Sunday, December 25, 2011

Abbott's bitters revisited


My lady got my Parson's "Bitters" book for Christmas, and it has reawakened an interest/hunger to work on some bitters recipes.

"Abbott's Bitters" haven't been made for a long time, but Robert Hess @ DrinkBoy had posted a formula for a reasonable facsimile of Abbott's Bitters.

Here's the formula paraphrased.

4 tbsp gentian root
4 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into quarter-sized disks
4 tbsp cardamom, whole
4 tbsp cassia
4 tbsp whole cloves
10 cups (2.36L, a little more than 3 750mL bottles) vodka or Everclear (grain alcohol)
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water

In 5 separate containers (preferably glass), mix one of each herb with 2 cups alcohol. These will form the "tinctures".
Let steep for 10 days, shaking once per day.
Strain each tincture through coffee filter paper, discard the solids, rinse with clean hot water, and return tincture to its container. (It will help to label them to keep track!)
Make caramel sugar syrum: heat sugar in pan until it melts and turns light brown (be careful, don't let it burn or turn too brown, it will continue to cook off-heat).
 Remove from heat, and slowly stir in 1 cup of boiling water. Switch to a whisk to dissolve, and return to heat to dissolve, if necessary.
Next combine the following parts (start with teaspoon or 1/2 teaspoon measures):

1 part gentian tincture
1 part ginger tincture
6 parts cardamom tincture
8 parts cassia tincture
4 parts clove tincture
5 parts caramel sugar syrup

Combine in a bottle with dash top. Enjoy in your favorite cocktail!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Turkey Pot Pie #2

12/4/11: Building off the #1 version from 2009...

  • 2 tbsp turkey fat (or butter)* (see info at start)
  • 3/4 c. frozen boiler onions, defrosted, or 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed (about same size as carrots, celery and boiler onions)
  • 1 1/2 c. cubed cooked turkey
  • 2 tbsp turkey fat (or butter)
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. milk & 2c. turkey/chicken stock (or use half-and-half)
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4c. frozen green peas, defrosted

Preheat oven to 425F.

Add butter to skillet. Cook onion, carrot, celery + spices together for about 2 minutes over high heat. Add potatoes, and cook for 10 minutes. (You are basically "par-cooking" here; remember, the thing is going to bake in the oven!)

In separate pot, make roux from turkey fat + flour, cook for 1 min. Add milk, cook till thickened. Stir turkey and cream sauce into vegetables, and heat for 2 minutes. Mixture should be like a cream of mushroom/clam chowder thickness. If too thick, add more milk/cream; if too thin, let it cook down a few minutes. NOW ADD GREEN PEAS.

Let cool to room temp.

Roll out crust, put in pie pan OR into little ramekins.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, reduce heat, then cook at 350 for 20 more minutes (about 35 minutes total).

Let cool for 10 min, then serve.

Pastry Crust (makes single shell/top crust only)
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) crisco/shortening/lard, chilled
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) butter, chilled
  • 6 ounces (approximately 1 cup) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 cup ice water, in spritz bottle
  • Approximately 32 ounces of dried beans, for blind baking
Place butter and lard in freezer for 30 minutes. When ready to use, remove and cut both into small pieces.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt by pulsing 3 to 4 times.
Add butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy.
Add lard and pulse another 3 to 4 times. Remove lid of food processor and spritz surface of mixture thoroughly with water.
Replace lid and pulse 5 times. Add more water and pulse again until mixture holds together when squeezed.
Place mixture in large zip-top bag, squeeze together until it forms a ball, and then press into a rounded disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

(Results? I seem to recall that this was tasty, now that I'm posting this on 11/21/2012...)