Happy Hour Tuesday: Ghoulada Punch

Rometti Limoncello Happy Hour Tuesday Ghoulada Punch

Have you already taken out your Halloween costume last weekend and went out partying until late with Frankensteins, Vampires, Batman and an uncountable number of witches? If you haven’t, or even if you have!, tomorrow night don’t forget to cheer with a spooky drink, Ghoulada Punch!

Ghoulada Punch is made with fruity ingredients mixed with lemon or orange-flavored soda, and although the original recipe does not include Rometti Limoncello, we did add some to it and found that it brings out the zestiness and sweetness of the punch.

As you might have already guessed, this drink is very similar to the pina colada, so why is it renamed ghoulada? For those you who don’t know, “ghouls” are the imaginary monster that consume human flash by the graveyards, and seem to have originated in the Arabian folklore. Ghoul means in fact “demon”. The term appeared in English for the first time in an orientalist novel back in 1786.

Ghoulada Punch is the perfect drink to wash down all those treats your kids brought home (or the treats you’ve been eating from the stash you put away while waiting for the little ones to knock at the door!). So take out the blender, and make sure that there is no Rometti Limoncello in the cups you will offer to the candy-hunter-kids!

Happy Halloween!

Ingredients:

1 (46-ounces) pineapple juice, chilled
2 cans cream of coconut, (12 ounces each)
a splash of Rometti Limoncello to taste
8 cups ice
8 cups Fresca, or other citrus-flavored soda, chilled

In a blender puree pineapple juice, cream of coconut and ice. Pour into a punch bowl. Add citrus-flavored soda (like Fresca) and stir. Add some Rometti Limoncello to taste to the adults’ glasses, so the kids can still enjoy this fun, tasty drink!
If you like you can also add some blood to the glasses by mixing 3 tbsp of corn syrup with 1/4 tsp of red food coloring, and dipping the rim into the mixture.

~ENJOY!

recipe and photo from http://www.marthastewart.com (Rometti Limoncello was not an original ingredient)

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Top 10 Most Interesting Limoncello Facts

1.  Lemons are nature’s top source of citric acid, a life essential found in the cells of all living creatures. 2.  Limoncello is one of the most popular liqueurs in Italy. (Other popular liqueurs are Sambuca, Campari, Amaretto.) 3.  Christopher … Continue reading

Cook N Bake Spanish Series: Marmitako

Rometti Limoncello Cook N Bake Spanish Series Marmitako

Hello Readers,

last week we said goodbye to the Greek cuisine, but we are not ready yet to leave the Mediterranean. We have one last stop before stirring into a totally different direction, so take out your Spanish grammar book because for the next five weeks we will experience the unique, flavorful world of Spanish cuisine!

Spain, like France and Italy, is split into many different regions and local cultures that offer a large variety of culinary traditions and flavors. We decided to start our journey through Spain by starting from the northern Basque region, to continue then with central, coastal and southern regions.

The Basque country was named by its inhabitants, the Basque, who were people that lived between Spain, France and the Atlantic coast. The differences within its population translate in inhomogeneous traditions, languages and cuisine. However Basque people have one common feature: their passion for food. Whether you like fish or meat, the Basque region will not leave you unsatisfied! Believe it or not, most of the Basque inhabitants dedicate time and money to food and gastronomic activities. High quality and fresh ingredients are fundamental in the Basque cuisine which offers both seafood ,especially along the coast, and meat which prevails inland. Vegetables, like beans, peppers, potatoes and most of all mushrooms, are also often present in their dishes.

And it’s a seafood dish that we selected as first Spanish recipe, a fish stew that was served as daily menu on the fishing boats in the Carabrian Sea and that today the appreciation for tuna and its nutritional properties (omega 3 fatty acids and proteins) has made even more popular: Marmitako.
Marmitako is a fresh tuna and potato stew which takes its name after the word “marmita“, Spanish for “casserole”. With its fresh and available ingredients, Marmitako was the perfect dish out of the pot for people that had to spend a lot of time on the sea.
The technique of cracking open the potatoes so that they release more starch makes it a filling and tasty dish. This recipe uses some ingredients, but feel free to play with the vegetables you like the most, as long as they are fresh!

