Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday Foodday

Happy Friday lovebugs!

I am headed to California to a wedding today and I can't wait to celebrate with some close friends. But for now, here are my favorite recipes this week. 

Blackberry Manhattan
c/o Fogged in Lounge
  • 2 oz bourbon (Buffalo Trace)
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin)
  • 1 barspoon blackberry brandy (Leopold Bros blackberry liqueur)
  • 1 dash Fee Bros Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters
  • Lemon twist

Sort of a fuller, rounder Manhattan on the front, the blackberry comes in subtly as the drink develops, reminiscent of those blackberry or currant fruit gums I loved as a kid. A fine way to kick off the season.

Loaded Mac and Cheese
  • 3 c. elbow macaroni
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ c. flour
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 6 c. milk
  • 1 lb. shredded cheddar or cheddar jack cheese
  • ½ c. panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • ½ package bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp. minced chives
  • sour cream

  1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter.
  3. Stir in flour, mustard powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from heat and gradually stir in milk.
  5. Return to heat; cook over medium-high heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
  6. Add cheese and stir until it begins to melt.
  7. Mix cheese mixture with cooked macaroni; pour into greased 9x13 inch casserole dish.
  8. Combine bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over mac & cheese.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees 15 minutes or until bubbly.
  10. Remove from oven; top with crumbled bacon, chives, and sour cream.

Apple Cider Caramels
4 cups (945 ml) apple cider
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, or less of a finer one
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
Neutral oil for the knife

Boil the apple cider in a 3- to- 4- quart saucepan over high heat until it is reduced to a dark, thick syrup, between 1/3 and 1/2 cup in volume. This takes about 35 to 40 minutes on my stove. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, get your other ingredients in order, because you won’t have time to spare once the candy is cooking. Line the bottom and sides of an 8- inch straight- sided square metal baking pan with 2 long sheets of crisscrossed parchment. Set it aside. Stir the cinnamon and flaky salt together in a small dish.
Once you are finished reducing the apple cider, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, sugars, and heavy cream. Return the pot to medium- high heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side, and let it boil until the thermometer reads 252 degrees, only about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it.
(Don’t have a candy or deep- fry thermometer? Have a bowl of very cold water ready, and cook the caramel until a tiny spoonful dropped into the water becomes firm, chewy, and able to be plied into a ball.)
Immediately remove caramel from heat, add the cinnamon- salt mixture, and give the caramel several stirs to distribute it evenly. Pour caramel into the prepared pan. Let it sit until cool and firm—about 2 hours, though it goes faster in the fridge. Once caramel is firm, use your parchment paper sling to transfer the block to a cutting board. Use a well- oiled knife, oiling it after each cut (trust me!), to cut the caramel into 1-by-1-inch squares. Wrap each one in a 4-inch square of waxed paper, twisting the sides to close. Caramels will be somewhat on the soft side at room temperature, and chewy/firm from the fridge.
Do ahead: Caramels keep, in an airtight container at room temperature, for two weeks, but really, good luck with that.

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Hey lovebug! Thank you so much for you comment. I just loved spending time with you and I hope you come back again soon! TCB.