Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 28 - The Nog Abides

Ahhh, it's that time of year again; when families gather round, exchange gifts and insults, and get royally crocked in front of the tree...

And what holiday season would be complete without our alcoholic eggy friend, Egg Nog.

Not mine, I'll tell you that much.

Much is made of families secret Nog recipes; and how difficult it is to make good Nog.


Egg Nog is EASY; at least in these days of powered hand mixers.

Gather round children and take a listen from old Chris.

2 quarts whole milk
1 quart heavy cream
8 large or jumbo eggs (or the equivalent thereof)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar (vanilla sugar preferred)
1-2 cups butterscotch schnapps, aged or spiced rum, brandy, or bourbon (to taste)
1/2 cup pure vanilla extract (yes, really, a full 4oz... or 4 large vanilla beans, scraped then steeped in the cream overnight
2 tblsp ground REAL cinnamon (not cassia. Cassia will get gummy and bitter. To taste... I use a lot more personally)
1 tblsp FRESH ground nutmeg (use a microplane. Jarred nutmeg is awful stuff. Again, to taste... Fresh is much stronger than jarred).
The only real "secret", if it can be said to be a secret at all, is in the preparation.

First things first, you want all your liquid ingredients to be as cold as you can. They'll whip up better, and be more refreshing.

Now, take you 8 eggs, crack them into a large mixing bowl, and beat them until they increase in volume by 50% or so.

Next, slowly beat in the two cups of sugar. This should effectively double the volume of the eggs.

While still beating, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remember, use fresh here. The jarred powdered stuff is awful.

One caveat; make sure you add the nutmeg and cinnamon in a bit at a time and that it's to your taste. Nutmeg is pretty bitter stuff and some people don't care for more than a touch. Of course since you're adding it in at this stage, the flavor will be stronger in the egg base than in the final mix with the dream and milk.

If you want to get really fancy you can scald the cream with two fresh vanilla beans (seeded and with the seeds in the cream) in it instead of using extract; but you have to do that far enough in advance to allow the cream to cool.

Now whip the cream to a light foam in another large bowl, but not to whipped cream texture. You want to get it light and frothy, not stiff; and then slowly beat the egg mixture in.

Finally, while still beating, mix in your alcohol. Even if you aren't a drinker, you should include SOME alcohol in your nog, because of how it interacts with the flavoring oils and aromatics; and with the milk and egg proteins (though the alcohol in some vanilla extracts could be enough).

A sweet alcohol with a "warm" flavor characterisitic is best here. I personally like butterscotch schnapps.

So, what you have now is effectively egg nog base. Technically speaking, it's a raw custard. As such, you can make up large batches and keep it around refrigerated for about a week. It's also a pretty good base for a custard sauce, or a custard ice cream. It's a bit too thick for drinking however.

When you're ready to drink your Nog, what you want to do is whip up your nog base again to aerate it, then whip in approximately as much whole milk as nog base... maybe a bit less depending on how thick you like your Nog.

Serve cold, with a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg over the top; or for a bit of extra flair, a float of warm liquor (slowly pour a half measure of a thick warmed liquor - like a rum, not something thinner or astringent - over the back of a spoon held over the top of the nog). Even better, make it a float of hot buttered rum.

How many does this serve? Well, I suppose it depends on how much Nog you like now doesn't it? Depending on how much you whip, the mix above will make about 5 quarts.


Reader Ted says: "You said it was easy, not that it didn't have calories. Wow. Sounds really good, though."

It is Ted, and it does... have calories that is, lots of them. unlike most of my recipes however, it uses discrete amounts of well known ingredients, so it's relatively easy to calculate the approximate calorie count. Also, Rumpshot asked for a carbohydrate count, and I'll throw that in too.

Perhaps it's against the ethos of the "Recipes for REAL men" to count calories... but I don't think so. In fact, the real ethos is in knowing how many calories are in it, and eating (or in this case drinking) it anyway.

So, lets see what we've got:

64oz milk - 20cal, 1.4gr carbs per oz - 1280cal, 89,6gr carbs
32oz cream - 110cal, .8gr carbs per oz - 3520cal, 25.6gr carbs
16oz sugar - 100cal, 28.4gr carbs per oz - 1600cal, 454.4gr carbs
8oz schnapps - 100cal, 7.3gr carbs per oz - 800cal, 58.4gr carbs
8 eggs - 90cal, 1gr carbs per egg - 720cal, 8gr carbs

Total - 7920cal, 636gr carbs
Volume - approximately 160oz
Calories and carbs - approximately 50 calories, and 4gr of carbs per ounce

So a single 16oz glass of Nog would be about 800 calories, and 64gr carbs.

For comparison, a 20oz imperial pint of Guinness runs about 220 calories.

Funny day when the Guinness is four times "healthier" a beverage eh?

And be sure to check out:
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 27 - That's too turducken hard

Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 26 - Hot Smoke
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 25 - That's a Spicy Polpette
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 24 - It's Meat, in Loaf Form
Recipes for REAL Women, Volume 23 - Some Like it Hot
Recipes for REAL Women, Volume 22 - Full Fat, Full Dairy, All Killer, No Filler
Recipes for REAL Women, Volume 21 - Forget About the Dough Boy
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 20 - QDCBS (Quick and Dirty Chili Bean Stew)
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 19 - Chicken Salmonella
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 18 - I'll give YOU a good stuffing turkey (1)
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 17 - REAL Coffee
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 16 - DTG (Damn That's Good) dip
Recipes for REAL Women, Volume 15 - More Chocolate Than Cookie
Recipes for REAL Women, Volume 14 - Millions of Peaches
Recipes for REAL Women, Volume 13 - Mels 10,000 Calorie Butter Cookies
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 12 - Lard Ass Wings
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 11 - Bacon Double Macaroni and Cheese
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 10 - It's the meat stupid
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 9 - Labor Day Potatos
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 8 - It's a pork fat thing
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 7 - It may not be Kosher...
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 6 - Andouille Guiness Chili
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 5 - Eazza the Ultimate Pizza
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 4 - Two Pound Meat Sauce
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 3 - Highbrow Hash
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 2 - MuscleCarbonara
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 1 - More Beef than Stew