Cooking with Spirit: Using Spirits in your Recipes

Cooking with spirits can add more to the dish than flavor. Branding is a large part of all our businesses. Customers associate themselves with premium spirits and embrace trying dishes associated with them. Touch base with your national account representative to discuss using their brands in your dishes and often times they will become great partners on the culinary side as well as your beverage program. Here is a sampling of dishes using premium spirits you might want to try on your customers.

cabowaboShrimp Ceviche with Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila and Avacado

The Cabo Wabo tequila is the “secret ingredient” in this recipe that adds a wonderful tang to an already delicious combination of flavors. This ceviche can be served in a margarita glass (fancy) or in a warm corn tortilla (simple ceviche soft taco) as a first course. Or, for a lovely hors d’oeuvre, fill cup-shaped tortilla chips with a teaspoon of ceviche and place on a platter with a sprinkle of finely chopped cilantro.

1 lb Large Shrimp (31/35 count), peeled, deveined, tails removed, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Small Red Onion
½ Medium Red Bell Pepper, stem, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
½ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (8-9 medium limes)
¼ Cup Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila (2 ounces)
1 Small Fresh Serrano or Jalapeno Chili, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
½ Cup Fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 Small Avocado, peeled and finely diced; salt & pepper to taste

Mix together the shrimp, onion, bell pepper, lime juice, Cabo Wabo Blanco tequila and chili. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Just before serving, gently fold in the cilantro and diced avocado, season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and let sit at room temp for 20 minutes. Serves 4 as a first course or 12 as an hors d’oeuvre

Lamb Chops with Dekuyper Sour Apple Pucker Mint Sauce

Makes enough sauce for 8 servings

Lamb Chops with Dekuyper Sour Apple Pucker Mint Sauce

Lamb Chops with Dekuyper Sour Apple Pucker Mint Sauce

1 Cup DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker
½ Cup DeKuyper Triple Sec
Zest of one Lemon
Zest of one Lime
Zest of one Orange
5-7 leaves Fresh Mint, Chiffonade
1 Medium Granny Smith Apple – cut ¼ small dice, remainder large dice
Juice of one Orange
1 Can Apple Juice Concentrate, unsweetened
1 – 2 Tablespoons Sugar (to taste)
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch Slurry (2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water)
1 Tablespoon butter
5-7 leaves Fresh Mint, rough chop (optional)
Fresh cracked Salt and Pepper, to taste
8 6oz. French Cut Lamb Chops, grilled to order

Over low heat, combine DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker and DeKuyper Triple Sec. When liqueurs are warm, raise temperature to medium and whisk in zests of lemon, lime and orange. Bring mixture to a simmer and add mint chiffonade, orange juice, and small diced apple. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half and is the consistency of syrup. Once the mixture has been reduced, add apple juice concentrate. Raise temperature to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Add large diced apple and sugar; continue cooking mixture, stirring occasionally, until apple just begins to soften. Remove from heat and whisk in cornstarch slurry and butter until fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. For more mint flavor, add rough chop mint. This sauce may be made one day prior to serving.

francheescakeFrangelico Cheesecake or Ice Cream

This versatile liqueur can be used in many desserts, from the simplicity of pouring it over an ice cream sundae to preparing cheesecake with it. Here is one of our old favorites, easy to make and delicious.

32 oz cream cheese
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup Frangelico
1 graham cracker crust

Blend all ingredients well. Pour into graham cracker crust pressed into a spring form pan. Preheat oven to 350° and bake 40-45 minutes. Chill before serving. Garnish with your choice of fresh fruit or hazelnuts (pictured) or use your imagination.

Pair with Frangelico, chilled, up.

Cinzano Bianco Glazed Figs with Parma Ham, Goat Cheese & Rocket

Serves 4

Cinzano Glaze:

½ cup Cinzano Bianco
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon toasted fennel seeds
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons orange marmalade
1 mild red chili, thinly sliced

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the sauce until it is reduced to ¼ cup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until needed.

To Serve:

8 slices of Parma ham, ripped into 2 inch strips
1 bunch rocket, washed
½ pound soft goat or sheep’s milk cheese
6 figs, cut in half
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper

glazed-figsOn four serving plates scatter the rocket and the Parma ham slices evenly. Sprinkle the goat’s cheese over each plate. Place three fig halves on each plate and drizzle the plates with Cinzano glaze, olive oil, and finish with a few turns of pepper.