Idiot’s Guide to Mulled Wine – Insanely Simple & Cheap !


Red wine is certainly one of the most popular and more socially accepted drinking options in winter;  well, it just got exponentially better with mulling spices added to it. It is a fantastic option for several (valid) reasons,

1) It is a brilliant concoction to keep yourself warm in the colder months

2) Easiest to make and requires absolutely no expert culinary skills

3) And most importantly, it enhances the flavour of cheap wine!

And the joy of making something as fine as this within a $10 budget is unparalleled, and trust me when I say it leaves you patting yourself on the back. Although googling Mulled Wine brings up a plethora of recipes, mostly with the same set of details, my recipe is probably the most simplest. Yeah, like how could a four bulleted recipe get any simpler? This way,

What you’ll need and mind you, this is a bare minimum, less fussier and straight to the point RECIPE; after all who wants to waste time with these sort of things, right?

SPICES – Get cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves; Don’t get anything more, this will impart enough flavour! And just QTR a handful will do. It’s precious, let’s not go overboard !

Lemon – 2 wedges

Raw sugar – 1 tbsp

Orange/ Orange Juice – doesn’t matter; I tried with both, and I can tell you whichever is around is just fine. Although if you are using oranges, you need to use some water initially to brew the spices.

Red Wine – I preferred using the Precious Earth Shiraz Merlot 2013. Bought it at Aldi for $2.69. No, don’t judge me yet! It’s a pretty decent wine and hey, that’s the point here, we are transforming mediocre drinks into delectable ones!

Insanely Mulled Wine Method

Now get a brewing pot and add the spices(a little at a time), sugar, the bitters and a splash of wine. I wouldn’t use more in the fear of losing it to alcohol evaporation!

Keep it brewing; keep spice levels in check – I like it spicy – you may not, so I suggest you add as you taste it from time to time!

Once you are happy with the flavour, simmer the heat and add the wine and wait for a few mins.

That’s it ! Serve immediately into your fancy tumblers. Simply delicious! Want a twist, add a dash of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum – ‘n now ye’ll better be swin’in’ along wit’ a glass in one hand ‘n a rusted hook in th’ other! Arr Arr Arr..watch it !

DRINK RESPONSIBLY ( they just say that everywhere, so I thought I should it up too)

\m/ theinsanefoodie

Butter Coffee?!


So how does one feel about taking coffee with a dollop of butter or ghee? Well it’s just a insanely rich latte if you think about it, you know? Apparently this is something that is slowly yet steadily being experimented in parts of the world, and now in Australia. News has it that some of the famous baristas of Melbourne are also secretly perfecting the recipe before they can let their patrons taste it.

You’ve all probably heard of yak butter tea that’s served in Tibet, and perhaps about the paleolithic diet as well? Although Tibetan Yak butter tea has almost nothing to do with the paleo diet, it is a neat invention with chances of a runaway hit in a country which loves coffee where it is being promoted as a paleo alternative to regular coffee.

Paleolithic diet, which emphasizes on a high protein intake, has long been marketed as the solution to obesity and henceforth being championed more than ever in the developed nations of the world. Marketing butter coffee as a paleo alternative to regular coffee is on the assumption that the butter being added to coffee is low on saturated fats, unlike traditional yak butter which has traditionally been added into beverages in Tibet only to fight the cold ! Although it’s yet to be seen the variety of butter/ghee which will find it’s way into these ‘butter coffee’ recipes, several nutritionists have already expressed their concern over the consumption of this highly fattened coffee.

But as the saying goes, anything in moderation is okay! Or is it?

theinsanefoodie

 

Colombian Coffee at it’s best – Melbourne CBD


I was at The Little Mule cafe today for a quick bite & coffee. This place popped up on my radar when I foursquared “best lunch places around you”, at the Elizabeth St/Collin St X. While I don’t vouch for Little Mule as the best place for lunch, I certainly will be headed back again for their coffee.

Courtesy – http://www.beanhunter.com/australia/victoria/melbourne/melbourne-cbd/the-little-mule

I love specialist cafes that serve single origin coffees, cold drips, siphons, you know..the lot. Coffees here are a treat; leaves you feeling “money well spent”; although, it’s probably “more” money spent on a cup of coffee. But, what the heck – makes you feel better, when you know you’re supporting a coffee farming community in Africa or South America !

Little Mule had 2 single origin brew offerings – espresso (sourced from Colombia) and filter (sourced from Ethiopia). I was in a mood for cappuccino and henceforth went for the espresso. This particular blend was from the Caicedonia region in Colombia; which contributes only a meager share of the globally available Colombian coffee. The lion’s share of Colombian coffee comes from the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis.

The cappuccino tasted extremely smooth, with absolutely no hint of bitterness. The strong notes of honey and cocoa well pronounced. On previous occasions, whenever I’ve had coffees made from beans which claimed to have imbibed intricate flavors from fruits and nuts, the notes were much too subtle to hit home. Unlike wine, tasting which is an art and unless you are well versed in it, you really can’t tell the difference between a $10 one and $ 25 one, drinking coffee is relatively straightforward; this is not to belittle the technicalities of the coffee; but the point is, this Colombian brew is a winner to all – laymen and connoisseurs alike !

The Little Mule vs Sensory Lab – I’d say Little Mule for a cup of joe !!

What are your thoughts??

theinsanefoodie

Kashmiri Kahwa


 

The Kashmiri Kahwa is usually served out of a Samovar – metal brewing pot – traditionally used by cultures that flourished in & around present day Iran, Turkey, Russia & China.

The Kashmiri Kahwa is a concoction of green tea leaves & spices such as cardamom, cinnamon & saffron. It is usually served with a hint of honey either on the side or mixed in. Before serving, the Kahwa is topped with a spoonful of almond & walnut powder. The Kahwa owes its origin to the multi-cultural influences during the Kushan Era. It is also therapeutic and one can find variations of the same in several other regions inhabited by Persian & Islamic cultures. “Irani Chai” is one such variation. In the Northern Malabar regions of Kerala, a version of the Kahwa called the Sulaimani – (a black tea preparation with/without spices) is often used to ease the digestion after a heavy (festive) meal !

 

Hot & Spicy Mutton Pizza


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@ George Restaurant – Pune Camp !  Ingeniously crafted combination of Desi lamb preparation, marinara sauce in red chilly base, topped with an excess of mozzarella cheese ! This, I can vouch quite confidently is one of the best Indian versions of the pizza I’ve ever had.

INSANE –  (1) Loaded on cheese & great combination of ingredients (2) Fantastic price point for the serving proportion