Sunday, July 10, 2016

My first time: Sweet Basil and Cuban inspiration

  Everybody’s talking about Sweet Basil Vietnamese Noodle House. Even our server, when asked what’s good, referred us to Facebook comments. My mom took us out after church Saturday night to the cheery, informal restaurant, 4026 Dowlen Road in Beaumont, by Madison’s.
                      We enjoyed the food/culture-based artwork, the Vietnamese cooking program on a big screen, and everything that came to our table: soft “tacos’ full of pork belly, pho and noodle bowls. She even treated us to beignet “balls,’ which the menu said could come dusted with green tea powder in addition to powdered sugar. That’s how I had my share.
                      There are other places to get food this tasty in our area, but we give extra points to Sweet Basil for style, presentation and a lovely chat with the owner.
              Cuban inspiration
                      Just looking at this guy’s smile, and hat, make me think Chef Ronaldo is the coolest. Reading his new book, “Sabores de Cuba,” is part recipe, part cultural memory book with dishes such as Rum-Infused Yucca con Mojo, Oven-Baked Cinnamon Plantains and Anise-Poached Red Pairs. I’m extra pumped that this book is approved by the American Diabetes Association and offers “Diabetes-Friendly Traditional and Nuevo Cubano Cuisine.”
Are you ready for summer with a meal featuring coconut raisin rice and “Lady’s Sangria?” Chef shares some stories of his youth, and how he has revamped some of his abuelita’s dishes. The flavors and colors are popping from the page. Another bonus: Many of these are extremely easy. Each recipe is offered in both English and Spanish, so it’s just right for sharing across cultures and generations. I’m ready for some of these:

Avocado on the beach:
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Blending time: 1 minute, 30 seconds
Serves: 3
Serving size: 1 cup
4 ounces Hass avocado flesh
1 medium mango (about 4 ounces) peeled and cut into one half inch cubes
1 orange, peeled and seeded
            1 tablespoon lime juice
            1 and one half cups water
            1 cup ice
Add all ingredients to a blender and pulsate 5 times. Blend for 1 minute 30 seconds. Enjoy!

La Esquina Lime Mango Slices
Prep time: 5 minutes
Refrigeration time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3
Serving Size: 4 ounces
1 large (12-ounce) ripe mango, peeled and cut into 10 slices
1 lime, juiced
One fourth teaspoon kosher salt
One eighth teaspoon chili powder
Add mango slices to a bowl. To a separate bowl, add lime juice, salt and chili powder. Whisk briskly for 30 seconds to bring the “sazon” together. Add the mango slices and toss well.
You can serve this right away, but if you place it in the fridge for 10 minutes, magical things will happen to the flavors, he says.

No comments:

Post a Comment