Savory Cocktails: a modern twist on libations

Today, December 5th, marks the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. And I love me a good original cocktail! Whether I sip it with friends in a trendy bar or want to impress family and friends over a dinner party, the more original the better in my book. I don’t want a Cosmo, that is so the 90s. I like fearless bold blends now. So I was thrilled to come across the Savory Cocktails recipe book.

This cocktail book is a great way to widen your libation library. Plenty of ‘research’ will have to be conducted before I pick the cocktail for the Christmas family dinner but two very strong contenders right now are the Breeder’s Cup and the Better with Bacon cocktails.

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Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Homemade Hot Sauce and YBR

I have a love hate relationship with my grocery store. I love it because I have no car and the store is literally across the street from me. I hate it because often I cannot find sometimes basic items and the produce sucks. What I hate most about the produce is that you often have to buy a package. Hence I got stuck with a lot of jalapenos. Love them, just don’t use them that much.

I found a great jalapeno preserve recipe which I submitted as my November entry of the IIP Salt theme. But I still had about 6 jalapenos left. What to do, google of course. I fell on a site dedicated to jalapenos and settled on a homemade Hot Sauce. I really enjoy trying out recipes where you make a basic ingredient that you normally use in cooking. You have to try this, the taste is so much more fresh and potent than the store bought stuff!

Ingredients

  • 6 jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

Cooking Directions

  1. In a medium sauce, combine oil, jalapeno peppers, garlic, onion and salt.
  2. Cook 4 minutes over high heat.
  3. Add water and cook 20 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  6. Slowly add in vinegar while processing.
  7. Pour into a sterilized jar with a tight lid.

Makes 1 cup and lasts up to 3 months refrigerated.

NOTE: Be sure to make this recipe in a well ventilated room. The fumes can be quite strong. Enjoy!

Now have you heard of YBR yet? No? Well it is a great round-up idea that Spicie Foodie came up with. Every month participants submit what ever recipe on the blog they liked the best for that current month. It’s a nice way to find the best of the best! Check out November’s YBR now and see which recipe of mine I chose.

Peachy Time of the Year Salsa

One of the most awaited moments of summer in Eastern Canada is the arrival of Ontario peaches. I really believe biting into one of those fully ripe peachy globes, feeling the oh so sweet gorgeous pulp hit your taste buds and wiping that juice dribbling down your chin is heaven.

You can usually by them in large container of about 8 to 10 peaches. If they are ripe at purchase you better eat them very quick or use them in a recipe. Most would associate this fruit to a sweet dessert confection but peaches can tend themselves to savory recipes as well.

Peach Salsa recipe

Ingredients:

3 peaches peeled, pitted and chopped.
2 green onions, chopped.
1 fresh hot chili pepper, seeded and minced.
¼ cup of cilantro, chopped.
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
1 tablespoon of sugar.

Preparation Instructions:

– In a suitably sized bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
– Allow to stand for 45 minutes before serving.

I found this really nice peach salsa recipe here and had to try it.
This salsa is ideal with chicken, pork, salmon, and tortillas of course. I served mine on grilled chicken served with Udon noodle and deep-fried Shishito peppers.

Ontario Peaches Trivia from Ontario Tender Fruit

•In 1779, peaches were harvested at the mouth of the Niagara River for local consumption.
•In the mid-1780s, Peter Secord, the uncle of Laura Secord, was believed to be the first Loyalist farmer, taking a land grant near Niagara to plant fruit trees. Ontario peaches, pears and plums have been thriving in the area ever since.
•In 1792, Lady Simcoe, wife of the King’s representative for British North America, wrote in her diary that she had 3 standard peach trees that helped provide her with treats over the winter.
•In 1860, the menu at a dinner for the Prince of Wales noted that Brown’s peaches would be served. (Joseph and John Brown are said to have had the first commercial orchard in Niagara.)
•In 1865, the price of a bushel of Crawford peaches was $4.00 (poorer varieties from $2-$3.00); pears cost $1.50 – $2.00 a bushel; and plums cost $3 – $4.00 a bushel.
•By 1875, there were 375,000 peach trees in Ontario (not one of those varieties remains today).
•In 1930, local pilots flew Yellow Sun peaches via Montreal to England for the Prince of Wales.