The fine folks at IT’S NEW ORLEANS and their foodie podcast, MIDNIGHT MENU PLUS ONE had myself and Michelle L’amour on their show last night. We had a ton of fun, several drinks, and celebrated my birthday in style. Be sure to give it a listen by CLICKING HERE.
by Franky Vivid
I used to prefer them all natural.
Listen. I’m a whiskey guy. Whis-fucking-key. And when I say whiskey, I don’t mean that stuff they make over seas that tastes like your distillery is in a burning hospital. I mean red blooded, American, raised in the Kentucky blue grass corn juice. Daddy’s iced tea.
But I’m not above a good cocktail if it’s done right. Key words are “done right”. For instance, I used to hate Manhattans because they usually taste like a cherry cough drop. But I’ve found a handful of places who do it right and, well, they’re delicious. Sazeracs too. Once I found the coupla joints that don’t sweeten them too heavily voi to the la, I was in. But Sazeracs were just a gateway cocktail for me. Their boozey goodness was recently crowned second place when I started going to Bar Tonique (incidentally BT makes my favorite Sazz) and had a series of perfect Vieux Carré’s (voo kah ray – basically means “old square” in reference to the French Quarter).
Oh yeah, the Vieux Carré is a fine testament to seeing how much alcohol you can tastily cram into a glass. Rye, Cognac, Benedictine, Vermouth, and not one but two kinds of bitters – Angostura AND Peychaud’s. There’s even a little room left for your ice cube – if that’s your thing.
However, when I’m at home I just don’t have the well stocked bar that people would think an international playboy like me would have. It’s pretty much stocked with, you know – whis-fucking-key. Or is it whi-fucking-skey?
Okay, so the other day, my wife – also a lover of the corn juice – wanted a cocktail…AT HOME! At home where I’ve already said I ain’t gotta lotta cocktail makin’ stuff. The cocktail that came to mind was the aforementioned Vieux Carré. And that drink doesn’t have bourbon in it. No corn juice.
BUT…somehow I did have cognac (turned out to be a 30 year old bottle of Pierre Ferrand…international playboy indeed), vermouth and both bitters. No Benedictine but I figured what the hell, I could get real damn close. Maybe if we both just closed our eyes we could conjure up a semi-Vieux and see what happens.
So, I threw Wild Turkey 101 (my standard), Pierre (Hello fine gentleman, meet the Kickin’ Chicken), and several dashes of bitters into a shaker with two ice cubes and hoped for the best.
Here’s the deal. It was awesome! So awesome, in fact, that we had a couple more and have had plentiful quantities since. But since it’s not a Vieux Carré, only Vieux Carré adjacent I couldn’t call it a, you know, a Vieux Carré.
So…behold – the Faux Carré, proof that fake isn’t always bad.
Faux Carré (also called Daddy’s Sleepy Time Tea)
1 oz High Proof Bourbon (at least 100 proof)
1 oz Cognac
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Combine all ingredients, in order, in a shaker with two large cubes of ice. Shake for a few seconds (not too long or it will get water) and strain into a rocks glass over two more cubes.
by Franky Vivid
I make a pretty mean meat sauce.
It’s robust, hardy (had to look that up, originally thought it was “hearty” – nope) and can dominate a noodle. Much like myself. No idea what that means, but figured it sounded appropriately bi-entendred.
But lately, I’ve had the urge to go a little lighter. You know, not put sour cream and/or (usually and) cheddar on, like, everything. I’ve been skipping the meats a little more and trying to double up on veggie portions. Don’t ask me why? Maybe it’s shifting into the fifth decade of my life. Yeah, I know, I still look like a robust and hardy guy in his early mmmties. But let’s face it, we could all ratchet up the “taking it easy” a little more, no?
Okay, so I was in the middle of cooking my base for the aforementioned meat sauce when I decided to try stopping right where I was, sauteed tomatoes, onions and garlic, and just slapping that atop a bed o’pasta. Thing was, it was tasty and achieved the lightness I was after.
