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Posts Tagged ‘Orange’

Excelsior! As promised, I’ve finally got around to finishing up the first piece in a new series of cook-the-book style posts! First at-bat is Stan Lee Presents the Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook. 

The book begins with a brief introduction and some basic tips on safety and kitchen cleanliness. Then, as any good morning would, delves into some breakfast.

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A wise man once said “There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food” and a trip to your local diner will prove that every time. While studies have more or less debunked the conventional wisdom that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, starting your morning with good food is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the day.

With Captain America’s Day Starters, we get a few different options for easy, healthy and delicious kick start.

‘Fresh fruit or fruit juice. Lots of vitamins C and A’

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I’ve wrote on here a few times about how great smoothies can be for breakfast. Blend up your favorite mix of fruits and veggies with some juice or milk (I also like to throw some type of sea vegetable in the mix) and you’re ready to go. Once you blend your mix, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray to make things even easier while you’re still groggy. This particular blend I threw together features banana, pineapple, orange, mango and sweet potato.

‘Milk is the best source of calcium. It’s need for strong bones and teeth. It also supplies protein – essential building blocks for our bodies’img_4825

Milk is certainly nutritious, if not a little bit weird as a concept, but yogurt has even more calcium and is loaded with beneficial bacteria. Mixed with granola and some fresh fruit, it makes for a hearty, protein-packed breakfast.

‘Bread or cereal, lots of variations in this department’

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For simplicity, flavor and customization, look no further than Avocado Toast, loaded with Omega 3 fats and complex carbohydrates. The only two things you need are in the name itself. Apart from avocado and toasted bread, the possibilities are near endless. The folks over that The Kitchn have a great piece to get your creative juices going; Here, I’ve got 12 grain bread with butter and sesame seeds, mashed avocado, and thinly sliced cucumber tossed with salt, pepper, chili flake and lime juice.

Now, for those looking for a more traditional American-style breakfast, look no further than Hulk’s Fried Potatoes with Bacon and Eggs

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This dish needs little explanation, if any at all. Bacon, eggs, toast, breakfast potatoes; Maybe some coffee, if you’re so inclined. I will give one little trick I recently picked  up while working mainly breakfast shifts: par-boil your potatoes with onions and garlic. This cooks them through, so when you fry ’em up they’ll be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. It’s the same principle to making great French Fries.

In Our Next Exciting Issue…

The Thing’s Clobbered Omelet

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For whatever reason, this post has me at a loss for how to  begin. I think it’s partially due to to complexity of the region at hand: the Caribbean Islands. Depending on how you look at it, it can seem like a wide array of prospects. To many, the first thing that may come to mind the serene beaches and palm trees, utterly ruined by hoards of hoaky vacationers. To others, a certain swashbuckling movie franchise may conjure images of adventure on the high seas. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Caribbean on several occasions in the past, largely from the boarding dock of a Carnival Cruise ship. Having spent my entire life in northern Vermont, it was a very otherworldly experience. Bright colors, ample sunshine, densely populated; It was almost entirely, but not completely, opposite of everything that I knew.

The first couple of trips, I was fairly young, I would say early teens. Whenever my dad got back from a tour in Afghanistan, we would take a cruise as a family for a week or so. Among the sights we saw, one thing that prevailed across every island we stopped at was the abundance of fruity, sweet, brightly colored liquor drinks. This is where my mom fell in love with Malibu coconut rum, and insisted that I loved it too (truthfully, even at 13 I thought it was nasty). On the islands, they were typically served in a short, clear plastic cup, but aboard the “Fun Ship”, they were served the way you imaging a fruity tropical drink to be served: a tall, curvy glass, with a little umbrella and a hunk of pineapple I’m pretty sure if you bought to cup the first time they would give you discount refills, probably so you’d forget how much money you blew in the casino. By and large, those are the kind of drinks you get in the Caribbean.

In a small shack on Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas, one of the most iconic of these drinks, although probably one of the least known, developed in the early 1960’s.

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Photo Courtesy UncommonCaribbean

New Plymouth, which makes up the better part of the island, was originally settled in the 1800’s by travellers from New England. Almost smack-dab in the center, sits Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar. Adorned with tattered flags, postcards, and well-worn shirts, Miss Emily’s is a Bahamian institution, drawing travelers from across the world. While I’m sure you can get a variety of generic fruity drinks there, the Blue Bee is know for one thing and one thing only: The Goombay Smash. As the story goes, the drink was concocted by Miss Emily during a game of dominos. Likely for religious reasons, Miss Emily didn’t actually drink alcohol, so she had friends taste it and collective adopted the name Goombay Smash, after the style of music popular in the Bahamas.

