Friday, August 10, 2007

Eric's EZ Lemongrass Maple Granita

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.


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.


Casey said...

OK, this is a bit ugly, I can't figure out how to wrap the text around the picture or delete the garbage immediately underneath the picture or erase the "read more" at the end -- since there's no more to read.
But, unless an HTML genie magically appears out of my Tejava bottle, this is how the posts are going to look until my computer guru returns from vacation.
Meanwhile, I'll be plodding on with posts that look ugly but feature food that tastes good.

Casey said...

and I'll be damned if I can eliminate that "draft" at the end.
Frustration, c'est moi.

Casey said...

My puny circa-1987 blender wasn't up to the task of creating instant granita, so I used the standard freeze-and-scrape method. Twas still very EZ>

lmc said...

this recipe sounds good!

Wendy said...

Just found your blog and am loving it!
The photo thing - I had an awful time trying to figure out what to do! Discovered that on Flickr if you click on the "Different Sizes" link at the side of a photo then cut and paste the URL into the "add picture" bit on your blog, the photos are MUCH easier to handle!
Hope that helps...

Casey said...

wendy, many thanks for the flickr suggestions. I'll try this with my post on souffles tonight.
I'm curious: How did you find margin Notes?

Wendy said...

Honestly, I don't remember! Either you had commented on someone elses blog and I clicked on your name or your blog was listed as a favourite somewhere. Not sure..

Lucy said...

Hi Casey.

Love lemongrass. Love maple syrup. I can see I have a little bit of reading ahead of me in your archive. Pleased to have found you!