Tip of the Week
From pesto to rice salads, mint adds a summery tone to dishes unmatched by other herbs, and can be used to add an additional level of flavor to dishes and drinks.
“I think mint is great in summer because it brightens up so many dishes,” Linda Marcinko, culinary academic director at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of St. Louis. “It’s so good to use in sweet items as well as savory dishes.” Marcinko likes using mint in Thai beef and noodle salad and iced tea.
Marcinko also lightens up pesto by replacing the traditional basil with mint and eliminating the cheese. Since mint has a noticeable and unique flavor, it can be used to replace calorie-heavy ingredients in dishes such as this.
Number to Know
1,000: Pounds of fresh mint used to make mint juleps at the Kentucky Derby. The beverage is the traditional drink of that horse race, and the mint used at Churchill Downs comes from a local farm near the track.
Mint simple syrup — perfect with lemonade or mojitos
2 cups sugar
6 cups water
1 large bunch mint, roughly chopped
1. Combine the sugar and water in a medium-sized sauce pan. Stir to moisten the sugar. Add in the mint leaves.
2. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the syrup sit until it is cool. Strain the syrup to remove the mint.
3. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
What liquor is used as the basis for the traditional mint julep drink?
B. Bourbon whiskey
C. Irish whiskey
Answer at bottom of rail.
Wise to the Word
Bulgur: Whole wheat that’s been parboiled, dried and crushed (or cracked). The outer bran layer is then rubbed off by hand. Bulgur is sometimes referred to as cracked wheat.
The Dish On...
“My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut,” by Hannah Hart
One day New York transplant Hannah Hart decided, as a joke, to make a fake cooking show for her friend back in California. She turned on the camera, pulled out some bread and cheese, and then started drinking. The video went viral and an online sensation was born. Now in a book, “My Drunk Kitchen” includes recipes, stories, full color photos and drawings to inspire your own culinary adventures in tipsy cooking.
Food Quiz answer
B. Bourbon is mixed with sugar (or simple syrup), mint and water to make the traditional mint julep, a drink most often associated with the Kentucky Derby.
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Food for Thought: Mint brightens summer dishes
Tip of the Week