When we chose the ingredient for this edition of Weekend Wokking, we wanted something that would be extremely versatile. I think we achieved that goal with the ALMOND.
It can be sweet; it can be savory. It can come whole, ground, or in slivers. It can be roasted golden and nutty; it can be blanched smooth and mild. It can even be ground into almond meal!
We knew we definitely wanted to take advantage of all its qualities.
Why don't we have a nice latte and think about what to make?
Here's your shot of espresso and some steamed, foamy milk. Wait, was that plain ol' milk in your latte? No, it's almond milk!
Making Almond Milk
Ever since I saw Tony Tahhan's sharab al loz post on his blog Olive Juice, I was very intrigued. See, I love almonds. But almond milk, not so much. The almond milk I know is basically milk combined with almond extract. I detest the taste of almond extract! Vile, very vile.
Sharab al loz, though, is made with real almonds. I must try it, I vowed. And now I have!
There is no instant gratification as the raw almonds need to be soaked in water overnight.
left: raw almonds soaking in water
right: almonds after boiling
The next day, they are boiled in water for about 30 minutes. Look how plump they get!
Then, it's a matter of. Peeling. Each. Individual. Nut. By hand.
Not to worry, we're almost done. It's just a matter of adding the peeled almonds into the blender, and blending them with some milk and sugar (don't make it too sweet). I used 2% milk because that's what we had.
Ta-da! The mixture is a thick liquid meant to be used as a concentrate. To make your drink, simple add some of this concentrate to more milk and/or ice. Stir or process in a blender.
For my latte, I added this almond milk concentrate to more milk and steamed away. Then, I finished my drink with some cinnamon sugar.
A note: there will be some sediment from the ground almonds, so you may want to strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
So, now that we have enjoyed our little drink, have we decided on what to make for Weekend Wokking, Almond edition?
Here it is!
Almond Eggplant "Bisteeya" (Bastilla)
Olive Juice: Sharab al Loz
WikiBooks: Sharab al Loz (Almond Milk)
What is that blurry item in the background?
Click here to find out!
We're submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide food blogging event (created by Kalyn's Kitchen, now maintained by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once) with the goal of helping each other learn about cooking with herbs and plant ingredients.
If you'd like to participate, see who's hosting next week. WHB is hosted this week by of Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska.