Sunday, January 10, 2010

Amaretto - Its Not Just 4 Drinking!

I don't drink very often.  I do enjoy a shot of Amaretto once in awhile, a glass of good wine, or a splash of Kahlua in French Roast Coffee.  Rare treats these days and to be enjoy for special occasions.

But for cooking it’s another whole adventure!  Many of my stews have 1/4 or 1/2 cup of wine for an ingredient, have even tried Vodka, and for baking sweet treats; Rum and Amaretto my personal favorites in cakes and cookies.  

Wine reduced brings out flavors in many cooked dishes.  The alcohol is cooked out but the flavor left enhances any dishes that the chef may have added to a boiling pot or batter of dough.

Today I baked my Amaretto Silk Almond with Chocolate Frosting Sandwich Cookies and a new Crockpot Stew I'm testing out - I'm naming it 'Sunday Gone Crazy'.

In these cookies is 1/4 cup of Amaretto   My recipe makes 3 dozen cookies.  So the amount of Amaretto is very small per cookie but adds a delightful taste.

Sunday Gone Wild Crockpot Stew:

1/2 pound sirloin round steak
2 medium sized potatoes
one white onion
1 cup fresh whole mushroom tops
1/4 frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower (I used green & purple cauliflower from my Farmers Market I purchased in late September and froze)
1/2 cup frozen Brussels sprouts
1/2 red sweet pepper
1/2 yellow sweet pepper
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Celery Salt
1/2 teaspoon Dill Weed
1/2 teaspoon Ginger 

Slice meat into 1/4 inch strips, slice onion and sweet peppers.  Heat frying pan on med high.  Add the olive oil to pan.  Add meat season with the above seasoning until brown on all sides.  Stirring often.  Add onion and peppers; cook till onion starts to turn translucent. Place all in crock pot on high.  Cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks.  Toss in hot frying pan with butter & brown potatoes wedges on one side.  Season with all the seasoning to your own taste.  Add to crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on high for 3 hours.

Serves 4 - Salad, Cheesy Breadsticks will round out the dinner!  Serve with a glass of white wine of your choice.

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