LCBO Food & Drink Early Summer 2024

Parental Guidance from page 39

THE INSIDE/OUTSIDE WRAP Using the height and circumference of a straight-sided glass of any size as your guide, cut banana leaves into a rectangle large enough to fully wrap around glass and come just halfway up the side of the glass from the bottom. Clean and wipe pieces dry. Using a pastry brush, apply a very thin coat of corn syrup to one side of the banana leaf. Allow to dry for 10 minutes or until tacky. Adhere to glass aligning long edge of banana leaf with the bottom of glass. (Prepped glasses can be held at room temperature for up to 6 hours.) Slice a washed pineapple (including rind) into thin, flexible rounds. Line the inside of the glass with one or two offset slices (cut into half-moons first if using a short glass), then fill with ice. Top with cocktail of choice and garnish with lemon, lime or pineapple leaves. TROPICAL LEAF CUTOUT Using edible tropical leaves (see Sourcing Tropical Leaves below), cut into strips just long enough to peek above the top of desired glass. If you like, leaves that are an appropri ate size can be left whole. Using a decorative craft paper punch, create a filigree effect on one edge of leaf. Line glass with leaf, fill with ice and top with cocktail. SOURCING TROPICAL LEAVES Any tropical leaves that end up in your drink should at a minimum be non-toxic, but ideally also edible. A visit to a well-stocked Asian grocer will likely turn up frozen banana leaves; they are indeed edible and simply need to be thawed before using. Pandan, makrut lime and betel leaves are also used extensively in Southeast Asian cooking and are all suitable, as are individual banana blossom petals. For those without access to an Asian supermarket, it’s best to consult a knowledgeable florist. THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW RIMMER Using painter’s tape, create a mask on the out side of your glass about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide running from top to bottom. Brush the inside of the mask with a thin layer of corn syrup. Sprinkle inside of mask with desired rimmer, let stand for 10 minutes. Remove tape and dust off any seasoning that has strayed beyond the masked strip. (Prepared glasses will keep for a day.) Pour cocktail into prepared glass.

DIRTY ICE Using a clear ice cube system, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make as many large square ice cubes as you’ll need (this may take several days and resets, so plan ahead). If the glasses you plan on using require more than one cube, plan accordingly as only the top ice cube will be garnished. When ready to garnish the cubes, assemble your rimming or dusting powder, but leave out any salt or sugar if those are called for in original recipe. Working with one cube at a time, lightly melt one side only of cube by placing it in contact with metal bak ing sheet. Turn melted side up and dust top with powder. Immediately return to freezer to refreeze, at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with remaining cubes (being sure to leave some ungarnished if your glass requires more than 1 cube). To assemble, fill glasses with as many cubes as necessary with only the top ice cube garnished and placed garnish side up. Pour cocktail around and not over cubes to serve. AROUND THE BEND RIMMER Place as many stemmed cocktail glasses as you’d like to prepare in the freezer; chill for 20 to 30 minutes. Working with one at a time, remove from freezer touching only the stem of the glass. Dust the side of the bowl using a fine-mesh sieve and your desired powder (for suggestions, see Flavourful Powders below)—the frosty condensation will cause the powder to adhere. Make cocktail and pour into glass. Offset your sieve over the cocktail in order to connect with the pow dered side and gently dust top of drink. FLAVOURFUL POWDERS Virtually anything dried and ground can be used as a drink garnish. Chili-spiked salt for a Mary or Caesar, lime-salt for a Margarita, spices and spice blends for decorating foam topped drinks.… The list is endless. Beyond the recipe you’re working with, get creative by grinding freeze-dried fruit powders and combining with a complementary spice. Or, instead, take a trip to a health food store and seek out superfood powders, again combin ing them with salt, sugar or spice.

HOMEMADE ENGLISH MUFFINS Since packaged English muffins are built to be shelf-stable, you have to make them yourself to appreciate the joys of one hot off the griddle. The yeasted rounds are filled with air pockets, which form the perfect vessels for catching melting butter when toasted. For maximum nook and cranny exposure, use a fork to split the muffins open. 2 cups + 2 tbsp (500 mL + 30 mL) all-purpose flour 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar 2 tsp (10 mL) instant yeast 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) whole milk, warm 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted Canola oil for greasing bowl and utensils 1/3 cup (80 mL) cornmeal 1. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Stir in milk and butter until no dry flour remains. Dough will be sticky and stretchy. Scrape into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with half of cornmeal. Using a lightly oiled 1/3-cup (80-mL) measure, scoop dough by the scant scoopful and drop on prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Use a lightly oiled spoon to ease dough out of mea sure and help shape it into rounds—they don’t have to be perfect. 3. Sprinkle tops of dough with remaining corn meal. Cover with a second sheet of parchment and let rest in a warm spot until puffed with some large bubbles just under surface, about 1 hour. 4. Heat a large skillet over medium-low. Work ing in two batches, carefully transfer puffed dough rounds to skillet, lightly brushing off excess cornmeal and leaving space in between each. Cook until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Flip very gently so as not to deflate and pop air bubbles. Cook until cooked through and golden, about 10 minutes more. 5. Remove cooked English muffins to a wire rack to cool completely before serving, pref erably toasted. English muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Makes 10 English muffins


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