Family Recipes

Sharing recipes from the vault that celebrate the Thompson and Van Winkle Family's Heritage

Distilled: Family Recipes

There happen to be endless sayings that deliver the same message, "food is the way to the heart," "food is the best medicine," "food is the universal language," these aren't necessarily attributed to a philosopher, but are understood in the same way we innately understand the power of a hug, a laugh or a smile. Food is shared in good times, and in bad, it is both an essential and an indulgence. Food can reflect, honor and share someone's passions, culture and love. 

In this way, food is a love language. Holidays are built around food, festivals are dedicated to it, and many devote their lives and their passion to discovering new ways to enjoy it, enhance it and share it.  Food is often one of the first and easiest ways to learn about a person or a place. When we travel, we explore different cultures through it, it is a pathway to understanding and appreciating what unites us and what makes us unique. 

Food is also fun. How many memories do you have that involve being in the kitchen, or around a table, a campfire, a grill. Sharing food, sharing stories, sharing your life. Life happens around food. We are sharing some of our treasured family recipes, from some of the Thompson Family's Dia de los Muertos feast, to a casual summer Van Winkle fete in our favorite place. 

Alejandra Ochoa de Thompson  shares recipes that honor and incorporate her heritage and Mexican roots. Enjoy traditional flan with the delicious and famed caramel flavor,  Ceviche Patzcuarense (ceviche de camaron) with shrimp "cooked" in lime juice, and her version of an easy Chicken molé that features all of the signature chocolate and pepper flavors of a traditional molé but in a ready to make recipe that doesn't take days to prepare! 

Enjoy some of the recipes that will make an appearance all spring and summer for the Van Winkle Family, Simple Grilled Corn Salad, Simple Salmon Marinade, Classic BBQ Sauce, Maple Glazed Sausage and of course check out more of our treasured family recipes and specialty cocktail recipes here!

Enjoy these recipes and learn more about the Pappy X Thompson Everyday Heirlooms Collection here

Food is central to how both of our families celebrate and honor our heritage. 
Carrie Van Winkle Greener, Co-Founder

Thompson Family, Dia de los Muertos:
Ceviche Patzcuarense 

Ingredients For This Recipe:

  • 1 large sweet onion
    2 large tomatoes (suggested tomatoes - better boy, beefsteak, vine ripe tomatoes)
    1 serrano pepper (do not use jalapeno pepper)
    ¼ container of frozen orange juice
    8 to 10 Limes (it depends how much juice your limes have. You may need less or more.)
    1 bunch of fresh cilantro
    1 to 2 tablespoons of ketchup
    20 to 25 large shrimp (do not use frozen shrimp, make sure they are very fresh as they will “cook” in lime juice)
    Salt to taste
    Tostadas (you can find these in any Mexican grocery store)


Preparation of shrimp:
Peel, clean and cube your shrimp. Your shrimp pieces should be ½” to a ¼” in size. Put the cubed shrimp in a large bowl, add your lime juice. The lime juice should cover the shrimp 6 to 8 limes. They are “cooked” in the lime juice. Put the shrimp in your refrigerator and leave until the shrimp turns pink and is cooked. This process takes about 4 hours but you can leave them in longer.

Preparation of Ceviche:
Finely chop your serrano pepper, onion, tomatoes and cilantro. Add fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes), orange juice, ketchup and salt. Taste and adjust to your liking. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of the lime from where the shrimp cooked. Stir all of the ingredients together and let them sit for a while so that all of the flavors marinate.
Serving suggestions: Serve in old fashion champagne glasses or very small bowls, with a piece of iceberg lettuce, a sprig of cilantro and half of a piece of tostada.

Serving Suggestion: Pappy & Company Signature Keys Coupe Cocktail Glasses

Thompson Family:
Traditional Mexican Flan

Ingredients For This Recipe:

  • 9 Eggs (2 egg whites, 7 whole eggs)
    1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
    1 Can Whole Milk (you will use the can from the sweetened condensed milk to measure your milk)
    1 Cup Sugar


Prepare Flan Mixture:
In a bowl combine your 2 egg whites, 7 whole eggs, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk. Mix until everything is evenly combined. Set the mixture aside.
Melt Sugar and Coat Savarin/Flan Mold:
Pour your sugar in a small skillet and heat over medium. The objective is to melt the sugar to coat the inside of your savarin/flan mold. Make sure you do not burn your sugar because it will give the flan a bitter taste. Please wear gloves for this part. Be very very careful, the sugar is extremely hot and the mold will because hot immediately. When your sugar is melted pour it in the mold. You have to do this quickly because the sugar will become hard very quickly. Rotate the mold so that you cover all of the inside with the melted sugar. You will have to use a spoon to make sure that the middle part of the mold is completely covered. The sugar is going to keep the flan mixture from sticking to the mold and it is also going to be the delicious caramel that the flan is famous for.
Baking the Flan:

 Set your oven to 350 degrees. You are going to double boil your flan. If you have a double boiler use it if not find a soup pot that you mold fits into and that is oven safe. Fill it with an inch or so of water and then put you mold directly into the water, making sure no water gets into the mold or the flan mixture. Put the pot or your double boiler in the oven. Cook for 20 to 40 minutes depending on the consistence you like less for a custard like texture and more for a cake like texture.
Unmold your Flan:
 Wait about an hour to take your flan out of the mold. Carefully take a small paring knife to separate the flan from the mold along the edges incase it stuck a little. Make sure what ever plate or platter you use to unmold that it has a lip if not your caramel will run off the plate.
Serving Suggestions:

With the extra caramel make a bed on the plate. We like to garnish with some fresh fruit - mango and raspberries pair nicely with flan.

Thompson Family
Easy Chicken Molé

Ingredients For This Recipe:

  • A Whole Organic Chicken in Pieces
    1 onion
    5 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
    ¼ cup of sugar
    8 ounces of tomato sauce

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Purchase the following at your Mexican store:
    A small bag of chile morron dry
    A small bag of chile chipotle dry
    A small bag of chile pascilla dry
    A small bag of chile ancho dry
    A jar of any brand molé paste

  • Directions:
  • Prepare your chicken:
    Put the whole chicken in pieces in a deep pot and over with water. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and bring to a boil once boiling cover it and leave on medium heat until your chicken is fully cooked 30 to 45 minutes.
    Preparing the Molé Sauce:
    Cut open all of the peppers and take out the seeds and cut off the stems. The seeds will change the flavor of your mole so you don’t want any in the sauce. You should have approximately 4 peppers per bag. Put all of you peppers in a pot, cover them with water, on the stove bring them to a boil, once boiling lower your heat to low, cover and let sit for 15 minutes or until the peppers are soft. Drain your peppers. Once drained put them in the blender with 3 or 4 cups of the chicken broth from the chicken you cooked. Add the whole jar of mole paste about 16 ounces, tomato sauce, sugar and blend together with your peppers. If your sauce is too thick add more chick broth. The consistence of you sauce should be like that of a thick cream soup. Taste it and if you feel that it needs more sugar add here.
     Preparing Your Molé:

    Remove the skin from your chicken and place in a clean pot and add your sauce. If you need to add more broth if necessary. The chicken should be swimming in the molé sauce. Your will be using the sauce to serve your mole.
    Serving Suggestions:
    On a bed of the mole sauce add a little piece of the chicken with your small mold of rice. Serve with fresh corn tortillas that I buy at the Mexican grocery store. They make them fresh every day. A traditional molé recipe has many many ingredients and very labor intensive to cook taking days. The reason we use the paste is that it already has the critical ingredients like chocolate and the 7 essential peppers and the result is delicious and quick.