Liqueur Recipes

Drinks, Food, Liqueur No Comments »

This is a list of some of the recipes I’ve tried and some notes to go with them. It will grow over time.

Southern Comfort

A traditional drink from the South. Usig this recipe and also a bit of history.

DIY Southern Comfort

Its a simple and also not sugar heavy – which is a good thing. There is a bit of honey in it whih may or may niot be your thing but make sure to put at least some in. It’s needed.

From wiki – a little bit about the history:

“An inch of vanilla bean, about a quarter of a lemon, half of a cinnamon stick, four cloves, a few cherries, and an orange bit or two. He would let this soak for days. And right when he was ready to finish, he would add his sweetener: he liked to use honey.[9]”

Chocolate Liqueur:

This is a seriously good chocolate drink. It’s like really thick creamy chocolate milk with a big kick.

Easy to make and saves a LOT money compared to shop bought drinks. It’s not exactly low calorie and is pretty much addictive – be warned.

The recipe can be found here:

https://anitalianinmykitchen.com/chocolate-liqueur/

You have been warned 😉

Pineapple Liqueur:

http://www.oneacrevintagehome.com/homemade-pineapple-liqueur/

Pineapple – day 1

Simple to make and takes one month of shaking daily before sugaring and straining. The left over fruit will make for a nice ice cream topping;)

Orange Liqueur:

This one can be found here http://themellors.org/cooking/?p=503:

Orange – day 1

Very simple and even after only 2 weeks, it’s already starting to taste like it should. A winner.

Limoncello

A classic Italian liqueur. Full off lemony goodness with a kick like a mule.

Here: http://themellors.org/cooking/?p=499

Limoncello – day 1

If you follow the (my) instructions then not only will you get some really good limoncello, you will also get a good bit (2l -3l of lemon cordial) as well.

Cranberry

Ideal for Christmas and where I really learned that if the recipe says “big” pot, then use a “big” pot. There is only 600ml of vodka in this one but the fruit makes it difficult to fit.

As this was a Dutch recipe – I’ll write it here:

  • 450g cranberry
  • 500 ml Vodka
  • 2 mandarins (always scrub fruit before you use and use organic where you can)
  • 500g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves

Wash the cranberry’s and then chop them finely. For this I used a blender but you can chop them by hand. Zest the mandarins (difficult so it’s perhaps easier to use a potato peeler than a rasp) and squeeze the juice out.

Cranberry liqueur – day 1.
NOTE the BIG pot.

Put everything in the BIG pot, tighten the lid and then shake. Leave in a dark place for 3 weeks and shake twice daily.

When ready for bottling, remove the cinnamon stick. Use a cheesecloth to strain the liquid into a container. Then squeeze out all the moisture from the remaining fruit – you want to get as much out as you can.

The liqueur is good to drink at this point but as with most things, if you leave it a little longer, it will mature out.

Note to self – maybe the remaining fruit can be used in some way???

Liqueurs

Drinks, Food, Liqueur, Uncategorized No Comments »

A request for a post about making liqueurs…

First off – a disclaimer…

I’m no expert. I’ve made a few and I’ve been very pleased with the results. That said – I’m sure there is a lot of room for improvement and also many other ways to make delicious sweet alcoholic drinks:) So – what I do and say is only part of a large world and you need to make your own choices:)

Second – health and safety…

Not because I want to put a downer on anything – it’s more about making sure you don’t poison or infect yourself…

You are dealing with alcohol, fruit and sugar. You are extracting oils and chemicals from ingredients that aren’t in the regular stream of “home cooking”. Make sure everything is clean. Make sure you sterilize any equipment and jars etc that you use. It’s true that alcohol above a certain %’age will kill (or at least stop bacteria from growing) but there is always a chance.

Now – the downer stuff is over – time for the fun to begin…

What is a Liqueur?

Really it’s alcohol with an infusion of fruit and or other stuff and sugar in the range 15% to 30% alcohol by volume but not always:) There are a number of exceptions to this.

Image result for liqueur glass"

How do you make?

Get some alcohol, get some flavor base, get some sugar, mix in various ratios and leave for a while. Alcohol is a string solvent and so will extract all the oils and taste from the flavor base. The sugar helps make the thing a little more balanced for taste. You don’t even have to leave the thing for years to improve the taste (although this can help with some).

