Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Canada Day: Maple Syrup Gelato

Happy Canada Day! Hope you're enjoying fireworks, friends and family, and this maple gelato from Morgan Morano's new book, The Art of Making Gelato.

Acero/Maple Gelato
Excerpted from The Art of Making Gelato by Morgan Morano

This nontraditional Italian flavor is made at Morano Gelato Hanover during the fall and spring in support of the local maple production. We use a dark grade-B syrup from Mac’s Maple in Plainfield, New Hampshire. (Mac’s also produces a bourbon maple syrup that is unbelievably good—and at Morano Gelato, we make this flavor, too.)

When making Acero gelato, use the darkest syrup you can find for the best flavor results. Although I’m partial to maple syrup made in New Hampshire or Vermont, any quality syrup will work, no matter what the grade, as long as it is pure maple syrup. I recommend making this flavor in the fall to complement a fresh-out-of-the-oven pie or a nice fruit crisp, or in the spring to celebrate the oncoming warm weather.


2 ounces / 56 grams milk powder
6 ounces / 170 grams granulated sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
0.7 ounce / 20 grams tapioca starch
7.4 ounces / 210 grams heavy cream
24.15 ounces / 685 grams whole milk
1 ounce / 28 grams light corn syrup
4.05 ounces / 115 grams maple syrup (grade B or darker recommended), plus extra for garnish (optional)
1 egg yolk

Yield: About 1 quart / 950 milliliters


1. Mix the milk powder, sugar, salt, and tapioca starch in a bowl

2. Add the heavy cream and whole milk and whisk well to incorporate all of the dry ingredients into the liquid.

3. Whisk in the corn syrup, maple syrup, and egg yolk.


4. Pour the mixture into a 2.5-quart / 1.42-liter saucepan, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the
bowl. Place the saucepan on medium-high heat and cook, whisking continuously to prevent any
burning or clumping. Whisk slowly in the beginning and increase speed as the mixture gets warmer
and begins to steam and thicken. It should thicken without boiling after 8 to 10 minutes on the heat;
watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Once the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, continue cooking 15 seconds longer, whisking vigorously. Then immediately remove from the heat.


5. Pour the mixture into a clean glass or stainless-steel bowl and lay plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming on top. Allow the mixture to sit 30 to 45 minutes, until no longer hot. Then place in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 4 hours. If the mixture needs to be used right away, submerge most of the bowl in an ice bath and let it sit 30 to 40 minutes, refreshing the ice as necessary.

6. Once the mixture has cooled completely and thickened further, pour it into the bowl of the gelato machine and churn the gelato according to the manufacturer’s directions. The gelato will expand and should spin until it’s thick and creamy but still soft enough to scoop into a storage container, about 30 to 55 minutes.

7. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the gelato into a storage container.

8. Press a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface of the gelato, seal the container with an airtight lid, and put it in the freezer.

9. Freeze at least 4 to 6 hours. When ready, the gelato should be firm enough to scoop but soft and creamy in texture.


10. Enjoy the fresh gelato as soon as possible. If using after 2 days, allow 5 to 8 minutes for the gelato to soften outside of the freezer before eating. Serve with additional maple syrup, if desired.

Did you know that you can freeze maple syrup? Pure maple syrup does not freeze solid and can remain in the freezer indefinitely. Freezing prevents the formation of crystals and mold. Bring to room temperature before using.

Maple Syrup

Generally speaking, as the maple syrup season progresses, the color of the syrup gets darker. This is due to the changes in the maple tree as the weather gets warmer, and buds and leaves start to come out.


The Art of Making Gelato

Forget ice cream. Impress your dinner guests with unique flavors and indulge in fabulous recipes that you can make at home with The Art of Making Gelato. Discover the techniques and tools that you need to make this delicious treat at home.

Gelato is churned more slowly and frozen at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream. The slow churning incorporates less air, so the gelato is denser. The higher freezing temperature means that the gelato stays silkier and softer. Dairy-free and egg-free, sorbets are made from whole fruit and a simple syrup. They're extremely flavorful and churned like ice cream to give them a soft texture.

Join Chef and Gelato aficionado Morgan Morano as she shares 50 recipes for gelato and sorbetto. Enjoy traditional chocolate, sweet milk and strawberry, to Torta della Mimosa, Bombolone, Biscoff, and Acero - even Avocado gelato!
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fermentation 101: Let’s Pickle That!

