Here is a nice cocktail to put you in the mood for the season. The lime juice really balances the sweetness of the bourbon, and the maple syrup adds a litle of it back in. The woodsiness of the maple syrup compliments the smokiness of the bourbon. All in all, this is a nicely balanced cocktail. I will definitely have it again.
- 2 Lime wheels for bottom of glass
- 0.5 oz dark maple syrup
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1.5 oz your favorite bourbon
- Club soda
- Lime wheels for garnish
- Put two lime wheels in a highball glass and fill the glass with ice.
- Combine the maple syrup, lime juice and bourbon in a shaker.
- Shake it like you mean it!
- Pour over ice in glass.
- Top with club soda.
- Stir briefly to combine.
- Top with more lime wheels for garnish.
I am still trying to cook smaller portions, so please double if necessary. This is a dish my wife and I crave every now and then. My favorite version of this dish served in a Colorado restaurant is at Steuben’s. It is on their appetizer section of the menu. This is my attempt to recreate their version. I keep tweaking it every time I make it, so if you like this dish, you might check this post if it shows up on the Dinner Dates page again. You will find this dish up and down the Atlantic coast if you are south of Virginia. The best ones can be found in Charleston.
Shrimp and Grits
- 2 cups water
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup stone ground grits
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- ½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 ounces andouille sausage, small dice
- ½ onion, small dice
- ½ green bell pepper, small dice
- ½ jalapeno, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
- ¼ cup white wine
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Add grits and cook until water is absorbed.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.
- Rinse shrimp and pat dry.
- Cook the sausage in a large skillet until browned.
- Remove with slotted spoon.
- Leave 1 Tbsp oil in skillet, add olive oil if necessary.
- Add onions and peppers to skillet and cook until soft.
- Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink.
- Add wine, lemon juice, sausage, scallions, and garlic.
- Saute for 2 minutes, tossing frequently.
- Spoon grits into a serving bowl.
- Add shrimp mixture and serve immediately.
My son has been out late all week preparing with his theater group, so I have been trying to cut back on the amount of food I cook. He will be off to college in a couple of years, so I will soon be struggling to cook for only two. I still cook for four since his sister left, but leftovers are good. With both kids gone, I will really need to scale back. Anyway, this recipe can be easily doubled if necessary. This comes together really quick and pairs nicely with a salad.
Bowtie Pasta with Green Beans and Ham
- 8 ounces bowtie pasta
- 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into one inch slices
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces thick cut ham, diced into quarter inch cubes
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice from half a lemon
- Cook pasta per directions.
- Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- Boil green beans in salted water for 7 minutes.
- Immediate place in ice water to stop cooking
- Drain and dry.
- Melt butter in skillet.
- Cook ham until starting to brown.
- Heat garlic until fragrant.
- Add lemon juice and green beans.
- Cook until heated again.
- Place pasta in a large bowl.
- Add dollops of ricotta cheese to pasta.
- Add green beans and ham to bowl.
- Top with parmesan cheese.
- Toss to combine adding some pasta water if too dry.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Top with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
This is a great dish for a cold day. Not only is it warm and comforting, it is a little spicy if you add additional peppers. Braising is a technique where you brown the meat and then cook slowly in a pot in some sort of liquid. The chicken thighs in this recipe are more juicy and flavorful than if you used chicken breasts. Tomatillos balance the richness of the chicken thighs with a citrusy acidic taste that also brings a mexican flavor to this dish. Give this a try the next time the temperature heads downward.
Braised Chicken Thighs in Tomatillo Sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
- 1 large carrot, medium dice
- 2 stalks celery, medium dice
- 1 onion, medium dice
- 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, small dice
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 roasted and pureed tomatillos or 1 jar tomatillo salsa
- 3 tbsp torn cilantro leaves (reserve and chop stems)
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- Season both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- In a dutch oven or large deep skillet, over high heat, bring olive oil almost to smoking point.
- Add thighs, skin side down.
- Once skin is browned, flip and add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and bay leaves.
- Cook until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add tomatillos and chicken broth.
- Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to a simmer and cover.
- Simmer until the chicken is cooked through to the bone and tender, about 1 hour.
- Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with cilantro.
- Serve with rice and tortillas.