Cooking: Holiday Treats

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Holiday Treats

This year impress guests with elevated dishes and cocktails worthy of the occasion. Make the ordinary extraordinary by using a secret ingredient to enhance familiar flavors and favorites. Bitters are the quintessential ingredient in some of the world’s most famous and best-loved drinks, but their versatility stretches beyond the bar. Courtesy www.angostura.com.

Roast Turkey with Gravy
1 whole uncooked turkey
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tsp. Angostura Aromatic Bitters, divided
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 yellow onion, cut into 4-5 pieces
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. brandy
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth

Heat oven to 400° F. Prepare turkey normally, removing giblets from cavity. Combine olive oil with 2 teaspoons bitters; rub all over turkey. Sprinkle turkey generously with salt and pepper. Add onion and garlic to bottom of roasting pan.

Place turkey on rack in pan. Cover and roast as directed for size of turkey. Internal temperature when done should be 165° F.

While turkey roasts, stir together flour, brandy and remaining bitters; stir until mixture is smooth and no longer lumpy. Whisk in chicken broth and set aside.

When turkey is done, remove from pan to serving platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Remove onion and garlic from pan; discard. Tilt pan toward one end and skim excess fat from top of pan juices. Place pan on stovetop over medium-high heat. With wire whisk, add broth mixture and stir constantly, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Continue to stir until gravy has thickened. Season with salt, to taste. Serve with sliced turkey.

Marsala Mushroom Casserole
16 oz. cremini mushrooms
2 tbsp. butter, divided
1/3 cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Angostura Aromatic Bitters
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
4 tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried sage, thyme or marjoram

Heat oven to 400° F. With damp paper towel, wipe mushroom tops. Remove bottoms of stems. In large bowl, slice mushrooms about 1/4-inch thick. Melt 1 tbsp. butter. Combine cooking wine, soy sauce, and bitters; stir in butter. Pour over mushrooms and let stand 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
In small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, cheese, and sage. Melt remaining butter and stir into breadcrumb mixture; set aside. Pour mushrooms into shallow 8-inch baking dish. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon out 4-6 tbsp. juice. Sprinkle mushrooms with breadcrumb mixture and bake 10 minutes more, or until crumbs are golden.

Cranberry-Orange Pecan Bread
1 rounded cup fresh or frozen cranberries (about 4 1/2 ounces)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 large egg
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
6 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tsp. Angostura Orange Bitters
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. If using frozen cranberries, spread berries out on cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut large cranberries in half. In large bowl, combine flour with sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nuts, and egg; blend thoroughly with whisk. Stir in cranberries.
In small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, orange zest, orange juice, bitters, and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients and stir gently until fully moistened; do not over mix. Spoon batter into pan and smooth out top. Bake 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest in pan 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Island Eggnog
6 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. grated lime zest
2 cans (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups canned evaporated milk
2 cups Angostura 7 Year Rum
1 oz. Angostura Aromatic Bitters
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon

In large bowl, beat eggs and lime zest using electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually pour in condensed milk while continuing to mix then pour in evaporated milk.
Stir in rum and bitters; sprinkle with nutmeg. Transfer to bottle and refrigerate at least 3 hours (preferably overnight). Serve in rocks glasses over crushed ice or in champagne flutes for entertaining. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon.

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