Bringing Spring into your Food

May 1, 2019 | Derby, Food

Derby Ham Sliders

Bringing spring into your food makes for an infusion to involve all your senses. Today’s Woman took some local, spring produce into the kitchen to prepare menu ideas for your gathering.

Derby Ham Sliders
Take your sandwiches to a new Derby level with these ham sliders with a touch of bourbon and lemon.

1 lb pound thinly sliced, deli ham, such as Boar’s Head Sweet Slice Ham
Mild Banana Peppers
Bibb or Romaine lettuce
Pull-apart rolls, such as Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (shown here) or special order Brioche pull-apart Buns from your local Breadworks bakery

Additional ingredients for the Mustard Bourbon Glaze:
¼ c bourbon (We used Bulleit Bourbon)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp deli mustard
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed
lemon juice
Place all ingredients except the lemon juice in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set in bowl to cool. Stir in the lemon juice, and place in a squeeze bottle or small serving bowl.

Additional ingredients for the Lemon Dill Aioli:
⅓ c mayo
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp dill weed
Pinch salt
Whisk ingredients together in a bowl until well incorporated. Best refrigerated overnight, but not necessary.

Cut bread in half and place a generous amount of aioli on the inside top of the roll. Arrange lettuce at the top and bottom of the sandwich, alternate the meat and vegetables placing the mustard bourbon sauce in the middle of the sandwich.

Local Products Used: Breadworks Brioche Party Buns, produced in Louisville, KY, order these pull-apart buns at least two days ahead. ($5.85/pkg of 12). Bulleit Bourbon, produced in Louisville, KY.


Strawberry Bourbon Fizz

Strawberry Bourbon Fizz
A spicy, multi-layered cocktail using locally grown strawberries and locally produced bourbon and soda.

2 ¼ c simple syrup (2 c water + ¾ c sugar in the raw)
2 lb fresh strawberries
3 Tbsp bourbon (We used Basil Hayden’s)
3 12oz bottles Ginger Beer (We used Butchertown Soda)
Fresh basil leaves, large bunch
Fresh lime juice, about 4-5 limes

To make the simple syrup, place the water and sugar in a small pan and heat low until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool.

Combine the simple syrup and fresh strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth (start by pulsing the ingredients until the strawberries have been coarsely chopped, and then blend on high for about 30 seconds on until you reach a smoothie consistency). Best when refrigerated overnight, but not necessary.

Makes about 12 cocktails.

*Per highball glass: place 3 Tbsp bourbon and 2-3 fresh basil leaves in the glass and crush the basil into the bourbon with a muddler; then add ⅓ cup of the simple syrup/strawberry mix, ⅓ cup ginger beer, approximately ¼ tsp fresh lime juice, and a few ice cubes. Stir and serve.

Local Products used: Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, produced in Clermont, KY. Butchertown Soda, produced at Copper & Kings distillery in Louisville, KY, and available at Liquor Barn.

Hot Brown Lettuce Cups

Hot Brown Lettuce Cups
Bibb lettuce cups with spicy bourbon turkey, chopped bacon, avocado, fresh peas, tomato, and a cucumber aioli dressing — a fresh, gluten free, light take on the traditional Hot Brown.

Bibb lettuce separated into individual leaves

1 lb ground turkey
4 slices thick cut bacon
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp garlic powder
¼-½ tsp red cayenne pepper (by taste)
½ tsp salt
1 navel orange (use ½ while cooking the turkey)
1 ripe avocado
2 tomatoes
1-1 ½ cups fresh peas (or frozen and heated)

Bourbon Glaze:
½ c favorite bourbon (We used Maker’s Mark)
¼ tsp red cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Fresh squeezed orange juice (the other ½ of the navel orange)

Cucumber Aioli Dressing:
1 large hot house cucumber, cut into large sections
¼ c mayo
½ tsp salt
½ tsp apple cider vinegar

Cook the bacon; chop while still warm and place in a medium size bowl.

Place the ground turkey, dried basil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and ½ the navel orange in a frying pan and cook until the turkey is done and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the pan and place in the bowl with the bacon and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add the ingredients for the bourbon glaze and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about ½. Cool slightly and pour over the turkey/bacon mixture and toss until completely coated.

In a blender, place all the ingredients for the aioli and pulse until the cucumber sections are coarsely chopped; blend on high for about
30 seconds.

Local Products used: Maker’s Mark Bourbon, produced in Loretto, KY. Bibb lettuce, Indiana grown hydroponic lettuce can be found at Kroger.

Orange Bourbon Almond Poke Cake

Orange Bourbon Almond Poke Cake
Citrus, blackberries, and bourbon combine to make a gluten-free cake perfect for a spring party.

2 medium navel oranges (zest and juice both oranges = ½ cup juice and 1 Tbsp zest)
1 c sugar in the raw (½ c with the orange juice and ½ c with the eggs)
⅓ c olive oil (use a milder olive oil — anything but extra virgin)
¼ c bourbon (We used Four Rose’s Small Batch)
4 eggs, room temperature
3 c almond flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a square, 2 quart glass baking dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, ½ c of the sugar, olive oil, and bourbon — set aside.

Blend eggs while slowly adding the other ½ c of sugar. Blend until all the sugar has been added (some sugar may not dissolve completely in the egg mixture, which is okay).

Combine the egg mixture with the orange mixture and blend for a few seconds to mix all wet ingredients, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the wet mixture and whisk until everything is well incorporated. Do not leave any lumps.

Add mixture to the 2 quart dish and place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes. Test the middle to make sure it is firm and a cake tester comes out clean.

While cake is baking, prepare the sauce.

2 c fresh blackberries
⅓ c maple syrup
⅓ c bourbon (We used Four Rose’s Small Batch)
1 ½ tsp arrowroot or cornstarch.

Add all the ingredients and simmer until thick (about 5-7 minutes). Strain through a sieve to remove seeds, cool slightly.

Remove cake from the oven and let cool completely. Poke holes about ½” apart from each other and about ½” down into the cake.

Pour sauce over holes first and then over the entire cake when the holes are full.  Spread sauce over the surface and let cool — dust with powdered sugar and garnish with blackberries before serving.

Local Products used: Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, produced in Lawrenceburg, KY.