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Archive for July 11, 2014

RECIPE: Blackberry Mojito

Enhance the celebration of National Mojito Day, July 11th.

There’s enough red, white and blue here for Independence Day; but take advantage of summer’s lush blackberries to whip them up all season long.

The Mojito (pronounced moe-hee-toe) is Cuba’s most famous cocktail. This variation adds fresh fruit to the original recipe.

It is important that the blackberries and mint are gently muddled—never crushed—to release their flavors but not release harsh or bitter tannins into the beverage. A wooden spoon or a firm silicone spatula can be used in place of a muddler.

RECIPE: BLACKBERRY MOJITO

Ingredients For 2 Drinks

  • 12 blackberries
  • 12 large mint leaves
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water
  • 1/4 cups vodka or rum
  • 6 to 8 ice cubes
  • Garnish: fresh blackberry and lime wedge
  •    

    blackberry-mojito-driscolls-230

    Beautiful and delicious: a Blackberry Mojito. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

     

    http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-ripe-blackberries-bowl-food-close-up-image33432102

    A bodacious bowl of blackberries. Photo ©
    Olha Afanasieva | Dreamstime.

     

    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE blackberries, mint leaves, sugar, lemon juice and lime juice in a tall glass until berries are mostly crushed.

    2. ADD seltzer, vodka, and ice. Stir well and serve.

     
    WHAT’S A MOJITO?

    The mojito (mo-HEE-toe) is a quintessential Cuban cocktail. The name derives from the African voodoo term mojo, to cast a small spell.

    According to Bacardi Rum, the drink can be traced to 1586, when Sir Francis Drake and his pirates unsuccessfully attempted to sack Havana for its gold. His associate, Richard Drake, was said to have invented a Mojito-like cocktail known as El Draque that was made with aguardiente, a crude forerunner of rum, sugar, lime and mint.

    Around the mid-1800s, when the Bacardi Company was established, rum was substituted and the cocktail became known as a Mojito. Here’s the original Mojito recipe.

    Always popular in Cuba, the drink made a short journey to Key West, and then into American cocktail society. Under the radar for many years as wine apéritifs topped cocktails in popularity, the Mojito has enjoyed a renaissance in the last 20 years thanks to the growing popularity of Latin American cuisine.

     
    MORE MOJITO RECIPES

  • Beet Mojito Recipe
  • Cranberry Mojito Recipe
  • Pomegranate Mojito Recipe
  • Strawberry Mojito and Coconut Mojito Recipes
  •   

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    FOOD HOLIDAY: Celebrate National Mojito Day

    July 11th is National Mojito Day, and the Hard Rock Cafe is mixing up a storm. They sent us three recipes.

    The classic Mojito is a blend of white rum, club soda, sugar/simple syrup, lime juice, mint leaves and ice. To vary the recipe, mixologists switch out the drink’s original muddled mint flavor with coconut, strawberries or other fruits.

    The history of the Mojito is below.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY MOJITO

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1 ounce/3 tablespoons strawberry purée (purée fresh or frozen berries in food processor)
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 10 lime cubes*
  • 2 ounces Bacardi Dragonberry Rum†
  • Club soda
  • Garnish: mint sprig, strawberry
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE strawberry purée, mint leaves and lime cubes well in a shaker.

    2. ADD rum, pineapple juice and ice and shake with ice.

       

    mojitos-varied-hardrockcafe-230

    Strawberry and classic Mojitos. Photo courtesy Hard Rock Cafe.

     
    3. STRAIN into a Collins glass with optional ice; top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and a notched strawberry.
     
    RECIPE: PINEAPPLE COCONUT MOJITO

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1 ounce/3 tablespoons Piña Colada mix
  • 4 pineapple chunks
  • 10 lime cubes*
  • 2 ounces Bacardi Coconut Rum
  • ½ ounce pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Garnish: mint sprig, toasted coconut
  • ________________
    *Cut each wedge of fresh lime into three “cubes.” This helps with the muddling.

    †Baccardi Dragonberry rum is flavored with strawberries and dragon fruit. Dragon fruit doesn’t have a lot of flavor per se, but it does enable a more interesting name than simply “strawberry rum.”

     

    MagicalMysteryMojito-cucumber-hardrockcafe-230

    Magical Mystery Mojito. The mystery: How an a gin-based drink be called a Mojito? Photo courtesy Hard Rock Cafe.

     

     
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE colada mix, pineapple and lime cubes well in a shaker.

    2. ADD rum, pineapple juice and ice and shake with ice.

    3. STRAIN into a Collins glass with optional ice; top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and a spoonful of toasted coconut.
     