So here it is, in all it’s glory. Enjoy.
Tomato, Garlic and Onion Pasta.
2 roma tomatoes
2 small white onions
somewhere between 4 and 96 cloves of garlic (depending on your manliness)
salt and pepper
grated romano or parmesan cheese
Pretty damn simple, really. Dice the tomatoes and onions and mince the onion. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the veg. Add seasonings and saute until the onions get translucent and the “water” from the tomatoes is reduced out.
Toss with pasta. Sprinkle cheese.
Eat your heart out Rachel Ray. Did this in less than half a fucking hour. Seriously, eat your heart out – you annoy me.
The world has lost one of it’s last remaining Burlesque Golden Era Icons, the fabulous Miss Dixie Evans. Dixie passed this weekend at age 86. If you’ve ever taken your clothes off professionally, or enjoyed watching someone do so, you owe a lot to her. I daresay I wouldn’t have the career I have without her. To find out more, CLICK HERE and HERE.
A few years back, Laura Herbert – who was instrumental in helping Dixie and the Burlesque Hall of Fame get on, and stay on, the map – began putting together a recipe book featuring legendary burlesque dancers and some from the modern era. The following is Dixie’s contribution to that book. Make it this week and remember the Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque:
Chicken & Yellow Rice
This is a favorite dish that is easy to make for company.
4-6 skinned chicken breasts
2 green or red bell peppers chopped into small pieces
1 can sliced black olives drained
1 small package of yellow rice
chicken or other stock
Cook yellow rice according to package instructions, using stock or water; broil chicken breasts in toaster oven until cooked; chop chicken into small chunks; in a small sauce pan sauté bell pepper in butter; add olives; mix the chicken and vegetables into the yellow rice; salt and pepper to taste.
1 can of Spam or other canned ham product
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T mustard
Spray a frying pan lightly with Pam; put the Spam into slices and place them in a frying pan; cook both sides evenly over a medium to high flame; mix the mustard with the brown sugar and sprinkle it over the Spam; cook until mixture caramelizes; remove from heat immediately and This is tasty, inexpensive comfort food at its best! It can be eaten on its own or as a main dish with the Chicken & Yellow Rice. Always serve coleslaw!
Sorry for not posting yesterday. Spent all day eating some badass giardiniera. Shown is a panini. Recipe soon. Back to the tastiness.
So, it’s Day 2. Drain, rinse, make the dressing and put away for two days. TWO DAYS! Two miserable days.
Here’s the thing. I typically eat giardiniera in some way, on some thing at least once per day. And that’s the store bought stuff. I can’t sit here and deprive myself of giardiny goodness for two days, let alone while I wait for something I made with my own two pepper stained mitts. What the hell am I supposed to do?
Oh yeah, I’m married to a superstripper. There’s plenty to do. See you in two days.
Alright. I’ve been saying for a year or so that I want to make my own batch of Hot Italian Giardiniera. I’ll admit. It scares me. It scares me for the same reason that making gumbo scares me. I love giardiniera so (insert “fucking”) much. I consider myself a connoisseur, an aficionado, a big fan. I even buy a special private label brand that is just hot, succulent goodness.
The problem is, I’m making this from a recipe I found. If it sucks, I have no way of knowing if the reason is because of my ineptitude or the recipe’s shitballness. And of course since before I even START, I think I know better than the recipe, I’ve already changed a couple of things. So, let’s just hope it doesn’t suck.
They say (the Illuminati, I presume…I mean, who else would they be?) the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. I say the Giourney (see how I did that?) of about 4,000 SHU begins with dicing a bunch of veg.
That’s what I did today. Even have the watering eyes to prove it. Let it begin. Tomorrow: the vinegar…
Oh, and here’s a stripper. Check out her name. I think she’d approve of today’s garnish.