Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shrimp Lejon and Mangotinis

It was a beautiful fall day.  Mr J and I decided to sit outside and relax after our long week.  A busy weekend lay ahead.  If you look closely in the background you can see that quite a few leaves have fallen already.  They are beautiful and make our home look picturesque.  Uh..but the work to get them up. Mr. J and I will have to move our happy hour indoors soon.  But for now, we will simply enjoy the crisp air and the beauty of fall.  We enjoyed our tasty shrimp lejon and toasted goodbye to Gourmet magazine with our mangotinis.  Champagne was probably in order but I didn't have any on hand.  I have had a subscription off and on (but mostly on) for several years.  One of my favorite monthly articles was the look back to past years and recipes.  What are you going to miss about our beloved Gourmet magazine? 

Shrimp Lejon 

Makes 2 servings

6 shrimp ( 12-15 count)
3 oz horse radish
6 slices of low sodium bacon  
                 Dipping sauce                        

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Peel and devein the shrimp leaving tails in tact.  Run a sharp knife down the back of the shrimp.  Fill the shrimp with 1/6th of the horseradish.  Wrap each shrimp tightly with bacon and secure with a wooden pick if needed.  These shrimp wre huge so I didn't need the wooden pick. Place shrimp on a baking sheet.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until bacon is just about done.  Turn on the broiler.  Broil at 500 degrees F for an additional minute.

To make the dipping sauce, combine 1/2 cup of mayonaise, 2tablespoons of ketchup, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.  Mr. J prefers cocktail sauce.     


Makes 2 cocktails

3 oz vodka
1 oz orange liqueur
3/4 C mango nectar

Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice.  Put all ingredients in and shake until chilled.  Pour into two martini glasses.


Goodbye Gourmet magazine.  You will be missed.......


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Candy Cocktails

Halloween can be so much fun.  When my boys were little, I would make their costumes.  One year my oldest son wanted to be a ninja turtle.  My mom, who is totally up for the "Grandmother of the Year" award, worked hard and made him a fabric "shell" with straps.  She worked on it several evenings.    He was so excited and very proud of his costume.  He ran around the house leaping through the air while fighting the bad guys.  Now, that same little boy is 6' 3" and learning to drive.  Where did the time go?

Many parties are being planned for Halloween this year.  It's especially enjoyable when Halloween falls on a Saturday.  You can relax and enjoy the event with friends longer than a week night Halloween celebration.  While the kids are trick-or-treating, the adults can enjoy a few "candy" cocktails with friends.  Here are a few cocktail recipes named after treats.  They are tried and true favorites that you can get at your favorite spot.      

Bit O Honey Shooter
(print recipes)

1 oz Irish Cream
1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps    


Combine ingredients in a shot glassMakes 1 shooter.   

Cotton Candy Martini

2 oz coconut rum
1 oz peach schnapps
2 oz pink lemonade

1. Fill a cocktails shaker with ice.
2. Pour in all ingredients and shake until well chilled.

Serve in a martini glass.  Makes 1 cocktail.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pomegranate and Mint

Mr. J and I were looking forward to our Friday cocktail hour.  Lamb Loin Chops and Pomegranate Mojitos were on the menu.  Pomegranate and mint is a sublime combination.  We were about to enjoy it two ways.  As we muddled our pomegranate mojitos, we chatted about the 2016 Olympic Games.  Should the president have gone to Copenhagen?  Would the IOC have considered it a snub if President Obama hadn’t appeared?  And…what happened to the Oprah Effect?!  I mean the woman almost single handedly got America reading again.  Influencing the members of the IOC should have been child’s play for her.    
After we sat down and started dipping our lamb loin chops into the pomegranate mint sauce (you will love it!), the conversation turned to travel, specifically Brazil.  Oh well….. Chicago’s loss will turn in to a great trip for us.  The beaches are supposed to be fabulous and the upside here is that I have about 6 years to start my diet.  Good news after all. 
Additionally, Mr. J and I were able to celebrate the fact that his cousin had a successful liver transplant only a week prior and is doing very well.  We are sending a big “Thank You” to those who are willing to be organ donors.   
Lamb Loin Chops with Pomegranate Mint Sauce



Lamb Loin Chops
Makes 2 servings
¼ C olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
4 tsp thyme, chopped
4 tsp rosemary, chopped
4 lamb loin chops
1.      Place the lamb loin chops in a shallow dish. 
2.      In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, thyme and rosemary together and pour over the meat.  Turn and coat the second side of the lamb with the marinade.
3.      Let the lamb loin chops marinate for an hour at room temperature.
4.      Once the chops have finished marinating, turn the broiler on at 400 degrees F.  Cook for about 4 minutes on each side.

Pomegranate Mint Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 handful of mint leaves
½ tsp of sugar
1/3 C heavy cream
½  C plain Greek yogurt
1 lime, freshly squeezed
1 pomegranate
1.    In the food processor chop the mint, pulsing for a few seconds
2.    Add the sugar, heavy cream, Greek yogurt and lime juice.  Blend until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed, about 30 seconds.
3.    Open the pomegranate with a fork.  Carefully scrape the seeds into a small dish until you have about ¼ cup of seeds.  Scrape out a few more for your garnish. 
4.    Pour the yogurt mint mixture into a small bowl and stir in ¼ cup of pomegranate seeds.
Place the pomegranate mint sauce in a small dish and serve on the side.  Garnish with the extra pomegranate seeds.    

Pomegranate Mojito

 Makes 1 cocktail
1 Tbsp simple syrup*
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
6 mint leaves
6 Tbsp white rum
¼ C pomegranate juice
Soda water
Mint for garnish

1.    In the bottom of a double old fashioned glass combine simple syrup, lime juice and mint leaves. 
2.    Use a cocktail muddler or the back of a spoon and mash the ingredients together.
3.    Add crushed ice.
4.    Add the rum and pomegranate juice.
5.    Top with a splash of club soda and stir.
6.    Garnish with a sprig of mint.      

*Simply syrup recipe: Put ¾ cup sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan.  Heat over medium high heat.  Stir until the sugar has melted completely.  Cool completely and pour into a glass container.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  

We had a terrific time and enjoyed the lamb and mojitos.  I am looking forward to more recipes featuring pomegranate and mint.  Share some if you can.  I'd love to hear from you.