Let’s Pickle That!
Excerpted from Ferment Your Vegetables by Amanda Pfeifer of

Getting started is very easy. You only need three ingredients—vegetables, salt, and water—and some kind of container (large jars work well). Just about any vegetable, from kohlrabi to carrots, can be fermented into flavorful, healthful, delicious pickles. Some vegetables have more universal appeal and effortlessly ferment into crispy, flavor-rich pickles, while others require a bit more attention.
The Rules, If You Can Call Them That

There are honestly not that many rules to pickle fermentation. You mostly want to rely on the things that give you a result that tastes good to you. However, there are a few things that are usually necessary for safety and excellent results.

Chop Your Vegetables

Chopping vegetables exposes more surface area, making the vegetable’s natural sugars more available to the lactic acid bacteria. Bacteria need access to their “food” to efficiently do the work of fermentation.


If you fear mold, or surface yeast, or a less than tasty batch, proper submersion is your friend. Ensure that your pickles stay submerged under a thin layer of brine during the fermentation period. There are several methods for doing this.

Give It Time

For most vegetables, anything less than three days of fermentation time is likely to be insufficient for the pickle to reach a pH of 4.6, the level of acidity at which it is impossible for C. botulinum to survive. If you want to be extra certain that your pH is low enough, you can purchase pH strips at any homebrew store and even at many drugstores, but the truth is, that’s generally not necessary. At three days, most ferments won’t taste nearly acidic enough to eat. At four to five days of room temperature fermentation there is virtually no chance that a fermented vegetable is above a pH of 4.6. For most pickle lovers, that would be the earliest that the flavor would be developed enough to bother eating them.

Find the Right Fit

Submersion is essential, but don’t fill your jar halfway with veggies and then fill the jar with brine. Jars that aren’t mostly full of vegetables are more likely to develop surface molds or yeasts. Conversely, too little space in a cramped jar with vegetables that don’t stay submerged can also be an invitation to surface mold. An overly cramped jar might also overflow once the CO2 starts bubbling, leaving you with messy counters and a jar that needs topping off. My best rule of thumb for jar fermentation is to add vegetables until your jar is full to about 2 inches (5 cm) below the jar rim and to then submerge them under a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch (5 mm to 1.5 cm) of brine, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) of space at the top of the jar before the weight is added. When starting out, it’s a great practice to place your jars on plates or bowls, just in case there is any overflow.

Lose Your Cool

I know. Your mom told you to toss food out if it accidentally sat on the counter overnight. No disrespect to your mother, but unlike other foods, ferments are actually safer when left at room temperature. My ideal fermentation temperature for pickles is between 68° and 73°F (20° and 22.8°C) and a temperature between 64° and 78°F (17.8° and 25.6°C) is most likely to provide your bacteria with the right conditions to do the work of acidifying your food and making it safe. Refrigerator temperatures will sometimes keep fermentation from starting and will always slow it down dramatically, so don’t put ferments in the fridge until after they’ve been fermented to your liking.

Try New Things

Vegetable fermentation requires very little rule following. That said, all of the recipes in this book have been carefully tested, and I do recommend that you follow them exactly if you want the same results I had. In the future, feel free to use this book as a jumping-off point in your fermentation experimentation. Salt levels, vegetable combinations, timing, and seasonings are, with few exceptions, adaptable to your preferences. As long as you follow the guidelines detailed in part one, it’s safe to experiment with these recipes. See a seasoning you don’t like? Leave it out. Have a brainstorm for an addition you think would work? Go for it. Let creativity, seasonality, and taste be your guides.

Not All Pickles Are Created Equal: Canned Pickles vs. Fermented Pickles

Canning is a preservation method in which vegetables are acidified with hot vinegar. The vinegar adds acidity and, along with other seasonings, gives canned pickles their flavor. Canned pickles are then given a long, boiling hot water bath to kill off all microbial activity (most specifically the bacterium responsible for botulism, which is very heat tolerant, but also all of the good-for-us, probiotic, lactic acid bacteria). This process allows for sealed jars to be stored at room temperature for long periods of time, often a year or more. The pickles you find on grocery store shelves are produced using this method.

