Monthly Archives: October 2016

    Cocktails with Asian Flair

    It’s not just apple pies that are a famous American creation.  Plenty of people also enjoy their cocktails and there are some that have American roots.  We decided to explore the history of some of these drinks and show you how we put a Western twist to them.

    Manhattan is not only one of the greatest American cities but it is also a classic cocktail.  This whiskey-based cocktail originated in the Manhattan Club in New York City in the late 1800’s.  The drink was considered to be the cocktail of choice of the elite with its name derived by people asking for “the Manhattan cocktail” since it originated there in that nightclub.  It is considered to be a “get together” drink which makes it the perfect type of drink for us here at Ling & Louie’s.  Our version is called “Miyagi’s Manhattan.”  To make this drink “less boring” we infused it with a Nikka Coffey Grain Japanese Whiskey.  The Japanese whiskey flavor mixed with plum bitters gives it an Asian flare that is matched by few other drinks.

    Another classic American cocktail is the Pisco Punch.  It was created in the 19th century in the San Francisco area.  Pisco is a brandy that was created back in the 16th century using grapes that originated in Peru.  It was during the California Gold Rush that the brandy became readily available stateside in California.  The drink was so popular and strong that one writer described it as “tasting like lemonade with the kick of a roped steer.”  The drink was popular and immortalized in the work of Mark Twain which made it a nice addition to our “Classic American Cocktails” menu, aptly called “The Prodigal Pisco Punch.”  Our blend of Pisco along with pineapple syrup and lemon juice will make you feel like you are enjoying a classic while relaxing along the Mississippi River.

    Who can forget Oprah and her “favorite things.”  Well, one of her favorite things is one of ours as well.   The Moscow Mule has an International name with American roots.  This is a drink as famous and popular as the mug it comes in.  The drink was dreamed up back in the 40’s by an American East Coast spirits and food distributor and the president of Cock’n’Bull Products, which created a blend of ginger beer.  The drink is almost always served in a copper mug, which was used as a promotional item to introduce the drink to bars and bartenders across the country.  Our Westernized version is called “The Man with the Copper Mug.”  The blend of Citrus Vodka along with Thai basil, fresh lemon and Gosling’s Ginger all served in a copper mug make the drink refreshing and delightful with our dishes.

    Lastly we look to the South for our final classic cocktail.  The Mint Julep is synonymous with the South and all its charm.  The drink is considered to be the drink of choice of those who attend the Kentucky Derby and only contains four ingredients.  A proper Southern Mint Julep consists of mint leaf, bourbon, sugar syrup and crushed ice.  The mint is “smashed” in the drink in the fashion of a mojito.  We decided to take this drink to the next level titling it “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Julep.”  Our blend mixes together Kikori Japanese Whiskey along with house-made green tea syrup and fresh mint.  The whiskey along with the green-tea syrup will have you feeling like you can walk the whole “Great Wall of China.”

    Cocktails are always a perfect pairing for a meal and ours are no exception.  They are blended to enhance and work with our delicious dishes making sure your meal is “not boring.”

    How to Cook with a Wok

    Wok cooking may not be for everyone, simply because many may not own a wok or know how to use it properly. But for those “who own a wok, we salute you!” With a few tips, you may find the process to be easy, fast and one of the best ways to preserve the nutrients of the food.

    The first wok goes as far back as the Han dynasty, which is approximately 206 BCE to 200 CE.  Since that time the wok has become a staple in Asian cooking as much as the skillet has become one in southern cooking.  In general Asian food is considered to be quite healthy.  Most of their cuisine contains fresh vegetables, little amounts of meat and are heavily concentrated in fresh fish, spices along with seaweed and rice.  In most traditional Asian household the frying and sautéing is all done in a wok.  The idea is to keep food looking and tasting its freshest and that means preserving the taste.

    When it comes to what you use to cook the food, woks require very little when it comes to fat.  Most chefs recommend adding one drop of olive oil that is manipulated to cover the entire service of the center of the wok.  The wok is placed on a direct heat source which then cooks the food.

    Woks need a little supplies to go with them.  One of the main thing is the support ring or rack to help stabilize it over the heat source.  From there a lid is recommended.   The lids are used to not only help when the wok is heating up for the first time but can be used during simmering and steaming food.  Spatula and ladles are the utensils of choice in wok cooking.  In many cases these items are made of wood, specifically bamboo, or stainless steel to mix together the food during stir frying.

    When It comes to your ingredients there is a rule of thumb to follow, you want to combine ingredients that have little taste but a lot of structure with ingredients that have great taste but little structure.  Some of the more common ingredients that work best in wok cooking include small onions, peppers, mushrooms and tofu.  Two other ingredients that are popular for their texture, taste and look are lemongrass and bamboo shoots.   Lemongrass added to the wok will not only give the dish a bright lemony flavor but it also adds a nice fragrance to the dish.  Bamboo shoots are cut like asparagus and add color to the dish and in some cases a unique flavor.

    Some people can be intimidated with wok cooking.  Feeling a bit unsure on their cooking skill and the end result when it comes to taste.  This month Ling and Louie are celebrating Woktober.  The chefs are not only skilled in wok cooking but are experts in the technique and flavors.  The dishes this month are not only savory and in some cases spicy.  Using the wok keeps the ingredients colorful and vibrant and full of flavor.  Next time you crazy a little taste of Asian flare, let us “wok” something up for you.

    Let us do the Wokin’!  This month try our new Woktoberfest menu!

Ling & Louie's is a proud member of Desert Island Restaurants family.