May 25, 2017
Your guests will be enthralled with your homemade limoncello. Plus, in addition to being a wonderful aperitif or after dinner drink, so many wonderful desserts can be made with limoncello. So why not have some fun and make your own. The only downside is that it takes 8 days for all the flavors to meld properly – but it will be worth the wait I assure you.
A couple years ago I created a Limoncello Mousse Cake that was a true hit, and even created a video with my good friend Susan Merrill – click here to view the video and get the recipe.
I desire a real lemony flavor so I found that 14 lemons are the perfect amount for a robust citrusy taste
- 14 large lemons
- 1 liter fine vodka – (I like Tito’s Handmade Vodka)
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 ½ cups FIJI water
- With tap water, thoroughly rinse 14 lemons and dry completely
- Using a vegetable/potato peeler, peel the yellow rind off 7 lemons, being careful not to get any of the white part
- Zest the remaining 7 lemons with a zester, again making sure not to get any of the white rind
- Mix the peeled lemon rind and lemon zest together with 1 liter of Vodka – store in air tight container in dry cool place (not the refrigerator) for 7 days
NOTE: It is important to be exact with your peeler and zester and not get any of the white pithy part with your rind – so be careful or your limoncello will taste bitter. There are many different zesters you can use. The reason I recommend peeling half with a vegetable/potato peeler, and the other half with a zester – is the potato peeler provides a less pungent aromatic, while the zest gives off a really zesty component – which is why it is called a zester.
- After the lemon vodka mixture has melded for 7 days, combine 3 cups sugar with 3 ½ cups FIJI water in a sauce pan, off heat stir to combine, on medium high heat bring to a simmer for approximately 10 to 12 minutes making sure all the sugar has been dissolved. Do not stir while heating or it will crystalize.
- Let cool completely and add to the lemon vodka mixture
- Cover tightly and let sit for 24 hours.
- Strain in a fine mesh strainer into containers. Store tightly covered in refrigerator
STEP FOUR – SERVING
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Combine sugar and zest – rub lemon around edge of small glass, dip edge in lemon sugar – fill with your “ICE COLD” homemade limoncello, garnish side with lemon peel
June 16, 2016
Quick, Easy, & Delicious For Any Party.
Crab stuffed shrimp with a passion fruit drizzle, gorgonzola stuffed Medjool dates, Polynesian water chestnuts, and Cajun bourbon spiked scallops all wrapped in bacon. These four hors d’oeuvres are a snap to prepare and will be a huge hit at your next party. Or, you can make it even easier on yourself by picking up the phone and ask Bailey’s to cater your next shindig. I love hors d’oeuvres with such a passion and find myself loving parties that serve a multitude of fun tasty tidbits as opposed to a huge buffet. Try one of these (or all four) at your next get together.
Bamboo Skewers or Toothpick Preparation
Soak skewers or toothpick in water for at least 2 hours. This will keep the wood from burning in the oven during the cooking process.
I prefer regular sliced Applewood smoked bacon…one pound package and cut into thirds. It is best if you refrigerate the bacon prior to wrapping for it is easier to wrap the various hors d’oeuvres with chilled bacon than at room temperature.
CRAB STUFFED SHRIMP with Passion Fruit Drizzle
- 16/20 shrimp peeled, deveined, butterflied (cut down the back to flatten the shrimp)
- Melted butter
- Crab cake stuffing mixture (on the Bailey’s website go to blog and search for crab cake)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
Brush prepared butterflied shrimp with melted butter and lightly salt. Put a tablespoon of our delicious crabmeat stuffing on the flat topside portion of the shrimp with the tail up. Wrap in a third slice of bacon and skewer with bamboo skewers or toothpick. Place on parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, brush with passion fruit glaze, and continue baking until the bacon is golden brown. Drizzle with passion fruit glaze.
PASSION FRUIT GLAZE
- 2 cups pure passion fruit juice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
Put all ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium heat and reduce by half. The consistency of syrup.
GORGONZOLA STUFFED MEDJOOL DATES
- Medjool dates
- 1 cup gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- applewood smoked bacon
Slice Medjool dates in half (without cutting all the way through) and remove pit. Combine 1 cup gorgonzola (or any bleu cheese you desire) cheese with ¼ cup cream cheese, and liberally stuff date with softened cheese mixture. Close up the stuffed date and wrap with a third slice Applewood smoked bacon and skewer. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees on a parchment lined sheet pan until the bacon is golden brown. These can also be deep fried in 350 degree oil until the bacon is crispy. Both ways are great.
POLYNESIAN WATER CHESTNUTS
- 50 to 100 whole water chestnuts drained
- 1 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup teriyaki sauce
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Asian chili oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
Place soy sauce, teriyaki, chili and sesame oils, brown sugar, and grated ginger in bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add drained water chestnuts to the sauce and let marinate overnight or at least 12 hours. After they have marinated for the appropriate time, drain the chestnuts, wrapped in a third slice of bacon and skewer…brush with excess marinade. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes then brush again with the marinade about 10 minutes into the baking process. Bake until golden crispy.
CAJUN BOURBON BUTTER SCALLOPS
NOTE: Scallops work well with the Polynesian recipe above.
- Large diver scallops (patted dry)
- 1 stick salted butter (softened but not melted)
- 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s (or your favorite Cajun spice blend)
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
Make sure you pat dry your scallops with a paper towel. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl until completely mixed. Brush dry scallop(s) with butter mixture and wrap in a third slice of bacon. Brush outside of the bacon with butter mixture, bake at 375 degrees on a parchment lined baking sheet until the bacon is crispy golden brown. Brush with the butter mixture and serve.