Tuesday, July 29, 2014

No to Bottle Water and Sodas!

One of my favorite ways to quench my thirst this summer is creating refreshing cold iced tea or flavored water.
In my own home, I picked Lemon Verbena sprigs from my window sill, add zests of one lemon and lemon slices into a pitcher of water. It keeps up to 5 days in fridge. Coming in from the scorching heat with a pitcher of cold refreshing infused water waiting, it is big relief. Also it is great to make few batches to greet unexpected guests or entertain large summer parties.
Lemon Verbena with lemon and zests  
by Irene Khin Wong
At recent bat mitzvah, the host was very grateful that we prepared pitchers of the cucumber basil water ready before the ceremony. Their guests were able to help themselves throughout the afternoon, and easy on the environment with plastic bottles.

Passionfruit Spritzer by Saffron59
Here is the recipe for the refreshing Cucumber Basil drink:

10 shots spring water
1 shot fresh lime juice
6 small sprigs of basil (plus 2 for garnish)
6 slices of fresh cucumber (plus 4 for garnish
2 slices of fresh lime (plus 2 for garnish)

1. Add the  basil, cucumber, and lime slices to the shaker.
2. Muddle the ingredients in the bottom of the shaker until thoroughly crushed.
3. Add the spring water, lime juice, and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
4. Strain the mixture into tall glasses containing large cubes of ice and garnish with remaining basil, cucumber, or lime slices. You can substitute with Prosecco or Chardonnay wine in lieu of water.

I like to hear from you what your favorite summer drinks you have been making.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Bouillabaise

This is the season for serving fish and shellfish for your summer gathering.
Get your cookware ready and put together fresh ingredients along with these nutritious and light gems from the sea from your local fish mongers.

This delicious dish can be cooked ahead so that you can enjoy your day.  Your guests won't have to wait too long for this flavorful dish, and they can sip the summer cocktails such as Riesling Sangria with lychee to start.

 Green Curry Bouillabaise using local and fresh seafood
Bouillabaise with Green Curry Paste
(yield 6 servings)


1 1/2 lb fish (skate wings filet) or white fish such as bass, cod
1 lb shrimp #18-21 count
12 pieces little neck clams, optional
2 lb mussels, cleaned 
2 lb sea scallops
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1/4 cup oil
3 tablespoons green curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 lb shallot,  minced
2 cans coconut milk
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons  paprika
3 cups vegetable stock  
3 pieces of kaffir lime leaves, slivered, optional


Brown the shallot and add garlic and ginger with 1/8 cup oil.  
Stir in green curry paste and coconut milk and bring to simmer .  
Add 2 cups vegetable stock and let it simmer for additional 10mins and add fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste and put aside.

Marinate the fish,shrimp and scallops with garlic,ginger, salt and pepper.
In a large frying pan, heat the rest of the oil, sear the fish and shrimp separately by adding turmeric, paprika and kaffir lime leaves. Set aside.

In a separate pot, bring 1 cup of vegetable stock to a boil and add in mussels and rest of shell fish and stir for a few minutes in high heat till the shells opens, discard the unopened ones, add the green curry broth in. 

In a deep pasta bowl arrange nicely with the mussels and fish at bottom of the bowl and put the shrimp and scallops on the top along with a ladle full of hot broth.

Serve hot along with steamed Jasmine rice.