Cocktail of the Month:
Kayla’s Bee’s Knees
Believe it or not, lavender is a booming business in Colorado, and bartender Kayla Feld created a great drink to highlight the delicate flavor. A variation on a classic Bee’s Knees, Kayla’s cocktail features Barr Hill Tom Cat gin, honey and fresh lemon, topped with a few dashes of lavender bitters and a dried lavender sprig. And check out Barr Hill – they are one of our favorite new producers of quality spirits.
2 oz. Barr Hill Tom Cat gin
1 oz. Runny honey
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
2 dashes lavender bitters
Combine all ingredients in a tin. Shake. Strain into a coupe glass, serve up, garnished with a lemon wheel and dried lavender stem.
Jimmy's Famous Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cakes
Crab Cakes are a luxurious food. Great crabmeat is to be treated with a certain reverence. So don't try to stretch the crabmeat by adding more filler or buy less expensive crab, it just won't work. We recommend using Jumbo Lump Blue Crab from the Chesapeake Bay. If this is unavailable then use the best you can find but if you're not happy with the raw ingredient then wait until you can place a special order for the good stuff. Don't be shocked, good Jumbo Lump can cost upwards of $30 per pound or more. Frozen crab is perfectly fine but it will be a bit watery when defrosted so drain it carefully.
2-Pound Jumbo Lump Blue Crabmeat
6 Scallions, finely chopped about 3/4 of the way down the green part
3 Tablespoon Chopped Basil
4 Teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
3-6 Tablespoons Fine Breadcrumbs (use just enough to have the cakes start to bind)
1/2-Cup Mayonnaise or Homemade Aioli
2 Large Eggs
to taste Salt and Pepper
1) Pick over the crabmeat to remove any shells. Be gentle, the lumps of crab are delicate and will fall apart. Set aside.
2) Mix together the Mayonnaise, Old Bay, Scallions, Basil, and Egg.
3) Pour Mayo mixture over the crabmeat and with you hands gently mix together.
4) Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the crab mixture and continue to mix.
5) Divide the mixture into four parts and mold together the cakes. (do not rinse off you hands between steps 4 and 5, it is mixture on you hands that help the cakes stay together)
6) Pre Heat you oven to 400 degrees
7) Smear the Crab Cakes with a miniscule amount of olive oil and sear in a skillet or on a griddle top until golden brown on both sides. The Cakes have such little binder that you need to be careful when flipping the over that they don't fall apart.
8) Place the pan in the oven for about 5 minutes or so to heat through.
9) Variation: I prefer to use a grill with really good hardwood briquette or mesquite. You'll need a special rack accessory that can be found in any store that sells grills. I use a rack with little holes so the crab won't fall through into the fire. Make sure that the rack is well seasoned or the crab will stick to the grill. If you're good with a grill then go for it.
10) Serve with a red cocktail sauce (recipe below) or a flavored mayonnaise.
2 Pints Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Horseradish
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoons Pepper
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder (to taste)
Pinch Cayenne (to taste)
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
A Volcano Cake is a dense chocolate cake that oozes chocolate lava. The recipe is similar to a soufflé but without the egg whites so it doesn't rise very much. The secret to making this decadent dessert is to make sure that the sheet pan that the ramekins are placed on is preheated for at least 15 minutes. Practice this at least once before serving at a dinner party to get the cooking time exactly right.
12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
6 Ounces Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate
3 Large Egg Yolks
3 Large Whole Eggs
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1) Place sheet pan in the middle of the oven for at least 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
2) Combine the butter and chocolate in a mixing bowl on top of a pot of simmering water. If you don't have experience melting chocolate then be very careful not to burn the mixture. Never melt chocolate directly over the cooking element.
3) Heat chocolate mixture until melted and set aside to cool slightly.
4) Beat the eggs, the egg yolks and the sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until they are thick and a light yellow color.
5) On low speed gradually add the flour and then the chocolate/butter mixture.
6) Butter the six ramekins (6-8 ounce) and dust with the cocoa. Tap out the excess cocoa but make sure they are well coated.
7) Pour the Volcano batter into the ramekins filling them about 7/8 of the way to the top.
8) Place on the pre-heated sheet tray and bake for 15-18 minutes. The consistency when done should be where the edges of the cake are firm and the top is still soft to the touch. Unfortunately, this dessert has very thin line between being under and over done.
9) Remove form the oven and let sit on a cool surface for 3 to 5 minutes.
10) Run a paring knife between the cake and ramekin to loosen. Invert your dessert plate over the ramekin (be careful, they're hot) and flip over. Tap the plate lightly and lift off the ramekin. Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream. Garnish with Raspberries and Strawberries
11) If the cake runs all over the plate you need to increase the cooking time. If the cake is hard and does not ooze chocolate, lessen the cooking time. If the cake does not come out then make sure it is well buttered and covered in the cocoa.
Good Luck, it's worth it.