I had a very interesting dinner tonight.
To begin with, I had been reading about brining for some time. I decided I'd make a go of it. I made a mix with onions, garlic, peppercorns, green chilis, peppercorns, and quite a bit of salt. I boiled it for a few minutes, let it cool, and put a turkey breast in it. That was yesterday. Today, I cooked it as I usually would a turkey breast (mmm).
I have to say, I think it made a difference. Now, I don't think it necessarily made a difference in flavor. I didn't really taste the pepper or chilis or cayenne pepper. But I will say it was probably the wettest turkey I've ever had. I had juices positively flowing down my knife when I cut into it, and it was tender and delicious. I don't think I'd add all the different spices to it, but I'd definitely brine turkey and other poultry again.
What else did I have? I made some delicious mashed potatoes. This may be old-hat to some, but I love throwing in a few cloves of garlic with the potatoes and cooking it longer. Then I mix it all, along with some butter and milk. It is good.
But that probably wasn't the most unusual part of my meal. I've been thinking for a while about making wine. Even in my area, anyone can get some great concentrate, etc., from some mail order places. But I decided to start a bit smaller. Namely, I decided I'd make some wine from Welch's Concord Grape Concentrate. Not only that, but I used bread yeast instead of wine yeast.
The results are interesting, and not entirely unpleasant. I started this batch about three weeks ago, and I had the results with (and a bit before) dinner. Overall, I have to say it's not bad. What it comes down to is a wine that is pretty sweet, with (as you can imagine) a strong concord flavor. It is really about the same as a very fruity wine of any other variety. I liken it to an immature pinot noir or beaujolais nouveau, just with a distinctive flavor that is very different from those two.
I may have to do it again to see how I can tweak the flavor. I'll also probably work on some 'real' grapes to see what I can do. Overall, rather fun. Even though it's just grocery-store-concentrate, it's nice to drink something I made.