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Photo Courtesy Rum Therapy

While the drink was an instant hit, the recipe has remained a family secret. Even today at the Blue Bee, the drink is never prepared to order, rather poured from a large jug. Violet, Miss Emily’s daughter, remains sole heir to the secret recipe, and has vaguely hinted at some of the ingredients that go into the classic drink: Coconut rum, various other types of rum, and pineapple juice. To me, that describes probably 90% of the drinks you can get in the area. After a good bit of Googling , my suspicions were confirmed. But during that research, the Goombay Smash turned up again in the last place I expected it to: right here in Vermont.

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Photo Courtesy Tripadvisor

In a town renowned for its ski resort, tropical drinks seem a bit out of place. However, the Goombay Smash sits prominently on the menu at Chalet Killington, and other bars in the snowy mountain town. First introduced by Bernie Pierce, a former bartender at the Chalet, little else in known about how the drink made it’s way to Vermont. If I had to place a wager, I would guess it’s due to seasonal work migration: When ski resorts die down in the summer, many employees pack off to places with better tourism, like the Caribbean.

In Vermont, the recipes maintain the shape you’d expect: rum, fruit juice, more rum, something sweet. In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of this style of drink. They tend to be overly sweet, unbalanced, and boozy. But the history and tradition that the Goombay Smash was steeped in was too good for me to pass up, and I set out to make my own version.

The obvious starting place is the rum. The obvious starting place is the rum itself. In one regard, not much has changed in the past 11 years, and I still really dislike Malibu rum. To combat that, I tried my hand at infusing the rum myself.

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Coconut. White Rum. Not too difficult here. Two ingredients and time is all you really need to make your own version of the requisite spirit, minus all the sugar and artificial flavor. Combine the two and let steep in a cool, dark place for a about a week and you’re good to go. However, if you’re impatient like me, hot steeping is a quick fix: I vacuum sealed the two and steeped sous vide for about 2 hours. In hindsight, I wish I had waited. The coconut actually absorbed about 60% of the rum that went into it, so I was left with more rum-infused coconut than coconut-infused rum. The rum that it did yield also had a slick of coconut oil across the top, which I didn’t realize until after I had rebottled and cooled it, essentially corking the rum into the bottom of the bottle.

While I was in the DIY mood, I also made spiced rum, to a much high degree of success.

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This one is open to a little more interpretation, and can be built to suit your taste. Using amber rum as a base, I steeped it (again, sous vide) with vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, clove, allspice, nutmeg, black pepper, orange peel and cardamom.

With our liquor in hand, we can start to build the cocktail.

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Among the various recipes online, a few ingredients appeared in nearly all of them: Pineapple, orange, apricot brandy. In the interest of making it more like a traditional Smash-style cocktail, I also added some thyme for a nice herbal flavor to contrast the fruit.

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In the bottom of a cocktail shaker. I muddle the pineapple and thyme with fresh apricot and molasses (another Caribbean staple, here standing in for dark rum). I went about 50-50 with the coconut rum and spiced rum, but this can again be adjusted for how you like your drink. Add a some orange juice, give it a good shake, and you’re ready to go.

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The result? My version of the Goombay Smash certainly looks the part of the fruity drinks tourists love to guzzle, but a little less sweet and a little more complex flavor profile. I could certainly see myself sitting beachside with a couple of these for the next 30 years and being totally fine with it.

Goombay Smash

makes 1 drink

  • Pineapple, chopped, about 1/4 cup
  • Apricot, chopped, about 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Thyme, 2 sprigs, plus more for garnish
  • Molasses, about 2 tablespoons
  • Coconut Rum, 2oz
  • Spiced Rum, 2oz
  • Orange Juice, 6oz
  • Ice, as needed

In the top of a cocktail shaker, muddle pineapple, apricot, thyme and molasses until juices are released. Add rums and juice, then fill the shaker with ice, then seal with the bottom shaker. Shake cocktail thoroughly, then strain into an iced glass. Garnish with thyme (optional).

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