Orange liqueur in the making

How to drink?

Usually cold, either as an aperitif or a digestive. Or whenever you want 😉 Mix with other things for cocktails.

Ok – so what about the alcohol thing – what can I use?

Typically, you use a neutral tasting alcohol as a base. So, vodka is a good start. Use as good a quality as you can afford and always where possible, a minimum of 40% ABV. It maybe that for somethings you can only get 35% (Dutch Jenever is an example). Thats ok – just be aware that if you add water to it – you need to add not so much.

But of course – you can also use whiskey, cognac or whatever as a base. It’s your choice.

Why not add too much water to the mix?

Many liqueurs are good drunk from the freezer. If there is lower than say 30% ABV in there, the liquid will begin to freeze and separate out. You will end up with slush puppie. Maybe not a bad thing but probably not whats intended. So – be careful with adding water.

Another reason is that if you have solid fruits in there – the alcohol needs to be above a certain concentration to prevent nasties growing. Does that mean more is better? Nah – not always. Too much and it will be undrinkable for most. Also, to be fair, quite dangerous as you won’t know just what you are drinking and that can lead to “issues”.

So – it’s legal, right?

Generally, yes. But I’m not a lawyer – so -check your own locations laws. Making liqueurs should be not problem. What generally upsets governments and agencies is making your own pure alcohol (aka moonshining). Many countries won’t allow the use of even personal stills. It maybe legal to sell them but to use them for alcohol; nope.

Image result for small still"

There is a grey area here as many little stills are used to also concentrate oils from herbs (and other things).

What equipment do I need?

  • Big wide mouthed jars with a easily removable air tight lid.
  • Ingredients
  • Pan to make sugar solution or extract juice
  • Strainers
  • Cleaning/Sterilizing stuff

General kitchen stuff in other words. Nothing special. But if it says BIG jars – use big ones. As a rule of thumb – a jar should be one and a half to two times the volume of liquid you but in.

Why? Because when you add fruit and sugar – these take up room as well. And you need a bit of space in the jar so you can shake it up properly.

What do I do?

Start off with using recipes and instructions from books and/or internet. Stick with them before you start messing around. Then, once you have experience, you can start tweaking and creating your own. Just like any other thing. Get a bit of experience first and then expand.

What can I do with the end product?

Well – other than the obvious “drink it”, you can use it as a basis for cocktails, as an ingredient for cooking, a present or any one of a number of other things.

Many online stores have fancy bottles for putting your finished product in. Label it and put a fancy ribbon in it; Bingo. A great personalized birthday present.

But I have other questions?

Send an email or leave a comment below – lets see what we can do:)

Planning and record making

Drinks, Food, Outside stuff, Technology No Comments »

So – you have a few batches of wine (or indeed, whatever) on the go. You wrote everything down in your book and now you go to your notebook and find out that one of the kids has used it for school. Disaster has struck…

No notes.

It’s not exactly the end of the world but it’s inconvenient at best.

Here’s an online idea for you that may help save some frustration and a few batches of wine.

The internet has many useful tools and services that you can take advantage of for free. Of these – I would like to introduce you to:

OneNote is a Microsoft program and may not be free – sort of depends on your license. EverNote is free for all, although you may be limited in the amount of records you store (but for our purposes – it will do fine).

Trello uses a “board” to store a number of Lists. Each list is made up of cards. A card can have various information with it (due date, photos, text etc).

If we use one board called say “Wine” and then make a list per batch of wine. We call a list after a batch of wine e.g. “strawberry”. We create a card for “Starting” and in the card we put a due date of the day started. I also put in a link to the recipe and some other stuff in there.

Then, when you rack the wine, you create another card called “rack” with a due date the day you rack. Continue with adding a card for each time you do something. A nice way to keep records. But, wait, there is more…

The “Due Date” field can be used to plan. Create a card for say “Bottling” and put a due date in the future – and you get the basis of a planning system as well. Nice. When you’ve done the job on the card – mark it as done (and make sure the date is the date you did it) – so you can have a good indicator of where you are.

