January 20, 2011

proof whisky, cabin fever – never! Vol. 16


We are at the halfway mark of winter. The holidays are over, cars are buried in snow and there is only February to look forward to – blech! January can be a bit of a downer, if you let it be. Over the years we have learned that the only way to make it through a Canadian winter, is to embrace it. Dress warmly, get into outdoor activities or hibernate with a book and blanket. This week we offer you a comforting drink to enjoy by the fire. To learn more about our brand visit www.proofbrands.com. Become a friend on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Proof-Brands/181641835185326 and Twitter http://twitter.com/proofbrands to get last minute updates on all of our tastings, parties and events.






proof winter cream
1 1/2 cups proof whisky
1 can of condensed milk
1 cup whipping cream
4 eggs - beaten
2 tbsp chocolate syrup
2 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Mix all ingredients in blender. Chill down in refrigerator. Shake before serving. Serve over ice or add to hot cocoa. Recipe makes a quart. (stores in fridge for 4-6 weeks)


Cheese fondue is a soul-warming comfort food to be shared with friends.

It was invented out of necessity in the 18th century. Swiss villagers, separated from large towns by the long, freezing winters, were rarely able to enjoy fresh food. Instead, most of the villagers relied on foods like bread and cheese, which were made in the summer and had to last through the fall and winter months. In the 60s and 70s many people served this communal dish at parties. We find it best enjoyed in the intimacy of your own space with close friends. (www.fonduebits.comThe most comforting fondue is still the classic bread and cheese version.

Here are three great fondue recipes:
Whisky Bacon Cheddar Fondue
(http://thedailybacon.com/) Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients:

2 ¾ cups (11 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beer (light beer recommended)
4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
4 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon proof whisky (in place of bourbon)
2 tablespoons chopped cooked dbl-smoked bacon
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons chopped scallions
Toss the cheese with the flour in a bowl. Place a metal bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of water (or use a conventional double boiler). Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium. Pour the beer into the bowl. With a fork, stir in the horseradish, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add half the cheese mixture; cook until the cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Add the remaining cheese a small amount at a time, stirring constantly in a circular motion after each addition until the cheese is melted. Pour the bourbon slowly around the edge of the bowl. Pull the cheese mixture away from the edge of the bowl; cook for about 30 seconds or until the alcohol cooks off. Stir proof whisky into the cheese. Fold in the bacon and pepper.
Pour into a warm fondue pot and keep warm over low heat. Garnish with scallions.


Whisky-Cheese Fondue (www.foodandwine.com)
Ingredients
1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 garlic cloves, halved
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons proof whisky
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Crusty bread, breadsticks and carrot sticks, for serving
In a bowl, toss the cheddar and Jack cheeses with the cornstarch. Rub the garlic cloves on the inside of a saucepan, then discard. Add the wine to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the cheese mixture in 4 batches, whisking constantly over moderate heat and letting it melt completely between additions. Add proof whisky and stir just until the fondue begins to bubble, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve hot with bread, breadsticks and carrots.


Gruyère and Cider Fondue (www.epicurious.com)
Bon Appétit, March 2009 by Rick Rodgers
8 ounces kielbasa sausage, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 cups coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup William Premium Cider (www.williamcider.com)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Calvados, applejack brandy, or poire Williams (clear pear brandy)
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 baguette, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat heavy large skillet over high heat. Add kielbasa slices and sauté until browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm.
Toss cheese and cornstarch in large bowl to coat. Bring William Premium Cider and vinegar just to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low (mixture should be barely simmering). Add a handful of cheese to simmering cider mixture. Stir until cheese is melted. Add remaining cheese 1 handful at a time, stirring until melted between additions. Increase heat to medium and cook until fondue begins to bubble, stirring constantly. Stir in Calvados. Season to taste with pepper.
Transfer fondue to pot. Set fondue pot on stand; light candle or canned heat burner. Arrange sausage slices, apple slices, and bread cubes in bowls alongside fondue pot.

 


St. Lawrence Market Since 1901, the South St. Lawrence Market has been known primarily for its fruits, vegetables, meat and cheese. For many years, few people realized that Toronto's original City Hall had been incorporated into today's south market. The history of the South St. Lawrence Market also includes the north "farmer's market" and St. Lawrence Hall as well. (www.stlawrencemarket.com) (Tues-Thurs 8am-6pm, Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 5am-5pm)








Eventually you will need to leave your home for supplies. A great place to spend a winter morning is at The Market. The warmth, the vibrant colours and wonderful aromas of baked bread and fresh produce waft from every corner. Much like an indoor mall you can navigate from vendor to vendor, oblivious to any undesirable weather happenings outside.


The market is best enjoyed during the week or early morning when it is not as busy and the food is fresh. There is an excellent assortment to choose from. We like to spread it around and select items from various vendors.


We were there for three reasons -  bacon, cheese and bread.


You can even purchase a warm sweater or tuque for your chilly trek home.



Yatzee!
A fun way to spend a wintry afternoon or evening is to dust off the board games and call up some friends. Classics like Charades, Pictionary, Scrabble or Monopoly can all be riveting with the right crowd, food and drinks. Stop by your nearest Zellers or Toys R Us for Cranium, Apples to Apples, Risk, Battleship or any other classic game.










As of tonight, proof will be appearing at a several LCBO stores for special cocktail and food tastings
If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, pop in to meet us. Our first stop tonight is in Barrie. We will announce new events each Thursday. Visit our events page to find out more details. (www.proofbrands.com)




Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Few Flurries with a high of -11 degrees
Sunday: Variable cloudiness with a high of -12 degrees



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