29th January
written by Loren


In case you’re not in Minnesota, or have been intentionally avoiding television news for the last 3 weeks, let me bring you up to speed; it is brutally cold up north here. I usually pride myself on being someone who doesn’t mind the winters, as though the ability to survive a 6 month period spent entirely indoors somehow grants me a moral high ground. Well, this winter is close to breaking me. A few things to put this winter in context: Over the entirety of my K-12 education, I got two days off; one for snow, and one for cold weather. Halfway through this winter, school has been cancelled three five times for cold weather (cancelled twice more between the time I started and finished this post!).  More than once this winter, it has been -20 when I walked out to my car in the morning. NEGATIVE. TWENTY. So cold that the moisture in my breath freezes on my mustache instantly. So cold that my car creaks and groans when I get in every morning, and the heater doesn’t start putting out warm air until I’m basically turning into my work parking lot. So cold that your eyes water involuntarily, and then your tears freeze to your face.

Suffice it to say, I’m pretty damn sick of this winter, and I needed something to take me away, even if just for the evening. Enter the Asian glazed ribs. This was the perfect recipe for what I needed. The rich, juicy meat was hardy enough for a winter evening, but the south Asian flavors made me feel like I was someplace warm. Also, while you can finish these ribs on a grill (and I am on the record as being an advocate of winter grilling), they work just fine in the oven. This is another winner from the carnivore’s bible, Good Meat.

1 rack of baby back ribs (about 2 lbs)
For the marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup bourbon
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger – I ended up mincing the ginger once i realized how slowly it was grating on my microplane.
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

For the glaze/dipping sauce:
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

You’ll need something large enough to hold the ribs while they marinate, and it needs to be non reactive (so nothing aluminum). I didn’t have a glass dish large enough, so I bought a pair of large tupperwareesque things to hold them. You can also cut the rack in half to squeeze it into the marinating dish. They should marinate at least overnight, preferably for 24 hours.  Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour them over the meat. Turn the meat to coat, then refrigerate until ready to cook.

The next day, heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil, and place a wire rack on top. Put the ribs on the rack, meat side up, blotting off any excess marinade with some paper towels. Roast the ribs for 2 hours, or until tender.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. Combine the honey and warm water, then add the brown sugar, stirring until it is dissolved.  Then add the lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, red pepper and cilantro. Reserve half the glaze to use for dipping at the table. Note: this is a great dipping sauce for practically any kind of Asian food. I’ll be making it the next time I have potstickers.

Baste the nearly cooked ribs and roast for another 15 minutes, or until the surface s browned and glossy. Turn the ribs, bone side up, and glaze them again, then put them under the broiler or on a hot grill until they are lightly charred. Watch them very closely on this step –  there is a lot of sugar in the glaze which will burn quickly.  Cut the ribs into individual pieces, if desired, and serve them warm, with the dipping sauce on the side.


Asian Glazed Ribs

12th December
written by Arthur

Dear Readers,

I would like to formally add the Dalmore Paterson Collection to my Christmas list.  The Paterson Collection is the masterpiece of a lifetime, comprised of twelve unique whiskies from the visionary Richard Paterson, Master Distiller of The Dalmore. The collection is housed within a magnificent bespoke cabinet, along with twelve handcrafted crystal decanters, each adorned with a sterling silver collar and stag. These works of art are accompanied by Paterson’s own handwritten ledger, offering a rare insight into his craft.

For my American readers struggling on the math, the modest £987,500.00 price tag translates nicely to approximately $1,600,000.

I promise a post on each of the 12 whiskies!

Best Regards,


10th December
written by Arthur

This morning, in an unusual pre-dawn move, I flicked on the television. I found myself watching the ceremonies and speeches commemorating Nelson Mandela. The memorial reminded me of an unusual connection I have to the great revolutionary and political leader.

In the summer of 2001, I found myself outside of Washington, DC working in concession stands of Wolf Trap National Park. The park boasts a large open air stage and hosts regular nightly concerts. I severed-up snacks, beer, and wine to the fine concert goers. In my first week, I struggled to open a bottle of red wine–only the fourth or fifth bottle I had ever tried to open–and succeed in breaking the cork and polluting the wine. I didn’t know what I was doing. The patron was patient. He told me not to worry. That he’d buy the bottle I’d corked and to bring two more bottles. As he used one of the bottles to show me how to open wine, he told me how he learned to open bottle of wine. My customer had just started working in room service in a fine hotel in South Africa and was called up to a room to deliver and open a $600 bottle of wine. Entering the hotel room he finds Nelson Mandela on the day of his release from prison. In front of Mandela and his guests my instructor breaks the cork of the bottle as he attempted to open it. Mandela calmly told the man not worry, that he’d buy the corked bottle, to bring two more bottles, and proceed to show the server how to open a bottle of wine. After showing me how to open a bottle of wine, my customer talked me through opening the second bottle.

