Whiskey + Aprons

Whiskey + Aprons

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pan-Fried Crab Cakes Over Arugula + Spicy Bourbon-Citrus Cocktails

Happy Mother's Day to all of our friends, family and W+A followers who are mamas. We appreciate all you do! Sundays are the perfect day for us to catch up on some writing and food prep for the week. This past weekend I was inspired by an old lunch spot that my coworkers and I used to frequent called Bulls Head. During the summer season, they would prepare the most delicious summer salad of fresh greens topped with their homemade crab cakes. Since their closing, I knew I wanted to recreate their dish, so we did! Here's what you'll need for this super simple recipe, a perfect dish to serve while dining al fresco with friends.



Ingredients:
  • 1 lb crab meat, jumbo lump/back fin
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup green onion, finely slice
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped, fresh or dried
  • 2/3 cup butter cracker crumbs
  • oil, for frying
  

Directions:

 Transfer crabmeat into a colander then set aside to drain excess liquid. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together egg, mayonnaise, mustard garlic powder, paprika and salt until completely combined. Add bell pepper, green onion and parsley then stir to combine. Gently fold in drained crab meat until well coated. Once the crab is moistened, add cracker crumbs, gently folding until the crumbs are completely mixed in. Try to leave crab chunks as intact as possible. Cover mixture then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Form patties using ⅓ cup of the mixture at a time. When forming the patties, compress the mixture well, but don’t mash them together or they will become too dense. The mixture will be moist, but should hold together. If the mixture does not hold together, just add a bit more cracker crumbs. Place a large skillet over medium heat then add just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Heat oil until it is shimmering, then gently place crab cakes into the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan and work in batches if necessary. Fry crab cakes until dark golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from pan then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil. Add to your arugula or mixed greens and drizzle with homemade lemon vinaigrette. 



Ingredients: 
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon (1/4 cup)
  • ½ tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
  
Whisk the oil, lemon, mustard, garlic together until combined. Add salt and pepper to  taste. Drizzle over crab cakes and salad. Cover any leftover for later use.




We decided to mix up a spicy summery cocktail that would pair nicely with our light meal. John had bourbon on had, so we decided to try our hand at a Spicy Bourbon-Citrus cocktail and boy was it tasty! Here is what you will need to get things started:

Ingredients: (makes 16 servings) 

-5 Fresno chiles, halved lengthwise, plus one whole for serving
-1.750 ml bottle of burbon (we used Gentleman's Jack)
-1 3/4 cups of dry vermouth 
-1 3/4 cups fresh grapefruit juice 
-1 cup of fresh lime juice 
- 1 cup of simple syrup
-limes and chiles for garnish 

Directions:  

Talk your bottle of bourbon and chill in a large pitcher. Slice your chiles into halves and make sure to remove all seeds. Let your chiles soak in your bourbon from 1-3 hours in the fridge. When ready to serve mix in grapefruit juice, lime juice vermouth and simple syrup into your pitcher. Pour over ice and garnish with chile half and lime wedge. This recipe will make up to 16 servings!








Monday, April 3, 2017

Coconut Curry Chicken + Coconut Martinis

Happy Monday W+A readers! The weekend flew by once again. John and I did a lot of yard week over the weekend. Some weeding, seeding, mulching and a little spring planting. We'll wait until the weather gets a bit warmer to start on our garden. Thank you all again for tuning into Cooking Live with W+A last Friday! We have almost 1K views on our video (woah!) So thankful to you all. We cooked up a delicious and healthy coconut curry chicken and paired it with the perfect coconut martini. Here's everything you'll need to make this meal. 


Ingredients:
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
3 tbsp of coconut vodka
2 tbsp pineapple juice 
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 cup of ice


Directions:
Take a martini glass and dip the rim in honey. Make sure to coat all around.Then dip your sticky rim into some shredded coconut, making sure all of the honey is covered. Shake together 3 tbsp of coconut vodka (we used Skyy) and 2 tbsp of pineapple juice into a shaker with ice. Using a strainer, pour into your martini glass. Take a tablespoon and flip spoon side down. Spoon 2 tbsp of coconut milk over the martini glass to create a coconut milk layer. Serve and sip!



