Saturday, May 21, 2016

Infusing Flavor And Fun

Infusing different flavors into beverages and meals a great way to add excitement to ordinary stuff we eat. It's easy to do , thanks to a new cookbook that can guide any home chef through the process. The best part is that infusing brings out the creative side any any cook.

Erin Coopey wrote this fun and fascinating book, Infusing Flavors (Cold Spring Press) This is a good book for gardeners looking for different ways to use their herbs as well as home bartenders seeking to expand their repertoires.It's also fun for home chefs as well because many dishes do have some kind of infusion.There is a brief description of what infusions are as well as a pictorial on the tools needed. Infusions are easy to do with the right equipment such as cheesecloth for bundling herbs along with crocks, Mason jars and funnels.Ms. Coopey divides the book into chapters that show different types of infusions. There's one on the old fashioned tincture , tissanes. that are making a big comeback as well as one on broths. I love the chapter on shrubs, and switchels , drinks from the Colonial era and how they're updated for our modern palates.Another neat aspect is that there are recipes that go with the infusions. The book is also studded with tips and definitions such as the explanations of different sweeteners, from sugar to maple syrup.along with a definition of herbes aux Provence. There's also a detailed list of herbs from catnip to sage and their benefits to the body.

The book is divided into sections .Home chefs will definitely appreciate the chapter dedicated to infusing oils.. There is a pizza drizzle one, flush with Italian herbs such as oregano and marjoram. along with garlic.It can be used to add extra oomph to a homemade pie or as a dipping sauce for crusty Italian bread.Rosemary infused oil is perfect for summer salads or just to bring out the flavor of home grown tomatoes Infused vinegar is also represented . Home chefs can have fun creating such infusions as blueberry infused gastrique and cherry infused balsamic vinegar. Both can be used for main dishes or in dressings..There are also recipes for infused broths which make for interesting and tasty soups. Water enthusiasts will appreciate the recipes for agua fresca, the refreshing drink from Latin and South America, made with just plain H2O  and infused with , hibiscus flowers along with watermelon and honey. There are even recipes for homemade root beer, ginger beer, and  grapefruit soda. Home bartenders will appreciate the recipes for that bar must have bitters.These have new spins such as cranberry bitters and cacao biters with cinnamon and spice. Home bakers will love creating their own vanilla and almond extracts too.

Infusing Flavors is the perfect gift for those infusion happy home chefs. There are some great recipes and tips on how to infuse even the simplest foods and drink with more flavor. It's a fun way to liven up summer dishes and drinks!

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