Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Mejor Tequila : REVIEW

For review : drink

This is a new 100% agave tequila brand (the master distiller is formerly of Don Julio) arrives in four expressions � the usual three plus one you might not expect: blanco, reposado, anejo (we didn�t sample this one), and �pink.� What�s pink tequila? We�ll get to that. But first, let�s start with the basics.

Mejor Blanco is a traditional, unaged, silver tequila. Pretty standard as far as blanco tequilas go, Mejor�s silver has a lot greenery to it, with a hefty agave hit on first sip. This fades into more citrus notes as it aerates and fades on the palate, with some minty character in there too. This blanco grows on you, with some very mild vanilla in the finish, but ultimately I think it�s a better blending spirit than a straight sipper. B / $35 to $45

Mejor Reposado is aged for nearly a year in old Jack Daniel�s barrels, and it�s a great improvement on the blanco, much different all around. A strong vanilla character kicks in immediately, with a moderate agave backbeat running underneath it. This tequila is really easy to drink, and pleasant as all get-out. A- / $40 to $55

Mejor Pink is, yep, pink tequila. It is not an infused or flavored tequila. It�s just pink, a silver tequila with natural color added. The idea is obviously to help make pink-hued yet tequila-based cocktails (sans grenadine, I suppose), but in the glass it�s barely distinguishable from Mejor Blanco. Mejor says it has a slightly stronger agave flavor, and I think that�s true. And that�s also a little strange: The pink tequila is actually a slightly truer version of agave than the clear one. I give it marks for that, but it�s certainly nothing that any tequila nut is going to start sipping solo. Sheesh, it�s pink! B / $35 to $45

The Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth � the New Recipe in 2009

The most people agonize over what brand gin or vodka to use in their martini, but precious little thought tends to go into the selection of vermouth. Today I�ve done something most would deem unthinkable: Drink vermouth straight.

noilly-prat-vermouth-old-bottleWhy? Because Noilly Prat, the French maker of one of the world�s best-selling brands of vermouth, is changing its recipe. Well, updating it, really: Noilly Prat is introducing its current European blend to the U.S. market, discontinuing the old American blend that�s been sold here for years (decades, maybe). The bottle design gets an update too (that�s the old one to your right, the new one is below), so you�ll be able to tell which version you�re buying as stores run out of the old stock. The new blend is scheduled to go on sale in January 2009.

How do the two compare? I definitely prefer the new, European version to the old. The original is very pale, almost clear, with a very strong bitterness overwhelming any herbal notes in the vermouth. It�s fine, but plain and unthrilling. The new version is striking in its changes but it�s still a real vermouth: It�s got a distinct, light gold color to it and hits the tongue first with some sweetness and a more pronounced herbal flavor, before then fading into a lighter bitter finish. The new Noilly Prat is quite reminiscent of Lillet Blanc and even reminded me a bit of Strega. (However, both Noilly Prat versions � tied at 36 proof � are better than Martini & Rossi dry vermouth� but of course they say you should only drink Italian vermouth if it�s sweet and stick with France for the dry.)

Of course, the true test of any dry vermouth is in a martini� and I�m happy to report the new Noilly Prat shines with either gin or vodka. Check it out!

A- / $6.50 (750ml bottle) /
source :

The Beef with Brakoli

This is secret to this popular restaurant dish is to marinate the beef in a bit of oil.

can be Serves 3 to 4


3/4 lb (375 g) lean beef, sliced thinly into bite-sized pieces

Marinade for Beef:
1 egg
1/3 tsp (1.5 mL) salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cooking wine
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch (corn flour)
2 Tbsp water

1 1/2 Tbsp (20 mL) oil

1 1/2 lb (750 g) broccoli, flowerets removed, slice on the diagonal into thin slices
1 cup (250 mL) cooking oil
2 1/2 Tbsp (30 mL) oyster sauce
2 Tbsp (25 mL) light soy sauce
3/4 Tbsp (10 mL) dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar
a few drops of sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken broth
2 Tbsp cornstarch (if desired)


Slice beef and mix together marinade ingredients. Add marinade to beef and marinate for thirty minutes. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to beef, mix in thoroughly, and marinate beef for another thirty minutes. While beef is marinating, prepare the vegetables.

