Demo Kitchen Recipes: Another Time’s Forgotten Space
This week’s Confessions of a Mixologist took us Across the Universe in a time machine fueled by Agave Spirits, with notable stops in 1930s Phoenix and 1970s Sausalito and Chicago. We leapt through lightyears, into the future of mixology to discover the Trisolaran Sunrise, a cocktail carrying so much philosophical baggage that Guru Dev himself would be forced to rethink the statement “Nothing’s gonna change my world”. Om, indeed!
The Demo Kitchen is definitely down with a well-made Tequila Sunrise but what really had our cloister bell ringing was the mention of some old school party bites straight out of the 1971 edition of Playboy’s Host & Bar book. We immediately thought: Why leave the TARDIS when there is near infinite space and time to explore? So, whether you are In Search of Lost Time or engaging in Remembrance of Earth’s Past we thought we would supply a little jumpstart for planning a retro 1970s party featuring period drinks, like the “Trident” Tequila Sunrise, classic rock and a few nibbles culled straight from Playboy. In any case, the Demo Kitchen says - God save the mixologist who rang that bell.
In another time’s forgotten space1 these recipes would have been au courant. They seem a tad dated now, but that is exactly the point. We present them in the same format the author, Thomas Mario, used (for historical authenticity) but even the recipes themselves are a bit clunky and somewhat inefficient. However, they are simple and no less easy to follow. Plus, they deliver on the promise of transporting your palate to the early 1970s and if your time machine misses the mark, even Morlocks enjoy a good retro canapé.
Here are a few notes that may be helpful:
- Clam and Stout Canapés Au Gratin - Oysters and Stout are a classic combo and clams can work just as well. The obvious choice for use in this recipe is Guinness as it was one of the few Stouts Americans could lay hands on at the time, but that is surely no sacrifice. We will also note that Anchor Brewing introduced Anchor Porter in 1972 just across the bay from Sausalito, birthplace of the “Trident” Tequila Sunrise, so don’t hesitate to sub that in. Its inclusion rings true for the period. You can trim the crusts from the bread for a slight uptick in elegance. Lastly, please get some good Parmigiano Reggiano and read “salad oil” as extra virgin olive oil and you will be on the right track.
- Hot Pimento Canapés with Bourbon – Use a good but reasonably priced Bourbon that can do double duty in cooking and cocktails. We recommend the unreasonably delicious Clark and Sheffield. As with the Clam and Stout Canapés you may want to trim the crusts from the bread. You can then add them to the food processor to augment the required fresh breadcrumbs. To make the crumbs simply pulse a few slices of bread and any crusts you’ve trimmed in the processor until you have coarse fresh breadcrumbs. Feel free to roast and peel red bell peppers for use instead of canned pimentos, but the canned stuff is part of the period charm.
- Camembert Toast Malaga – We like to use sultanas (golden raisins) or a combo of brown and golden raisins for a little color. Our preference is for a good VSOP Cognac as it isn’t too expensive for use in recipes and is an excellent choice for both the snifter and the cocktail glass. While you can keep the original technique of forcing a wheel of Camembert through the holes in a colander (fun!), the end can be accomplished with a few pulses of a food processor or by mashing the cheese with a sturdy fork. The important thing is to source a fine, aromatic and perfectly ripe example of French Camembert. The rest of this one is self-explanatory.
- As for drinks, we already have a signature cocktail, or signature array of cocktails, covered with the three versions of the Tequila Sunrise as provided by our resident mixologist. When it comes to beer, you are duty bound to serve the same Stout or Porter that you used for cooking but for period authenticity Macro Lagers are also in order. Try to go with what would have been swank or at least regionally exclusive at the time. Beers like Michelob, Leinenkugel’s Original and Point fit the bill. If that doesn’t appeal go straight back to San Francisco for Anchor Steam. When it comes to wine choose things like Mateus or Liebfraumilch, and inexpensive Chianti. Or update while staying true to the spirit with a good French Rosé, topflight Riesling Kabinett and a fine Chianti Classico.
- Put on some bellbottoms, crank up the classic rock and have a ball!
Jai guru deva, om.
All recipes make 16 canapés.
Clam and Stout Canapés Au Gratin
- 1 eight oz. can minced clams
- ⅓ cup Stout
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, finely minced
- 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp. finely minced green pepper
- 1 tbsp. finely minced parsley
- ½ tsp. finely minced chervil
- 2 tbsp. flour
- ¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- salt, pepper and cayenne
- 4 square slices white bread
- grated Parmesan cheese
- salad oil
Drain clams reserving juice. Add Stout to juice. Set aside. Melt butter in saucepan over low flame. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, parsley and chervil. Sauté slowly, stirring frequently, until onion turns yellow. Remove from flame. Stir in flour, mixing until no lumps are visible. Heat clam broth up to boiling point. Slowly add to onion mixture, stirring well. Return to moderate flame. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add clams, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste and a dash of cayenne. Chill mixture in refrigerator. Preheat broiler. Toast bread under broiler flame on one side only. On untoasted side, spread clam mixture to the edge of each slice. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese, lightly with paprika and oil. Place under broiler flame. Broil until cheese browns lightly. Cut each slice of bread into four triangles.
Hot Pimento Canapés with Bourbon
- 1 small onion, finely minced
- 1 medium clove garlic, extremely finely minced
- 1 cup bread crumbs (freshly made if possible)
- 3 tbsp. Bourbon
- salt, pepper and paprika
- 4 square slices of bread
- 1 four oz. can pimentos, drained
- Parmesan cheese
Sauté onion and garlic in 1/3 cup butter over low flame. As soon as onion begins to turn light yellow, remove from flame. Combine with bread crumbs and bourbon, mixing well. Season with salt and pepper. Toast bread lightly. Spread generously with butter. Cut pimentos in half and divide among the four slices of toast. If pimentos do not cover bread, they may be cut into strips and divided among the four slices. Cover evenly with bread-crumb mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and paprika. Preheat broiler flame. Broil until cheese browns lightly. Cut each slice into four triangles or squares.
Camembert Toast Malaga
- ¼ cup large raisins
- ¼ cup Cognac
- 1 eight oz. package soft ripe Camembert cheese
- 8 slices French bread about 3 inches in diameter
- ¼ cup sweet butter, at room temperature
Put raisins into a small saucepan. Cover with cold water. Slowly bring to a boil. Simmer a minute. Drain. Put raisins into a cup or glass and cover with Cognac. Marinate overnight. Camembert cheese should be removed from refrigerator about an hour before preparation. Cut cheese into wedges and force cheese, including rind, through a colander. Toast bread. Drain raisins, saving cognac. Sprinkle one side of each slice with reserved Cognac. Don’t douse bread so liberally that it falls apart when handled. Turn bread on opposite side. Spread with butter. Spread evenly with Camembert cheese. Cut each slice in half. Place raisins on top of cheese, pressing slightly to keep in place. Arrange slices in rows on a serving platter.
- If you are a music geek you may have noted that the Grateful Dead didn’t release Franklin’s Tower until 1975, but the Dead were a Bay area band with a history with the Rolling Stones. Look into the 1969 Altamont Speedway Free Festival for context. Plus, what a stellar turn of phrase from the brilliant Robert Hunter. At least we didn’t mention “the transitive nightfall of diamonds” which surely would have fit right in.
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