Obedient Ingredients

A place to put cooking ideas to the test.

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Homemade Bitters

This summer’s project is homemade bitters.

The best way I’ve seen bitters described goes something like this: You can have all of these great ingredients and amazing flavor combinations in a cocktail, but the addition of bitters makes you come back for me.

I’m not sure where I read that, but I enjoy the sentiment and agree; bitters in a cocktail add a depth to the drinking experience that is enticing.

I made four bitters:

  • House bitters
  • Coffee-Pecan
  • Charred Cedar
  • Apple


Everything is taken from this great book by Brad Thomas Parsons called Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All with Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas. Check it out.

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Sage Chips: or How I Stopped Worrying and Love Flour Coating

Warning: non-scientific (yet yummy) experiments below.

Food experiments in this blog fall into two categories of preparation:

a) planned out ahead of time, with research and getting the right ingredients;

b) Deciding on the spot to test something out with the food I have in my kitchen, usually in a hunger induced haze.

This is something I did on the fly. I had leftover sage. I wanted to have them in fried form.

So what was the best way to get these wise leaves crunchy?

The search for this answer while leaving out thorough research, and we get today’s experiment: what is the difference between frying sage with and then without a flour coating? And what is the simplest, best way to coat them for a good crunch?

BONUS POST: Not all of my food experiments go well, so today we learn the important lesson that failing is OK…

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Baked eggplant slices: double test!

Today’s eggplant taste test is a fun one. We are testing two different factors…
They tell you to salt your eggplant (once you have cubed it or cut it in slices) and let it rest for 30 minutes in a strainer in your sink, so the bitterness leaves it. Does that make a difference?

AND you are told to brush olive oil on your slices before putting them in the oven. What difference does that make to the texture and taste?

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Kale Chips – Aluminium Foil Test

Whomever spends this much time thinking about Kale must be a pretty cool dude.

In a previous post, I tested making kale chips using a normal baking sheet vs. parchment paper. Conclusion: The baking sheet made the chips slightly more crunchy but the parchment paper was easier to clean up. I also learned the important lesson of making sure to COMPLETELY COAT the kale leaves in my oil mixture (EVOO, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, garlic).

After that experiment, a new question arose: would using aluminum foil make a difference?

I ask the hard hitting questions in this blog.

My test kitchen was about to find out. I wanted to test making these summer homemade chips using both the normal baking sheet and the addition of aluminum foil.

Question: When making KALE CHIPS, does using aluminum foil make a difference?

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Oven Hot Spot Test

Hi, welcome to this blog post regarding gourmet cooking, high-end ingredients, and the pursuit of the quality eating experience!

Today, we are using WHITE BREAD, the finest of all breads.

Just kidding. Didn’t mean for you to drop your kale shake while you clutched your ascot scarf in outrage.

I mean, this post IS simply using White Bread. But I’m using the saddest of sad breads* to test an important tool in my kitchen: the oven.

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Grilled eggplant: olive oil edition

Eggplant is delicious. There will be many posts dedicated to this plant. But I have a grill, so tonight, we grill.

So let’s grill eggplants.

But with my propensity to douse everything in extra virgin olive oil, how can I appropriately and lovingly combine the two ingredients? How do I properly apply (or not apply) EVOO on the eggplant to have it leave the grill in a happy state?

Today’s test: What is the best way to apply olive oil to the eggplant for grilling?

My test kitchen has determined that this is indeed an eggplant.

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Kale Chips – Parchment Paper Test

Kale. Trendy vegetable? Or the simple green leaf for all people to enjoy?

Maybe both, but it’s also bad ass, especially in the form of CHIPS.

Kale chips are healthy and delicious and best of all, simple to make.

One of the first Google results for “kale chips” was from Allrecipies.com, and I noticed the use of parchment paper. Was that really necessary? Is its purpose purely for easy clean up, or does that enhance the quality?

My test kitchen was about to find out. I wanted to test making these summer homemade chips using both the normal baking sheet and the addition of parchment paper.

Question: When making KALE CHIPS, does using parchment paper make a difference?

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