Cooks With Cocktails https://cookswithcocktails.com A food blog focused on casual entertaining with delicious recipes and unique cocktails. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:17:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Fluffy Bacon & Peach Dutch Baby Recipe – the Ultimate Brunch Pancakes https://cookswithcocktails.com/peach-dutch-baby-recipe/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/peach-dutch-baby-recipe/#respond Tue, 16 May 2017 18:40:21 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8640

Fluffy oven baked peach dutch baby recipe with melted brie cheese and crispy bacon.  A sweet and savory version of these super easy, incredibly pretty and delicious brunch pancakes!   Peach Dutch Baby, where the HECK have you been all my life?! No seriously, how is it that I have lived 37 years on this […]

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Fluffy oven baked peach dutch baby recipe with melted brie cheese and crispy bacon.  A sweet and savory version of these super easy, incredibly pretty and delicious brunch pancakes!  

Fluffy Bacon & Peach Dutch Baby Recipe - the Ultimate Brunch Pancakes (3)

Peach Dutch Baby, where the HECK have you been all my life?!

No seriously, how is it that I have lived 37 years on this planet and NEVER had a dutch baby!  Specifically a peach dutch baby! With bacon!  And cheese!

I won’t say how many years its been for Debbie, but she’s never had one until now either…lol.

This one certainly won’t be the last.  In fact, these will be a brunch staple in our homes from now on.

We think these would be the best mothers day brunch recipe!  Or the perfect recipe for breakfast in bed, or maybe even a Valentines Day breakfast for your hunny.  These are pretty much perfect for any special occasion brunch where you need an easy, but totally fantastic recipe.

Fluffy Bacon & Peach Dutch Baby Recipe - the Ultimate Brunch Pancakes (6)

Dutch babies are another name for German pancakes and they are also often called skillet pancakes, or oven pancakes because they are made in a skillet and baked in the oven till they get all beautiful and puffy.  They can be eaten plain or with any number of toppings.  Debbie and I are big fans of sweet and savory flavors mixed together so the sweet fruity peaches mixed with salty bacon and creamy brie was perfect for us.  So delicious!

Fluffy Bacon & Peach Dutch Baby Recipe - the Ultimate Brunch Pancakes (7)

We think these are the ultimate brunch pancakes.  Especially for when you are cooking brunch for guests.  They are fancier than regular old pancakes, but we think they are even easier to make!       There’s no throw away test pancakes to make sure you have the exact pan temperature required to create the perfect browned crust.  No flipping or trying to pour the batter in so the pancakes don’t crowd each other in the pan.  You just blend up the batter, pour it in the skillet, put on your toppings and pop it in the oven.

Plus the way this peach dutch baby recipe tastes is like no ordinary pancake, let me tell you!

Your brunch guests, or your family, will be super impressed.

Fluffy Bacon & Peach Dutch Baby Recipe - the Ultimate Brunch Pancakes (1)

Tools to Make this Peach Dutch Baby Recipe even Easier:

  1. Cast Iron Skillet – A cast iron skillet works best for this recipe.  We like a 10 or 11 inch skillet.  This one also comes in tons of pretty colors!  We love that 🙂
  2. Blender – You can use any blender, but honestly, a blentec or vitamix are so great for this recipe and so many others that you cant go wrong with either of them.
  3. Food Processor – you can also use a food processor if you would rather.  We think a blender is easier though.

Fluffy Bacon & Peach Dutch Baby Recipe – the Ultimate Brunch Pancakes

Fluffy oven baked peach dutch baby recipe with melted brie cheese and crispy bacon. A sweet and savory version of these super easy, incredibly pretty and delicious brunch pancakes!  

FOR THE DUTCH BABY

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk ((or dairy if you prefer))
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt

THE ADDITIONS

  • 2 peaches ((fresh or 1 cup frozenpieces))
  • 6 strips bacon (, chopped, cooked, and drained of fat)
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 200 g brie (, cut in chunks)
  1. Place the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend well and then scrape down the sides after a few seconds. Blend for another 10 seconds. The batter will be quite loose and liquidy. Let the batter sit for 20 mins. This gives the flour a chance to absorb all the liquid.
  2. When you are ready to make the dutch baby, heat the oven to 425°F. Then heat your skillet on medium heat. When its hot, add the butter and swirl the pan to melt the butter and coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
  3. Pour the batter on top of the butter. Tilt the pan if needed so that the batter runs evenly to all sides. Place the peaches and brie on top of the batter then sprinkle the bacon and sugar on top. Place the skillet in the oven.
  4. Bake until the Dutch baby is puffed, lightly browned across the top, and darker brown on the sides and edges, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. You can either serve from the pan or transfer the Dutch baby to a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into wedges and serve with maple syrup or jam.

 

Fluffy Bacon & Peach Dutch Baby Recipe - the Ultimate Brunch Pancakes (2)


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Meyer Lemon Margarita with Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup https://cookswithcocktails.com/meyer-lemon-margarita-rosemary-infused-simple-syrup/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/meyer-lemon-margarita-rosemary-infused-simple-syrup/#comments Tue, 02 May 2017 15:30:23 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=7053

A gorgeous lemon margarita on the rocks made with sweet and tart meyer lemons and sweetened further with a rosemary infused simple syrup.  The perfect cocktail to sip on with friends in the spring sun!  How gorgeous are these meyer lemon margaritas? So bright and airy and pretty.  They have a strong lemon citrus flavor that’s […]

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A gorgeous lemon margarita on the rocks made with sweet and tart meyer lemons and sweetened further with a rosemary infused simple syrup.  The perfect cocktail to sip on with friends in the spring sun! 

Meyer Lemon Margarita with Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup

How gorgeous are these meyer lemon margaritas? So bright and airy and pretty.  They have a strong lemon citrus flavor that’s sweetened just slightly by rosemary simple syrup giving them a small but distinct rosemary flavor.  The combination is remarkably delicious and totally dangerous to your sobriety!   And have I mentioned how pretty they are?  And the fragrance is lovely.

I love how this lemon margarita is like a season crossover cocktail. From winter to spring with the rosemary representing the winter with its earthy pine fragrance and the meyer lemons representing spring with their bright crisp and slightly sweet flavor.  I know, I’m a dork.  Bring on the Spring!

This lemon margarita on the rocks recipe is soooo perfect to serve when you have guests because you can make them so dang quick.  And the flavor is super easy to get perfect!  Make the rosemary simple syrup and rim sugar/salt ahead of time and then juice the lemons just before your guests arrive.  Then its a breeze to throw together.  Both Debbie and I have had sooooo many compliments when serving this to guests, we know yours will love it too.

