Tag Archives: lemon

The Gentleman Caller’s Texas Gin and Cucumber Martini

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Ahhh, it’s coming. Summertime. Cut offs and cowboy boots. Oh, wait, I outgrew that when I was 6. It was an interesting look though. Maybe I’ll try to bring it back this year.

I digress. Texas has had a lot of distilleries pop up in the last decade or so, and some of them are doing tremendous business. When I was down there a few weeks ago, I went to the local hooch house and eyeballed what they had that was fun and new. I ended up bringing back to New York a gin called Old Highborn. It’s nice, smooth, and very affordable.

Now if you come here much, you know I like a cucumber. I wanted to fuse the summery cucumber and the dry gin in a glass with a lovely froth on top. I did a little testing and now present you The Gentleman Caller’s Texas Gin and Cucumber Martini. This makes two 4 to 5 ounce martinis or one fish bowl, ya lush.

What you need:

  • 3 ounces dry gin (I used Old Highborn)
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 of a large cucumber, rough peeled and chopped
  • 1 egg white

Put 2 martini glasses in the freezer or fill with crushed ice.

Muddle the cucumber pieces thoroughly and then press the juice through a wire mesh, careful to keep seeds out of the liquid.

Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add gin, elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, lemon juice, strained cucumber juice, and egg white. Shake like crazy.

Strain into chilled glasses. Garnish with cucumber skin if you like, but really the egg white froth is quite enough fanfare.

Enjoy!

Downloadable PDF here: The Gentleman Caller’s Texas Gin and Cucumber Martini

Cheers to you,

The Gentleman Caller

The Gentleman Caller’s Texas Gin and Cucumber Martini

 

The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil

The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Oils are an integral part of cooking. Regardless of what you are preparing, it’s likely you will incorporate a fat, unless you are in a time machine going back the SnackWell 1990’s.

Oils are purposeful. They add flavor, they lubricate, in some cases they elevate ordinary things to spectacular dishes.

They are also malleable, and take on the flavors compounded with them over time.

So, I offer you The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil. This is good for salad dressing and finishing. It can be used for cooking as well, but because of the labor involved and the subtlety of the product, it’s best for dressing and finishing.

What you need:

  • 4 cups of grapeseed oil
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 4 tbsp peppercorn (black or mixed)
  • 4 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 4 long sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • the rind of a lemon

In a sturdy pot (I use a cast iron skillet), measure out your oil. Cut the heads of garlic to expose the insides of each clove. No need to peel. Place in a 250 degree oven for about an hour and a half.

Allow this to cool.

Choose your bottles or jars. I chose 1 bottle to accommodate 2 cups, and then 2 more to accommodate 1 cup each.  Wash them diligently. Make sure whatever vessel you use can attain a solid seal to prevent leaking and contamination.

Combine your ingredients. For every cup of oil, you will want 1 tbsp of chili, 2 lemon peels, 1 tbsp of peppercorn and a sprig of rosemary.

Allow to sit for 2 weeks, shaking occasionally. Enjoy!

Other interesting combinations include:

  • star anise and fennel frond
  • raw garlic by itself for a very garlicky oil
  • fresh basil leaves and roasted garlic
  • fresh lavender and thyme

This is The Gentleman Caller signing off.

For the PDF click here: Infused Oil

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Miller Lite Shrimp Cocktail – the perfect starter or passed hors d’oeuvres

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

It’s but a few days till we all begin our 2017 crash diets, but before that starts let’s keep the fatty food fiesta going! Here is one in a series of apps and starters that I am presenting moving toward New Year’s celebrations. Today’s is The Gentleman’s Miller Lite Shrimp Cocktail.

This dish is actually not fatty or gross, just a bit indulgent. It’s a luxurious starter and also can function as a passed hors d’oeuvre on little spoons with a dollop of sauce.

Ceramic asian soup spoons work well for individual servings of appetizers. They make them in recyclable plastic, too.

Dad and Poppa pretty much always drank Miller Lite when I was growing up, and they both loved a shrimp boil. So this is a bit of an homage to my dad and his dad.

What you need:

  • 1 12 ounce can of Miller Lite (or your favorite beer)
  • 6 ounces water
  • 1 pound shrimp, peels on**
  • peels of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons crab boil***
  • 2 teaspoons salt

**Shrimp are classified numerically by how many pieces you get per pound. 21/25 shrimp = you will get between 21 and 25 shrimp per pound. U15 means you will get Under 15 shrimp per pound. I like about 16 shrimp per pound. Indulgent, sizable, but not giant. Also, try to get E-Z Peel shrimp. That means they’ve been deveined and you won’t have to deal with removing the intestinal track. Gross.

***My preferred brand is Kalustayan’s House Blend http://kalustyans.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=8638&search=crab+boil – but Zatarain’s and Tony Cachere’s are fine, too. Just less complex. Be sure that salt is not an ingredient in your crab boil.

