Hot hot hot!
I can’t believe it is August already, and it looks like this hot spell will be with us for a while longer. A few weeks ago I wrote about cold infused teas, which I am still consuming on a daily basis, but I discovered a very clever way of transporting them in this stinking hot summer – and keeping cool. (the drinks and me!)
A company called S’well creates funky designs to meet its mission to rid the world of plastic water bottles. The bottles really do keep drinks cold (and hot apparently too – worth noting for cooler weather). I’ve been testing mine and if I put iced drinks (and even better a couple of crushed ice cubes) in the bottle, they actually remain very cool for well over 12 hours – and that’s after drinking quite a lot of the contents! And the ice cubes are still there a good nine hours later! You can even leave the bottle in the sunlight, as that doesn’t seem to affect the contents – great for sports. And there is no condensation, so you can pop into your bag without dampening the other contents. I might try taking a G&T out in mine on our next river trip!
An interesting new book has come to my attention and it focuses on an ingredient that, a bit like Marmite, you tend to love or hate. Liquorice adds a delicious and subtle flavour for all sorts of dishes, so don’t be put off - even if you aren’t a fan! Many of us have fond memories of the enticing sweetshop tray of shiny, black soft sticks and woody ‘twigs’ to chew. Yet liquorice is much more than just confectionery; its sophisticated herbal taste makes it a marvellous culinary ingredient as well. The book contains recipes such as a liquorice cheesecake, choc chip muffins with liquorice buttercream, glazed liquorice roast pork (which I can’t wait to try), and all kinds of marinades, sweets, drinks, and preserves. There is a guide to liquorice around the world, its fascinating history, medicinal uses, and cultivation. Here’s an interesting and very delicious recipe that is perfect for this unusually hot weather. You can buy salty liquorice syrup from a number of places, including online at Sous Chef or Skandium (btw I’m told it tastes fantastic drizzled on top of a good blue cheese!)
Citrus fruit salad with liquorice vinaigrette
Serve this distinctive tasting salad on its own or as an accompaniment to cold meats, poultry and game or rich, oily fish such as mackerel – the refreshing citrus flavours cut through the richness of the meat or fish.
15ml/1 tbsp salty liquorice syrup
30ml/2 tbsp dark balsamic vinegar
2 oranges, peeled, pith removed, thinly sliced
1 blood orange, peeled, pith removed, thinly sliced
2 ruby grapefruit, peeled, pith removed, thinly sliced
1 plain grapefruit, peeled, pith removed, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced thinly
Mint sprigs to garnish
1 Whisk together the liquorice syrup and vinegar until well combined. Set aside.
2 Arrange the fruit slices on a serving plate and add the onion and avocado slices.
3 Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with mint