Meyer Lemon Margarita with Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup

I have to tell you guys about our rim salt/sugar situation.  We had the right idea to start with.  We wanted to make a sugar and salt combo with lemon zest and a touch of rosemary for the rim of our cocktails.  However, when we zipped it all up in the food processor, it got kind of moist and wasn’t really going to work for our glasses.  So Debbie figured we should put it in the oven to dry it out.  (Yep, that’s right, I’m throwing Debbie under the bus) But rather than dry out, the sugar melted and it became a hot goupy mess.  BUT… rather than toss it and start again we decided to let it cool and then break it up and throw it back in the food processor to mulch up.  Which soooooorrrt of worked, but certainly not how we hoped.  We could barely get it stuck to the rim of our glasses.  It did the trick eventually.  But man, what an ordeal.  Good thing it was so tasty!

Meyer Lemon Margarita with Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup

So, what can you learn from this?  Well… if when you make the rim salt/sugar for this cocktail, the rim garnish becomes a little on the moist side, just let it sit out and dry.  Or throw it in a dehydrator for a little min.  Do not try to dry it out in the oven!

But you should definitely make this it. Don’t let our little mishap deter you.  Its sweet and salty and tart and earthy all at the same time and it’s the perfect complement to this lemon margarita on the rocks.   Just do it the right way.  🙂

And then sip this lemon margarita and think of spring.

Tools to Make Your Lemon Margarita Even Easier

  1. Food Processor – super helpful for making cocktail salts and sugar rimmers, among other things…    This is the one that Debbie and I have and we love it. 
  2. Cocktail Jigger – every bar needs a proper measure!
  3. Glasses for Serving your sparkling margarita –  we usually like to serve ours in stemless wine glasses, or in some pretty glasses like we have in our photos.  They just look so pretty!
  4. These glasses are the coolest outdoor stemless wine glasses I have seen!  Perfect for summer!
  5. These vintage glasses are super cool looking too!  Love them. 

 

Meyer Lemon Margarita with Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup

A gorgeous lemon margarita on the rocks made with sweet and tart meyer lemons and sweetened further with a rosemary infused simple syrup. The perfect cocktail to sip on with friends in the spring sun! 

ROSEMARY SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 big handful of rosemary sprigs

GARNISH

  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

FOR THE COCKTAILS – Makes 2 Cocktails

  • 2 oz fresh meyer lemon juice
  • 4 oz tequila
  • 4 oz water
  • 1 oz rosemary simple syrup
  1. First make the simple syrup. Place all the ingredients into a medium pot, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces in half and it gets thick and sweet.
  2. Next make the rim garnish. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whiz it up. If it feels a little moist after, just spread it out on a dish and let it dry out a bit or put it in a dehydrator for a moment.
  3. Finally, make the cocktail. Run a lemon wedge around the rim of your glasses and dip them in the rim garnish. Then add the fresh lemon juice, tequila, water and rosemary simple syrup to a martini shaker. shake it good and pour into your glasses. You can also just pour the ingredients into the glasses themselves and stir well.

Meyer Lemon Margarita with Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup


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Simple & Amazing Potatoes au Gratin Recipe with Yams & Sweet Potatoes https://cookswithcocktails.com/potatoes-au-gratin-recipe/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/potatoes-au-gratin-recipe/#comments Tue, 11 Apr 2017 04:38:08 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8529

A one-pan easy and creamy potatoes au gratin recipe with three types of potatoes baked with loads of aged cheddar and gruyere! Easter dinner is next weekend!   Ham is pretty much a given at Easter, but are you struggling with what to serve with it?  Potatoes are a staple side dish for ham in our […]

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A one-pan easy and creamy potatoes au gratin recipe with three types of potatoes baked with loads of aged cheddar and gruyere!

Potatoes au Gratin Recipe (4)

Easter dinner is next weekend!   Ham is pretty much a given at Easter, but are you struggling with what to serve with it?  Potatoes are a staple side dish for ham in our family, but you don’t want to serve just any old plain potatoes.  Plus, if  you are cooking for a whack of people, you need your main side dish to be awesome, but EASY.

Our family dinners are always large.  At least 12 of us and often more like 15 or 16.  Even for those of us that love to cook, that’s a lot of people to cook for!  And no one wants to slave over the stove for hours and hours without getting the chance to enjoy the company of friends and family.

Potatoes au Gratin Recipe (2)

I have always made potatoes au gratin by slicing up potatoes and onions, making a separate cheesy sauce to pour over the potatoes and then baking them.  Its not difficult, but this recipe is even easier.  You make everything in one pan and bake.  No extra step of making the cheese sauce.   The cheese sauce is made in the pan while the potatoes bake.  Its genius!

I got this idea from Kevin’s mom, Gail.  Its how she makes her potatoes au gratin and they are delicious!  I had to try it out and now I don’t think I will ever make them any other way.

Potatoes au Gratin Recipe (3)

Potatoes au Gratin vs Scalloped Potatoes

In case you are curious, like I was, about the difference between potatoes au gratin and scalloped potatoes, here it is.  It basically boils down to the cheese.   Cheese is a necessary part of an au gratin, but cheese is not necessary for scalloped potatoes.  This post explains it much better, but that’s the short and sweet of it!

These easy au gratin potatoes are made extra special by making them with 3 types of root veggies.  Regular russets, white sweet potatoes, and yams.  We think it gives them such great flavor.  Especially the hint of sweetness from the orange yams.  I just love the flavor of a few of those thrown in.  They are so delicious with all the cheese!

Potatoes au Gratin Recipe (6)

We especially love that you can make this potatoes au gratin recipe well in advance of your dinner.  You can even make them the night before, cover them tightly and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.  This makes cooking a big dinner sooooooo much easier and frees you up to mingle and visit.

We spent Christmas with Kevin’s family at Silver Star ski hill in the Okanagan.  Kevin and I drew the Christmas Eve dinner spot so we had to make dinner for everyone that day.  Now, lets be honest, “Kevin and I” really means me…  With 16 of us, it had to be easy and since it was Christmas, it had to be special.   I made these potatoes au gratin recipe with sweet potatoes and yams and they were a huge hit.  Kevin was my master potato peeler, so it wasn’t completely a solo effort ;).  There were a couple people that said they were skeptical of the yams as they saw me throw them in, but after they tasted the dish, they were converted.

Potatoes au Gratin Recipe (1)

Now, if you don’t like yams OR sweet potatoes, make this dish with russets only.  I made them like that for Kevin recently.  While he likes them with the yams, he says that he likes them both ways so sometimes he wants just plain potatoes.  Fine by me…

We serve these cheesy potatoes au gratin with our juicy and fall apart boiled ham or roasted ham (recipe to come soon for the roasted ham).  Its the perfect paring!

