It doesn’t take long for a little fresh seafood to get my stomach growling. The colors, the shapes, the textures . . . truly a feast for the senses. As for the preparation, I like to keep it simple. For me, a dozen oysters and a pint of beer is about as good as it gets. What seafood makes your mouth water?
Last week Grizzly and I experimented with Buddha’s hand. Well, one of us experimented, while the other ripped the citron to shreds . . . and slobbered a lot while doing so, I might add. Despite lacking any juice, I knew the Buddha’s hand was destined for a happy hour cocktail (look who you’re talking to here). Specifically, I wanted a cocktail that would accentuate the incredible aromatics of the Buddha’s hand itself. I immediately thought herbs. Herbs and citrus are such a natural pairing. At the market I picked up some mint, lemon thyme, and rosemary, but eventually settled on Thai basil. If you’ve never tried Thai basil, you’re missing out. It has a lovely hint of licorice and striking purple stems and flowers. The other real star of this drink is the sherry. Manzanilla sherry is delicate and dry, but also offers a saltiness that perfectly ties together all the intricate flavors in the cocktail. I’m so happy with the result – a truly beautiful cocktail, both inside and out. I hope you enjoy drinking it as much as I did creating it.
- 1 oz Hangar One Buddha’s hand vodka
- 1 1/2 oz Manzanilla sherry
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz Buddha’s hand cordial
- 1/2 oz sparkling water
- 5 large Thai basil leaves
- 5 strips of candied lemon peel
- Thai basil flower for garnish
Buddha’s Hand Cordial:
- 2 tablespoons Buddha’s hand zest (~1 medium Buddha’s hand)
- 1/2 cup simple syrup
Candied Lemon Peel:
- 2 lemons
- 6 oz simple syrup (~ 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water)
After making our first Galette des Rois, I couldn’t help but wonder why we don’t celebrate with delicious pastry-like cakes, hidden trinkets, and pretty crowns every month of the year. I had so much fun making a paper crown, with gold Dresden trim and vintage ribbons, for the festivities that I’m basically just looking for any excuse to make more. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays . . . handmade paper crowns for everyone!
The nerd in me is really fascinated with cultural food traditions. I’ll admit I had never heard of galette des rois, “King’s cake” in French, until very recently, but just love the ritual around eating this cake. The cake is associated with the festival of Epiphany and takes its name from the biblical three kings. In France, it is celebrated in the month of January and ornately decorated galettes filled with almond cream are sold everywhere. A trinket or bean is baked inside the cake and whoever gets the feve gets to be king or queen for the day and wears a golden paper crown. I used David Lebowitz’s recipe, slightly adapted, and it was perfectly flakey, buttery and delicious. While I saw some galettes were filled with frangipane, I opted for creme d’amande, which is just simply almond flour, sugar, eggs and butter. Spring for the best puff pastry you can find– it really makes a difference. I used Dufour puff pastry and was able to find almond flour at my local Trader Joe’s.
We baked a little ceramic owl into the cake and even though he’s too young to eat this galette des rois, my little nephew was still crowned king for the day! Stay tuned to learn how to make your own gold paper crown!
- 1 cup of almond flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1/2 orange
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons of rum
- 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract
Egg wash and Glaze Ingredients:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of hot water
I haven’t really mentioned it here on the blog, but I’m a huge sports fan. I mean HUGE. So for me, this time of year is less about resolutions, and more about football. While everyone else is starting the year off with a healthy foot forward, I’m over here crumpled up on the couch shoving my face full of chocolate-dipped churros, and of course, cheering for my 49ers.
The Buddha’s hand always catches my eye as I walk the aisles of the local market. Even when situated among other exotic fruit, this old school citrus seemingly lunges at me from the bin. I finally decided to pick up a couple and see what this quirky fruit has to offer.
What is a Buddha’s hand? The Buddha’s hand is one of the oldest types of citrus. It is native to Asia, specifically the Himalayan region of India and China, where it may be presented as an offering in Buddhist temples. The fruit consists of entirely zest and pith, no pulp or juice.
How do I use a Buddha’s hand? There are several different ways you can use a Buddha’s hand. Think of it as the ultimate lemon zest. One common use for the Buddha’s hand is to candy the peel. The white pith inside the fruit is not bitter like in most other citrus, making it easy to work with. Use it raw in salad dressings or marinades, bake with it, preserve it, or even make waffles! Personally, I can’t wait to make some homemade Buddhacello! READ MORE