Canned pickles are not living foods. They are shelf stable, so they will taste virtually the same when you take them out of the jar as they did the day they were put in. Like all cooked foods, they generally have fewer vitamins than the raw vegetables from which they’re made, they are not probiotic, and they have no special health benefits.

Fermented pickles are the opposite of canned pickles. Rather than sterilization, fermentation relies on the cultivation of good bacteria, which unfailingly do the work of keeping the bad guys at bay. These lactic acid bacteria, naturally present on all vegetables, eat the vegetable sugars and convert them into
lactic acid and CO2 (see all those bubbles?), among other things. This process quickly and naturally eliminates bad bacteria and results in a probiotic, good-bacteria-filled pickle.

Fermented pickles should usually be stored at cooler temperatures once you’re happy with their flavor, but, because they are living foods, their flavor and texture will continue to change over time, even in the refrigerator. Depending on your taste preferences, the vegetable used, salt levels, and how your pickles are made and stored, they may keep for a week or for more than a year. Unlike their canned cousins, fermented vegetables boast many notable health benefits, from loads of healthy probiotics to increased vitamin content and improved nutrient absorption.


Buy from an Online Retailer

Ferment Your Vegetables for Flavor, Health, and Fun!
Fermented vegetables are a great, healthy addition to anyone's diet. Abundant in probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and more, research continues to reveal the many ways that these foods positively contribute to our well-being. From kimchi and sauerkraut to pickles and kvass, fermented foods have been part of the human diet for millennia--and are rightfully reclaiming their place at our daily table.

The idea of fermenting vegetables at home can be intimidating for those who have never tried it before. The truth is, it's quite easy once you learn just a few basic concepts. In Ferment Your Vegetables, author Amanda Feifer, fermentation expert and founder of, serves as your guide, showing you, step by step, how you can create traditional, delicious fermented food at home, using only simple ingredients and a little time. No fancy starters or elaborate equipment required.

Using only veggies, a few spices, and a glass jar, here's just a small sampling of recipes you could start making today:

Zucchini Bread Pickles
Curried Cauliflower Pickles
Pint of Pickled Peppers
Simplest Sauerkraut
Ginger Beet Kraut
Green Bean Kimchi
Wild Fermented Tomato Sauce
Bullseye Beet Kvass

Ferment Your Vegetables will make beginners wonder why they didn't start sooner, and give veteran fermenters loads of new ideas and techniques to try at home. All aboard the probiotic train!

Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Make Overnight Sourdough

If you haven't tried making your own sourdough bread yet, now is your chance! Using basically flour, water, salt, and starter (but how do I make my own sourdough starter?) you can end up with something truly beautiful and delicious. There's kind of a wonderful magic to it all. It may seem scary, but once you perfect it, you'll be obsessed. I mean, look at it. All warm and toasty.

How to Make Overnight Sourdough
Excerpted from Homemade Sourdough by Ed Wood

To use your new starter, try this easy formula. You only need a small amount of starter and a few simple ingredients. Feed your sourdough starter in the morning so that by 7pm you can use it to make up this overnight dough. You will need 5 oz (140 g) of starter for this formula and there should be enough left over so you can feed it and put it away.


Bench blade
2 x 8-in bannetons
Peel for moving the dough
Lame or sharp knife
Spray bottle of water
Thick oven mitts
Cooling rack
Lid made from foil or a roasting pan lid
Bread thermometer (optional)


5 oz (140 g) vigorous starter
18 oz (510 g) water at room temperature
2 oz (55 g) wholewheat flour
19 oz (540 g) bread flour
1⁄2 oz (17 g) salt
8 oz (225 g) bread flour
Flour, for dusting
Dusting flour or cornmeal

Step 1
At 7pm, mix all of the above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or dough trough to form ragged dough. Cover and leave to autolyse for one hour.

Step 2
At 8pm, add the salt, stir, and add the flour. Work the flour into the dough until well incorporated—this will take a bit of effort. Cover the dough tightly to prevent it drying out and leave to stand at room temperature overnight (you can cover the dough with oil to prevent drying), folding the dough once before you go to bed.