Make These Potatoes au Gratin Even Easier

  1. Casserole Dish – we love this heavy and super versatile casserole dish
  2. Casserole Dish on Steroids – the cream of the crop bakeware.  A little hard on the pocket book, but it will last you a lifetime!
  3. Cheese Grater – never EVER grate your fingers and knuckles again…  
  4. Mandolin Slicer – slice potatoes and onions in record time!

 

Simple & Amazing Potatoes au Gratin Recipe with Yams & Sweet Potatoes

A one-pan easy and creamy potatoes au gratin recipe with three types of potatoes baked with loads of aged cheddar and gruyere!

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 yams
  • 5 russet potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 500 grams (2 cups) aged cheddar
  • 1 – 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups coconut milk ((or regular milk if you wish))
  • 1/4 cup butter (, melted and poured over the top)
  • 500 g (2 cups) gruyere for the top
  1. Get all your ingredients ready. Peel and slice your potatoes. Slice them thin but not too thin. We like number 2 on the mandolin. Slice your onion on the mandolin as well, or thinly with a knife. Grate all your cheese and melt the butter.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Put together the dish. Put a layer of potatoes, then sweet potatoes, then yams down in the pan. Add a thin layer of the onions and sprinkle all generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a quarter of the aged cheddar. Repeat until the potatoes, onions and cheese are all used up. Finish with a layer of potatoes.
  4. Pour the melted butter over top of all the potatoes, pour the coconut milk over top as well. Finish with all the gruyere cheese.
  5. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 30 mins. Then take the lid or foil off and bake another 15 -20 mins or until the dish is bubbling and nicely browned on top. Take out of the oven and let it sit for 5 – 10 mins before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Potatoes au Gratin Recipe


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An Insanely Delicious Blood Orange Sparkling Margarita https://cookswithcocktails.com/blood-orange-cocktail/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/blood-orange-cocktail/#respond Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:00:00 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8469

A beautiful ruby colored sweet and citrusy blood orange cocktail that’s guaranteed to earn you some serious points with your guests! What do you get when a margarita and a mimosa fall in love? Debbie loves her margaritas and she’s converted me to a fan over the years.  Even if you aren’t a die hard tequila […]

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A beautiful ruby colored sweet and citrusy blood orange cocktail that’s guaranteed to earn you some serious points with your guests!

Blood Orange Cocktail (1)

What do you get when a margarita and a mimosa fall in love?

Debbie loves her margaritas and she’s converted me to a fan over the years.  Even if you aren’t a die hard tequila fan, everyone loves a sparkly mimosa that’s bubbling with fruity flavor?  Even the boys!  Don’t let them tell you otherwise… ;P

This blood orange cocktail is fun to serve at your cocktail party cuz it will keep your guests on their toes.  Is it a margarita….?  Or is it a mimosa….?   Its damn delicious, that’s what it is!  You and your guests will both love it.  But it comes with a kick, so drink at your own risk.

Blood Orange Cocktail (2)

We like to call this blood orange cocktail a sparkling margarita and this one is made with fresh squeezed blood orange juice, tequila, vanilla simple syrup, sprigs of mint and topped with a good glug of sparkling wine, or champagne.  First you will need to make blood orange juice ice cubes.  If you use plain ice cubes with the fresh squeezed juice to make the frozen part of the margarita, it will be all watered down and not very tasty.

Trust us, we learned this the hard way a long time ago…

Blood Orange Cocktail (3)

Add some cooled simple syrup to your blood orange ice cubes when you blend it and blend till you have a slightly sweet slushy mixture.  In a glass, add the mint and tequila and muddle it really well to infuse that minty flavor into the tequila.  Add a good dollop of the slushy mixture to the glass and top that with bubbly.

The only prep work involved in these is making the blood orange ice cubes.  We freshly squeezed our oranges, but you may be able to find some good blood orange juice somewhere.  If you do, let us know!  WE WANT SOME!

We know you guys are going to love this cocktail!  And with the spring sun starting to appear more often, this blood orange cocktail is just what you need.  Last weekend, after cleaning our new house, Kevin and I had a few people over to check out our new (amazing) place.  The sun was shining so we all grabbed chairs and sat outside on our brand new front deck and sipped on these beauties.  When the sun went behind a tree, we all grabbed our chairs and raced to the back deck where there was another patch of sun.  Up here in south western BC, when the spring sun is shining, we take full advantage!

Cheers!

Blood Orange Cocktail (4)

Tools to Make this Blood Orange Cocktail Even Easier for You

  1. Blendtec blender or Vitamix – I have a blendtec, Debbie has a vitamix.  They both work awesome.  If you are curious, here’s a great article on the differences.  They may be a bit pricy, but they are so worth it!
  2. Margaritaville Frozen Cocktail Maker – if you want the coolest margarita maker out there, this is the one you need!  Debbie has one and we use it all summer long!
  3. Glasses for Serving your sparkling margarita –  we usually like to serve ours in stemless wine glasses, or in some pretty glasses like we have in our photos.  They just look so pretty!
  4. These glasses are the coolest outdoor wine glasses I have seen!  Perfect for summer!

An Insanely Delicious Blood Orange Sparkling Margarita

A beautiful ruby colored sweet and citrusy blood orange cocktail that’s guaranteed to earn you some serious points with your guests!

FOR THE VANILLA SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean (, split in half)

FOR THE COCKTAIL

  • 6 blood oranges (, juiced and juice frozen in ice cube trays. You will need at least 8 ice cubes.)
  • 4 oz vanilla simple syrup ((or more to taste))
  • 2 oz tequila for each cocktail
  • 1 sprig of mint for each cocktail
  • sparking wine to the top of the glass
  1. Juice and freeze your blood orange juice.
  2. Make the simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small pot and bring to a simmer. While its heating, scrape the insides of the vanilla bean to get all the good stuff out. Add it and the pods to the water and sugar mixture. Continue to simmer until the mixture starts to gets syrupy. It will coat the back of a spoon when its dipped in. Let the mixture cool completely.

MAKE THE COCKTAIL

  1. Add the blood orange ice cubes to a blender along with the simple syrup. Blend it up well till its a slush. Taste it to see if you are happy with the sweetness. If you need to, add a little more syrup and mix.
  2. In each cocktail glass, add the tequila and mint. Muddle the mint with the tequila to release the minty flavor. Add a good dollop of the blood orange slush to each glass. We liked about 1/4 cup of the slush in each glass. Top up each glass with the sparkling wine and serve!

Blood Orange Cocktail

A beautiful ruby colored sweet and citrusy blood orange cocktail that’s guaranteed to earn you some serious points with your guests!

