Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

The first weekend of summer. I know that solstice is still a few weeks away but for many of us Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of summer. The pools are open, the barbecue grill is dusted off and it is finally hot enough for the first refreshingly cool beer of the season. There are many beers to be enjoyed throughout the year (thanks to seasonal brewers like Sam Adams) but the first beer cold in your hand, condensation rolling off your knuckles, enjoyed after the lawn is mowed and your skin is warm from the sun is a beautiful summer tradition.

To honor that tradition this week I have two recipes for your enjoyment....both with the secret ingredient....Beer!

The Beer-Rita

This margarita is so complete. The complex flavor of tequila, the sweet & sour, tang of lime and then the coup de gras...beer.
It's great...give it a try and let me know what you think.


1 ½ ounces your favorite tequila (I recommend Milagro)
1 ½ ounces Cointreau
1 ounce sweet and sour
½ ounce fresh lime juice
healthy splash of beer (any beer with work but I prefer Pacifico or another Mexican beer)

Fill a shaker with ice. Combine the tequila, Cointreau and sweet & sour. In a margarita glass squeeze the fresh lime juice into the bottom of the glass. Fill the glass with ice. Shake the tequila mix and pour into the glass. Be sure to leave room for the beer. Top off with the healthy splash of beer and serve with a lime wedge garnish.

Beer Boiled Brats with Spicy Mustard dipping sauce and Gouda

1 package bratwurst
1 40 ounce beer, the cheaper the better
1/4 cup Hot Chinese Mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 round of Gouda (not smoked)

Boil the brats in the beer until fully cooked (180 internal temperature is well done). Brown the brats on the grill or crisp the skins in a frying pan. This adds to the flavor and presentation of the bratwurst.

After browning, let the brats rest for 5 minutes. When set, slice the brat diagonally in 1" pieces.


Mix the mayonnaise and Chinese mustard well. Taste and add more mayo or mustard to your flavor.

Slice the Gouda into cubes.

Serve immediately.

"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver," --Jack Handy

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Drewtini & Poseidon's Peas

The following martini is my husband's favorite. The key to a really delicious martini, plain or fancy, is to (pardon my French) shake the Hell out of it! I mean shake it until your hands are frozen! The result will be ice crystals, see below:

The recipe is for the Drewtini followed by the delightful pairing of Poseidon's Peas. The makings for a wonderful evening!

The Drewtini

XO Vodka
5-10 drops of Fee Brothers Orange Flower Water
1 lemon twist

Fill a shaker with ice. In the shaker mix the XO and Orange Flower Water. Shake! Serve up in a glass with a twist.

Poseidon’s Peas

1 pound sea scallops
2 - 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 package thin, crisp sesame crackers (I suggest the Savoy brand)
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed*

1 ½ teaspoon wasabi paste
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix wasabi paste, sour cream, and lemon juice together well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Heat oil in frying pan, medium high heat. Rinse scallops and pat dry. Cook in a pan 3-4 minutes each side until done. Remove from pan. Place scallops on crackers. Place a dollop of wasabi sauce on the scallop. Top with a pea. Serve hot.

*As you can see in the photo I have used a wasabi coated pea. Also one of Drew's favorites. The extra wasabi offers more of a kick, something you may want to offer your more adventurous guests.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Earth Day

"Three! It’s a magic number. Yes it is. It’s a magic number.
2 times 3 is 6 … and 3 times 6 is 18 … And the 18th letter in the alphabet is “R”. We got 3 R’s we’re going to talk about today. We got to learn to… Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!"
(by Jack Johnson)

In honor of Earth Day I have created a delicious martini that is a fruity delight. Also, in keeping with being earth friendly, I have chosen a meat-free appetizer that is in season and should be readily available in any local market. If your lucky it grows in your backyard. Enjoy!!

Wild Berry Appletini
wild berry vodka (I suggest Finlandia)

Fill a shaker with ice. In the shaker mix 2 parts wild berry vodka, 1 part ApplePucker. Shake! No garnish needed but a frozen berry is delish!

Broiled Asparagus with Sesame Seeds

-2 bunches of thin asparagus
-olive oil
-kosher salt
-fresh cracked pepper
-sesame seeds (I used both black and white)

Pre-heat oven to 500 broiler

I try to find the thinnest asparagus that I can. They cook so much faster and are just the right size to pick up with your fingers and enjoy! If you cannot find thin asparagus be sure to lightly peel the thicker stems, it will improve the taste and they will cook more quickly.

Trim and wash the asparagus. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle cracked pepper, kosher salt and sesame seeds.

Place under the broiler for 12 to 12 minutes. Remove and serve warm or cold.