How does that look in practice? A bit like this:

wine planning on trello
A Trello Board.

And this is what a card looks like:

A Trello card

Give Trello a go – it’s kinda cool. You can also share your boards with other people. This lets people work together for say maybe if you have a shared room or such and need to see where certain things are. (I don’t want to use the term “project management” but you get the idea).

This is all well and good but it’s not a real notebook – more of a scheduling tool. This is where we bring IFTTT (If This Then That) into play.

We can make it so that when you enter a new card – it adds to your online notebook. By connecting Trello to IFTTT and then into OneNote or EverNote then you can take your note taking to a new level.

First, make sure you have a OneNote available online. EverNote is always available online so it may be a little easier to deal with.

Then go to IFTTT and create an account. There are some good resources there that explain the next step – linking IFTTT to Trello and also to your OneNote/EverNote. When those two services are added – you need a recipe like the following to do the lifting of creating notes from cards:

Example IFTTT recipe.

When this recipe is run it will add a new page to your notebook. For me – this is OneNote and looks something like this:

OneNote in action.

This is just the start of where this can go. Using services like IFTTT, we can link numerous things together to get some useful and handy solutions in place.

Dutch Oven Soda Bread

BBQ, bushcraft, camping No Comments »

Sometimes…

…it’s time to shake it up a bit and try something new.

…you have an itch to scratch.

…you just want to do something different.

…you just wanna burn stuff.

 

That time was a few weeks ago. Having received a small open BBQ and bought a heavy cast iron dutch oven, I wanted to do something with them. Nothing too involved just yet. This was, after all, the first time I would use the dutch oven. But just something a bit different.

At Christmas, we have a tradition of making an oat based soda bread and serving this with homemade potted pork and/or smoked salmon. The bread is very easy to make, incredibly tasty and requires no yeast or even kneading. As such, it’s great for lazy people like me. Experience told me that this would be a great project just to get started with. Experience was right.

The Dutch Oven

Basically a Dutch Oven is a large heavy cast iron pan with a lid that can go directly on an open fire and is used to cook things. Things like stews, roasting meat or even bread. Made famous by the Settlers in the American West and now used not so much. Which is a shame.

They are seen as hard work, requiring seasoning and special care. A pain to clean and maintain. Well yes, and maybe no. Once you’ve used them a couple of times and understand that cleaning should be done after use, and not three days later, then life becomes much easier.

Cooking with them may require a bit of muscle but thats ok, the type of food you are going to cook will have plenty of calories in it and you needed that work out anyway.

Cooking with them outdoors, can be done on gas but that just isn’t fun.

Cooking with them outdoors is done on real fire, with real burning wood. Thats fun that is.

Cooking with them outdoors requires a few extra skills and some planning for sure. Skills that are easy to acquire and very valuable. Probably you already have them (and if not – then I’ll post something about those soon so you can learn  too):

  • Fire Lighting
  • Fire Building

The Fire

There is a lot to write about fires and what type fire is best for which job. I’ll skip a lot of that here as most of the heat we need for soda bread comes from embers and not open fire. In fact, at a pinch and not as much fun, you could bake soda bread using BBQ briquettes. But you really wouldn’t do that, would you? Missing out on all that smokyness. That would be a sin!

Briquettes on top of Dutch Oven

Briquettes under stand of Dutch Oven

The recipe

This is not my recipe. I got it from the following link:

Soda Bread Recipe

The link contains a lot of information about how & why it works without yeast and all that good stuff. Even if you only make it in a regular oven – it’s still a good bread to make.

HINT – do not overwork the mixing. Read the recipe closely and understand what it does.

That all said – this is what it looks like before it goes on the fire:

Dough mixed an in the pot

The Bake

This is where it gets a bit tricky so take note…

Heat on top and (too much) below.

When I did it, I had way too much heat on the bottom of the oven. This made the bread burn on it’s underside. So what would I do different?

The BBQ I used was too small. This really limited the sort of fire I could build and amount of coals I could use. Limited is perhaps the wrong word, I had too many. Normally, there would be a fire to one side and coals would be taken from that and placed on and under the oven away from the main heat of the fire.

