Orange Rum Punch

2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup orange liqueur
1/2 cup dark rum
2 (750-milliliter) bottles sparkling wine, chilled
Preparation

Stir together orange juice, orange liqueur, and rum in a medium bowl; cover and chill 1 hour. Pour mixture into a large pitcher or punch bowl, and top with chilled sparkling wine. Serve immediately.

Note from Southern Living: We tested with Cointreau orange liqueur and Asti Spumante sparkling wine.

Sofrito

2 large tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Generous pinch of saffron threads
2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

Bring a pan of water to a boil, add tomatoes, and blanch for 15 seconds. Drain, rinse under cold water, and peel. Core, seed, and cut into 1/2-inch dice. In a skillet over medium-low heat, add the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until golden. Add saffron and sauté 2 minutes. Add tomato and sauté until all the moisture is gone. Stir in paprika and remove from heat.

Tenderloin with Orange Horseradish Cream

1 (4-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
1 tablespoon kosher salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 fat garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups crème fraîche
1/4 cup white horseradish
Grated zest of 1/2 orange

Season the tenderloin all over with the salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic. Cover the meat and refrigerate for at least two hours and preferably overnight. Let it come to room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Wipe off as much garlic as possible. (It tends to burn.)

In a large, ovenproof skillet over high heat, heat the oil. Add the meat and thoroughly brown all over, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (If your skillet isn’t large enough, cut the meat in half.)

Place the skillet on the oven’s middle rack and roast until an instant-read thermometer shows 120 degrees (for rare), 10 to 20 minutes. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before carving.

In a small bowl, whisk the crème fraîche, horseradish and orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve alongside the tenderloin.

Olive Gremolata

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup coarsely chopped olives, preferably a mixture of black and green

Place parsley, capers, garlic, orange zest, lemon zest and olives in small mixing bowl. Toss with 2 forks to distribute ingredients evenly. Cover and refrigerate. Gremolata tastes best if prepared no more than 1 hour ahead.

Almond Cookies

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 cups almond flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill brand
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon finely grated lime or lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
60 whole blanched almonds (see NOTE)
Directions:

Combine the butter, sugar, the flours, lime or lemon zest, cinnamon, almond extract and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at moderately low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into thirds. Form each piece into a log; wrap the logs separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until slightly firm.

When ready to bake, position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut two of the logs crosswise into 20 pieces each and roll each piece into a ball. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Use your fingers to flatten them slightly, then press an almond into the top of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes on the upper and lower racks, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pans again. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are barely golden; watch closely so they don’t get dark. Let them cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then slide the parchment onto cooling racks. Repeat to cook the third log of dough. Let the cookies cool completely before serving or storing. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

NOTE: If you can’t find blanched (skinned) almonds in the store, blanch them yourself. Place whole almonds in a large heatproof bowl. Cover them with boiling water and let them soak for 60 seconds. Drain the almonds in a colander or strainer, rinse them under cold water, drain briefly and transfer them to several layers of paper towels to dry. When the almonds are cool enough to handle, squeeze them to slip off their skins. Dry them completely before using or storing.

Crispy Toffee Cookies

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
Pinch salt
1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
7 ounces crushed hard toffee candy bars, such as Daim, Heath or Skor (see headnote)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Directions:

Beat the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held mixer on medium-high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the almonds, salt, flour, baking powder and toffee bits. Finally, incorporate the egg.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a uniform log about 3 inches in diameter and 10 inches long. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 440 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use a sharp knife to slice the log of dough into 1/2-inch rounds. Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are light brown, rotating the sheet front to back about halfway through baking.

If the cookies lose some of their shape during baking, you can remedy that during the few minutes immediately after they come out of the oven. Use a metal spatula to push in any wayward dough and coax the cookie back into roundness.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool thoroughly before storing in an airtight container.

Champagne and Eggnog Cocktail

1 ounce premium mixing rum, such as Ten Cane
1 ounce orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1 ounce store-bought eggnog
Ice
2 ounces champagne
1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
Directions:

Combine the rum, orange-flavored liqueur and eggnog in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a champagne flute and add the champagne. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Sugar Plum Toddy

1/2 cup no-sugar-added cranberry juice, such as Ocean Spray 100% Juice (not pure cranberry juice)
1 ounce citrus-flavored vodka, such as Absolut Mandarin
1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps, such as Rumplemintz
1/2 ounce raspberry-flavored liqueur, such as framboise
1 thin candy cane, for garnish
1 orange peel twist, for garnish
1 gumdrop, for garnish

Heat the cranberry juice until it is steaming.

Combine the vodka, peppermint schnapps and raspberry-flavored liqueur in a brandy snifter or ceramic mug. Add the hot cranberry juice. Garnish with a candy cane, twist of orange peel or gumdrop.

Serve n a martini glass whose rim has been moistened with a wedge of orange and then dipped in a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Hot Buttered Rum

For the butter:
1 pound light brown sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 to 2 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For each drink
1 1/2 ounces rum, preferably Mount Gay Eclipse
Boiling water, as needed

For the butter: Beat together the brown sugar, butter, spices and vanilla extract until well combined. Refrigerate in an airtight resealable container until ready to use.

