I can't help that on most weekend mornings I wake up wanting to create in the kitchen. I think I've become addicted to the simple pleasure of being able to go into the kitchen and create something with just what I have on hand. A lot of this has come about by making sure I always have staples on hand, something I've become quite good at the past year or so.
I find it especially rewarding to be able to make my own breads without having to run to the store for a baguette. One of my favorites are popovers. They are super quick and easy. The key is room temperature ingredients and a preheated pan.
I lay out my eggs, milk and butter to come to room temperature, start the coffee and fetch the New York Times from the front steps. By the time I've had my coffee and gone through most of the paper, my ingredients are ready.
I use Ina Garten's recipe, which can be found here or in her Parties book. I don't yet have a popover pan, so I use a muffin pan, they taste delicious but come out more muffin looking instead of the typical puffy drama they would in the proper pan. This morning I made them with the sole purpose of using the giant Nutella we found at Target yesterday and the cherry blackberry sage and clove preserves I found at Rainbow. The results were delicious warm and make a nice portable breakfast to take to work tomorrow.
At this point, especially after making bacon and eggs too, I had already made a disaster of the clean kitchen, so why stop there? I picked up these pearl onions to make cocktails onions for Gibsons. I have always ordered Gibsons here and there but recently tried to order one at 15 Romolo but they had no onions on hand. Right then I knew what my next pickling project would be.
I like to use a simple pickling liquid recipe such as Thomas Keller's and then add whatever I feel like to it. I basically just took his ratios of salt & sugar to liquid and made mine of 1/2C apple cider vinegar, 1/2C white vinegar and 1/2C water and added a 1/4C sugar and 1/4C salt then peppercorns, dried chiles, whole cloves, a couple fennel seeds and 1 garlic clove. I typically like to use more fresh herbs but didn't happen to have many on hand that seemed right so I improvised.
After peeling the onions, I heated the pickling mixture to dissolve the salt and sugar, then added the onions to cook for 2 minutes. I then added some dry vermouth and placed it all in two jars.
I'll know how my mixture came out around cocktail time this evening.
A Gibson is basically a gin martini with onions instead of olives as garnish. I'll use 2 1/2 ounces of Hendricks gin to 1/2 ounce dry vermouth and a couple onions to each.