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Weed Chefs: Coming to a Screen Near You – Rolling Stone

There’s something deeply satisfying about getting high and drooling over images of a gorgeous, marijuana-infused dinner — and a new crop of shows offer a look into how these intoxicating feasts are made.

Take Viceland’s Bong Appétit, by far the biggest hit of the genre. Last year, it was nominated for a James Beard award, a top honor in the cooking world. The first two seasons featured dreamy sequences about sourcing local ingredients, bite-sized lessons in how to infuse various fats and oils with marijuana and, at the end of each episode, a giggle-ridden dinner party populated by the kind of chill stoners who would never judge you for being too high. (I found this out when I appeared on an episode that aired last summer.)

“If you’re stoned, it’s highly entertaining,” says cannabis chocolatier and co-host Vanessa Lavorato. The summer before Bong Appétit started filming, Lavorato says she slowly built up her tolerance to edibles, so she could better handle herself while stoned on air. In the end, all her hard work didn’t matter much. “You can’t hide it. You’re just really high on camera, which hopefully is funny for people.”

The show returns for a third season early next year with a new competitive format and several additions to the on-screen cast, including Cypress Hill frontman B. Real and marijuana chef Miguel Trinidad, whose underground, Filipino-inspired weed dinners have been covered by the New Yorker.

Not to be outdone, Netflix pushed out its own marijuana cooking show this summer: Cooking on High, which pits two chefs against each other to create THC-enhanced dishes for a panel of judges, punctuated by cannabis education from loveable pothead comedian Ngaio Bealum. Though critical reception of the fell flat, some of the chefs and personalities featured within seem destined for another, better executed vehicle for stardom. One standout was Andrea Drummer, whose delectable cod cake sandwich made her the winner of the show’s first episode. Drummer trained at Le Cordon Bleu, and oddly enough used to work as a drug prevention counselor before getting into weed cooking about five years ago.

Still, the public’s appetite for shows about weed chefs — just like the public’s appetite for weed — may be outpacing the conservative sensibilities of the people making decisions. Food Network, among other major players, has yet to touch the subject of cooking with the federally illegal drug, so the Rachael Ray of pot cuisine is more likely to come out of an unconventional platform like California startup Prohbtd, which currently produces a cannabis-infused cooking web series called Pot Pie, hosted by the charming Brandin LaShea. “Having a digital platform is the new wave,” says LaShea, who will feature infused dishes on her next season. “I have freedom that I don’t think I’d have at a large network.”

For cannabis chefs on the verge, the closed doors at most cable networks can be frustrating.

“Most of the TV people come back and say, ‘We love you, we love the concept, we’re not ready,’” says Leather Storrs, owner of the Portland, Oregon restaurant Noble Rot, who wants to host a travel-oriented cannabis food show, akin to Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations — but with pot. “I feel like they’re looking at the middle of the country, and when you live on the coasts, it’s different.” Storrs appeared on an early episode of Bong Appétit and is slated to return for the third season, but he’s also starred in several web series and pilots that have gone nowhere. His playful, vegetable-driven marijuana meals often start out with a Thai tom kha gai soup meant to look like Lucky Charms, with heart-shaped radishes and blue diamonds made of cabbage floating in a coconut milk broth.

And if President Trump has taught us anything, it’s that not everything that looks appealing on reality TV works well in real life. Full-scale cannabis restaurants do not yet exist, even in states that have legalized. The techniques involved in making pot-infused crème fraîche are rather complicated for a home chef, especially one who likes to get baked before baking. And of course, achieving the correct dosage for each person at a marijuana dinner party is nearly impossible — one diner might literally require ten to twenty times as much THC as another. Perhaps that’s why it’s more entertaining to watch the making of a full weed meal than to consume one. “If I wasn’t on the show, it’s not how I would choose to be high,” says Lavorato. “I would just smoke.”

