After threatening me with grilled meats and other game day delicacies in the comments of our inaugural 5 Things We Plan to Make Soon post, I double-dog-dared my husband to come up with his own 5 Things list. As you can see, he does not back down from a challenge. As long as it involves chili.
For this guest post, Wooden Spoon Society website architect, sometimes contributor, and resident husband Danny P. Olson gives us a taste of what he believes should be in anyone’s cooler-weather kitchen repertoire: a new-school-meets-old-school, boozy yet balanced cocktail; a couple of tacos, including one of my favorite super-savory breakfast incarnations; and a few one-pot somethings that stick to all the ribs.
Before Jeanelle and I met, I had recently started experimenting in the kitchen, trying to learn a thing or two about a thing or two. The few things that I had in my black book of culinary skill were pretty much semi-homemade things that were pretty much bachelor food – homemade, non-takeout bachelor food, but still bachelor food. Once we started dating, what skills I did have started to slip away because Jeanelle is such a whiz in the kitchen. Recently I started thinking that I should get back in the kitchen and “sharpen the saw,” as they say.
So, here goes. These are a few things that I have been craving recently. I’ve made a couple of them before, and a few are new to my repertoire. I’m itching to fire up the grill a few more times before ol’ man winter rears his ugly head. (I am not opposed to some hearty fall grilling, particularly if it results in a solid taco or burger.)
- Black Manhattan. Jeanelle and I have been exploring the world of amaros for a couple of years now. I was first introduced by our good buddy Mel to an artichoke-based amaro called Cynar. The first experience I had with it was… not very good. Not long after, Jeanelle and I were in Madison for a weekend, and were treated to a shot of Averna at the incomparable Forequarter. From there, I soon tried others and quickly found it to be one of my go-to favorite boozy beverages. We started exploring the many different styles and varieties, both on their own and as mixers in different cocktails. I recently stumbled upon the Black Manhattan while looking for other concoctions to try, and it is amazing. As you might imagine, it’s a basic recipe for a regular Manhattan, but with rye for the base and our old friend Averna in place of the vermouth. There are different variations on the rye/bourbon part, and of course a thousand dark amaros to choose from, as well as different combinations of bitters. Stay tuned for a post comin’ live from the Basement Bar. (Like, our actual basement bar.)
- Carne asada tacos and charro beans. I’ve been working on my version of this for a minute now, using a basic recipe given to us over beers by our buddy Won.
- Texas style chili, aka a bowl of red. We don’t get Texas style chili very often up in these parts. To be honest, I haven’t really had REAL TEXAS CHILI. (Yes, say it in an all-caps voice.) (Also, the bean-free, all-meat batch of chili my dad used to make just for me because I didn’t like beans doesn’t count.) I found a great looking recipe on Food52 that I would like to try out. Especially now that it is football season, which to me means CHILI.
- Chorizo and egg tacos. I make a pretty mean chorizo ‘n egg taco, and this is something I can confidently say I had mastered before I met my wife. Luckily, making this is like riding a bike, so I’ve still got it. And my type of way is really easy, and really good.
- Hamburgers, The Bittman way. My food idol (both for cooking and eating/health/food philosophy) showed me a really simple method to making phenomenally delicious burgers. They can go on the grill or a screaming hot cast iron skillet. Hot dog, my mouth is watering thinking about it.
Do you have any favorite easy recipes I should try?