Orange Hot Buttered Rum with a Toasted Almond Biscotti

Today is National Hot Buttered Rum Day, celebrating this venerable cocktail.  With documented origins in Colonial times, Hot buttered rum is a mixed drink containing rum, butter, and various spices. A perfect cocktail, served hot to ward off the winter chill.  

Certain Hot Cocktails call for something special and this Orange Hot Buttered Rum screams for a dunking partner.

Toasted Almond Biscotti with Orange Glaze

Toasted Almond Biscotti

·      2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

·      1 teaspoon baking powder

·      1/4 teaspoon salt

·      4 tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter

·      1 cup sugar

·      2 large eggs

·      3/4 teaspoon almond extract

·      3/4 cup sliced almonds toasted and cooled.

Orange Glaze

·      1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

·      1 teaspoon orange extract

·      1 tablespoon butter, melted

·      1 tablespoon milk

·      Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

1.    Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3.    By hand or using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then the almond extract. Stir in the almonds. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the egg mixture, then fold in until the dough is just mixed.

4.    Halve the dough and turn both portions onto the prepared baking sheet. Using floured hands, quickly stretch each portion of dough into a rough 13-inch by 2-inch log. Place the loaves about three inches apart on the baking sheet, patting each one smooth.

5.    Bake until the loaves until are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

6.    Cool the loaves for 10 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 325° F. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board. With a serrated knife cut each loaf diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lay the slices about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet, cut-side up, and return them to the oven. Bake, turning over each cookie halfway through baking, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack to cool completely.

7.    For the glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, orange extract, butter, milk and salt until combined. Add more milk if necessary, for desired consistency.

8.    When biscotti is cooled drizzle Orange glaze over one side of biscotti and finish by zesting fresh orange peel over the top of glaze.

If you do not have Orange extract you can substitute with some Orange Liqueur or fresh squeezed Orange juice.

Now that the Biscotti ready, you can start the Orange Hot Buttered Rum.

The compound butter will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the fridge, and the spices will only get more intense over time.

Orange Hot Buttered Rum (Yields 4 Drinks)

For the orange butter, mix together:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch sea salt

To serve: per mug

  • 3 to 4 Tbsp orange butter
  • 1.5 ounces dark spiced rum
  • 3/4 cup of near-boiling hot water

Add hot water and spiced rum, stir until the butter and sugar melts.

All that is left to do is to sit back and enjoy this orange infused Hot Buttered Rum and Toasted Almond Biscotti.
Cheers!

National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

Life is like a sandwich, the more you add to it the better it becomes.

Grilled Pastrami and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Caraway Whiskey Mustard
Celebrate the Day by enjoying a Grilled Pastrami and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Caraway Whiskey Mustard.

Pastrami has many variations in the way chefs and foodies like to prepare it, but most people will tell you that it is not a Pastrami Sandwich if it is not on Rye Bread and served Hot! Wanting to keep true to the tradition of a Pastrami sandwich, I started with making homemade Marbled Rye Bread to ensure a fresh start to the sandwich. What really makes this sandwich special is a Whole Grain Mustard that I prepared 48 hours in advance, so let’s start there.

Caraway Whiskey Mustard Ingredients

Various forms of spirits have a prominent place in my Recipes.

Most recipes will tell you not to use expensive or quality spirits for cooking. I disagree, especially if the spirit is being used in a small amount. Pick a spirit that is going to bring the best of all the ingredients together and enhance the flavor. In this recipe I selected an Apple Cider Whiskey for its unique flavor. Any Whiskey or Bourbon will work just as well, the great thing about this recipe is its versatility, and it can easily be changed to your taste.

Caraway Whiskey Mustard soaking seeds
Get your seeds soaking two days before you want to use the mustard.

Caraway Whiskey Mustard

Yield: 2 1/2 Cups

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea/pickling salt
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium-size bowl combine mustard and caraway seeds with the whiskey and vinegar. Cover and let set for 8 to 24 hours until all liquid has been absorbed by seeds.
  2. Add soaked mustard seeds to a food processor/ blender/or process with an immersion blender until seeds are chopped and desired consistency is reached (you might want to add a bit of water to help liquefy).
  3. Add mustard mixture to a medium-size, non-reactive pot. Add the honey, brown sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Let the mustard cool and then transfer it to a jar or container to be put in the fridge for at least 24 hours to allow any bitterness to fade.
    (Bitterness is a byproduct of the mustard reaction, but that bitterness fades after a day or so.)
  5. Enjoy this homemade Grainy Whiskey Mustard on various sandwiches and in different recipes such as dressings and aioli sauce.
Caraway Whiskey Mustard
Now let’s get to making that Grilled Pastrami Sandwich.

The making of the Grilled Pastrami Sandwich is very simple, but I like to add an extra twist to the Caramelized Onions with a bit of dried dill and white balsamic vinegar. Let’s start with the basic ingredients needed for the sandwich.

Grilled Pastrami and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Caraway Whiskey Mustard.
The best ingredients are always going to make a better sandwich, so go with some really good Pastrami and sliced Havarti Cheese to accompany your Rye Bread.

Dill Caramelized Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 sliced Sweet Onion
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp dried Dill
  • 2 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar

Instructions: In a medium frying pan, melt butter over low heat. Add onions and cook on low heat stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Then add the dill and continue to cook for 5 minutes until onions are tender. Add the White Balsamic Vinegar and let cook for another minute.

Now you are ready to construct your Grilled Pastrami Sandwich

Grilled Pastrami and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Caraway Whiskey Mustard.
I like to layer the sandwich with the mustard and the cheese touching the bread on opposite ends of the sandwich.

Start by spreading the Caraway Whiskey Mustard on one piece of bread, pile on your pastrami and top that with your caramelized onions. Finally, add the Havarti cheese and close the sandwich with the second slice of bread. I grilled my sandwich without butter on the outer sides of the bread but this is something that you can do if you want that buttery grilled cheese sandwich flavor.

Grilled Pastrami and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Caraway Whiskey Mustard.
Waiting is the hardest part of making this Sandwich.

Now you are all set to celebrate National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day anytime with the perfect Grilled Pastrami and Cheese Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Caraway Whiskey Mustard.

Grilled Pastrami and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Caraway Whiskey Mustard.
Enjoy!