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Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 3

I’ve started to think about dishes that have made an impact on me over the years, a salt roasted whole fish I ate in italy, curried soup I had in New York, even pancakes from my Grandfather. I didn’t grow up in a culinary family, I grew up in a defrost-and-feed family and decided I wanted to figure out this cooking thing when I was in High School. I met a guy who was older than me, SO old, in fact, that he had his own apartment. I wanted to impress him, so I offered to cook him dinner. Newly licensed, I drove to the grocery store all by myself for the first time. I had planned to buy steak and try to figure that out, but a combination of seeing these tiny chickens and realizing how expensive good steak was made the decision easy. Two "tiny chickens" were only $4, and I peeled the price tag off so that he wouldn’t know how cheap I was.

I just rubbed them with butter (probably margarine, to be honest) and salt and pepper, and cooked them until I thought they were done. They turned out amazing, I think I was more impressed than he was. It was my first official Kitchen Win, Roasted Cornish Game Hens at 16 years old, in the kitchen of a crappy post war era apartment off George Washington Way.

I haven’t made them since (until now), and I can’t even tell you why. I make roast chicken all the time, and this is just as easy, and if you are having a dinner party, it’s really impressive, everyone gets their own tiny chicken. You don’t even have to tell them how cheap they are.

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 2

A beer brine is incredible, the combination of the subtle flavors and the meat tenderizing properties of beer give you a fantastic final product. I usually use brown ale, I love the notes of molasses and nuts that are easy to find in brown ales. I remembered Brother Thelonious from North Coast, a strong, dark, Belgian Style Abbey Ale . The notes of nuts, fruit, malt, brown sugar and cherries, along with a relatively high ABV of 9.3%, it was exactly what I was looking for. North Coast is a stellar brewery out of Northern California, that has brought us such hits as Old Rasputin and PranQster. North Coast has been preaching the craft beer gospel for 25 years, producing beer that is diverse and on point, you’ll never hear anything but praise out of me for North Coast.

Another reason to enjoy the Brother Thelonious is that a portion of the proceeds go to support the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, It’s a beer with a mission.

The sauce can be made with what you have "leftover" from the beer brine, but let’s be honest, it probably won’t last that long. You can also use a lighter wheat beer, or a pale ale. Just a warning, alcohol intensifies heat so the higher ABV you use, the higher the heat level will be. Removing the seeds from the pepper gives you a greater control over the sauces final heat level. Most of the heat of a pepper is found in the seeds, with almost no flavor.The flesh of the pepper still has significant heat, but also contains the flavor of the pepper. If you are worried about the heat not being high enough, reserve some of the seeds and add them into the sauce as needed.

 

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce 4

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Yield: Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

    For the chicken:
  • 12 ounces Belgian ale, wheat beer, or brown ale
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 1 tbs whole cloves
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 Cornish game hens (1.75 to 2 lbs each)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 habanero chili
  • 2 cara cara oranges, juiced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1 tbs white sugar
  • ¼ cup wheat beer
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tbs red chili flakes

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, add the wheat beer, salt, sugar and cloves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove from heat. Add the ice, stir until dissolved.
  2. Rinse the game hens inside and out, place together in a large bowl. Pour the brine over the hens, refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425.
  4. Remove hens from brine, rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
  5. Place in a roasting rack of a roasting pan or on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut lemon into quarters. Place one quarter into each hen, place the remaining two in the roasting pan beneath the hens.
  6. In a small bowl combine melted butter, salt and pepper.
  7. Brush the hens liberally with the butter mixture.
  8. Roast at 425 for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165.
  9. While the hens are roasting, make the sauce. Using gloves remove the seeds from the habanero, discard seeds and stem, chop remaining pepper.
  10. Add habanero, orange juice, cornstarch and white sugar to a saucepan over high heat, whisk frequently until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat, add beer and vinegar, bring to a boil just until re-thickened, stir in about half (1-2 tsp) of the 1 tbs chili flakes. Taste sauce, add additional red chili flakes for a higher level of heat.
  11. Serve the orange chili sauce in small sauce dishes along side the hens for dipping.

Notes

This recipe makes an abundance of sauce, enough for 4 to 6 servings. If you make more Game Hens, you won't need to double the sauce unless you make 8 or more servings. If you are worried about the heat not being high enough, reserve some of the seeds and add them into the sauce as needed.

https://domesticfits.com/beer-brined-roasted-cornish-game-hens-with-orange-chili-sauce/

Beer Brined Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Orange Chili Sauce

Mini Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd

 


Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd2

 

Here we are again.

