How to Make the Perfect Irish Coffee For, You Know… National Irish Coffee Day

Well, National Irish Coffee Day is (apparently) today, January 25th. In honor of this great (?) holiday, you might like a little background on one of San Francisco’s greatest contributions to mankind; namely, a beverage that will have your body completely confused as to whether it is stimulated or sedated. Hot, boozy, and not for the faint of heart when prepared correctly, Irish coffee will keep your nerves distracted during inaugurations, close-call basketball games, weird dates, and pretty much anything else.

Most people probably don’t think of the ‘50s when they think of San Francisco, associating it instead with (probably) the late-‘60s Haight-Ashbury scene or (possibly) the Gold Rush, or if they’re film buffs, Vertigo or maybe even the noir ‘40s memorialized in The Maltese Falcon and The Lady from Shanghai.

Walk into the Buena Vista Café on Hyde Street, however, and you’ll get yourself an instant time-machine to the ‘50s, from the Celtic-script neon signage to the ‘50s comfort-food style of the menu, to the bar where, at all hours of the day, tourists and locals alike watch the deft hands of the bartender lining up rows of steaming glasses and pouring floats of thickened cream over the back of a spoon.

The first Irish Coffee was created in Ireland, at an airport in Shannon (reportedly to help keep pilots awake). But it was recreated for the first time at Buena Vista Café. In 1952, Stanton Delaplane, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and happy patron of the Buena Vista, was challenged by then-owner Jack Koepler to help recreate a beverage that was being served at the airport in Shannon, Ireland. Apparently, this was not a simple endeavor, particularly because that original cocktail in Ireland had a signature float of cream. And the Buena Vista’s version wouldn’t float. Happily, the mayor of San Francisco at the time had come from a prominent dairy-owning family, and once he was taken on as a consultant, a solution was found. The Irish Coffee lived on.

“It takes a village,” doesn’t just refer to raising children, people.

Following is a recipe for the Great Elixir, as made at the Buena Vista. The original Irish coffee was made with Tullamore DEW, so if you want to be authentic, that’s your go-to. If you have a strong allegiance to a different Irish whiskey, you’ll still have Irish coffee – just keep Scotland out of it, okay? This recipe comes from Tullamore’s Tim Herlihy, who points out that this is essentially a health tonic, as it contains all four food groups: “Cream as rich as an Irish brogue; coffee as strong as a friendly hand; sugar sweet as the tongue of a rogue; and whiskey smooth as the wit of the land.”

Dude, it’s Irish. Of course it comes with rhyming similes. In fact, as a caveat, this drink might put you in the mood to write poetry – or to recite it loudly for a large crowd. But what’s life without a little risk?

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original
  • 1 ½ parts Strong Brewed Coffee
  • ½ parts Sugar
  • Lightly whipped heavy cream
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg

Tim Herlihy’s Foolproof Method:

Pre-heat a clear-stemmed glass with very hot water. Add the sugar and brewed coffee and stir well. Once the sugar has melted, stir in the Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. Gently whip the heavy cream by shaking it in a protein shaker with a blender ball – you want a still somewhat loose, not stiff consistency. Pour the cream over the back of a hot teaspoon to top the drink (and prevent the cream from penetrating the top of the drink). Finally, garnish with grated nutmeg or cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Thirsty Thursday: Sriracha-lada Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dos Equis Special Mexican Lager
  • Lime wheel garnish
  • salt rimmed pint glass

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine 1 ounce fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons Sriracha, and 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce in a salt-rimmed pint glass filled with ice. Top off with Dos Equis Special Lager. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Thirsty Thursday: Bonefish Grill’s Strawberry Rosé Martini Recipe

Love wine, but feel like a cocktail? Over 200 types of cocktail recipes include wine and Bonefish Grill debuted this new handcrafted martini perfect for summer sipping. The light and refreshing Strawberry Rosé Martini is made with the fresh flavors of Belleruche Rosé & St. Germain Elderflower and perfected with a bright ruby-red hue. The cocktail features the best of both worlds with a perfect mix of rosé and a cocktail, topped off with fresh berries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle your favorite Rosé
  • 1 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • ¾ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • 3 each Whole Strawberries
  • 1-2 each Blackberries, as needed
  • 2-3 each Raspberries, as needed

