Connect with us

Blogs

Ballast for the Bar

republic-ice-house-tyler-tx-banner-ad

By Gini Rainey

Here’s another cute, little book that has more information than you can imagine between its two blue covers.  “drink´lollgy: EATS – A GUIDE TO BAR FOOD AND COCKTAIL PARTY FARE,”  is a clever book written by James Waller and Ramona Ponce with illustrations by Glenn Wolff.  Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang in 2006, it contains everything you need to know from Bar Food Basics straight through to Hangovers & Leftovers on its 384 pages.

Beginning with the sound advice “if you’re going to drink, shouldn’t you have something to eat, too?,” Waller & Ponce share some great ideas for snacks that will accompany your libations in grand style.  Promising that your buddies will be in awe of you, they have some mighty good sounding ideas to convert the standard “nut” to something that willl make you reaching for more.  I’ve had sugared pecans before, but I’m pretty sure their recipe for Sweet Glazed Pecans, that not only have the standard sugary mix, but also some five-spice powder, cumin, pepper AND cayenne, will have you asking the bar keep for another frosty mug of draft beer.

In the good old days, my dad’s tavern boasted the usual bar-food of the day: pickled pigs feet, pickled sausages, pickled eggs, Slim Jims, beer nuts and peanuts – the spicier and saltier the better, and all designed to give you a powerful thirst.  These days you’ll be hard-pressed to find the old-fashioned bar food I grew up with.  Now if you get hungry or are looking for some ballast, you’ll be handed a menu that lists heavy appetizers.  Oh, please, bring back the days of light, bar snacks!

This book, however, will provide you with a way to create your own bar-food to serve at your private bar at home.  Hard-boiled eggs can either be pickled at home, or you can use some of their ideas to create your own salt mixes on the eggs.  It just so happens that today is National Potato Chip day and celebrates the invention of that glorious snack food by George Crum in Saratoga Springs, NY, back in 1853.  Waller & Ponce have shared with you how to make your own custom chips and lots of them!  After all, who can eat just one?

If you’re one of those folks who would prefer a bit heavier snack with your beverages, you’ll be able to knock out some Chicken Cocktail Kebobs, Pork Saté, a bazillion varieties of wings, tapenades, light seafood salads, fondues and so much more!  There is even a recipe for Aunt Babe’s Cake with a Chocolate Butter Cream Glaze that Waller’s aunt preferred to wash down with a glass of cold beer.  I kind of like chocolate chip cookies and beer.  I know.  I’m weird!

Bar-food aside, this book has recipes for a boat load of martinis, blender drinks, highballs, mixed drinks, as well as addressing a fine list of specialty beers.  And, as I mentioned at the beginning of today’s blog, the authors have been kind enough to offer some after-the-party suggestions in the chapter “Hangovers and Leftovers.”  Leading the parade is James’ special technique of scrambling eggs, followed by what to do if you have served ham or turkey and have leftovers.

Let me leave you with the recipe for the traditional bar-food, Pink Pickled Eggs.  Some people will undoubtedly complain that “Eggs aren’t supposed to be that color!” but what do they know?  Drain 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans of sliced beets and pour the reserved “beet juice” into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Lower the heat to simmer, add 1 cup of cider vinegar and 1 cup of dark brown sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Now place 1 dozen peeled, hard-boiled eggs, the beets, and 1 medium red onion, sliced into rings, into a large, wide-mouthed, heat-proof glass jar, layering them to ensure even distribution.  Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, adding water, if necessary to make sure all the ingredients are covered.  My suggestion: If you like spicey food, you might add a few dried red chile’s, garlic or fresh jalapeños to the vinegar/juice/sugar mix.

Let the mixture cool, cover the jar, and refrigerate for at least 2 days before serving – the longer they remain in the liquid, the darker – and better – they get. (Will store for around 2 weeks)  Then, belly up to the bar, pour a cold one and dig in!

Ad Eguide

Books

A Good Pounding!

republic-ice-house-tyler-tx-banner-ad

By Gini Rainey

Good grief, that’s exactly what I deserve.  I have been so over-whelmed with life in the past few months – okay, this year – that I have neglected to do what I love doing – writing!  So, apparently it took an email to our editor/publisher to get me off high center.  She forwarded this email to me on June 24th and it comes from an editor named Jess Miller who just happens to be associated with jenreviews.com.  Jen Reviews is the authority on everything food, fitness and home and has been featured in some mind-blowing (my mind, anyway!) publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Greatist, Reader’s Digest, MindBodyGreen, Livestrong, Bustle, Lifehacker, Wikihow, and oh my goodness, many many more. 

Jess email says “I was doing research on pound cake recipes and just finished reading your wonderful blog post: https://eguidemagazine.com/janies-cakes-finally-oprah-realizes-something-weve-all-known-for-years/ In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I’ve read in the past: https://janiescakes.com/  We just published a delicious cranberry pound cake with orange glaze recipe complete with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions. It is completely free and you can find it here: https://www.jenreviews.com/cranberry-pound-cake-recipe/.  If you like the recipe we’d be humbled if you cited us in your article.” 

