Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What You Should Have Eaten #21

Frutti di Mare and Linguine

First off, let’s talk about the drink. But to do that, we’ve got to go back a bit.

I’ve got a book, The Bartender’s Guide by Peter Bohrmann, and I’m attempting to make every drink in it. To do that, though, I sometimes have to buy some more exotic or odd ingredients. Last week I decided to mark off one of those ingredients and bought a bottle of advocaat. The description I had for it was a cream brandy. Turns out it’s egg based. And yellow. And REALLY creamy. Turns out it also has a shelf life of six months once it’s opened, and it needs to be refrigerated.

I made a drink last week with it that wasn’t bad. Then I went through the rest of the book and found only one other drink that requires advocaat. It also requires sweet white vermouth, which I can’t find. If it’s white, it’s dry.

So I went on the Internet, where I got tonight’s drink, The Bleeding Heart. Advocaat and cherry brandy. I’m not really looking forward to it, but I don’t want to just toss the bottle. So we’ll see how it goes.

This does not look appealing, and it looks NOTHING like what’s pictured on the website. I’m going to take a sip, see how I like it, then probably down it and cleanse the palate with a North Coast Old Stock Ale.

Okay, it actually doesn’t taste THAT bad, but it’s so damn thick. I’m still going with my original plan. Holy crap that North Coast is strong. Oh, almost 12% abv. That makes sense. It’s good, though. I have yet to find a North Coast that I don’t like. Their Le Merle is probably the best American-made Belgian style that I’ve had.

I actually bought anchovies. I never thought I would, but I thought, what the hell. Can’t say I don’t like ‘em if I don’t try ‘em, right? At least that’s what I tell my kids (who, by the way, are having grilled cheese sandwiches, broccoli and orange wedges ‘cause they won’t even try this). I did, however, only go with a tin of six instead of the eight to 10 that are recommended.

I ended up messing up on the shrimp size, but that’s okay. These are more bite size, and I’m sure it’ll all work out when I remove the tails. This is also the first time I’ve ever bought or cooked with mussels. I didn’t realize that they’d be alive when I bought them. They had to stay in the fridge over night; I hope that doesn’t hurt them or affect the cooking process.

As a bit of an aside, one thing that’s allowing me to get these food posts back up and running is my new computer. I used to have an old Dell Inspiron that was hooked up in the kitchen. That’s where it stayed because the battery was busted and the laptop had to remain plugged in to work. I ended up winning this Samsung Netbook from Marlboro in December and got it last month. It’s awesome. The size isn’t even an issue, and I can easily move it from its resting place in my bedroom to the kitchen when I cook.

This is one of the more pungent dishes I’ve cooked. Right away I’ve got four tablespoons of minced garlic and a tin of anchovies. Strong. Wow. Let’s change pungent to something else. The anchovies, garlic, red pepper and olive oil smell WONDERFUL!

I’m assuming the mussels get added in complete? Shell and all? Well, that worked. They all opened. Didn’t have to toss any.

Apparently with the time that’s passed between me doing these food updates, I’ve forgotten that I need to take more pictures. Sorry about that. I’ll try and do better next week.

Y’know, I’ll tell you when a meal doesn’t turn out well, and I’ll let you know if it was my fault, the ingredients’ fault (if possible), or just the recipe’s fault. This, however, was just plain awesome. I had recently become burned out on generic pasta and sauce after fixing it as an easy, weekly meal for me and the kids. But this, this was great. The various shellfish added a wonderful taste to the sauce, something I haven’t had in a long time. Heck, the kids even ended up having some of the linguine and sauce (minus the shellfish) and said it was good. I’m really looking forward to having this for lunch this week.