This Valentine’s Day was an ode to a very special moustache that often saves bits of Bulleit for later. Accordingly, I went big, and I went Bourbon!
Entrée: Bourbon Glazed Ham
1 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons Maine Maple Mustard
1 (6- to 8-pound) smoked ham half
Garnish: fresh herb sprigs
Combine honey and molasses in a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking to blend.
Whisk in bourbon, orange juice, and mustard.
Remove excess fat. Place ham in a roasting pan. Insert cloves to garnish. Use a brush to glaze the sides with the bourbon mixture.
Bake at 325° on lower oven rack for 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140°, basting occasionally with honey mixture.
Allow to cool slightly.
Slice and serve.
Side Dish: Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
About 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing the baking dish
1/2 pound frozen cranberries
1/2 pound dried cherries, rehydrated in bourbon
1 cups raw sugar
1 cup local honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup bourbon
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine all ingredients in a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish.
Cover tightly with foil and bake until cranberries are tender and sugar is dissolved, stirring once, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven, carefully remove the foil and allow the cranberry sauce to cool completely.
Refrigerate cranberry sauce until well chilled. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead.)
Transfer to bowl and serve.
Side Dish: Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
5-6 chubby, red-fleshed sweet potatoes
Splash of extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1-inch square of ginger, peeled and grated
2 generous pinches of ground cinnamon
1 generous pinch of ground cloves
Zest of one organic orange
3 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Splash of milk (2T. or so)
Splash of bourbon (2T. or so)
1/4 freshly grated Pecorino cheese
Spicy Pecan Ingredients
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red chile powder
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
For the Sweet Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 375.
Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into medallions.
Toss the sweet potato medallions in a generous splash of extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in a single layer on a baking stone.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating from top to bottom halfway through, until tender and golden.
Remove from oven and let cool.
In a glass baking dish, layer the sweet potato medallions, overlapping slightly.
Sprinkle with the lemon zest, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
Cover tightly and place in refrigerator. You can assemble to this point a couple days in advance.
For the Spciy Pecan Topping
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter and add the pecans. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until the pecans are lightly browned and smell fragrant.
Stir in the brown sugar, stir until it is lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the spices, and then add the apple cider vinegar. Stir until the liquid evaporates. Pour pecans out onto parchment lined baking sheet, separate the nuts into a single layer, and bake at 375 for 4 minutes.
An hour before serving
In a small bowl whisk together butter, maple syrup, milk and bourbon. Drizzle all of the sauce over the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with Pecorino, cover with foil, and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.
Uncover and continue baking until deeply golden and caramelized – another 15-20 minutes.
Sprinkle with spicy pecans and serve.
Dessert: Bourbon Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
Bread Pudding Ingredients
10 cups of stale bread pieces from homemade rolls
1 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup bourbon, divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, plus extra for dish
8 large, local, free-range, egg yolks
¾ cup organic packed light brown sugar
¾ cup pure maple syrup
3 cups local heavy cream
1 cup local whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 package Ghirardelli chocolate chips
Bourbon Topping Ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup bourbon, divided
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 teaspoons organic unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the Bread Pudding
Heat the dried cherries and 1/2 cup bourbon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until bourbon begins to simmer, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the mixture, placing the bourbon and raisins in separate bowls.
In a large bowl, whisk yolks, brown sugar, maple syrup, heavy cream, milk, vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup bourbon plus the bourbon used to plump the dried cherries. Toss in the toasted bread until evenly coated. Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips. Let mixture soak overnight, tossing occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter 13 by 9-inch baking dish, and set aside.
Pour the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Using your fingers, pinch 6 tablespoons butter into sugar mixture until the crumbs are the size of small peas. Remove foil from pudding, sprinkle with butter mixture, and bake, uncovered, until custard is just set, 20 to 25 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake until top of pudding forms golden crust, about 2 minutes.
Let the pudding cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours). Serve with bourbon topping.
For the Bourbon Topping
In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and 2 tablespoons bourbon until well combined.
Using a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook until sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat, and stir in salt, butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon.
Drizzle warm sauce over heart-shaped, bread pudding.