The gauntlet was thrown and I tried it.  I baked it last night and it is yummy.  Of course, knowing me, you know I have to pull in a cookbook of some sort, and for those of you out there who don’t know where the name “Pound Cake” comes from, I pulled out my earliest reference that I have, which is a replica of “American Cookery” written by Amelia Simmons in 1796. It’s really interesting to leaf through this book and try to read some of the recipes.  It is actually a photocopy of the original and along with various spots and stains, the letter “f” is used in place of the letter “s.”  Originally, a pound cake called for one pound of sugar, one pound of butter, one pound of flour, one pound or ten eggs, one gill of rose water and spices to your taste. (Hence pound cake!) We are told to watch it well (remember – wood burning stoves/ovens back then) It will bake in a slow oven in 15 minutes. 

The recipe referred to by Jess is a bit different and perhaps produces a much lighter version than the 1796 version.  What you will need to do to make Jess’s recipe is to begin with a 350° pre-heated oven and a lightly greased and floured 12×4 inch loaf pan.  Then in a bowl, whisk together 1 ¾ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt.  In another bowl, cream 9 ounces of softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon orange zest until light and fluffy.  Then slowly add in 4 eggs plus 2 yolks (at room temp), followed by 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar. Then alternating between the flour mixture and ¼ cup room temp milk, gradually add to the sugar/egg mixture.  Lightly dredge in flour 1 ¼ cups of washed and dried fresh cranberries (because fresh cranberries aren’t on the market at this time, I substituted rehydrated dried cranberries and I think they did well) and gently fold into the mixture.  Pour into the pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  For the glaze, combine 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2 ½ tablespoons of fresh orange juice, and using a small spoon, drizzle over the completely cooled cake. 

This is one yummy cake – the unexpected tartness is a wonderful compliment to the buttery richness of the cake and would serve you well at a winter holiday meal – or even right now in the middle of the hot Texas summer along with a bowl of home-made ice cream! 

stanleys bbq tyler tx eguide magazine
Continue Reading

Food

Smith’s Bar-B-Que Opens in Jacksonville

ben wheeler

Smith’s Bar-B-Que had a great Ribbon Cutting on Friday, April 5. Smith’s Bar-B-Que is owned and operated by Gary Smith and has been in business for 11 years. They started in the Exxon parking lot but has now found a home at the Travis Towers parking lot at 558 S. Ragsdale. They serve ribs, brisket, sausage, pulled pork and their famous stuffed baked potato. You can also add beans, potato salad and peach cobbler. They also offer catering with no event being too big or too small. Gary Smith is a culinary school graduate, food service manager and the 1st to obtain his vendors permit from the City of Jacksonville. Hours are Friday and Saturday 11 am until…..

They are at 558 S. Ragsdale in Jacksonville, Texas and can be reached at 903.944.0036.

blue-coral-pools-tyler-tx-728x90

Continue Reading

Books

Artists in the Kitchen

blue-coral-pools-tyler-tx-728x90

By Gini Rainey

I have many passions in my life, mostly leaning toward my right brain, but after working for over 25 years as a business manager/owner, my left brain seems to have shoved a lot of those passions to the side, but trust me – they’re still there!  So, when I come across a cookbook that has wonderful recipes that are paired up with amazing works of art from the National Gallery of Art, you can be sure this is one book I had to have. 

With notable chefs such as Julia Child, Jeremiah Tower and Alice Waters creating dishes and menus to compliment the art of Matisse, Pissaro, and Gauguin, to name a few, you can only imagine what a lovely and creative book this must be. 

While using paintings of the obvious subjects, such as Vollon’s Mound of Butter and Jean Simeon Chardin’s Still Life with Game for inspiration, I think the recipes that truly intrigue me are from the chefs who viewed such paintings as Raoul Dufy’s The Basket and Mary Cassatt’s Afternoon Tea Party, let their imaginations run wild and came up with what might have been in the basket or what Cassatt might served at her Tea Party. 

Pablo Picasso’s Le Gourmet was the inspiration for Nancy Silverton’s Butterscotch Sauce that would make a delicious topping for a bread pudding or a dish of Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla ice cream. To make the sauce, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup, and 2 ½ tablespoons Scotch whisky in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the mixture just begins to smoke and turns an amber color.  Meanwhile, place 1 ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream in another large saucepan, split a vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape its seeds into the and then add the pod.  Add 1 cup of butter and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

When the sugar mixture reaches the proper color, immediately stop its cooking by whisking in the cream mixture in small amounts, waiting a few seconds between additions to prevent it from boiling over.  Once all the cream mixture is incorporated, simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.  Whisk in ½ cup of butter until combined.  The sauce will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  To reheat, place the sauce in a bowl over simmering water.  If desired, add some toasted pecans or add a dash of sea salt to taste, and wow, you have got something really yummy going on there. 

stanleys bbq tyler tx eguide magazine

 

 

Continue Reading

More To Do!