Recipes from December 19, 2012

From Herald news servicesDecember 19, 2012 

Weekly recipes for December 19, 2012

Cranberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Start to finish: 20 minutes.

Servings: 4.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon honey
8 slices cinnamon swirl bread
4 eggs
2/3 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground dry ginger
Butter, as needed
Maple syrup, to serve

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cranberries, crystallized ginger and honey. Divide this mixture between 4 slices of the cinnamon swirl bread, spreading to just 1/2 inch from the edge. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread to make 4 sandwiches.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon and dry ginger. Dunk each of the sandwiches into the egg mixture to thoroughly coat and soak them.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt just enough butter to coat the pan. Working in batches, fry the sandwiches for 4 minutes per side, or until nicely toasted and heated through. Add butter between batches. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Tugboat Egg Nog

Makes 1 drink.

1 ounce simple syrup (see note)
1 1/2 ounces bourbon, whiskey or scotch
1/2 ounce spiced rum
3/4 ounce amaretto (or any nut, coffee or chocolate liquor)
1 egg
1 ounce whole milk
A coffee bean

To make Southpaw simple syrup, mix equal parts cane sugar and boiling water; stir until sugar dissolves. Add baking spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cloves, allspice and orange peel in small, equal proportions to the mixture. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool completely; strain out solids.

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, adjusting the amount of simple syrup to the sweetness of the spirits used. This recipe is built for a 100 proof whiskey and a drier spiced rum. If your spirits are sweeter, decrease the simple syrup to 3/4 ounce.

Dry shake (without ice) vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Take care to secure the shaker with both hands, as the mixture will want to escape as pressure builds.

Add ice and shake vigorously for another 10-15 seconds.

Double strain using a Hawthorne and a mesh strainer into a glass with a 9- to 10-ounce capacity. Grate coffee bean on top.

Note: Any simple syrup will work, but Southpaw's spiced mixture is explained in step 1.

--Edward Calhoun, Southpaw in San Francisco

Smoked Buttered Rum

Makes 1 drink.

Spiced sugar syrup:

2 quarts water
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
2 pieces of star anise
1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Smoked butter:

1 stick unsalted butter

Buttered rum:

2 ounces dark rum
1/4 ounce Vida mezcal
1 1/2 ounces spiced sugar syrup
1 tablespoon smoked butter
3 ounces hot water

Place sugar syrup ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer mixture until sugars are completely melted, about 10 minutes.

For the smoked butter, ignite an electric grill or start a small fire in a charcoal grill and heat it to about 200 degrees. For the electric grill, place hickory, mesquite or other aromatic wood chips in a piece of foil and punch holes in the foil with a fork; set it on top of the grill grates. For the charcoal grill, place wood chips directly on the charcoal. Place a stick of butter on a piece of aluminum foil on the grill grates. Allow the butter to smoke long enough to absorb the flavor without melting into your barbecue, about 15 minutes, if possible.

Fill a 10-ounce glass mug or thick pint glass with very hot water from a tea kettle; let it warm the glass for about a minute. Empty glass.

Add rum, mezcal and 1 1/2 ounces sugar syrup to the warmed glass; stir. Place butter on top, then pour in about 3 ounces hot water. The water will be twice as much as rum mixture. Stir until the butter has mostly melted and is frothy on top. Serve immediately.

--Tanya Holland and Phil Surkis, B-Side BBQ

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