In a saucepan, combine liquids, lemon peels, crab boil and salt. Bring to boil.

Add shrimp. Boil for exactly four minutes and not a moment longer. Remove from sauce pan, put in a bowl with ice and lemon slices.

When they are a temp you can work with, peel them. Allow the shrimp to get very cold before serving.

MILLER LITE SHRIMP COCKTAIL – THE PERFECT STARTER OR PASSED HORS D’OEUVRES

I like to serve them with this basic, easy cocktail sauce.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated horseradish
  • dash of fresh black pepper
  • siracha, Frank’s Red Hot, or Texas Pete to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of smashed capers (optional)

Combine all ingredients. Allow to sit before serving, allowing the flavors to merge.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a shrimp. This is certain to please your guests, or maybe just you!

Happy New Year.

xo – The Gentleman Caller

The Gentleman Caller’s Cocktail Sauce

The Gentleman’s (+ Momma) End of Summer Strawberry Jam (video)

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

If you, dear reader, haven’t noticed how much I enjoy all things strawberry, well, you need to spend more time on this website. It’s summer’s end and not the most traditional time to put up strawberry preserves, especially given that I am presently in Texas. But momma and I discovered some beautiful berries at the local grocery store on sale for a song. Since I sing for my supper, I couldn’t pass up the bargain.

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Momma, Sharon Jo Thompson Taylor, has a backyard resplendent with gifts from the ground. I must tell you I am quite responsible for much of that, but don’t tell her I took credit. Presently she has a sweet mint plant that has somehow been kept at bay and we decided to enhance our jam recipe with some mint and brighten it with lemon peel.

Now, these strawberries are glorious on their own and those enhancements are simply gilding the lily, but it’s kind of like gluing glitter on something and I am always going to do that.

So I give to you, The Gentleman Caller’s (and Momma’s) End of Summer Strawberry Jam.

Here’s what you need:

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  • Mason jars, rings and lids to accommodate about 5 pints of jam
  • 8 cups of cut up strawberries with the green cap removed
  • 7 cups (YES, SEVEN) of granulated white sugar
  • 1 box of Sure-Jell; fruit pectin
  • 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped mint
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
  • 1 pat approximately 1 tablespoon butter

Sterilize your jars , lids and rings by boiling them in a large stock pot for 10 minutes.

 

While killing germs in the above step, in another large stock pot or dutch oven start putting heat on the chopped berries. Take a potato masher and mash the berries to the consistency you like. I enjoy tangible pieces of berry in my jam so I try to achieve a nice ratio of mashed fruit to larger bits. This will give you a shoulder workout.

By this time the lids and rings should be sterile. Use tongs to remove them from the boiling water and place them on a CLEAN towel.

Add the box of pectin (Sure-Jell) to the mashed fruit with the pat of butter. This is going to keep the foam to a minimum.

Crank up the heat and get the berries to a rolling boil. A rolling boil is a boil that persists while stirring. Once that is achieved, add the sugar swiftly. I know this seems like a sh** ton of sugar – it is. If you don’t use this much it will not set up. Let me repeat, It Will Not Set Up. And you will have already gone to all this work!

Bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil for precisely one minute. Remove from heat. Skim any foam with a slotted spoon. Toss in the lemon zest and mint; stir.

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Ladle the boiling hot lava berry mix into the prepared jars. It is VERY hot! If you have silicon hot pads, use them. They rinse clean the most easily. I didn’t have a funnel on hand so I sliced a soda bottle in half, washed it up, and it did a  fine job. Plus I didn’t have to clean it up! Leave about ½  inch from the top when filling; wipe any jam off the lids if you spill.

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Tighten lids and bands on the jars.

Bring the water you used to sterilize the jars back to a simmer. If you have a rack to put on the bottom, great. If not, get some extra rings and put those on the bottom to keep the jars off the metal pot surface. Put the jars in and cover the tops with at least an inch of water. Bring to a solid boil.

Process your jam in the boiling water for 10 minutes. After that, remove them carefully from the cauldron of hot water and set them right side up on a towel. Allow to remain upright and cool for 24 hours. You’ll hear the lids give a cute little <pop> as they cool. That is a good thing! It means they’re sealed. If any don’t pop, store in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.

This jam is so good that my mom and stepdad kept getting into the leftover with their spoons and finally broke down and went to the store for a baguette!

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Finally, there’s an art to selecting the right jar. This is a special project and you should want to use special jars. Mom actually played a key role in this one; she selected very cute ½ pint jars and we decided they should definitely be labeled as well. The flourishes add to the deliciousness of the product, whether you realize it right away or not. Your friends will be impressed, so do it right!

Tell me how you do with this in the comments!

Out for now,

The Gentleman Caller