Because of the limited space – I had way too much heat in a small space. I know that now. As to how much heat to use initially, here is a little snapshot from a great little book I bought:

Fuel guide for Dutch Oven

Pencil figures are temperatures in degrees Celsius.

The Result

Well…

The results speak for themselves:

Fresh Soda Bread still in the oven.

Freshly cut Soda Bread

It tasted really good warm with butter. Even the burnt bits were not too bad:)

Summary

Cooking using a Dutch Oven is fun and flexible

Learn to control heat and be aware that more is not always better

Cleaning the Dutch Oven should be done as soon as is practical and don’t be afraid to re-season it.

 

BBQ lighting – a tip…

BBQ, Food No Comments »

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away…

There was a poor defenseless little hibachi, desperate to be lit. He cried out for flame to ignite his charcoal. Flame was duly brought forward. Alas, the little heat the flame could bring was just not sufficient to support combustion of the little hibachi’s valiant charcoal.

Along came Darth Petrol bringing with him the lure of the dark side. Maximum heat, quick ignition, superb fire spreadability. The innocent little hibachi jumped at the thought of quick burn. To be lit and give forth searing heat was all it wanted…

Slosh went Darth Petrol, whoosh went the hibachi. Heat was brought forth in a marvelous energetic dance…

For in a few seconds, hibachi’s coals were hot. But too hot, the fire would not recede, the heat began to burn through poor little hibachi and then it was no more. Hibachi had melted. He was no more. The lure of the dark side had reduced him to slag. Never to be cooked on again.

Here endeth the lesson and beggineth the tip…

When lighting your BBQ, NEVER use petrol or other accelerants. They burn too quick, damage your grill and leave a nasty taste in your mouth – quite literally. Also, they are pretty dangerous. 

How to do it safely?

Get a BBQ lighting chimney, use organic, environmental friendly lighting blocks (marked as suitable for BBQ) or…

Get the heat gun you use for stripping paint, put it on it’s hot setting and leave it for a few minutes….

For a few briquettes – it looks like this and works a charm. Why only a few briquettes? I used them for starting a slow burn. If you have more to do then fire the heat from the bottom up.

Use your heat gun to light coals

Lay a snake of coals for a long slow burn

Pea shooting…

Food, Gardening No Comments »

Or “how to turn ridiculously cheap dried stuff into great, nutritious food”…

See the below recipe for how to do this and more pictures below.

Pea shooting…

From Chris's Stuff | Salads | French

How to grow delicious fresh pea sprouts for not a lot of money. Use them in your salads for a bit of extra taste and lots of extra nutrition.

00:11
00:10
00:01

20 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of dried peas (cheap sort, not split ones)
  • 1 Seed tray or satsuma box or similar
  • Soil for seed tray
  • Water

Directions

  1. Soak the peas for 24 hours before planting. How many peas? I spread my peas in the empty container before putting the soil in. You need to have enough peas to completely cover the tray, leaving maybe a pea space between each pea. Fairly dense but not on top of each other.
  2. Make sure the seed tray or container is clean.
  3. Put the soil in the tray to about 15mm below the top. The try needs to be around 30 to 40mm deep (more and it’s a waste).
  4. Scatter the soaked peas over the soil.
  5. Cover the scattered peas with more soil so they are about 2 peas diameter covered. About 10mm or so of soil.
  6. Dampen but not soak the soil.
  7. Put in warm place (window sill?) and leave for 2 weeks. Keep the soil moist but not drenched.
  8. After 2 weeks you will have fresh pea sprouts ready for eating:). Harvest them by cutting above the second leaf set. Doing this will allow another crop to grow. It maybe that you get more than two crops but is depends on the strength of the pea.

Tips

  • Eat the sprouts freshly cut and raw. Mix in salads or eat as a snack.

