recipes

Beverages 16 November 2018

Old Fashioned with a Twist

(Family Features) Cocktail trends may come and go, but one staple remains a fixture on drink menus two centuries after its invention – the Old Fashioned.

There are many competing stories about the origins of the “first” true cocktail recipe, but nearly all agree that the modern-day cocktail was first mixed in the early 1800s, and the recipe was generally the same Old Fashioned recipe still mixed in bars around the world today: liquor, sugar, water and bitters.

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Bourbon is traditionally the spirit of choice for an Old Fashioned, but contemporary versions may substitute virtually any type of liquor, from rye whiskey to tequila to rum. Yesteryear’s sugar cube, served as a lump doused with bitters, has given way to simple syrup, which mixes more easily when served. A twist of citrus zest or a dark cherry are common garnishes in today’s Old Fashioned renditions.

No matter what spirit or style you prefer, there’s one constant that’s crucial to any drink bearing the Old Fashioned name: bitters. For a truly authentic experience, look to incorporate an option like Angostura bitters – an iconic brand that traces its roots as far back as the dawn of the Old Fashioned and has been closely intertwined with the history of the cocktail ever since.

Dr. Johann Siegert, the bitters’ inventor, created the elixir in 19th-century Venezuela while serving as a doctor to soldiers in Simon Bolivar’s army. By 1824, he perfected the formula for “amargo aromatico,” which he initially used to help alleviate the stomach issues of ailing soldiers.

By the mid-1800s, cocktails were steadily gaining favor, and nearly all the early recipes called for bitters. Siegert’s sons seized the opportunity and astutely developed a following for their formula among cocktail lovers.

Today, Angostura aromatic bitters are a classic and versatile ingredient in bars and kitchens alike for their flawless ability to balance a range of cocktails. Bitters provide layers of flavor and complexity through their expertly-crafted combination of aromatic herbs, bark, roots and other botanicals. When it comes to the ingredients in Angostura’s aromatic bitters, the exact formula is unknown, as the recipe has remained a closely-guarded secret since the bitters were created almost 200 years ago.

Consider these tried-and-true takes on the Old Fashioned with four recipes ideal for sipping. The traditional version features bourbon, while three twists on the timeless classic highlight alternative liquors: the Tequila Old Fashioned, the Rum Old Fashioned and the Wisconsin-Style Brandy Old Fashioned.

Pro Serving Tip
Serving an authentic Old Fashioned requires more than just the right ingredients: you need the proper bar glass, too. An Old Fashioned is almost always served in a rocks glass, which is a short glass, often with a weighted bottom, designed to hold a shot or two of liquor over ice (or “rocks”). Also known as a lowball, whisky or (aptly named) Old Fashioned glass, the rocks glass typically holds 4-10 ounces.

Simple Syrup at Home

A wide range of cocktails call for sweet syrup to enhance the flavor of the liquor, and one variety in particular lends a rich molasses note to drinks. Demerara syrup is made using Demerara sugar, a special variety of raw, unrefined cane sugar with large grains and a golden amber hue.

The sugar, which traces its origins to the South American country of Guyana, can be used in place of brown sugar. Though similar, Demerara generally lends stronger caramel, toffee and molasses notes than traditional brown sugar.

If you don’t have any Demerara syrup around, it’s quite easy to make at home and can be used to naturally sweeten a number of drinks, from coffee to cocktails. If Demerara isn’t on-hand, swap for turbinado sugar, brown sugar or table sugar.

Demerara Syrup

1          part Demerara sugar
1          part hot water

Stir to dissolve. Let cool before use.

Find more recipes filled with good, old-fashioned flavor at AngosturaBitters.com.

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Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned

  • 2          ounces bourbon
  • 1/4       ounce Demerara syrup
  • 2          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1          dash Angostura orange bitters
  • 1          splash water
  • ice
  • long orange peel, for garnish
  1. In rocks glass, stir bourbon, Demerara syrup, water, aromatic bitters and orange bitters with ice to incorporate ingredients.
  2. Add ice to fill glass to top. Garnish with orange peel.

