Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sweet basil orange iced tea

You can keep telling me it's spring, but the sun's screaming that it's summer time. And when it's summer in New Orleans, you have got to stay hydrated. All the festing, drinking, and dancing can take it out of you, so here's a simple refreshing recipe for a delicious iced tea brewed with fresh Thai basil and topped with a fresh orange slice. Trust me, the basil make it naturally sweet itself, but if you must, feel free to sweeten with a touch of honey. 

After a long day at French Quarter Fest, an iced tea was necessary!

Sweet basil orange iced tea (serves 2)
2-3 tbs Thai basil leaves, fresh
orange slice
2 cups water, boiled
1 cup ice 
honey, to taste (optional)

1. Seep basil leaves in fresh off the stove boiling water for 3-5 minutes. 
2. Pour into half a cup of ice.
3. Top and garnish with a squeeze of orange slice 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spanish Inspiration from Try the World

I don't know where I saw it first, but I clicked an ad for Try the World Food Box to receive a gourmet subscription to a curated box of local food goodies from around the world. The box I received was from Spain, where my brother just spent his spring break. He recalled having tomato jam  served on bread, which I was most excited to try. I was also looking forward to using paprika in everything, like they do in Hungary! To be honest, the box was a bit disappointing. There were a lot of neat things, but most of them required some sort of assembly. I was also a bit weirded out by the canned mussels, but wished the box included some jamon ibierco.

Last night for dinner, I sauteed the mussels with garlic to make a base for a paprika cherry tomato spaghetti sauce. I served it over a bed of baby peashoots and sprinkled it with parmesan for some Spanish Italian action.

For breakfast this morning, I slathered the tomato jam on flax seed bread and topped it with an omelet for an elegant tartine paired with local Louisiana blueberries. As expected, the tomato spread is definitely my favorite part of the box. It's like a fresh light marinara in a jar!

And finally for dinner I made my classic ratatouille, a recipe I derived from my French host parents in Lac d'Annecy. I used squash that I picked up this past weekend at the Crescent City farmer's market and flavored it with olive oil, herbes de Provence, paprika, and persillade, a mix of dried garlic, onion, parsley, shallot and salt from Mont-Saint-Michel and the French box. I served it with brown rice steamed with the canned mussels.

So tell me this, box, who brought who around the world?

canned mussels

spaghetti with mussels in a paprika cherry tomato sauce

local squash

local blueberries, ratatouille + mussels in brown rice