Ingredients (serves 4):

3 Red bellpeppers
1 Carrot
1 Large white or yellow onion
1 Large green pepper
2 Cloves garlic
2-3 tbsp Olive oil
2 lbs (1 kg) Potatoes
1 lb (.5 kg) Fresh tuna
4 cups (32 oz) Water (or chicken stock)*
Salt, pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

In a small saucepan heat some water on high. Remove it before it boils. Put the red peppers into the hot water and let them soak.
Chop the onion, carrot, green pepper and garlic. In a deep casserole pour olive oil and saute’ onion, carrot, pepper and garlic until translucent.
In the meantime peel the potatoes and cute them in 1.5″ cubes. Add them to the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
Add water to the vegetables until they are completely covered. Simmer until the potatoes are starting to soften.
Remove the peppers from the water and drain them. Peel off the skin and add them to the mix. Stir every now and then.
Rinse the dry tuna, remove any skin and cut into 2″ cubes. Add it to the pot and salt to taste. Cover loosely and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the tuna is cooked.
Seve with crusty bread and if desired sprinkle with some chopped parsley.

~ENJOY!

Happy Hour Tuesday: Limoncello Daiquiri

Rometti Limoncello - Limoncello Daiquiri

Happy Hour Tuesday!

This week we are going from Brazil to Cuba. Santiago, to be specific, where there is a beach called Daiquiri. Yes, you guessed right! Our drink of the week is called Limoncello Daiquiri!

We have seen in the previous blogs that it occurs often that drinks are claimed by different countries: in this case we supposedly have to thank Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer who was working in an iron mine close to the Daiquiri beach and came up with this basic yet tasty drink. It has to be said though that a drink similar to Daiquiri already appeared in the 1700s within the British Navy, as a mixture of rum, sugar and lime juice. It was later on with Jennings Cox that ice started to be used.
For a long time, Daiquiri was limited to Cuba, until 1909 when thanks to the Navy it got introduced in Washington DC and later on to other countries. The drink really became popular in the 1940s when America opened up trade relationships with Latin America and Cuba, which increased the curiosity towards a world that seemed so different yet so fashionable. As a consequence, Daiquiri, as well as other rum based drinks became fashionable as well. And, just to feed your curiousity, Daiquiri was one of the favorite drinks of President John F. Kennedy and Hernest Hemingway!

Daiquiri today is made in a variety of favors: banana, strawberry. peach, mango, and of course we had to come up with our Limoncello Daiquiri, which brings Daiquiri back to its basic ingredients and enhances the citrusy taste by making it crispier.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz light rum
3/4 oz lime juice
1 oz Rometti Limoncello
1/4 oz sugar syrup

Pour the rum, Rometti Limoncello, lime juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker. Shake well and pour over a cocktail glass filled with ice.
Garnish with a lemon slice if you like.

~ENJOY!

Image courtesy of http://chezus.com

Cook N Bake Greek Series: Sesame, Pistachio and Honey Pasteli

Rometti Limoncello Cook N Bake Greek Series PasteliThis week’s recipe seems like a recipe for the little ones…but adults appreciate it a lot more than kids! Pasteli is a very popular snack made of sesame and honey that comes in flat cookie shaped candies or bars. It is indeed the ancestor of our modern times energy bar, and thanks to tradition it still tastes extremely good today!

Pasteli‘s ingredients are very simple, yet nutritious. The recipe has been around for over 6,000 years, and unlike other foods Pasteli is mentioned by some relevant historians like Herodotus and Hippocrates, who speaks of it as an important source of nutrition. So does Homer in the Iliad when he refers to Pasteli as the nutrition for warriors so that they could endure their strength. Sesame and honey are a perfect combination for antioxidants, copper, manganese and other vital nutrients that our body needs especially during fatigue or recovery. So it is a candy that can be adequately presented like a dessert, but it is extremely healthy!

