Suzi's Blog

Lime Crisis II and Two Cocktail Solutions

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A few days ago I blogged about the lime shortage. This week, the New York Post spent two pages on the “limepocalype.” The Post story, which was published before the normal Wednesday food section, covered a concerned span of lime users and drinkers. A man with a key lime pie business is thinking of building a greenhouse on his Brooklyn site and trying to grow lime trees. I wish him luck. His site did not make it thru the last hurricane.

More of the story focused on bartenders and their customers. And the key point was heresy: can you substitute lemon juice — in part or in whole — for lime juice? Some folks will. Some won’t. Some violently won’t. One man was quoted as saying he could not tolerate substituting bitter lemons for limes. Think about that. I know, limes can be “sweet” but sweeter than a lemon? I don’t think so.

The fact is, if you are familiar with my cocktails recipes on this site, I tend to use lemon juice and not lime. Even in a margarita. For my palette, does it make a difference? As with many cocktail dabblers, I’m putting sugar syrup into my margarita anyway. Using lemon juice instead of lime is of no consequence. To me. To me. Don’t get limey on me.

For those who are willing to explore and experiment, the Post provided some cocktail recipes that are based on lemon and not lime juice. Even one tequila drink with no lime! Here are a couple of drink ideas that may ease your lime withdrawal.

The first drink here, the Lemon Rita, is essentially a margarita using lemon juice with some agave syrup instead of simple sugar syrup. The second drink, the Southern Surprise, is a few steps in directions you may not have traversed. You’ll need to make some vanilla-infused tequila here. But, what weekend plans did you have anyway? Actually, to enjoy this on the weekend, you need to get busy and make your tequila now.

Lemon Rita

Yield: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Milagro Silver tequila
  • 1 ½ ounces fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce agave syrup
  • ½ ounce Combier orange liqueur

Preparation:

Combine all the ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice and garnish with a lemon wheel.

To make the vanilla-infused tequila, gently crush 1 large fresh vanilla bean using the back of a spoon to soften it and release its oil and flavor. Slice lengthwise and add to a 750-ml bottle of Patrol Silver tequila. Allow to rest for two to three days, depending on the desired vanilla strength.

Source: Ricky Camarco, Executive Chef, Anejo, 668 10th Avenue, NYC

 

Southern Surprise

Yield: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Patron Resposado Tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce vanilla-infused tequila

Preparation:

Combine all the ingredients in an ice-fill cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a large mint leaf.

To make the vanilla-infused tequila, gently crush 1 large fresh vanilla bean using the back of a spoon to soften it and release its oil and flavor. Slice lengthwise and add to a 750-ml bottle of Patrol Silver tequila. Allow to rest for two to three days, depending on the desired vanilla strength.

Source: Esteban Ordonez, Burning Waters Cantina, 116 McDougal Street, NYC

 

 

Chipotle and Cheddar Biscuits with Honey Butter from Gale Gand

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Yes, ten years ago you could not spell chipotle or easily find them in many stores. Now, every dish seems to contain it. Chipotle overload? Perhaps. It is time to be selective, and this recipe is just that. Chipotle is combined with cheddar cheese and paprika. The resulting biscuits are warm, not hot, to the taste and have a lovely reddish brown color.

To complement the warmth, we served these biscuits with honey butter. Why bother to make honey butter? Why not just put butter on the biscuits and then top with honey from the bottle?

Oh, you did not read my recent post about the book Taste. When you taste food, there is the sense of taste involved and the sense of smell and the sense of texture or feel. Honey butter integrates the honey texture into the butter and mutes the sweetness. If you simply pour honey on a biscuit and bite, your tongue is unavoidably saturated with the honey sweetness and the velvet texture of the flowing honey dominates the signals going to your brain.

If, on the other hand, you make this honey butter, the experience is very different. You will, for example, use less honey than if you were pouring it on directly. The sweetness level is lower, so the biscuit flavor is not lost. Try this butter just once and you’ll be a fan.

These two recipes are from the same author, Gale Gand, and two books, Lunch and Brunch. Lunch is new, Brunch is a few years old. Both would be tasteful additions to your kitchen bookshelf.

Chipotle and Cheddar Biscuits

Yield: 12 2-inch biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for your work surface
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked or regular paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh scallions
  • ½ cup [1 stick] cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, chipotle, ½ cup of the cheddar, and the scallions. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine and blend in the spices. Add the butter and continue to mix on low speed to break down the butter, mixing just until just combined. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead it slightly to bring it together, if necessary. Roll out the dough to ¾-inch thickness and cut out 2-inch-diameter circles with a cookie or biscuit cutter. Place the circles on the lined baking sheet. Press the dough scraps together, roll them out again and cut out as many biscuits as you can. Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. Evenly distribute the remaining12 cup cheddar over the tops of the biscuits.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the biscuits are puffed up and golden brown on top.

The biscuits keep in an airtight container for up to 1 day at room temperature or up to four days in the refrigerator. If refrigerating, reheat them in a 350-degree toaster oven for about 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Lunch by Gale Gand

Honey Butter

Yield: ½ cup

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup [1 stick] unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoons honey

Preparation:

In a bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon. Then mix in the salt and honey. Pack the honey butter into ramekins, and serve at room temperature; or warm it in a small saucepan over low heat (or in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time) until melted, and serve hot.

Source: Brunch by Gale Gand

 

Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/16th second at ISO-3200