Tender Feelings For My Ancient Slow Cooker

Yes, I eschew the Instant Pot for my no-tech slow cooker, gifted to me by a dear friend. Does this actually makes me a Luddite in the true sense of the word? Lets see:

Hello, gorgeous.

  • one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest
  • broadly one who is opposed to, especially technological, change

Well, spoiler alert, I am not a 19th century worker so that’s out even before the definition ends. But am I opposed to time-saving technological change in cooking appliances? Well, I guess I am. (Though electricity is technology, but you know what I’m getting at.) So I was chuffed to write an ode to my 1970s-era slow cooker for Tenderly. Have a read:

An Old-Fashioned Slow Cooker Is the Perfect Kitchen Appliance

BTW, Tenderly is Friendly, radical, vegan. I highly recommend becoming a reader and subscriber. As a segue, here are a couple vegan recipes. One is for mushroom jerky, The other is for a parsnip pie. Ok, have a bonus: black bean and pepita balls.

Are My Slow Cooker Feelings Luddite-esque? Go deeper into the word:

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Killing our Palates

Sriracha aiol...

Sriracha, Aioli, Pesto: the holy trinity of corporate cuisine. They’re on almost everything and I would not be shocked to see a Sriracha and Pesto Aioli on a sandwich these days. In most kitchens the main purpose of these sauces are to cover up less than interesting ingredients - culinary sleight of hand. Is simple mayonnaise a thing of the past? After our palates are dulled with such an onslaught of flavors it is no wonder we can’t actually taste wines with delicate, elegant flavors.

Don’t get me wrong, individually and with the right dishes each of these sauces are delicious, but each has been co-opted to the point that these superb, classic sauces not only seem cliché, but have become layered on top of each other so garlic or heat alone are the only song a dish sings.

Is there any use of basil more perfect than pasta with pesto in Liguria? Delicate, bright and fresh with just the right touch of garlic? Then there is aïoli garni in Provence, the ultimate dip again with the perfect touch of garlic and fresh, fruity olive oil to dip boiled fresh vegetables, olives, salt cod and whatever you please in to. Then there is sriracha, a Thai sauce. The Huy Foods Sriracha brand (the only one most Americans know) was first introduced to the USA in the 1980s when it was served at virtually all American Pho restaurants. Today it’s in or on everything and at this point I would not be shocked to see sriracha toothpaste.

Americans can not leave well enough alone. We must do something to everything. It’s not enough to have a subtle, beautiful pesto we have to add more-and-more garlic so the basil becomes irrelevant. The same thing happens with aioli and then you end up with the ultimate bastardization a pesto aioli. Simple and elegant is not a characteristic admired by Americans.

American winemaking has also been sucked into this wormhole and winemakers think more about what they can add instead of getting out of the way and letting the grapes and vineyard tell their own story. In the same way some bastardized version of aioli obliterates the other flavors in a sandwich, winemakers here can’t resist aggressive commercial yeasts, new oak and a host of other interventions that are the winemaker’s version of a chef adding too much garlic or hot sauce. Winemaking, like a sauce, should elevate and brighten, not overwhelm.

There can be great complexity in simplicity.

Pickled Broccoli Stems Are Great On Everything

Sometimes my favorite part of a vegetable is not the traditional star of the show. Take celery, for example. While the ribs get all the love, what about the leaves? The latter are a fantastic addition to anything where you might use flat-leaf parsley. And then there’s broccoli. The “crowns” are so valued they are sold solo. But what about the stems? They are a delight as well. So buy the whole dang thing and after you’ve separated the florets, make pickled broccoli stems.

This is done quickly. In a few hours. No boiling. I don’t really measure anything, you can season the vinegar to your liking.

Pickled Broccoli Stems

Ingredients

  • Two broccoli stems
  • white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • sugar

Directions

Cut the tough outer layer from the stems. Using a vegetable peeler, shave lengthwise strips of broccoli stem. In a relatively flat glass or plastic container, add the stems, cover with vinegar, and add salt and sugar to taste. Put a lid on and shake it up. Give the stems a few hours in the fridge or leave overnight. I ate half of mine after a few hours and the rest the next day. Can’t see them lasting longer.

Note: You can make the brine separately and taste for seasoning before co-mingling with the broccoli stems. That way it’s much easier to adjust the salty/sweet balance to your liking. I skew salty with a touch of sweet.

So what would you serve these with? I’d put them on top of a sandwich, use as a crunchy garnish for grain dishes,  or toss ’em in fish tacos. Heck, just pour yourself a beer and go to town.

Wine Recommendation

When you add a pickled component to a dish, I like to go with Riesling. It doesn’t have to be a semi-sweet/off-dry bottle, either. Dry Australian Rieslings would be great here, particularly with said fish tacos or a dang turkey sandwich with mayo and these pickles.

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Supper With Stub 10: Tequila Lime Chicken

 

In the last episode of Season 1, Stub slams a shot of tequila before demonstrating his world-famous Tequila Lime Chicken recipe! If that’s not enough, he also shows you how to mix the perfect Margarita and how to make your own homemade flour tortillas to amp up your Cinco de Mayo fiesta! And, as always, Stub suggests both wine and beer pairings to complement your meal!

 

Come on in and sit a spell for Supper With Stub!