 1 C water (free)

Preparation:

  • Mix the sugar, vinegar, salt and water in your pot.
  • Cut the root end off your scallions and cut the green leaves off at the point where the stalk starts to turn that light green/white. Pull off the outer layer as it’s usually pretty grungy and wash those puppies thoroughly. Slice them in half lengthwise and set them aside.

Watch your fingers as you slice the scallions down the center.

  • Put your pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. While it’s coming to temperature peel and smash your garlic cloves. Also, cut out a quarter of a lemon and set it aside.

Crush the garlic cloves for maximum flavor diffusion in the pickled mix.

  • Once the vinegar mixture starts boiling add the scallions, garlic, lemon wedge and peppercorns. Stir everything around to make sure it gets coated in the pickling liquid and remove the pot from the heat. Cover the whole lot and let it sit until it comes to room temperature. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Use it to top sandwiches, as an accent for salads, or just an acidic side for fatty dishes.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

The Brothers Brown: Bringing you innovative ways to get your buffalo-wing fix since 2009.

Fact: we love buffalo wings. Fact: meatballs are also delicious. Enter the buffalo chicken meatball, a self-contained flavor bomb of Frank’s Red Hot and blue cheese. We threw together a carrot yogurt dipping sauce just to up the interesting quotient but rest assured these are great on their own and take just as long to make as you’d spend waiting for delivery. Get to it.

Equipment Needed: Large Mixing Bowl, Baking Pan, Cheese Grater or Microplane, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Blender

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: This is a tough pairing so you’re better off just drinking whatever you prefer (as if you listen to our pairing advice anyway)

Suggested Beer Pairing: Beer (although we’d avoid sweeter options like dubbels or barleywines)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground chicken breast ($4.99/lb)
  • 2 carrots ($1.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1/3 C grated onion (about 1/2 a small onion) ($0.99/lb)
  • 1/4 lb blue cheese ($7.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs (we actually found a tasty chipotle-seasoned style)($2.99/12 oz)
  • 1 egg ($2.79/dozen)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Frank’s Red Hot sauce ($2.89/12 oz)
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • 1 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt ($3.59/16 oz)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 2 TSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Meatball Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • In the large mixing bowl add your ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg and hot sauce. Grate in about half of a small onion then mince your garlic and toss it in the mix.

Add an egg to help bind things together.

Frank's Red Hot. 'Nuff said.

  • Crumble in your blue cheese, roll up your sleeves and get in there with your hands to mix everything together. Chicken is a lot stickier than other ground meats so it’s imperative that you don’t overwork it or you’ll never be able to get it off your fingers.
  • Coat the bottom of your baking pan with extra virgin olive oil. You won’t be able to roll these like turkey or beef meatballs so just grab a glob about the size of a golf ball and form it by cupping your hands together. Place the meatballs in the pan evenly spaced with some room to breathe. Pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the juice from the meatballs runs clear. Let them cool for a couple minutes then go to town.

Carrot Yogurt Dip Preparation:

  • Scoop the yogurt into your blender and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
  • Add the honey and a couple solid pinches of salt and pepper. Using the finest setting on your grating implement of choice, shred the carrots into the blender and puree the whole lot until smooth.

Shred the carrots finely for easier blending.