Normally I don’t feel the need to advertise when I’ve gotten a little bit of press or a shout-out from blogland, but this calls for an exception. I was super surprised-and psyched-when I found out that my favorite Laguna Beach alum mentioned one of my drink recipes on her website.
Photos via People Stylewatch, Day Old News, and OK Magazine
Clearly the girl has a lot of beverage drinking experience so I’m honored to be included in the list of her favorite ten drinks. Isn’t that photo on the left so classic LC?
Anyways, here’s another drink for everybody to enjoy. It has a much more complex flavor than your typical non-alcoholic beverage. It’s almost like a tropical spiced rum beverage- but without the alcohol. I think it would make the perfect summer party mocktail for expecting mommies, kids, or your favorite teetotaller.
Pineapple Cinnamon Cooler
* 3 cups water
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 3 cups pineapple juice
* 1/4 cup lime juice
* Cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)
Combine the water and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until reduced by a third. Let cool and add pineapple and lime juice. Refrigerate until well chilled. Pour into individual serving glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired.
Sometimes when I feel sort of ambivalent about a recipe I’ve made I ask my friends who’ve sampled the food to give me their brutally honest opinion as to whether it’s blog-worthy or good enough to post. I certainly don’t want a site that has a long list of mediocre recipes.
This rice, however, I had zero reservations about. It’s super fragrant, light, fluffy, with a subtle complexity. I would have never thought to add cinnamon or cardamom to my rice but it works.
The most important step is to really toast the rice well; that will make each grain of rice burst and split, creating that beautiful fluffy texture. I also highly recommend making sure you have the cashews, raisins and burnt onions for garnish. The rice is still amazing without them, but I promise these three are like a magic trifecta of awesomeness.
Fragrant Sri Lankan Rice
* 3 Tablespoons butter (vegans can substitute oil)
* 1/2 medium onion, chopped
* 2 sprigs curry leaves, about two dozen leaves in total
* 2 cardamom pods, smashed
* 1/2 cinnamon stick
* 2 cups brown jasmine rice
* 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
* 1/4 cup roasted cashews, for garnish
* 2 Tablespoons raisins, for garnish
* 1/2 cup burnt onions, for garnish
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until golden. Add the curry leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick and rice and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. The rice should be toasted and golden in color. Add the broth and bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for five minutes. Fluff rice and garnish with cashews, raisins and burnt onions.
Note: it's possible that brown basmati will also work, but since I used jasmine I can't guarantee that the basmati grains will split after toasting; I think it has to do with the bran thickness. Regular medium grain brown rice will definitely not work for this recipe.
These burnt onions are pretty much the best thing ever. They can elevate a so-so dish and make it awesome. Always make more than you need because I guarantee you’ll be snacking on them while you’re cooking, while you’re setting the table, well… you get the idea.
I’ve already mentioned them here, but I’m sure I’ll be referring to them often so I thought they deserved their own reference-friendly post.
* 1 large or 2 small yellow onions
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Halve the onion(s) and slice very thinly. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the onions and stir until well-coated in oil. Spread into an even layer. Stop stirring and let the onions cook until the onions on the periphery begin to brown. Stir well and again spread the onions out into an even layer. Repeat until all of the onions are a dark brown. Resist the urge to stir constantly. Drain on a paper towel.
Every March the supermarkets around here drop the price of cabbage from around a dollar a pound to something like 19 cents a pound. Since I’m not a huge fan of corned beef and cabbage, I often used to make some sort of Eastern European cabbage dish, like cabbage pierogi or kapusta, to use up all the cabbage I’d stockpiled. Then I tried the amazing spicy cabbage recipe from this book, and it quickly became my go-to cabbage recipe. Healthy, hot and fast, I can eat that stuff by the bowlful.
But this curried cabbage has the potential to take over the number one spot. The coconut milk adds creaminess while dried shrimp add a definite umami quality to the dish. Although the ingredient list for this recipe is somewhat long, I’d say the result is well worth the small hassle of finding a couple extra items from your pantry.
* 1 small head cabbage, finely sliced
* 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Serrano pepper, cut lengthwise into four quarters
* 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon cayenne
* 2 teaspoons curry powder
* 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon small, dried shrimp
* 1 small cinnamon stick
* 1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
* salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions have softened. Add the chili pepper, turmeric, cayenne, curry powder, fenugreek seeds, dried shrimp and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes. Add the shredded cabbage and stir to coat.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the cabbage has softened slightly. Salt to taste.