Infusing Flavors – Intense Infusions for Food and Drink
Recipes for Oils – Vinegars – Sauces – Bitters – Waters – and More
Mother’s Day is May 8th and everyone is scrambling to figure out the best things to get and make for their moms. Moms everywhere are sure to delight in the flavor-filled recipes from the upcoming book, Infusing Flavors by Erin Coopey, publishing in May. This year, give mom the gift of flavor.
Infusing flavors from plants for teas, extracts, bitters, vinegars, oils, and more is insanely popular among foodies. If mom loves to cook or just enjoys eating at great restaurants, this book is a wonderful recipe enhancer and conversation starter.
The recipes in this cookbook are very accessible and written in an easy-to-follow format so that even novice cooks can enjoy them.
Infusing Flavors features more than a hundred infusion recipes using herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables, which makes it a great gift for moms who love to garden, cook elaborate meals or just dabble in the kitchen.
Infusing Flavors teaches creative cooks and foodies how to use herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and even seeds to create flavor infusions for a variety of kitchen projects and recipes.
If mom is ready to escape “vanilla” ho-hum recipes, help her embrace her culinary creativity, and taste something new! Giving her the gift of this cookbook is her ticket to a world of flavor.
Infusing Flavors features recipes to infuse mind-blowing flavors into teas, tisanes, bitters, liqueurs, aguas frescas, waters, vinegars, oils, gastriques, shrubs, ice creams, soft drinks, and more. Each section in the book is packed with unique recipes. She’ll learn which herbs, fruits, flowers, vegetables, and even seeds can be prepared and infused into all-natural food and drink recipes. With its emphasis on flavor infusions that stretch beyond your standard cocktail bitters, this book is a special treat for any food lover.
Here’s a taste of some of the ingredients she’ll use in Infusing Flavors:
Herbs and flowers – chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, mint, sage, thyme, lemon verbena, ginger, basil
Fruits – cherry, peach, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, citrus (lemons and oranges), watermelon
Veggies, berries, and roots – celery, fennel, dandelion
The blending and infusing chapter, plus the diverse recipe sections of the cookbook, promise to keep mom enthralled and learning something she never guessed about these wide-ranging ingredients for flavor infusion. The book includes information about the following:
Peel-to-stem is the new nose-to-tail: introduction to the movement Blending Infusing Storing Experimenting with flavors Health benefits (including tips on growing your own fresh herbs)
While you are buying this book for Mom, you might just want to pick up a copy for yourself. Then surprise Mom this Mother’s Day with her book and some delicious treats made using the recipes from Infusing Flavors!
Buy Infusing Flavors here!
Recipes and images used with permission from Infusing Flavors Cool Springs Press
Pub Date: 6/1/2016
Watermelon & Hibiscus Agua Fresca
The tartness of the hibiscus balances the sweetness of the watermelon in this summery drink. Serves 8 to 10
⅔ cup dried hibiscus flowers (also called Jamaica flowers)
8 cups water
4 cups cubed ripe seedless watermelon, cut into ¾-inch dice
Agave nectar or honey, to taste, optional
Place the dried hibiscus flowers into an infusion pitcher. Add water, cover the pitcher and close the lid, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. (If you don’t have an infusion pitcher, you can place the flowers and water in a bowl and cover it with plastic.)
Remove the infusion tube, or strain out the blossoms. Add the watermelon cubes directly into the pitcher (not in the infusion tube). Stir and refrigerate for another 1 to 4 hours. Taste to see if you like the flavor. If you feel like it could use a touch of sweetness, add honey or agave nectar, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring to blend, until you like the flavor.
Now you have two options. You can serve the Watermelon and Hibiscus Agua Fresca with chunks of whole watermelon, or pour the mixture into a blender and purée it with some agave nectar or honey. (I use about ½ cup of agave nectar for a whole pitcher). Either way, you’ll enjoy this refreshing summer quencher.
Erin’s Tip: You can substitute traditional watermelon for the seedless variety. Just be sure that you’ve removed all the seeds if you plan to make the purée option.
