25 October 2013

Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey

 If I see one more rail-thin chef with a radish tattooed on his ass and FOOD tattooed across his knuckles going after a piece of kindling with a pair of tweezers and removing a splinter of said kindling and setting on top of a dime-sized dollop of pond scum foam sitting in the center of plate the size of a old LP and telling me it's the entrée, I will freaking scream.

Don't get me wrong, I like a little pond scum foam as much as the next gastronaught, but at some point we just need something to eat.  Something like Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey.  Think about it...it's cold, rainy and all you have had today is coffee.  Would you choose Door #1 -- A musty, dry-aged kindling over a pond scum foam, gathered just his morning; or Door #2 --Barbecue and Bourbon?

Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey is the first book by Big Bad Chef, John Currence.  It's about damn time.  The subtitle claims that the book contains: Recipes From My Three Favorite Food Groups. Yes, this is a cookbook, but it also a look inside the mind of chef who really, really loves food and understands that food needs a lot of people around before it is actually, food.  It reads like a diary or perhaps a love letter to the South with some recipes thrown in.

One immediately knows one is in good hands when an iron skillet sits on the front of a cookbook.  Rest assured, no one in their right mind would ever put pond scum in grandma's iron skillet.  Full disclosure, many of these recipes are quite "chefy" in that there a lot of ingredients and several steps, but don't be discouraged.  For instance, the pickled deviled eggs; clearly, before one can devil them, one must indeed pickle them.  Don't despair.

Perhaps our favorite element of this book is the playlist.  Next to cookbooks, we love our tunes more than anything.  In Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey, not only does one get great recipes and fun-filled stories, but a huge playlist of really great music.  I am told that said playlist is available on Spotify, but I still don't really understand how Spoitfy works, but if you know, do head over there and check out the playlist.  In the meantime, when you find a recipe you want to make, don't forget to crank up the tunes.

One of our favorite tunes is Poncho and Lefty by Emmylou Harris.  It is the featured song for a nifty punch and you know what all the Federales say...

Bourbon Milk Punch

4 ounces whole milk
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 ounces Buffalo Trace bourbon
4 teaspoons confectioners sugar
Freshly ground nutmeg, for garnish

Pour the milk, half-and-half, vanilla and bourbon over cracked ice in a cocktail shaker.  Spoon in the sugar and shake vigorously.  Pour into a large old-fashioned glass, sprinkle nutmeg over the top and serve.

Now get out there and buy this book.  And now, in honor of the Big Bad Chef, I am going to say something I have never, ever said before -- Hotty Toddy.

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