You & I and some blood oranges.

The season is so short, and it’s nearly impossible to get these out of season, I need to enjoy them now. It’s almost embarrassing how I’ve started to hoard them. Whole Foods had a sale this week and I left with three bags. I even bought a new fruit bowl to accommodate my citrus bounty. And if you came over to my house and commented on my large bowl of blood oranges, I may or may not gush over how gorgeous they are and offer to cut one open for you. In which you would probably respond with a slight look of shock and decline my offer and very quickly change the subject.

I made pavlovas as an edible fruit container of sorts. Don’t be intimidated by pavlovas, although they look difficult and impressive, they are actually very simple. As long as you make sure that not a single drop of fat (yolks or residual butter left over in a bowl) come in contact with the egg whites, they really don’t require much skill.

Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd3

Chocolate Stout Waffle Sundae with Chocolate Stout Fudge Sauce

Ingredients

    For The Sauce
  • 3 tbs butter
  • ½ cup stout
  • 2 tbs corn syrup
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • For the Waffles
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3cup milk
  • 2/3 cup stout
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Ice Cream for serving

Directions

  1. Add the butter, 1/2 cup stout and corn syrup to a sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until butter has melted and the mixture has just started to boil.
  2. Turn off heat and stir in 1 cup chocolate chips until completely melted. Allow to cool slightly before using.
  3. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturers specifications.
  4. In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt, stir.
  5. In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and milk. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Stir in the beer, vegetable oil, vanilla and only the yolks of the two eggs.
  6. Add the whites to separate bowl, along with the sugar. Whip with a hand mixer until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  7. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the chocolate milk mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold into the egg whites until just incorporated.
  8. Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturers specifications, using butter flavored cooking spray if indicated.
  9. Plate waffles, top with desired amount of ice cream, drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve with a malty stout.
https://domesticfits.com/miniature-pavlovas-with-blood-orange-curd/

 

Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd4

 

Bleeding Mimosa: Champagne and Blood Orange Ice Cubes

Blood Orange Mimossa

I have such a huge culinary crush on blood oranges, it’s almost embarrassing. I drove all over the city looking for these things, giving Sad Eyes to all the produce guys who told me they didn’t carry them. Then, thanks to the magic of Whole Foods, I came into ownership of about 6 pounds of these babies.

Blood Orange Mimossa5

 Last year I gave you the Hot Blooded cocktail during my fling with blood oranges, and this year I wanted to do an entire week. I got a bit of a late start this week because of a Super Secret project I was involved in that required I be sequestered without internet and phone for three days. I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but that will have to wait a few more months.

Blood Orange Mimossa3

I have some real life cocktails coming up for you that have been dreamed up by my husband, who happens to be  trained bartender (which is actually a little known fact). He is an incredible cocktail inventor and I can’t wait to show you what he came up with.

I juiced most of my 6 lbs of blood oranges for what ended up being Team Dodd’s Naptime Cocktail Hour, and froze the leftovers. The results were incredibly gorgeous cubes of ruby red orange juice that made the most amazing and beautiful pink Mimosas.

I used these square ice cubes trays, and if you love to make cocktails for guests, they are a great way to impress with very little effort.

Beer Braised Chicken Sliders With Hoisin Beer Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

    For the Barbecue Sacue:
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup beer
  • For The Braised Chicken:
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups beer
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 15 mini Hawaiian bread rolls
  • Yield: 15 sliders

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tbs canola oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Sprinkle the chicken with salt on all sides. Place in the pot and cook on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Cover with 1 1/2 cups of beer and 1/2 cup chicken broth, cover and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
  2. While chicken is cooking, prepare barbeque sauce by warming olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; add 1 cup beer, hoisin sauce, chili powder and soy sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until thickened and reduced, remove from heat.
  3. When chicken is cooked, remove from pot and allow to cool. Using two forks, shred chicken to as thin slices as possible, then add to hoisin barbeque sauce pan, tossing well to coat.
  4. Split rolls in half across the middle to resemble small sandwich buns, fill with chicken.
https://domesticfits.com/bleeding-mimosa-champagne-and-blood-orange-ice-cubes/

Blood Orange Mimossa4

Jalapeno & Blood Orange Whiskey Cocktail

I don’t have a name for this drink. I like names. I love this cocktail. So you can see what type of conundrum this has created in my life. I’ve even gone against suit and made this three times since it’s invention two weeks ago. 

If you have a creative, fun name for this cocktail, let me have it. I’ll give you full credit and I will finally be able to refer to this properly when I make it for guest.