Fig-Infused Balsamic Vinegar
Fig-infused balsamic makes a great vinaigrette dressing for late-summer salads with arugula, fresh figs or apples, walnuts, and salty cheeses such as feta or ricotta salata. Makes 3 cups
1 cup stemmed, coarsely chopped dried black mission figs
2 cups good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 sprig fresh rosemary, optional
Place the figs in a nonreactive saucepan and pour the balsamic vinegar over them.
Heat the saucepan over medium heat until the vinegar begins to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and drop in the rosemary sprig, if using. Cover the pan and allow the figs to steep for 2 hours.
Remove the rosemary sprig. Pour the infused vinegar into a sterile, wide-mouth bottle or jar so that the fig pieces can move freely. Alternatively, you can pour the entire mixture into a blender and purée until it is smooth. I’m a bit partial to the fig chunks, myself.
The vinegar will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Shake before each use.
FOR THIS INFUSION, ERIN SUGGESTS MAKING
Grilled-eggplant salad with fig-infused Balsamic vinaigrette
This luscious salad has Mediterranean roots. I love the sweet-savory combination of the fig balsamic with the vegetables and salty cheese. Serves 6 to 8
1 cup Fig-Infused Balsamic Vinegar with fig pieces
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each), sliced to ½-inch thick, lengthwise
1 jumbo sweet onion, such as vidalia or Walla Walla
2 medium red bell peppers
¾ cup safflower or sunflower oil, or other high-heat oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint or marjoram
1 cup crumbled feta or ricotta salata sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat grill to medium.
Place the Fig-Infused Balsamic Vinegar in a small, nonreactive saucepan over high heat. Cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the olive oil, and let cool.
Place the eggplant slices on a large, rimmed sheet pan.
Slice the onion into ó-inch-thick crosswise slices. Secure each slice with a skewer or toothpicks so the rings stay together. Add the onion slices to the large, rimmed sheet pan.
Remove the stems and seeds from the bell peppers and slice each pepper into 8 lengthwise strips. Add the peppers to the sheet pan with the eggplant and onions.
Drizzle or brush the vegetables on both sides with safflower oil until evenly coated. Grill the vegetables, covered, until slightly charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side.
Place the vegetables on a large platter. Sprinkle generously with sea salt, pepper, rosemary, and mint or marjoram. Top with crumbled feta. Drizzle with the cooled vinegar mixture. Serve.
Bay Leaf–Infused Cream for Ice Cream
It’s fun to take an ingredient such as bay that is most often used in savory dishes and add it to a dessert! Makes about 1 Quart
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
8 fresh bay leaves
4 egg yolks, beaten
⅔ cup granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Pour the heavy cream and milk into a heavy medium saucepan. Add the bay leaves. Cook over medium-high heat until the cream blend reaches a simmer, about 5 minutes. Remove the cream blend from the heat, cover, and let infuse for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves from the cream with a slotted spoon.
Place the egg yolks, sugar, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk until fully blended and slightly frothy. Next, slowly stream in about ¼ of the Bay Leaf–Infused Cream, whisking constantly. Repeat with an additional ¼ of the cream. Slowly whisk in the remaining cream.
Return the cream blend to the saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the cream thickens to a custard.
Remove the custard from the heat. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Lay a layer of plastic wrap over the custard, pressing it to the surface. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill completely. This will take at least 2 hours and as long as overnight.
When the custard is fully chilled, pour it into an ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturer’s direction. When the ice cream is set, serve with a light grating of fresh nutmeg for garnish.
About the Author
Erin Coopey calls herself a “glorified home chef” even though she has training as a culinary professional. Cooking is her passion, and she loves the way food brings people together. Coopey’s philosophy is that good cooks must possess a generous spirit. She also believes that cooking should be fun! This philosophy is reflected through Coopey’s books, blogs, and classes. If you’re
in Seattle, you can join her for a cooking class. Otherwise, check out The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook and her blog, The Glorified HomeChef: www.glorifiedhomechef.com.