Hot Knives has a few tips for stretching and faking your way ’til payday. Here, the guys share a few tricks for enriching your kitchen from their upcoming book, Salad Daze, designed to help working stiffs cook like the upper crust.
Extra Olive Olive Oil
What: No disposable income left to splurge on that $30 drizzling oil? Did you settle for that cheap swill Trader Joe’s claims is extra virgin? Just infuse the inexpensive stuff with meaty, dry-cured olives.
How: Combine half a cup of mediocre olive oil and twenty pitted, dry-cured black olives in a food processor and pulse for one minute. Let it sit like that for one hour. Then pulse again. Strain the olive chunks out and collect just the oil, which should be brownish.
What: Jam that embarrassing bottle of Popov that resides eternally in your freezer full of something tasteful (lavender, pink peppercorns, crushed lemongrass stalks) and in days it will go from gutter to glamour. Just add soda, ice, a vest, and your best cocktail-shaking face — and call yourself a mixologist.
How: Invest in magic beans, specifically some fresh vanilla bean pods, and make them stretch. Slit two vanilla beans delicately and add to any bottle of cheap vodka. Let sit at least 48 hours to infuse. Then remove the beans and use. In small doses, it’s vanilla extract for half the shelf price. In large, it’s an affordable blackout.
What: Good gravlax costs a lot of gravy (and water, wasted energy, etc.), but you can make smoked protein out of those cute root veggies you grabbed at the farmers market to look cool and have since let shrivel in your crisper.
How: Revive your old beets (we go for the candy striped) in ice water. Then roast ’em (trimmed, with peels on) wrapped in aluminum foil at 350°. About 35 minutes later, or when they are tender, remove them from the oven. Once they are cool, rub the skins off gently. Using a mandolin, slice the beets paper thin over a mixing bowl and toss with a tablespoon of extra olive olive oil, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, half a teaspoon of smoked salt, and a teaspoon of water. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate for an hour up to a week. Serve chilled on a toasted bagel, which brunch robbers charge at least $12 for, and you’re golden.
For more from Hot Knives, go to urbanhonking.com/hotknives.
Photos: Courtesy of Hot Knives
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