Sunday, April 14, 2013

One okra, fried and pickled

Starvin’ Marvin’s
While I enjoyed the chipotle maple quail at Starvin’ Marvin’s, I was glad I wasn’t dining with anyone I needed to impress. Just my husband. Quail is tiny, and it was nearly impossible to get some meat off those tiny thighs with a knife and fork. It was a messy job, but I got it done.
My curious side dish selection was fried whole pickled okra. The batter was delicate and the salty, pickled taste was still prominent. Maybe this is a “thing,” but it was my first time to try it. The place was doing a booming business on a Friday night featuring the Moe Haynes Band, which includes Barry Piggot and his pop, still playing after all these years. Most everybody else on the patio was enjoying fragrant trays of crawfish.

Boldly distilled
Cucumber and watermelon are summer flavors that just got a new kick from Pucker Vodka. Watermelon Wow Vodka is the latest release from these innovators and it comes in a glass cylinder adorned with a lipstick print and melon slices, proclaiming its made with “vodka boldly distilled four times.”
It may put you in the mind of a candy store or your favorite childhood cough syrup, but this grown-up flavor is meant to be mixed into cocktail creations, like one that follows with cucumber juice. I’ve got my Pucker on some berries I harvested on my noon walk and I’ll be mixing a tablespoon into my yogurt for evening dessert parfaits. Those with adventuresome palates will get inspired. Here are some ideas from Pucker:

Sultry Spring Bloom

1 3⁄4 parts Pucker® Watermelon Wow Vodka
2 parts Cucumber Juice
Splash Fresh Lime Juice
3⁄4 part Simple Syrup
Watermelon Candy Slice
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass. Garnish with a Watermelon candy slice.

Brazen Watermelon Blush
1 1⁄2 parts Pucker Watermelon Wow Vodka
2 parts Kiwi and Strawberries, Pureed
Bunch of Mint
Kiwi Slice
Strawberry Slice
Red Sugar Rim (optional)
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake and strain over crushed ice into a highball glass. Stir/swizzle and top with a mint bunch, kiwi slice and strawberry slice. Optional garnish: a red sugar rim.

What we call a sparkling wine, the Italians call “frizzante,” according to makers of the new “IL” collection from Mionetto Prosecco. These bubbles offset a wine’s sweetness and I’m all about this new word and new line. It tickles and tastes so light.
One of the coolest things about popping the “cork” on these is that the lid is actually a bottle cap, like what comes on your favorite soda pop. The bottles are elegant and I’m trying to learn the new word for whatever this shape is called. The Lambrusco red, defined as “truly fun” pairs with Indian food, sweet Moscato goes with the spicy flavor of Port Arthur’s Vietnamese foods and Prosecco’s robust style keeps up with our Tex-Mex selections. So you can see, these would make hostess gifts for spring patio parties, but go ahead and Google where these grapes are grown, the Veneto and Emilia regions of Italy. You’ll get an extra “vacation” just looking at that beauty.
Now for one more idea. I love these bottles so much I want to use them to make those glass garden totems I’ve spied on Pinterest. “IL” delivers a lot.

Frinkles on your nanners
Yonanas is the machine that turns your frozen bananas into cool, healthy desserts. Now they’ve come out with Frinkles, 100 percent fruit sprinkles to enjoy with your dessert maker. Berry Blast , Tropical Fruit and Cranberry Pomegranate are some of the flavors in re-sealable packages. I think kids will like them best.

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