Batter Licker

June 27, 2012

plantain and coconut fritters with sriracha yogurt sauce

About that Sriracha Yogurt Sauce in the title: it’s super easy and fast to make, and the perfect balance of spicy, tangy and creamy. But I have no evidence that it exists.

A smarter, more patient person would have snapped a photo of Sriracha Yogurt Dipping Sauce. But I dipped and noshed first, littering the spicy and tangy yet creamy sauce with unsightly crumbs. Soooo not photogenic.

But I didn’t really think about that until now, as I’m trying to invent excuses. Forgive me. I must have been famished. I plowed through the whole bowl of sauce.

On top of that brilliant mishap, I’m told it’s barbecue season. Summer; heat; sunny outdoors. Clearly a great time to grill.

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So, instead, I thought I’d send something golden and fried your way. You know, in case you want to surmise an alternative to the traditional burger accompaniment: The Almighty French Fry. Because plantains will still satisfy that starch craving, but combined with some coconut flakes, they’re so much tastier, and sound much more sophisticated. Possibly healthier too, but I didn’t verify that. (more…)

June 13, 2012

manhattan with maraschino liqueur and bourbon-bathed cherry (not to mention cherry-infused bourbon)

Do you ever make cocktails at home? I’ve been mixing up gin and tonics for years – requires a LOT of skill, like opening a bottle of tonic water, pouring that and some gin over ice, squeezing in a lime, and stirring. So maybe it’s not really all that skilled after all.

But I only started attempting anything beyond that about a year and a half ago when, inspired by a tequila-based cocktail I had enjoyed at Tres (back then, Tres Agaves), I decided to put a fresh twist on the processed sweetener (grapefruit soda) by substituting juice from a freshly squeezed-by-me grapefruit and club soda. My version of La Paloma set in motion an exploration of cocktails that hasn’t stopped since.

From sparkling vodka elderflower lemonade and apple brandy limeade to a gin-based version of a dark ‘n stormy (or, depending on how you look at it, a ginger beer/ale version of a gin and tonic) and creamy candy cane cocktail, you might think me a purveyor of purely clear liquors.

The cucumber infusion that wound up as my bride’s specialty cocktail and the lemon peel and vodka infusion that became limoncello after a few months would do nothing to convince you otherwise.

However, in real life, I dabble in the brown stuff more often than the clear.

On Saturday, I spoke on a BlogHer Food Conference panel about the resurgence and modernization of vintage recipes. During the panel, I gave a longer-than-it-should-have-been-because-my-hands-were-shaking-and-ohmygosh-how-do-I-answer-questions-while-simultaneously-keeping-track-of-what-I’m-mixing demo on how to make two versions of the timeless (and my favorite) Manhattan cocktail.

I learned that: (more…)

May 31, 2012

gin mint julep and gin mojito

Filed under: drinks,fruit — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:54 pm

Someone’s jumping up a year in age this weekend. And neener neener neener: it’s not me!

I’ve already checked that off my to-do list for 2012, as I do every year about 3 weeks before Jay follows suit.

And every year, during those 3 weeks, I enjoy constantly asking Jay what it feels like to be with an older woman. Sometimes he even humors me with a response other than eye-rolling.


(more…)

May 10, 2012

baked plantain chips

Filed under: appetizer,fruit — Tags: , , , , — Kristen @ 1:53 pm

I have a confession to make. Given my dislike of bananas (except in blended drinks and in baked goods) and an unpleasant run-in I had with a plantain dessert quite a few years back (after which I determined plantains were bananas’ uglier, starchier cousins), I’ve often glared disdainfully when passing by plantains.

Fast forward a few years to a couple savory – and much tastier – plantain preparations, and suddenly I find myself pulling a Heidi Klum: declaring plantains in and potatoes out; then double cheek-kissing my dear old potato pal as I bid him auf wiedersehen.

In a baked chip form, plantains become a fun snack food. For the easiest, most consistent preparation (and even crispiness), use a mandolin or, for the less gadgety among us (me included!), a regular vegetable peeler to thinly slice the plantains. (Trust me; I tried to very thinly slice some of the plantain by hand, and the results weren’t quite as uniform; plus they took longer to crisp up on the oven.) (more…)

March 21, 2012

cherry-studded banana bran whole grain muffins

I recently started setting up a sort of brown banana renewal system. I’ll buy a few super green ones and a few yellow ones each week, and then find myself with a consistent supply of brown, spotted mushiness that is sufficient for my peanut butter shake and green smoothie purposes.

It was all working out swimmingly until I got tempted by the very cheap, very large bunch of jet-sized bananas at Costco. Suddenly, I had a serious overflow problem.

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The first resolution that came to mind was banana bread, which would also conveniently free up some precious space in my overstuffed pantry. Okay, maybe it was actually equal parts resolution and excuse to fill my apartment with the fragrant aroma of freshly baked banana bread.

Either way, I wanted to make a more portable, healthful, whole grain, breakfast-appropriate version. (more…)

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