Named after the major thoroughfare that passes through the center of France’s Burgundy region, RN74 Seattle is restaurateur Michael Mina’s local outpost. A Washington native, RN74 is Mina’s only restaurant in his home state, his most famous eateries located in Las Vegas, the Bay Area and Dubai. Led by executive chef Shawn Applin, RN74 combines seasonally and regionally focused ingredients with classic French brasserie eats, plus an award-winning wine list of French and local delicacies.

Though the restaurant is heralded for its front-of-the-house alcohol selection, the chef is able to work with these same goods in the kitchen. “We cook with a fair amount of wine and spirits, [using] both in the making of stocks and sauces quite regularly, [and in] butters to finish dishes with as well,” Applin says. “We make a red wine butter for our steaks, a Chartreuse butter for our bone marrow and escargot. White wine in our boullibase, red wine in our demi glace, brandy in our foie gras mousse and French onion soup.”

Heading into the hosting season, Chef Applin gets saucy with Woodinville Whiskey Co.‘s rye whiskey and offers up this recipe for hand-cut beignets, accompanied with butterscotch-whiskey pot de crème and whiskey caramel sauce.

“Whiskey is great in many things, but lends itself well to desserts because it has an inherent sweetness,” he adds. “The Woodinville rye has a great balance of wood and sweetness. It goes great with the caramel.”

Impress holidays guests with this dessert recipe and seal the deal with Woodinville’s rye, served neat, as the pairing.

Beignets and Butterscotch Pot de Crème with Woodinville Whiskey Caramel Sauce

Serves 12

BEIGNETS

1½ cups water, at 110° F degrees
½ cup sugar
1 packet envelope yeast
2 eggs, whole
1¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups bread flour
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ gallon canola oil, for frying
2 cups powdered sugar, for dusting

In a bowl, mix together the warm water, sugar and yeast.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes to activate the yeast.

In a standing mixer, combine the eggs, salt, milk, flour and shortening. Add the yeast mixture. With a dough hook, mix the dough for 20 minutes to develop the gluten. 

Remove the dough and put it into a bowl. Let it proof in the refrigerator overnight. 

Place the dough on a work surface and roll it out to a ¾-inch thickness and cut even squares of the dough.

In canola oil at 375° F, fry the dough until brown and cooked thru on both sides. Cover the beignets with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar.

BUTTERSCOTCH POT DE CRÈME

9 egg yolks
1½ cups sugar, divided
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups cream
1 cup milk
¼ cup Woodinville Whiskey Co. rye whiskey

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup of the sugar.

In a saucepan, heat the butter, cream, salt, milk, remaining sugar and whiskey, bringing to a boil. When the liquid comes to a boil, about 3-4 minutes, slowly add to the egg mixture while whisking.

Pour into small ramekins or shallow individual serving containers. In an oven set to 275° F, bake the pots de crème until set in a water bath, about 40-50 minutes. Remove from the water bath and chill.

WHISKEY CARAMEL SAUCE

4 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 vanilla bean, split
2 cups cream
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup Woodinville Whiskey Co. rye whiskey

Put the sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Wash the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to avoid crysalization.

When the sugar starts to caramelize, wait until it is a dark amber, about 8-10 minutes, and add the cream slowly to avoid bubbling up.

Add the salt, whiskey and put back on the stove to combine. Whisk to homogenize. Cool.