Pasteli can be found in many variations, but the original one is purely made of sesame seeds and honey. Although we do like to stick to the classic version, we wanted to give you something different and more fun, that both kids and parents like. The choice fell on the Sesame, Pistachio and Honey Pasteli.

Ingredients:
Mild vegetable oil for the work surface
3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, broken in half
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup mild-flavored runny honey

Prepare a bowl with iced water and a flat oil-slicked work surface or flat plate.
In a nonstick skillet toast the sesame seeds and the pistachio until they turn slightly into brown. Do not burn them. Add the sugar to the seeds and pistachios in the skillet and cook over low heat until the sugar melts and gets a pale golden color. Carefully add the honey to the skillet and stir it quickly without stopping until everything is combined together. Remember to be quick because everything will start to get hard and sticky.
On a oil-slicked surface flatten the mixer with an oiled spoon. Wet your hands with the iced water and start shaping the Pasteli in a rectangular shape that you will level and stretch with a rolling pin. Let the Pasteli dry for a few minutes and cut it in squares or triangles.

~Enjoy!

Recipe and photo courtesy of  Leitesculinaria.com

Happy Hour Tuesday: Limoncello Caipirinha

Rometti Limoncello- Limoncello Caipirinha

Happy Hour Tuesday!

They invented the samba, the bossa nova, they have one of the best soccer team and won the World Cup five times, and they get credit for having come up with a distinguishable, sweet, delicious drink called Caipirinha. Yes, this week we are celebrating Brazil’s national cocktail made with sugar cane rum (called cachaça, the distillation of sugarcane juice after having fermented, very popular in Brazil), sugar and lime. There are so many versions of Caipirinha out there – kiwifruit, passion fruit, strawberry- so we made our own, Limoncello Caipirinha.

The origins of Caipirinha are to be found in Madeira, Portugal, where sugar cane was one of the main economical resources. Eventually the Portuguese had to look for some more land to grow it, and that’s how the ancestor of cachaça, called aguardente, was exported to Brazil. The word Caipirinha, probably because of the origins of this drink, means “someone from the countryside”.

Thanks to the availability of Brazilian cachaça today Caipirinha has expanded all over the world: as a matter of fact you might have heard of Caipiroska (made with vodka instead of cachaça), CaipirItaly (with Campari instead of cachaça), Caipirissima (with rum instead of cachaça) and Caipisake (with sake instead of cachaça).

Limoncello Caipirinha adds a splash of Rometti Limoncello to this delicious and refreshing drink. Just give it a taste, and you will be hooked!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 fl.oz Cachaça
Rometti Limoncello to taste
1 tsp White sugar
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 Lime cut in cubes
Lime wedge or lemon wedge to garnish

Muddle lime with sugar in an old fashioned glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour the cachaça and the Rometti Limoncello and stir. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge.

~ENJOY!

Cook N Bake Greek Series: Souvlaki

Rometti Cook N Bake Greek Series: SouvlakiAs pre announced last week, this fourth dish of our Greek Series is the Souvlaki! Although usually I like to stick to the original recipe, this time I found a recipe by Jamie Oliver that I couldn’t help but try and find incredibly delicious! And so I am sure you will.

Souvlaki is one of the most popular Greek dishes around the world, very simple to make yet extremely flavorful. To make a Souvlaki all you need is some meat (usually pork, but you can also use chicken) and some vegetables. grilled and savored with salt, pepper, and some herbs (oregano, thyme, mint…). You can also add paprika, mustard, ketchup and add some tzatziki sauce.