Step 3
The following morning, divide the dough into 2 and shape each piece into rounds/boules (do a preliminary shaping for both boules). Bench rest both boules for 20 minutes. Do a final shaping of the first boule, then 30 minutes later do a final shape for the second boule. That way the boules are staggered so they will be ready to bake at separate times. Place the dough, upside down, into floured bannetons. The dough will now proof until they are about one and a half times the size they started out. The dough will feel bouncy and bubbly when it is ready to bake and if you press your finger into the side of the dough, the indent will slowly fill back in. If the dough isn’t ready, the indent will bounce right back or it will not make an indent in the dough at all.

Depending on your starter’s vigor and the room temperature, it usually takes 3–4 hours for the dough to be ready or proofed (this dough is a bit on the slow side). However, it sometimes takes longer. To speed up the process, find a warm place around 80–85°F/ 26–29°C to proof your dough.

Step 4
Your oven and baking stone should be heated to 450ºF/232ºC for a full hour before baking. The baking stone should placed in the middle of the oven or one level under the middle. It can be tricky to decide when to start heating your oven and have it hot enough when the first loaf is ready to bake. If you are not sure when to start heating the oven, just turn it on after the dough has been proofing for one hour.

Five minutes before baking your first loaf, put the roasting lid or foil cover into the oven to preheat. Dust the loaf and the peel with flour or cornmeal and turn the dough out onto the peel. Or you can place the peel on top of the bannetons and turn them both over, allowing the dough to transfer to the peel. While the dough is on the peel, slash the top with the lame or sharp knife. With a quick jerk of the peel and some confidence, get the dough onto the baking stone. Then working quickly, spray the loaf all over its outer surface with water and place the hot foil or roasting lid over the dough. Close the oven and set
timer for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes is over, using mitts or kitchen gloves, carefully remove the lid. Place the hot lid on top of the oven to have it ready for the next loaf. Bake your loaf of sourdough for 10–15 more minutes until it is nicely brown and the interior of the loaf registers around 105–110°F on a food thermometer. Remove the loaf from the oven. Cool the loaf on a cooling rack. Place the roasting lid back into the oven and heat the oven for 5–10 minutes. Repeat the baking directions for the second loaf.


Buy from an Online Retailer

Start, grow, and bake your own delicious, homemade sourdough bread, with or without commercial yeast!

Homemade Sourdough is the ultimate guide to creating your own sourdough bread. Learn sourdough formulas and recipes and follow along as the author explains the science behind sourdough and provides a guide to the world of starters, wild yeasts, proofing, pre-ferments, and motherdough.

Homemade Sourdough provides dozens of recipes, not just for bread but for other baked goods, from muffins to pizza crust to chocolate cake. Sourdough is especially attractive to anyone who is aiming for a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle and also those who want the health benefits of bread made through fermentation. Sourdough rises through the action of lactic acid, so it doesn't require storebought yeast ”but the sourdough starter method works beautifully with either commercial yeast or wild yeast.

For those interested in lowering their intake of gluten, sourdough preparations can produce lively, tasty loaves with lower amounts of gluten than other methods.

There is no better way to embrace heritage flavors and time-tested bread-baking techniques than with sourdough. Foodies, farmers, DIYers, and locavores will want to devour this book.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Father’s Day Tie Treats

Celebrate Father's Day weekend with this family-friendly crispy rice treat that is perfect for dads, papas, grandpas, and more. And go ahead and eat a few yourself. They're better for you than cake and just as delicious.

Happy almost weekend!

Father’s Day Tie Treats
Excerpted from Super Cute Crispy Treats by Ashley Whipple

Everyone will have fun decorating these Father’s Day ties, and Dad will certainly enjoy eating them. Personalize them with the man of honor’s favorite candies or colors to show how much you care.

Yield: 8 ties
Time: 30 minutes cooking time, plus decorating time
Difficulty level: Intermediate


3 tbsp margarine
1 10-ounce (280 g) bag mini marshmallows
6 cups (150 g) crisp rice cereal
2 cups (250 g) Buttercream Frosting, tinted color of choice
Assorted small candies
Equipment: 5-inch (12.75 cm) long tie cookie cutter

Melt margarine in a 5-quart or larger saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows, and stir. Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Stir in crisp rice cereal until covered with marshmallow. Turn out onto a greased baking sheet. With greased hands, press down into a ½-inch (1.25 cm) thick layer. Let cool completely. Then cut ties with cookie cutter.