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6 cannabis cookbooks with recipes from basic to gourmet – Los Angeles Times

As cannabis is legalized — although it remains illegal under federal law —and goes mainstream in California and other states, the cookbook industry has churned into high gear with books on what ways to use jazz cabbage beyond the bong. What to look for? A lot depends on your level of expertise — not just in the kitchen but with cannabis itself. If you’ve been making batches of pot brownies and want to expand your repertoire to, say, French macarons, there are cookbooks to help you out. Many books have lengthy introductions that outline the specifics of cooking with cannabis, so find one that fits with what you know — or don’t know.

“Bong Appetit: Mastering the Art of Cooking With Weed” by the editors of Munchies (Ten Speed Press, $30)

This book, based on the Munchies and Viceland television series “Bong Appétit,” was published in October by Ten Speed Press. (This is in itself notable, as Ten Speed is one of the best cookbook publishers around, and continues the legitimate trajectory of the cannabis cooking genre.) The book has a comprehensive introduction that includes topics such as dosing, techniques, methods of decarboxylation and infusion, cannabis pairing tips, questions to ask your dispensary, tips on equipment and more. The recipes are sourced from the Munchies test kitchen and from many well-known chefs, whose recipes are recalibrated to add cannabis. Thus: Korean fried chicken from Deuki Hong of San Francisco’s Sunday Bird; fried soft-shell crab with shishito pepper mole from Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme and Atla; and (my favorite) Joan Nathan’s preserved lemons. The Munchies test kitchen also has some fun ones, including herb focaccia with, well, herb; and confit octopus, in which a whole octopus is poached in cannabis-infused olive oil. If that sounds too aspirational, there are instructions for making an apple bong — a hollowed-out apple filled with weed-infused mezcal — at the end of the drinks chapter.

“Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen” by Stephanie Hua with Coreen Carroll (Chronicle Books, $19.95)

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“Edibles” is a just-published, user-friendly cookbook in a few notable ways: There is a lengthy and well-defined introductory section that discusses dosage, potency, effects, terminology and techniques. The 30 recipes that follow are purposefully low-dose (5 milligrams per serving), which is very helpful for beginning cooks, as well as those with a potentially problematic sweet tooth (Stephanie Hua is a confectioner at a marshmallow company; she and Coreen Carroll met at culinary school in San Francisco). The recipes are also a lot more appealing than those in many cannabis cookbooks, which can tend to run a little toward dorm food. Hua and Carroll instead give well-written recipes for cardamom caramels, gruyère and green garlic gougères, strawberry jam Pavlovas and roasted grape crostini. The blueberry lemon French macarons are a serious improvement on pot brownies.

"The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook" by Elise McDonough and the editors of High Times Magazine

“The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook” by Elise McDonough and the editors of High Times Magazine

(Chronicle Books)

“The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook” by Elise McDonough and the editors of High Times Magazine (Chronicle Books, $18.95)

This 6-year-old cookbook is from High Times magazine, the pot-championing publication founded in 1974. The book collects recipes from various sources (cooks who’ve contributed to the magazine, a “dude from Texas”) and begins with a workmanlike introduction that covers some of the basics of working with and consuming cannabis. But those basics are minimal; strains of cannabis, relative potency and issues of temperature and decarboxylation aren’t covered. Dosing in the recipes is also vague: a recipe, for example, says it “stones 4,” and there’s no mention of how many mgs are in the servings. The recipes are fun, and hardly technically difficult: the chocolate layer cake calls for Betty Crocker cake mix and frosting. If the Munchies book is for hipster stoners, this one is for people who’ve been listening to their Cheech and Chong records on vinyl since the last time it was cool.

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“Cannabis Cuisine: Bud Pairings of a Born Again Chef” by Andrea Drummer (Mango Publishing, $24.95)

Andrea Drummer is a Los Angeles-based culinary school grad and private chef specializing in cannabis cooking. Maybe because of her culinary training, the book is short on the science of cooking with cannabis and long on recipes, including some fun ones such as kimchi fried rice and escargot in puff pastry. This is both good and bad, as the recipes for infused stock, pasta dough and mayonnaise are comforting for home cooks, but the book doesn’t give much information about how to work with or use cannabis. (There’s also no index, which is frustrating.) Although Drummer gives bud pairings, as if she’s talking about a good Cabernet, decarboxylation isn’t even mentioned; recipes simply call for grams of “cannabis product.” This assumes a lot, and unless you’re already versed in this kind of cooking, you’ll need outside reference in order to use this one properly.

“Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking With Cannabis” by Melissa Parks and Laurie Wolf (Inkshares, $24.99)

This 3-year-old cookbook from two classically trained chefs — the pair have degrees from the Culinary Institute of America, Le Cordon Bleu and Johnson and Wales between them — is one of the better books about cannabis cooking. It’s both pragmatic and culinary-minded, and avoids the stoner language that can obfuscate the prose of the genre. The concise “cannabis 101” intro section concludes with good recipes for canna-oil, canna-butter and compound butters made with it — a great and nicely cheffy touch. The recipes focus on well-sourced ingredients and give techniques for components in such a way that you could easily use the book for non-pot cooking. I’d switch out the cannabutter for regular butter and make the triple-chocolate espresso cookies on a regular rotation, and the matcha sugar cookies too.

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"The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Food for Home Cooks" by Robyn Griggs Lawrence.

“The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Food for Home Cooks” by Robyn Griggs Lawrence.

(Skyhorse Publishing)

“The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Food for Home Cooks” by Robyn Griggs Lawrence (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.99)

Published in 2015 by a Colorado writer and photographer, this cookbook collects recipes from a dozen chefs and one bartender who specialize in cannabis-infused food. Before the recipes, there’s a 100-plus-page section that provides biographies of the chefs and discusses many aspects of buying, identifying and cooking with cannabis, covering cooking cultivars, details on infusions and extractions, plus dosing tips. There’s a longer section on how to make the oils and butters and tinctures than in many books; it also includes recipes for infused milk, cream, honey and simple syrup, all of which makes the recipes that follow succinct. The dosage per serving is clearly stated, and the recipe headnotes often include nicely geeky bits, such as how mangoes are reputed to heighten the effects of cannabis because they’re high (ha-ha) in myrcene molecules. Thus a recipe for rice pudding with green cardamom, mango and pistachios.

amy.scattergood@latimes.com

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Cooking with cannabis: Bake, baste and blend your way to marijuana eats – Las Vegas Weekly

It’s smoked, vaped, dabbed and absorbed through the skin. But the most popular way of consuming cannabis in Las Vegas this Thanksgiving may just be to cook, baste, bake, batter and grill with the plant.

Infusing marijuana into meals at home is one of the fastest-growing ways consumers are finding use for cannabis, according to a 2017 report from Headset Inc., a research firm studying legal marijuana trends in Washington and California. In those states, as many as 15-25 percent of cannabis users incorporated the plant into meals made at home—double the percentage of users to infuse meals in 2015.

That trend could hold true for Las Vegas if current sales numbers are any indication of the industry’s growth. While no detailed studies exist on home cooking with cannabis in our area, an increase of more than 75 percent in sales from late 2017 through the summer of 2018 means more local residents than ever before will have legal marijuana in their homes this holiday season.

Local cannabis chefs Zairilla Bacon, Kristal Chamblee and Jamie Lockwood are among independent industry professionals seeing a boost in business as demand for gourmet cannabis meals increases. Specialists in a variety of weed-infused pastries, entrees, butters, oils and sauces, the Las Vegas culinary experts say bookings for private events with marijuana food catering has skyrocketed during the past year. And Thanksgiving should be no different.

“It’s a popular time of the year,” Bacon said. “No mistake about it.”

But while some will seek the services of a cannabis chef for their marijuana-infused food—which can be custom made for both medical patients and recreational users—most will use the plant to cook at home this holiday season.

Chamblee, Bacon and Lockwood shared tips and some basic recipes for making home-crafted marijuana treats.