Ingredients:
3-4 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts  
1 small yellow onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
4 tbsp of yellow curry powder
1 tbsp of Thai red curry paste
2 15 oz cans of fat free coconut milk
1-2 tsp of sugar
juice of 1 lime 
2 cups of thinly sliced red cabbage
4 tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro
4 cups of cauliflower rice (I used Green Giant fresh cauliflower rice from the produce section)


Directions:
Chop chicken into 1-inch (bite sized) pieces. Drizzle a large pan or skillet with oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onions, and peppers to pan. Saute 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle yellow curry powder over chicken and veggies and coat well. Continue to saute 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add red curry paste, coconut milk, sugar, and lime juice to pan. Stir over medium heat until sauce is begins to bubble, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with steamed cauliflower rice and garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro and shredded cabbage. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top. Make sure to add salt per tasting.


Catch us next Friday @ 7PM on our Facebook page! We will be creating the perfect meat and cheese board for entertaining and pairing some delicious wines. See you all soon, cheers!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Shrimp Fra Diavolo With Linguine

We can feel spring approaching and are happy to say sayonara to this frigid weather. The warmer days get us excited for lighter dishes, summer vegetables, fresh fish and dining al fresco. Last weekend we decided to venture out to our local Stew Leonard's. For those of you who have never visited a Stew's, its a grocery store chain that offers baked goods, fresh meats and fish and many other specialty items. John and I love getting our fish from there when we can and they typically have really good sales. We decided to buy some shrimp for our W+A live cooking show this past Friday and it turned out to be a great choice. I knew I wanted to make something a bit light, but fulfilling at the same time, so shrimp fri diavolo over linguine it was! Its a great dish to prepare if you are having a dinner party or to impress that special someone. Here's everything you'll need. 



 Ingredients:
1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion chopped
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 c of dry white wine 
3 garlic cloves minced 
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley 
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves 


Directions: 
Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute until they turn pink, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp to the sauce and toss to coat. Cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve. 
This meal pretty much covers all the bases for a hearty meal, but we also wanted to make a quick and easy pre dinner starter. We love taking different fresh baked breads and serving a variety of crostini. Crostini are small toasts topped with everything from cheese, meats, fruits and spreads. We decided to top our's this time with ricotta cheese, raw honey, lemon and fresh basil, and they were a hit. This is a great appetizer to make for guests or a light snack on nights that your not in the mood to prepare a full out meal. 

 Ingredients:
1 fresh baguette (make sure its nice and soft)
1 small container of ricotta cheese
1 lemon
fresh basil leaves
raw honey

Directions: 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your baguette into 2-3 inch slices and lay on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive and toast in the oven for 10 minutes until they lightly toasted. Pour your ricotta cheese into a bowl and zest an entire lemon into the mixture, fold through so its evenly distributed. Once your crostini is toasted, remove from the oven and spread about 1 tbsp of your ricotta mixture onto each. Drizzle the tops with your honey and add half of a basil leaf to each. Plate and serve.


To quench our palettes John mixed up a delicious cocktail, the Italian Bird. It paired really nicely with the spicy shrimp dish. Here's everything you'll need to shake one up. 
Ingredients:
1.5 oz of aged rum
1 tbsp of Roscato
1 tbsp of honey
3 tbsp of water
splash of cranberry juice
sage to garnish 

Directions: 
Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir. Make sure your honey is mixed in entirely. Pour into a rocks glass over ice, and garnish with sage.
*Honey water: Pour honey into equal-parts water, and shake well until no longer separated.


