Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Back Forty Cocktail #FoodieExtravaganza

The Back Forty cocktail was the signature eponymous drink at Back Forty, Peter Hoffman's casual East Village restaurant and bar. It’s made with maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, whiskey and a few good shakes of orange bitters.


As I have confessed before, the pancake syrup of choice in our house is, and has been for more years than I can count, Aunt Jemima’s Butter Lite. I’ve hauled those plastic squeezy bottles from the United States to five other continents in my luggage. Even here in Dubai, one can find Aunt Jemima’s but not the Butter Lite. They don’t know what they are missing.

But this month my Foodie Extravaganza group is using maple syrup in our recipes so I felt obliged to buy the real stuff. A fairly small bottle is about $8 so a cocktail recipe that would make it last longer than, say, using the whole thing in cookies or cake seemed like a prudent plan.

Just a quick search on The Google led me to The Back Forty Cocktail recipe already published in many places but the most reliable seemed to be in this 2008 article, an interview with then Back Forty bar manager Michael Cecconi. Sadly, I will never taste the original because Back Forty closed this past July but if my homemade cocktail with Canadian maple syrup, Kentucky bourbon and Angostura orange bitters instead of Vermont syrup, Tennessee whiskey and Fee Brothers bitters (none of which are available to me here) is any indication, it was delicious.

Ingredients
2 oz or 60ml American whiskey or bourbon
1 oz or 30ml maple syrup
1 oz or 30ml fresh lemon juice
3-5 dashes orange bitters
Ice

Method
Add the lemon juice and maple syrup to a cocktail shaker and swirl it around to loosen the maple syrup and dissolve it in the lemon juice. Add in the bourbon and a cup or so of ice cubes.
Shake vigorously to combine and serve over more ice in a low ball glass.




Garnish with a lemon slice or lemon peel if desired but know that, as per Mr. Cecconi, the original has no garnish. Because it's perfect just as it is.



Many thanks to this month's Foodie Extravaganza host, Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook. Don't forget to check out all the other maple syrupy recipes we are sharing.

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Craig Claiborne's Eggnog Mousse #SundaySupper

Eggnog is a simple drink, made with fresh eggs, cream or milk and sugar. Craig Claiborne’s Eggnog Mousse takes those key ingredients and puts them together to create a creamy, fluffy dessert.



This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing eggnog recipes, actual homemade eggnog in one case as well as recipes that use eggnog as an ingredient. While I was researching eggnog, I came upon a recipe from 1958 which appeared in The New York Times in an article written by Craig Claiborne.

Mr. Claiborne was a food critic for The Times as well as its food editor for 29 years.  As the author or editor of more than 20 books, he has been credited, along with Julia Child, with bringing French cuisine to the United States. A trailblazer in many ways, Mr. Claiborne was the first man to hold the food editor position in any major newspaper, a role that was considered a woman’s job when he took over back in the 1950s.

When this recipe was originally published, Mr. Claiborne didn’t call it eggnog mousse but simply eggnog. After reading through the method, I made that name up because this is clearly a mousse. A very adult mousse, with all that alcohol.

His penultimate instruction was to serve it in punch cups with spoons. But in his final instruction, he allowed that one could add 1 to 2 cups of milk to the yolk mixture for a thinner eggnog. An eggnog a person could drink, presumably.

This recipe makes about 4 1/4 cups or 1 liter of mousse. It is easily doubled or even quadrupled. Indeed, Mr. Claiborne's original recipe was for four times this amount. He must have been throwing some very big parties!

Important: Raw unpasteurized eggs should never be served to children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems (such as transplant patients and individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and diabetes).

Ingredients
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup or 66g granulated sugar
1/4 cup or 60ml bourbon
1/4 cup or 60ml Cognac
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups or 355ml heavy whipping cream
Pinch cream of tartar
Nutmeg or cinnamon, to serve

Method
Separate the egg yolks and whites carefully, putting the whites in the refrigerator for later.

Using electric beaters, whip the egg yolks and the sugar until they thicken and turn a pale yellow.



With the beaters on slow, gradually add the bourbon and Cognac, beating well in between additions, until all is incorporated.



Cover the boozy yolks with cling film and pop them in the refrigerator to chill.

Once the yolk mixture is chilled, beat the cream with the pinch of cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture with a light hand.



Use a clean mixing bowl or wash the one you just used very well and beat the egg whites in it until they reach stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk/cream mixture.





Spoon the resulting mousse into serving dishes and chill until ready to serve. My little cups hold just a little more than a 1/4 cup or 60ml, perfect if you are offering this eggnog mousse with other dessert options on a buffet table. Put out the demitasse spoons, if you have any.


Sprinkle on a little nutmeg or cinnamon before serving.


This week our Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing their own special eggnog recipes in honor of National Eggnog Month. Many thanks to our host Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures and our event manager, Cricket of Cricket's Confections for all of their behind-the-scenes work!

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Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Shrimp Scampi Muffins #MuffinMonday

Garlicky, spicy and full of shrimp! Savory shrimp scampi muffins are perfect lunch box food. They are great cold or you can rewarm them briefly in a microwave. Or make them in mini muffin pans for a quick and easy appetizer for your holiday party.



First, my apologies for the lack of photos for the steps where we cook the shrimp. The truth is, we had shrimp scampi for dinner on Saturday night so I actually cooked about three times the amounts below, with way more butter.

It was a simple meal with crusty French bread for sopping up all the lovely garlickly sauce and a fresh salad to counterbalance the rich shrimp dish. The treble amount was a deliberate choice because I knew I wanted to make muffins with the leftovers. Savory muffins are my favorites and it has been a couple of months since I made some. Hope you like them too!

Ingredients
For the shrimp:
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh red chili, minced
1/8 cup or 30ml dry white wine
8 large shrimp (After cooking, about 1 cup, chopped roughly or 150g)
Good handful flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
Salt to taste

For the muffins:
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/3 cup or 80ml canola or other light oil
1 egg
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or lining it with paper baking cups.

Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and add the garlic and chopped chili. Sauté them gently until the garlic just starts to color and add in the white wine.

Now add the shrimp. Cook for a few minutes, covered, until the shrimp are cooked though. Add the parsley, stir and remove from the heat. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together your milk, egg and oil.

In a larger bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pepper and salt.

Chop your shrimp in big pieces and mix them into the dry ingredients.



Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just mixed.



Divide the batter between your 12 muffin cups.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.



Enjoy!



Check out all the great muffins my Muffin Monday group is sharing today!


#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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