Tag Archives | Spring 2016 Recipes

GIN BASIL SMASH

ginBasilSmash

adapted from The New Cocktail Hour by André Darlington and Tenaya Darlington, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group

Makes 1 cocktail

This drink demonstrates so ably how fresh ingredients can be incorporated into everyday drinking cocktails. Head to your kitchen garden or snag a big bunch of basil at the farmers’ market, and you’re mere steps from a living drink that will make your head dizzy. This drink smashes basil, but you can smash anything—tarragon, thyme, cilantro, or kefir lime leaves. Let this drink inspire you. We like to host a garden party with an assortment of fresh herbs and gins, and let friends muddle their way through an array of flavors.

2 ounces (60 ml) gin (Beefeater)
1 ounce (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
2/3 ounce (20 ml) simple syrup
Small bunch basil leaves (about 10)
Basil sprig, for garnish

Muddle basil leaves with lemon juice and simple syrup. Add ice and gin and shake. Double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass with ice. Garnish with a basil sprig. n

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MINT JULEP

mintJulep

adapted from The New Cocktail Hour by André Darlington and Tenaya Darlington, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group

Makes 1 cocktail

Pair a julep with fried oysters, a burger, or a club sandwich. The mint brings refreshment to a salty, heavy lunch. Today, juleps are associated with bourbon, mint, and the Kentucky Derby, but the word julep dates back to the 1400s. The drink developed in the Southern United States, where it originally included peach brandy, and became famous throughout the world. The proper making of a julep is hotly contested—some call for muddling the mint with sugar, others prefer a minted syrup, while strict Bourbonites call for no mint at all except as a garnish. Use crushed ice—or shaved—and plenty of mint. If you’re making just one, muddle by all means. But if you’re serving a crowd, make a mint syrup (below) to batch multiple drinks quickly.

2 ounces (60 ml) bourbon (Four Roses)
½ ounce (15 ml) simple syrup
6 mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish

Muddle mint and simple syrup in a rocks glass or silver julep cup. Top with crushed or shaved ice. Pour the bourbon over the top, and stir until the cup frosts. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve with a straw.

MINT SYRUP

Makes 1½ cups

1 cup (200 g) Demerara sugar
1 cup (240 ml) water
1 cup (15 g) mint leaves

Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 3 to 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the stove. Add the mint leaves. Gently muddle the leaves against the side of the pan using the back of a wooden spoon. Cover, and allow the mint to steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain and pour into a clean jar or bottle.

Then, cover and refrigerate.

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RED SNAPPER

redSnapperBev

adapted from The New Cocktail Hour by André Darlington and Tenaya Darlington, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group

Makes 1 cocktail

Freshly squeezed tomato juice is the backbone for this stunning, garden-fresh version of a Bloody Mary. It’s the exact opposite of a kitchen-sink brunch drink. Use a juicer to express the tomato water or push chopped tomatoes through a sieve using the back of a large spoon. Don’t fuss about it! It’s worth it. You’ll never buy canned ’mater juice again. Amazingly, this recipe can be traced back to 1930s Paris. The Red Snapper is clarity, simplicity, and purity. Use ripe—even very ripe—tomatoes for the best results.

For the salt rim:

1 teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper

For the cocktail:

3 ounces (90 ml) gin (Plymouth)
6 ounces (175 ml) fresh tomato juice (about three medium ripe tomatoes)
1 ounce (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
6 drops hot sauce (Tabasco)
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Angostura bitters
Green olive, for garnish
Lemon wheel, for garnish

Prepare a glass with a salt rim. Shake ingredients with ice, and strain into the ice-filled glass. To garnish, spear olive and lemon with a cocktail pick.

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SIMPLE RECIPES FOR ASPARAGUS

ILLUSTRATION: HEATHER DIANE HARDISON

simpleRecipeAsp01

Use a vegetable peeler to create thin ribbons of raw asparagus. These pretty curls can be used in salads or as a replacement for (or complement to) linguine, under your favorite pasta sauce.

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Set up a breading station: one wide, shallow bowl filled with flour, another with beaten egg, a third with panko. Dredge the stalks of asparagus first through the flour, then the egg, then the panko and fry in hot oil until golden brown and crisp.

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Blanch the asparagus stalks in salted, boiling water for three minutes and then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Wrap each stalk in a thin slice of prosciutto and serve as an elegant appetizer.

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Slice the asparagus on an angle, then add it to the pan as you cook your usual scrambled eggs. Top with Monterey Jack cheese and spoon into warmed corn tortillas. Serve with guacamole and salsa for the best breakfast tacos.

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