 John also paired this delicious Rosé, Fleur de Mer with our dish. This was one of the better wines I have had in a while. I love a Rosé during the summer, but this bottle had elegant lavender and violet floral notes that gave it a buttery finish. I really enjoyed how the soft finish paired with the kick of heat from our diavolo sauce. I look forward to enjoying this bottle all summer long! And a special thanks to our local wine and liquor store Prime Wine & Liquors for the recommendation. It was a hit! Thank you again to everyone who tuned in this past Friday. Be sure to tune in this week again. We will also cooking live this Sunday, April 2. See you guys for a special Brunch!

Cheers. xx


Monday, March 20, 2017

Celtic Frappes, Turkey Reubens + Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Happy Monday and first day of spring, friends! Sorry our recipes are coming to you a bit late, but the weekend was filled with lots of cooking, eating and shopping. John and I got cracking on a new outdoor set for the summer. This warm weather got us in the mood to start a little bit of an outdoor revamp and got me thinking about what I would like to start planting this summer. Our backyard is tiered off, so we have some nice space for a decent sized garden. Let us know what you guys plan to plant as the spring weather approaches.

We wanted to dedicate this post to everyone who tuned into our live cooking show this past Friday. We couldn't thank you guys enough for watching and spending your Friday night hanging in our kitchen :). As of today, we have 600 views on our video, which is pretty damn cool! Over the weekend, Whiskey + Aprons also became a proud member of the FoodieTribe which is a group of about 800 foodies around the world dedicated to supporting their local community through food and culture, pretty much what W+A is all about too. We can't wait to share with all of our readers some of the new brands and local openings coming our way.

Now in recipe news, we have a few to share from last Friday's cook off. John mixed up a festive refreshing Celtic Frappe in honor of St. Patrick's Day from Liquor.com and added his own twist.


 Ingredients:
2 oz of Celtic Honey liqueur
1 oz of lime juice
.75 oz vermouth
.25 oz orange sherbet
1 dash of aromatic bitters 
1 tsp of green dye (optional)
Directions: 
Add all ingredients into a shaker tin and fill with ice.
Shake and double strain into Old fashioned glass and fill with crushed ice. Squeeze orange oils over glass. Take a toothpick and wrap your orange peel around for 10 seconds to create a twisted orange peel garnish. Add two drops of green dye if you want to get really crazy.



To continue with our festive St. Patty's Day dinner we decided to make these cute loaded smashed potatoes as a side for our sandwiches. They were super easy and fun to make and were the perfect side to our reuben sandwiches. I would make these again for entertaining or as a passed appetizer.

Ingredients:   
12 baby red potatoes  
1/3 cup olive oil
Tbsp of sea salt  
1 cup cheddar cheese  
1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled (I used turkey bacon)   
1/2 cup sour cream  
1/4 cup chopped green onion
  
Directions:  
Boil potatoes whole for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain potatoes and place onto a greased (with olive oil) baking sheet. Smash the potatoes down using the bottom of a cup. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes until nice and crispy. Top each one with about a tbsp of cheese. Place the pan under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble. Top with sour cream, bacon, and green onions (or chives) and serve warm.



Our turkey reubens with homemade Russian dressing were so fulfilling and the perfect comfort food. We grilled these sandwiches up and served them slathered with dressing.

Ingredients: 
1 loaf of fresh pumperknickle bread
1 lb of pastrami seasoned turkey 
1/2 pound of Swiss cheese 
2 tbsp of butter 
cooking spray 
1.5 cups of sauerkraut  

For dressing:
1 small onion
1 tbsp of sweet chili sauce
1/8 cup of ketchup
2/3 cup of mayo
1 tsp of paprika
1 tbsp of vinegar 
Mix all together and use as dressing or dipping sauce

Directions:
Heat a pan or skillet with cooking spray. Slice your bread into thick slices and butter both sides. Load one side of your break up with turkey, Swiss cheese and the other side with a tablespoon of sauerkraut. Grill sandwich on each side for about 5-7 minutes each until bread is golden brown then flip. Once done, top sandwich with Russian dressing, slice and serve.  

