Sunday, November 23, 2008

Odds and Ends: Drinky Drink Ginger Margaritas and Olive Balls

I am a BIG fan of the ginger margarita. It's super easy to make a pitcher this way.

Ginger Margaritas
take 1 can limeade
pour 1 can water
3 cans ginger ale or ginger beer. (I like it with Goya Ginger Beer but it can be a bit "ginger forward" for some...aka: "tastes like burning". These people are wimps :P)
around 1/2 can tequila and 1/4 can contreau
lime juice to taste

toss it all in a pitcher and mix it up. YUM!

Also, I wanted to post this NYT recipe for olive bread balls that i made a while back. They are a super yummy salty snack.

Lingurian Olive Balls from the NYT Bitten Blog

For about two dozen balls, put a cup of all-purpose flour in the food processor along with half a teaspoon of instant yeast, a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary (or thyme, perhaps, but only a teaspoon) and half a teaspoon of fine salt. Give it a pulse to blend, then, with the machine running, slowly add tepid water, a little at a time, until a smooth but fairly solid dough is formed – a little less than half a cup is what it generally takes. Then drizzle in a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and run the machine until it is incorporated. (Obviously, you can make this, and any, dough by hand as well – or using a stand mixer with a dough hook, which might be overkill for this small quantity.)

Chop up some olives — I use a mixture of mostly black (Ni├žoise, for instance, if only because they make geographical sense, Nice having been a Ligurian town before it changed its name from Nizza) and a few green. If I don’t buy them pitted, I just whack them with the side of a knife, one by one; this makes it easy to remove the pits. Chop them fairly fine, but not into a mush. You want a good half a cup of chopped olives.

The (potentially) hard part comes next: kneading them into the dough. What can make this difficult is that the moisture and oil in the olives initially turn the dough into a nasty, ropy mess. Continued kneading, with the addition of a little more flour if necessary, will eventually bring it together, though it might remain a bit sticky. If you’re using a stand mixer or if, like me, you have an old food processor that came with one of those stubby plastic bread-dough blades, you can breathe a sigh of relief and do this by machine – but the regular metal blade will puree the olives, which is not what you want.

Let the dough rise in a covered container for about an hour (or longer if you want to make it ahead of time). Then punch it down and form as many 3/4-inch balls as you figure you need; refrigerate or even freeze any remaining dough. Lay the little balls out on a tray lined with lightly floured waxed or parchment paper. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 to 40 minutes or until they feel soft and puffy. Fry them until golden, about seven or eight minutes, at 325°F in an inch and a half or two inches of neutral oil jazzed up with 1/2 cup olive oil. Try to turn them once or twice as they fry, though they may resist this. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

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