Chef Yolanda Banks

Epicurean, Culinary Instructor & Cookbook Author

Acquire a taste for Fresh Fabulous

Bringing seasonal, healthy, global cuisine to your kitchen.

Fresh is Fabulous

I make delicious food that happens to be healthy... moderation over deprivation!

Drinks

Blueberry Acai Mojito  
VeeV Acai Spirit is the world’s first spirit made with the superfruit, Acai.  Acai is the national fruit of Brazil, and is considered the world’s preeminent superfruit!  Grown and harvested in the Brazilian Rainforest, this fruit is jam-packed with nutrients.  It has 57% more antioxidants than pomegrantes or blueberries, and 30 times more heart-healthy anthocyanins than red wine.  VeeV is blended with exotic fruits prickly pear and acerola cherry.  The prickly pear is loaded with minerals and vitamin A, while the acerola cherry is chock-full of vitamin C-65% more than that of an orange!  So, if you’ve gotta have a cocktail, why not drink one that is, dare I say, good for you!

Ingredients

16 fresh blueberries
12 fresh mint leaves
1 small lime, cut in half
4 ounces VeeV Acai Spirit
ounces agave nectar
club soda

Method

1.  Muddle the blueberries, mint, lime in a cocktail shaker.  Add agave nectar, VeeV, and ice; shake well.
2.  Divide into two rocks glasses filled with ice.  Top with about 1/4 cup of soda; stir.  Garnish with fresh mint and a few fresh blueberries.

Servings
2

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


La Paloma  
La Paloma is Spanish for “the dove”. La Paloma is known as the preferred drink of Guadalajara, Mexico. It’s light, refreshing and makes for the ideal warm weather cocktail.

Ingredients

kosher salt
ancho chile powder
4 ounces white tequila, preferably Herradura
1 ounce lime juice
6 ounces grapefruit soda, preferably Jarritos

Method

1. On a small plate, combine salt and ancho powder; mix well.
2. Using a damp paper-towel, wet rim of a Collins or high-ball glass on one side with water. Place wet rim into salt mixture.
3. Place ice, tequila, and lime juice into a shaker; shake well. Fill glass halfway with ice. Distribute tequila mixture evenly into salt-rimmed glasses. Top with grapefruit soda.

Notes

Jarritos (little jars) is a popular brand of soft drinks in Mexico. They are naturally flavored with fruit and more carbonated than most traditional soft drinks. If you can’t find it, substitute Squirt or Italian grapefruit soda.
Servings: 2

Source
Yolanda Banks


Mango Margaritas  
This recipe makes enough margaritas for a huge crowd.  When I have people over, I make huge batches of cocktails so people can just help themselves.  I salt the glasses ahead of time, and add ice when the guests arrive.

Ingredients

54 ounces Premium white tequila, such as Herradura
30 ounces Grand Marnier
3 limes, juiced and zested
2 lemons, juiced and zested
53 ounces mango nectar
6 cups water
1/4 cup Rose’s lime juice
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup ancho chile powder

Method

1.  Combine all ingredients except Rose’s lime, salt, and ancho chile powder in a large pitcher or bucket; mix well.
2.  Put Rose’s lime on a plate.
3.  Mix salt and chile powder, place on a plate.
4.  To serve:  dip each glass into Rose’s lime, then into the chile mixture.  Fill with ice, pour margarita over and serve.Source: Yolanda Banks

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Michelada  
The Michelada or cerveza preparada is a term loosely defining a Mexican alcoholic beverage made with beer, lime juice and assorted spices and/or sauces. It is typically served in a glass with a salted rim.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
6 wedges lime
6 wedges orange
worcestershire sauce
6 12-ounce bottles Mexican beer, preferably Modelo Especial

Method

1. Combine salt and ancho powder on a small plate; mix well. Rub lime wedge onto the rim of each chilled beer mug. Dip into chili-salt to coat the rim.
2. Squeeze a lime and orange wedge into each mug; fill with ice. Add a dash of worcestershire sauce into each mug; top with beer. Serve at once.
Servings: 6

Source
Yolanda Banks


Orange Lillet  
Lillet is often referred to as “the aperitif of Bordeaux”.  It is a blend of fruit liqueurs and wines derived from the most prestigious wine-growing area in the world!  It is available in a white and red version.  The white Lillet is the original; in fact, the red Lillet wasn’t introduced into the marketplace for nearly 60 years later.  It has a beautiful golden color, a floral aroma, and tastes of candied orange, lime, honey, and mint.  Lillet is an extremely versatile aperitif, and goes great with vodka, gin, cognac, orange liqueur, and champagne.  An aperitif, is an alcoholic drink usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite.