Heat wok and add 1 cup of oil. When oil is ready, add beef and stir-fry until it is nearly cooked. Remove beef and set aside on a plate. Drain the wok and wipe clean with a paper towel.

Add 1/2 cup water to wok. Bring the water to a boil and add the broccoli. Cover and cook until broccoli is cooked through. Drain the wok.

Heat wok and add oil (about 2 tablespoons). Add the garlic and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add vegetables and beef and mix together. Make a well in the middle of the wok and add the sauce ingredients. Add cornstarch, stirring to thicken. Mix sauce together with other ingredients. Serve hot.

*Add carrots and onion if desired. Boil in the wok with the broccoli (you�ll need to add more water).

source :

Thursday, July 23, 2009


if you want to exchange link, just left a message comment in here, and i will put your link to my friends link columm :

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the Spicy pumpkin and orange soup with lemon gremolata

Serves 4
Whizzing the soup in a blender gives you a rich velvety texture without the need for cream.
spicy pumpkin and orange soup with lemon gremolata
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 kg butternut squash or pumpkin
1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cinnamon sticks
half tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
100 ml orange juice
sea salt and pepper
1 orange, cut into wedges

How to cook spicy pumpkin and orange soup with lemon gremolata
Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion over gentle heat for 5 minutes until soft. Cut the butternut into large chunks and cut off the skin.
Add the butternut, stock, tomato paste, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cayenne to the leeks and bring just to the boil.
Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the butternut is tender.
Remove the cinnamon sticks and 4 chunks of butternut, add the orange juice, sea salt and pepper and heat through.
Whiz in a blender (in batches) until smooth.
Serve in warm shallow soup bowls with the reserved butternut and a wedge of orange, topped with crunchy gremolata crumbs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lamb with feta and mint

Lamb with feta and mint Serves: 4
Rield: 4 servings
Ready in: 40 mins (15 mins prep - 25 mins cook)

Ingredients :

� cup (60 ml) olive oil
300 g new potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 red capsicums, deseeded and sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled
? cup (80 ml) red wine vinegar
75 g feta cheese, drained
25 g fresh mint, finely shredded

Preparation method for Lamb with feta and mint

Heat a large frying pan with a tight-fitting lid over a medium heat. Brush the lamb steaks on one side with a little of the oil. Add the steaks to the pan, oiled-side down, and fry for 3�4 minutes until nicely browned. Lightly brush the lamb steaks with a little more oil, then flip them over and continue frying for a further 1 minute. Transfer the lamb steaks to a plate and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan and heat. Add the potatoes and fry, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden and they start to soften. Add another 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the zucchini, onion, capsicums and garlic and continue frying, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, mix the remaining oil with the vinegar in a small jug or bowl. Return the lamb steaks to the pan, placing them on top of the vegetables, and pour in the oil and vinegar mixture. Crumble the feta cheese over the top. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes for medium-rare or 7 minutes for medium.
Uncover the pan and scatter the mint over the top. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve at once, straight from the pan, with a drizzling of the pan juices.

source :

Monday, July 20, 2009

Serves: 4
Yield: 4 servings
Ready in: 30 mins (20 mins prep - 10 mins cook)

Ingredients for Asian chicken salad with peanut dressing 500 g cos lettuce
150 g snow peas
1 can (565 g) canned lychees, drained and cut in half
1 large navel orange, peeled and cut into sections
1 red plum, stoned and sliced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
370 g chicken breast fillets
Creamy peanut dressing:
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Preparation method :

Finely shred the lettuce and place in a bowl. Trim the snow peas and remove the strings. Cut the snow peas in half on the diagonal and add them to the bowl. Add the lychees, orange, plum and spring onions and toss to combine.
Coat a heavy-based frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and set over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Fry the chicken breast fillets until cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side.
To make the dressing, whisk the mayonnaise, peanut butter and garlic in a small cup. Cut the chicken diagonally into thin slices and add the strips to the bowl. Just before serving, drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss to coat.