Friday, November 29, 2013

Captain's Table Challenge: Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday because aside from seeing loved ones and giving thanks for all the wonderful things in our life, we're doing it all over a fantastic meal of comfort food perfect for the season. I spent Thanksgiving with the Baron's family and it was fun and memorable as always. And to include friends into the holiday festivities, I hosted a Friendsgiving the following evening. Overall it was a wonderful long holiday weekend.

Last year around this time I participated in the 'Spice Up the Holidays' campaign with my friends at Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum. This year, I've partnered up with them once again for 'The Captain's Table Challenge,' a food-filled program where I'll be highlighting the holidays with food and drink! Specifically, I'll be sharing a food and drink recipe incorporating Captain Morgan's Rum for recipes perfect for Thanksgiving, Holidays and even the Superbowl. To get in on the action, Chef Hugh Acheson will be reviewing all the recipes submitted during the three occasions and a winner will be chosen among the participating bloggers to award a trip to a Captain's Table US Event in the spring of 2014 where they will be joined by Chef Hugh Acheson himself... So stay tuned!

Even better is Captain Morgan is sharing their giving spirit by donating $1 to WhyHunger every time the hashtag #CaptainsTable is used across social media this holiday season. I would love to help them and would encourage you to utilize the hashtag so we can help raise as much money as possible for a great cause.

Naturally, the first holiday to kick the program off is Thanksgiving. Apples are a must for any fall menu. So for this holiday, I'm sharing a dessert and a cocktail incorporating apples that's sure to bring out the best of fall...


This Apple Rum Cider is easy to put together over the stove top or even in a crockpot to keep warm for a cocktail party. The aroma alone of the simmering apple cider with a clove studded apple, orange slices and even fresh ginger root will make you love the fall season even more...

Apple Rum Cider
recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

1 apple
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1orange, thinly sliced
1 gallon apple cider
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
Cinnamon sticks, garnish

Apple slices, garnish

Stud the apple with the cloves and place in a medium pot with the remaining ingredients except for the rum. Bring to a simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.


Remove from the heat; discard the apple and ginger. Stir in the rum. Ladle into mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick and apple slices. 



And what's Thanksgiving without a dessert to share? That's why this Drunken Apple Cheesecake is a perfect sweet ending to a turkey dinner. Apple slices are gently cooked in melted butter then tossed with brown sugar and apple pie spice before thickening up with some Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum... making it a perfect addition to swirl into a cheesecake and garnish for serving...



Drunken Apple Cheesecake
adapted from Borden/Eagle Brand


Apple Rum Topping:
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 cup Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum



In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and corn starch; set aside. 
In a medium skillet set over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and apple pie spice; cook until soft and tender.
Add the rum and brown sugar mixture, stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, make the cheesecake...
crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
filling:
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

3 large eggs
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup drunken apple topping above 
garnish: (optional)
whipped cream
more 
drunken apple topping


Preheat oven to 300°F. 

To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar; press firmly into bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy in large bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs and lemon juice; mix well. Pour over crust.

Dollop spoonfuls of the 
drunken apple topping randomly over the top of the cheesecake filling. Using the tip of a paring knife, drag the knife across the cheesecake filling to swirl the drunken apple topping into it.

Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven uncovered for 50 to 55 minutes or until set. Cool for an hour to finish setting, chill for another hour before serving. Serve by garnishing with whipped cream and extra 
drunken apple topping if desired. 

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