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"It's so beautifully arranged on the the plate – you know someone's fingers have been all over it." – Julia Child

Posts tagged Holiday recipes

Who can resist a frosty glass filled with a thick, creamy, drinkable dessert? The milkshake, whether it be paired alongside a diner burger or used as an alternative for French fries to dip into (if you haven’t tried this technique, do so immediately), is iconic, nostalgic, and most of all delicious. A basic vanilla or chocolate version is perfect in its simplicity but additions can add some pizzazz and, well, shake things up a bit!

Colorful and patterned straws, fun-shaped vessels like curvy mason jars, and edible garnishes like our incredibly easy doughnuts are a few things you can use to take your frosty treat to picture-perfect heights.

Flavor additions are totally up to you and you can go anywhere from freeze-dried strawberries and made-from-scratch fruit syrups to pantry basics like sprinkles and crushed cookies. As far as the actual shake goes, we prefer an ice cream base. The fat content, flavor, and churning method will be different from one brand to another, so the addition of milk to thin it out just enough to make drinkable through a straw will vary.

Here are some basics we follow to make a standard shake:

– Place a glass in the freezer to chill for about 15 minutes.

– Start with about 2 cups of slightly softened ice cream of your choice and 1/3 cup whole milk, then pulse in a blender to combine. If you’re adding runny ingredients like chocolate syrup, include them here as they will affect the drink’s thickness. Add more ice cream or milk a small amount at a time, pulsing between additions, until the desired texture is achieved. You can incorporate solids like cookie bits, chocolate pieces, or brownie chunks now, pulsing really briefly to just distribute them. You can stir them in, too.

– Pour your shake into the prepared glass and drink immediately.

– To make a multi-color, multi-layered drink all you need is a little patience and a clear, flat space in your freezer. If there’s room for a baking sheet or a cutting board in there, great!  You can cut down on prep time by purchasing a few different flavors of fruit sorbets, softening them a bit, and pulsing them with a splash of water until pourable. You can also purée frozen fruits of your choice in blender to make your own smoothie bases – think cherries, raspberries, mangos, and pineapple bits. Feel free to add fruit juices and even banana slices or yogurt (if you don’t mind a creamier look) to your blends.

– Start with ½ cup of one flavor and 2 tablespoons water, blend, and pour into a glass. You might need to decrease or increase the amount depending on the volume capacity of your glass and how thick you want your layers to be. Place the glass in the freezer and allow this first layer to set; the goal is to have it be firm enough that it won’t get all mixed up with the next flavor when you pour it in. Repeat the blending, pouring, and freezing steps until your glass is full and ready to drink.

– Don’t make this too far in advance because liquids expand when they freeze and the last thing you want is for your glass to shatter!

– To decorate the interiors and rims of your glasses: For the swirly looking pink splatter, you’ll need a chilled glass and a few tablespoons of homemade fruit syrup, chocolate or caramel syrups, or a diluted berry jam. Tilt the chilled glass, add a spoonful of the syrup, and swirl to coat the interior. Return the glass to the freezer for 15 minutes to set your design.

– For sprinkles in the interior or the rim of a glass, use a clean pastry brush (don’t use the same one you use for basting your BBQ ribs on the grill!) to coat the glass with corn syrup or very light honey. If you’re feeling extra crafty, use a thinner, flat-headed paint brush to create a pattern like a swirl inside the glass. Add sprinkles of your choice, cover the glass, and shake to distribute. Pour out the excess sprinkles and save for topping the shake or for another use. Chill the glass in the freezer for 15 minutes to set before pouring in your shake.

Note: Depending on the color and type of the sprinkles, the design is likely to streak and blend into the drink as it sets.

Happy sipping!

Major holidays and large celebrations demand a roast: turkey, ham, turducken… Whatever the beast, a roast feeds a crowd and gives a table the event its hosting pomp and circumstance.

Don’t be frightened! Cooking a roast is really not scary. You just need a good butcher and a meat thermometer. For this roast, call your butcher a few days in advance and place your order — while it’s not uncommon, it’s not always just available. You don’t really have to bother with a marinade other than lots of garlic (and, optionally, herbs like rosemary) when you’re ready to cook, so that’s another easy thing, but do definitely have that thermometer on hand because you really won’t be able to tell at what temperature the meat is by looking at it or even poking it as you might do a steak.

Lamb should be pink, and I suggest cooking it to medium-rare, but, other temperatures are included in the recipe below so you can go rarer or more well done. What to serve alongside? You can opt for basics like a green salad with lots of herbs and good olive oil and roasted potatoes, or add a few Middle Eastern touches like labneh and tahini.

ROASTED LEG OF LAMB
Serves 10 – 12

1 (6 to 7-pound) leg of lamb
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 heads of garlic plus12 peeled garlic cloves
Olive oil

– Take the lamb out of the fridge 1 hour prior to roasting.  You can set a roasting rack inside a roasting pan, or set an oven-safe cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Lamb is fatty and will splatter in the oven, so if you’re going with the baking sheet, I recommend covering the oven rack with foil to catch any drips.

– Score (make shallow cuts) the lamb in a criss-cross pattern. Rub generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and rub into the lamb.

– Cut off the top third of each of the 6 heads of garlic and place on top of a sheet of foil.  Drizzle the garlic generously with oil and season with salt. Wrap the garlic and set it on a baking sheet.

– Mince the remaining garlic cloves and add about 1 teaspoon of salt to it to help form it into a paste. Set aside.

– Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and another to the middle-lower position and set the oven to broil. Broil the lamb for  5 to 7 minutes until its golden brown. Carefully remove the lamb from the oven and, with bunched paper towels, roll it over. Add a bit more olive oil and broil once gain for 5 to 7 minutes.  If you have a pastry torch or a propane torch, you can add a bit more charring with it.

– Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Place the foil-wrapped garlic in the on the lower rack. Rub the garlic over the lamb, adding more oil if it looks too dry. Tent the lamb loosely with foil and cook for 1 hour on the middle rack. Check the temperature, then continue cooking, checking the temperature every 15 minutes until the lamb reaches the doneness you want.

Rare: 125°F
Medium-rare : 130°F – 135°F
Medium 135°F – 140°F

– Remove the lamb from the oven and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes before transferring it to a cutting board or platter for carving. Use a sharp knife and cut slices perpendicular to the bone, then parallel to release them.

FOR THE SIDES

These are “non”recipes in that you can buy many of the components almost ready to serve and that you can season the rest to taste! Easy!

–    Parsley, watercress, mint, cilantro, and dill salad with sliced scallions and blood orange wedges, seasoned with salt and pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, and blood orange juice.
–    Roasted garlic: once the lamb is done, the garlic can just be arranged on a platter. The garlic will squeeze out easily and spread on pita or other bread.
–    Hummus: store-bought! Top it with some olive oil and black sesame seeds.
–    Sesame tahini with a swirl of tangy date or pomegranate molasses (both available in the international section of many markets, at Middle Eastern markets, or online).
–    Thinly sliced cucumbers and radishes with red onions and red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
–    Labneh with chopped pistachios and Aleppo pepper.

 

If you’re in New York today, you may be in need of our book, Winter Cocktails. It was SOLD OUT for a while but, it’s available again (insert sigh of relief)! If you don’t already own a copy, here are a few places you can order from. Our publisher Quirk Books as well as Apple and Amazon. This cover image was actually a limited edition for Williams-Sonoma that is no longer available online, but, you may be lucky and find one at your local store that hasn’t sold out yet.

Enjoy!

One of our favorite drinks from the book is the Golden Hog. The fresh pineapple & candied bacon will get ya every time!