Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Nov 10, 2011

Apple Toddy

As one who calls herself the Lush Chef, you may not be surprised to find out that I turn to libations to help ease my colds and sore throats.  I've never had a good reaction to medicine as it leaves me with something worse than a hangover in the morning.  So I stick with something I trust, like whiskey or bourbon—I know exactly how I'll feel the next day and how much I can handle.  I relied on Hot Toddies to get me through many a film festival.  When you're required to network with filmmakers and press in Sundance or Toronto and you're on your last legs, a Hot Toddy will at least get you through the next few hours.

I could feel a sore throat coming on this past week, so instead of going out on Friday night, I stayed in and made myself this Apple Toddy.  Instead of baking an apple (because who feels like baking apples when they're sick?), I used some spiced applesauce that I had made last week.  This cocktail is so comforting, soothes the throat and helps you get to sleep at night.  The best part is getting to the bottom of this drink and scooping out Applejack-laced applesauce.  And guess what?  No sore throat the next morning. 

Apple Toddy - serves 1
  • Half a baked apple (Macintosh, Braeburn, Granny Smith) or enough scoops of applesauce to equal that.
  • A big tsp of sugar, but only if you're baking the apple.
  • 2 oz boiling water
  • 2 oz Applejack
  • Nutmeg to finish
- If you're going to bake the apple, core, peel and slice in half.  Place it in wet parchment paper and bake it at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until completely soft.
- Rinse a mug with boiling water so it's nice and hot when you pour your liquids in.
- Put in half a baked apple and the sugar and muddle quickly together.  Or, just toss in my awesome applesauce (recipe below).
- Add 1 oz boiling water and stir.
- Add the Applejack and stir.
- Add 1 oz boiling water and stir (by staggering the additions, you keep the drink hotter).
- Sprinkle some nutmeg on top and nurse that cold away. 

The Lush Chef's Apple Sauce - serves 8-10 and doesn't have any libations in it
  • 9 medium cooking apples (see above) peeled, quartered & cored
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- In a dutch oven or large saucepot, combine the apples, water, sugar and cinnamon.
- Bring to boiling and then reduce heat.
- Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until apples are tender.
- Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher to desired texture.  You'll notice a lot of liquid at first, but once you start mashing it will combine nicely.