Vail Simply Seasonal: Stay healthy with ginger
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –Did you spend the day around people in the Vail Valley who were under the weather? Toss a little ginger in your next meal. Peel a piece of fresh ginger and add it to chicken broth to make a tasty soup or sauce. Brew some ginger tea. Mince it into a stir fry. Dress your salad with ginger vinaigrette. It’s a natural remedy during cold and flu season.
Native to Asia, ginger has been used for centuries for its medicinal purposes. Spicy and pungent, ginger also can be used in an amazing number of dishes.
“For a versatile seasoning, try a rosemary-ginger vinaigrette,” said Jeremy Kittelson, executive chef at Avondale. “You can use it as a salad dressing, a marinade or a dipping sauce. The flavors are assertive and are a great complement to chicken, fish, vegetables and greens.”
Beyond saving you from the common cold, ginger has been proven effective in cancer treatments, especially ovarian and colon. It soothes heartburn and migraines. It helps your digestive health and calms motion sickness. A steady diet including ginger will lower your cholesterol.
Feeling perfectly healthy? Ginger just tastes good. Whip up a batch of gingersnaps. Make a ginger cocktail.
“Ginger is an interesting flavor in beverages,” said Brian Harker, Avondale’s bar manager. “By making a ginger simple syrup, you can add a mild touch of spice to create a refreshing cocktail.”
2 pounds medium shrimp (16-20 count), peeled
Pickled fennel (see below)
Rosemary ginger vinaigrette (see below)
Using 1/4 cup rosemary ginger vinaigrette, toss with shrimp to marinate for one hour. Discard marinade. Place shrimp in grilling basket in single layer. Grill till pink and cooked through. Skewer each shrimp with a piece of pickled fennel and serve with reserved rosemary ginger vinaigrette as a dipping sauce.
Rosemary – Ginger Vinaigrette
1/2 cup fresh ginger, chopped fine
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon Thai chili, seeded
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup grape seed oil
Place all ingredients except rosemary and grape seed oil in blender, and blend for a few minutes to smooth paste. Slowly add oil to emulsify. After all oil has been added, toss in rosemary and blend for 5 seconds. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
1 large bulb fennel, sliced
1 cup water
2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon white pepper corns
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced onion
Place all ingredients except the fennel in a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes to blend flavors. Place sliced fennel in a bowl and pour the pickling solution over the fennel. Let rest at least 3 hours and up to 1 week.
1 pound lean pork, cut in strips
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup clementine segments
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Hot chili sauce (like siracha) to taste
1/4 cup scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
Toss pork strips with cornstarch. Heat oil in wok over low heat. Add shallot, garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve. Increase heat under wok to medium-high. Add pork and stir fry one minute. Add broccoli and continue to stir fry until broccoli turns bright green. Add clementines, soy sauce, two chili sauces and continue to stir fry until pork is cooked through and broccoli is crisp-tender. Stir in reserved shallot, garlic, ginger and scallions. Serve with steamed rice. Serves 4.
2 1/2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce ginger simple syrup (see below)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce cassis
Shake all ingredients together and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with skewered blackberries. Makes 1.
Ginger Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped ginger
Combine water and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Heat to boiling and allow the sugar to dissolve. Add chopped ginger and reduce heat. Simmer 1 1/2 hours. Cool and refrigerate.
Sue Barham is the marketing director for Larkspur Restaurant and Restaurant Avondale. Larkspur, (larkspurvail.com) at the base of Vail Mountain, has been serving American Classics with a fresh interpretation since 1999. Avondale, (avondalerestaurant.com) opened in September 2008 in the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa and features a West Coast inspired, market driven menu.