Rhubarb Bellini

rhubard-bellini-recipe

I usually drink my bubbles straight up, but sometimes it’s fun to play around with the basics. A glass of cold, cold Prosecco is soooo nice at the end of a long day, especially a very warm, humid one.

I had a few rhubarb stalks, not enough to bake with, so I made a puree with some sugar and lemon – perfect for a variation on the classic peachy Bellini.

Unless you’re having a party, you’ll most likely have some leftover rhubarb puree (it makes more than enough for a bottle’s worth of Bellini’s), but it’s delicious on scones, toast or gelato.

rhubarb-bellini-cocktail-recipe

Rhubarb Bellini

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups rhubarb, chopped (about 2 large stalks)
  2. 1/2 cup cane sugar
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. Thinly peeled zest and juice from 1 lemon
  5. Chilled Prosecco

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to a slow bubble and cook until the rhubarb softens to a mushy texture, about 15 minutes.
  2. Puree the rhubarb with an immersion blender, small food processor or by hand with a potato masher until smooth. Refrigerate until cold. Or if you're very thirsty, chill the puree in a bowl of ice water until cold.
  3. Pop open a bottle of cold Prosecco or other sparkling wine. Spoon 1 - 2 tablespoons of the puree into flutes. Pour some Prosecco over, stir to blend and top off with more Prosecco, pouring gradually ( the mixture will bubble madly for a minute).
  4. Salute!
http://familystylefood.com/2011/06/rhubarb-bellini/

Italian greyhound with rosemary sugar

Gin and Grapefruit with Rosemary

It’s pretty close to a new season, when there’s not much better than lingering with a cocktail at the end of the day, celebrating the return of warm sun and longer days.

It also means that dinner gets cooked and eaten later than usual, but that’s all part of getting into summer mode. I stock up on chilled rosé for summer drinking, but every once in a while I like to start the night (or afternoon. Ahem) off with something a little lighter in alcohol.

A few weeks ago, Molly of Orangette wrote about a pretty salmon-colored drink she liked that included the liqueur Aperol, a brand of Italian bitters very much like Campari.

That drink, a Pamplemousse, is mixed with fresh grapefruit juice and white wine. But it reminded me how refreshing grapefruit juice can be in a cocktail, especially with gin in a warm weather drink, blended into Salty Dogs or Greyhounds.

After a short search around my local liquor stores, I rounded up a bottle of Aperol. As much as I love a simple Campari and soda with lime, Aperol might be even better to my taste. It’s not quite as bitter and has a tiny bit more sweetness and more complex hints of herbal-citrus flavors.

Rosemary Sugar

I made my Italian Greyhound and embellished it a little by rimming the glass with rosemary sugar – easily made in a mini food processor or spice grinder: 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary and 1/4 cup sugar.

Italian Greyhound Cocktail with Rosemary Sugar

I love, love, love this drink! It makes me appreciate gin – a spirit I don’t usually drink- all those herbs, roots and botanicals get along so nicely together and it’s dangerously thirst-quenching.

Italian Greyhound with Rosemary Sugar

Yield: makes one drink

Ingredients

    Rosemary Sugar
  1. 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 -2 ounces gin (depending on the time of day)
  4. 4 ounces freshly squeezed pink or red grapefruit juice
  5. Splash Aperol

Instructions

  1. Combine the rosemary and sugar.
  2. Rub the edge of a glass on a wedge of fresh citrus - grapefruit would be perfect. Put some of the rosemary sugar on a plate and rim the glass.
  3. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the gin and juice, and top with a splash or two of Aperol.
  4. Swirl or stir gently - enjoy.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/04/italian-greyhound-with-rosemary-sugar/

Burnt-Sugar Mango Chutney & Goat Cheese Naanwich

I have a thing for flatbreads of any name and nationality – pita, roti, pizza, naan or chapati – you name it and I’ll happily eat it. Or make a sandwich out of it and then eat it.

Flatbreads are easy to make, but life gets busy. I grab them ready-made at my local international foods market or the grocery store. Naan are dependably available where I shop so I’ve been keeping them on hand lately.

You don’t have to use your own homemade mango chutney to make this simple sandwich; as our friend Ina Garten would say,”storebought is fine”…but once you see how little is involved in the recipe you might be tempted to make a batch.

The first time I made this chutney I was in a big, bad hurry and I didn’t read the recipe correctly. So I went on my merry way and caramelized the sugar before adding all the ingredients. It turned out to be one of those delicious mistakes.

I think of chutney as a gateway preserve for those with the itch to “put something up”, minus the need to fuss around with sterilizing jars, lids and giant pots full of boiling sugary fruit taking up every burner on the stove .

It keeps for forever in the fridge (Okay, maybe not forever. One year. A long time.) and it can be used in glazes, marinades, salad dressings or just as the delicious condiment it is.

Burnt-Sugar Mango Chutney & Goat Cheese Naanwich

When I first made this chutney, I was in a hurry and misread the instructions. Instead of boiling sugar and water together, I cooked the sugar alone until it caramelized and then added the rest of the ingredients. My goof turned out to be a delicious one - I loved the deep color and flavor of the chutney. So I pass my recipe foible onto you.

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  4. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  5. 2 teaspoons nigella seeds (optional)
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 2 firm mangoes (about 2 pounds), peeled , pitted and chopped
  8. 3 crushed garlic cloves
  9. 1/3 cup peeled, grated fresh ginger
  10. 1/2 cup golden raisins
  11. 1/4 moist dates, pitted and chopped
  12. Fine sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the sugar in a heavy, medium saucepan, whisking over medium heat until dissolved and beginning to turn the color of butterscotch. Add the water - it will sputter so stand back.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the mango is very soft and the chutney has thickened, about 30 minutes. Taste and season little by little with up to 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste. The flavor should get brighter, not salty.Makes about 2 cups.
  3. To make the Naanwich, cut one naan bread in half. Spread one half with soft goat cheese, chopped cilantro, arugula or spinach and about 2 tablespoons mango chutney. Top with other half. Cook on an oiled, hot panini grill or heavy ridged grill pan until toasted.

Notes

http://familystylefood.com/2011/03/burnt-sugar-mango-chutney-goat-cheese-naanwich/