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Kitchen Rescue
Lavender recipes all year round

By Reggie Aspiras
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:29:00 05/28/2008

Filed Under: Food, Lifestyle & Leisure

MANILA, Philippines?Lavender in the Philippines?

You bet! Thanks to Lyndon Tan of Basic Necessity, we can have the taste and scent of summer blooms all year long.

Tan is a pioneer grower of fancy vegetables and herbs. I recall that when no one else grew capsicums locally, he had them, in all four colors?red, green, yellow and orange. He even grew the purple variety!

Here he goes again! With a grin he says: ?I think people will be surprised [lavender] is now available locally.?

Lavender is used for perfumes, oils, cosmetics and is said to have curative and relaxing properties. In cooking, it is the buds/flowers that are most often used. Fresh or dried, it is wonderful.

There are but a few things that taste as good as they smell, lavender to me is one of them?highly aromatic with a sweet flowery scent-taste.

Used as a garnish, it is simply delightful ?it makes a P20 dish look a pricey P450. It?s a triple treat for the senses?sight, smell and taste.

I asked my peers how they?d use lavender. Here are their answers. Excited as we are to have it readily available in a few weeks, hope you too could experiment with it and enjoy it as much as we do.

Florabel Co of Florabel & Felix: ?I will air dry it and boil it to make tea. Or I will use the tea to steam fish. Healthy, flavorful!?

Margarita Fores of Cibo and Pepato: ?Use it in my panna cotta or make a baby bouquet and put it under my pillow.?

Lavender ice cream

Norbert Gandler and Ernie Babaran of International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management and Aubergine??I will turn lavender into ice cream.?

500 g fresh milk
500 g heavy cream
180 g refined sugar
30 g glucose syrup
1 g iodized salt
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
220 g egg yolks
20 g fresh lavender
50 g lavender syrup
Blend egg yolks and 100 g sugar until well incorporated.
Combine milk, cream, 80 g sugar, glucose syrup, lavender, salt, vanilla pod and scraped seeds in a sauce pan.
Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let steep a few minutes.
Immediately remove from heat, temper by gradually adding 1/3 of the milk mixture and stirring constantly, add remaining milk mixture, cook on low until mixture thickens to coat the back of the spoon at 80?C-82?C.
Strain and immediately transfer to ice bath. Cool down 4?C-5?C.
Cover, refrigerate for 10 hours or overnight.
Churn mixture according to ice cream machine instructions. Add lavender syrup.
Pack into containers, freeze overnight.

Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad?s: ?Coarsely chop lavender and combine with simple vinaigrette for salads mixed with duck or chicken.?

Cyrille Soenen of Crowne Plaza Galleria & Holiday Inn Galleria: ?Make into chantilly cream and serve with fresh strawberries. Combine 2 cups water with 2 oz sugar to make syrup, put lavender seeds to infuse until cold, strain. Whip 1 cup cream and add 3 tbsp of the syrup. Another would be to make a fresh apricot tart and put fresh lavender on it. Or put in under my pillow wrapped in cheesecloth for a fantastic, calm sleep.

Jeroen Van Straten of Pepper Lunch & Dome: ?Use it in brown stock, simmer and thicken it with butter. Great with sauteed duck breast. Or take the buds and mix with butter and honey, saute chicken in it, great on salad or pasta.?

Buddy Trinidad: ?I?ll make a dessert with lavender.?

Park Avenue Desserts?Lavender

Crème Brûlée
? c (100 g) granulated sugar
6 pc large egg yolks
1 c fresh milk
1 c heavy cream
50 g fresh lavender
? tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 c extra sugar for the top of the brûlée
Combine milk and cream in a small pot, turn off the fire as soon as the liquid comes to a boil. Add lavender, cover to infuse 10 minutes.
Combine sugar, yolks in a stainless-steel bowl. Whisk until yolks are pale in color, add salt.
Remove lid from the stock pot, strain.
Slowly whisk cream/milk mixture into the yolk/sugar mixture, whisk till well combined. Add vanilla.
Put bowl on ice bath to cool down.
Once cool, skim the foam off the top with a spoon.
Pour custard in a bake-proof dish, cover with foil and bake in a water bath at 300?, about 25 minutes depending on the size of the ramekin.
Remove from oven and let cool then chill.
Coat top with a thin layer of granulated sugar and torch to caramelize the top.
Serve with stonefruits?peaches, apricots.

Lavender is more of an aroma than a flavor, so put a few stalks of the fresh lavender on the side of the ramekin to enhance the senses when you serve it.

Me? I?ll add a tablespoon of flowers to my butter or vanilla bean cookie dough, bake the cookies and take them with coffee. Or mix lavender with coarsely ground pepper to season my roasts with.

Here?s the best answer which I saved for last:

Quito Jose of Brother?s Burgers: ?I would give it to my wife and when it?s dry, I?ll steep it in oil for massage!?

See! Lavender is not just a culinary treat but a sensual one as well!

Call Basic Necessity at 8099620 or 8090699

E-mail the author at raspiras@inquirer.com.ph

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