HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Chef Patrick Evans Hylton shows us how to craft fresh mojitos and strawberry salsa that are perfect for those warm spring days spent outdoors. For reads, recipes, resources, and more from Chef Patrick visit www.VirginiaEatsAndDrinks.com.
We love Petit Manseng, a delightful white wine originating in France with rich apricot and honeysuckle notes.
General’s Ridge Vineyards, located in Hague on the Northern Neck, offers a delightful varietal, which in April is one of the featured wines from the Virginia Wine of the Month Club.
And while this wine is wonderful to drink while sitting out on the patio, or to serve at a meal, it is also great to incorporate in my Petite Manjito, my version of a classic mojito cocktail which replaces the traditional rum with wine. Here’s how I make it:
In a tall glass add 6-8 fresh mint leaves, the juice from two lime wedges (set wedges aside after squeezing), and 1 teaspoon simple syrup or agave syrup. Using a spoon, muddle the mint, pressing down to break the leaves up and mix with the lime juice and syrup. Toss in lime wedges. Add a half-cup Petit Manseng or other fruit-forward white wine, and a quarter-cup seltzer and stir. Add ice cubes and garnish with fresh mint and a lime wedge. Yields 1 cocktail.
For more information on General’s Ridge Vineyards and the Virginia Wine of the Month Club visit www.VaWineClub.com
STRAWBERRY SALSA ON STREET TACOS
including strawberry tips + tricks
It’s strawberry season, and there’s more than one way to enjoy this delicious, delicate red fruit besides eating out-of-hand. One of the easiest and quickest ways is to make a fresh strawberry salsa.
Use the salsa in a number of ways:
- It’s great as-is, served in a bowl with tortilla chips for dipping.
- For an unusual topping, spoon over tacos filled with seafood like fish or shrimp, or on chicken tacos
- Add a generous amount atop grilled seafood like fish or shrimp, as well as chicken breasts or pork loin
Here’s how I make it:
In a medium bowl add 1 pint of strawberries that have been hulled and diced along with 1 stemmed, seeded, and diced jalapeno pepper, half of a red onion that has been peeled and diced, and a small handful of cilantro that has been finely chopped. Add the juice of 1 lime with a generous pinch of salt and fresh black pepper and toss to combine. Adjust amount of jalapeno, salt, and pepper to taste.
Optionally, add 1 small avocado or mango peeled, pitted, and diced, to the bowl, tossing to combine. Other good additions include 3 or 4 green onions, chopped, or a small handful of flatleaf parsley that has been finely chopped, added to the bowl and tossed to combine.
Ingredients for the Strawberry Salsa on Street Tacos come from www.TheFreshMarket.com.
DINING OUT FOR LIFE
For 16 years restaurants have set aside the last Thursday in April for an event to raise funds to support individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families. It is observed in more than 60 participating cities across the United States and Canada, including our region.
This year Dining Out For Life takes place on April 25. Proceeds benefit the LGBT Life Center. It’s easy to help out; just dine out at one of the 50-or-so participating restaurants across Coastal Virginia. During the evening restaurants will donate a percentage of the meal tickets, usually between 25 and 50 percent. Event officials anticipate some 8,000 diners will take part.
For more information visit www.DiningOutForLife.com/city/HR.