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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tamarind Brandy Sour

Tamarind Brandy Sour
Leslie and I?  We're talking TAMARINDOS today.  Tamarinds (or tamarindo en español) are legumes that  grow on trees that can get to be as tall as 80 feet high.  Each tamarind pod contains a soft pulp that surrounds hard seeds.  The pulp is edible and acidic and ranges from sour to sweet.  It grows in warm, tropical climates and is used to make refreshing beverages, candies and ices, and even used as a savory ingredient in pickled dishes, meat or fish dishes, or condiments like Worcestershire sauce.

Fun tamarind fact: Superstition has it that it is dangerous to sleep under a tamarind tree or to tie a pet to one since few plants are able to grow beneath one!
tamarind pods
We most commonly use tamarindo fruit to make an agua fresca ("fresh water") which is cool, tangy, sweet, and refreshing.  From here you can use the agua to make popsicles or sorbet or even cocktails.  We also use it in our Ponche Navideño.  And personally, I love tamarindo suckers or candies that are rolled in sugar and chile.

Today I've made a Tamarind Brandy Sour which is both delicious and probably way too easy to drink.   Do you have a favorite use for tamarind pods or leaves?  I'd love to hear them and feel free to leave a link to any recipes using tamarinds in the comments.  And if you have a moment, why not head over to visit my friend Leslie at her kitchen, La Cocina de Leslie and check out her version of Agua de Tamarindo!?
Tamarind Brandy Sour

Tamarind Brandy Sour + Agua de Tamarindo
How to make homemade aqua de tamarindo and use it to make Tamarind Brandy Sour cocktails.
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by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: ~2 hours, mostly unattended
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: boil beverage vegan tamarind Mexican American

Ingredients (varies)
    for the Aqua de Tamarindo:
    • 8 ounces fresh tamarind pods
    • 4 ounces piloncillo, grated
    • 1 quart water
    for the Tamarind Brandy Sour:
    • 1 cups Agua de Tamarindo
    • 2 shots Brandy (3 ounces)
    • juice of 1 Meyer lemon
    • ice
    Agua de Tamarindo (yield: ~3 1/2 cups)
    Remove the stems, strings, and shell from around the tamarinds. Place the sticky fruit (seeds and all) into a medium pot with the piloncillo and water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the heat. Pour into a glass jar or bowl and let sit for about 2 hours.

    Using clean hands, break up and knead the softened pods to release the seeds from the pulp.

    Strain through a sieve, pressing on the seeds and fibers to get as much of the tamarind goodness through as you can. Taste and adjust sweetness, if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use. Shake or stir before serving.
    simmering tamarind
    Brandy Tamarind Sour (yield: 2 cocktails)
    Add agua de tamarindo, brandy, and the Meyer lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake it up and strain over ice into two short glasses. Garnish with a round of Meyer lemon, if you wish. Enjoy!

    -Tamarind Brandy Sour inspired by/adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless
    Tamarind Brandy Sour
    What happens when two American girls who are both married to Mexican guys find out that although one of them lives in the U.S. and one of them lives in Mexico, they both love eating the same food?  Well, naturally they decide to get "together" the only way they can and cook up the same dishes.  Or perhaps take the same ingredients and talking about them in their own voice or using them in their own way. 

    Leslie and I have teamed up to occasionally cook/bake/make a our own versions of the same food.  We want to see how similar (or how different) they turn out.  Other times we will pick an ingredient and use it however we choose...or maybe just talk about it.  Good food knows no borders and we hope to share the food we love with you.  It's not a competition, it's a showcase.  We will post on the same day as each other and would love to hear your thoughts on what we've made and how you make it. 

    Join me (here at girlichef) and Leslie in her kitchen (at La Cocina de Leslie) for some delicious food.
    She Made, Ella Hace Banner- and