04 May 2018

Covering the rest of the herb garden in food and booze...

Last week I gave you some suggestions for growing and using basil, cilantro, and some other stuff in your herb garden this spring and summer.  Here's the rest of the alphabet...

Jalapeno & Parsley Sour Martini
Makes 2

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C water
2 jalapeños, sliced, plus more for garnish
1 small bunch parsley
4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
6 oz. vodka

Start by slicing jalapeños. If you don't like super spicy and want more of a jalapeño flavor with less kick, definitely remove the seeds.In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the mixture is boiling, throw the jalapeños in and lower to a simmer. Let simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Strain mixture into a bowl and put in fridge to cool.

In a cocktail shaker, add parsley, lemon, and lime. Muddle together. Add ice and pour in vodka and about 4 oz. of the jalapeño syrup. Shake together and pour into a martini glass with a prepared lime-sugar rim if you choose (just rub a lime on the rim and dip glass in a plate of sugar). Add in some jalapeño garnish if you like.

Parsley is also a must in this fast, delish fish piccata.

The Wise Bee's Knees
Makes 1

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce honey syrup
3 fresh sage leaves

For the syrup, bring equal parts honey and water to a simmer in a small saucepan until honey dissolves. Let cool to room temperature before using.

Combine gin, lemon juice, syrup, and 2 sage leaves in a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve honey syrup. Fill shaker halfway with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Smack the remaining sage leaf between your hands over the glass, drop into the drink and serve.

Try sage in this Italian Rice Casserole, my lazy-girl cheat for risotto!

Strawberry Smash with Tarragon
Makes 4

For the tarragon simple syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tarragon leaves
For the cocktails
10 large strawberries plus 4 for a garnish sliced
1 lime cut into wedges
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup vodka
3 tablespoons tarragon leaves chopped
2 tablespoons tarragon simple syrup

To make the tarragon simple syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the tarragon leaves, off the heat, and steep for 10 minutes or more. Strain, and store in a glass jar in the fridge.over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the tarragon leaves, off the heat, and steep for 10 minutes or more. Strain, and store in a glass jar in the fridge.

To make the cocktails, combine the strawberries and all but 2 of the lime wedges in an ice-filled shaker. Use a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon to smash the berries and limes into a chunky mixture. Pull out the smashed limes, and then add a couple handfuls of ice, the lime juice, vodka, and tarragon simple syrup. Shake. Pour into ice-filled highballs. Garnish with strawberry slices, a lime wedge, and a sprig of tarragon.

Tarragon is also an essential ingredient in bearnaise sauce, which I make with avocado in this recipe

Meyer Lemon and Thyme Gimlet 
Makes  2

4 oz gin
1.5 oz Meyer lemon juice
1.5 oz thyme simple syrup
For the thyme simple syrup:
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup sugar
handful thyme sprigs

To make simple syrup, bring sugar, water and thyme to a low simmer in a small pot over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let sit 30 minutes or overnight for a more intense flavor. Strain. Cool.

In a cocktail shaker add ice, gin, meyer lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake well. Pour into two small chilled glasses and garnish with sliced Meyer lemons or zest. Serve immediately.

Thyme is excellent in this red beans and rice recipe (vegetarian or not).

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