"The earth is what we all have in common.”
Wendell Barry

Garlic Day

Today, April 19th, is National Garlic Day. The “stinking rose” has been used for culinary purposes throughout the ages. The flavor of garlic is unbeatable and undeniably delicious. I have chosen the Garlic Martini, Anti-Pasta Skewers, and Broiled Garlic Lime Shrimp as the perfect trio to celebrate National Garlic Day. Enjoy!

Garlic Martini

Kettle One vodka
2 drops dry vermouth
garlic stuffed olives

Fill the martini shaker with ice. In the shaker mix the Kettle One vodka with the dry vermouth. Shake!! Garnish with the garlic stuffed olive.

Antipasto Skewers

12 - 4" skewers
½ ball baby mozzarella
12 slices Genoa salami
12 perpperccini peppers, reserve 1 tablespoon of the liquid for dipping sauce
6 slices provolone cheese, quartered for a triangle shape
12 marinated button mushrooms
12 grape tomatoes
24 olives (black, green or kalamata)
12 artichoke hearts, quartered and drained

Dipping Sauce:
4 ounces garlic cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon pesto
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon reserved pepperccini juice

Place the ingredients on the skewer in the order listed. Refrigerate and prepare dipping sauce. Serve chilled.

Broiled Garlic Lime Shrimp

1 lb raw, peeled, de-veined shrimp with the tails on
3 minced cloves of garlic
½ cup olive oil
3 limes (hint: if you microwave the lime for about 20 seconds before you squeeze it you will get twice as much juice out of it)

Preheat broiler to 500 degrees.

In a large ziploc bag place the shrimp, minced garlic, the juice of two limes, and ½ cup olive oil. Mix.

Place the shrimp and all of the delicious marinade on a jelly roll dish. Place under the broiler for 10-12 minutes, until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through. While the shrimp is cooking, cut the last lime into quarters to use as a garnish for serving. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tax Day 2010

It can make your blood run cold.....April 15th......Tax Day.

Whether you end up owing the government money or they end up paying you this deadline is no fun to meet. Finding receipts, remembering expenses, defining a “home office”. It’s a struggle. On the other side of the coin (no pun intended) if you are a CPA this is the culmination of at least 4 months of work. Let’s face it you all need a drink and a hearty snack! What follows are my recommendations for after the envelope is sealed and in the mail.

The Tax Day is a traditional drink originating from the era when the government decided we needed to pay taxes on a regular basis(1913).

The Caper is a delicious, strong, and simple drink that will ease the pain of writing that check to the IRS.

The Cheese Steak Bites are a decadent and satisfying end to tax season.

The Tax Day
1 oz Gin
1 tsp. Dry Vermouth
1 tsp Sweet Vermouth
½ oz Orange Juice
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Fill your mixing glass with ice. Add the ingredients and shake. Strain the contents into a rocks glass filled with ice.

The Caper
Plymouth gin
5 drops dry vermouth
1 single caper berry

Fill a shaker with ice. In the shaker mix gin and the vermouth. Shake!! Serve up in a chilled glass with the caper berry as the garnish.

Cheese Steak Bites
1 - 8 oz steak
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chives, minced

Preheat boiler.
Mix the Gorgonzola, butter, garlic and chives. Set aside.

Slice the steak into bite-sized pieces. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan at high heat. Sprinkle with salt. Cook 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Arrange the cooked meat in a single layer in an oven-proof pan. It’s a good idea to use a pan you can serve in as well.

Spread cheese mixture over the steak. Place under the broiler, watch carefully. Broil for 3-5 minutes.

Serve hot with toothpicks to eat.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just right for a Saturday in spring

Hello! The wait for Spring after a long, long winter is a hard wait. This martini and appetizer pairing will help to ease the wait for the warm sunshine days and blossoms on the trees. Enjoy!

The Pink Panther

X-Rated liqueur


Stolichnaya vanilla vodka

sweet and sour mix

Fill a shaker with ice. Combine 2 parts X-Rated liqueur, 1 party Hpnotiq, 1 part Stolichnaya vanilla vodka, and a healthy splash of sweet and sour mix. Shake!!

Serve up in a chilled glass with a lemon twist.

A delicious pairing for the Pink Panther is my Crispy Asparagus Straws. Here is the recipe:

12 green asparagus spears

1 package phyllo dough

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 package prosciutto

3 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare baking sheet by spraying with non-stick spray.

Steam the asparagus lightly and set aside. Take two layers of the phyllo dough at a time and cut them into four equal pieces. Lightly brush butter on the phyllo.

Place a slice of prosciutto on the phyllo and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Lay an asparagus stem on one end (make sure that 1 - 1 1/2" of the asparagus is sticking out from the top) and roll up. Seal the edge with butter.

When all spears are rolled and on the baking sheet sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese on them and place them in the oven. Bake until the phyllo is golden, about 5-6 minutes. If the asparagus tips cook too quickly cover them with a strip of aluminum foil.

Serve warm.