Ingredients

4 ounces Lillet Blanc
2 ounces Grand Marnier
4 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
2 ounces soda water
2 twists orange zest

Method

1.  Fill 2 rocks glasses with ice.  Add ice, Lillet, Grand Marnier, and orange juice to a cocktail shaker; shake hard for about 1 minute.
2.  Strain into glasses and top each with 1 ounce of soda water. Garnish each with a twist of zest.

Servings
2

Source
Yolanda Banks


Pama Mimosa  
Pama Pomegranate Liqueur is made with 100% all-natural pomegranate juice, premium vodka and a touch of imported tequila.  It is a 34 proof spirit.  Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and polyphenols.

Ingredients

2 ounces Pama Pomegrante Liqueur
2 ounces pomegranate juice
8 ounces champagne, well chilled, such as Veuve Clicquot
pomegranate seeds

Method

1.  Combine pomegranate liqueur and pomegranate juice with ice in a cocktail shaker; shake well.
2.  Divide amongst two champagne glasses.  Top with champagne and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Servings
2

Source
Yolanda Banks


Pomegranate Bellini  
Cava is white or pink sparkling wine made in Spain. It’s delicious and inexpensive, but not commonly used. It is readily available at wine or gourmet grocers.

Ingredients

4 ounces pomegranate juice
8 ounces pomegranate liqueur
4 ounces Grand Marnier
Cava rose
pomegranate seeds

Method

1. Place all ingredients except Cava into a small pitcher; chill. Divide cold pomegranate mixture evenly into champagne flutes and top with Cava. Top with a few pomegranate seeds.

Notes

If you can’t find Cava you can use Champagne. Use any fresh juice you like and any combination of liqueurs to create your own version.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Ruby Red “Martini”  
Ingredients

12 ounces Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1/2 small lime, juiced
club soda

Method

1.  Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Add grapefruit juice and lime; shake very well.
2.  Strain into 2 chilled martini glasses.  Top each with a splash of soda.  Garnish with a segment of ruby red grapefruit.

Servings
2

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Watermelon Margaritas  
You can substitute mango or strawberries for the watermelon. Add more Agave depending on the sweetness of the fruit. If using strawberries, puree strawberries, strain to remove seeds; add to tequila mixture.

Ingredients

1 lime wedge
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 1/2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
1 cup white tequila, preferably Herradura
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
6 lime wedges, optional
12 watermelon balls, optional

Method

1. Rub the rims of 6 high-ball glasses with lime wedge. Place salt onto a small plate; dip each rim into salt. Set aside.
2. Combine watermelon through lime juice in a blender; process until smooth. Fill each glass with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Add 1/2 cup of margarita to each glass.
3. To garnish, place watermelon ball, then lime wedge and another watermelon ball onto a small skewer or pick. You should have one lime wedge sandwiched between two watermelon balls. Place pick into each glass. Serve at once.
Servings: 6

Source
Yolanda Banks


White Sangria  
Ingredients

2 bottles chilled dry white wine, preferably, Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 cup apricot brandy
1/2 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1/2 cup simple syrup
2 1/2 cups white peach grape juice
1 1/2 cups green grapes
2 limes, sliced into rounds
2 carambolas, Starfruit
1 cup pineapple, cut into 1″ cubes

Method

1.  Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher.  Taste and add more simple syrup if necessary.
2.  Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.  Serve cold over ice.

Notes

Subsitute your favorite combination of fruit.  To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, and cook until sugar is dissolved.  Simple syrup keeps, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.

Servings
8

Source
Yolanda Banks

Peach Tart Tatin
Salmon-Nicoise
Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini
Fish-Tacos

Chef Yolanda's Latest Creations

 

 
 
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