Saturday, May 31, 2008

The 2 Week Homebrew Beer Experiment

It's not much of an experiment on my part, but our local wine brewer is offering a fully contained beer homebrew kit that is so simple it has got to suck.  However, it is supposed to be quite good. I decided to be the guinea pig for the new product and run the brew process through its course and document it for future generations.  You are provided with a 2 liter bottle of your unfermented beer solution, a capsule of yeast, and a special bottle cap that includes a pressure release regulator that allows the extra gasses to escape so you don't create a beer bomb.

I'll post what I know now, and in 2 weeks, I'll get drinking and report back.

The kit.  Beer solution, special cap and capsule. Daisies not included.

Here's a closeup of the pressure regulating cap

...and finally, here are the instructions on the side of the label.  You can't get anymore ghetto than this.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli Salad

Tonight's noodle salad came out perfectly.  Part of the success was achieved by using fresh ingredients from the Ottawa Byward Market. However, the winning move was using the previous recipe for Vietnamese dipping sauce/dressing.  Make sure to soak your vermicelli in warm water for about 20 minutes rather than boiling it.  You will get a more "Al Dente" effect this way.  Peanuts should be roasted if possible, and unsalted or you will probably end up with an imbalanced saltiness.  Try to make your julienned vegetables as thin as possible so that you can get a homogenous mixture with your noodles.  Serve about 1-2 cups of noodles in an asian Pho bowl and put a small handful of each fresh ingredient on top. Pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce over your portion and add Sriracha chili sauce as desired.

1 pack Rice Vermicelli
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1 carrot, julienned
1 small cucumber, seeded and julienned
2 scallions, sliced
1/2 red pepper sliced thinly
1 or 2 thai chili peppers minced
handful of mint chopped
Sriracha sauce as needed

NUOC CHAM (Vietnamese dipping sauce or salad dressing)

I'm creating a vietnamese inspired cold rice vermicelli noodle salad tonight that needed some sort of dressing based on fish sauce and lime.  I put this together and it is delicious!

1 clover garlic minced
1/2 tsp thai chili paste
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice

Heat water in pot over medium-high heat and add sugar.  When the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.  Let cool and pour over salad, or use as a dipping sauce for spring rolls.

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