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Category: Fresh (page 1 of 13)

Summertime Sippin’: Lemongrass Vodka

Tis the season, all of a sudden, for refreshing poolside/rooftop/backyard cocktails. And, lest it be said that I never did anything for you, here’s another quick and easy infusion that will set your bar–wherever it may be–head and shoulders above everyone else’s.

Like the Earl Grey vodka I put up for our Royal Wedding “tea” party, this is another simple put-stuff-in-vodka-and-let-it-sit-around kind of thing. While I have some other more complex liquors in the works (strawberry-black pepper rum, anyone?), this fairly basic lemongrass infusion is worth mentioning since the herb has such a lovely flavor–sharp, citrusy, and herbaceous–that isn’t familar to people as it should be.

I suspect this is in large part due to the “grass” part of lemongrass. It’s only good fresh (dried is UTTERLY useless), and even then, it’s tough and fibrous and just kind of a pain in the ass.

Vodka, then, is the perfect gateway application as we get all of the taste with none of the narsty crunchy bits found in the headily-scented Southeast Asian soups and such where lemongrass is usually deployed.

In a nod to those cultural antecedents, I used turbinado instead of regular sugar to smooth out the mouthfeel and add the toasty caramel note often found in Vietnamese cooking particularly. A tiny piece of ginger adds dimension to the already powerful lemongrassy zing.

This is just lovely on the rocks with ginger ale–now’s the time to reach for the Canada Dry, fancy ginger beers would just walk all over the lemongrass–or a lightly-flavored seltzer, maybe with a dash more syrup and a mint sprig. Any way you slice it, it’s a brightly envigorating.
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One Less Fruit…

Readers, my apologies for such a long absence without even a short explanation!

Summertime has proven to be lazy, hot and deeply introspective for Yours Truly. Emerging from my humid-induced mental solace, I have decided–after much internal debate–that I want a break. So I am leaving The Passion Fruits.

It’s been a great joy being in this space and I would like to extend my thanks to our readers for commenting, sharing and, well, reading. You have all helped make this a very rewarding experience. Do know, my decision to leave was not an easy one.

Luke, I want to thank you, too, for being my partner in crime for the past year. I am not sure how we managed to pull this all off, but we did! Thank you.

I will digitally-regenerate, soon. For now, you may follow me on Twitter and Flickr.

Thanks again.

Choke on This: Baby Artichoke Pasta

Baby artichokes courtesy of Kuhn Orchards.  This guy looks so….Audrey II.  Check out what I made after the jump.

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Gyspy Eggs, Peas and (basil) Leaves!

Baked eggs, with spicy ground pork, tomato sauce, peas, opal and genovese basil.

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From Tomato to Tomato, Potato, Green Bean Summer Salad

In the beginning, there was a single, baby heirloom tomato. My inspiration. And one I couldn’t stop capturing.

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Gonna Pork It

The beginning: Pork butt, garlic, fennel, rosemary and orange.

Slow-roasted, piled onto grilled ciabatta bread (rubbed with garlic) and topped with a raw fennel, carrot slaw and shaved parmigiano reggiano.

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Hot Days, Cool Grains

If you live in D.C., chances are your panties have been moist at some point in the past few weeks.  No, the moisture is not a result of D.C. gaining statehood but rather of sweltering temperatures. Days, nay, weeks like these remind me of our swamp origins and one of my favorite quotes: “Washington. A swamp that traded malaria for politics.”

The heat makes me want to eat as little as possible. And firing up the oven on days like, oh, today, are not in the cards.

Salads. Yes, salads are what I want to eat.

And I want salad that’s hearty enough. One that will keep me full but not feel weighty like Carnie Wilson circa 1991.

Enter grains: rice, quinoa, farro.

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When Life Gives You Yellow Beans, Make Yellow Beans

Pan roasted, with salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh-torn basil.

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