Five Spring Treats to Make Right Now

March 06, 2012

The Jewels of New York refresh spring refreshments.

Diana Yen runs The Jewels of New York, a food consulting and styling company, which basically means she applies her killer design sense to all kinds of edible projects like carefully-arranged food photographs for magazines, workshops, cooking classes and event catering. Most importantly, it means shes invents insane, far-out recipes to test the limits of her favorite ingredients, some of which include beer, bacon and baby bananas. We asked her to share some of her best ideas for refreshing the old, basic brew.

Ginger and Meyer Lemon Shandy
(yield: 1 pint)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
3/4 cup seltzer
3 tablespoons ginger simple syrup*
1 cup Stella Artois

Combine lemon juice with seltzer and ginger syrup. Stir well and combine with beer. Add ice and garnish with ginger slices.

*Ginger simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 pieces of ginger
(3-inches long, sliced)

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add ginger and stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve, discarding ginger slices. Set aside and let cool.

Click through for more recipes, including bacon-wrapped bananas and a Guinness float.

Pepper Poppers (serves 4)

8 peperoncinis (jarred)
8 cherry peppers (jarred)
1/4 pound gouda
1 egg
1 teaspoon of water
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
canola oil for frying

Take the peppers out of the jars and drain them on kitchen towels. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until temperature reaches 350 degrees. Meanwhile, cut the gouda into matchsticks to fill the peppers. Slit the peppers and fill with slices of gouda.

In a small bowl, beat together the egg and water. In a separate bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and salt. In the third bowl, add the flour. Coat the peppers with flour, then with the egg mixture and finish by coating them with bread crumbs. Repeat the process. Fry in batches and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately.

Guinness Float with Coffee Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Salty Peanuts and Chocolate Syrup (yield: 1 pint)

This is inspired by Guinness floats we used to get from a local diner. Our version is dressed up with coffee ice cream, whipped cream and salty peanuts.

1 pint Guinness
1 scoop coffee ice cream
whipped cream
salty peanuts
chocolate syrup

Fill large glass with beer and top with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, salty peanuts and chocolate syrup.

Bacon-Wrapped Bananas (serves 4)

8 baby bananas, peeled and halved (or 2 regular bananas, sliced)
8 pieces bacon, halved

Wrap bacon around bananas. In a large skillet over medium high heat, fry bananas until crispy, about 3-5 minutes.

Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and serve immediately with ketchup.

Budweiser Fruit Punch (yield: 1 pint)

This is inspired by a favorite party drink from college. We would pop open a Budweiser and shake it up with a packet of Kool-Aid. This is a bit more elegant than our dorm room version, but it’s the same basic idea of mixing sweetness with starch.

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup Budweiser
2 tablespoons simple syrup*
squeeze of lemon juice

Combine pomegranate juice, orange juice and beer. Stir in simple syrup and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Add ice and garnish with orange slices.

*Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar has dissolved and you are left with simple syrup.

Five Spring Treats to Make Right Now