Stephen Fries: Ginger delights in food and drink
Published 3:15 pm, Tuesday, October 31, 2017
FOUND: Kathleen Hannigan of Philadelphia wrote, “I recently tried to search for a recipe I made about 20 years ago from my Original Canton Delicate Ginger Liqueur booklet. I received the book with my purchase of the bottle. My search was to no avail, until I found your column with some recipes from this book. I am seeking this recipe for a special celebration. I made these appetizers for my daughter’s first birthday party. She is now 22, and we have something special at the end of October, and I really want to make these puffs. The celebration is a Halloween/birthday party (my birthday is Oct.30). My daughter, Paige’s Aunt Judy will be hosting and asked me if I could make the “delicious chicken puffs” I made for Paige’s first birthday party. They are so good, a few people still remember them. It is a great recipe. If you find the booklet you should make them, I know you will enjoy them. I did have some difficulty finding the Canton Ginger Liquor; the bottle style has changed dramatically. Could you please, if you still have this booklet, email the recipe for the Chicken Pastry Puffs. I am not sure if that is the exact name for the recipe, but I am sure they are in this booklet. It brought back fond, memories just seeing your column and photos. If you could possibly get me this recipe I would be grateful.”
Kathleen, it is letters like yours that inspire me to write this column. I wrote the column you saw online five years ago. Online recipe searches really come to the rescue ... what did we do before this technology? I searched for the recipe booklet and am delighted you will be able to prepare the recipe for your celebration.
Keep in mind, in addition to the bottle design change, the recipe for the liqueur has also changed, so it might impact the outcome of the puffs. Please let me know how the recipe comes out.
Alcoholic beverages as an ingredient in sweet and savory cooking is not new, but it has become quite popular. Classics such as coq au vin and beef bourguignon use libations to enhance the flavor of the dish.
The Original Canton Delicate Ginger Liqueur was produced near Macau, China, until 1997 when it was discontinued. In 2007, the beverage was brought back into production, with a new name and imported by liqueur entrepreneur John Cooper. With the popularity of Asian fusion cuisine and infused cocktails created by mixologists, the need for a ginger liqueur was apparent. Thus, Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur, now produced in France, was introduced by Cooper’s company.
The pamphlet states, “In ancient China, ginger was found to have a unique value. For generations, wise men passed down secret recipes using ginger. This delicate ginger liqueur is based on a recipe created centuries ago in old Canton for the rulers of the Qing dynasty. It is made from six varieties of ginger harmonized with a touch of gentle herbs and ginseng.”
Of course the book has recipes for cocktails like those below. There are also creations using the liqueur that adds great zest to savory and dessert dishes, such as cream of ginger carrot soup, ginger mango rice and ginger shrimp pasta. For a meal’s sweet ending, how about gingerbread ruddick with ginger cream cheese icing or ginger banana bread pudding? Here is the link to the recipes for the latter two: http://bit.ly/2i7BnAw.
Canton Chicken Puffs
The recipe’s headnote says, “A gingered chicken mixture nestles inside crisp pastry puffs for an appetizer that’s delicious! Chopped shrimp can substituted for the chicken with equally delectable results.”
1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half of a 17 ounce package) thawed
½ pound skinned, boned chicken breast, minced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ cup finely chopped scallions
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup Delicate Ginger liqueur (remember, the name has changed)
1 egg white mixed with 2 teaspoons Delicate Ginger Liqueur for
In a medium skillet over moderate heat, combine chicken, oil, soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in scallions, ground ginger and Delicate Ginger Liqueur; remove from heat and cool to room temperature. To speed cooling, transfer mixture to a plate and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, fold pastry into a 15 inch by 15 inch square. Cut into 3 inch squares, cutting 5 strips each way. Lightly brush squares with egg white ginger liqueur glaze. Place a teaspoon of the cooled chicken mixture in the center of each square. Pull the four corners up to the top center, pinching together and twisting slightly to make a pyramid “package.” Lightly brush with remaining egg white glaze. Place squares 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 25 puffs.
