Sunday, March 1, 2015

Brandy Old-Fashioned and Blinis with Smoked Salmon Stars and Caviar

I just made this cocktail and canapé duo last Sunday for my Oscars party.  The party really just consisted of me and I only watched about thirty minutes of the Oscars live because the kids were acting up…but regardless, I did have a drink and some tasty hors d'oeuvres.  Next year, I am going to have a real party!    I really loved this hors d'oeuvre though and I loved it paired with the Brandy Old Fashioned.  It's a great starter for any dinner or cocktail party.  I took a lot of photos, so I'll show you exactly how I did everything.  Definitely add this combination into your line up the next time your are throwing a fabulous fête!   

La Recette:

3/4 cup gluten free baking mix like Cup4Cup or Bob's Red Mill
1 extra large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup greek style plain yogurt - I use FAGE 2%
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
8-16 oz. Nova Lox - A quick lesson…real lox is the salt cured belly portion of the salmon and is never smoked.  Nova Lox is salt cured like lox but also cold smoked.  The name Nova lingers from when most New York salmon came from Nova Scotia.  And finally Gravlax is cured, unsmoked salmon with the addition of a lot of spices that usually include juniper berry, horseradish, pepper and aquavit.  
4 oz. crème fraîche
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons clives, chopped
1- 2oz. ish size jar caviar or roe
Dill for garnish
Brandy Old Fashioned- requires overnight macerating
1/2 cup sugar
3 oranges, 2 for zest and one for garnish
5 Maraschino cherries plus more for garnish
1/2 cup hot water
4 dashes Angostura bitters
8 oz. Brandy - Another quick lesson - this is a long post!  Brandy is a spirit the is produced by distilling wine and is typically taken as an after dinner drink.  Some of the most renowned varieties are Cognac and Armagnac produced in Southwestern France.  For the recipe I have used Courvoisier  which is a Cognac.  Another delicious variety of Cognac is D'ussé.  
Chilled club soda
Non stick pan
Medium mixing bowl, mixing spoon and measuring cups/spoons
Container with an easy pour rim
Star cookie cutter - optional
Chef's knife
Wooden or mother of pearl spoon
Cocktail shaker
Medium bowl
Chef's knife
Measuring cups
4 serving glasses
-In a medium sized bowl, combine the gluten free baking mix with the milk and mix well.  Add the egg, yogurt and salt.  Mix well until combined.  Put the batter into a container with an easy pour rim.  Over medium-high heat.  Pour the batter into one-inch rounds onto your All-Clad non-stick pan.  Cook until slightly browned. 2-3 minutes per side. 
-While the Blinis are cooking, start to cut out your Nova stars.  Place in plastic wrap until needed.  Next, combine the chives, 4 oz. of crème fraîche and 1/4 teaspoon or salt and pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate.  It will firm up a little in the fridge.  
-Prepare the dill sprigs.  Just a small amount.  Too much garnish looks like a tree.  
-This recipe makes 48-52 blinis.  You can cut the recipe in half or make them all and freeze half.  They should be served room temperature.
-Top the blini with 1/2 teaspoon of crème fraîche.  Next add the star.  About 1/8 teaspoon of caviar or roe.  And top with the dill.  Enjoy!
-Zest two oranges and combine them with 1/2 cup sugar in a medium sized bowl.  To zest the orange, cut off the peel and avoid the white pith which can be bitter.  Using your hands, mix the zest and sugar together until it resembles sand.  
-Let it sit for 4 hours at room temp.  Add in the 5 Maraschino cherries and refrigerate overnight.  
-After it has sat overnight, add 1/2 cup of boiling water.  Refrigerate again until cool and then strain. 
-Fill 4 cocktail glasses with ice.  
-In a cocktail shaker filled half way with ice, combine 8 oz. of Brandy, 2 tablespoons of the simple syrup and 4 dashes of bitters. Shake well and pour about each glass half way full.  Top each drink off with club soda and your garnish of choice and enjoy!  

This drink was so tasty.  Sweet but not overly sweet - it was really so delicious.  It reminded me of old Hollywood glamour.  I just bought these glasses from Tiffany & Co. as a Valentine's gift for Jake along with some Johnnie Walker Blue.  I love the look of them!  This recipe comes from Food and Wine:

I thought the stars were perfect for an Oscars party but it's not necessary.  You can just simply cut a small piece of Nova.

For the simple syrup for the drink, take the zest of two oranges and rub in 1/2 cup of sugar until it looks like sand and let if sit for 4 hours.  Then add in 5 Maraschino cherries and refrigerate it overnight.  

Next, add in 1/2 cup of boiling water and refrigerate until cool.  Then strain.  You'll have a lot of the simple syrup left over for other drinks.

To make the Blinis, just pour the batter into 1-inch diameter circles on a non-stick pan.  I have the All-Clad non-stick omelet pan and I love it.  I use it all of the time.  

To make the Nova stars, just get a star cutter cookie that is about 1-inch in diameter.

Vermont Creamery is my favorite brand of crème fraîche.  The chives should be a small chop.

I LOVE caviar and roe and you can use any style that you like.  I particularly like this brand that is infused with truffle.  And surprise - it's under $20.  There are definitely more superior versions that you can buy like sturgeon or golden caviar but I think this tastes great and serves it's purpose for this recipe.  Also, it's important to note that over fishing of the Caspian Sea has greatly depleted the sturgeon population.  Consider buying caviar and roe from more abundant species until the Caspian Sea sturgeon can re-populate.   For example, Beluga caviar comes from the Beluga Sturgeon found primarily in the Caspian Sea.  It's about $250 for 2 ounces.  It's absolutely delicious but probably best to leave that one alone for now.  It's better for your wallet and the environment.  Another option would be the Hackleback Sturgeon Caviar.  It's an American caviar derived from the mid-west.  It's about $70 or 2 ounces.  

When serving caviar you should you a mother of pearl spoon or a small wooden spoon.  Some metals may affect the flavor of the caviar.

This is a little late, but because this is an Oscars themed post, I have to share my two absolute favorite  dresses of the night.  Rosamund Pike on the left in Givenchy and Julianne Moore in Chanel both look incredible.  Julianne Moore always makes the most perfect dress choices.  She is beyond stunning.  Rosamund Pike's Givenchy suits her perfectly.  What a bombshell.  I love watching the Oscars for the red carpet dresses.  They are amazing.  

*This recipe makes 48-52 blinis and the drink serves 4 people.  The recipes can be doubled or halved.  

1 comment :

  1. These are the most perfect cocktail I've ever seen! I must try my hand at your method, thank you. love to share this , please follow my blog for the best Indian bridal collections.
    Bridal Party Dresses


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