April 5, 2012

proof rum, cuckoo for coconuts, Vol. 79

A lot of people will be celebrating Easter, Spring, Passover, or simply the fact that they have at least three days off work or school this coming long weekend. Our job is to help them celebrate with a fresh and seasonal cocktail. Today’s secret ingredient is Coconut!! For more information on proof brands, visit our website www.proofbrands.com, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter for updates on tastings & events.

Coco 2 oz proof vanilla-coconut infused rum* • 2 oz coconut milk • 2 oz pineapple juice • sprinkle of cinnamon • fresh coconut slices

Pour first three ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain into an ice-filled glass. Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with coconut slice. (HINT: For a little ‘Bounty’ flavour, sprinkle chocolate shavings on top)


* Vanilla-coconut infused proof rum Put the coconut and vanilla bean in a large bowl and pour in bottle of proof rum. Allow it to soak for 1 hour. Strain the rum into another bowl. Place the rum-soaked coconut in a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze liquid in with the rest of rum. Discard coconut and vanilla. Fresh coconut makes all the difference, but if you are trying to save a few minutes, you can substitute for unsweetened shredded coconut & pure vanilla extract.

Inspired by the versatility of the coconut, here is a soup, a side and a coconut dessert recipe – each one a perfect addition to your Spring brunch or dinner.

Cold Curried Carrot and Coconut Milk Soup 3/4 cup finely chopped scallion (about 1 bunch) • 1 small onion, chopped • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1 tbsp curry powder • 4 cups carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 5-6 large carrots) • 2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken or veggie broth • 1 to 1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice plus additional to taste
 • scallions or shredded coconut for garnish

In a large heavy saucepan cook chopped scallion, onion, and gingerroot in butter with curry powder and salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat until softened and add carrots and broth. Cover & simmer mixture for 20 minutes, or until carrots are very soft. In a blender purée mixture in batches with coconut milk until very smooth, transferring as puréed to a bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice and chill soup at least 6 hours or overnight. Thin soup with ice water and season with additional lime juice and salt and pepper. Garnish soup with trimmed scallions.

Scalloped Potatoes with Coconut Curry 1 can unsweetened coconut milk • 1 ½ tsp curry powder • 1 clove minced garlic • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt • Vegetable cooking spray • 1 pound russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and submerged in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning • ¼ cup minced chives • 8 to 10 fresh curry leaves (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the coconut milk, curry powder, minced garlic and salt together in a small bowl. Lightly spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Drain the potatoes. Cover the bottom of the casserole with a layer of potatoes, and sprinkle a third of the chives over them. Stir the sauce and drizzle a third of it over the layer. Repeat the layers of potatoes, chives, and spiced coconut two more times, using up all the ingredients. (optional: Spread the curry leaves over the top layer.) Cover the dish and bake until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to bake until the potatoes are browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Let sit 15 minutes and serve hot.

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows by Ina Garten Marshmallows 3 packages unflavored gelatin • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar • 1 cup light corn syrup • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting • 7 oz sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer Remove from the heat. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle half the toasted coconut in an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal pan. Pour in the marshmallow batter and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Sprinkle on the remaining toasted coconut. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight. Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners' sugar. Store uncovered at room temperature.

If you could have the perfect day, just what would that day be? proof is now running its first-ever contest – the proof’s perfect day sweepstakes from April 1st to May 30th, 2012. To become eligible to win, all you have to do is LIKE US on Facebook. If you should win, you will begin this perfect day with a $50.00 haircut at Toronto’s trendiest Barber Shop, Garrison’s by the Park Barbershop (for him), and a $75.00 mani-pedi at Sunny Mummy Spa & Boutique (for her). A $500.00 shopping spree will follow, courtesy of Club Monaco. Later you will enjoy a $75.00 SoCal dinner at the Combine Eatery on the Danforth, and you will then finish your perfect day with a Cineplex Movie Night Out Pass for two. A few surprises await you along the way, but these we are keeping a secret. Value is over $750.00.

Happy Spring!!

Long Weekend Forecast
Friday: Sunny and a high of 11 degrees
Saturday: Sunny and a high of 14 degrees
Sunday: Sunny and a high of 16 degrees
Monday: Variable cloudiness and a high of 11 degrees

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