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HOLIDAY COOKING & ENTERTAINING MADE EASY:

 

Ring in the New Year with a Burst of Bright Flavors
From Van Gogh Vodka

(Recipes below)
This New Year's, mix elegant with easy by taking your favorite cocktails and turning them into festive finger foods and alluring desserts.  With dishes like Pineapple Vodka Shrimp Kebobs and ice cream topped with Espresso Vodka Caramel Sauce, you'll kick up the flavor and cut down the work.

 "Vodka has potent marinating power," says celebrity chef Jon Ashton. "It works fast, tenderizing all sorts of meats and drawing in flavor."
 
Choosing fruit-infused cocktails, like apple-tinis and pineapple Cosmos, adds a fun twist, Jon points out.  Fruit diffuses the strength of the alcohol by adding bold and delicious new tastes.  In meats, the extra acidity also quickens the tenderization process.

For the past decade, Jon has been sharing his flair in the kitchen and British wit with viewers across the country during television appearances on The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and WB's nationally syndicated The Daily Buzz.

This New Year's Eve, Jon toasts simplicity with menus that are high on taste and low on maintenance.  His creations below burst with the bright flavors of top-shelf, fruit-infused Van Gogh Vodkas.  The result is a festive gathering that leaves you plenty of time to sit back and sip a martini.
 

RECIPES: Spirited Beginnings

Apple & Guava Glazed Chicken

A palate pleaser as a holiday hors d'oeuvre or any time

Makes 24 chicken skewers.

    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, each about 7 ounces
    • 24 8-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes then drained
    • 2 ripe but firm golden delicious apples, cored and cut into 12 wedges
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
    • ¼ cup Van Gogh Wild Appel Vodka
    • Pinch of salt
    • Pinch of pepper
    • Dash of hot pepper sauce

    Appel Vodka Guava Sauce Recipe
    • 2 cups guava nectar
    • 1 cup Van Gogh Wild Appel Vodka
    • 1/2-cup rice wine vinegar
    • 1/3-cup fresh limejuice

Make sauce by combining nectar, Van Gogh Wild Appel Vodka and vinegar in a medium saucepan.  Boil about 30 minutes until the mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup.  Once cooked, add limejuice.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut each chicken breast half lengthwise into 6 thin strips.  Weave each strip completely onto one of the skewers, leaving ½ - 1 inch of skewer exposed at one end.  Press one apple wedge onto the end of each skewer.  Divide skewers between two large glass baking dishes, stacking skewers if necessary.
 
Pour oil into bowl.  Whisk in minced garlic cloves, salt, pepper, dash of hot pepper sauce and Van Gogh Wild Appel Vodka.  Pour over chicken and marinate at least 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Remove skewers from marinade and arrange them on two large baking sheets.  Roast chicken 4 minutes on one side, and then baste with apple guava glaze as you turn over each skewer.  Cook another 4 minutes till chicken is no longer pink inside.
 
Pour guava sauce into medium bowl, and serve chicken with sauce.
 

 

Simple Pineapple Vodka Shrimp Kabobs Recipe
Another quick, delicious hors d'oeuvre
Makes 6 servings.

    Marinade
    • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
    • 3 clove garlic, minced
    • ½ cup Van Gogh Pineapple Vodka
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
    • Chinese noodles

    • 1 bunch scallions, 1-inch slices
    • 1 large red pepper, chopped
    • 2 lbs. large peeled shrimp

In a large bowl, whisk together ginger, garlic, Van Gogh Pineapple Vodka, limejuice, olive oil, sesame oil, and cilantro.  Add shrimp.  Toss to coat shrimp; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove shrimp from marinade.  Pour marinade into a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil for one full minute.  Remove from heat.  Alternately thread shrimp, scallions, and peppers onto skewers.

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Place skewers in baking dish.  Bake 4 - 6 minutes until shrimp is pink and opaque, turning once halfway through cooking time and basting with reserved marinade.  Serve warm with Chinese noodles.