We enjoyed cooking a festive meal for you all and can't wait until next Friday. We will be cooking up Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguini. Be sure to tune in Friday, March 24 at 7PM! And if you haven't already, follow us on Instagram @whiskeyandaprons and on Facebook @whiskeynaprons. 

Cheers! 
xx 



Monday, March 6, 2017

Happy 2nd Birthday Whiskey + Aprons!



I was sent a reminder that on this day two years ago, this little blog was born. Although life sometimes gets in the way of me keeping up on my blogging and frequent posting (a New Year's resolution I've been been trying to stay committed to) I post on W+A's Instagram account all day everyday. From new restaurant finds to cooking something new up in our kitchen or mixing up a new cocktail, we always have food on the brain.

We'll be doing a little celebrating tonight with some wine, homemade stuffed Italian peppers and one of our favorite caramel chocolate dipped gourmet apples from the Candy Apple Shoppe. Stay tuned for a little announcement later in the week too. We may just be cooking live, very very soon ;)

Thank you all for continuing to follow Whiskey + Aprons over these past two years! We appreciate all of the support, follows + likes :)

Love,
M+J

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Baking Season Is Upon Us

Hey there W+A readers. Sunday night sneaked up so quickly and Christmas will be upon on us next weekend. We've had our decorations up for a few weeks now and John wrapped all of our presents. I contributed by adding some bows. I'm not big on the wrapping and he seems to enjoy it, so why not let him run with it! This week I did a lot of baking. From cheddar egg muffins to oatmeal coconut dark chocolate "cookies" and tonight I made some healthy pumpkin white chocolate brownies. I've really been trying to use what I have in my kitchen and have started adding to my baking ingredients collection. I stocked up on some chocolate morsels, cinnamon, canned pumpkin, coconut flakes, nuts and some other necessities from the baking aisle. Since it is baking season, I figured I'd try my hand at baking some more, especially guiltless treats that John and I can snack on during the week.

Last Monday I prepared some healthy egg muffins. They take no time to prepare and made our breakfast thoughtless and easy. I made a total of 12 and warmed them in the microwave for 30 seconds each morning. John took some for a mid-morning snack during the week too.


Here is what you'll need:
4 cups broccoli florets
4 whole large eggs
1 cup egg whites
1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
cooking spray

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350° on bake. Boil broccoli in water for about 10 minutes. I liked to get mine soft so I could smash very finely. Crumble into smaller pieces and add olive oil, salt and pepper then mix together. Spray a non-stick cupcake tin with cooking spray and spoon broccoli mixture evenly tins. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites, whole eggs, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Pour into the greased tins over broccoli until a little more than 3/4 full. Top with grated cheddar and bake in the oven until cooked, about 20 minutes. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator to enjoy during the week.

After having breakfast settled for the week, I decided to make a sweet treat for those nights we are craving a snack while watching TV. Canned pumpkin is always a must in my kitchen. I love using it for baking and substituting it for oil, butter and eggs. I make muffins, cookies, pasta dishes, but tonight I decided to whip up some pumpkin white chocolate brownies. 


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 1 box of low-fat fudge brownie mix, 1 can of natural pumpkin and 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips. You can add nuts too, but I skipped on them tonight. Grease a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray and pour your mixture into the pan. Spread evenly filling all corners and top with 2 more tablespoons of chocolate morsels. Bake for 20 minutes or until your toothpick test comes up clean. Let cool and cut into small squares. I got 30 mini brownies out of he entire pan. Perfect treat to get in your chocolate craving.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and enjoy delicious food with your family and friends! We will be celebrating with 7 fishes on the eve at my parents and Christmas dinner at my in-law's. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

-W+A

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sicilian Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving break. We spent the holiday by my parents, but that didn't stop us from making our own turkey on Thursday morning. I love making roasted chicken in the oven, its one of our favorite go-to meals so I figured a turkey had to be pretty much the same thing. I preheated the oven on roast at 350 degrees and gave our bird a good scrub down of freshly squeezed lemon and kosher salt. I mixed together a baste of salt, pepper, minced garlic, smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil and brushed it all over the turkey. Of course making my first turkey was a little nerve racking so after a few phone calls to my mother and my aunt and a quick google search on "How long do you cook a 14 pound turkey for?" I set my timer and hoped for the best. After a few hours of cooking, our bird started to crust up beautifully and I continued to baste it every couple of minutes. Once the top became browned I covered it with foil and let cook a few more hours, a total of four to be exact.