 

 

 


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The Easiest Eggs Benedict Recipe You’ll Ever Make https://cookswithcocktails.com/easy-eggs-benedict-recipe/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/easy-eggs-benedict-recipe/#comments Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:58:52 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8421

An easy eggs benedict recipe with a potato crust and a silky saffron hollandaise that’s just as easy to make for six or more as it is for two. This post is sponsored by Potatoes USA.  All opinions are, as always, our own. Imagine you have a household full of overnight guests that are going to […]

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An easy eggs benedict recipe with a potato crust and a silky saffron hollandaise that’s just as easy to make for six or more as it is for two.

Eggs Benedict Recipe (2)

This post is sponsored by Potatoes USA.  All opinions are, as always, our own.

Imagine you have a household full of overnight guests that are going to be really hungry in the morning!   You want to serve them something awesome for breakfast and you kinda want to show off your mad kitchen skills, BUT you don’t want it to take hours and lets face it, you were probably up late drinking wine so you really need this to be easy!

Potato Eggs Benny with Saffron Hollandaise-011

When I go out for brunch, if an eggs benny is on the menu, you can bet that it’s what I am going to order.  Pretty sure I’m not the only one, because Eggs Benedict is on almost every brunch menu in one form or another.   But in spite of its popularity, this isn’t a dish that many people attempt to make at home.

Eggs Benedict Recipe (5)

We are pretty excited about this easy eggs benedict recipe because now we can have this brunch favorite more often, at home, and effortlessly feed our overnight guests an awesome breakfast that they would expect to only get in a restaurant.  To top it all off, its pretty inexpensive.  You can feed 6 people for under $25.

What makes this recipe so easy is that the eggs benny is made in muffin tins and the eggs are baked rather than poached.  This also means  you can cook 12 eggs just as easy as if you were cooking 2.   Got more than 6 mouths to feed?  Add another muffin tin full to the oven with just the extra effort of cracking more eggs.   Voila!  You have eggs benedict for a crowd!

Eggs Benedict Recipe (4)

To make this eggs benny even better, we put our little twist on it and made it with thinly sliced potatoes as the bottom crust, instead of the traditional english muffins.   This makes our baked eggs benedict awesome for a few reasons:  it’s gluten free, it gives the dish a lot more flavor, and there is more nutrition in potatoes than an english muffin.  Potatoes are a great source of Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Potassium, and B6!



Eggs Benedict Recipe (6)

Lets talk a little bit about the hollandaise sauce.  Making this silky, buttery sauce is pretty simple.  Some people think hollandaise is finicky and they get intimidated, but this is all there is to it:  put the egg yolks in the bowl over simmering water, whisk them, add melted butter slowly while whisking.  

Thats it!  Honest. 

This hollandaise has one little extra step, letting the saffron soak in a little wine before adding the yolks.  The saffron gives it a gorgeous yellow color and creates a fragrant sauce.  Its a heavenly addition.  

An Important Tip When Making this Easy Eggs Benedict Recipe

From time to time a hollandaise will break.  The fat separates and becomes coagulated looking.  Don’t freak out!  Just add a teaspoon or so of cold water and whisk.  The sauce will bind right up again.  You might need to add another teaspoon, but this has worked every single time for me.  

Eggs Benedict Recipe (1)

Serve this brunch with a fresh fruit salad and a fruity mimosa like this strawberry one, or this grapefruit one (our favorites) and your done!

See…  We told you this would be easy!

Tools to Make this Eggs Benedict Recipe Even Easier

  1. Ceramic Muffin Tin – we love ceramic cookware.  It cleans easy!
  2. Bacon Press – we love LOVE a bacon press.  It cooks bacon quicker and more evenly.
  3. Small Double Boiler – a small double boiler is perfect for hollandaise sauce
  4. Universal Double Boiler – if you already have all the pots you need, this insert becomes a double boiler on any pot.  AWESOME!

 

Easy Eggs Benedict Recipe with a Potatoes & Saffron Hollandaise

An easy eggs benedict recipe with a potato crust and a silky saffron hollandaise that’s just as easy to make for six or more as it is for two.

POTATO EGG CUPS

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 potatoes (, Yukon Gold or Russet)
  • 1 tbsp black garlic ((or regular garlic if you don't have black))
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 package of thick sliced bacon or back bacon

SAFFRON HOLLANDAISE

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/4 tsp of saffron
  • 1 cup butter (, melted)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Turn your oven on to 375°F.
  2. Heat a pan to medium-high heat and cook the bacon until it’s cooked but not crispy.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, thinly slice the potatoes. A mandoline works best, but a sharp knife will work too. Rub a little oil on the bottom and sides of the muffin tins and arrange the potato slices inside. Cover the bottom and sides, but go a little thicker on the bottom. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then break up the black garlic and place some in each potato cup. Place in the oven and bake for 10 mins. (Don’t forget to check the bacon)
  4. While that is baking, get out a medium or small pot and start some water to simmer. Get out another bowl that will sit on top of the boiling water to form a double boiler. To that bowl add the white wine, water and saffron. Put the bowl over top of the boiling water and let it sit to warm up and draw out the saffron flavour.
  5. When 10 mins is up, take the potatoes out of the oven. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Break up the bacon and put some pieces in each potato cup. Crack an egg into each cup, sprinkle with salt and pepper and return to the oven. Set a timer for 12 mins.
  6. While the eggs are cooking, add the egg yolks to the bowl with the wine and saffron, whisk them until they get a little frothy. Add the melted butter to the egg yolk mixture slowly and whisking the whole time. Turn the heat off and whisk over the hot water until the mixture gets nice and thick. It will only take a min or two! Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the hollandaise sit over the hot water until you are ready to dish it up.
  7. When the eggs are done the whites will be firm when you shake it, but be careful not to over bake or they will be too hard. Remove from the oven. Remove the potato cups with a knife. They should slide right out, but you might need to run a knife around the edges first. Put two on a plate and top with a generous amount of saffron hollandaise sauce and serve hot.

 

Eggs Benedict Recipe


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How to Make the Best Beef Carpaccio with a Kick Ass Sauce https://cookswithcocktails.com/how-to-make-beef-carpaccio/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/how-to-make-beef-carpaccio/#respond Fri, 03 Mar 2017 06:01:21 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8434

The best beef carpaccio, just the way we like it, on top of a toasted crostini, drizzled in a creamy mustard horseradish sauce, and finished with a few zippy capers. We would never order this dish!  Never!  Because I would never order raw meat.  That sounds crazy, or it used to…  But today, we are […]

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The best beef carpaccio, just the way we like it, on top of a toasted crostini, drizzled in a creamy mustard horseradish sauce, and finished with a few zippy capers.

