Monday, August 24, 2009

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Sort of an impossible subject title to follow. Many will argue on what the perfect cup of coffee is. When I say many, I mean people, ethnicities, races, subcultures, sexes, traditions, cultures, ways of life. The world takes their coffee very seriously and some with cream & sugar. So who's to say which coffee is the best? Is it Cuba's potent thimbles of viscous espresso? Ethiopia's meticulously spiced brew & blend revealing a lesson of history with every sip? Vietnam's unique and smart combination of condensed milk and French roast? Or maybe it's a ventidoubleshotskinnymochasugarfreevanillamacchiatolatte with 1/2 soy, 1/2 skim, couple of ice cubes, extra whipped cream, low fat margarine, fortified pomegranate-acai energy wheatgrass shot of...

You know, most American's prefer the water based drip sipped from the styrofoam at your local mechanic's waiting room. I guess you can get used to anything (like Sweet 'n' Low).

I'm wondering....I'm wondering if it is possible to make that perfect cup of coffee. Considering that coffee is deeply rooted in tradition. Tradition usually comes with a side of pride. Pride can be paired with hard-headedness. Probably not.

I'm actually kind of new to coffee. Was never much into it. But after seeing all these different takes and the endless possibilities yet to be explored, it got my tail wagging.

What if I spiced a cuban roast with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, blended it with condensed milk and served it over ice?

Savory applications have always interested me as well. (Ground coffee beans make a great crust on beef)

You know some Ethiopians like their coffee with salt?

It's time to move out of Maxwell's house, get a chock full o' sense and expand your coffee palette. If you find the perfect cup of coffee, please bring me some (I usually wake up around 10)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Slicing open a perfectly roasted piece of meat and pushing it slightly, watching it give away clear juice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who Knew?

Who knew I would ever be doing a double take in the canned seafood aisle?

Who knew that a Spanish delicacy starting at $165 per lb. would be available at Publix in Miami Shores for $3.99 per 4 oz.?

Suspicion arises, and the orange hued piece of garlic(?) garish and proud peeking through the "gulas" in the picture does not help. What is that?! Maybe it's another piece of eel? If they don't have aesthetic quality control, does it carry over to their control over other qualities?

Okay, by this time I've been staring for way too long and the Publix employee is politely and silently trying to tell me to get out of his way. I can think and walk at the same time. So as I ponder blindly through aisles 4-11 I realize that I have to buy these, because they might be seasonal and would hate myself for passing up such an opportunity.

So as soon as I get home I empty out every condiment, fruit and vegetable in my fridge and display them across the table like an arsenal to attack my Iberian serpeintitas. I go at it with mustard, horseradish, onions, strawberries and lemon. They all work in their own way (although the mustard and strawberry together fought a losing battle)

After downing that can, I've so far purchased a can with every trip to the grocery. Now I'm going to attempt sauteeing it. Garlic,
chilis and cilantro should do just fine. Start simple, then experiment further with every purchase. That's my plan! They are naturally sweet and should play nicely with others.

You will be hearing more from me on this subject.

Is it worthy of a Gourmet Recession title? I'll think about it, but it makes one hell of an impressive appetizer! For Sure!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Longans Run

Finally had some of these. Expecting something of the lychee variety, but to my surprise it resembled a miniature cantaloupe. My brain is awake. Paired with salmon sashimi or ikura. Maybe with a nice shave of quality ham and a dash of olive oil...some herb...basil. Sous vide pork loin might do justice. Of course a sorbet or ice cream is great because the fruit itself is not too sweet. It'll bring a beautiful, neutral component to dessert. There's a great joy to eating one by itself. Cracking it open between your palm and the counter and peeling off the prehistoric-like brittle skin to reveal another wonder of the world that most fruit represents in it's natural ability to look and taste beautiful. I'm guessing you can purchase these at most Asian markets. I was fortunate enough to know someone with a tree. Try it anyway you can.