With holiday celebrations around the corner and plenty of the liqueur remaining after making the puffs, check out these drink recipes.
Dash of banana liqueur
1 ounce Delicate Ginger Liqueur
6 ounces club soda
Pour liqueurs in a glass with large ice cubes and then add club soda
2 ounces vanilla ice cream
1 ounce Delicate Ginger liqueur
½ ounce rum
1 ½ ounces Devonshire Cream Liqueur
Combine all ingredients in a blender at high speed. Pour over small ice cubes.
2 ounces Delicate Ginger Liqueur
½ teaspoon sugar
3 drops lemon juice
Pour ingredients into a mug and fill with steamy hot water
1 ounce Delicate Ginger liqueur
1 ounce brown cacao
1 ounce heavy cream
Mix ingredients in a blender with ice. Strain into a glass.
Which restaurant recipes or other recipes would you like to have? Which food products are you having difficulty finding? Do you have cooking questions? Send them to me. Contact Stephen Fries, professor and coordinator of the Hospitality Management Programs at Gateway Community College, at email@example.com or Dept. FC, Gateway Community College, 20 Church St., New Haven 06510. Include your full name, address and phone number. Due to volume, I might not be able to publish every request. For more, go to stephenfries.com.
Que Sera Jura: A Regional Wine dinner, now through Nov. 3. Union League Café, 1032 Chapel St., New Haven. 203-562-4299. www.unionleaguecafe.com. Three-course menu with wine pairings ($99 per person) or $59 per person without wine. Guests can also order a la carte from this special menu featuring cuisine and wine of the French Jura region, known for renowned vineyards, beautiful lakes and the charming city of Dole on the Doubs River.
Elm City Brew Festival, Nov. 4, 1 p.m. College Street Music Hall, 238 College St., New Haven. $40 in advance, $50 at the door; VIP tickets are $50 (available in advance only) and include early admission at noon. Proceeds will benefit the New Haven Center for Performing Arts Inc. The event features tastings from more than 60 participating breweries, live music and casual food options. 877-987-6487; Tickets and info at collegestreetmusichall.com/brew.
4th annual Quince Festival, Nov. 4-5, noon-5 p.m. White Silo Farm & Winery, 32 Route 37 E., Sherman. 860-355-0271 or 917-699-7355. They will be serving 6 dishes made with quince; poached quince with honey ricotta and pistachios, quince and apple strudel, quince cardamom tapioca pudding, cheese plate and membrillo, quince butternut squash soup, and the NY Times featured White Silo Thanksgiving recipe with quince, onion, and bacon. Admission is free. Pay for wine and food. Quince mustard and Quince jam will be available. Live music Saturday (1-4 p.m.) with the Hummingbirds and Sunday (1-4 p.m.) with Guy Tino. Free outdoor tours weather permitting. www.whitesilowinery.com
Raise Your Glass for Napa/Sonoma and our Firefighters Wine Tasting, Nov. 5, 3 -5:30 p.m., Assaggio, 168 Montowese St., Branford. 203-483-5426. $40 includes tasting of wines from Napa and Sonoma, cocktails from Litchfield Distillery and hors d’oeuvres prepared by Assaggio’s chef. Proceeds will help support Napa/Sonoma community and the brave firefighters battling the area’s wildfires.
New Haven Restaurant Week, Nov. 5-10, two-course prix-fixe lunch $17, 3-course prix-fixe dinner $34, participating restaurants, menus and information at http://bit.ly/2n2hb4p.
Consiglio’s Cooking Demonstration and Dinner: Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m., Consiglio’s Restaurant, 165 Wooster St., New Haven, 203-865-4489 (reservations required), $65 (beverages, tax and gratuity not included). Preparation of a four-course meal is demonstrated. Each course is shown, step by step, and then served. Learn how to make some of Consiglio’s trademark dishes: Baked Stuffed Eggplant, Tortellini tossed with Sausage, Roasted Tomato, and Spinach, Veal Osso Bucco, Pumpkin Cheesecake.