A HOW-TO GUIDE

Cannabutter

Making a home-crafted cannabis dish is a fun yet meticulous process that requires precision and care, says chef Kristal Chamblee. Pot can’t be infused into food from its raw, flowery form. Instead, the cannabinoids and terpenes must be activated via a heating process called decarboxylation. Chamblee and two other local chefs shared their tips and tricks for preparing and cooking fats infused with cannabis.

STEP 1. COLLECT YOUR INGREDIENTS

The butter-to-marijuana ratio in cannabutter should be about 16-to-1, Chef Jamie Lockwood says, meaning every pound (16 ounces) of butter should have one ounce of decarboxylated cannabis. Most home users won’t prepare such a large amount of marijuana butter, but the 16-to-1 ratio should hold true for smaller preparations as well.

For a slightly less potent butter, leafly.com recommends 14-20 grams of marijuana to a pound of butter.

The oil-to-marijuana ratio should be about 14.5-to-1, meaning every two cups of oil should have one ounce of decarboxylated cannabis. Lockwood and Chamblee recommended using coconut oil to make cannabis oil, but said olive oil and canola oil are also feasible substitutes.

In addition to the marijuana buds, cannabinoids and terpenes can also be extracted from marijuana shake—the leftover leaves, stems and trim at the bottom of bags or containers. Different strains can be mixed together for cooking and the marijuana used need not be a premium strain.

STEP 2. DECARBOXYLATE YOUR MARIJUANA

The decarboxylation process, which chemically urges the activated cannabinoids to bind to fat in food, requires users to finely grind their raw cannabis flower and place it on a cookie sheet or, as Chamblee recommends, in a turkey bag. The cannabis should then be placed in an oven and baked for about an hour.

The THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) in raw cannabis begins to decarboxylate at 220 degrees after about 30-45 minutes of exposure, producing edible THC. Full decarboxylation requires the entire hour.

Some chefs, such as Bacon, choose to decarboxylate cannabis at lower temperatures for a longer period of time—sometimes up to several hours—to preserve the beneficial terpenes found in each strain. At higher temperatures, volatile terpenes evaporate more easily and leave behind unwanted flavors and aromas, and strip the plant of its health benefits.

The integrity of both cannabinoids and terpenes are compromised by decarboxylating at temperatures that exceed 300 degrees, Bacon said. She sets temperatures as low as 125 degrees. “Otherwise you’re just cooking them out of there.”

STEP 3. MAKING CANNABUTTER OR CANNABIS OIL

To make cannabutter or cannabis oil, the decarboxylated plant should be mixed into a cooking pot with either butter or oil and heated on the stove.

While cannabutter can be made by stirring the butter and decarboxylated plant concoction in a pot for up to two hours on low heat, Lockwood recommends the Magical Butter Machine ($175, magicalbutter.com) designed to stir and separate the finished cannabutter from plant matter on its own.

The fat and weed mixture should be strained through a mesh filter or cheesecloth as soon as the decarboxylated marijuana is fully infused, Lockwood said. The cannabutter, when cooled, becomes a vibrant green with a similar consistency of regular butter, while the completed oil product should be a darker forest green color and resemble more of a thick liquid than the butter.

SOME THINGS TO KNOW

Will my recipe taste like marijuana?

Chef Zairilla Bacon said when marijuana is infused properly and carefully, its skunky pot flavor isn’t distinguishable. She aims to infuse marijuana in a way that allows consumers to taste only the sweetness of a sativa-dominant strain or the salty flavor of an indica. Cannabis infusers at home can do the same.

Cannabutter or infused oils?

Bacon advised first-time home chefs to use cannabutter instead of cannabis-infused oils for preparing their meals, because cannabutter is easier to infuse.

But chef Jamie Lockwood said oils can be just as convenient because they are available for sale at dispensaries. “I buy a half-gram syringe of distillate at the dispensary if I want to bake with oil.”