For each drink: Combine 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter and the rum in a warmed coffee mug. Add boiling water to fill to the top, and mix well. Serve with a spoon.

Hot Gingered Rum

1/2 cup (4 ounces) hot water, just boiled, plus additional water to warm the mug
1 1/2 ounces dark rum, such as Gosling’s Black Seal
1/2 ounce ginger liqueur, preferably Domaine de Canton
Twist of lemon peel
Directions:

Warm a cup or mug with a little of the just-boiled water; swirl and discard.

Add the rum and ginger liqueur. Stir in the 1/2 cup of just-boiled water. Twist the lemon peel over the cup to release its oils, then drop it in.

Serve immediately.

Wood-Smoked Prime Rib

You’ll need 2 1/2 cups of hardwood chips, preferably an equal mix of apple wood and cherry wood, soaked in water for 1 hour.

MAKE AHEAD: The herb mixture can be made a few hours in advance. Keep it covered.

6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
One 6-pound boneless rib roast
2 tablespoons minced rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons minced thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced tarragon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
3/4 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
Directions:

Trim excess fat from the meat. Let the meat come to room temperature, which should take about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, thyme, parsley, tarragon, garlic, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and oil in a bowl, mixing well. Smear the herb mixture all over the meat.

Prepare the grill for indirect heat: If using a charcoal kettle grill, light the coals in a charcoal chimney. Once they turn ashen, pour half of the coals on one side of the grill and half on the other side. Place a drip pan between the two piles. Drain the wood chips and scatter them evenly over both piles of coals. Return the grate to the grill and place the meat over the drip pan. Close the lid. An hour into cooking, to keep the fire temperature steady, add about a dozen fresh coals, six on each pile.

If using a gas grill, preheat for about 15 minutes. Start the fire on one side, setting the temperature to 325 degrees. Drain the wood chips and place them in a smoker box or in a foil pouch with fork holes punctured on top to allow smoke to escape. Place the pouch or box on the flavorizer bars. Set the meat on the side away from the fire. Close the lid.

Cook for 12 to 14 minutes per pound; a roast of this size should take 1 to 1 1/2 hours. That said, fire is unpredictable, so use an instant-read meat thermometer to be sure. For medium-rare, the meat should register 130 degrees.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into slices 1 to 1 1/2-inches thick.

Horseradish Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup regular or low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup prepared (white) horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce (optional)
Directions:

Stir together the sour cream, horseradish, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce, if using, in a medium-size airtight container until well incorporated. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight to allow the flavors to blend.

Hot Chocolate Pudding Cakes

3 or 4 ounces (85/115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
6 ounces (170g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (65g) sugar (see Note)
pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Set ramekins or baking dishes on a baking sheet.

2. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium-sized bowl, and set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring gently until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat.

3. Using an electric mixer, or by hand with a whisk, whip the eggs, sugar, and salt until the mixture is light and foamy, and just holding its shape – about 5 minutes with a machine, or longer by hand. Fold one-third of the beaten eggs into the chocolate to lighten it, then scrape the lightened chocolate mixture over the beaten eggs, and fold it in just until there are no streaks of eggs visible.

4. Divide the batter into the baking dishes, filling them no more then 3/4rds full.

5. Bake the puddings on the lower rack of the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until the puddings are puffed up, but a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some soft, “gooey” chocolate attached.

Adapted by David Lebovitz from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts (Artisan) by Alice Medrich

His notes:

To show how versatile this recipe is, I made them twice, varying the recipe, which resulted in two delicious types of dessert. I dialed down the sugar and reduced the butter, and each one had its own distinct personality. So feel free to use either 3- or 4-ounces of butter, depending on if you want them very creamy (3 ounces) or a little more cake-like (4 ounces.)

Baking times will vary based on what kind of vessels you use. And you can fill them as much, or at little, as you wish – depending on how big the portion size you want is. Just bake them until a crust forms on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some gooey batter attached.

Serving and Storage: These can be served immediately, or according to Alice, you can “let cool, cover, and keep at room temperature for up to a day.” You can likely freeze them and bring them to room temperature before baking, although since they’re so simple to make, I advise making them fresh for best results.

Notes: I modified the original recipe, which had 2/3 cup of sugar since I was serving them with ice cream. Reducing the sugar makes them a bit less-moist, so it’s up to you to decide which you prefer. Alice doesn’t butter her bowls but I did the first time, yet not the second, and couldn’t discern much difference, so she likely left it out since it’s not imperative and is one less step.

Gay Street Inn Cornmeal Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Butter

1 stk softened butter
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 c all purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
In food processor, pulse until combined the stick butter, cranberries, syrup & salt. Scrape into serving bowl.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk in milk, egg and melted butter.

Using cast iron pan or griddle at 400 degrees, butter the cooking surface, then ladle batter onto it. Cook each side until edges are brown.