Spread a layer of frosting over the treats and decorate with candies.

Tip Treat:
Some decorating ideas you might want to try include using candy polka dots, making stripes with licorice string, or writing a personal message with a gel writer.


Super Cute Crispy Treats

A healthier alternative to traditional desserts, moms and kids alike will love creating these incredible, no-bake recipes featuring your favorite cereal treats.

In Super Cute Crispy Treats, food crafting expert Ashley Fox Whipple will show you over 100 ways to make an extraordinary crispy treat. Experiment with all new flavors like Caramel and Sea Salt, Kool-Aid, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Pretzel and Chocolate. For parties, go beyond the ordinary square with 3D sculptures like apple-shaped crispy treats, ice cream cone treats, topiary treats, crispy donut treats, and more. Try your hand at Crispy Treat Pops and even Crispy Treat Layer and Wedding Cakes.

With a special chapter on gluten-free and low-sugar crispy treats, there is a recipe in here for everyone, and you'll be inspired to whip up a quick batch of Super Cute Crispy Treats today!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kiwi Sorbet

I've been eying the kiwis in my local grocery store every time I'm there. They're not something I buy every time, but rather a special treat that I hoard all for myself. Silly, I know. My husband tells me that kiwis taste like big grapes. I'm not so sure about that one. What I am sure about is that taking a big bite of kiwi makes me think of hot weather, sunshine, and relaxing.

Kiwi Sorbet just makes sense to me as one of those ideal summer indulgences that you enjoy on the patio, porch, deck, or by the pool. Go ahead and try the recipe. It's easier than you think. It's also something you'll savor every bite of. Don't share it with anyone. Unless they're really nice to you.

Kiwi Sorbet
Excerpted from The Art of Making Gelato by Morgan Morano

The kiwi is one of my favorite fruits, and in a sorbet, it’s almost irresistible to me. As one close friend has put it: “When eating this Kiwi sorbet, you can almost taste the fuzz of the skin of the fruit.” Seriously. Try it! Kiwi will become your fruit sorbet of choice, and it’s perfect on a hot summer day. When it comes to choosing kiwis, size doesn’t matter. Just look for fruits that are unblemished and give a little when you press the outside. Rock-hard kiwis are not ready to eat or to make into strong-flavored sorbet. Kiwis sweeten as they ripen, so make sure they’ve had plenty of time on your kitchen
counter. The kiwi is a staple in my kitchen, so it’s no wonder that I’m partial to its frozen form.

Kiwi sorbet is versatile, just like many of the other sorbets, and delicious all by itself. Try adding a scoop to your yogurt in the morning. It’s also great midday snack and can help elevate a dessert course at a dinner party. Add a little dark chocolate gelato, and you’ll have one of my favorite combinations.

Yield: About 1 quart / 950 milliliters

16.9 ounces / 479 grams kiwi, peeled, ends removed, and diced (about 8 kiwis)
1.95 ounces / 55 grams cold water
13.95 ounces / 395 grams sorbet syrup (see page 162), cooled and whisked prior to measuring
0.07 ounce / 2 grams fresh-squeezed lemon juice (optional)


1. Place the kiwi, water, sorbet syrup, and lemon juice, if using, in a small bowl.

2. Blend well with an immersion blender, making sure to incorporate all the kiwi pieces into the liquid.


3. Pour the mixture into the bowl of the gelato machine and churn the sorbet according to the manufacturer’s directions. The sorbet will expand and should spin until thick but still soft enough to scoop into a storage container, about 30 to 55 minutes.

4. Using a rubber spatula, scoop the sorbet into a storage container.

5. Press a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface of the sorbet, seal the container with an airtight lid, and put it in the freezer.

6. Freeze at least 4 to 6 hours. When ready, the sorbet should be firm enough to scoop but soft in texture.


7. Enjoy the fresh sorbet as soon as possible. If using the next day or after, allow at least 10 to 20 minutes for the sorbet to soften outside of the freezer before eating.

As with other fruits, it’s important to use the best possible kiwis and allow them to fully ripen to maximize their flavor potential prior to turning them into a sorbet. Make sure, however, that the kiwis still have some tang and firmness to them and aren’t too soft or mushy. I encourage you to taste the fruit, and if you find it a little on the sweeter side, you can add a little lemon juice to help round out the flavor. Otherwise, if you prefer a sweet kiwi sorbet or believe the kiwis to be just right, follow the recipe as is. Enjoy!