We would never order this dish!  Never!  Because I would never order raw meat.  That sounds crazy, or it used to…  But today, we are going to tell you to do just that.  And not only that, we’re telling you to make this at home and that you will love it!

Beef Carpaccio Recipe

I would have never known that raw beef tenderloin in the form of beef carpaccio is actually totally delicious, if it wasn’t for Debbie.  She ordered it at Cactus Club (yes we go there a lot…), I had a taste, and I have never looked back.

Beef Carpaccio Recipe

Beef carpaccio is a dish that’s commonly only found in high end restaurants, however since all it is, is thinly sliced raw beef, its simple to make at home.  All you need is a quality piece of beef tenderloin and a good recipe for a beef carpaccio dressing.  It will taste exactly the same at home as in the restaurant.  And actually, I will argue that it will taste better because it will be super fresh and you can make it exactly how you like it.  We like ours thin, on a crostini and with a really good sauce.

Beef Carpaccio Recipe

My beef carpaccio recipe must have a kick ass sauce to go with it.  Maybe that means I’m not a true raw meat lover, but Im ok with that.  I feel the same way about sushi.  Debbie and I like our homemade beef carpaccio with a creamy mustard sauce that’s full of flavor.  Raw beef doesn’t have a lot of flavor, so we feel like the sauce needs to.  Our dressing is simply made with a little mayo, lemon juice, stone ground mustard, spicy horseradish for a little kick, parmesan cheese and of course, salt and pepper.  It’s so good, I could just eat it with a spoon and it makes the best beef carpaccio that we have ever tasted!

Beef Carpaccio Recipe

In our opinion, the best beef carpaccio is super thin, and making it so is easier than you think.  And you may not like it as thin as we do, and thats ok too.  You can make it as thin or thick as you like.  The easiest way to get it really thin is to freeze your piece of beef tenderloin for a couple hours.  So its not totally frozen, but it doesn’t fall apart when you slice it thin.  You don’t have to get it paper thin when you slice it, just do as good as you can and then place your slices on a piece of wrap or wax paper.  Make sure to space out your slices.  At least an inch between the slices.  Then put another piece of wrap or wax paper on top and use a rolling pin to lightly roll over and thin them out.  You only need a light pressure and voila (!) its super thin.  You can check out this quick video for a how to… 

Beef Carpaccio Recipe

The Best Beef Carpaccio for Entertaining

We love making this beef carpaccio recipe for guests because you can make everything ahead of time!  If you read our blog regularly, you know this is one thing that makes our lives easier when we are entertaining.  You can make the sauce and let it sit in the fridge, make the crostinis and store them in a big ziplock bag, and then make your thinly sliced beef.  The beef can be stored in between the wrap or wax paper, on a tray and layered on top of each other.  When you want to serve it, you can either serve it already put on the crostinis and drizzled with the sauce, or you can arrange the beef slices on a plate and let your guests make their own.

Beef Carpaccio Recipe

Either way its awesome!  Eat raw meat!  We dare you 🙂

 

How to make Beef Carpaccio with a Kick Ass Mustard Horseradish Sauce

The best beef carpaccio, just the way we like it, on top of a toasted crostini, drizzled in a creamy mustard horseradish sauce, and finished with a few zippy capers.

SAUCE

  • 4 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish ((or more if you like more))
  • salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE BEEF

  • 250 g good quality tenderloin beef
  • steak seasoning or salt and pepper
  • couple tbsp capers
  • shaved parmesan cheese

FOR THE CROSTINIS

  • 1 skinny and long loaf of bread (, cut into ¾ inch thick slices on the bias)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic seasoning ((we love garlic plus))
  • drizzle of olive oil

FOR THE SALAD

  • 2 cups or so of baby kale and arugula
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • just a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

MAKE THE SAUCE

  1. Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Cover and store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

MAKE THE CROSTINIS

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your loaf of bread up. Mix the garlic seasoning with the oil, and brush a little on both sides of the bread. Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven till they brown a little. About 5 – 8 mins. Flip them over and cook till they are browned on the other side as well. About 3 – 5 mins. Set aside.

MAKE THE BEEF

  1. Season your piece of beef well on all sides and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place the tenderloin in the freezer for 2 hours or so. You want it to be very firm, but not frozen all the way through so it doesn’t fall apart when you slice it thin.
  2. Take it out and with a very sharp knife, slice the beef as thin as you can without wrecking the slice. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to get it paper thin when you slice it, just do as good as you can and then place your slices on a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper. Make sure to space out your slices at least an inch apart. Then put another piece of wrap or wax paper on top and use a rolling pin to lightly roll over and thin them out. You only need a light pressure to make them super thin.
  3. Leave the plastic wrap on and place on a baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the beef in the same way until you have as many slices as you need. Store the beef on the baking tray in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

SERVE

  1. Mix the salad with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Serve this appy by arranging the beef slices on a platter, place a handful of the salad in the middle of the plate. Drizzle the sauce over the beef generously and sprinkle some capers and shaved parmesan cheese over top. Serve with the crostinis and more sauce on the side.

OR

  1. Put the crostinis together and serve. Start with a crostini on the bottom, next place a slice of beef and drizzle generously with the sauce. Top with the salad, capers and some sliced parmesan cheese.

Beef Carpacio Recipe

 


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Easy and Healthy Celeriac Soup with Gruyere & Truffle Oil https://cookswithcocktails.com/easy-healthy-celeriac-soup/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/easy-healthy-celeriac-soup/#respond Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:41:39 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8390

Healthy and comforting Celeriac soup is so easy to make and surprisingly delicious.  A great first course for a fancy dinner party or a light cozy main for guests watching their waistline. Happy New Year!  It’s that time again.  The time of year where everyone is over the indulgent season of Christmas, looking for healthy […]

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Healthy and comforting Celeriac soup is so easy to make and surprisingly delicious.  A great first course for a fancy dinner party or a light cozy main for guests watching their waistline.
Easy and Healthy Celeriac Soup with Gruyere & Truffle Oil
Happy New Year!  It’s that time again.  The time of year where everyone is over the indulgent season of Christmas, looking for healthy options and setting new intentions for the year.  I never make new years resolutions, but I always spend a little time envisioning what I want for the coming year.  Being healthy and eating well is always on the list.  This delicious celeriac soup is one that will help realize those goals.

The crazy non-stop entertaining season is over, but for those of us who love to entertain and cook for our friends and family, its never really over, it just slows down a little.  Which is nice, lets be honest!   But when you do have guests over, with the cold weather, its nice to have a quick and easy soup to serve as a first course to your meal, or even as a light main itself.

