A seasonal favorite that tends to be criminally high in cholesterol, try serving a low-fat version that rolls over the tongue "like buttah." Drink warm or cold.
Prep time:40 minutes
Total time:40 minutes, plus cooling
Yield:Makes 1 quart or 6 small cups
Chai Egg Nog
2 stickscinnamon, cracked
1 teaspooncardamom seeds
1 teaspoonwhole black peppercorns
1 teaspoonground ginger
1 quart2% milk, divided
1 teaspoonvanilla extract
2 ouncesgranulated sugar
1 tablespoonground flax, optional
Splashbourbon, to taste
Dashgrated nutmeg, optional garnish
Combine cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, ginger, cloves and salt in a mortar. Lightly grind cinnamon into large bits. Add to 3 cups of milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
Strain contents through a metal sieve into a large bowl to remove solids. Wipe out saucepan to remove residue. Return milk to saucepan over medium-low heat.
While milk warms, in a second bowl combine sugar and eggs. Beat for about 2 minutes until batter lightens, turning a bright lemony yellow. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Return mixture to stove and stir constantly for about 6 minutes, until milk mixture begins to thicken and cling to the backside of the spoon. Add ground flax to thicken, if needed. At no point should the milk be allowed to boil; otherwise the eggs will scramble.
Remove from heat. Add remaining milk to pan to cool eggnog. Serve warm or refrigerate for 2-plus hours, until cold. Add bourbon to taste.