2008-07-11

Hmmmm.....


This seemed like such a good idea when I was in the culinary store the other day. But now that I'm back at home I'm trying to figure out what to make with it. I suppose the first question some might ask is "What is it"? That's certainly the first question a few family members asked! LOL.

And it can't be considered a "dumb question" since it more resembles the innards of a drawer sachet than something you'd actually cook with. But the internet is an amazing thing. How did we ever manage and come up with answers to such questions as "how can lavender be used in cooking" before we had the net? Oh, that's right... we ventured down to the library, dug thru the card-catalogue and looked thru books and encyclopedias ;-) But today we do have the internet and this was a very interesting read for what I can do with my culinary lavender.

I think I'll try making lavender creme brulee... and maybe lavender focaccia... and maybe this recipe below for lavender shortbread ... or the recipe below that for Lavender Chicken Stir Fry. But hey, I'm open minded... if you've got a recipe or two in your stash for culinary lavender that you wouldn't mind sharing, please please please pass it along! I'm eager to try out this new find :)

Lavender Shortbread
courtesy of The Herb Quarterly, spring 2000
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lavender flowers, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F
Cream together butter, sugar, lavender and mint with a mixer until light and fluffy.
Add flour, cornstarch and salt and beat until well mixed.
Divide dough into two, flatten into discs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.
Roll out dough to 1/2" thickness on a floured board. Cut into 1 1/2" squares or into rounds.
Bake 20-25 minutes on parchment covered cookie sheets, or until golden.
Let cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
When completely cool, dust with lavender-flavored powdered sugar or plain powdered sugar.



Lavender Chicken Stir Fry
courtesy of ranchoalegre-lavender
Ingredients
1/2 cup lavender/rosemary oil (see below)
4 boneless chicken breasts, cubed or cut in strips
5 cups chunked summer vegetables (squash, sweet onion, red peppers, small red potatoes, mushroom caps)

Oil: make a day ahead by placing 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons dried crushed culinary grade lavender flowers, 5 large garlic cloves, crushed and 5 sprigs of rosemary.
Warm for 10 minutes and steep for 6 hours. Strain and store in an airtight container.

Directions
Marinate chicken for 3 hours in 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup orange juice mixed with 2 tablespoons honey, and 3 tablespoons of the lavender/rosemary oil.
Place chicken in a saucepan with marinade and cook until browned, stirring constantly.
Add vegetables and cook until just tender.


And again... I'd certainly welcome any and all culinary lavender recipes you're willing to share.
Have a delicious day :)