Cocktails with Class: Rum Edition
On Monday, August 25, Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens gathered with LeNell and Demian Camacho Santa Ana in the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone to mix rum cocktail creations.
Junior Board presents: From the Garden to the Grill 2013
Angela Schmidt of Chef U shared grilling concepts and drinks with students in the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone on Thursday, August 15. The students prepared Vitello Tonato, chilled veal with a tuna sauce. They also grilled veal burgers and shared cocktails. To learn more about Angela, Chef U and the entire menu, check out this recent feature at AL.com.
Inaugural Dirt Dash 5K Fun Run/Walk
Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens presented the inaugural Dirt Dash 5K Fun Run/Walk on November 17. Over 200 runners and walkers competed in various age groups, utilizing the paths and trails of Alabama’s largest living museum. The overall winner Julien Bousquet, who completed the run in 17:48.7. For a complete list of winners in each age group, visit http://championship-racing.com/results/2012/2012-BotanicalGardens-DirtDash5K.htm.
Junior Board presents From the Garden to the Grill
On August 11, Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomed Chef Angela Schmidt, owner of Chef U, to the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone for a cooking and mixology demonstration. Angela Schmidt works private dinner parties that are also an interactive educational experience. Learn more about her work here.
Schmidt led the group in the preparation of a skirt steak marinade, heirloom tomato relish and a Delta wedding punch.
- Skirt Steak Marinade -
1/2 C EVO
1/3 C Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
Juice from 2 Limes
Zest from 1 Lime
2 Tablespoons Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
Combine in a non-reactive container. Marinate skirt for at least one hour and no more than 2 hours.
(NOTE: during this demonstration, Schmidt prepared the marinated steak directly on the coals, cooking each side for 1-2 minutes)
- Heirloom Tomato Relish -
5 Lbs. Heirloom Tomatoes, assorted sized and types
2 Shallots, Fine Dice
2 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoon EVOO
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
2 Tablespoons Basil, Chopped
If using medium to large heirloom tomatoes, dice into chunks. Alternately, if using heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half crosswise.
Transfer tomatoes to a mixing bowl and toss gently with shallots, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust if necessary. Fold in fresh basil just before serving.
- Delta Wedding Punch -
6 oz good quality vodka or gin
2 C Mint Infused Simple Syrup (recipe below)
1-1 1/2 C Grapefruit Juice
Juice from 1 Lime
Soda Water or Champagne
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust to personal preference. Chill before serving.
- Mint Infused Simple Syrup -
2 C Water
1 C Granulated Water
8 Mint Leaves, Crushed
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add mint leaves and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Chill before mixing.
On Thursday, June 7, Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical presented Garden Mixology. Students learned the secrets of Dram master bartender Michael’s famous Mojito in “The Zone!” Michael Connors has been tending bar for five years and is currently serving delicious beverages at nearby Dram in Mountain Brook Village. Dram features Birmingham’s most extensive collection of bourbon, Scotch, and various whiskeys.
Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Celebrates Salsa de Mayo!
Lori Sours, television food personality and co-creator of the authentic Salsa Señorita line of fresh salsas, led a class in the preparation of fresh, authentic salsa and guacamole at The Gardens on Thursday, May 3. Participants also learned how to create Salsa Senorita’s signature south of the border beverage. It was a great night at The Gardens!
Make sure to register for the next Junior Board Event, Mint Mixology, coming on June 7! For more informtaion and the register online, we encourage you to visit www.bbgardens.org/classes.
On September 13, Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens presented From the Garden to the Grill, a class designed to teach participants proper grilling methods for items from their own gardens. A couple of the recipes shared in the class from Chef U:
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad:
4 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 slices
1/4 LB Haricot Verts (French Green Beans)
1 Red Onion, Sliced into thick slices
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Garlic, Minced
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
4 Tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
1 Bunch Scallions, Chopped, Green Part Only
Preheat Grill to Medium High Heat
Toss Potatoes in 3 Tablespoones of Olive Oil; Season with Salt, Pepper and Garlic, Grill Potatoes Over Direct But Not too Hot Heat for 15-20 minutes or Until Tender, Remove and Set Aside. Meanwhile, Toss Onion Slices in 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil and Season with Salt and Pepper. Place on Grill until Marked and Tender. Toss Haricot Verts with remaining Olive Oil and Season with Salt and Pepper. Grill Verts till Tender, Maybe 2-3 Minutes.
Combine Cooked Vegetables and Dress with Remaining Ingredients, Taste and Season.
Mexican Street Corn
4 Ears Sweet Corn Still in Husk
1 Cup Mayo
2 Tablespoones Aji Amarillo
2 Limes, Juice
1 Lime, Zested
1/8 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Salt to Taste
Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for Garnish
Preheat Grill to High, Roast Corn in Hush Until Tender (Approx. 45 minutes). In a Small Mixing Bowl, Whisk Mayo, Aji Amarillo, Lime Zest/Juice, Cayenne, Paprika and Salt. To Serve, Spread Hot Corn with Aioli, Garnish with Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro.