Thai Spring Mojito
1 ounce of white rum (or vodka, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon water
1 pinch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 medium Thai basil leaves
3 mint leaves
juice of half a lime
In the bottom of a Collins or mixing glass, muddle the sugar, water, herbs and lime juice. Pour in rum and stir. Top with crushed ice and club soda. Garnish with a lime wheel.
I'm with the folks at The Spir.It - screw those maraschinos. I like the little boozy cherries in my drinks! Hello future Christmas gifts. . . .
The author notes that while she uses Wild Turkey American Honey liqueur (which I have never even heard of, let alone have stocked in my bar), the rest of us can use a mixture of 3 parts bourbon to 1 part honey. That, I can do.
She also offers up the option of using sour cherries for a more traditional cocktail cherry, even though she went the Bing route. Rainiers are up for grabs too, though I doubt they'll be as pretty.
Honey Bourbon Cocktail Cherries3/4 cup bourbon + 1/4 cup honey
1 pint Bing cherries, stemmed and pitted
Simmer liqueur in a small pan for five minutes, then add the cherries and reduce heat. Cook for an additional five minutes then remove from heat and let it cool. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for two days before use.
I'm going to try jarring these bad boys. I imagine they'll last quite well that way, what with the sealing of the jars AND the booze. I think I'll add the cherries and liqueur to the jars and then seal them straight away (versus cooking them on the stove top and letting them cool before jarring), otherwise I think they'll disintegrate.
Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese serves 6
8 ounces uncooked spelt or farro
3 cups water
8 ounces uncooked pearl couscous, or Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Blend
1 3/4 cups water
1 pound asparagus
1 cup sliced toasted almonds
4 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled and crumbled
2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
Salt and pepper
Cook the spelt or farro in a large saucepan or sauté pan over medium heat, adding one cup of water at a time and stirring until absorbed before adding more. Keep cooking and stirring until the grain is al dente and dry with no water remaining to be absorbed.
Meanwhile, simmer 1 3/4 cups water in a small saucepan. Add the Harvest Grains blend, stir, cover and turn to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove the lid and cook, stirring, until any remaining moistness evaporates. Mix the two cooked grains in a large bowl and set aside.
Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut each spear into a 2-inch piece. Rinse out the large sauté pan and dry. Heat a little olive oil over medium heat, and cook the asparagus until just barely crisp-tender - about 1-2 minutes. Add to the grains and toss.
Also toss in the sliced toasted almonds, goat cheese and lemon zest.
Mix the Meyer lemon juice with the oils, taste, and adjust. Pour over grain salad and toss, along with salt and pepper to taste.
This salad lasts very well in the fridge; the herbal flavors of the Meyer lemons bloom nicely when it sits.
Chef Chris DiMinno at Clyde Common in Portland is my new hero. He made a dish of roasted cauliflower with a lemon cream pasta that blew my mind. Of course I had to try to make something similar, and this looked like just the recipe to start me off, even though the reviews are pretty hit or miss with some people loving it and others thinking it was too bland.
To start things off, I oven roasted my cauliflower with olive oil and garlic powder - 400 for about 30 minutes, with a quick stir in the middle until it's soft and a bit golden brown.
I put on some whole wheat rotelli pasta once the cauliflower was done and while that was cooking, I started on the sauce.
The juice of one lemon to start, with a packet of concentrated chicken stock from Trader Joe's (I love that stuff), then a little bit of pasta water once the pasta was done to make a sauce. I cooked the pasta til it was still a bit underdone so it could continue to cook with the sauce. I used some fat free half and half, and a scoop of fat free sour cream to thicken the sauce and make it creamy - though it really just went kind of gritty - I guess I DO need some fat in there somewhere. I seasoned it up with a bit more garlic powder and the juice of another lemon, some salt & a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
I had some (boiled - I know, shush) chicken that I used to give the dish a bit of protein power.
The texture was all wrong, but the taste was really good. I'll keep working on it.
The recipe I mentioned above seems like it might offer up better results - I should've taken my own advice.
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 lemon, quartered
2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (8 ounce) package rotelle pasta
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish. Squeeze lemon over both sides of the chicken breasts and season both sides using 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta, along with the cream and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.
Twice upon a time, I had the most delicious Brussels Sprout Salad ever at Pizza Antica in San Jose. I had no idea. I only pan or oven roast the little buggers with various delicious combinations of flavor. It had never occurred to me to slice them thin and make a warm slaw type salad out of them, but they are AMAZING this way. I'm so excited to have found this recipe - I cannot wait to make it!!! Is it way more steps than I thought possible? Yes. Will it be worth it? YES.
Thank you Chef Gordon Drysdale for sharing, and thank you Today Show for getting him to do so.
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad
1/2 slab bacon (approximately 9 slices of pre-cut bacon)
2 Tbsp canola oil, plus 3 Tbsp for salad
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
6 slices country-style bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/2" squares
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 large eggs
2-3 brussels sprouts (should have about 40 sprouts)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste Vinaigrette
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large shallot, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
To make the vinaigrette, soak the garlic, shallots, and thyme in vinegar for roughly 45 minutes. After soaking, slowly whisk in the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve covered.
Cut bacon into 1/2" squares and cook over low heat until almost crisp; drain off the fat and set aside.
Heat 2 Tbsp canola oil until just smoking and cook sliced onions over medium-high heat until golden brown; drain and set aside.
Toss cubed bread with extra-virgin olive oil and toast in a 300-degree oven until golden brown and crispy (approximately 20-25 minutes); allow to cool to room temperature and set aside.
Cover the eggs with cold water, bring to scald, and let sit in scalding water for 8-9 minutes (be sure the yolk is firm); run cold water over eggs to stop cooking.
Peel eggs and cut into 1/8ths; when cut, reserve covered in the refrigerator.
Clean the sprouts by removing the first few dark leaves and discarding. Cut off the stem, and separate the leaves one by one. When you get to the light green center and can't pull off the leaves, either slice the heart very thin or reserve for other uses.
In a large sauté pan, heat remaining canola oil until almost smoking and add sprouts leaves; toss until wilted (about 3 minutes), season with salt and pepper.
Add reserved onions and bacon and warm until hot; when hot, add vinaigrette and toss to distribute.
Add croutons and chopped eggs, toss to incorporate, and serve!
I repost things on my blog rather than just linking to them because sometimes people go away. They take down their blogs, links break or become buried. . . and then what good am I to you? A repository of broken links? That is NOT what I want on my tombstone thanks very much. And so I repost; I try to be as diligent as possible with crediting the appropriate sources, but if something needs updating, just shoot me a message!
Rogue Designs specializes in color consultations, decorative painting and faux finishes; including colorwashing, stenciling, Italian plaster and murals.
I also cook lots and lots and start art projects. Many, many, art projects.