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Fresh Rambutans in Minted Rum Syrup
Almost creature like, the Rambutan is a fruit considered exotic to people outside of its native range. But, to the people of Malaysia, Thailand, the Phillippines, Vietnam, Borneo and other countries of this region, the Rambutan is a common fruit the same way an apple is common to many people in cooler climates. A relative of the lychee and longan, Rambutan is distinguished by a spectacular peel that appears to have tons of “hair” and is either bright red, yellow or a mixture of both. Not so coincidentally, the name Rambutan in Indonesian or Malayan literally means hairy or hairy fruit. Most often eaten fresh, out of hand, the Rambutan can be stewed, or used in culinary applications we would often consider using grapes or melon for. Enjoy this Rambutan with this delicious recipe for a Minted Rum Syrup.
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- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
- 12 Mint Leaves, chopped
- 2 Meyer Lemons
- 1/2 cup White Rum
- 24 Rambutans
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh Mint, cut in thin strips
- Bring water and sugars to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and add 12 chopped mint leaves.
- Allow to steep until mixture cools to room temperature then strain off mint leaves.
- Peel the rind off of the Meyer Lemons, julienne finely, simmer in 1 cup of water, strain and add the finely julienned peel and the juice of 2 Meyer Lemons to the mint flavored sugar syrup.
- Add rum to syrup and chill well.
- Peel the Rambutans, exposing the translucent, grape like flesh. Remove the flesh from the shell and dissect the fruit to remove the narrow inner seed. Place all the resulting fruits in a chilled dish and dress with the chilled syrup.
- Garnish with thinly cut mint leaves and a lemon wedge if desired.
Nino Salvaggio http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/