Deliciously Decadent Dessert

Sautéed Apples with An Espresso Vodka Caramel Sauce
Assures 2006 a sweet sendoff
Makes 8 servings.

    • 6 ripe but firm golden delicious apples, cored and quartered
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • ½ cup Van Gogh Espresso Vodka
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • Vanilla ice cream
    • garnish sprigs of mint (optional)

Put sugar in medium size pan, place pan over medium heat to let sugar caramelize.  Sugar will liquefy.  When it turns a dark golden color, add Van Gogh Espresso Vodka (carefully) and cream, and then reduce heat.  Stir in butter.  Let butter melt, and remove from heat.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in sauté or frying pan. Shower apples with powdered sugar and place them the pan (it should be a medium heat).  Cover pan and sauté for about 10 minutes or until tender, turning them once halfway through the cooking time.

To serve, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a bowl, and top with grilled apples.  For the finale, drizzle espresso caramel sauce over apples.  Garnish with mint, if desired.

For a naughtier version, place a slice of pound cake in the bottom the bowl too!


Cheers: Many of the same vodka flavors used above make seductively simple drinks.

The Dasher - An Espresso Martini
• 3 oz. Van Gogh Espresso Vodka
      
Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker.  Add crushed ice, and let stand for five seconds.  Shake vigorously for five seconds.  Strain into martini glass.
 

Hawaiian Cosmo - Splash of Yuletide Paradise
• 1 ¼ oz. Van Gogh Pineapple Vodka
• ¼ oz. White Cranberry Juice
• ¼ oz. Lime Juice
• ¼ oz. Cointreau

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a sprinkle of shaved coconut.
 

Van Gogh Appletini - Refreshing Twist on the Classic Appletini
• 1 ¼ oz. Van Gogh Wild Appel Vodka
• ¾ oz. Van Gogh Apple Liqueur
• ½ oz. apple juice

Shake with ice and strain into chilled martini glass.
 

Chocolate Coffee Eggnog Martini
• 1 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
• 2 oz. Eggnog

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker.  Add crushed ice.  Shake vigorously for five seconds. Strain into a four-ounce martini glass.

Garnish with a Hershey's Chocolate Kiss and a red maraschino cherry. Enjoy!
 

Snowball Martini - Like coffee but packing more punch
• 1 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
• 1 oz. Van Gogh Espresso Vodka
• 1 oz. Van Gogh Coconut Vodka
• A splash of light half & half bream

Shake all ingredients with crushed ice then strain into a martini glass.
 

Van Gogh Vodka, imported from Holland by Luctor International, is the industry's leading flavored vodka with 16 distinctive favors.  For more information and thousands of complimentary cocktail recipes visit www.VanGoghVodka.com

About Jon Ashton
Celebrity chef Jon Ashton acquired his passion for cooking as a child in his Granny Ashton's cottage kitchen in Liverpool, England.  Later, he pursued his passion in culinary college.  After graduation, his wit, charisma and flair in the kitchen gave way to TV appearances, including Britain's nationally syndicated TV Dinners.
 
When Jon moved to the United States a decade ago, Americans fell in love with his English charm, winning him TV appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, NBC 10! and many other shows.  Today, he serves as resident chef on WB's syndicated show The Daily Buzz, appearing in 160 TV stations nationwide.  Jon has had the honor of appearing on TV with an array of celebrities, including: Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse, Tyler Florence, Wolfgang Puck, Jacque Pepin, Jay Leno, Giada de Laurentis, Bobby Flay and Al Roker.  Recently, he earned another distinction when he launched his Chocolate Souffle into space at the Kennedy Space Center, Orlando, Fla.

About Luctor
Luctor International owns and imports all Van Gogh Vodkas, gins, and liqueurs worldwide from the Dirkzwager Distillery in Schiedam, Netherlands.  The Orlando, Florida-based company exports to the United States, Europe, the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Canada and Central America.

 

 

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