Today Souvlaki is often presented as one of the most refined appetizer in many Mediterranean and Greek cuisine restaurants, but in Greece it’s considered a fast food. Yes, you heard me. It’s the simplicity of the dish itself that makes it suitable to be categorized as fast food, in the very sense of the word, however the ingredients (unlike what happens in many fast food chains around the world) are extremely fresh. Grilled and served on a skewer (the word souvlaki in fact means “skewer”) or in a full plate with some pita bread, Souvlaki has been present in the Greek cuisine since the 17th century BC, as some stone sets of barbecue from around that time have been found in the island of Santorini.

If you go to Athens instead of Souvlaki you might find Kalamaki. It’s indeed the same dish but served exclusively on a skewer, and the meat is cut into 1-inch chunks. But be careful! Kalamaki also means “straw” so if you go to the northern part of Greece do not ask for Kalamaki instead of Souvlaki because as a joke to deride the Athenians they would give you a drinking straw!

Souvlaki is a fun dish to accompany a cocktail, enjoy as a snack, or serve as a dinner plate. On top of it, kids love it, especially if served with fried potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 4):

3 Sweet pointed peppers
8 Pita bread
4 Spring of fresh mint
A Small chopped fresh dill
Rometti Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Lemon to serve
28 oz (800 g) of good quality pork
1 tbsp dried mint
1 tbsp dried oregano
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Cloves of garlic finely grated
Black pepper
Salt

Cut the wooden skewers to fit in your griddle pan and soak them in some water to prevent them from burning.
Cut the pork into a 1inch chunks and put it into a bowl , with dried mint and oregano, juice of 1 lemon, about 3oz of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp of Rometti Red Wine Vinegar, a pink of salt and pepper. Mix everything together, cover with clear film and let it marinate for about 30 minutes or more into the fridge.
In the meantime blacken the sweet peppers into a hot dry griddle, but make sure you don’t burn them. Put them in a bowl and cover it with some clear film to keep the steam in and avoid the skin to come off.

Thread the skewers with the pork cubes and cook them over the grill or griddle for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn them every now and them. Warm your pitas in the oven or grill them.
Before the skewers are ready peel and deseed the peppers, tear them into pieces and put them in a bowl. Roll up the mint leaves, finely slice them and add them to the bowl with the dill. Add a little Rometti Red Wine Vinegar, some salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil and toss it all together.
Serve the souvlakia (plur.) with a dollop of tzatziki and a pita bread. Drizzle some olive oil on top of it, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

~ENJOY!

Photo by David Loftus

Happy Hour Tuesday: Limoncello Screwdriver

Rometti Limoncello - Happy Hour Tuesday - Limoncello ScrewdriverHappy Hour Tuesday!

As the sunny season leaves the spotlight to a cloudy sky and weekly showers, we better stock up with vitamins to avoid getting sick before wintertime! The drink of this week other than being delicious is also a source of vitamin C thanks to the presence of fresh orange juice, Limoncello Screwdriver. You will love the citrusy taste especially during the Fall season, however we do have to recommend not to abuse it, it will not substitute your daily vitamin intake!

The classic Screwdriver is served in a highball glass and combines two very simple ingredients, orange juice and vodka. Its name seems to have originated in Saudi Arabia, where American petroleum engineers used to add vodka to their orange juice and stir it with screwdrivers.

If you are one of those people who see the Fall as a new beginning, make sure to sip on our Limoncello Screwdriver as you put away your bathing suits and write down the resolution for the new season. The sweetness of limoncello and the slightly bitterness of the orange juice mixed with vodka will wake up your senses at every sip of this reinvigorating drink.

Ingredients:

2 oz Vodka
5 oz Fresh orange juice
1 oz Rometti Limoncello
1 Orange slice
Ice cubes

Fill the highball glass with ice cubes. Pour vodka, orange juice and Rometti Limoncello over the ice and stir. Garnish with an orange slice and serve.

