Cooking with Bitters

Oh bitters! In the beverage world, we like to call them the “salt & pepper” of drinks. They can add an extra oomph! to a cocktail – oftentimes, enhancing the overall drink and adding an extra layer of flavor. But did you know that you can also cook with bitters too?

From appetizers to main dishes – and yes, even sweets! – a dash of bitters goes a long way. Take for example, my “Not Your Mama’s” Old Fashioned Cheeseball – 4 different cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, brandy, and Angostura Bitters come together for a party pleaser.


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Or how about whipping up a batch of Bitter Orange Garlic Butter? Sauté with shrimp and add in a handful of fresh basil leaves, and serve on pasta – yum!

Bitters are oh-s- tasty in sweets too, like in my favorite new cookie – Bittersnaps. A generous helping of aromatic bitters adds an amazing layer of flavor to this classic cookie! Goes great with coffee or a glass of milk!

So next time you’re cooking, add a dash of bitters to your dish – is not just for cocktails anymore. -Kathy

“Not Your Mama’s” Old Fashioned Cheeseball
This boozy and bold flavored cheeseball will be the centerpiece of any appetizer spread. Serve with artisan crackers, crostini or veggies. Add in a big handful of cooked minced bacon or minced salami to switch things up. You can also divide this recipe into 4 smaller balls and package up in glassine for tasty holiday party gift-giving. Bring out to room-temp for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Makes: 1 large cheese ball, 12 – 16 servings

8 oz. wt. cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. wt. fontina cheese, grated
4 oz. wt. fresh parmesan or grana cheese, grated
1 (8 oz. wt.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Aromatic Bitters
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp. brandy or Cognac
——————————————-
1 cup (3 1/2 oz. wt.) sliced almonds, toasted*

Grate the cheeses into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a mixer mix with paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and grated cheeses on medium speed for about 6 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and then add the remaining ingredients (except the nuts). Mix starting on low speed. Increase speed to high for about another 6 – 8 minutes, or until mixture is well blended (scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of time in this process). Cover and refrigerate mixture in bowl for about 1 hour to firm up.

Once cheese mixture is well chilled, form into a well-compacted ball. Then place toasted nuts in a bowl and roll cheeseball in nuts, pressing them in with your hands to coat well.

Transfer your cheese ball to the center of a large piece of plastic wrap, and bring the sides of the plastic up to the center – firmly twisting it to help the ball stay in a round shape. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks tightly wrapped.

*Toast nuts in a pre-heated 350°F oven for about 6 – 8 minutes. Cool before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Shrimp Scampi with Bitter Orange Garlic Butter
Serve this bold flavored shrimp as a main course or over your favorite pasta. Make extra butter for tossing with steamed veggies or slather over grilled steak or fish.

Makes: 4 servings

Bitter Orange Garlic Butter
8 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Orange Bitters
2 Tbsp. finely minced fresh garlic
2 Tbsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. chili flakes

Shrimp
2 tsp. olive oil
16 to 20 large raw peeled shrimp, (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 small lemon cut in half
12 large fresh basil leaves, torn in pieces
1 large ripe roma tomato, peeled, seeds removed cut into 1/2-inch dice
salt and black pepper to taste

To make the butter: whip together all ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate until needed. Bring to room temperature before using.

To cook the shrimp: heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet or sauté pan over high heat. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and start turning after 30 seconds. Cook for about 1 minute or until just starting to turn pink. After an additional 30 seconds deglaze the pan with white wine, and squeeze in the lemon. Let reduce for about 30 seconds and then add the basil, tomato and dollops of Bitter Orange Garlic Butter – swirling pan to emulsify the butter into sauce. Once combined, remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Bittersnaps
Switch up your cookie repertoire with these Angostura Aromatic Bitters infused ginger snaps. Try using coarse sugar on top of the cookies for an extra sparkly effect!

Makes: about 36 cookies

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup molasses
3 Tbsp. ANGOSTURA® Aromatic Bitters
1 egg
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup fine chopped candied ginger
Sugar for dipping

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 3 sheet-pans with parchment paper.

In a mixer, whip the sugar, shortening, and molasses together on medium-high speed until creamy. Then add the Angostura Aromatic Bitters and egg and mix again until well combined.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a large bowl. Add the dry mixture into the mixer on low speed, mix until well combined. Stir in the candied ginger.

Using a tablespoon, scoop 36 balls. Roll and then dip the tops into the sugar. Place 12 cookies evenly spaced, sugar side up, on each sheet-pan. Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes, or until golden. Let cool. Store at room temperature in a cookie tin for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Angostura®.

Posted by Kathy on January 10th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Cooking with Bitters |  Posted in appetizers, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood, seasonings, Snacks, spices

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