Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Very Cranberry

Thanksgiving is only one day away so I am making my list and checking it twice...for baking ingredients not Black Friday sales, people! Since not everyone likes cranberry sauce (or they want the one from the can) I need to figure out what to do with my leftovers. Cranberry margaritas, duh! This recipe is from The Red Cat, one of my fave restaurants in NYC. Check out their delish zucchini recipe here

For this fabulous margarita, just make a cranberry sauce as you normally would for Thanksgiving dinner, but then instead of smearing it all over a turkey sandwich, add it to a cocktail shaker and watch your margarita turn a lovely shade of pink. Festive and delicious. Bottoms up!

Cranberry Margarita

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder, if desired
1 lime, cut into wedges
4 ounces Triple Sec or Cointreau
6 ounces Tequila

1. Make the jam: Bring the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and jammy, 30–40 minutes. Mix in the orange zest; let cool. DO AHEAD: Jam can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

2. Make the drinks: Mix the salt, sugar, and five-spice powder (if using) on a small plate. Rub the rims of Old Fashioned glasses with a lime wedge; dip in the salt mixture and fill the glasses with ice.

3. For each cocktail, combine 1 ounce lime juice, 1 ounce Triple Sec, 1½ ounces tequila, and 2 tablespoons cranberry jam in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Cover and shake until the outside is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into the prepared glasses.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Apple Expectations

How is November halfway over?? It's going to be Christmas in one second so...time to start baking!

I've been flipping through magazines trying to get some new ideas for Thanksgiving desserts. I've made all sorts of pies in the past, but the truth is that I have to produce an apple crisp or I will be asked to leave dinner! For realz. (These peeps expect a crisp or a crumble at each and every dinner that I attend. Holiday or not.) I was just thinking that maybe I could jazz it up somehow? Like with cranberries? I like the tartness that they add, but not sure if my dinner crowd will approve. I think that they may be apple crisp purists. Or just happy to get whatever I make? I'll go with that. I made a mini version today, essentially a half batch, and I was totes happy. (Just wish I had some ice cream or whipped cream.) We'll what I can get away with!

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
2 1/2 pounds Fuji or Rome or Granny Smith apples (or a mix - about 6 medium), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Vanilla ice cream

1. For the topping: Combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and salt in large bowl. Stir to blend. Add the butter and rub in with fingertips until the mixture comes together in clumps. Cover and chill while preparing the filling. (The topping can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

2. For the filling: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter a 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Combine the cranberries, apples, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. Transfer the filling to the prepared dish. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture.

3. Bake the crisp until the filling bubbles and the topping is crisp and deep golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve with ice cream, if desired. Makes 8 - 10 servings.