Easy and Healthy Celeriac Soup with Gruyere & Truffle Oil

I don’t think celeriac soup is one that many people make for themselves or their families.  Its sometimes on the menu at higher end restaurants, but celeriac is an ingredient that is a little out of the ordinary for most people.  I think its because people don’t realize how damn tasty it is!  When you serve it to guests at your home, they might be a little apprehensive at first when you tell them its celeriac soup, but after the first bite, you will be a culinary star in their eyes.  And you don’t even have to tell them how easy it was!

Celeriac soup works for so many different entertaining occasions.  Its the perfect first course for a formal dinner party or a cozy and comforting main course for guests who prefer a lighter meal.  Or for vegetarians, if you leave out the pancetta.

Can we talk about the truffle oil for a second please?  There really is nothing like truffle oil to give a dish a little class.  It just sounds decadent and elegant.  You only need a tiny little bit.  Just a few drops on each bowl of soup.  It looks cool and it tastes even better.  If you haven’t had truffle oil before, you really must.  Its one of those ingredients that has the power to elevate something as simple as soup, or even french fries, to another culinary level.  A great tool for anyone who is entertaining guests with a refined or adventurous palate.  

When you buy truffle oil, look for one with only oil and truffles in the ingredient list like this one.  Easy and Healthy Celeriac Soup with Gruyere & Truffle Oil

Now, I know that gruyere and cream are not exactly what you would call healthy, however, these two ingredients are totally optional.  This celeriac soup still tastes AMAZING without these two ingredients.  It really does…  Of course cheese and cream also taste amazing lol, but if I or my guests were concerned with the amount of calories we were eating, or being dairy free, I would leave the cheese and cream out and just serve this with sprinkle of pancetta or bacon (because you can’t totally deprive yourself, right?) and a handful of chopped chives.

Easy and Healthy Celeriac Soup with Gruyere & Truffle Oil

This celeriac soup would be even better served with crunch homemade croutons!  Those will be going in our soup next time for sure!

Easy and Healthy Celeriac Soup with Gruyere & Truffle Oil

Healthy and comforting Celeriac soup is so easy to make and surprisingly delicious. A great first course for a fancy dinner party or a light cozy main for guests watching their waistline.

  • 1 large onion (, peeled and quartered)
  • 2 large leeks (, sliced in half and washed well)
  • 3 cloves garlic (, peeled)
  • 4 stalks celery (, washed and trimmed)
  • 2 celeriac roots (, peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 4 or 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese ((optional))
  • 1 cup heavy cream ((optional))
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 500 g cubed pancetta or bacon
  • chives and parmesan cheese for garnish
  • truffle oil to drizzle on top
  1. First, roast your veggies.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Place the onion, leeks, garlic, celery, and celeriac on a large baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay your thyme sprigs on top all around.  Roast in the oven till your veggies are very tender, browned on the edges, and smell amazing.  About 30 mins or so.
  2. While your veggies are roasting, fry up the pancetta in a skillet on medium high heat till they are nice and browned and crispy.  Remove from the pan into some paper towel to drain the fat.
  3. Remove the veggies from the oven and place in a blender with a cup or two of the chicken stock.  Blend well until everything is smooth and creamy.  You might need to add a bit more stock or do this in two batches depending on how big your blender is.  You can also do this with an immersion blender in a big pot too.
  4. Add everything to a large pot and turn the heat to medium.  Add the rest of the stock and bring it to a simmer to heat it through.  Turn the heat down to low and add the cheese and heavy cream.  Stir until all the cheese is melted.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with pancetta, chives, and parmesan sprinkled on top.  Drizzle a small amount of truffle oil to finish. About half a tsp per bowl or how every much you like!

Easy and Healthy Celeriac Soup with Gruyere & Truffle Oil


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Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail https://cookswithcocktails.com/cranberry-ginger-sparkling-holiday-cocktail/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/cranberry-ginger-sparkling-holiday-cocktail/#comments Fri, 16 Dec 2016 16:57:25 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8357

A sparkling holiday cocktail created with the seasons quintessential flavors of cranberry, rosemary and ginger and made to sparkle with Lunetta Prosecco. This post is sponsored by Lunetta Prosecco.  All opinions are, as always, our own.   Christmas and cranberries go hand in hand so we made this holiday mimosa by sweetening up whole cranberries […]

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A sparkling holiday cocktail created with the seasons quintessential flavors of cranberry, rosemary and ginger and made to sparkle with Lunetta Prosecco.

Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail

This post is sponsored by Lunetta Prosecco.  All opinions are, as always, our own.  

Christmas and cranberries go hand in hand so we made this holiday mimosa by sweetening up whole cranberries in a rosemary and ginger infused simple syrup to create a fragrant fruity and christmasy thick syrup.  Top that with Lunetta Prosecco, or your favorite sparkling wine, and you have a serious holiday cocktail winner that your guest will love.

Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail

And lets be honest, mimosas are so stinkin easy to make so Debbie and I love them for entertaining any time of the year.  You can make the flavor addition ahead of time and then just add a couple tablespoons of it to a glass, top with sparkling wine and boom, your done.   Its sooooooo easy.   Easy to make many at a time and easy to refill your guests glasses.

Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail

Its fun to serve a holiday cocktail to guests.  It makes your guests feel special and adds a touch of class to your party.  Even if you just serve one as guests arrive.  It lets them know you were thinking of them and you care about their experience.

Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail

We loved the Lunetta Prosecco that we got to try when we created this post.  It’s light and refreshing with flavors of apple and peach.  To be honest, we opened a bottle straight away and had to open another to finish making this cocktail… Its an Italian sparkling wine produced by Cavit which is recognized as northern Italys largest and most reliable source of quality varietal wines.  We also sampled the Rosé version which was equally tasty with its fresh, fruity flavor.



Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail

We enjoyed this particular sparkling wine so much that Debbie had to call my brother Matt to pick her up and drive her home.  I’d say that’s a pretty good indication it was delicious.  Amiright?

Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail

Check out this video for another delicious sparkling wine cocktail using Lunetta Prosecco:

This will be our last post before Christmas.  Things are busy for us around here as Kevin and I prepare to move into the upstairs suite of our new shop by the end of the year.  Debbie and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and we hope your holiday is filled with friends, family, and, of course, delicious food and cocktails!

Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail

A sparkling holiday cocktail created with the seasons quintessential flavors of cranberry, rosemary and ginger and made to sparkle with Prosecco.