We popped out our bird and let it rest covered until we got home later that night to carve it. What a hit! So much flavor and super juicy. Since we are hosting Thanksgiving next year, I'm happy we gave it a test run. Over the break we indulged on some tasty treats and ate like there was no tomorrow. John lit the fire in the living room and made his infamous hot toddies. One of our favorite cocktails to sip on a cold night in front of the fireplace. Make sure not to skimp on the full-fat whipped cream either. Here's what you'll need for four mugs of hot toddies:

-1 cup of Piehole Whiskey in Apple Pie flavor
- 4 cups of apple cider (I like using Trader Joe's spiced cider)
-4 cinnamon sticks
-cinnamon-sugar
-whipped cream

Warm up your cider in a saucepan and stir in your cinnamon sticks over medium heat. After about 10 minutes or so add in your whiskey and let heat up. Once your cocktail comes to a simmer, poor into your mug and top with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar topping. Don't forget to garnish your toddy with a whiskey soaked cinnamon stick.


This cocktail warms your insides up! We love making these when friends or family come over and any leftover mixture can be refrigerated for next time. On Friday John had requested we make a cheesecake he has been obsessing over for a while now. Most of you know I do not admire baking as much as I do cooking. Frankly, baking is more stressful than enjoyable for me. I love to open a bottle of wine and get to cooking, but baking is too precise. One wrong measure and your cake can be an instant flop. When he asked me to try and make a Sicilian lemon ricotta cheesecake I was a little intimidated. The ingredients seemed pretty doable, but cheesecakes are hard to nail. I figured I'd take a stab at it. Why not? I took out my never been used spring form pan and my Kitchenaid and got to it. Here's everything you'll need:

For the Cheesecake
-Two 15-oz. containers whole-milk ricotta
-1 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
-1 tbsp plus 1 cup sugar
-3 tbsp unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
-Two 8-oz packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
-2 large eggs, room temperature
-3 tbsp salt-free matzo meal
-1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-2 tbsp fresh lemon zest
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/8 tsp. kosher salt

For the Lemon Curd Topping
-2 lemons
-4 egg yolks (room temperature)
-3/4 c sugar
-4 tbsp butter (cold)

Pour ricotta into a large strainer set over a bowl. Drain for 30 minutes. Arrange rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350°. Grease an 8" spring form pan with 2 1/2"-high sides with butter. Mix 1 tablespoon. sugar and breadcrumbs in a small bowl; sprinkle into buttered pan to coat sides and bottom. Tap out excess crumbs. Transfer ricotta to a processor. Pure for 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of processor and mix until smooth. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the remaining sugar and all other ingredients; mix and remember to scrape down sides occasionally, until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake cheesecake until golden brown for about and hour and 15 minutes. The middle of the cake should be slightly wobbly. Transfer to a rack and let cool in pan (your cake will fall slightly). Refrigerate uncovered until cool, about 3 hours. Then cover and chill overnight. Next, prepare your lemon curd topping by zesting and juicing your lemons. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and zest. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover lemon curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Once ready to serve, top your cake with the lemon curd. I added a few sprinkles of coconut flakes to finish.


I'm happy to report this cake was a success! The consistency was perfect and was super light and airy to eat. The topping was just sweet and tart enough. I couldn't be more happy with how it came out. This recipe will definitely be one that comes out during the holidays. Maybe I am a better baker than I thought after all? ;)