Sunday, September 11, 2011

On The Value Of The $200 Fennel Braiser

This is probably indicative of my state of mind, but I got super furious when I saw the following ad on epicurious:

A $200 fennel braiser.  Questions like: 
  • Who the fuck would spend 200$ just for the task of a fennel braiser?  
  • What unique qualities of fennel could be coaxed with a special braising device?  
  • Why would anyone think they could get away with this scam?
  • Where did epicurious get the gall to sell such a ridiculous item?

I had to research this further.  Within seconds my rage converted into amusement.  With myself.  At myself.  For within two clicks, I found the following:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Coffee tawk.

Coffee has been top of mind lately.  With the rising price of coffee in NYC (I think I pay $4 for a thimbleful of iced americano), being able to make an excellent cup of coffee at home is becoming a priority.  I haven't made coffee at home without the guidance of Mr. Coffee himself, so this is going to be a learning process.

To further complicate things, I really only like iced coffee.  Oh sure, I'll tolerate the hot stuff when it is freezing out, but give me iced coffee anyday. Wisdom of the interwebs says that cold brewing coffee is the way to go.  Ratios and tools change, but technique pretty much remains the same.  

Once I get a handle on making a good iced coffee, some variations I want to try are:
  1. Seasoning.  A little bit of salt can go a long way. It just makes sense and will supposedly cut bitterness.
  2. Cavitation.  I won't be the first to take Nitrous cavitation to cold brewing coffee, but maybe it's time to revisit the technique.
  3. Alcohol.  Ok, might not be for the every day cup of joe, but I was curious to see if I could infuse some coffee into a neutral spirit like vodka.  Gotta figure that there are flavor compounds that are alcohol soluble versus water soluble.  I would try this with fats as well, but not really ready for a hot buttered coffee (*). 
(*) Sounds like a term that should be in urban dictionary.

Got any tips?

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