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 4 or 5 large fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 tbsp sliced ginger – sliced in big chunks
  • chilled sparkling wine
  1. In a small sauce pot, combine the sugar, juice, rosemary and ginger. Bring it to a boil and let the mixture simmer for about 30 mins or until the cranberries soften and pop open. Remove the rosemary sprigs and mash the cranberries pretty well. Simmer for another little bit until the mixture gets thick and syrupy (maybe 15 – 20 mins). Remove from heat and let the syrup cool completely. It will store in the fridge for a week easily.
  2. When you are ready to make your mimosas, add 2 tablespoons of the cranberry mixture to each glass if you are using flutes. If you make these in wine glasses, you might want to use a bit more of the mixture. Top with chilled sparkling wine, give it a little stir and serve.

 

 

Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Holiday Cocktail

 


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How to make a Pork Tenderloin Rub with Tea for Effortless Entertaining https://cookswithcocktails.com/how-to-make-a-pork-tenderloin-rub-with-tea/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/how-to-make-a-pork-tenderloin-rub-with-tea/#respond Tue, 13 Dec 2016 16:41:35 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8156

A pork tenderloin rub made with cinnamon, garlic, coconut sugar, and Sweet Nutcracker black tea!   It’s incredibly flavorful and makes a juicy pork tenderloin that’s finished with a tea and shallot sauce.   This post is sponsored by Celestial Tea.  All opinions are always our own. You are having people over and you don’t know […]

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A pork tenderloin rub made with cinnamon, garlic, coconut sugar, and Sweet Nutcracker black tea!   It’s incredibly flavorful and makes a juicy pork tenderloin that’s finished with a tea and shallot sauce.  

pork-tenderloin-rub-2

This post is sponsored by Celestial Tea.  All opinions are always our own.

You are having people over and you don’t know what to make, you want it to be easy, quick, and of course, delicious!  Pork tenderloin is your solution.

Debbie and I would have never thought that tea would make a great pork tenderloin rub or sauce.  But surprise!  It does!  It’s wonderful actually!  And creates an incredible flavor that neither of us had ever had before.  We made this pork tenderloin rub with tea for a small dinner and EVERYONE commented on how juicy and flavorful the pork was.  We used Nutcracker Sweet tea from Celestial Seasonings.  Its smooth with a nutty vanilla flavor and a touch of cinnamon.  Its a beautiful fragrant tea that’s perfect for the holidays!

tea-093

Pork tenderloin is such a great option for entertaining because it’s quick cooking and doesn’t require a lot of preparation, but its still impressive and will get you some serious accolades if you cook it well.  Fortunately, it is easy to cook well as long as you follow a few important rules:

  1. Marinate the meat in advance.  The longer the better.  Overnight is great!
  2. Brown the meat in a hot pan on all sides before roasting.   Use a heavy pan or cast iron if you have one.  This one is fantastic and beautiful!  So is this one, and its a little cheaper.
  3. Always use a meat thermometer while you are roasting the meat.  We used to use one like this but now we have this one that connects to your iphone and its pretty sweet!
  4. Let the meat rest (covered) for 10 mins after taking it out of the oven and before you slice it.

Number 3 is the most important.  Tenderloin is easy to overcook because it cooks quickly and because it’s such a lean piece of meat. The perfect temperature to remove the meat from the oven is 141 F – 143 F.  Remove the meat from the pan and place it on another plate (not the serving plate), cover it with foil or a lid and let it rest for 5 – 10 mins.  The internal temperature will rise a bit while resting to bring it to 145 F which is the perfect temperature.  After the meat rests, slice it, and transfer it to a serving platter.  You don’t want to let it rest or slice it on what you are using to serve it because the juices will run all over it and that won’t look nice.  You obviously want it to look pretty!

pork-tenderloin-rub-5

Make your gravy is while the meat is resting.  Don’t be worried about the gravy!  It’s easy too!  Once you take the meat out of the pan, you just throw the pan back on the stove, crank up the heat, add your shallots and garlic.  While those cook, scrape up all the bits that are on the bottom of the pan (those parts have tons of flavor!), then add the liquids and seasonings and finally the butter that will make the sauce nice and silky.  Then all you have to do, is cook the sauce until it reduces slightly and gets just a little thicker.  Piece of cake!  We suggest making your Nutcracker Sweet tea for the gravy before hand so you have it ready to go.

pork-tenderloin-rub-3

You will want to marinate the pork tenderloin the night before, which literally takes minutes.   Then when your ready to cook it, you can brown your meat and start roasting it in the oven right before your guests arrive so you are free to greet your guests and have a cocktail while the meat is roasting.  Then you will only need to be in the kitchen preparing the gravy for 10 to 15 mins while the meat rests and you dish up your sides.

Alternatively, if your guests are coming over earlier, say to have a couple drinks on the patio before dinner or your having a game night and dinner in between, you just need 5-10 mins or so to brown the meat and get it in the oven about 30 – 40 mins before you want to be eating dinner.  Then you are free again while it all cooks.  Might I suggest another cocktail?! 😉

pork-tenderloin-rub-4

If you are pressed for time or you don’t want to be cooking up a storm all evening, serve this pork tenderloin rub with mashed potatoes and veggies that are either roasted or steamed.  Mashed potatoes can easily be made ahead of time and kept warm in a pot or warmed up.  Roasted or steamed veggies are not labour intensive at all and you can have them totally ready to go and then just pop them in the oven with the roast or turn on the stove if your steaming them.  Toss them in a little butter and salt afterwards, or sprinkle them with parmesan, and your done.

There, dinners done.

For another way to use Celestial Tea, check out this video below…

 

How to make a Pork Tenderloin Rub with Tea for Effortless Entertaining

A pork tenderloin rub made with cinnamon, garlic, coconut sugar, and Sweet Nutcracker black tea! It’s incredibly flavorful and makes a juicy pork tenderloin that’s finished with a tea and shallot sauce.  

TEA RUB

  • 3 Nutcracker Sweet tea bags
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

PORK TENDERLOIN

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or another oil with a high smoke point
  • 2 lb pork tenderloin

TEA SAUCE/GRAVY

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 bags Nutcracker Sweet tea ((steep for 10 mins))
  • 1 shallot (, diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (, minced)
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp and 1 tsp coconut sugar ((or brown sugar))
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 – 2 tbsp butter

MAKE THE RUB

  1. Open the three Nutcracker Sweet tea bags and empty into a mortar and pestal or a grinder. Add the rest of the ingredients and grind them all together until the mixture is well mixed and powdery. Rub the mixture all over the pork tenderloin till its covered completely. Cover the pork and place it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.

COOK THE PORK

  1. When you are ready to cook the tenderloin, take it out of the fridge about 45 mins before you want to cook it so it can come to room temperature. Close to the end of the 45 mins, turn your oven on and preheat to 350 F.
  2. Heat your cast iron pan or heavy skillet to med-high heat. Add the oil to the pan and when it is nice and hot, add the pork and cook, turning over every few mins, until the tenderloin is nicely browned on all sides. Then put your meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and throw it in the oven.
  3. While the pork is cooking, make the tea for the sauce and get all the other ingredients ready for the sauce if you havent already.

