RECIPE OF THE WEEK: What Should I Burn With Fire?

I'm pretty excited about roasting things over an open flame.
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Claire Lower
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I'm pretty excited about roasting things over an open flame.

This just in: beet-infused vodka is delightful.

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You are all infusion geniuses, and every comment was a jewel of innovation and taste, but the most up-voted comment last week was this revelation from dearsister88:

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Just in case the screen-grab is too tiny, let me type it out for you here:

Oh man, I infused vodka with beets and it made this beautifully earthy, delicious and beautifully colored drink. All you have to do is cut a raw and peeled beet into little cubes and drop it into a bottle of vodka (I pour about 1/2 a cup of the vodka out and put it in a separate container/drink it). Then you keep it in a dark closet for 3 day, shaking it once a day. When it's complete, make a cocktail of simple syrup, lemon or grapefruit squeezed, beet vodka, and club soda. Top with a sprig of mint!

I will admit that I had my doubts. I'm not a huge fan of beets. They're fine, and I'll eat them with goat cheese, but I don't seek them out. But in spite of all that I was intrigued, so I purchased a large beet and a bottle of vodka at the farmer's market and got to chopping.

How pretty is this?

How pretty is this?

I chose a candy cane beet because just look at it. Besides a watermelon radish, I can't think of a prettier vegetable. I peeled and chopped the beautiful root as instructed and then pushed the little cubes down into an Ikea bottle with about 350 mL of vodka.

Ignore the price tag residue please and thank you.

Ignore the price tag residue please and thank you.

After three days of sitting in a cupboard (with a bit of daily agitation) the vodka took on a beautiful shade of fuchsia.

beet vodka cocktail.jpg

I didn't make dearsister88's exact cocktail, because I didn't have grapefruit or lemon (or a car to go get such), but I did have a blood orange.

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I squeezed half of the orange into a shaker with some ice and poured a "good amount" of the vodka in (probably two shots worth). After a quick shake, that was strained into a lowball, topped with some soda water, and garnished with a strip of blood orange peel. (I also omitted the simple syrup because the orange was pretty sweet on its own.)

Has there ever been a prettier cocktail?

Has there ever been a prettier cocktail?

The result was one of the most drinkable beverages I've ever had. The beet tempered the harshness of the vodka in a way that was truly surprising; there was no burn whatsoever. The sweetness and acidity of the blood orange worked well with the earthiness of the beet, but the bitterness of grapefruit would have worked even better, so if you plan to make this type of cocktail I would use dearsister88's original recipe.

I'd love to try it in a Bloody Mary or martini, but the truth is there's almost no need to mix it. This stuff is sippable all on its own, especially if you chill it down first. 

So well done, dearsister88. Your trophy is "I Need More Allowance" by The Beets because I couldn't stop humming it while chopping those beets.

Your next challenge awaits.

This last week was mostly dedicated to unpacking, and of course I started with the kitchen. It's actually the only room that's full functional at this point, because I have priorities. It's also my favorite room in the new place, because it's huge OH AND ALSO THERE IS A GAS RANGE.

BAE

BAE

I haven't had a gas range for about a decade and I'm very excited about having one once more. Cooking with an actual flame makes me feel more in control of the amount of heat being used, plus I'm pretty excited about roasting things over an open flame.

Peppers, corn, eggplant: all of these things taste great with a bit of char on them, but I'm sure there are others. What I want from you, dear readers, is your favorite recipes that incorporate the use of an open flame. That's the only requirement. It can be savory or sweet, a side dish or a main, but it must have at least one ingredient that is roasted or charred or altered in some way by actual fire.

So tell me, what should I roast?