If the story was a lie it was a well told and oddly placed one. I believe it was true. I believe in the image of the great man who changed the course of nations moving through the world with a individual grace and kindness that boarders mythological. I remember that Nelson Mandela embodies both fiery revolutionary and wise statesman.

9th December
written by Arthur

I’ve spent the last few days wandering, eating, and drinking my way around the New York City with my mother. Knowing her love of all things Italian, I ended our first full day in the city with a stop at Eataly. Rather than battle the masses in Eataly for an adult beverage, we opted for comfortable seats at its rooftop restaurant/brewery Bierreria. Our thoughts started with wine, but quickly progressed to beer as we perused the menu. The fine selection of Dogfish Head brews jumped out at me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: those guys are are insanely committed to beer.


Red and White

Dogfish Head Red & White

This guy is a Belgian-style witbier fermented with pinot noir juice. So what is a witbier? Here in the good ol’ US of A it is often called white beer. Common white beers are Blue Moon, Hooegaaden, Shock Top, and Allagash White.  My usual thought is ick or meh.  But I trust Dogfish Head to at least give me something interesting if not loved. And they went nuts and threw in that pinot noir juice and we already had wine on the brain.

Appearance: Not nearly as red as expected. A dirty golden amber.

Smell: Light and bright. Citrus and yeast.

Taste: Yeast, orange zest, and tart citrus. Some spices hiding in the mix.

Mouth: Medium and smooth.

Overall: Delicious. I would love to try this on a summer day rather than a cool December one.


Birra Etrusca Bronze

Birra Etrusca Bronze - Dogfish HeadAgain, the mad geniuses at Dogfish Head have recreated an ancient brew. In the words of the Dogfish Head website:

To develop the recipe for Birra Etrusca Bronze, Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione traveled to Rome with molecular archaeologist Dr. Pat McGovern. With the help of Birreria Brother Brewers Leo DeVencenzo of Birra del Borgo and Teo Musso of Baladin, they analyzed drinking vessels found in 2,800-year-old Etruscan tombs…The backbone of Birra Etrusca comes from two-row malted barley and an heirloom Italian wheat. Specialty ingredients include hazelnut flour, pomegranates, Italian chestnut honey, Delaware wildflower honey and clover honey. A handful of whole-flower hops are added, but the bulk of the bitterness comes from gentian root and the sarsaparilla-like Ethiopian myrrh resin. 

In addition to Dogfish themselves, Birra del Borgo and Baladin also brewed a version of Birra Etrusca.  Dogfish will used bronze, Baladin will wood, and Birra del Borgo used terra cotta. So much thought and love.

Appearance: Copper/amber.

Smell:  What? What?! So not clear what’s going on here. You smell some of the honey and pomegranate through layers of herb, wood, earth, and resin.

Taste: Wow. Every sip is different. Sometimes the honey is the star, sometimes it’s an earth feeling, sometimes it tastes like Christmas, sometimes it tastes like a cathedral at high mass, sometimes it’s raisins, very often the hazelnut boldly jumps in.

Mouth: Mouthy with some syrup.

Overall: Like some other Dogfish Head ancient brews, this is an adventure not an every day drink. Every sip and smell is surprise. Bravo Dogfish–keep these things coming. Even if you don’t love it, you gotta try it.


28th November
written by Arthur

T-Day 2013

25th October
written by Arthur

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about French fries.  I’m a strong believe that fries are one of the most underrated foods out there.  Yes, you can get them almost everywhere and yes people across America eat them by the bushel full.  But still, they get no respect. A crisp outside with a soft interior… it’s culinary magic. Thrillist, recognizing the magic of the fry, recently did a French fry power ranking.  The following are my mad ramblings on the subject (re-organized from an email exchange with Carly on the subject).

Steak fries are amazing. In part because they are great for scooping sauce (ketchup and/or mayo please!). On the other hand, regular old fries have a little bit of a better crisp though.  On the regular fries, a mixture of ketuchup and mustard is nirvana. If forced to choose between the two, I’ll take the platonic steak fry over an ideal regular fry. But, at the end of the day, steak fries seem more likely to be or get soggy.  The struggles of the idyllic versus the real world.

Waffle fries are best for toppings (chili, cheese, etc.) because they are basically a built in scoop.

Tatter tots are fantastic—though need to be considered separately from fries. And on the subject of excluding items from the list, kick the home fries too… good, but not true fries.  If we let in tots and home fries where are the hash browns I love for breakfast? Shame on you Thirlist!  Shame.

I constantly forget curly fries exist.  They are a great novelty, but almost always seem to disappoint.

Shoe strings:  Good.  But all crisp.  I like the soft middle of the other fry varieties.  The sauce is even more critical with these guys than usual.  Though with risk comes reward; these can provide a perfect canvas for interesting aiolis.

Crinkle cut fries are designed to be eaten with dogs or burgers fresh off the grill and preferably eaten outside at a red and white plaid plastic table cloth.  For BBQ time, these guys might be the winner.

