Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This and That

So...idea time! I'm going to try and start a series on this blog called "This and That." The plan is to post a tasty drink, something to eat with that drink and then something to listen to while enjoying both. I don't know how frequent these posts will be, but hopefully it will give you something fun and new to try every once in a while.
So with that said, here is the first edition featuring.....BASIL!

Strawberry Basil Martini
 Balsamic Margarita Pizza with Chicken
The Star of a Story - Vijay Iyer Trio

This super fruity drink and refreshing pizza are perfect for a hot summer night (though you might want to start with the pizza and save the drink for dessert). The Star of a Story is an equally refreshing jazz tune to bob your head to while enjoying your basil indulgence on the porch.

Side notes: Basil is definitely one of my favorite herbs and we get it fresh pretty frequently from family who grow it. We had just gotten a bunch and were planning on making a margarita pizza, but I also felt like diving into a cocktail. So what did I do? Google "basil vodka drink" of course. I was actually surprised with how many recipes were found. But since I had just picked some fresh strawberries from our garden, I knew this was the one I had to try.

Strawberry Basil Martini
(original recipe here)

Makes: 1 drink - multiply measurements for desired number of drinks

2-3 fresh strawberries (choose quantity depending on how sweet you want the drink to be)
3 basil leaves
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup (click for recipe)
2 ounces vodka (or 1 ounce gin, 1 ounce vodka)
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (about half of 1 lime)

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries, simple syrup and basil. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake well - at least 40 shakes. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a strawberry.

Balsamic Margarita Pizza with Chicken

Makes: 2 Personal Pizzas

2 large flour tortillas
1 small chicken breast, seasoned to taste and cubed
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 small bunches of basil
fresh mozzarella, sliced to desired size
oilive oil
balsamic vinaigrette
optional: 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tortillas on a large baking sheet. Drizzle enough olive oil on each tortilla to lightly cover them. Sprinkle on the shredded cheese for a more gooey pizza. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and chicken. Drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil on top of the mixture. Place in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until tortilla edges are crispy and cheese is melted. Drizzle balsamic over hot pizza. Slice and serve!



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