Edibles, which are digested, absorbed and metabolized through the stomach, small intestine and liver, can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for consumers to feel the full effects, depending on the size and weight of users, as well as how much food is in their stomach, said Dr. William Troutt, a renowned Arizona naturopathic doctor. Smaller, lighter-weight edible users with empty stomachs typically digest and absorb cannabis properties faster than taller, heavier-set users who eat a meal before taking a marijuana edible.

Cannabinoids

The most active ingredients in marijuana, cannabinoids like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) provide users with a range of effects, from head highs to pain relief and sleep aid. Less common cannabinoids like Cannabinol (CBN) and Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) help reduce anxiety and suppress appetite.

Commercial edibles and cannabis dosing

Per Nevada law, THC content in marijuana edibles cannot reach more than 100 milligrams per package, and an individual serving cannot exceed 10 milligrams of THC. That means a chocolate bar with 12 squares will have anywhere from about 6 to 8 milligrams of THC per square.

Al Bronstein, medical director of the Denver-based Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, recommends first-time edible pot users start with no more than 5 milligrams of THC—one-half of a gummy puck or three-quarters of one square of a chocolate bar—to reach a desired high.

Beginning with small doses is the safest and most enjoyable way to consume edibles, Bronstein said. If the small dose isn’t enough after a couple hours of allowing the cannabis edible to digest, Bronstein recommended consuming a second dose. But eating too much too soon can produce irreversible effects that leave consumers stoned on the ground for up to 10 hours.

“It’s about pacing yourself and going slow,” he said.

Terpenes

Terpenes are found in lesser quantities in marijuana. Together, terpenes and cannabinoids produce an “entourage effect,” working together to produce and enhance various aspects of the plant’s psychoactive effects.

Will my home smell like pot?

While the smell of fresh marijuana can be strong, getting the odor out of your home during or after cooking with the plant is relatively simple, Lockwood said. Open windows, a running fan and Febreze are the most standard ways to rid a home of pot odor, but more advanced methods, such as the use of Nag Champa incense and Patchouli Oil, can help mask overwhelming scents.

Three vegas chefs share their recipes

JAMIE LOCKWOOD

Lockwood

Born and raised in Oregon, Lockwood brought her passion for baking with marijuana to Las Vegas after studying at Massachusetts’ Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. An almost three-year employee of Evergreen Organix, Lockwood formulated the original recipes for cannabis-infused baked goods at Nevada’s largest marijuana edible production facility.

Since leaving the company in October, Lockwood, 44, has focused on creating new and creative recipes of her own. A specialist in croissants and Danish pastries, she said she has a “heart for people,” and infuses cannabis as a labor of love.

“It’s really an honor and a privilege to work with cannabis and mix recipes,” Lockwood said. “It’s something I’m really passionate about, and I love connecting the community with the plant.”

ESPRESSO CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE (Courtesy of Jamie Lockwood)

16 servings

Made with a half-gram cannabis oil syringe. Cut the cheesecake into 16 pieces for the correct dose.

Crust ingredients:

1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

4 tbsp melted butter

Pinch of salt

Crust directions:

1. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with

parchment and coat the sides with pan spray.

2. Mix the crust ingredients and then pack tightly into the bottom of the pan.

Note: Lockwood uses the base of a glass cup for packing.

3. Bake for 10 minutes

Filling ingredients:

1/2 gram cannabis oil concentrate in a syringe

1 tbsp butter

1 shot of espresso

2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate melted

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, whisked

2 tsp vanilla

Filling directions:

1. Add cannabis oil to melted butter in a small bowl.

2. Combine melted butter/cannabis oil mixture with espresso and melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.

3. In a mixer using a paddle attachment, mix cream cheese until smooth with no lumps. Then add sour cream.

4. Switch to whisk attachment. Add sugar and mix until no lumps.

5. Add eggs and vanilla.

6. Add the chocolate/cannabis mixture and mix until smooth and homogenous.

Note: Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula in between adding each ingredient to ensure even distribution of THC.

7. Add to pan with baked crust and spread evenly.

Cooking instructions:

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Wrap foil around base of pan to prevent water from leaking through and place pan in a hot water bath. (Lockwood uses a 9×13-inch pan filled halfway with boiling water.)

