Tag Archives: bourbon

Bourbon Caramel Green Tomato Pie

9 Oct

Give me a few ingredients Lynne Rossetto Kasper-style and I can make something that lands somewhere between edible and tasty, as long as we’re not talking sweets.  Baking does not come easily to me, and it took me a long time before the successes outweighed the failures.  I’ve looked to others for advice and have found the following greatly increase my chance of success:

1. Buy store-bought pie crust (Betty and Connie)
2. When making apple pie, use half white sugar and half brown sugar (Grandma Muder)
3. Put some bourbon in it (my mom, obviously)

Putting all three into play resulted in my go-to pie recipe, Caramel Apple Pie, which I loved so much I renamed it LOVE POTION NO. 9.  If you have an abundance of apples or want to make someone fall in love with you*, I’d highly recommend it.  Last year, thanks to the prolific apple tree in my parents yard, I DID have an abundance of apples.  This year was not an apple producing year, however, so I thought that LOVE POTION TESTING would be out until my mom handed me a big bag of green tomatoes and mentioned Green Tomato Pie.  Two seconds with Google told me that this Southern specialty might be the answer I was looking for to use up the green tomatoes and continue my scientific study.

Although technically, green tomatoes can count as any unripened tomato, this is the best time of year to use them in this way.  Earlier in the year, while the days and nights are still warm, tomatoes will do their best to ripen while on the vine.  Once a frost hits though, the chances that they will sweetly ripen on the vine are pretty slim.  It’s at this point that you can try to force them to ripen (best bet here is to leave them in a paper bag and check on them once in awhile to see if any are ready) or to embrace the green.  The tomatoes force ripened are still better than the tomatoes you’ll find in a mid-winter Midwestern grocery store, but they lack the flavor and sweetness of a summer-ripened counterpart.  My suggestion is to do a little bit of both, and with 2 lbs. of the green tomatoes, make yourself this pie.

I was apprehensive about what a tomato would taste like when used in place of apples in a pie, but once I got over the thought of it, the flavor and texture proved to be awesome.  I read that a few people said “you’ll never know it’s not apple!”, and I think that might be a bit optimistic.  While the color and taste are not easily identifiable, I would not say that they are an apple dead-ringer.  However, they were much sweeter and tastier than I’d expected, and all my other tasters agreed, helping to polish off this pie in two days flat.

Bourbon Caramel Green Tomato Pie
Serves: 12

Green Tomato Mixture
2 lb. green tomatoes
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. Kosher salt
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. white sugar

Caramel Sauce
3 T. water
1 T. whiskey or bourbon
3/4 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. water
4 T. non-dairy butter

Pie Stuff
2 prepared pie crusts (non-dairy)
1 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove prepared pie crusts from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Drop in the tomatoes and boil for about 3-5 minutes or until the skins split.  Remove from water and cool.  When cool enough to handle, remove as much skin from the tomatoes as possible.  Cut off the stem end, quarter the tomatoes, and slice thinly.  Place sliced tomatoes on paper towels and pat to remove excess liquid.  Place tomatoes in a large bowl and add lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, flour and sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the first three ingredients for the caramel sauce and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup water. Set over medium-high heat and cook for about five minutes. Remove from pan and whisk in the butter.  Add the whiskey mixture and stir until everything is well mixed and smooth.  Pour over tomato mixture and stir to combine.

Transfer 1 dough round to a deep pie pan. Unfold and ease into pan, patting it into the pan. Pour tomato mixture into the pie shell. Unfold the second dough round and place over the top. Press the sides together to make a tight seal around the outside edges, and then cut 6-8 slits on the top of the pie. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake until the crust is golden, for about an hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 1-1/2 hours before serving.

Estimated Calories:  267 cal/serving

Print it: Bourbon Caramel Green Tomato Pie

Notes:
– This is a saucy pie and while baking it can easily bubble over.  I’d highly recommend placing a baking sheet underneath the pie while baking to catch any saucy drips.
– Even with the store-bought crust, I still had trouble when rolling it out.  So, Sophie and I made a few decorative patches for the crust in the form of flowers and vines to seal up the holes left behind by my poor rolling skills.  I liked the look so much, I think I’ll do it again.  It took very little time and made the pie look extra FANCY.
– The first time I made the pie I used whiskey and the second time I used bourbon. My taste buds are not finely tuned enough to catch the difference when used in this recipe.  I think either one is just fine.
– Not all store-bought pie crust is non-dairy, so be sure to check the ingredients if non-dairy is important to your family.

*never actual proven, but  I love data and look forward to your research.

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Lamb Chops with Bourbon Cream Sauce and Mushrooms

17 Aug

In order to enjoy this recipe, you will need to love three things: 1) Lamb, 2) Bourbon, and 3) Mushrooms.  I know a lot of people who do not care for at least one of the items on this list, which is why I decided to make it just for myself.  As it turned out, it was for the best because I loved the sauce so much that I practically LICKED MY PLATE CLEAN.

Bourbon cream sauce = boozy magical elixir.