Did You know?
After China, Italy is the second largest producer of kiwi in the world. The Lazio region, home to Rome, exports the most of this fruit. It’s no wonder Kiwi sorbet is everywhere in Italy!


The Art of Making Gelato 

Forget ice cream. Impress your dinner guests with unique flavors and indulge in fabulous recipes that you can make at home with The Art of Making Gelato. Discover the techniques and tools that you need to make this delicious treat at home.

Gelato is churned more slowly and frozen at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream. The slow churning incorporates less air, so the gelato is denser. The higher freezing temperature means that the gelato stays silkier and softer. Dairy-free and egg-free, sorbets are made from whole fruit and a simple syrup. They're extremely flavorful and churned like ice cream to give them a soft texture.

Join Chef and Gelato aficionado Morgan Morano as she shares 50 recipes for gelato and sorbetto. Enjoy traditional chocolate, sweet milk and strawberry, to Torta della Mimosa, Bombolone, Biscoff, and Acero - even Avocado gelato!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Strawberry Patch Jelly Shots

I'll admit it. When I first think about strawberries, shots do not come to mind. That being said, strawberries are in season now and I see no better time to try my hand at these clever and adorable jelly shots from the amazing Michelle Cordero of That's So Michelle.

Whether you're throwing a backyard bash or just want to "get fancy" at home, these sweet, vodka-infused bites are sure to impress everyone ... likely even you.

Strawberry Patch Jelly Shots
Excerpted from Jelly Shots by Michelle Cordero

I came up with these shots when I was trying to find a fruit other than maraschino cherries to use in a recipe. These are easy to make and easy to pick up. Try making them with blue Jell-O for a 4th of July party

Makes 20 shots

2 cups (480 mL) water, divided
2 x 3-ounce (85 g) box strawberry Jell-O, divided
2 x ¼-ounce (7 g) packet Knox gelatin
2 cups (480 mL) strawberry- or whipped cream–flavored vodka, divided
20 medium or large strawberries with stems, halved horizontally


1. Add 1 cup (240 mL) water and 1 box strawberry Jell-O to a medium saucepan and whisk until powder dissolves. Sprinkle in 1 packet gelatin and let it sit for 1 minute, letting the gelatin activate. Place saucepan over medium heat, whisking until gelatin dissolves. Bring to a light simmer, then
remove from heat. Add 1 cup (240 mL) vodka.

2. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Refrigerate for 30–60 minutes, or until sticky and slightly set but not firm.

3. Repeat step 1. Let mixture come to room temperature.

4. Pour mixture on top of first layer. Place strawberry halves with stems in rows—with enough room to cut circles around them—in the mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm.

5. Carefully cut out shots around the strawberries with the rim of a shot glass or a mini circleshaped
cookie or fondant cutter and remove from pan. Refrigerate until serving.


Jelly Shots A Rainbow of 70 Boozy Recipes 

Ditch those boring wine glasses and clunky beer mugs, and serve up these deliciously fun jelly shots at your next party! Jelly Shots is a colorful collection of inventive shots that transforms the shoddy plastic shot glass into a stunningly beautiful party treat. From Birthday Cake and Gummy Bear shots to Cucumber Mint Juleps and Lemon Drops, there's a boozy treat in here for every holiday and occasion all year round.

Featuring 70 easy-to-follow recipes using simple ingredients, this is the must-have shot companion for anyone who loves throwing a good party and concocting signature drinks. Using the step-by-step instructions, you'll learn to make innovative shots, including S'mores, Strawberry Margaritas, Peach & Vanilla Champagne, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and dozens more. Shots never looked this good!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Coconut Milk –Braised Bison Short Ribs

Looking for a new take on "meat and potatoes" night? How about bison? Less fatty that beef and with lots of health benefits, bison is a great way to go. And may we recommend this recipe from 12 Bones' new cookbook? We think it's likely to become your new "go-to" option.