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Tequila Old Fashioned

  •             Ice
  • 2          ounces reposado tequila
  • 1/4       ounce Demerara syrup
  • 2          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • grapefruit swath (narrow strip of peel) or wedge, for garnish
  1. In ice-filled mixing glass, stir tequila, Demerara syrup and aromatic bitters. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass.
  2. Squeeze grapefruit swath over glass and insert into drink.

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Wisconsin-Style Brandy Old Fashioned

  •  3          ounces, plus 1 splash, lemon-lime soda
  • 1          Demerara sugar cube
  • 5          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters, divided
  • 3          maraschino cherries
  • 1          orange slice, plus peel, for garnish
  • ice
  • 2          ounces brandy
  • 1          dash Angostura orange bitters
  • skewered maraschino cherry, for garnish
  1. In rocks glass, muddle splash of lemon-lime soda, sugar cube, 2 dashes aromatic bitters, cherries and orange slice.
  2. Add ice and brandy then fill with remaining lemon-lime soda. Add remaining aromatic bitters and orange bitters. Garnish with skewered cherry and orange peel.

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Rum Old Fashioned

  • 1          Demerara sugar cube
  • 4          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 2          dashes Angostura orange bitters
  • 1          splash soda water
  • ice
  • 2          ounces Angostura 1919 Rum*
  • orange peel, for garnish
  1. Place sugar cube in rocks glass. Wet cube with aromatic bitters, orange bitters and soda water. Using muddler, crush sugar cube.
  2. Add ice, pour in rum and stir. Garnish by squeezing orange peel over glass.

*Distilled and bottled by Angostura Holdings, Port of Spain, Laventille, Trinidad. Imported by Terlato Wine and Spirits, Lake Bluff, IL. 40% Alc./Vol. © 2018

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned, Tequila Old Fashioned, Rum Old Fashioned)

Source: Angostura

Breakfast & Brunch 21 February 2018

Brighten Up Your Brunch Menu

(Family Features) Waking up early is hardly anyone’s favorite thing to do, especially on the weekends. Instead of planning an elaborate menu for brunch with family and friends, keep your plans simple and hit that snooze button. Transform a favorite recipe with new, inspired ingredients instead of traditional brunch fare.

Try putting a twist on a classic breakfast by opting for Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon instead of pork bacon. It's thick-cut, ready to cook and perfect for pairing with eggs, pastries or fruit. With a hearty taste and texture and 57 percent less fat than traditional pork bacon, duck bacon can satisfy hungry, waiting guests and give them a tasty start to their weekend.

This brunch recipe for Duck Bacon and Brie Cheese Stuffed French Toast can be thrown together in an instant with mouthwatering ingredients. The addition of duck bacon adds a unique flavor and wow-factor that can leave guests asking for more.

Find more brunch recipes and information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.

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Duck Bacon and Brie Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Recipe courtesy of Chef Ben Vaughn on behalf of Maple Leaf Farms
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Butter, for coating pan
  • 4          large eggs
  • dash of salt
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 1⁄2       teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1          ounce bourbon
  • 8          slices day-old sourdough bread
  • 8          ounces Brie cheese
  • 12        slices Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon, cooked crispy
  • 8          tablespoons melted butter, for topping
  • maple syrup, for topping
  • powdered sugar, for topping
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Butter baking sheet well.
  2. In small bowl, beat eggs with salt, sugar, milk, vanilla and bourbon. Pour into flat-bottomed dish.
  3. Submerge all bread slices in dish to soak up some of egg mixture. Work in batches, if necessary. Turn with spatula and soak other side. Do not soak too long or bread will be too saturated and difficult to handle. Gently transfer four soaked bread slices to prepared baking sheet.
  4. Place 2 ounces cheese on each slice. Add three slices crispy bacon on top of each cheese portion.
  5. Top with another soaked bread slice. Press filled bread together firmly.
  6. Place baking sheet in oven; bake 15-20 minutes, turning after 8-10 minutes to brown both sides.
  7. Serve immediately with melted butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar.