This recipe is easy and fast to make, with the added bonus that this is a one-pan meal.  When cooking lamb in a skillet, it’s important to know that it can get a little bit smoky in the kitchen.  So, I’d highly recommend making this dish on a night when you can throw open the windows or you run the risk of your kitchen looking like the CC Club, c. 1995.

Now, let’s talk for a minute about lamb chops.  There are all kinds of lamb chops.  My favorite is the rib chop, cut about an inch in thickness, Frenched (that means with the bone, cleaned up a bit so that there is little or no meat on the bone).  If you’re going to grill chops, some people like them a little thicker.  Others prefer to have the chops butterflied, with no handle-like bone.  Sometimes your butcher will give you options, sometimes they are already cut and you just have to decide that the cut available is the one you wanted.  This recipe is based on my favorite cut of chop, with about 3 oz. of meat on each one and that estimate is generous.  After cooking, each chop provides about 3-4 bites of lamb.  Really, tasty, awesome bites.

I served this dish with a side of farfalle and peas.  It would be excellent with anything that can soak up some sauce, like garlic mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles, spaetzle, gnocchi, a big slab of Texas Toast.  Texas Toast probably doesn’t actually count as a side, but it sure would make a nice edible squeegee for your plate.

Lamb Chops with Bourbon Cream Sauce and Mushrooms
Serving size: 2 chops, sauce and mushrooms
Serves: 4

3-4 lbs lamb rib chops (approx. 8 chops, 3 oz. of meat/chop)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. button mushrooms, quartered
2/3 c. bourbon
1 c. stock (lamb, chicken, or beef)
1/4 c. soy creamer
1 T. fresh thyme leaves

Sprinkle the lamb chops with salt and pepper.  Set at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  When oil is hot, add lamb chops.  Cook partially covered for about 4-5 minutes per side.  Remove chops from the pan, set on a plate and cover.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion and garlic, then cook for 1 minute.  Add mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add bourbon and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook for a few minutes and add the stock.  Bring to a low simmer, adjusting the heat as needed.  Cook until the liquid has reduced and has thickened slightly.  Turn off the heat, and stir in creamer and thyme.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mushrooms over chops and drizzle with sauce to serve.

Estimated calories:  595 cal/serving

Print it: Lamb Chops with Bourbon Cream Sauce and Mushrooms

Notes:
– In this recipe, dairy cream can be used instead of the non-dairy soy version used here
– Use your favorite bourbon or whiskey, this time I used Maker’s Mark and it gave the sauce great flavor

Bourbon Peach Tea with Mint

12 Jul

This summer while we were in Texas, we were lucky enough to visit the Garrison Brothers Distillery.  It is a lovely spot, and I’ll tell you what, they make some mighty fine bourbon.  It is smooth, delicious, and if you find yourself in the Texas Hill Country, it is well worth the visit.  While we were there, we attended the Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner fund-raising event for The Hye Preservation Society, the highlight of which was a super refreshing bourbon cocktail.  I could have sat there all day, in the shade, listening to music, and sipping away on that bourbon-laden goodness.

Bourbon Peach Tea with Mint, you are mine.

I’m not exactly sure how they made theirs, and I wasn’t stealthy enough to snag the recipe.  But since I had that first sip, I’ve been busy trying to recreate it.  I knew that the tea and mint parts of the recipe would be easiest, so I set out to tackle the peach portion first.  I wanted a really full peach flavor, but without a whole lot of effort.  I started out by making my own peach puree, then tried canned nectar, and finally settled in on the version that was easiest and lowest in calories – diet peach tea drink mix.  Lipton makes a really tasty diet peach tea mix that is only 5 calories per serving, and tastes just as peachy as the versions that require more effort and are higher in calories.  So while it is the least natural of the options I tried, easy and low-cal won out this time.

Now I’m no bourbon expert, but there’s one thing I know for sure – it is a crying shame to drink really expensive bourbon in any other way than served over ice and sipped VERY, VERY SLOWLY.  When deciding which bourbon to use for this cocktail, I decided to go with Maker’s Mark.  It is different than the bourbon distilled at Garrison Brothers, but it is still very tasty.  I love to use it in cocktails and cooking, and it’s perfect in this one.  Any bourbon could be used in this recipe, so if you have another favorite, feel free to use it.

Other than the tea, peach flavor, and bourbon – the only other thing you need for this cocktail is some fresh mint.  Throw a small handful of leaves in the bottom of a glass and muddle it, which is basically smashing it around a bit to release some of the mint flavor.  You want to just mash it slightly so that it is a bit darker in color, somewhat limp, and smells minty.

So good, so easy, and very refreshing.  Enjoy.

Bourbon Peach Tea with Mint
Serving size: 1 tall, cool drink of summer
Serves: 1

Glass filled with ice
Handful of fresh mint leaves
8 oz. water
1 T. Lipton Diet Peach Tea Drink Mix
1-1/2 oz. bourbon

Muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass.  Fill glass with ice cubes.

In a separate container, mix together the water and peach tea drink mix until well combined.  Pour over ice, and add bourbon.  Stir gently and serve.

