These are the recipes that were on repeat all summer long (and we have a feeling will be all Fall too)!
In Michigan, where we have been fortunate to have grown up spending our summers, just like generations of our family before us, meal planning consists of the following questions: "did anyone catch anything today?" "what is fresh in the garden?" and of course, "what do we have on hand that we can throw together?"
Lucky for all of us, and the roving cast of friends, family and neighbors who frequent our table (or porch, or picnic), we almost always have a good answer to those questions. We have quite a few successful fishermen, women and children in the family, with Uncle Ed leading the charge, and typically an abundance of fresh Lake Trout on hand. Our mom's garden is always bursting with fresh summer bounty, and we have lots of little helpers who love to help her tend to the assortment of fresh veggies and herbs that make a regular appearance at mealtime. We also keep ourselves heavily stocked with our favorite Pappy & Company products that make mealtime easy and delicious! (Just beware the little hands that sneak taste tests).
We really aren't kidding when we say most of the Pappy & Company products that we make have come from a desire to have that specific product to use in our own lives, and use them we do! Everything from cocktails to appetizers, main dishes and desserts, usually feature some of our beloved gourmet items infused with Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel-aged flavor!
This summer in Michigan, as every summer since we made it, we flew through bottles of our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Pure Maple Syrup. I think you would be hard pressed to find a day where it wasn't used at least once during breakfast, cocktail hour or dinner (or all of the above and more). We won't reveal just how many bottles we go through in a season - but suffice it to say, with as many people that we have in the house- it is A LOT!
Cocktail hour always included a plethora of options. This year, we added the multiple varieties of options promised by our Pappy Van Winkle Kentucky Sour Mixer, and the combination of tart citrus and subtly sweet wildflower honey that has been slowly smoked over a retired Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel stave, that offers a multitude of craft cocktails at the ready. Of course, if you haven't tried our version of a Spicy Margarita with our new Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Spicy Maple Syrup, well what are you waiting for? You will also always find a bottle of our signature Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned Mixthat delivers a fool-proof, delicious Old Fashioned every time.
Since cocktail hour is one of our favorite times to get creative - this summer we played with new flavors and found ourselves time and time again enjoying a Maple Paloma. Adding a splash of our Syrupto the traditional and refreshingly effervescent and tart, citrusy sweetness of fresh grapefruit and lime juice, for a traditional paloma infused with a hint of buttery, oaky, vanilla tones or our barrel-aged maple syrup for a new favorite craft cocktail will be on repeat well into the fall! Fortunately, our ice trays, portable drinkware, and cups made porchtime pours a breeze!
Cocktail hour also called for easy, shareable and portable appetizers. If you happened upon our porch this summer, or we happened upon yours, chances are you experienced a variety of THE summer appetizer that we made nearly every day. Essentially requiring very few ingredients (namely a cheese of your choice drizzled with the uniquely sweet heat of our pure Spicy Maple Syrup that boasts a kick from our famous Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel-aged ghost pepper mash). If you feel like taking it up a notch, try spicy maple glazed and pan roasted nuts draped over a soft wedge of brie for a decadent appetizer that only tastes complicated (and is devoured instantly).
What's that saying about necessity being the mother of invention, well that isn't just true of our approach to product development, it is also true in our approach to mealtime. Fortunately, we all really enjoy being in the kitchen and some of us (Louise, especially) really excel at the last minute "what can we throw together?" mealtime conundrum. In fact, some of very favorite family recipes were born that way and have continued to evolve as we try tossing new things together.
One such side dish that was born this way and found itself making repeat appearance was Roasted Potato Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette. Herby roasted new potatoes with a simple vinaigrette whisked together in minutes with ingredients you likely already have became our go-to easy and abundant crowd pleaser that we could adapt every night without disappointment or fuss! We found simply roasting the potatoes on high heat until crispy and golden and then dousing them in this maple vinaigrette with the balanced and fresh flavor of whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, notes of buttery, rich Pappy Van Winkle bourbon infused flavor of our Maple Syrup, and a zing from the mustard and fresh lemon juice was a family favorite!
Fortunately, dinner time often revolved around the simplest dish, pan seared Lake Trout, whose recipe and ingredients are pretty much all in the name (or toss it on the grill with our Maple Marinade). Making it customizable of course, everyone was free to drizzle it with our forever favorite Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hot Sauce or give it a dusting of our versatile Heirloom Cornbread Mix for a decadent yet simple, buttery brown crunch, or even an extra pat of spicy maple brown butter.
Followed with an endless array of fresh, summery salads (try our Spring Queen Salad, Fried Green Tomatoes, Grilled Corn Salad) topped with our cornbread croutons or simple roasted or grilled veggies and either our dad's famous grilled bread or our cornbread, for simple summer suppers that will follow us right to our fall dinner table.
With this much fresh summer flavor - we actually enjoyed tackling the challenge of simple but delicious family meals for multiple people every night!"
Louise Van Winkle Breen, Co-Founder
1. Add tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and maple syrup to a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake vigorously.
3. Strain into a glass with ice.
4. Add a splash of sparkling water if desired.
5. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons Pappy Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup
salt and pepper to taste
Chef's Recommendation: Try our Custom Chef's Knife, made with Middleton Made Knives, for precise chopping!
1. Halve or quarter the potatoes (depending on the size).
2. Toss in olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and bake on a baking sheet at 425 until crisp and browned. Turning once.
3. Let the potatoes cool slightly. Add to a large bowl and add in the chopped scallions, dill, and parsley while potatoes are still warm.
4.Make Herb Vinaigrette: combine all ingredients and whisk until emulsified.
5. Toss potatoes with the maple vinaigrette to taste, and season with additional kosher salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve warm or at room temp.
1 Package Heirloom Cornbread Mix
2 Cups Full Fat Buttermilk
2 Large Eggs
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
½ Cup Pappy & Company Bourbon Barrel Aged Pure Maple Syrup
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. On the stovetop, in 10-inch skillet (ovenproof and preferably cast iron), melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan to lightly coat sides and bottom, until the foam subsides and the butter turns a deep nut brown. (Watch carefully to see that it does not burn.)
3. Pour brown butter into a large bowl.
4. Put the skillet in the preheated oven or back on the stove top to keep hot. (Do not wipe out the pan.)
5. Whisk the maple syrup into the butter, then whisk in buttermilk. The mixture should be cool to the touch; if not, let cool before whisking in the eggs.
6. Then whisk in the cornbread mix. Carefully scrape the batter into the piping hot skillet (the sides should start to sizzle).
7. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean, about 20 minutes depending on the size of your skillet.
8. Let cool in the skillet for 10 minutes before serving. Always best served warm, with a pat of salted butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup if you'd like.
FOR CROUTONS FOLLOW THE NEXT STEP:
9. Once cool, dice into cubes. Place them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp, set aside to cool.
Chef's Note:Prepare Pappy & Company Heirloom Cornbreadper our recipe. Your croutons will turn out even better if you make the cornbread a day in advance and let it get a little dry.