As the weather gets brisk and the sun sets earlier, we find ourselves yearning for food and beverages that are simple, familiar and home-made. Comfort food is as soothing as a warm sweater, but it doesn’t have to be boring if you add a little creativity.

The foods and beverages we loved during childhood often translate into the comfort food of adulthood. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, apple pie and hot chocolate are straightforward and uncomplicated. But comfort food can be even more rewarding and delicious when you take it to the next level by tweaking ingredients, without changing the basic recipe.

Add grated parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning to meatloaf and top with marinara sauce for a hearty and filling meal. Or lighten it up and make your meatloaf with ground turkey and sage. Mashed potatoes are the natural side dish for meatloaf, but adding sour cream and fresh snipped chives or cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon makes them extra rich and savory.

Macaroni and cheese doesn’t have to come from a blue box when making it from scratch is no more work than any other pasta dish. Experiment with different kinds of cheese, find your favorite combinations and bake the dish with bread crumbs or crushed potato chips on top for a crispy, bubbly crust. Go the extra mile by adding indulgent extras like bacon or even lobster

Comfort foods take on grown up flavors when cooked with a nip of liquor. Classic chicken pot pie made with white wine has a refined taste, while adding dark ale to shepherd’s pie gives the dish a deep, rich element. And nothing puts a smile on your face like a big bowl of cheddar beer soup with popcorn on top.

The experts at Drambuie – makers of the liqueur created for Scotland’s Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 – offer a few recipes for spirited comfort food and beverages with the taste of the season:



<>Roasted Garlic and

Herb-Marinated

Lamb Chops

with Drambuie Pesto

Ingredients:

1 rack New Zealand lamb

4 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons mixed chopped herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, rosemary)

Directions:

Slice lamb rack into individual chops. Set on paper towel to drain. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place lamb chops flat on a baking tray. Sprinkle minced garlic and herbs over each lamb chop. Bake in oven for four to six minutes. Place a teaspoon of Drambuie pesto on top and serve.

The Falkirk

Ingredients:


1/2 parts Drambuie

1 part Bombay Sapphire gin

Dash of fresh lemon juice

1 slice of peeled pear

3 sprigs fresh mint

1/4 parts simple syrup (boil 2 parts water to 1 part sugar until sugar is dissolved)

Directions:

Muddle slice of pear and fresh mint combined with an initial dash of the simple syrup. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

For more recipes, visit www.PursuitOf1745.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Drambuie Pesto

Ingredients:


3 tablespoons pine nuts

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1 clove garlic

1 pinch sea salt

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese

10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups Drambuie liqueur

1 tablespoon orange zest

Directions:

In a saucepan, reduce Drambuie by two-thirds. Once reduced, cool and set aside. In a food processor, place pine nuts, basil, garlic and salt and pulse until paste is achieved. Add cheese and drizzle in olive oil. Add reduced Drambuie and orange zest. Store extra pesto in a jar, topped with a thin coating of extra virgin olive oil to just cover the pesto.


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