Estimated calories:  110 cal/serving

Print it: Bourbon Peach Tea with Mint

Jack and Ginger Baby Cakes

23 Sep

Recently someone was trying to make a point to me about how a person could make healthy choices between two foods – the two foods he compared were “carrots” and “carrot cake”.  I stopped listening to him just then and started dreaming about carrot cake.  I love carrot cake, but rarely make it for the following reasons:

1. Traditional carrot cake is loaded with things we cannot eat at our house due to food allergies (dairy, walnuts, nutmeg).
2. Once a cake is sitting there, lonely, I like to slice off just a bit.  Then just a bit more.  Then sometimes I have to even things up.

With both of these things in mind, I decided to lighten it up a bit, make it food-friendly for our house, and make it in individual portions so that I would know EXACTLY how much I was choosing to consume.  Plus, when you make things in individual portion sizes, the old “even things up” feeling goes away.  Unless you have a thing about even or odd numbers, in which case you may have bigger fish to fry.  To add a little boost of goodness to replace the traditional cream cheese frosting, I’ve added booze to the store-bought frosting.  I like to think of that as the ultimate touch of class to top off these baby cakes.

These little carrot cakes are packed with flavor, are low in calories, and pack a satisfying punch.  Using mini-cupcake liners, this makes a pretty good sized batch.  They are easy to freeze (a little easier to do without the frosting), but also disappear quickly.  The baby cakes are a nice 2-bite dessert, unless you’re my dad, in which case they are a one-bite gulp.

Jack and Ginger Baby Cakes
Serves: 60
 

1/3 c. canned white frosting (non-dairy)
1 t. Jack Daniels (any bourbon or whiskey will do)
2/3 c. very vanilla soy milk
1 t. cider vinegar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. no-sugar added applesauce
6 egg whites
1 T. Jack Daniels (any bourbon or whiskey will do)
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. Kosher salt
1-1/2 c. carrots, grated or chopped into little bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill mini cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the frosting and 1 t. whiskey until well combined. Set aside and try not to eat it.

In another small container, mix together the soy milk and cider vinegar and set aside to curdle. You won’t want to drink this, so don’t worry about it.

In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar, sugar, applesauce, egg whites, 1 T. whiskey, cinnamon and ginger. When well mixed, add flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. When it is all well mixed, add carrots and combine.

Add about 1 T. carrrot cake mixture to each cupcake liner so that it is filled about 3/4 way to the top. Bake for 11-12 minutes, remove from pan and set aside on a rack to cool. When totally cooled, add a little dollop (about a 1/4-1/2 t.) of frosting to the top of each.

Estimated Calories: 40 cal/serving

Print it: Jack and Ginger Baby Cakes

Notes:
– You can substitute any of the non-dairy ingredients for their dairy counterparts.
– Don’t have Jack Daniels?  Any bourbon or whiskey will do.
– Don’t want to use booze?  Try some vanilla, adjust amounts as needed.
– When looking for a non-dairy can of frosting, I have the best success with store brands.  If non-dairy is important to you, just check the labels to be sure the store-bought frosting you select is non-dairy.

Cocktail Cards! or, Everybody Loves a Giveaway.

5 Jul

To celebrate the launch of the new CalamityJennie site, we’re having our first ever GIVEAWAY!  And it can be yours for the very low price of FREE.

Introducing: Cocktail Cards

Nothing says “I’m sophisticated” like a “Signature Cocktail”.  Think outside of the box of wine or can of beer and step into sophistication with a Signature Cocktail.  Beyond the traditional and standard order, Cocktail Cards provide you with a drink idea that is tailored to the season.  This set includes two Signature Cocktail Cards that are perfect for the Summer Season – Bourbon Slush (Summer 2010) and Tequila and Tonic (Summer 2011).  You don’t need to decide which is right for you, because you’ll get both!  Sized just like a baseball card, each card features a glamour shot of the cocktail, with all of the stats and figures printed on the back.  Each card is placed in a protective sleeve that should help you from ruining it the first time you accidentally use it as a coaster (Side note: not safe to use as a coaster, even in the sleeve).

Cocktail Cards FAQ’s
Q: I don’t get it.  What are you talking about?
A: You’ve never heard of drink recipes printed in a handy baseball card size, that are suitable for trading, even though no one else has any for which you could actually trade?  Huh.

Q: Will you just send me the drinks instead of the cards?
A: No, I will not.  The ice would never hold up.

Q: What if I don’t like the drinks?
A:  Ha ha, that’s funny.

Want your very own limited edition* set of Cocktail Cards?  Email your name and mailing address to: jennie@calamityjennie.com

With your contact info in hand, I promise the following:
1. I will not sell or distribute your name on any sort of black market mailing list subscription service, no matter what they offer me to do so.  Unless it is super good, in which case I’ll at least think about it before declining.
2. I will not toilet paper your yard even though I’ll have your address, and it would be super easy. 
3. I will not send you other things you did not request, such as Hair Club for Men videos.  Not that I’ve ever done that (except for that one summer).
4. For as long as I’m able, or as long as my interest in this project holds out, I’ll keep sending you new Cocktail Cards featuring that season’s signature drink.  If you want out, just email me to let me know.  No sweat.

*Please note: Limited quantities available, much like my attention span.