Oh yes I did. I made SALAMI. ON. STEROIDS.
And I didn’t have much choice either. I mean, there’s pretty much no outdoing my drunken hasselback salami, so I had to go there. And by there I mean, the deep fryer.
Ever since I read about a not-so-well-known custom to eat salami on Purim (to commemorate the hanging of HAMAN…hanging….salami….get it?), I’ve been banging out salami recipes for the holiday. Truth be told, I have no idea if this is a real thing, or if I happened upon a practical joke, but regardless, this taking-salami-to-the-next-level challenge has been a blast.
And it’s so ironic because I literally hated salami growing up. My mom used to feed us salami sandwiches for lunch every Friday afternoon. She’d smear ketchup on rye and top it with thick slices of salami all wrapped up in a foil package so we could take it along as we played in the courtyard of our building. One at a time, we’d chuck those salami sandwiches down the incinerator, and my mom was none the wiser! Fast forward some 20+ years and here. I. am.
Now when I think about this recipe, I have to admit, it’s like the ultimate guy food. It’s got beer, salami and it’s fried. I mean, seriously, could you ask for anything more?
Apparently you can. Because, not only did I come up with the ultimate finger food, I even made a beer dipping sauce, just to take the whole Purim thing over the top. Because that’s the way I roll. Or hang, apparently.
I’ve never made mustard from scratch before so I was excited to give it a try. There’s something really interesting I discovered about mustard in this recipe creation process. When mustard is exposed to heat, it loses it’s potency. (Same goes for horseradish and wasabi by the way)! I learned this by trying the same mustard recipe two ways – one used a bit more beer so I reduced it over heat, and the other I blended in the food processor to thicken, using no heat. The results were astounding! The blended mustard is super hot, while the cooked mustard is mildly sweet with little heat. Pretty awesome, right?
When the crispy salami and beer mustard meet, it’s the ultimate marriage. And it’s not just any salami, by the way. I used my favorite brand, Abeles & Heymann, because after visiting their factory a few months ago, and watching the salami-making process with my own eyes, I know their salami is made with the highest quality ingredients from start to finish!
And I wouldn’t think of coating that salami in anything less than the perfect crispy batter – which is what you get from beer batter. It’s super light and crisp, and let’s not forget, easy! Beer batter is just flour and beer and that’s it. Because the salami is packed with flavor, I don’t add much else, but you can always add a pinch of cayenne for some heat, if you’d like.
Now that we have the ultimate party food, lets discuss the Jewish holiday of Purim for a second! The Purim celebration is based upon the biblical Book of Esther, which recounts the story of Queen Esther and how she saved the Jewish people from annihilation at the hands of Haman (after whom the HAMANtasch is named). We celebrate with a festive feast (where these salami chips must make an appearance!), sending food gifts to family and friends, drinking until we don’t know the difference between the evil HAMAN and the righteous MOREDECHAI, and of course, dressing up as characters in the Purim story.
Growing up, Purim was always our favorite holiday, and you can imagine why. We got to dress up, deliver goodies to our friends and gorge on hamantaschen. As an adult, I love to put my own twist on the holiday with creative themes on my food gifts, fun twists on holiday cocktails and of course, crazy spins on salami!
If you live in Brooklyn, Queens or The Five Towns, be sure to check out my other salami recipe in the all new FYI Magazine! I’m so excited to join the team of FYI as the food editor, with a column for Fast & Fresh recipes as well as a Nutritious and Delicious section. This month, I’ve got a quick and easy salami quiche as well as a Persian twist on dried fruit truffles – perfect for your Purim feast or your Mishloach Manos.
Whether you choose to take on the Purim salami tradition or not, just remember to have fun and be joyous, because that’s what this holiday is all about! :) Happy Purim!
Beer Battered Salami Chips
1 16oz. Abeles & Heymann salami, sliced
1 cup all purpose flour
1 12oz. bottle of beer, ale preferred
pinch of salt
Add the flour and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the beer and stir until a thick batter forms. It should be a little thicker than pancake batter. You’ll need most of the bottle of beer (with about 1/2 cup left over).
Heat a few inches of oil in a saucepan to 350 degrees.
Dip the salami slices in the beer batter and place in the hot oil. Fry a few at a time until golden brown on one side, and then flip over to brown the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on paper towels. To keep the salami chips crisp, remove from the paper towels and place on a rack.
Beer Mustard, Two Ways
1/2 cup mustard seeds
1 12 oz. beer, ale preferred
3 tbsp mustard powder
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 heaping tbsp honey
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp salt
For sweet mustard, soak the mustard seeds in the beer overnight. Place the mustard seeds with the soaking liquid and all the remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to break up the bubbles. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture has reduced and thickened. Stir occasionally, so the mustard seeds don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. Be sure not to thicken the mustard too much as it will thicken more once cooled.
For spicy mustard (VERY SPICY!), soak the mustard seeds in 1 cup of beer (not the whole bottle) overnight. Place the mustard seeds with the soaking liquid and the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the mustard seeds break down and the mixture thickens (it will thicken more in the fridge).
For either mustard, store in a glass jar in the fridge, giving it a few days for the flavors to meld and develop.
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Salami making at the Abeles & Heymann factory with owner, Seth Levitt! This is the first and last time you will see me in a lab coat and hairnet ;)