I have really not been cooking lately – need to fix that! One note, though – I thawed out a “TV dinner” that I had made from salmon I had cooked with artichokes, bell peppers, onions, olives, and capers, along with half a potato. It was not horrible, but apparently this combination does not freeze well. For one thing, the salmon overcooks when you re-heat it in the microwave, and, for the other thing, the potato turns to a strange, crystallized, mush. The veggies were fine, though! It will soon be time to bake salmon again, and I will share the recipe then!
At the moment, I seem to be into cocktails – or the idea of cocktails, anyway. I did not buy duty-free liquor at the airport, because I didn’t feel like the prices were that good, and didn’t want to carry it home. But, in the mood for a margarita last night, I found myself with no tequila. I searched my neck of the woods for a liquor store, and, after an hour (you read that right!) I found a Tower Liquor. They have a great selection of liquor, including Latin American kinds, so I indulged myself. Here are some of the things I plan to make – but not all tonight!
1 1/2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Triple sec or other orange liqueur
1 oz fresh Lime juice
1/2 oz Midori melon liqueur
Moisten rim of cocktail glass with lime juice and dip in salt. Shake ingredients together, and pour into glass filled with crushed ice. Option: Mix above ingredients with one cup of ice in blender for a smooth, “granita” type drink.
Note: I made mine with Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix, instead of lime juice, and squeezed two 1/8ths of lime into the drink. I also do not care for salt. I bought a different orange liqueur this time, called Citronge. It’s made by Patron, a tequila distillery. I noticed that, while Grand Marnier and Cointreau are available in Mexico, more often than not a knock off brand called Controy is used. At $19.99 for a liter, I decided to try the Citronge!
Caipirinha (from Maria-Brazil.com
2 ounces of cachaca
Sugar to taste
Wash the lime and roll it on the board to loosen the juices. Cut the lime into pieces and place them in a glass. Sprinkle with the sugar and crush the pieces (pulp side up) with a pestle. (We have a long, wooden one from Brazil, made specifically for this purpose.) Just enough to release the juice, otherwise it’ll get bitter. Add the cachaca and stir to mix. Add the ice and stir again. It is delicious and potent!
This, from BolsCocktails.com:”The most famous Brazilian cocktail, a caipirinha in Brazil is usually made using the Brazilian “limon subtiel” – a confusingly green-skinned lemon! Many people prefer the taste of caipirinhas made with muddled lemons to those made with muddled limes. The sugar usually used in Brazil is regular white sugar, although brown sugar is an option. The final drink may be stirred to mix the ingredients, or short-shaken one time. A caipirinha made with vodka instead of cachaca is called a Caipirovska, and one made with rum instead of cachaca is called a Caipirissima. The Caipirinha is the original form of this cocktail.”
I first had a caipirinha in Paris, at a Brazilian restaurant we went to because it was the only one open on a Sunday afternoon. Then, I had one (okay, more than one…) at Fogo de Chao when I was brought there for my birthday. I have searched for cachaca everywhere, and then, when I found it, searched for reasonably priced cachaca! I finally splurged on it last night – it was $17.99. And, let me tell you… this drink rocks!
The Pisco Sour
2 oz. Pisco Brandy
1 oz. Lime Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup or 1½ teaspoons of superfine sugar
½ teaspoon of egg white
Combine the ingredients in a shaker, and shake vigorously with freshly made ice for about four minutes. Pour into a sour glass. (This essentially looks like a white wine glass with the stem shortened nearly to the base.) Add 2-3 dashes Angostura or Amargo bitters and allow them a moment to seep into the drink proper. Garnish with a lime or a mint sprig.
I think I still have some Chilean Pisco left from our trip 3 years ago – waste not, want not!
6 ounces champagne
1/2 ounce creme de cassis
Pour the champagne and cassis into a champagne flute. Stir. Garnish with lemon twist. Serves 1.
If you just use white wine, it’s called a kir. I have yet to find a recipe on the Internet for it, but I also had kir aux mures when I was in France. For this, you just use blackberry brandy instead of cassis. I broke down and bought some Bols Blackberry Liqueur, for variety.
I also purchased some kirschwasser, to be used in clafoutis, and possible a Black Forest Cake!