Archive | December, 2010

Winter: Drinks, Food, Spice, and Everything Nice.

28 Dec

Welcome, friends!

Winter is upon us, and with it comes the opportunity to stay indoors! Now is the perfect time to visit some of your area’s local dining spots, read up on what’s hip in the wining and dining community, and try your hand at a new recipe or three.

With that in mind, we’ll be bringing you the latest and greatest info we dig up all winter long – from dining reviews, to the latest restaurant industry news and events, to hints on how to improve your own culinary skills.

And remember, we want to hear from you! Several of you have posted favorite foods, recipes, or culinary websites you enjoy on our Facebook page, and we are always thrilled to have your input. So keep the ideas and opinions coming, and check back for updates!

Let’s kick off our theme of winter food, drink, and creativity with a special recipe we’ve been ogling: Butterscotch Scotch Eggnog.

We found this scrumptious article in the New York Times (Dining and Wine section, Dec 3 edition) and we’re including it in this post for your taste buds’ pleasure. Give it a shot!

A Good Appetite

Familiar Eggnog Made New

By MELISSA CLARK
Published: December 3, 2010

I DIDN’T grow up with eggnog, but when I met my first glass, I felt like we had been friends forever. It tasted like a spiked crème Anglaise, the kind of liquid custard meant to be drizzled over fruit or cake. I partook whenever it was served. Then a few years ago a cocktail-buff friend mentioned that the very best nogs were made from raw eggs. Because of salmonella scares, the eggnogs I’d tasted were either poured from a carton or made with cooked custard. But since I was not pregnant, very old or very young, and was strongly tempted by the promise of an eggnog more superb than anything else I had sipped, I decided to give it a go. I went home and whipped up a batch using a classic recipe with beaten eggs, cream, brandy and bourbon.

It was better than any eggnog I’d tasted before, less eggy and brighter in flavor. Thanks to the addition of the beaten egg whites, the texture was mousse-like while still being rich and semi-liquid. You could drink it, but a spoon worked even better.

When November rolled around, I already had a list of variations I wanted to try, including one made with coconut milk that my husband, who avoids dairy products, could drink, and a butterscotch one.

I tried out the latter on my family at Thanksgiving, following the directions per my usual recipe, but substituting brown sugar for the white. Also, I liked the way butterscotch Scotch eggnog sounded, so I used Scotch whisky in lieu of the bourbon.

The smoky Scotch made the eggnog more complex and gave it a savory taste, which went nicely with the caramelized flavor of the brown sugar. It was a whole new take on an old friend, and a delicious one at that.

BUTTERSCOTCH SCOTCH EGGNOG:

12 large eggs, separated

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus pinch

2 cups whole milk

1 cup smoky Scotch whisky

1/2 cup brandy

2 cups heavy cream

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Grated nutmeg.

1. In a large bowl, combine the yolks, brown sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using an electric mixer beat on medium-high speed until thick and dark golden, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly drizzle in the milk, Scotch and brandy. Transfer to the freezer to chill while preparing the rest of the eggnog. (Or refrigerate for at least 2 hours before completing.)

2. In a medium bowl, whip the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside. In another medium bowl, using clean beaters, whip the egg whites and pinch of salt on medium-high speed, adding the sugar by tablespoons until soft peaks form.

3. When ready to serve, pour the yolk mixture into a large punchbowl. Fold in a small amount of whipped cream to lighten it, then fold in the remaining cream. Fold in the egg whites. Generously dust the top with nutmeg; serve immediately.

Yield: 12 servings.

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