Update: This drink now has a name: Hot Blooded

I’ve also learned a few things about drink making with peppers, something I am completely and whole heartedly in love with. Spicy drinks have even lured me away from my one try love of the drink world: Craft Beer. While beer will still hold the number one rank in my drinking life, spicy cocktails have snuck into a close second spot. But there are rules when concocting libations from such unpredictable ingredients. Here are some rules to keep in mind:

1. Most of the heat from pepper are in the seeds. The more seeds you leave in, the hotter it will become. Exponentially.

2. When peppers sit in alcohol it only takes seconds for the heat level to go from hot to way too hot. It happens faster than you would expect.

3. No two peppers are the same and there is no way to predict how hot the ones you have chosen will be. 

4. Alcohol intensifies heat. I learned this when writing an article about How To Pair Food & Wine, high alcohol beverages increase the heat level in food. The same rule applies to making cocktails with peppers. 

5. Sugar mellows heat. Adding more sugar can lower the heat level a bit.

6. Use gloves. For the LOVE. You only have to forget once, and then try to take your contacts out a few hours later to NEVER do that again. If you do forget, the best way to remove the peppers evilness from your fingers is to rub copious amounts of olive oil into your hands for about 5 minutes, and then wash the olive oil off with very warm water and dish soap. 

Hot Blooded:

Jalapeno, Blood Orange & Whiskey

(Named by Seth)

1 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice

2 tbs Agave

1/2 cup whiskey

1 medium sized jalapeno, chopped, stem removed (about 2 tbs)

In a cocktail shaker, add the blood orange juice, agave and whiskey, stir until combined. Add the jalapenos, replace the shaker cap and shake three times, immediately pour through a strainer into highball glasses filled with ice, straining out the jalapenos. Discard the jalapenos. 

*I made this cocktail three times. The first time I made it with hand squeezed blood oranges, by far the best choice. Knowing that blood orange season is on it’s last legs, I wanted an alternative. I made it with regular orange juice and it just wasn’t as good. I also made it with Tropicana Trop50 Red Orange, while not as good as hand squeezed blood oranges,it was much better than regular orange juice, a fine substitute. And you can buy it in most grocery stores.  

Update: I think we have a name. I had so much suggestions sent to me via email, Facebook, twitter and comments, but the one I can’t get out of my head is: Hot Blooded. Thanks in no small part to Foreigner. I also LOVED the idea of a TrueBlood name, since I am shamelessly addicted to that show, Bon Temp Sunrise?? Maybe not. Thank you to Seth for the new name! I can now get some rest. 

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Chocolate Orange Creamsicle Cookies

I originally titled these: Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Orange Cream and Chocolate Orange Ganache. Although that is much more descriptive, it was just too dang long. I wanted something to bring to the Los Angeles Food Bloggers Meeting, and this is how these things evolved in my brain:

I should try to make chocolate shortbread cookies, but I want to put something on top. I’ll make them like the Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts, but use orange. And Ganache instead of meringue. Orange ganache. Hope this works.

Chocolate Orange Creamsicle Cookies

For The Chocolate Shortbread:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For The  Orange Cream:

2 tbs orange zest

5 egg yolks

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup orange juice

5 tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For The Orange Ganache:

1 cup dark chocolate chunks

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tbs orange zest

1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur

Preheat oven to 325.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. In separate  bowl, whisk the cocoa and flour together until well combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture.

Put about 2 tbs of the dough into each well of a muffin tin (spray with butter flavored cooking spray before hand), forming the dough up onto the side to make a cup with a large well in the center.

Chill the dough in the muffin tin for at least an hour.

Bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Allow to cool

Make the orange cream. I love this, it’s based on my lemon curd recipe but the orange is awesome.

Add the orange zest, orange juice, sugar and yolks to a bowl and mix well. Add the orange mixture to a pan over medium/low heat along with the butter.

Whisk until thickened, about 8 minutes. Once the mini tart shells are cooled, spoon in the orange cream.

Place the chocolate and the orange zest in a heat safe bowl. In a separate bowl, heat the cream and the orange-flavored liqueur until hot and steam, but not boiling (microwave is fine but you can also heat on the stove) and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir for about 3 minutes or until well combined. If you have never made ganache or chocolate sauce, you may get a bit concerned about half way through. It is completely normal for your sauce to look like chunky chocolate milk for the first few minutes, just keep stirring and it’ll all work out.

Allow the ganche to cool a bit, then add it to the top of the cookies.