December is a perfect month to enjoy all kinds of hot, delicious, warming drinks. Mulled wine is a winter classic! Usually prepared with red wine, it tastes equally great with white chardonnay or riesling. With an addition of cinnamon, rosemary and oranges, it tastes like winter. Have fun warming up!
Recipe: Mulled white wine
500 ml dry white wine
2 cinnamon sticks
a few branches of rosemary
one tbsp brown sugar
Slice one orange and squeeze the other one..
Place cinnamon sticks, rosemary and orange slices in a pot.
Add sugar and white wine.
Bring to simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar and cook for 5-10 minutes.
Add wine and reduce the heat to low. Heat the wine, but do not bring to boil.
Warming hot lemonade, perfect for cold evenings and rainy afternoons. And let's face it - ther's no avoiding those. Luckily we have the lemonade. Great on its own or, to make it even more warming, with a drop of rhum.
Recipe: Hot lemonade
2 cinnamon sticks
7-8 cardamom pods
400 ml water
Optional: 40 ml rhum
Slice half of an orange and squeeze juice from the other half.
Slice one lemon and one tangerine and squeeze juice from remaining two.
Place citrus slices and juice in a pot with spices and water.
Bring to boil and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
Granita is a refreshing Sicilian dessert. Its texture reminds the one of a sorbet, but it's less smooth and less compact. The texture will vary depending on the part of the island. Granita will be coarse and crystalline in the province of Palermo and almost as smooth as a sorbet in the east coast. Traditional flavours include lemon, orange, coffee, almond, mint and jasmine. Granita is often served with a cup of espresso or with a brioche, which makes a common Sicilian breakfast set. Similarly to a sorbet, granita can be served as an intermezzo between courses of a meal, to cleanse the palate.
Recipe: Sicilian orange granita
4 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice
peel of one orange
1/2 cup of sugar
In a skillet, bring orange juice and sugar to boil. Remove from heat and add orange peel.
Transfer the mixture to a form, let cool and place in a freezer.
Scrape around sides and break crystals with a fork every 30 minutes, until you achieve desired texture (about 3 hours total).
Belgian endive has a reputation for being bitter, but do not let that be a deal-breaker. Remove the bitter core to enjoy its crunchy leaves raw - chopped and in a salad, stuffed or served with a dip. No need to discard the core when baking, grilling or caramelizing, as it sweetens with cooking. Some bitterness will remain, but this is why you love endive in the first place.
Recipe: Roasted Belgian endive
4-5 heads of Belgian endive
3 tbsp. of butter
juice and zest of one orange
4 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. o maple syrup
a pinch of salt
1 tsp. of freshly chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cut endives in half, discard outer leaves.
Melt butter in a large skillet, add endives and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Carefully turn endives over and saute for another 5 minutes.
Combine balsamic vinegar with maple syrup and orange juice, add salt.
Arrange endives in a buttered baking dish. Pour over the sauce. Top with orange zest and fresh parsley.
Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes - until endives have softened.