Completed seed tray. Next time I’ll get better pictures.

image

 

After two weeks you get pea sprouts that look like this – ready for cropping as and when you want…

image

 

And the proof is in the tasting. Seen here with a nice piece of fresh smoked salmon served on a bed of mixed leaves and fresh pea sprouts with balsamic vinegar as a dressing:)

image

Gravlax

Food No Comments »

From wikpipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravlax

Always wondered what it was, I found out and so went and made some:)

Have to say that I’m very glad I did. Using a video from Jamie I cured the salmon with:

  • Sea salt
  • Sugar
  • Dill
  • Beetroot
  • Lemon zest
  • Schnapps

… I left out the horseradish. This was spread over the salmon:

 

Gravlax in curing mix

 

 

I wrapped a few bricks up in foil, covered the salmon with clingflim and then put the bricks on top of the salmon to press it down. The whole lot went in the fridge for 2 days (48 hours). When it was done, I scraped off the junk from the fish and removed the skin on the bottom. This is the result:

 

 

Gravlax finished

 

Serve it cut along the diagonal in very thin slices with knackerbrod or very dark bread and a bit of horse radish and wash it down with a bit of akwavit.

What to do for next time?

  • Skip the beetroot – it doesn’t seem to add and is just a lot of mess.
  • Add a bit more alcohol.
  • Try some official stuff and compare it to mine:)

Quick Egg Frittata

Food No Comments »

OK, I’ve no idea if this officially counts as a frittata or not, especially after reading around a little. But I don’t really care:mrgreen:

This is a good snack or lunch for those doing low carb or just good in general. Also this is more an idea and not prescriptive. It’s your  kitchen, get creative.

Anyways….

4 eggs, well beaten
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
Half onion finely chopped
Salt & pepper (and whatever) beaten with eggs
Lug of Olive oil (to use a Jamie’ism)
Good splash of milk added into eggs
And more or less whatever else you feel like

Heat the oil and get the onion and garlic. Also if you are going to put in anything like a bell pepper or meat, now is a good time. When the onion or extra are soft, simply add the egg mixture and if you have cheese or maybe little cherry tomatoes then add these on top. Turn down the heart and if you got it, put a lid on the pan.

Leave to cook until the eggs are cooked through, take off the best and serve. Have it with some good brown bread and its a great little meal.

Simple.

Shepherd’s Pie

Food No Comments »

It’s done nothing but rain this weekend. Time for some traditional anti rain food…

 

Shepherd’s Pie

From Chris's Stuff | Main Dishes | English and Irish

Rainy day comfort food

01:00
00:40
00:20

High cal Calories 752kcal

High fat Total Fat 41g

High sat-fat Saturated Fat 19g

High chol Cholesterol 123mg

sodium Sodium 362mg

High carbs Total Carbohydrate 62g

Serving size 639g Calories from fat 369kcal Fiber 8g Protein 35g Sugar 9g
5 servings

Ingredients

  • For the meat:
  • 750 g Lamb Mince
  • 250 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 30 g flour
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 300 ml lamb stock
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Salt & Pepper
  • For the Mash:
  • 1.25 kg potatoes, chopped for mashing
  • 30g butter
  • milk

Directions

  1. In a large pan, gently cook the mince. Squash it and stir it as it goes. When done, with a slotted spoon, lift it out of the pan and use the back of a spoon to squeeze out the rest of the juice form the meat.
  2. Turn up the heat and add the veggies to the juice. Stir, reduce heat, put lid on and leave to cook until softened. Stir occasionally.
  3. When the veggies have softened, add the mince back into the pan and stir. Once mixed together, add the flour, stir and cook for 1 minute, stirring as you go.
  4. Add the stock and again stir. Add in a good squirt of ketchup and salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Leave covered on a low heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Now make the mash…
  7. Boiled the potatoes, when soft, mash. While mashing, add in the butter and milk. Use enough milk to make the mash smooth.
  8. When the meat is done, place it in the bottom of a suitable sized oven tray. Cover this with the mash, trying to put the mash on top of the meat and not mixing it. Smooth the mash with the back of a spoon and then use the back of a fork to make a series of lines in the mash.
  9. Put in oven at 200 deg C for 20 minutes. To get a nice crispy top, you may need to place it under the grill for a little whiles.
  10. Serve.

Tips

  • I like to make my mash leaving the skin on the potatoes. This way it tastes a lot more potatoey:) You also get a lot more nutrients this way.

Smoked Chicken, the result…

Food No Comments »

image

What can words say

Close

Loading ...

Sorry :(

Can't connect ... Please try again later.

%d bloggers like this: