Chef’s corner: Basil basics
You know what’s handy? Tips for the kitchen! You know what’s even more handy? Tips coming from a pro.
Chef David knows all about Caribbean cooking. Before (unfortunately!) having to pack up and move back home to Ireland to be a head chef in someplace far colder than the Cayman Islands, he was with Hemmingways. But he’s still got his finger on the pulse of all things Caymanian cuisine-y, even helping me land my very first Top 9 over at Foodbuzz.
Since basil is in season in Cayman right now, I asked Chef David to lend me hand on how best to deal with it.
It’s fantastic herb to have fresh on hand. I use it with alot of my dinners or even to liven up a toasted sandwich!
- Basil is perfect to pair with tomatoes, eggplant and courgettes (aka zucchini for our American friends.)
- It’s always best to add basil at the end of the cooking process. For example, once you have made a soup then whisk in some chopped basil or, after your homemade pizza is cooked, tear up some basil and place on top.
- When chopping, make sure it’s nice and dry before you chop and only use the leaves. Leave out the stalks, as they tend to be bitter.
- Basil is the main ingredient in pesto. When making pesto, only use the leaves because the stalks will make your vibrant green pesto…less so. Another tip to keep things bright green is to be careful not to over blend in the blender. A hot blade makes for bad color.
Oh, Basil oil is great too
You will need:
2 cups of basil
1 cup of olive oil
- Put oil in fridge until chilled
- Dip basil leaves in boiling water for 5 seconds then into ice water.
- Strain and dry.
- Blend with salt to taste – not to long, blade gets warm – then put through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and voila! Yummy basil oil!
An immense thank you to Chef David! And don’t worry, there will be more where this comes from.
In the meantime, some of you may remember that Clark Kent and I are very much into Halloween.
After the success of last year’s Labyrinth costumes
, we decided to stick with the 80’s movie motif for 2012.
I’d like to think we’re a pretty convincing Andy and Brand from The Goonies
Pumpkinpalooza was also a rousing success!