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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Chili Vodka

Okay so New’s Years Eve dinner is now over and we get to move on into 2007, here at the restaurant, Riverbank Mill in Cambridge Ontario we served an interesting menu to our guests, some 400 plus people. One of the appetizers we created (Smoked salmon martini) consisted of a wasabi cream parfait topped with BC smoked wild salmon and laced with a chili pepper vodka. As the Ontario government runs all the liquor stores here we found we could not purchase the vodka, no worries, I made it. Simply take a bottle of good quality vodka, place within it 2 dried haberno (Scotch Bonnet) peppers and place in a dark place for 7 plus days. The result a firey hot beverage that can be used in many different ways, a few of which I give you now to lite up your new year.

Chili Vodka Chocolate Chili

1 1/2 pounds Ground beef
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
5 medium Onions -- chopped coarsely
3 stalks of celery chopped coarsely
2 large carrots chopped coarsely
8 cups Tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
½ cup Chili vodka
5 tablespoons Chili powder
3 tablespoons Cumin -- ground
3 tablespoons Oregano
3 tablespoons Cocoa powder -- unsweetened
3 tablespoons Cinnamon
2 tablespoons Garlic -- chopped fine
3 tablespoons Masa harina (fine ground cornmeal)

Cook meat about 20 minutes until they lose pink color but not browned. Place in bowl. Strain the fat and reserve 3 tbsp of it.

Heat oil in same pan and Saute vegetables until translucent. Stir meat into vegetables. Add the tomatoes, vodka, the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Blend. Bring to boil, uncovered, for an hour.

In a small skillet heat the reserved beef fat add the cornmeal cook for 2 minutes. Stir into the chili with the garlic and simmer for 10 minutes more, serve at once with chili vodka cornbread.

Chili Vodka Halibut

4 steaks, 6 - 8 oz. each
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped olives
3 tbsp Chili vodka
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
black pepper, to taste


Place halibut steaks on well-oiled grill over hot coals. Grill 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until fish just flakes when tested with a fork. Turn steaks once or twice during grilling. Combine remaining ingredients to make salsa; mix well. Serve with halibut.

Chili Vodka Mussels

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thin sliced hot chorizo sausage
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
12 cups tomatoes peeled, seeded, chopped
1/4 cup chili vodka
6 ounces tomato paste
2 lemons, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups red wine
80 mussels in shells, scrubbed, debearded

In a large kettle, sauté the sausage, onion and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes, vodka, tomato paste, lemon, oregano, basil and black and red pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Add red wine and simmer uncovered 15 to 20 minutes until sauce thickens. Add mussels, cover and cook over medium-high heat 5 to 10 minutes until the mussels open, stirring occasionally. Discard any mussels that did not open. Ladle mussels and sauce into large soup bowls and serve with hot, crusty French bread.

Drunken Chicken

3 coarsely chopped tomatoes
1 coarsely chopped onion
5 cloves garlic
5 stalks coarsely chopped celery
5 coarsely chopped carrots
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons white flour
1 cup chili vodka
1 whole chicken


In a baking pan, place chopped onions with peels, garlic with peels, tomatoes, celery, carrots and water. Salt and pepper chicken; place on top of ingredients in baking pan and bake for 45 - 60 minutes in 375 F oven. After 20 minutes, baste with vodka. Baste every 1/2 hour. Melt butter in a sauce pan; add sifted flour until it makes a paste. Remove chicken from pan. Strain stock into a bowl. Discard used vegetables, re-heat stock and add to flour paste slowly until thick and creamy. Serve as a gravy over chicken.

Duck No I mean Duck

1 large duck
1 cup onions, minced
1/2 pound bacon, cut in small pieces
2 tablespoons celery heart, minced
3 tablespoons green bell peppers, minced
1/2 cup chili vodka
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon basil
1 cup olives, pitted, split


Split the ducks, rinse and pat dry. In a large pan, brown the duck halves in oil, skin side down and turn and brown the other side. Pour off all but 2 tbs of drippings (the duck will render some extra fat) and add the onions, garlic and bacon. Cook slowly until the bacon is brown and pour off the extra fat again. Add the carrots, celery and bell pepper. Cook for a minute or two and add the stock, vodka, mustard, tomato, bay leaf, basil and thyme. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes and add the olives. Cover and cook very slowly until the duck is very tender (time depends on size of duck). Serve with wild rice.

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