Friday, August 10, 2007
Here's another granita recipe that was intended for last Wednesday's Chronicle FOOD story. This one hit a hurdle in the testing stage: the oh-so-convenient Gourmet Garden prepared lemongrass had all but disappeared from supermarket shelves. Since a recipe that began with "Beat the hell out of lemongrass stalks, puree them and then beat them again" hardly fit the article's premise of quick and easy desserts I asked cookbook author Eric Gower for another suggestion.
The resulting Ginger Maple Granita made it into print, but I still loved the lemongrass idea. Recently I found that the prepared lemongrass is again widely available, so I'm delighted to share this recipe from one of the most creative cooks I know. His beautiful new cookbook, "The Breakaway Cook," ranks as one of my favorites of the year.
Yes, that is a pile of his books sitting on my desk - a pile that soon will need replenishing, as I'm finding the book to be a perfect birthday/shower/host gift.
LEMONGRASS MAPLE GRANITA
Unlike most granitas, which require four or five hours of freezing time and periodic tending, this granita takes just a few minutes, start to finish. For a creamier version, add a tablespoon of plain yogurt to the blender.
2 cups ice (about 10 medium-large ice cubes)
2 tablespoons prepared lemongrass*
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup very cold sparkling mineral water
Place all the ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Transfer to bowls and enjoy right away, or transfer to a plastic tub and freeze for later.
* Gourmet Garden lemongrass, comes in a refrigerated tube (sold in the produce section of most supermarkets)
I'd add three more footnotes:
*The Gourmet Garden tubes are about 5-inches long, have green lids and often are located near those little plastic packets of obscenely overpriced fresh herbs.
*My puny circa-1987 blender wasn't up to the task of creating instant granita, so I used the standard freeze-and-scrape method.
*Chill the serving bowls for a while before making the granita.