It’s the big 50 for the Groves Pecan Festival and we’re all ready for some pecan pie, and fun.
I turned straight to the pecan section when I received the book “Cork and Knife: Build Complex Flavors with Bourbon, Wine and Beer and More.” Matt and Emily Clifton, founders of Nerds with Knives blog, have done a little science – and genius contemplating - to create some flavors that won’t quit. She’s from the Upper West Side and he’s from Britain, so, they’re open to a whole wide world of goodness.
A twist that caught my eye is Bourbon Sloppy Joes with Cheddar and Pickled onions. Don’t stop there. Gaze at photos and recipes for pears poached with hibiscus and rose, plum and rosemary galette with red wine syrup, chicken thighs with white wine, Meyer lemon and fennel and seared scallops in gin with brown butter and tarragon. Learn to cook with brandy, rum, tequila, wines, beer, sake, gin and more. They view the liquor cabinet as an extension of the pantry.
Back to the pecans, please. Turns out this couple would make Bread Pudding with Cinnamon-Whiskey Apples, and that sounds just like what we’d do with them in Southeast Texas. Now, they make Cheesecake Bars with Pecan Crust and Bourbon Caramel for the holidays. They claim that holiday gifts of the bites will make your neighbors forget about all the times you put out recycling while dressed in less than your best.
Get the book and make some of these delights to celebrate the Groves Pecan Festival, Oct. 24-27 in Groves.
* Jarlesberg Cheese Snacks – You know how there’s real, simple yogurt, and that conveniently packaged, sugary and colored stuff geared to kids? You really have to read the labels. Now cheese can be cheese, and go easily in your lunch. Jarlesberg has added individually wrapped mild, mellow and nutty cheese sticks to their line. I’d pack one of these to go anywhere. They taste a little more gourmet than you may be used to in this format. There’s a 60 year old Norwegian recipe that makes it taste so good. I read up on this cheese, which has holes like cheese from other countries. Now I’m on board with the Norwegians. Remember, just as in a fine wine, it’s good to read your product’s tasting notes. That’s where I got the nutty note. Once you read about it, the “nutty” really comes out. Learn more at www.jarlesberg.com
* Borden Kid Builder - I still don’t know if Mom ever knew my lunch money was going to chocolate milk. That was a little carton of fun for a stretch of elementary school. If you still crave it, Borden how has little packable bottles of Kid Builder, which is 2 percent reduced fat, no sugar added milk with 50 percent more calcium and protein. Parents and kids should love that in glorious chocolate. I’ve tried it and it’s so rich and creamy I made 1 12-ounce serving last three days in an attractive juice glass. Felt classy drinking chocolate milk from a glass in the morning. Like I was on vacation. And guess what? There’s strawberry, too!
Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who is on board with kid foods and big-kid gourmet foods, too. Reach her at email@example.com