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2019

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Saturday, 31 August 2019 22:37

Banana Coconut Curry With Prawns

One of my favorites for parties and romantic dinners too!

 

INGREDIENTS :

2-3 Bay leaves

1 tsp cardamom seeds

1/2 tsp crushed garlic

3 Tbsp spoons corn oil

2 large diced tomatoes

30 fresh coriander leaves

2 medium onions finely chopped

 

Drys : 2  large Tbsp  Ginger powder, 2 Tbsp Garam massala powder, 3 Tbsp Turmeric, pinch of chilly or else, salt and pepper  

 

Wets : 3-4 cans coconut milk, little water, I pkt coconut paste, juice of one lime, I tale spoon yoghurt or sour cream

 

Mains : Banana thick slices and prawns

 

METHOD :

Heat the oil in a pan and add the bay leaves and cardamom, carefully toss in the garlic without burning. Add the onions to become soft, the tomatoes for a couple of minutes and then the coriander leaves. Add all the dry ingredients and stir continuously to cook so that they release their qualities without burning. Asians cook their spices to release the maximum qualities while Europeans boil them in sauces! Then add the coconut milk and stir to dilute, add the coconut paste and a little water to bring to a thick cream consistency. Bring up to simmering at low heat stirring not to burn the bottom of the pan. LOVE IT ! And then turn the heat off and add the yoghurt or sour cram and lime juice for that kick. Leave to cool in a container, stir occasionally and keep in store.

 

When to serve: Heat a little oil in a pan add prawns pieces to sautee on all sides. Discard excess liquids and add one or two spoonfuls of curry paste to dilute, add the banana slices and cook the curry for 3-4 minutes at low heat. If need to dilute add coconut milk, correct seasoning and when chicken is cooked add the banana last minute to soak in. Finally squeeze a few drops of lime juice ans soften it with a touch of cream or a spoon of yoghurt.

 

SERVED WITH : Basmati rice, toasted cumin seeds and plenty of fresh fresh coriander leaves.

 

 

Published in Eats
Saturday, 31 August 2019 22:24

More Gins? Bring it on!!

From all corners of the world there are gins still appearing, adding to the Gin craze which is still going on! We thought that rum and its history was gonna take over, whisky and its grandeur at a point, now sherry and its elegance is having a go in some trendy drinking destinations but more and more segments of the markets are still exploring the new label and enjoying the new story attached to the label of gins. It is social conversation what everyone tried and all having an opinion and a description. Some they learned the marketing story as if it is the new designer who is using a new thread to saw his designs! Perhaps I am too scenical!

As if it is not enough all the marketing stories attached to a bottle, unique berries from the Norwegian dark forest, secret 47 botanicals, orange blossom from Morocco, wind from Alaska and dust from God knows where ! Some go for a myth and some touch on tradition years and years back when the King…… etc…etc 

Making bar menus I find myself in many dilemmas. Yes we need to have a selection and new suggestions, some very good products with not so good marketing and some not so good with good marketing, traditional or artisan bottles? How honest should one be to the producers and to the market too? There is so much out there!

A latest story came to me in a new bottle, yet another fancy one.

 

 

It goes like this-

‘A dozen Mediterranean herbs. Four years of testing. A secret recipe. The Mataora Mediterranean Dry Gin was developed in Greece and is a testament to the hundreds of years of expertise acquired by the Melissanidi Traditional Distillery. 

We want to take you on a journey throughout the Mediterranean to unlock its flavours and the breathtaking beauty of the entire region.

 

The Story

In 1945, during the turbulent period following WWII, the Mataora, a ship from New Zealand, took 2 monumental trips in the Mediterranean.

The first journey transported 173 Jewish children from Marseille to Haifa in August after being saved by the OSE (Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants). In December, the Mataroa was chartered by the French Institute in Athens in order to transfer a considerable amount of students (the majority being scholars of the French government) away from political prosecution. Many of them grew to be successful in their field such as the philosophers Cornelius Castoriadis and Kostas Axelos, the artist Nelly Andrikopoulou, the sculptor Costas Coulentianos, the writer Mimika Cranaki, the philologist Emmanuel Kriaras, and the architect Georges Kandilis.

In 2019, the Mataora is the source of inspiration to the Mataora Mediterranean Dry Gin. The silhouette of the boat evolved into a glass bottle and the cargo transformed into 12 precious ingredients from the versatile shores of the Mediterranean. This premium distillation symbolizes the strength of the human spirit, the dedication to perfection and the sense of timelessness associated with this corner of the world.

 

The Ingredients

Ingredients with powerful characteristics were carefully selected to create a kaleidoscope of Mediterranean tastes.

Chamomile(Cyprus), Juniper (Croatia), Angelroot and lavender (France), Coriander seeds (Tunisia), Orris root (Italy):

Bay leaves (Syria), Licorice (Turkey),Orange peel (Spain),Lemon peel (Egypt) and of course the exceptional Greek mastic, resin from the mastic tree on the island of Chios.

 

The Recipe

Four years of diligent testing reached crescendo with a final recipe of Mataora Mediterranean Dry Gin, which satisfies the most demanding by sustaining a delicate balance between the hues of flavours. The Mataora is pristine by itself, with some ice, or even in cocktails, adding a particular twist of flavour, exclusively offered by a premium gin’.

 

And the question comes what makes a gin Premium I wonder, its uniqueness or its quality or its price tag attached? I found Mataroa as a gin that is diversified due to its complexity of its botanicals, certainly very pleasant and carries all the elements of a Mediterranean artisan gin.

 

Tasting Notes

Appearance / Colour
Clear and pure

Smell / Nose
Herbal, citrus, smooth and creamy. Notes of mastic but lavender too

Taste / Palate
Flavors of mastic and citrus, chamomile and hints of coriander

Finish
Dry, light and pleasant finish without any burn to it.

 

 

Published in Booze

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