3. Place pans in oven and turn down to 250 degrees.

4. Bake for 2 hours.

Ganache ingredients:

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp butter

Ganache directions:

1. Bring heavy cream to a boil, pour over chips and butter in a bowl. Mix until smooth.

ZAIRILLA BACON

Bacon

A Chicago native who moved to Las Vegas in 2012, Bacon has quickly become a celebrity cannabis chef, cooking for the likes of Snoop Dogg, Jamie Foxx, 2 Chainz and Waka Flocka Flame, among dozens of other stars. A popular social media figure, Bacon has homemade recipes that include pot-infused crab legs, chicken wings, sweet beverages and “gooey bar” desserts.

Bacon, 38, owned a catering company before finding her passion in marijuana. Her cannabis cooking gigs regularly take her from Las Vegas to LA, Boston and New York.

Bacon, who consumes the plant regularly for creative inspiration, said she’s always thinking of new ideas to add to her culinary arsenal.

“I always want to do something different,” Bacon said. “My mentality is that you can infuse anything.”

FRIED CHICKEN WINGS (Courtesy of Zairilla Bacon)

For 10 wings

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp seasoning salt

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Your favorite wing sauce

Directions:

1. Mix dry ingredients in small bowl.

2. Add wings to bowl and cover with the breading. Place bowl in fridge.

3. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees (190 degrees C). There should be just enough oil to cover the wings.

4. Place wings in fryer. Once golden brown, remove and place on cooling rack or paper towel.

5. In a bowl, toss warm wings with favorite wing sauce.

Shortcut: Buy your sauce. Zairilla Bacon’s infused “ZeeWee” wing sauce will be on sale in Las Vegas in 2019.

FOR A CLASSIC HOT WING SAUCE

Ingredients:

Frank’s RedHot

1/4 cup butter (plus 1 tsp of cannabutter)

Worcestershire sauce

Garlic to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste

There’s a bit of trial and error here, depending on your personal preferences, but start by melting butter on low in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of Frank’s RedHot, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, garlic and cayenne pepper. Taste. Add additional seasoning to suit your flavor preferences. Toss 10-12 wings in sauce and enjoy.

KRISTAL CHAMBLEE

Chamblee

The 25-year-old Las Vegan cut her teeth at Le Cordon Bleu and started in baking and pastries before moving to cannabis cooking. Now, the former Silver State Wellness employee cooks and bakes privately for groups and conventions on the Strip, clients in the adult film industry and cancer patients seeking meals to aid with treating their illness.

While Chamblee specializes in marijuana-infused chocolate and dessert foods, she also makes a variety of dinner entrees, such as turkey and chicken with marijuana-infused gravy, as well as cannabis butters and oils.

Chamblee proudly displays a tattoo of THC’s molecular component on her left shoulder, a symbol she had designed to demonstrate her affinity for the cannabis plant.

“I wanted to infuse myself for life,” Chamblee said. “I’m super passionate about providing patients with medical dosing as well as regular cannabis users looking for something unique.”

APPLE PIE CARAMEL (Courtesy of Kristal Chamblee)

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp infused butter or oil

1/2 tbsp vanilla bean or

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Tip: use real vanilla bean if possible

1/2 tbsp apple pie spice

1/2 tbsp salt

Directions:

1. Heat sugar and water in a medium- size pan on medium heat, leaving space for boil up when adding heavy cream.

2. Do not step away from the pan once you start cooking the sugar.

3. When sugar reaches amber color, add heavy cream and wait for steam to calm. Stir with whisk. Continue to stir even if sugar gets clumpy.

4. Once sauce is back to a boil, turn off the heat.

5. Add infused butter, vanilla, apple pie spice and salt.

6. Mix well. Let cool, then pour in a glass jar for storage.

Turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes with THC gravy.

