Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 741 : Laissez les bons temps rouler

Happy Mardi Gras folks!

Will you be celebrating this evening with the classic New Orleans style drink, a hurricane? Think like the cousin of a Daiquiri but sweeter, this cocktail is crafted with a mixture of fruit juice, syrup and/or grenadine and one of my personally least favorite liquors, rum.

Curious as to how the hurricane was developed? Well, lets turn the clocks back to the early 1940s when a local New Orleans pub owner had an excess amount of rum that surprisingly no one was drinking. What to do with this less popular liquor? How about combine it with some fruit juice and syrup making it nice and sweet and then pour it into his hurricane-lamp shaped glasses? The drink totally took off and the rest is history.

Fast forward back to the present, perhaps you're thinking of having some friends over for some hurricanes to celebrate Fat Tuesday and you wanted to make something to accompany these sweet drinks, how about a goat cheese jalapeno crostini? The spice of the jalapeno will cut right through the sweetness as will the bright creamy chalky citrusy fresh flavors of the goat cheese. The bread will help soak up some of that alcohol you'll be drinking in honor of Mardi Gras!

So what goes into this crostini?

1-2 baguettes depending on how many people you are planning on having. I always love Balthazar's baguettes or Tom Cat Bakery makes nice ones as well. Next up grab one jalapeno, some cilantro and a lime then grab a log of LynnHaven's Fresh Chevre hailing from Upstate New York. Easily purchased at the Union Square Greenmarket.

Don't worry the preparation is super simple as well, slice your baguette and brush each slice with EVOO and toast till golden brown. Next up combine a diced up jalapeno with your fresh chevre some EVOO and sea salt and just a little bit of lime for a citrusy brightness that will complement your cocktail excellently. Once your bread is toasted, top each piece with a nice little scoop of your homemade goat cheese jalapeno mixture, top with a small drizzle of EVOO and a sprig of cilantro for an herbaceous aromatic touch and enjoy.

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