PREPARE THE SAUCE

  1. When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 143 F, remove the meat from the oven and the cast iron pan and place on a plate or tray and cover with foil or a lid. Set aside. Leave any juices in the cooking pan.
  2. Place your pan back on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Add the shallots and garlic and cook those for a couple mins. Then add the tea, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper and stir for a few mins while it simmers, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan.
  3. When the sauce has reduced slightly and has simmered for a few mins, add the knob of butter. Start with 1 tbsp and let it melt. Taste it and if its good, you are done. If you think it could use a little more silkiness add a little more at a time until it tastes good.
  4. When your happy with the sauce. Unveil the tenderloin and place it on a cutting board. (You could add any juices from the tenderloin back into your sauce and give it a stir) Slice it in 1/2 inch – 1 inch pieces and transfer to your serving platter. Pour the sauce over and serve!

 


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5 Easy Steps to Creating the Perfect Cheese Platter https://cookswithcocktails.com/5-easy-steps-to-creating-the-perfect-cheese-platter/ https://cookswithcocktails.com/5-easy-steps-to-creating-the-perfect-cheese-platter/#respond Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:23:47 +0000 https://cookswithcocktails.com/?p=8305

Creating the perfect cheese platter for entertaining is easy when you follow these five simple tips.    This post is sponsored by Costello Cheese.  All opinions are, as always, our own. Everyone loves a good cheese platter.  Delicious cheeses paired with sliced meats, crackers and other yummy accompaniments!  Its the best kind of appetizer grazing […]

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Creating the perfect cheese platter for entertaining is easy when you follow these five simple tips.   

5 Easy Steps to Creating the Perfect Cheese Platter

This post is sponsored by Costello Cheese.  All opinions are, as always, our own.

Everyone loves a good cheese platter.  Delicious cheeses paired with sliced meats, crackers and other yummy accompaniments!  Its the best kind of appetizer grazing there is.  In our opinion anyways…     Creating a beautiful cheese board can be kind of intimidating.  There are SO many options!  It can get overwhelming when deciding what goes with what.  Fortunately we have a few simple tips to break it down for you and make it totally do able for any host.

5 Easy Steps to Creating the Perfect Cheese Platter

Lets get right to it!

5 Secrets to Creating the Perfect Cheese Platter

  1. Use a few different kinds of cheese, but no more than 4 kinds.  Choose different flavors and textures (hard, soft, or blue) and/or made with different milks (cows, goat…).
    • I have heard of this rhyme for choosing cheese for a cheese board:  “Something old, something new, something goat, and something blue.”   It works!
    •  4 oz per person
    • Don’t do flavored cheese on a cheese plate.  Let the cheese shine
  2. Choose 2 or 3 complimenting flavors for accompaniments.  Sweet, savory,  and different textures are good too.
    • Try  pickles, jams, spreads, honey, olives, nuts
    • If you need help deciding what goes with what, you can stick to the what grows together, goes together rule – example: french cheese, french meat.  It doesn’t always work, but its a great starting rule of thumb.
  3. Include a couple options of sliced meat
    • 2 oz per person is a good rule
    • Choose different flavors: salty, spicy, smoked
    • 2 different kinds is enough
  4. Crackers
    • Choose a mild flavored cracker if you want it to go with everything.
    • But your crackers don’t have to go with every cheese.  Choose something interesting if that’s what you like.
  5. Wine – choosing a wine to go with your cheese can seem daunting but if you follow these simple tips from the Serious Eats cheese and wine pairing cheat sheet, its not so overwhelming.  Go read the article on Serious Eats for more detailed information.  Its great!
    • Tannic red wines are terrific with rich, aged cheeses
    • Sweet wines pair really well with salty cheese
    • Rich, creamy cheeses blend seamlessly with buttery, oaky white wines
    • Fresh and soft cheeses love crisp whites, dry rosés, sparkling wines, dry aperitif wines, and light-bodied reds with low tannins.
    • Stinky cheeses call for light-bodied wines
    • Harder cheeses love full-bodied whites and tannic reds.

More Tips:

  • Set out your cheese board 1 hour before you are going to dig in.   Room temp cheese is better
  • Cut or slice your cheese before you serve it!  This means way less mess and your guest won’t have to struggle to get the piece of cheese they want – wedges or strips – no cubes!

5 Easy Steps to Creating the Perfect Cheese Platter

We followed these rules when we created our cheese platter.  Here are the choices we made:

  1. Cheese
    • We used Castello Cheese:  Tikler Old White Cheddar, Fontina, creamy Brie
  2. Accompaniments
  3. Meats
    • Salty prosciutto,
    • Spicy sopressata
  4. Crackers
    • We choose a hearty delicious cracker – Lesley Stowe’s Rainforest Crisps
    • We chose 2 kinds (it was too hard to pick just one): Oat and Cranberry, Rosemary Raisin Pecan (so good!)
  5. Wine

It was pretty simple and we loved eating it!  Our favorite cheese was the Tickler Cheddar.  I love old cheddar that crumbles and has little tiny crystals in it that sort of have a bite to them.  This cheddar is going on my list of favorites.  The onion and fig jam is both savory and sweet, a perfect accompaniment to the Brie.  The maple roasted pecans we made are sweet, spicy, salty.  Totally addicting and also very pretty.   The sugared ginger cranberries are not just for looks.  They taste so good, especially when paired with the Fontina.  I couldn’t stop popping them in my mouth!

5 Easy Steps to Creating the Perfect Cheese Platter

Trust me, if we can create a perfect cheese platter that’s both beautiful and delicious, you can too!

Check out this video for another great idea for a cheese board accompaniment.

 

Sugared Ginger Cranberries

Sweet and Tart Cranberries that will liven up any holiday platter.  

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 2 tbsp sliced ginger – sliced in big chunks
  1. In a small sauce pot, combine the sugar, water, and ginger. Bring it to a boil and let the mixture simmer for about 5 min. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool for a bit.
  2. Test the mixture to see if it has cooled enough by dropping a cranberry into the syrup mixture. If the cranberry pops open, its still too hot.
  3. When the syrup is cooled, add the cranberries to the syrup mixture and stir to coat. Let the cranberries sit in the syrup until they get soft. At least a few hours or overnight.
  4. When they are ready, remove the cranberries from the syrup and toss them in sugar. Set them on a wire rack to dry.

Keep the syrup and use it to make a cranberry ginger cocktail!

 

Perfect Cheese Platter


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