Cooking with Spirits
Fruit Brie Wheel
1 large Brie
½ c. dried cranberries
¼-1/2 c. golden raisins
1 diced pear or apple
Walnuts, pecans or almonds, chopped
Soak fruit in wine 4-6 hours
Cut brie in half, sprinkle with brown sugar (as you like)
Top with fruit, nuts, repeat
Heat for 10-15 in 350° oven until warm
Serve with crackers
Penne with Prociutto and Vodka Sauce
1/4 lb. prosciutto ham, chopped
1 lb. penne pasta
28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tbsp. crushed bay leaves
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 c. vodka
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1. Saute garlic in olive oil. Add crushed tomatoes, prosciutto, parsley, bay
leaves, red pepper, vodka and simmer for about 10 minutes in medium
2. Cook penne and drain.
3. Add heavy cream to sauce and cook for 2 minutes in low heat.
4. Mix penne in sauce and add Parmesan cheese. Mix again. Serve with
Bourbon Glazed Ham in Puff Pastry
1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (recommended:
2 tablespoons bourbon glaze
1/4 pound black forest ham, sliced
1/2 pound Swiss Gruyere cheese, sliced
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a
Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and carefully roll it out to 10
by 12 inches. Place it on a sheet pan and brush the center with glaze,
leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Place a layer first of ham and
then cheese, also leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg
Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured board and roll it out to
10 by 12inches. Place the second sheet on top of the filled pastry, lining up
the edges. Cut the edges straight with a small, sharp knife and press
together lightly. Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits in the top to
allow steam to escape.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for
a few minutes and serve hot or warm.
1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen whole onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over
medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly
browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and
pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5
minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the
plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set
Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of
pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook
for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to
burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the
juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the
meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot
with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until
the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the
stew. Add the frozen onions. Sauté the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of
butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring
the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15
minutes. Season to taste.
To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side
with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of
bread and sprinkle with parsley.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 5:25 hrs
Makes 8 servings
2 cloves garlic,finely chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 jars ( 6 oz. each ) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup sweet Marsala wine or chicken broth
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. spray 4 to 5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker place garlic
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; place in cooker over garlic. Place
over chicken. pour wine over all.
2. Cover; cook on low heat setting 5 to 6 hours.
3. Remove chicken from cooker; place on plate and cover to keep warm.
In a small
bowl mix water and cornstarch until smooth; stir into liquid in cooker.
setting to high: cover and cook about 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly
4. Return chicken to cooker. Cover and cook on high heat setting 5
minutes longer or
chicken is hot.
5. To serve, spoon mushroom mixture over chicken breasts; sprinkle with
CINNAMON-APPLE BREAD PUDDING
1 loaf cinnamon swirl bread (dried and cubed)
2 c. milk
4 eggs beaten
1 c. applesauce
1 c. sugar
2 T. vanilla extract
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 c. butter (melted and cooled slightly)
Place bread cubes in a large bowl and pour in milk; let stand a few minutes
until moistened. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, sugar,
vanilla and spices. Drizzle melted butter over bread mixture; toss slightly.
Add egg mixture to bread mixture and stir well. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Place mixture in a buttered 13x9 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for
about 45 minutes, until golden and a knife tip inserted in comes out clean.
Let cool slightly while making your Whiskey Sauce.
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 beaten egg yolk
2 T. water
1 to 2 T. bourbon
In a small saucepan melt the butter. Stir in the sugar, egg yolk, and water.
Cook and constantly stir the mixture over medium-low heat for 5 to 6
minutes or till sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Remove from heat; stir in
bourbon. Serve warm. (Cover and chill any leftovers.) Makes 2/3 cup
Pumpkin Pie Martini
1 vanilla wafer crushed (optional)
2 oz. vanilla flavored vodka
2 oz. milk
2 oz. heavy whipping cream
1 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. hazelnut liqueur
1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Dash ground cinnamon
If a cookie crumb rim is desired, moisten the rims of two cocktail glasses
with water. Place cookie crumbs on a plate, dip rims in crumbs. Set aside.
Fill a mixing glass or tumbler three-fourths full with ice. Add the remaining
ingredients, stir until condensation forms on outside of glass. Strain martini
into two chilled cocktail glasses.
Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup
water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered
for 3-5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove
from the heat: cool to room temperature
Dirty Martini Salad
1 medium lemon
8 pimento-stuffed olives
8 frilled toothpicks
2T kosher salt
10oz. package spring mix salad greens
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 small red onion, finely sliced
¼ cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives
Blue cheese crumbles
1 shallot halved
6 pimento stuffed olives plus ¼ cup juice
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup vodka
1T lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
Cut lemon in half lengthwise, cut one half into eight thin wedges. Thread
olives and lemon wedges onto toothpicks for garnishes, set aside.
Using the lemon half, moisten the rims of eight large cocktail glasses.
Sprinkle salt on a plate and dip rims into salt. Divide the salad greens,
tomatoes, onions and sliced olives among prepared glasses. Top each with
a prepared toothpick.
In a food processor, combine shallot and olives, cover and process until
finely chopped. Add the vinegar, vodka, olive juice and lemon juice: cover
and process until blended. Add oil and continue processing. Divide among
eight shot glasses: serve with salads.
Bourbon Barbecue Shrimp Dunk
1 ¼ cup chili sauce
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 Tablespoons bourbon
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Tabasco
2 Teaspoons minced garlic
To make the Dunk:
Whisk together the chili sauce, green onions, olive oil, molasses, bourbon,
Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Reserve 1 cup for
dipping and refrigerate. Place the shrimp and remaining dunk in a large self
sealing plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake to coat. Marinate in the
refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or up to 8 hours.
Soak twenty-four 6-inch wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes; drain
before using. Preheat a grill to medium high or the oven to 450 degrees
To assemble: drain the shrimp. Thread 1 shrimp onto each skewer. If using
a grill, brush or spray the grill rack with oil. Place the skewers on the grill
rack and grill, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, rotating the skewers
frequently until the shrimp are pink. If using the oven, place the skewers on
a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and cover loosely with more foil.
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, with
the reserved dunk.
The dunk can be made 3 to 5 days in advance. The shrimp can be
marinated, skewered, and cooked 1 day in advance. To reheat, place the
skewers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and cover loosely with
more foil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes,
or until warm.
Yield: about 8 cups (enough for both a grits and soup flight for 4)
1 pound sharp yellow cheddar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 Teaspoon ground white pepper
3 red bell peppers, roasted, seeded and chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sugar
3 drops Tabasco
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
For the Pimiento Cheese:
Grate cheese into a mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients and mix
thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Pimiento Cheese and Ale Soup
Yield: about 2 quarts
¼ pound unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 12-ounce beer
2 cups pimiento cheese
kosher salt and white pepper to taste
bacon crumbles and toast points for garnish (optional)
Melt butter over medium heat in a soup pot. When completely melted, add
flour and continue to cook while stirring constantly for several minutes, until
the mixture smells nutty. Slowly add in milk, whisking continuously until all
of the milk has been incorporated. Continue to cook for several minutes
until it has thickened slightly. Add beer and pimiento cheese and whisk until
fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish individual
servings with bacon and toast points desired.