Saturday, December 27, 2008

Blackberry Limeade Recipe

I was waiting for the perfect day to give this blackberry limeade recipe a try. Time and again, bundled in blankets on fog shrouded San Francisco afternoons, I'd whine to Wayne that we should move somewhere with a proper summer. Visions of my hand wrapped around a frosty glass of a jeweled-toned refresher like this occupied a disproportionate amount of my daydreams. No more. With temperatures roaring well past 90 degrees in San Francisco on Friday, I got my perfect summer day - and with a bit of help from Martha Hall Foose (executive chef of the Viking Cooking School), I took full advantage. The recipe is from her eloquently written new cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook.

Cookbooks writers and enthusiasts listen up - Martha is a master of the head note. Hers are some of the most alluring, informative, and transporting lead-ins to recipes I've read. This one precedes the recipe for Cantaloupe Daiquiris...

The hottest I have ever been in my life was at 5:45 P.M., on August 29, 1998, on the no. 923 St. Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans. I had been working down in the French Quarter as a pastry chef for Susan Spicer's Bayona. Some days the unique commute felt like the scene in a movie. After rattling down the boulevards, and immediately upon entering our uptown digs, I stripped down and stood in the shower with only cold water running. I could almost hear the sizzle on contact. I really felt as if I had been braised.

The courtyards of New Orleans offer a haven from the heat. Shaded and mossy, planted with sweet-smelling Confederate Jasmine, they're like Mrs. Venable's arboretum in Suddenly Last Summer. She had her trusty secretary deliver a daiquiri every day at five. The musky sweetness of the melon, married to the brightness of the basil and mint, suspended in an icy slurry, will cool an afternoon down to the slow simmer of twilight.

I'd be willing to bet you'd like to try that recipe as well. And that's how it goes with this book - the author skillfully unveiling glimpses of her life (and love) of the South through a lovely collection of recipes.

I know many of you come to my site for inspiration on the natural foods/veg-friendly fronts, so just be aware that this isn't really that kind of book. This is Southern cookbook with all the deep-fried, shortening-packed delicacies you can imagine. Lots of meat, plenty of seafood-based recipes. That being said, there are many great ideas that are easily adaptable. For example, there's a black-eyed pea cake that (minus the bacon) looks like a fresh twist on a veggie burger, a frozen cucumber salad that sounds fascinating, and multiple rice salads that could easily be done with any number of whole grains (or whole grain rice). Plenty to be inspired by.

One of the things I loved about the blackberry limeade recipe was Martha's use of raw sugar - it lends deep, complex level of sweetness that you just don't get with white sugar. It bridges the blackberries, lime, and cardamom wonderfully.

Blackberry Limeade Recipe

Martha's recipe calls for ginger ale as the mixer (delicious!). I don't drink much soda of any sort - it's just too sweet for me, so I did a second batch with sparkling water as the mixer- great for those of you avoiding soft drinks. For some it might make sense to keep the components separate (instead of combining everything in one pitcher - making it easy to mix each drink to order. This way each person can control their own level of flavor/sweetness. Martha also includes a side bar of helpful notes related to this recipe - berries can be pulsed briefly in a food processor and strained. Be careful not to crush the seeds, as this adds a dirty taste to the blackberries. You can freeze blackberries in ice cubes for a nice accessory to the drink. The sugar syrup can be transferred to a metal mixing bowl set in a bowl of ice to cool it down quickly. For a wonderful frozen cocktail, puree ice and a jigger of gin with the blackberry-lime mixture in a blender.