Source: Maple Leaf Farms

Appetizers & Sides 19 January 2017

Bourbon Caramelized Onions

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 shot bourbon* (optional)
  1. Heat vegetable oil in sauté pan over high heat.
  2. Add butter to pan and brown slightly.
  3. Add onions to pan and sear for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir well and continue cooking for approximately 10 minutes or until onions are light brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  5. When onions began to caramelize add bourbon. Continue cooking until all liquid is cooked off and onions are a nice brown color.

*For regular caramelized onions omit bourbon.

Source: Omaha Steaks

Holiday 09 December 2016

Make the Holidays Better with Bacon

Add a delicious twist to entertaining

(Family Features) The holidays are the ultimate time for connecting with friends and family, so treat them to something special this year with your own mouthwatering take on a holiday feast. Add a new and delicious twist to entertaining this season with a festive bacon bar.

Mix things up with simple decorating tips and these easy-to-make – and even easier to eat – bacon recipes from Smithfield that can help create the perfect setting for your next holiday gathering. Whether drizzled with caramel and sea salt, twisted with puff pastry or baked with bourbon and maple syrup, your guests can enjoy bacon in a variety of ways. The classic cut and versatility of Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon is ideal for dishes you can include in your bacon bar like bacon cheddar biscuits, savory bacon jam and flavorful bacon salt. You can also incorporate different bacon flavors; with more than 10 different Smithfield varieties to choose from, there truly is something for everyone.

Complete your holiday spread with printed labels that festively identify the variety of bacon flavors, unique recipes and side dishes on display. Simply print templates onto thick card stock and cut to your desired shape. Use twine or holiday ribbon to tie the labels onto mason jars, bowls or baskets, or use a small clothespin to clip the labels onto your bacon creations. Garnish your display with garland, red berries and pine cones for added holiday cheer.

Visit Smithfield.com/BaconBar for printable labels, more decor ideas and recipe inspiration to give your own bacon bar a personal touch.

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Crispy Bacon Twists with Gouda and Apricot Preserves

Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 15

  • Nonstick spray
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup (12 ounces) apricot preserves
  • 2 cups (about 7 ounces) Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 pounds (about 25-30 slices) Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Line two rimmed baking pans with foil, set baking racks in pans and lightly spray racks with nonstick spray.
  2. On lightly floured surface, roll out one puff pastry sheet to roughly 8-by-12 inches. Brush top with egg and thinly spread 1/2 cup preserves over dough. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon rosemary, lightly pressing cheese mixture into dough. Fold short end of dough over to enclose cheese mixture and lightly roll to seal. Cut into 15 1/2-inch strips. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and ingredients.
  3. Lay one slice bacon diagonally. Grab one strip of prepared dough by ends and place one end of dough strip horizontally at top end of bacon and roll bacon with dough downward, stretching dough strip while rolling. Place spiral-wrapped bacon twist on prepared rack and repeat.
  4. Bake twists 35-45 minutes, or until pastry is browned and bacon crisp, rotating pans as needed for even cooking.
  5. Let cool 5 minutes and gently use spatula to remove twists from racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tip: For a different flavor, try smoked or aged Gouda or fresh thyme instead of rosemary.

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Caramelized Bourbon Bacon

Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Remove bacon from package and space evenly on pans without overlapping slices.
    Place pans in oven and bake 15 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking time. Meanwhile, combine honey, bourbon and syrup.
  3. Remove bacon from oven. Carefully drain grease from pans. Brush bacon with bourbon mixture. Return to oven and bake 3-5 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

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Sea Salt Caramel Bacon

Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves: 12

  • 2 packages (12 ounces each) Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
  • 4 tablespoons caramel topping
  • 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Line two baking pans with nonstick foil.
  2. Remove bacon from package and space evenly on pans without overlapping slices.
  3. Place pans in oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate pans and continue baking until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Using tongs, place bacon slices on clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool slightly.
  4. Heat caramel in microwave 10 seconds. Drizzle bacon with caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove to cooling rack. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

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Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cooked Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon, diced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon and extra for rolling, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. In small bowl, toss together cheese, green onions and bacon with 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Use pastry cutter or two forks to cut in butter.
  3. Add milk and stir just enough to bring ingredients together. Gently fold in cheese mixture.
  4. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead about 1 minute. Pat or roll out dough to 1/2- or 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter.
  5. Place biscuits on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Source: Smithfield

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