What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Table Food: Quandary About Pearl Onions! What can you do with a jar of pickled pearl onions, besides the obvious Gibson Martini? Believe it or not, these tiny jewels can be eaten as a snack. They also add an amazing zest to garden salads, charcuterie boards, soups, and grilled or roasted meats. Their refreshing taste might even be served to cleanse the palate between dinner courses. Eat them whole or sliced in half. Be adventurous. And when you get to the bottom of the jar, take heart. You can always make another.
QUANDARY ABOUT PEARL ONIONS
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup dry vermouth
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 ounces pearl onions, frozen
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
Bring rice vinegar, dry vermouth, sugar, and kosher salt to a boil. Pack frozen pearl onions, coriander seeds, and black peppercorns into a glass jar. Pour in liquid. Allow to cool completely. Cover; refrigerate one week before using.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Start Smart: Ginger Liqueur! There’s nothing worse than enjoying a specialty crafted cocktail on a remote tropical island and then returning home with a craving to have it again. That happened to me about 4,500 miles ago. What’s a girl to do? “Why not make it yourself?” my husband quipped. “Sure…easy for you to say”, I responded. Well, long story short, as long as he agreed to help me as the “taste tester”, it was worth a shot. Between the two of us, I’m pretty sure we came up with a winning combination for my new fav, Ginger Liqueur Martini. Cheers!
2 cups vodka
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup ginger root, diced
1/2 vanilla bean, sliced horizontally and seeds scraped
Take a quart-size jar. Combine vodka, sugar, ginger root, vanilla bean, and orange peel. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Place jar, away from sunlight, in a kitchen cabinet. Swirl the jar to stir the contents every morning and night for one week. Remove the vanilla bean. Repeat swirling twice a day for 3 more days. Strain solids through a fine wire mesh strainer. Filter remaining liquid again through two coffee filters until no solids remain. Bottle the ginger liqueur. Allow it to “mellow” for another day. Store away from sunlight.
Ginger Liqueur Martini:
4 ounces vodka, chilled
1 ounce ginger liqueur
Garnish with crystallized ginger
Place martini glass in the freezer to chill. Remove glass and add chilled vodka. Set aside. Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Pour in ginger liqueur. Allow it to chill for one minute. Shake. Strain the ginger liqueur over vodka into the martini glass. Garnish with crystallized ginger.
Dining Outside the Home: Blue Point in San Diego, California. Slip into a cozy booth among white linen tablecloths, rich cherry wood, and black leather. One quick glance around the room reveals a nautical theme with impressive bar, a tropical fish aquarium, and raw oysters on the half shell. This supper club embodies old-world class, that’s for sure. Linger over cocktails, especially the Dean Martin-style Double Martini. How’s that for nostalgia. The extensive menu caters to a sophisticated palate from Soups and Greens to Hook, Line, Ranch, and Sinker specialties. For a top-notch evening on the corner of Fifth and Market, Blue Point is no fish story.
Dining Outside the Home: Felicia Suzanne’s in Memphis, Tennessee! Tucked comfortably at a corner table is like feeling on the edge of a party, in my opinion. The intimate atmosphere at Felicia Suzanne’s feels festive as distant conversations emit a slow buzz. This is Friday lunchtime, when 25-cent martinis set the stage for an unforgettable weekend prelude. Order it your way: shaken, stirred, or slightly dirty. No matter the choice, it all works well with the specialized menu of southern cuisine from local sources. I guess you could describe it as farm-to-table, with a white linen finish. Fresh lump crabmeat boulettes tempt the palate with a saucy kick of pepper jelly. In a word, delectable. Coming from a seafood lover, the BBQ Gulf Shrimp was a no-brainer as well. Every item has the stamp of Project Green Fork on it, but one visit doesn’t begin to complete the truly southern experience.