SARA ESSEX PHOTOGRAPH
The spiciest season
The holiday season means tables laden with an abundance of visual gustatory pleasures, bringing delight for all invited to gather. Yet, long before we approach the photo-moment, the home is filled with the aromas of meats, fowl, fish, vegetables, breads and desserts, each cooking or baking on their way to a treasured spot on the dinner table. The all-day aromas keep us focused on the joys yet to come.
Those food fragrances are infinitely enhanced by southern Louisiana’s liberal use of fennel, sage, cinnamon, anise, parsley, rosemary, cayenne, nutmeg, brown sugar, tarragon, oregano, paprika and black pepper. Involving any or all of these aroma-producers and flavor-enhancers is one of the grand arts of our regional cuisine.
To this holy line-up of spicy Thanksgiving pleasures, we must add two more: black and gold. Our much-beloved Super Bowl champions will be in the Thanksgiving Day game at Dallas Cowboy Stadium, reaching out to a worldwide audience, many of whom are newly minted fans of the fleur-de-lis. Long before the final gun, there will be no doubt as to which area will have the better Thanksgiving table set with incredible consumable items.
Our holiday spice rack is enlarged, and our love for fine food and our fellow Who Dats will be another special shared family-and-friends’ moment.
In that spirit, Glen Hogh, dedicated and talented chef at Vega Tapas Café, and Vega’s bartendress extraordinaire, Kristin McAllister, have concocted a suitable liquid accompaniment to what will no doubt be a quite-full dance card of a day.
Gingerbread Fall Fest
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce Kahlua® or coffee liqueur
1 ounce heavy cream
1/2 ounce Starbucks® Gingerbread Syrup
1/2 ounce Amaretto®
Garnish with graham cracker crumbs and a dust of cinnamon
Into a chilled martini glass rimmed with gingerbread syrup and crumbs, add Kahlua. Combine vodka, syrup and Amaretto into shaker with ice. Shake vigorously then swirl in cream. Using strainer and inverted spoon, pour slowly over Kahlua for layered effect.
Sip and savor!