4 cups fresh blackberries, or unsweetened frozen blackberries, thawed, plus extra for garnish

1 cup turbinado sugar, natural cane sugar, or grated palm sugar
1 kaffir lime leaf, crushed, or 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 green cardamom pod, lightly crushed
1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice (about 8 -12 limes)
Thin lime slices, for garnish
2 cups ginger ale (hs note: or sparkling water)
Ice cubes

Lay a doubled piece of cheesecloth on a nonporous work area. (As the berries will stain a wide array of cutting surfaces and clothes, this may be best done outside or over newspaper and wearing an apron or smock.) Place the blackberries on top of the cheesecloth and gather into a bundle like a hobo sack. Hold the sack of berries over a glass, stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic bowl. Twist the top of the sack to squeeze the juice from the berries into the receptacle. (This will yield about 1 cup very strong, tart, dark juice.) Refrigerate the juice until needed; discard the purple mash.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 cup water, the lime leaf, and the cardamom pod. bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced to a thin syrup. Remove the lime leaf and cardamom. Allow the sugar syrup to cool and then chill it.

In a 1-quart pitcher, combine the blackberry juice, sugar syrup, and lime juice. Stir to combine and then refrigerate until cold.

To serve, stir the ginger ale (or water) into the pitcher, fill glasses with ice, and pour in the blackberry limeade. Garnish with slices of lime.

Serves 8.

Excerpted with permission from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose (Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. 2008)

Edamame Dip


  • 12 ounces shelled, cooked, and cooled edamame, about 2 cups, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown miso
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil


Place the edamame, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, miso, salt, chili paste and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and process for 15 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl and process for another 15 to 20 seconds. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once all of the oil has been added, stop, scrape down the bowl and then process another 5 to 10 seconds. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Serve with chips or crackers. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Basic Edamame:

  • 1 pound edamame, fresh or frozen, in or out of shell
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Kosher salt, optional

Place the edamame and water into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes. Drain any excess water and serve as is or salted.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sweet Potato and Beet Chips with Garlic Rosemary Salt


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 beets
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon very finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 10 cups vegetable oil


Special Equipment: V-slicer or mandoline, deep-fry thermometer

Wash the vegetables and dry very well. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the garlic, rosemary and salt. Set aside.

Warm the oil in a large pot over high heat to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, trim 1-inch off the end of each sweet potato. Using the V-slicer or mandoline, slice the sweet potatoes into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Trim 1-inch off the root end of the beets. Using the V-slicer or mandoline slice the beets into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick.

When the oil is hot add about a quarter of the sweet potato slices. Let fry until golden and the bubbling has almost completely subsided, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a mesh sieve or slotted spoon remove the chips to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with some of the garlic, rosemary, and salt mixture. Continue with the remaining sweet potatoes.

Transfer to a serving plate.

Next, fry 1/4 of the beets. Let fry until curled at the edges and most of the bubbling has subsided, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the beets to another paper-towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt mixture. Continue with the remaining beets. Let cool and transfer to a serving plate.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wonton Wrappers

Wonton Wrappers is the basic ingredients of many Wonton Recipe from Chinese Food . Wonton wrappers can be bought at the Asian Groceries Store or Supermarkets . But making your own Wonton wrappers at home isn't impossible and not too complicated also quick prepare .
Here's a Wonton Recipe to help you serving your own making Wonton Recipes .

Wonton Wrappers Recipe
Makes about 3 dozen squares)

Ingredients :

1 large egg white

About 1/3 C water

1 C all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoonful salt

Cooking Direction :

Combine the flour and salt
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or use a hand mixer)Add the egg white and mix with the paddle attachment over medium speed,
Slowly adding water until the dough forms a ball. (Use all the water if needed)
Continue beating the dough with the paddle for several minutes, or remove from the mixer to knead by hand.
Adjust the flour and/or water content by increments as necessary till it form a smooth elastic dough that isn’t sticky ).

Cut the dough into four equal parts and run through a pasta maker up to the thinnest setting, or roll out by hand using a liberal amount of bench flour.
Cut the sheets into roughly 3inch squares, and make sure they are well sprinkled with flour on both sides before stacking or overlapping to prevent them from melding together again.
Use immediately or cover for a short while with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
This Wonton Wrappers can be Use in any Wonton Recipe that calls for wonton wrappers