Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Watermelon Granita

Granitas are so easy to assemble, and are so refreshing this time of year. Here is a recipe that I am using in a class I'm teaching tomorrow at the Kitchen Conservatory. Kitchen Conservatory is such a beautiful facility with a kitchen that is so easy to demonstrate in. I always enjoy teaching there.

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

juice of two limes

6 cups of cubed watermelon

1/4 cup vodka

Make a syrup of the water and sugar-let cool

Puree the watermelon, mix with the syrup, lime juice, and vodka

Place the mixture in a flat container to freeze

Stir the granita with a fork as it freezes

Fluff the granita with a fork before serving

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jerked Tenderloin with Mango Salsa

This Jamaican dry rub of spices is usually used on chicken and pork, but it works wonderfully with beef. I used a combination of cayenne and pepper flakes, the traditional pepper is Habanero, but I couldn't find them this week and they would probably be too hot to sell at the restaurant anyway. There is a long list of ingredients, but it makes for such a complex smokey, sweet, and spicy flavor. And it is especially good with something cool next to it such as mango and avocado salsa. I added some yam frites to the plate. Again fried plantains would be a more traditional side, but the yam frites are more appealing to my palate.

Jerk Seasoning

1 tablespoon of allspice

1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, ground

1/4 teaspoon of cloves, ground
1 tablespoon of dried thyme

1 teaspoon of cayenne

2 tablespoons of dried red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon of smoked paprika

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoon of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger

Mix all of the ingredients

Lightly coat the tenderloin with the rub, and grill over medium low heat. You need a slow smoldering cooking process to bring out all the spices. Grill 20 to 25 minutes, the steak should remain medium rare if your fire is at a low enough temperature.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Firecracker Shrimp for Independence Day

Since fireworks are such a big part of today's celebration, I thought that this particular dish seemed appropriate. They are actually an asian dish and named becaused they resemble firecrackers. Since fireworks were also invented in China, I think firecracker shrimp can be just as American as fireworks on the Fourth of July. These shrimp are quite simple to put together and are really tasty with the three dipping sauces-strawberry, apricot, and wasabi. The part that takes the most time is making the three dipping sauces. At the restaurant I have these three sauces on hand all the time for different menu items, so it was pretty easy.

1 package egg roll wrappers, cut on the bias to create triangles of pastry.

50 shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tail still on.

1/2 cup sweet Thai chili sauce

1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine the shrimp with the chili sauce, ginger, garlic, soy, and cornstarch, and let marinate at least 1/2 hour or up to two hours.

Drain and dry the shrimp before proceeding. Nik the shrimp a couple of times on the inside curl-do not cut too deeply-just enough to prevent the shrimp from curling.

Roll the shrimp up in the won ton wrapper, sealing the edges with a slurry of water and corn starch.

Deep fry until golden and serve with dipping sauces.