Coconut Milk –Braised Bison Short Ribs
Excerpted from 12 Bones Smokehouse: A Mountain BBQ Cookbook

This recipe came about when we had a local bison farmer stop by with some bison short ribs to try. We were impressed because, unlike beef short ribs, they aren’t covered in fat. The downside of that is that they can quickly become tough as nails. To work on improving that texture, and to bring out the rich flavor in these cuts, we experimented with marinades to help break down the meat. In this recipe, the acid in the coconut milk does the trick, helping to reduce the cooking time as well.

Note: You can substitute beef short ribs in this recipe. They are usually smaller, and tend to have a thick layer of fat on top and in the center of the rib. For best results, remove the top layer before marinating. Beef ribs also have a tendency to fall apart when cooking. We bind the meat tight to the rib with butcher’s twine before braising.

Yield: 6 servings

4 pounds bison short ribs, about 8 pieces
2 (14-ounce) cans of coconut milk
1 (29-ounce) can of tomato sauce
3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 cup 12 Bones Roasted Garlic (recipe follows - or, in a pinch, regular garlic), minced
One Thai chili pepper, split (optional)
1 cup coconut water

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with foil and spray it with nonstick spray.

Rinse the short ribs thoroughly under cold water to remove any bone fragments. This can be tedious; sometimes the bone fragments are forced into the meat and fat during the packing process. Next, drain the ribs and pat them dry. With a sharp knife, preferably a boning knife, remove the tough silverskin from the top of the ribs, exposing the meat. Silverskin is connective tissue that can keep seasonings from penetrating the meat. It’s also not excellent for eating. You may get ribs without this membrane, but if your ribs do have silverskin, removing it isn’t a problem. Use a boning or paring knife to pull up a corner of the silverskin. You’ll probably be able to pull it off the rest of the way with your fingers.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and the tomato sauce. Using your hands, roll each rib portion in the mixture, one at a time, wiping the excess back into the bowl. Season each rib portion with 1 teaspoon of salt and then stand the ribs, meat-side up, on the prepared cookie sheet, without overcrowding them. This can be a little tricky, as the ribs would rather fall on their sides than stand at attention. Reserve the coconut-tomato mixture.

Roast the ribs, uncovered in the oven, until the outside of the meat begins to caramelize. This should take 30 minutes, but check them after about 20. While the ribs are roasting, whisk the remaining ingredients—the 1 teaspoon of salt, the garlic, cardamom, chili pepper, and the reserved coconut water—into the coconut-tomato mixture to make a braising liquid. Pour half of the liquid into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish or roasting pan.

Once the ribs are caramelized, remove them from the oven. Using a pair of tongs, stand ribs, meat side up, in the braising liquid in the casserole dish, and then pour the remaining half of braising liquid over the top of the ribs. Wrap the pan with aluminum foil. Wrap tightly at the edges of the pan, but tent the foil in the middle so that it does not touch the meat.

Place the ribs in the oven, and then reduce the heat to 325°F. Bake until spoon-tender, which should take about 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven and, using tongs, transfer them to a large platter. Skim off the fat from the sauce with a large spoon, stir, and pour the skimmed sauce over the ribs.

12 Bones Roasted Garlic

Yield: 4 cups

2 cups whole, peeled garlic cloves
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300°F. Stir together all ingredients in an oven-safe pan. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Store in airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.


12 Bones Smokehouse

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For lovers of the 12 Bones restaurant as well as fans of progressive 'cue, 12 Bones Smokehouse includes signature recipes and techniques for ribs, pulled pork, and all the fixin's.

When 12 Bones Smokehouse opened in Asheville, North Carolina, many doubted that it would succeed. From a squat building in a flood plain, the owners were serving up creative barbecue that wasn't 100-percent true to any single region. Yet a decade later, 12 Bones is a local institution that rivals the Biltmore Estate in popularity. (In fact, it's 12 Bones alone that has been on President Obama's itinerary all three times he's passed through Asheville.)

The 12 Bones Smokehouse book is true to the spirit of the place. Everything is made from scratch--and cornbread is not optional. Inside you'll find all the classics: from the famous ribs to smoky pork, turkey, and chicken. And just like the restaurant, the bookis uniquely vegetarian-friendly by barbecue standards. From tangy Pickled Okra Salad to savory Jalapeno Cheese Grits, everyone will find something to love. Addictive desserts and flavor-packed rubs and sauces--including the famous Blueberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce--are all here, too. So if you can't make it to 12 Bones this week, now you have the next best thing.