Instructions:

  • In a martini shaker, or pint glass, drop in 3 whole strawberries that are de-stemmed.
  • Add a blackberry or two for a darker, more savory flavor.
  • Add raspberries for a brighter, slightly sweeter martini.
  • Then add simple syrup to your pint glass.
  • Muddle your fresh fruit and simple syrup until puree-like.
  • Add ice to the top of your glass and top with Rose, St. Germain liqueur, fresh squeezed lemon juice.
  • Shake thoroughly until martini is icy cold.
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer in to a martini glass.
  • Garnish with your fresh berries.

Notes:

  • At Bonefish Grill, we add both raspberry and blackberry for a beautiful color and a sweet and savory cocktail, but the strawberries are still the most prominent fruit flavor.
  • Straining through a fine mesh strainer removes all the seeds so that when you are sipping you taste all the flavor of fruit but no seeds.
  • We use M. Chapoutier’s Belleruche Rosé for this cocktail. It’s a beautiful, but slightly dry Rose, that’s flavor is perfect for mixing in a cocktail.
  • Add a little fun or flavor to your party, by freezing fresh fruit in to large ice cubes and use those for garnish instead of fresh fruit on the side of the glass. It’s easy to do, and keeps your martini ice cold until the very last sip.

How to Make Iced Tea in the Coffeemaker

In the summer, my boys drink a lot of iced tea. I’ve perfected making it in the coffeemaker, using a method their dad picked up. I’m fine with my boys having two or three glasses a day because I know what’s in this iced tea.

I think using the coffeemaker to brew the tea is brilliant because it’s always on my counter anyway. I used to have a machine that was made to brew iced tea. Every time I wanted to use it, I had to haul it out. It was an unnecessary burden. I’ve also boiled water on the stove and put tea bags into that to steep. That’s the way it was done in my home growing up. Doing it that way is fine, but it creates an extra pot to wash.

Making my own iced tea instead of buying it also allows me to control the ingredients. You’ll need a 3-quart pitcher to get the same results that I do. Here’s how I do it.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of cold water
  • 4 black tea bags (We use Lipton tea. My boys like the taste of Lipton more than other brands, and I like it because it’s Rainforest Alliance-certified. You can use whichever black tea you want.)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions

  1. Fill the coffeemaker water tank to the 6-cup mark with cold water.
  2. Put the tea bags right into the coffee pot (not into the filter area where I would normally put coffee).
  3. Turn the coffeemaker on and let the water run through.
  4. When it’s finished running water through, turn the coffeemaker off.
  5. Allow the tea bags to steep for about 15 minutes, then take them out.
  6. Pour the warm, concentrated tea into a 3-quart pitcher.
  7. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  8. Add lemon and stir.
  9. Fill the pitcher about 2/3 full of ice and then add water to top off. Stir.
  10. This will make 12 8-cup servings that contain two teaspoons of sugar each, the equivalent of 8 grams. One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories, so an 8-ounce glass of iced tea made this way has about 32 calories. Compare this to some of the pre-made teas on the market, and you’ll see that this has less sugar and fewer calories. An 8-ounce serving of Arizona Lemon Tea has 90 calories and 24 grams of sugar (6 teaspoons).

The FDA has proposed that no more than 10 percent of calories come from added sugars. Sugary beverages are one of the quickest ways to have that sugar add up. Making your own iced tea and limiting the amount of sugar is one way to curb the amount of added sugar you and your family drinks each day.

HOW TO MAKE (AND DRINK) HEMINGWAY’S PRIZED BLOODY MARY RECIPE

Ernest Hemingway was a man of many talents and hobbies. He loved hunting for sport, writing for fun, and drinking like his life depended on it. Among the many drinks that passed through his mustachioed lips was his prized Bloody Mary. Of course, there are plenty of ways to make a tasty Bloody and most stick to the basic ingredients of tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and so on and so forth.

However, it is Hemingway’s recipe that we are drawn to because of its simplicity, straightforwardness, and no-frills list of ingredients. Presented to you by way of Papa Hem himself is the best Bloody Mary you’ll ever drink.

Ernest Hemingway’s Bloody Mary

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter of Russian vodka
  • 1 bottle of tomato juice
  • 1 bottle of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 limes
  • Celery salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Dump your jar of tomato juice in a pitcher filled halfway with ice. Hem specifies that a full pitcher is needed, because “any smaller amount is worthless.”Mix in a pint of good Russian vodka. We used Stolichnaya, because it’s as Russian as a bear in a track suit.
  2. Add a small amount of black pepper. Just enough to get the heat train running.
  3. Toss in a smidgen of celery salt.
  4. Add as much cayenne pepper as your puny tongue can handle. Also, please make sure to wash your hands before touching anyone’s genitals. Heard from a friend that it burns like the Dickens!
  5. Add a tablespoon full of Worcestershire Sauce. Note: this is only one of two ingredients that Ernest Hemingway was specific about, regarding measurement. Some people just have serious feelings towards Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Add a jigger of fresh squeezed lime juice. If your hands aren’t strong enough to squeeze a full jigger’s worth of juice, you can ask a friend or neighbor’s infant child to do it for you.
  7. Taste it. Be sure to follow Big Papa’s most important pearl of wisdom: “If it lacks authority add more vodka.” Because if it’s not strong enough, you will be visited by the ghost of Ernest Hemingway in the middle of the night and we cannot guarantee he won’t try to get you to box him right then and there.

Chill Out… Frozen Key Lime Pie on a Stick

Oh, and it’s covered in chocolate. Because you know —> chocolate on ALL of the things, please. Throwing a dash of flaky sea salt on the wet chocolate is highly encouraged. Extra graham cracker crumbs too!

Ingredients

For the Pie Crust:

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (4 whole graham crackers crushed!)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Lime Curd Filling:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice (fresh or bottled)

For the Chocolate Topping:

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil

Instructions

To make the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease (just a spritz of non-stick spray!) a 6″ pie pan; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter; stir until evenly combined. Press the crumb mixture into the prepared pie pan, taking care to pack it in tightly and press it up the sides of the pan. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside and allow crust to cool.

To make the Lime Curd Filling:

  1. In the body of a standmixer or in a medium-sized bowl using an electric handheld mixer, beat the egg yolks and condensed milk until light and creamy; about 3 minutes. Next add in the lime zest and key lime juice; beat until completely combined. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and place in the freezer for 24 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, dip a very sharp knife into hot water, then slice the pie into 4 pieces. Use a small sharp knife to make a slit in the back of the pie crust, then slide a wooden popsicle stick in the end of each crust. Don’t worry if a little bit of the crust crumbles here; it only natural! Place the pops back in the freezer for 1 hour.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Melt the chocolate and oil in the top of a double boiler over medium-high speed. Do not let the water boil. Stir the chocolate constantly. Remove from heat when almost all of the chocolate has melted. Continue to whisk mixture off the heat until completely smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. To cover the pie in chocolate, hold the stick by the end and place the pie pop upside down in the chocolate (dipping the creamy part first). Flip it quickly and use a spoon to cover the crust in chocolate. Place the pie pops back in the freezer for a few minutes, just until the chocolate sets, then serve!
  3. Alternately, you can skip dipping the pops into the chocolate and use a spoon to pour the chocolate over top and around.

