Friday, January 20, 2006

Is My Ship Slowing? Ahem, I mean, Is My Slip Showing? Blog Party#6: Retro Party!

Many thanks to Stephanie of "thehappysorceress" for the invitation and including me in all the fun!

Hors d'Oeuvres:

Blue Cheese - Stuffed Apricots
French Brie - Onion Marmalade Canapés
Pear Vichyssoise


Bellini - The classic Bellini was "invented" at Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy in 1931, a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Harris and Orson Welles.

Bloody Mary - hails from Harry's New York Bar in Paris, and was first mixed by "Pete" Petoit. Pete brought it to New York City in the 1930's.
Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary - Non-Alcoholic version of the standard.

Shirley Temple – the classic children's cocktail invented in the late 1930's at Hollywood's Chasen's restaurant for the child star (b.1928).

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Adapted from:
J.J. Schnebel - Wonders

Few people realize that Vichyssoise, the cold potato leek soup with the French name, was invented, not in Paris or Lyons or even in Vichy, France, but in New York City at the beginning of the 20th Century.

It was 1917 and the fashionable Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Madison Avenue at 46th Street was about to open a new roof garden restaurant. The head chef was a Frenchman named Louis Diat (1885-1957). He often made a potato and leek soup from a recipe given him by his mother, Annette Alajoinine Diat, and he was preparing to serve it at a party celebrating the opening of the roof garden. Whether, according to legend, the soup, prepared in advance, wasn't re-heated in time to be served as a first course, or whether the day was warm and Chef-de-Cuisine Diat felt culinarily creative, he added cream to his mother's soup recipe and served it cold, sprinkled with chopped chives. He called it Creme Vichyssoise Glacee, or Chilled Cream Vichyssoise, in honor of the town where he was born.

The original Ritz-Carlton has long since been demolished but Vichyssoise lives on. The proper French pronunciation is "vee shee swahzz" and NOT "vee shee swah" because an "e" after the final "s" signals a "zzz" sound.

Here's an updated twist for your taste.

Pear Vichyssoise

• 1 large onion, peeled and diced
• 4 medium to large potatoes, peeled and diced
• 6 large leeks, whites only, washed well and sliced
• 2 medium ripe pears, peeled and diced
• 1 1/2 pint chicken or vegetable stock
• 1 cup milk or half & half
• 1 tablespoon of oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
Snips of Chive for garnish

1 Sweat the chopped onion over gentle heat in the oil until glazed.
2 Add leeks, potatoes, pears, stock and salt and pepper, to taste.
3 Simmer gently until soft.
4 Liquefy the soup.
5 Check seasoning for taste. Add mile or half & half. Let cool.

Pear Cream

• Pear Nectar
• Heavy Cream

Blend pear nectar and cream. Whip cream mixture, until lightly thickened. Garnish soup with a dollop of cream. Snip chives on top of cream.

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Blue Cheese - Stuffed Apricots

2-ounces Blue cheese - Maytag, Stilton, Roquefort, Gorgonzola (to your taste)
12 dried Apricots
12 pecan halves, toasted
Cayenne pepper

1 In a small bowl, mix the cheese until creamy. You may need to add a few drops of milk if the cheese is crumbly. Set aside.
2 Place the apricots on a serving platter. Using a butter knife spread about 1 teaspoon of cheese on cut side of the apricot. Top with 1 pecan. Sprinkle the stuffed apricots with a dash of cayenne pepper and serve.

Makes 6 to 12 servings.

Tip: For a variation, use pitted dates or dried figs. Toasted almonds, cashews or walnut halves may be used in place of pecan halves.

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French Brie with Onion Marmalade Canapés

4 tablespoons butter, divided use
4 cups onions, peeled, quartered, evenly sliced
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, stems removed
French Brie cheese, room temperature
Water Crackers or sliced baguette

Onion Marmalade

Place 3 tablespoons butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onion, salt, and pepper. Sauté until golden brown for approximately15 minutes. Stir frequently. Add vinegar and thyme. Simmer until the vinegar coats the onions and is reduced almost completely. Add remaining tablespoon butter and stir to incorporate.

Serve with French Brie and water crackers or sliced baguette

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Spoon one and a half tablespoons into chilled glasses. Slowly top up with Procecco or dry, sparkling wine, stirring as you pour.
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Basic Bloody Mary

1 1/4 oz. Vodka, Dash of Lemon juice, Worcestershire, 2 or 3 drops Tabasco, Pepper, Salt & Celery salt, Tomato juice

Over ice in a tall glass, add spices, then Vodka, Fill with Tomato juice & Stir, Garnish with Celery stick & Lime wedge

Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary (Non-Alcoholic)

6 oz. Tomato juice, Dash each of Worsteschire, Tabasco, Lime juice, Salt, Pepper, Celery salt to taste

Mix all over ice, Garnish with a Celery stalk & Lime wedge

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Shirley Temple – Club soda (7-Up), grenadine, and a maraschino cherry. A slice of orange and a straw is suggested; the paper parasol is optional.



Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Anni!

All very classic...I adore Shirley glad you could make it!

Round-up will be posted later this evening...

1:21 PM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger anni said...

Great, Stephanie!

I have one set aside just for you. Come by and stay awhile.

The music line up is fun and fabulous! Get ready to kick up your heels! Hope you brought your dancing shoes!



8:10 PM, January 21, 2006  

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