Almost every fry is great. It’s hard to find a fry I hate. Under cooked, oily, crisp free fries do it, but these are so rare (and horrific) that any conversation of them can be cut-off here. *Shudder*

Think about your next French fry. Their ubiquitous nature only makes them all the more the culinary wonder.

5th September
written by Arthur

Imperial-Pumpkin-ModalMost pumpkin beers remind me of pumpkin pie in a glass: nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, sweet, etc. The Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin is not most pumpkin beers. This guy is a solid imperial stout with some pumpkin flavor.

The Details

ABV: 10.5 %

Appearance:  Brown to the point of blackness.  Solid head.

Smell:  Roastiness, molasses, unsweetened chocolate, and pumpkin.  Very very light nutmeg.

Taste: Roasiness and unsweetened chocolate dominate. Not sweet. The pumpkin flavor comes in a distant second and not as pumpkin pie. Rather, the pumpkin flavor makes me think the actual squash roasted and pureed with a faint dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Mouth: Medium body.

Overall:  If you’re an imperial stout fan, you’ll like this beer.   If you’re a casual pumpkin beer drinker, steer clear!

I’m personally not the biggest imperial fan, but could see enjoying this on a cool night near the bonfire.


8th August
written by Loren

meat porn

One of the undeniable joys of summer is steaks on the grill. And if you have a grill readily available, like I did last summer (sigh…) you start searching for some different flavors to add after your 10th or 11th grilling session. In terms of simplicity, this marinade is the absolute ideal. Just equal parts whiskey and balsamic vinegar, how great is that? Well, plus a little salt, pepper and olive oil, but that’s kind of a given in any marinade. For a one person steak, you could do maybe 2-3 tablespoons of whiskey and vinegar, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the liquid to a large freezer bag with the meat, and marinate for 30-90 minutes. Don’t leave this to sit overnight or anything, because the whiskey and vinegar are quite potent flavors and will really overpower the meat, especially if your steak is thin. If you like you can also try a few variations on this basic theme; I’ve added a few crushed garlic cloves and a sprig of rosemary in the past, and that was a good addition. I think I’m also going to try adding cayenne pepper and maybe a small amount of brown sugar.

3rd July
written by Arthur

In undergrad, one of my professors would invite his current students to his house for a spring semester barbecue. After we’d eaten grilled meats and consumed a few libations, he would asked everyone in the room to describe they’re best summer.  The professor would go last, describing his last summer.  He would start by explaining his philosophy that if last summer wasn’t the best summer of your life you aren’t living it right.  I’ve adopted this philosophy for myself and after years of law school and bar study (studying for the bar not drinking in one) I feel ready to make this the best summer of my life.

I’ve been off to a social start enjoying the thin line between an amazing summer of endless fun and functional alcoholism. Night after night out with old and new friends I walked this tightrope and now have jumped off to explore what else this summer has to offer.  Last night, I was home at a reasonable hour and grilled some simple fish tacos and spent an hour or two with the roomies and the dog in front of the TV.  It was a moment of relaxation as satisfying as my recent late night equatorial adventures. I’m looking forward to mixing in more constructive and/or home based pursuits.

A couple of friends and I have each chosen five goals for the remainder of 2013.  Each person is in charge of planning the execution of their own goals with the others welcome to join in.  My culinary goals include cooking one recipe from Modernist Cuisine at Home, brewing a batch of my own beer, and taking a class on butchering.  Summer is flying by fast and, while it’s already been fantastic, I know there is more to come.


24th June
written by Arthur

CSAThis year, I joined a CSA for the first time.  CSA stands for community supported agriculture.  A CSA is an organization that connects its usually urban members with a local farm.  Members typically pay a fee and are required to put in some level of volunteer work.

I choose the Greenwood Heights CSA which offers members a weekly or bi-weekly vegetable share, egg share, and/or fruit share.  Since it was my first go and I was unsure how quickly I could cook through the bounty, I opted for bi-weekly shares of veggies and eggs.  I would have loved to have had a fruit share, but all slots were filled by the time I registered.  Bread and salmon shares have also now been added, but I decided to stick with the veggies and eggs.


This last Saturday was my volunteer day (all members need to do one) and my second share pick-up.  Any fears I had about crazy militant hippies have been set aside.  My fellow volunteers were fine normal people excited about bringing home some fresh vegetables.  We  made small talk as we refilled the vegetable bins depleted by the other members throughout the morning.

The produce this was week was beautiful–in aromas and colors. The full green smell of fresh veggies is incomparable to the stale smell at too many grocery stores.  Bright colors. The chard, in particular, was vivid. Chard is a vegetable I’ve never bothered to look at much less cook. I should have. Richly colored red, yellow, and orange steams vine their way in to rich green leaves.  The flavor is a little mild, but nothing that salt, onion, garlic, and maybe a little bacon can’t fix.

A perk of volunteering is being able to take a split of any leftovers.  My fridge is stocked with veggies for the week.  Already, chard has been grilled, salads made, garlic scapes mixed into burgers, and kimchi set-up to ferment.  I can’t wait to see the treats coming out of the ground in two weeks.