Kick Off Cinco de Mayo with Good Morning Margaritas

Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (about 10 to 12 medium oranges)
  • 12 ounces tequila
  • 8 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
  • ice
  • lime wheels, for garnish
  • orange wedges, for garnish
For Orange Salt Rim
  1. 2 teaspoons orange liqueur or lime juice
  2. ¼ cup coarse salt
  3. 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
Instructions
  1. In a shallow dish combine the salt and orange zest, smashing it with the back of a spoon to fully combine the two and to bring out the orange zest’s flavor. In a separate dish pour in the orange liqueur or lime juice. Dip the edge of the glasses in to the liquid and then into the salt to coat. Fill the glasses with ice.
  2. You’ll most likely have to shake these in two batches (2 drinks per batch). Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice and pour in half of the ingredients. Cover tightly and shake vigorously until cold. Strain into two of the prepared glasses and repeat with the remaining ingredients, pouring into the remaining glasses. Garnish the cocktails with lime wheels and orange wedges. Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week: Buffalo Chicken Nachos with Blue Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  • 5 cups blue corn tortilla chips
  • sliced green onions (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray with a non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat. Stir in the hot sauce and then add the chicken breast. Toss to coat and then remove from heat. Set aside.
  3. In another large saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until no clumps remain and the sauce has thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat to low, and stir in 1/2 cup of the blue cheese crumbles and Monterey Jack cheese, continuing to stir until the cheese has melted. It is ok if a few blue cheese crumbles remain in tact. Remove from heat.
  4. Add half of the blue corn tortilla chips to the baking sheet and then top with half of the cheese sauce, half of the chicken and 2 tablespoons of the remaining blue cheese crumbles. Repeat this step once more, ending with the remaining 2 tablespoons of blue cheese crumbles.
  5. Place in the oven and bake until cheese is melty, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onions.

Easter Culinary Creation: Double Chocolate Nutella Carrot Cake Cups with Malted Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake peeps, meet your new friend, the chocolate carrot cake.

These cupcakes, weird or not, are delicious. To be honest, you really don’t know there is carrot in them. And hello, these cupcakes are stuffed with a generous amount of Nutella. What’s not to love about that? You bite in and get the most sinfully awesome surprise.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (may sub canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 16 teaspoons nutella (1/3 cup)
  • milk chocolate eggs, toasted coconut and or crushed Oreo’s, for decorating

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons malt powder

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with 16-18 paper liners OR line 10-12 small clay pots with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and coffee. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the eggs, buttermilk, coconut oil and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Fold in the shredded carrots and chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, filling each three-quarters full. Bake 20 minutes (closer to 25 minutes for the pots) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, do not over bake. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla and malt powder until smooth.

To Assemble

  1. Use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cooled cupcake. Fill the hole with nutella, then replace the top portion of the cone (you’ll need to slice off the tip). Transfer the Frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake (you can also just spread the frosting on with a knife). Sprinkle with toasted coconut or crushed Oreo’s. Top with three milk chocolate Easter Eggs. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

IRISH COFFEE RECIPE

What is Irish Coffee, you ask? Is it green? Does it taste like peppermint? Nope. Irish Coffee is black coffee with a wee bit of whiskey, that’s what it is. More specifically it’s a slightly sweetened black coffee with a wee bit of whiskey topped with heavy cream, which makes Irish Coffee the perfect after dinner beverage to enjoy with dessert. Or perhaps a mug or two après ski? It will certainly warm you up.

Irish Coffee is simple enough to make and even easier to drink (if you’re legal drinking age, of course). When preparing an Irish Coffee, the idea is to carefully float the heavy cream (or fresh whipped cream) on top of the hot coffee and then sip the coffee through the cream. It’s delicious and an excellent beverage to enjoy with a simple dessert like pound cake, buttery shortbread, or coffee cake, just to name a few.

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 ounces hot black coffee
  • 1½ teaspoons brown sugar (if needed, granulated sugar or coconut sugar may be substituted)
  • 1½ ounces Irish Whiskey
  • fresh heavy cream or whipped cream
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine coffee, sugar, whiskey. Gently pour over the back of a spoon enough cream to fill the glass or if whipped cream is preferred add a dollop (or two) of fresh whipped cream.