THC GRAVY (Courtesy of Kristal Chamblee)

Ingredients:

1 cup turkey drippings

2 cups turkey or chicken stock

1 stick butter

2 tbsp cannabutter

1/4 cup flour

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

1/2 tbsp rosemary

1/2 tbsp thyme

Directions:

1. Mix turkey drippings and stock.

2. Melt butter and cannabutter in a saucepan over medium heat with rosemary and thyme.

3. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 5-8 minutes or until smooth and light brown. Mixture should be the color of peanut butter.

4. Gradually whisk in drippings mixture. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste.

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Tips and Tricks for Cooking With Marijuana – Houston Press

While food world insiders are all abuzz about cooking with pandan, timut pepper, berbere and the memory enhancing nootropics, the editors of MUNCHIES have been fine-tuning the 1,000-year-old practice of weed consumption.

According to Rupa Bhattacharya, MUNCHIES Editor-in-Chief and one of the collaborative editors for the new book Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed, cannabis can actually be used to make food taste better, which is contra to everything we thought we knew. For years potheads have been trying to disguise its taste by mixing it into brownies and other baked goods.

Here in Texas we’ve got to road-trip up to Colorado (or fly to Los Angeles) to sample the new breed of edibles — gummies, truffles, olive oils and beverages — but best to leave anything uneaten at the border.

Bhattacharya and her team feel your pain, and know that most states don’t have access to THC infused products, so they devoted a whole section on how to infuse oil, butter, milk, syrup and alcohol with cannabis. These gourmet infusions form the framework for most of the recipes, though they do include some that call for hash or the marijuana flower.

“If you live in a legal state you can purchase cannabis olive oil, you can add it to dishes,” says Bhattacharya. “We wanted the vast majority, for states where it’s not legal, to have access to these infusions.”

Left: Yogurt-marinated lamb, 5.2 mg of THC per serving. Reprinted with permission from Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Left: Yogurt-marinated lamb, 5.2 mg of THC per serving. Reprinted with permission from Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Photos by Marcus Nilsson © 2018

Most of the recipes look like they could be served at any high-end restaurant: double-lemon roast chicken, rib-eye with weed chimichurri and creamy cilantro kale salad with coconut bacon. But they also understand the mindset of anybody who’s been hungry and high, with that insatiable craving for something sweet, then salty, then crunchy, then chewy.

Book collaborator and cannabis expert Thu Tran, from the Viceland television series Bong Appétit, lent the recipe for Stoner Candy Bites. The ingredient list goes something like this: potato chips, pretzels, corn flakes, marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy sprinkles and — for that magical lift — flower-infused butter. It yields 1.1 mg of THC per piece, or 66.8 mg for the entire recipe.

That’s the other thing: The editors know that there are wild variations in quality and potency so exercise caution when trying a new recipe. That means don’t eat the whole tray of candy bites in one sitting and never ever ever let children or pets gain access to edibles.

Bong Appétit does delve into flavor pairings and the science of infusion, and it’s got beautiful photography by Marcus Nilsson, but it’s more than just a cookbook.

“We have decades of culinary experience, experience with the various strains. In terms of strength, there’s a section that addresses that. It’s so variable, depending on climate conditions, how it’s processed, it’s a little bit tricky. There’s a little bit of extrapolation,” says Bhattacharya.

The editors also are aware that they’ve devoted a whole book to the subject of marijuana, yet there are people who remain incarcerated for the very same substance.

“We’re hoping that this book opens the door to widespread acceptance, as well as a recreational thing,” says Bhattacharya. “It seems wrong to not address that. There are people sitting in jail right now; we have significant privilege here. It’s a nice book, pretty, lifestyle-y. It would be shortsighted to not address it.

Instead of writing a book where the goal is getting as high as possible and then waking up wondering where you’ve been, she says Bong Appétit treats cannabis “as something to be enjoyed, and delicious and enjoyed together,” adds Bhattacharya.

Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed, by the editors of MUNCHIES, is published by Ten Speed Press. It can be ordered from Brazos Bookstore, on amazon.com, as well as other booksellers.