Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
paged,page-template,page-template-blog-large-image-whole-post,page-template-blog-large-image-whole-post-php,page,page-id-10088,paged-39,page-paged-39,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-2.8,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.3.5,vc_responsive

Fire Cider

I put a lot of stock into traditional remedies. When all is said and done I believe in a balance between the amazing discoveries and innovations of science and technology and the herbal medicinal remedies that are the result of hundreds and thousands of years of human evolution and experimentation. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, black or white, it can be a blend- the old AND the new, all working together to keep us healthy and strong.

fire cider 5

This school year I’ve maintained a steady cough/cold since approximately September 1st. It’s fluctuated from really bad to barely noticeable to full blown flu, and I expect it’ll stay with me until about June. It’s one of the consequences of me being a preschool teacher- I get sick and stay sick for most of the year. Even after more than a decade working with kids I still catch everything, so do my best to keep my body strong so that I am able to fend off as much as possible.

fire cider 4

fire cider 3

In the past this has meant combining plenty of fermented foods and probiotics (sauerkraut and water kefir are two of my standards) with a diet of organic whole foods, a solid amount of garlic, and immune boosters such as elderberry. This year, after a particularly horrible round of the flu made it through our classroom (and town and country and, it seems, world), I decided it was time to step up my game a bit and brew a little fire cider.

fire cider 2

Fire cider is a traditional recipe with deep roots in folk medicine. Like any dish with a long history there are countless recipes, ingredients, and techniques available, as many as there are Appalachian grandmothers. The touted benefits are also incredible- it is antibacterial, decongestive, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti fungal, it promotes circulation and helps with nausea and gut health. It’s a fermented miracle tonic that tastes damn good on its own and even better splashed on top of a bloody mary.

fire cider 6

A few years ago I was complaining to my Grammy about my chronic ear infections. Her response? “I’m not into all that hippie dippy shit but put some olive oil in it” (ever the good Sicilian). I am into all that hippie dippy shit and so I threw some olive oil right in my ear. Worked like a charm (as does vinegar). My point is, even if you’re not the type of person that has a cupboard full of tinctures, it certainly can’t hurt to add a few herbal remedies to your routine. In this age of rapidly mutating super viruses maybe what we all need is the power of fermented superfoods.

fire cider 7

Fire Cider

The beautiful thing about Fire Cider is that you can adapt the recipe to what you have on hand, or what herbs and ingredients you’d like to take advantage of. Use this recipe as a starting off point and experiment!

1 head of garlic, peeled

3″ fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 lemon, peeled and quartered

1 grapefruit, peeled and quartered

1/4 cup grated horseradish (fresh if you can find it)

1/4 cup local honey with honeycomb

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Raw apple cider vinegar

Combine all of your ingredients in a large jar or glass bottle. Top with apple cider vinegar and shake well. Ferment in a dark place, shaking once per day, for at least 4 weeks and up to 6 months. Strain and add raw honey to taste. Drink straight or mix into drinks or food.

Read More

Lovely Internet 2.20.15

1. Southern Food. Like a hug from the Lord. I’m not mad at it. (livermush!)

2. This looks incredible.

3. I can’t wait to see this film. What an amazing discovery!

4. An excellent use of a snow day. Not sure why that took so long…

5. Consider more than just what you’re hungry for when you plan your meals. (also- the rebuttal)

6. Is fat the sixth taste?

7. It’s been a really hard week- let’s take a moment for something silly.

8. The burden of flawless. Amen! (thanks Tracy for this!)

9. Natalie really speaks to the heart of it.

10. I didn’t even know this was a part of my body I needed to care about. Nope… still don’t care.

For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitter (@elenabrent or @biscuitsandsuch), instagrampinterest or facebook. Subscribe to my bloglovin’ feed to make sure you never miss a post. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

Read More

Boudin Balls

There are many things we love about my brother-in-law, Bradley. He is kind, funny, good at mediating family arguments, and most importantly, he loves my sister. But perhaps the best fringe benefit of having a brother-in-law from Baton Rouge is that he brought boudin into our lives. And for that, we will forever be grateful.

boudin 1

Boudin (pronounced bou-dahn) is a Louisiana specialty, a Cajun tradition that adapts the French boudin blanc to what was readily available in the Acadian settlements. Cajun boudin is pork liver, ground pork shoulder, rice, parsley, green bell peppers, onions and spices all cooked, mixed together, and stuffed in casing. The cased boudin is then grilled or smoked and served with hot sauce, making it irresistibly delicious.

boudin balls 4

Bradley and Lauren bring boudin with them every time they visit, which meant that by the time I visited Avery Island, Louisiana, a few years ago with Tabasco I knew to be first in line every time boudin was served. One of the highlights of that trip for me was our visit to a local boucherie called Legnon’s to watch them making boudin. The process was incredible, I’m still in awe by how quickly those women were able to stuff and segment those sausages!

boudin balls 2

boudin 5

We made a batch of boudin for Dan’s big birthday party a few weeks ago, and after we’d exhausted all the casing available we fried the remaining filling into boudin balls and served them with a spicy chipotle mustard. We smoked the boudin links and squirreled away a few in the freezer, which I will be cooking up this week in celebration of Mardi Gras. That, and the beignet dough I’ve been saving!

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 11.49.34 AM

Boudin Balls
adapted from Emeril‘s recipe for boudin

1 1/4 pounds pork shoulder, cubed

1/2 pound pork (or beef) liver, rinsed and cubed

1 quart water

1 small white onion, chopped

3 cloves minced garlic

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

3 tsps salt

2 tsps cayenne powder

1 tsp black pepper

3 cups cooked rice

A handful of chopped parsley

A handful of chopped green onion

In a large pan combine the meat and half of the vegetables (bell pepper, onion, garlic, celery) and half of the spices with the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Drain, reserving a cup of broth. Put everything through a meat grinder with a 1/4″ die, along with the remaining fresh vegetables and half of the parsley. Mix the ground meat and vegetables with the rice, remaining parsley, green onions, and remaining spices. Refrigerate for 1 hour. *

Heat high-temp oil to 375F. Use your hands to pack the boudin into balls approximately the same size as golf balls. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot, with spicy mustard or hot sauce to dip.

*instructions on stuffing boudin in casing

Read More