Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mojito's, Bahama Style

Fresh Ginger-Lime Mojitos

Pear and Arugula Salad with Miso-Yuzu Vinaigrette

Sesame Crusted Seared Tuna with Long Beans and a Pyramid of Sushi Rice

Bittersweet Chocolate-Almond-Raspberry Cake with Gold Leafed, Rose Scented Raspberries and White Chocolate Shavings.

The birthday celebration continued throughout the day, Wahoo kabobs for lunch and while I was throwing that together with my right hand, my left hand was whipping up a chocolate cake… and with my other four spare arms I made a batch of Mojitos and also prepared dinner – another meal where we all sat together and once again celebrated our 1st Mates god dam birthday. What’s next, a national holiday?

I made two chocolate devils food cakes, recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated Best Recipes cookbook – but rather than Hershey’s cocoa powder, I used Valhrona, my personal fave. It’s a failsafe recipe, works every time. I filled the cake with raspberry jam and did a crumb coating with raspberry jam as well. As I prepared to frost the cake with a deep, bittersweet chocolate ganache, I folded up four pieces of parchment paper and slid them underneath the cake so that when the frosting and decorating of the cake was complete, I could remove the parchment and the plate would be clean. I put a thick layer of chocolate ganache on the cake, and then pressed toasted almonds around the outside. I tossed fresh raspberries with rose-flower water and powdered sugar to give them a nice sheen and add a little flavor, and then I brushed them with gold leaf and rimmed the cake with them. I piped a layer of ganache on the inside ring against the raspberries and then filled the circle with grated white chocolate. Then, the piece d’resistance – 30 curly birthday candles…

The owners were calling for cocktails and since I’d boasted about making a good Mojito, I was put to the test – but time was running short and I still had to make dinner! I had made gingered simple syrup a few weeks ago which I had poached star-fruit in to make star-fruit chips for garnishing a panna cotta. I figured the gingered simple syrup would be a nice touch to the Mojitos.

Cristina’s Ginger-Lime Mojitos:

Simple Syrup:

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

2 lbs. fresh ginger – roughly chopped (don’t bother peeling, it gets strained out)

Bring water, sugar and ginger to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 10 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and allow steeping for another 20 minutes or so. Strain through a strainer and then through cheese clothe to remove any bits of ginger.


(This is a rough estimate of what I put in, I didn’t really keep track)

1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh squeezed lime juice

4 sprigs fresh mint, picked

Ginger Simple Syrup to taste (maybe a ¼ - ½ cup?)

½ liter Club Soda

750 ml. Bacardi Rum

Put ice and mint in a large pitcher and meddle with the back of a wooden spoon – smashing and breaking up mint. Add the rum, lime juice, simple syrup and club soda. Taste and adjust ingredients accordingly. Tasting and adjusting is essential, and when you get the formula just right – pour yourself one as reward, and a second because they’re that good...

For dinner I made a simple salad of pears, avocado, arugula and a miso-yuzu vinaigrette. I found a bottle of yuzu juice (a Japanese citrus fruit similar to grapefruit Рonly tart, tangy and addictively acidic) at a specialty food store in Fort Lauderdale and have fallen in love with the flavor. I hope one day I can find some fresh to play with! I made vinaigrette with about a teaspoon of miso, a few tablespoons of yuzu and canola oil. Simple, straightforward and tasty. Dinner was sesame encrusted pan-seared tuna with a pyramid of sushi rice garnished with flecks of nori, bonito and dried wasabi and a long beans with fennel and peppers saut̩ed in sesame oil. And dessert was, of course, the cake.

After dinner we went out for yet another night on the town. This time starting at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and finishing up dancing the night away to some reggae at a tiny island club called Happy People.

And yet another early morning the next day. At least the owners were flying back to Florida so I knew that I’d be able to get in an afternoon nap and have an easy evening as I’d prepared some Bolognese and froze it before the trip… Dinner the next night consisted of defrosting the sauce and boiling some water. Fortunately, the rest of the crew were all tired too. Our stewardess put together a lovely arugula, pear and honeyed-goat cheese salad and I made some garlic bread. We all enjoyed a simple dinner and an early night to bed…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Babe, I miss you so! Great keeping up with your travels. Had a minute in my two week charter to check out your site. All going very well on S/Y Tiara! Happy New Year Bahama Mama! Shannon x

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