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Posted by on Nov 27, 2013 in Boozipes, Cooking with Cognac | 2 comments

Cognac Cranberry Sauce

Cognac Cranberry Sauce

I can’t believe it, Thanksgiving is just one day away! And if you’re stressing about pulling together last minute details, or what you’re going to bring to the multiple dinners, take a deep breath. Not only is this recipe a breeze, but it will make you – and others at the Turkey Day table — smile.

If you’re bringing a dish to an uptight gathering — I’m sorry that stinks, but smile to yourself as others indulge without knowing the condiment’s spiked origins. On the other hand, if your Thanksgiving company is of the rowdy breed, or at least open to toasting the day, nothing will revive interest in a Thanksgiving staple like telling them the Cranberry Sauce is boozified (shout-out here to my mom. Thanks for being super excited about having Spiked Cranberry Sauce at our table).

Here’s where I have to be honest – I’ve never been a big fan of cranberry sauce. My goal here was to kill two birds with one stone: make something blog worthy that I would help fulfill my contribution to the family dinner. But I’ve been converted. This stuff will definitely be going on my turkey. And possibly on some vanilla ice-cream at some point. When dinner is over I may try to lick the bowl before it heads to the dishwasher.

But enough raving. You’re busy with last minute runs to the grocery store, keeping the kids occupied while you try to cook and double checking your to-do list, so there’s no time to go on and on about how good this stuff is …

But there is time for a suggestion. Since you’re going to be in the liquor cabinet anyway, go ahead and grab the Cointreau (or if you don’t have it, Triple Sec). After you toss all the ingredients together in the pot you’ll have a few minutes to spare before they start to boil and you have to stir. So why not make yourself a classic cognac cocktail, The Sidecar, while you wait.


Thru The Cooking Glass: Cognac Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Here’s what you’ll need (Makes approx. 16 oz of sauce):

1 bag of whole cranberries

¼ cup Cognac (I used Hennessy)

¾ cup orange juice

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of All Spice


If you’re going to make a cocktail to sip while you stir:

The Sidecar

2 oz. Cognac
1 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Cracked ice
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: sugared rim (optional)
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass.


To make Cognac Cranberry Sauce:

  • 1 Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then stir and reduce to a simmer.IMG_0385
  • 2 Cook mixture uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and sauce thickens, about 15-20 minutes.
  • 3 Remove mixture from heat and pour into serving bowl. Cool completely before serving.Spiking the Cranberry Sauce: Cooking with Cognac


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Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in Boozipes, Cooking with Cognac | 0 comments

Hennessy Peppercorn Tenderloins

Hennessy Peppercorn Tenderloins

While many of the tipsy recipes you’ll find here revolve around the sweet, this Cognac Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin is a savory entrée that’s date-night or special occasion worthy. It definitely leaves an impression.

Two Teaspoons & a Microphone: Cooking with liquor
This spiked steak is sure to inspire smiles at the dinner table. Cheers! 

After briefly soaking the tenderloin in cognac – I used Hennessey — the remaining liquor is utilized in the sauce, which provides a silky contrast to the spicy peppercorns.

A bit of warning — those who are spice-sensitive may want to cut back on the amount of peppercorns. I’m a big fan of pepper so I didn’t mind the bites that were alive with a good kick. It could be a little much for some though.

Also, the recipe calls for crème fraiche, which is like sour cream but less sour. Despite my best efforts – I scoured grocery stores, boutiques and specialty locations in the small Central Florida town where I live – I couldn’t find any. So I did a little Googling and found a recommendation to use Philadelphia’s Cooking Crème in place of crème fraiche. I chose the savory garlic flavor and wasn’t disappointed. In fact I will likely use this creamy product in the future for sauces and as a pot pie filler, as the product packaging suggests. Actual sour cream and crema Mexicana were also noted as viable substitutes. If you really have some time, give making your own crème fraiche a shot. Those who posted recipes, like this guy, said it wasn’t that hard. If you take the challenge of making it let me know how it goes.

Last, the below recipe is for four tenderloins. I was a little nervous about cutting the ingredients in half when cooking only two filets for my husband and I. Would 3 Tablespoons of cognac really be enough to marinate and provide for the sauce? But it worked out perfectly.

Hennessy Peppercorn Tenderloins

Hennessy Peppercorn Tenderloins


  • 3 Tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped leeks
  • 1.5 cups mushrooms
  • 6 Tablespoons of cognac (my choice was Hennessy)
  • 4 Thick-cut beef tenderloin steaks
  • 6 Tablespoons lightly crushed green or black peppercorns
  • Freshly ground sea salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 a stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup crème fraiche or substitute


  1. Crush 6 Tablespoons of peppercorns, place on a plate or shallow dish.
  2. Place the 6 Tablespoons of cognac in a shallow dish, add the steaks and let soak for 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan.
  4. Add shallots, leeks and mushrooms into pan. Saute for approximately 3 minutes.
  5. Remove the steaks from the cognac, drain excess liquid, press both side of the steaks lightly into the peppercorns to coat.
  6. Season each side of the steak with the sea salt.
  7. Remove leeks, shallots and mushrooms.
  8. Melt butter in the skillet, add the steaks and brown 4 minutes per side for medium rare and seven minutes per side for medium. Keep in the pan longer for medium-well and well-done.
  9. When flipping steak over, add shallots, leeks and mushrooms back to the pan.
  10. When steaks are almost finished, add the cognac, swirl in the pan and cook for two minutes, turning the steaks once in the sauce.
  11. Transfer the steaks to a plate.
  12. Pour the crème fraiche into the pan, stir and bring to a boil.
  13. Serve steaks topped with the sauce, shallots, leeks and mushrooms.
  14. Enjoy!

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