Tagged: Easy

Aguas Frescas

Thursday, Jul 7 2011 Cooking!

After your party devours half a watermelon for the evening, the remainder inadvertently sits untouched for some time, maybe eventually abandoned to the fridge, just hoping for another chance. If that condition plagues your watermelon in these early days of summer, I implore you to turn it’s sweet pink flesh into the classic, fresh, south-of-the-border beverage, aguas frescas. Sweet, non-alcoholic fruit coolers, agues frescos (translated, means fresh waters), is a sure bet to beat the summer heat and quench your barbecue thirst. Usually just fruit, water and sugar (with just a hint of lime juice), this beverage is a fabulous way to use past-it’s-prime or not quite perfect summer fruit and serves as a fabulous accompaniment to a plate of spicy tacos. My favorite so far is strawberry and watermelon (it truly tastes like summer, trust me), but aguas frescas can be used with any of the fruits that are in abundance this season. When you go for fresh and ripe, beverage bliss awaits.

Aguas de Fresa y Sandía watermelon and strawberries

1/2 watermelon, rough chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
8 cups water
few mint leaves
juice of 1 lime
15 drops stevia, or 1/4 cup sugar (or more, to taste, depending on the sweetness of your fruit)

Basic Aguas Frescas for any fruit

3 cups fresh fruit
8 cups water
sugar, 1/4 cup or more to taste
Juice of 1 lime (optional) Read More »

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Mango Sticky Rice

Tuesday, May 31 2011 Cooking!

Last weekend I was cruising around southeast Portland, headed towards the Asian supermarket on 82nd to stock up on rice noodles and coconut milk when I got caught in a late-afternoon hunger slump. After striking out at the GF bakery, I navigated to Pok Pok in a hypoglycemic haze, placated by one consuming thought: Cha Ca La Vong. Quite possibly, my favorite meal anywhere, ever. And I don’t say that hyperbolically.

Putting my name on the list (who has a queue at 4pm on a Saturday?), I quasi-patiently fidgeted under the outdoor awning, dodging raindrops. Ten minutes later, I was escorted to a seat at the bar and presented with the lunch menu. The lunch menu? Boooo. No offense Pok Pok, you know I love you, but the lunch menu is a tease. And conspicuously lacking the delectable grande dame.

Not to be consoled with the fish sauce wings, I tucked my tail between my legs and escorted myself out, empty-handed. I retreated to the ‘burbs, eating pho and chatting with Jen on the phone about the rapture, which was surely imminent, right? (It was May 21st.) Once fed, my world was righted and I carried on to Fubonn.

I don’t know if you’ve spent much time in the rice stacks at an Asian market, but it is a practice in humility, intrigue and befuddlement. After an embarrassing amount of over-contemplation (something like obsessive without the compulsive) I grabbed two bags of sweet rice to try -one brown, one white. I haven’t opened the brown one yet, but here’s how the white has played out: deliciously.

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