    RECIPE: MAGICAL MYSTERY MOJITO

    We’re not sure why the Hard Rock Cafe calls this gin-based drink a Mojito. Gin does not a Mojito make, so don’t be confused: This is a teaching moment. We love the combination of gin, cucumber and elderflower liqueur. With another name, this is a tasty cocktail. (Our favorite use: elderflower liqueur and sparkling wine are a heavenly combination.)

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • ¾ ounce Monin Cucumber Syrup
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 1½ ounce Hendrick’s Gin
  • ½ ounce St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Club soda
  • Ice
  • Garnish: cucumber spear and mint sprig
  •  

     
    ‡The cucumber is a fruit native to India; it spread to Europe during Roman times. Cucumber juice is used in traditional Mediterranean and Indian beverages for its cooling effect. Monin Cucumber Syrup can be added to sweet or savory teas, lemonades, cocktails and mocktails.

     
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the cucumber syrup and mint leaves well in a shaker.

    2. ADD gin, liqueur and lime juice and shake with ice.

    3. STRAIN into a Collins glass with optional ice; top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and cucumber spear.
     
     
    MOJITO HISTORY

    The mojito (mo-HEE-toe) is a quintessential Cuban cocktail. The name derives from the African voodoo term mojo, to cast a small spell.

    According to Bacardi Rum, the drink can be traced to 1586, when Sir Francis Drake and his pirates unsuccessfully attempted to sack Havana for its gold. His associate, Richard Drake, was said to have invented a Mojito-like cocktail known as El Draque that was made with aguardiente, a crude forerunner of rum, sugar, lime and mint.

    Around the mid-1800s, when the Bacardi Company was established, rum was substituted and the cocktail became known as a Mojito. Here’s the original Mojito recipe.

      

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    PRODUCT: How To Enjoy Guava

    As we did an online search for “guava” recently, we were surprised to find that “What color is guava?” scored 2,900 searches last month. There’s obviously an interest in guava. But have you ever tried one?

    Guava, also known as guayaba (the Spanish name) and Bangkok apple, is a round to oval shaped subtropical fruit that is actually classified as a berry.

    Guava is native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America, but is now cultivated in tropic and subtropic belts around the world.

    The skin of the immature fruit is bright green in color, but becomes yellowish green, maroon or yellow when ripe. The flesh is creamy white or rosy pink, depending on the variety. The taste is reminiscent of a cross between an Asian pear and a crab apple: refreshing, fruity, mildly sweet and tart. The texture is firm and crisp, like an Asian pear.

    Guava can be eaten fresh, used in desserts or for nectar/juice, preserves or sauces. A guava contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.

       

    GUAVA-baldorfood-230

    Some guava varieties have white flesh, others have rosy flesh. Photo courtesy Baldor Food.

     
    Some varieties have an edible rind and small seeds which are also edible. When ripe, the exotic aroma is alluring. One bite will transport you to the tropics!

    Guavas are ripe when the aroma wafts up from the fruit: You can smell it, sweet and musky, without putting it to your nose. Ripe guavas have a two week shelf life if refrigerated, or about a week if left at room temperature.

     

    guava_cake_kuki-s-cookbook-230

    Guava cake, made with guava nectar. Photo courtesy My Recipe Magic. Here’s the recipe.

     

    WAYS TO SERVE GUAVA

    The first way to test the waters could be with a simple box of guava nectar. Ceres, Goya, Hero, Jumex, Kern’s and other brands are available in many food stores.

    You can drink the nectar or use it in recipes: baking, sauces, smoothies, etc.

    If you’re keen on the guava flavor, the next step is to buy a fresh guava and let it ripen. Use it in everyday recipes:

  • Barbecue sauce and salsa (replace other fruit with guava)
  • Cocktails and mocktails
  • Crêpes
  • Dip (mix equal parts of guava preserves and mayonnaise as a dip with shrimp, chicken fingers or crudites)
  • Fruit tarts, bars, fruit breads, etc.(replace peaches with guava in most recipes)
  • Glaze for chicken and pork
  • Sauce: a sweet sauce on cheesecake, ice cream, French toast and pancakes
  • Smoothies and shakes
  • Sorbet and ice cream
  •  
    Here are dozens of recipes from Emeril Lagasse and other Food Network chefs, who use guava in everything from grilled fish to pound cake.

    And here’s an easy savory sauce for grilled proteins from Melissa’s chef Ida Rodriguez.

    RECIPE: SAVORY GUAVA SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 6 ripe guavas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT each guava in half. Scoop out the pulp and place in a bowl.

    2. HEAT oil in a suacepan and sauté onions until they are soft and translucent. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.

    By the way, guava is delicious with cream cheese. In our youth, our mom had a passion for cream cheese sandwiches with guava preserves. We always joined in.

      

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