Brine – the best way to impart moisture and flavor

Brining makes fish, poultry and pork moister by imparting liquid on a cellular level to the muscle tissue of the meat before cooking.  This is done via the process of osmosis,  by allowing the cells to hold on to the water while they are cooked, via the process of denaturation.  The proteins coagulate, forming a matrix that traps water molecules and holds them during cooking, preventing the meat from dehydrating – particularly useful for grilling chicken breasts.  The salt is also desirable as a preservative.  The flavor in the brine ends up flavoring the meat from the inside out so make sure you season your brine with flavors you want in the meat you’re cooking.

Bloody Mary’s, The Best Ever

Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented Bloody Mary’s in 1921, while working at the New York Bar in Paris, which later became , a frequent Paris hangout for Ernest Hemingway. They are fabulous made with vodka or gin, although my favorite is the gin.  Gin adds a little more depth of flavor.  People add a myriad of garnished to bloody mary’s. You can put anything in them from pickled asparagus to sushi.  In this recipe, I use a slider with an olive and a carrot.

Bloody Mary's
Bloody Mary with a slider garnish