~ENJOY!

photo credit http://www.hgtv.com

Cook N Bake Greek Series: Tzatziki

Rometti Limoncello Cook N Bake Greek Series Tzatziki

After such an elaborated and savory dish last week, this Thursday we decided to focus on something more delicate for your palate, yet one of the most appreciated Greek side dishes, the Tzatziki (or Cucumber Yogurt Dip).

Tzatziki combines fresh, simple ingredients such as garlic, olive oil, vinegar, cucumbers and of course strained yoghurt, and as a result we obtain a creamy, tasty dip which is perfect for pitas, vegetables, and souvlaki (a favorite Greek dish around the world, which we will talk about next week!). Tzatziki can thus be presented as a side dish, appetizer, or condiment.

There are many variations of this dish around the world. Greek cuisine as we have already seen, has a lot of middle eastern roots. In Turkey (Tzatziki takes its name from the Turkish Cacik, which means a form of chutney – for those who don’t know chutney is a mix of spices, vegetables and fruit that originates form the South Asian and Indian cuisine) for example it is served more diluted and often as a soup or salad. In Cyprus mint is a fundamental ingredient for Tzatziki while garlic is in less quantities. In Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia we find it instead of a salad as appetizer, and in Iraq it is served as a meze (appetizer) along with drinks.

If you need an easy and light side dish to serve at a cocktail party or as a starter to a dinner with friends, and – most of all – don’t mind having a garlic breath after eating it (but don’t worry, this dish is addicting so everyone else will have garlic breath as well!), here is a great recipe to make a delicious, tangy, creamy Tzatziki.

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 cup greek yogurt, strained
1 cup sour cream
2 cucumbers
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
juice of a half lemon
1 tsp. chopped fresh dill

Peel and deseed the cucumbers. Then grate them or dice them in very thin pieces. Make sure that all the excess water is squeezed out of them.
In a bowl combine and mix olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic. In another bowl and with the use of a whisk blend in sour cream and yoghurt. Add both mixtures together. Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill. Mix until the sauce looks creamy and homogeneous. Serve chill and with a spring of fresh dill before serving.

~ENJOY!

Happy Hour Tuesday: Limoncello Mai Tai

Rometti Limoncello - Happy Hour Tuesday - Mai tai

Happy Hour Tuesday!

Some drinks are just unforgettable, and last week, while on a short vacation in Hawaii, I fell in love with a signature drink to which I couldn’t help but adding a little twist. So this week we pledge our Limoncello Mai Tai.

If you have ever seen the movie Blue Hawaii featuring Elvis Presley, or if you know a little culinary history from the 1950/1960s, you are probably quite familiar with this drink. As a matter of fact Mai Tai is at the center of a whole fashion culture based on the Tiki culture. Mai Tai (the Tahitian word Maita’i means out of this world, from the exclamation of the first person – from Tahiti – who tasted it) is thus often associated with Polynesia, however as tropical as it sounds, it was invented in Oakland, California in 1944 at the Trader Vic’s restaurant, even though it was claimed also by its rival, Don the Beachcomber. Both versions are still very popular and taste very different indeed, however Trader Vic’s recipes (three of them) seem to be the most established ones.

The original Mai Tai recipe features Jamaican rum, orange curacao, fresh lime juice and mint for garnish. If you have been to Hawaii you probably noticed that they also use orange and pineapple juice which make it more local and fruity savored. The recipe we present today is based on the original Trader Vic’s recipe but we know that there are at least eleven versions of Mai Tai. We added some Rometti Limoncello, which we believe works very well with the zesty ingredients, a deliciousness for one’s palate.

Ingredients:

1 oz Jamaican rum
1 oz Martinique rum
1/2 oz orange Curacao
1/2 oz Rometti Limoncello
1/2 oz Orgeat almond syrup
1/4 oz homemade sugar syrup (rock candy syrup)
Juice of one fresh small lime

 

Add rum, lime juice, Rometti Limoncello, orgeat syrup, orange Curacao and sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint and a lime (you can also add colorful fruit as well).

~ENJOY!