Have your­self a hazy lit­tle Christ­mas

Some days de­mand a stiff drink and a bite to eat, whether it’s a cosy night on the sofa, or the bright lights of Christ­mas. In this ex­tract from her new book, Rosie Sykes clev­erly pairs each ed­i­ble treat with a per­fect fes­tive pick-me-up ...

The Guardian - Cook - - Cocktails And Canapés - Makes 1 Makes 1 Rosie Sykes is a free­lance chef and menu con­sul­tant. She is the au­thor of The Sun­day Night Book (Quadrille) and co-au­thor of the Kitchen Rev­o­lu­tion (Ebury)

Ter­razzo ...

Cool­ing like mar­ble, al­most flinty and savoury, this fizzy aper­i­tivo uses Coc­chi Amer­i­cano – a bit­ter Ital­ian aper­i­tif wine with cit­rus and herbal flavours – the per­fect start to any party. Crushed ice Small seg­ments of lime, le­mon, or­ange 1 part gin 2 parts Coc­chi Amer­i­cano 4 parts sparkling wine Pa­per drink­ing straw Bay leaf

1 Half fill a high­ball or other tall glass with ice, adding small seg­ments of lime, le­mon and or­ange as you go.

2 Pour in the gin, Coc­chi Amer­i­cano and sparkling wine and stir well.

3 Top up with ice and cit­rus seg­ments. Add a pa­per straw. Fin­ish with a bay leaf, dec­o­ra­tively cut with a pair of scis­sors to a de­sign of your choice.

... with an­chovy-stuffed eggs

A throw­back dish of unas­sum­ing style. My dear friend Peter and I once met in a bar in Man­hat­tan to drink mar­ti­nis and share plates of their fa­mous dev­illed eggs, bring­ing to mind this quote from Pulitzer-prizewin­ning jour­nal­ist Herb Caen: “Mar­ti­nis are like breasts: one isn’t enough and three is too many.” In my book, it’s a sen­ti­ment that ap­plies equally to stuffed eggs. The in­spi­ra­tion for this recipe is the amaz­ing chef James Fer­gu­son.

Mar­ti­nis are like breasts: one isn’t enough and three is too many

2 eggs 2 tbsp tinned an­chovies, finely chopped 1 tsp olive oil Finely grated zest and juice of ¼ le­mon ½ tsp di­jon mus­tard A gen­er­ous pinch of smoked pa­prika 2 tbsp may­on­naise A small hand­ful of pars­ley, finely chopped

Cor­ni­chons or pick­led onions, to serve

1 Put the eggs into a saucepan of cold wa­ter. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat so the wa­ter is just sim­mer­ing. Cook for 12 min­utes. Mean­while, put the an­chovies in a bowl with the oil and mash to a paste, then add the le­mon zest, mus­tard, pa­prika and may­on­naise and mix un­til smooth. Stir in the pars­ley.

2 Lift out the eggs and cool com­pletely in cold wa­ter. Then care­fully peel the eggs and cut them in half length­ways. Scoop out the yolks and add them to the an­chovy mix­ture, then mash lightly to­gether. Taste the stuff­ing mix­ture; sea­son with le­mon, salt and pep­per to taste.

3 Take a tiny slice from the bot­tom of each egg-white “boat” so they sit steadily. Spoon or pipe the stuff­ing back into the egg-white boats, then serve with a few pick­les.

Light-emit­ting diode ...

A vari­ant of a whiskey sour that al­most glows in the dark that will re­lieve any ex­cesses of din­ner.

Makes 1

3 parts rye whiskey or bour­bon

1 part sim­ple syrup, ideally in­fused with or­ange or grape­fruit zest

1 part le­mon juice

A dash of Pernod – or pastis or ouzo, if that’s all you can get your hands on 2 tsp egg white

Ice cubes

Frond of fen­nel or dill

1 Com­bine the whiskey, syrup, le­mon juice, Pernod and egg white in a shaker, or a jar with a lid and add plenty of ice.

2 Shake vig­or­ously un­til well chilled and the egg white is foam­ing.

3 Strain into a cock­tail glass, ideally a stemmed one.

4 Del­i­cately gar­nish with a frond of fen­nel or dill – a bit of green atop the frothy head is most ap­peal­ing. Sip and per­form a back­wards som­er­sault.

... with a squash and truf­fle bran­dade

I have used the word “bran­dade”here be­cause the tex­ture is sim­i­lar. If you’re feel­ing ex­tra-deca­dent, you can grate over a lit­tle parme­san as well.

Makes 6

1 small squash – about 680g

Salt and black pep­per

A small grat­ing of nut­meg

2 tsp olive oil

60g (4 tbsp) un­salted but­ter

1 tbsp truf­fle oil

3 pitta breads or flat­breads

A few shav­ings of fresh truf­fle (op­tional)

1 Pre­heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds of both halves. Sea­son the flesh side lib­er­ally with salt and pep­per, then grate over a lit­tle nut­meg.

2 Put each half on to a large sheet of oiled foil, skin-side down, then splash over the rest of the olive oil and a good smat­ter­ing of wa­ter. Wrap up the squash halves to form two parcels and bake for 50–60 min­utes or un­til to­tally soft, but not brown. Scrape all the flesh out. If it seems wa­ter­logged, tip into a sieve set over a saucepan and drain for about half an hour, or un­til the squash looks dry. Then put the pan over a medium heat and let the liq­uid sim­mer and re­duce un­til syrupy.

3 Mean­while, mash the squash. When the liq­uid has re­duced, add the squash to the pan to warm through. Now grad­u­ally beat in the but­ter, bit by bit, un­til you have a lovely rich and glossy mix­ture. Sea­son to taste, then stir in three-quar­ters of the truf­fle oil.

4 Put the pitta breads or flat­breads un­der a hot grill to warm through, then cut into bite-sized strips.

5 Scrape the squash bran­dade into a warm bowl and sprin­kle with the rest of the truf­fle oil, then sur­round with the strips of bread.

Train­wreck ...

This will ei­ther cause an in­ci­dent or re­vive those at the scene. For this drink, crushed ice is best, as it melts in such a way as to soften the harsh­ness of the al­co­hol.

Makes 1

Crushed ice

2 parts rye whiskey or bour­bon

1 part Cam­pari

1 part sim­ple syrup, ideally in­fused with or­ange or grape­fruit zest

2 parts or­ange juice – or, if in sea­son, blood or­ange juice

Or­ange slices, for dec­o­ra­tion Pa­per drink­ing straw

1 Half-fill a small metal Julep cup or short tum­bler with ice. Pour in the rye whiskey or bour­bon, the Cam­pari, syrup and or­ange juice and stir well.

2 Top up with enough ice to give your drink a boun­ti­ful ap­pear­ance. Gar­nish with half-moon-shaped slices of or­ange and add a pa­per straw.

... with white bean cro­quettes with herby may­on­naise

A few stints of liv­ing in the south of Spain have made me a cro­quette afi­cionado. I like this type of cro­quette for home cook­ing, be­cause it doesn’t in­volve mak­ing a bechamel sauce, so it’s rel­a­tively sim­ple.

Makes 8

1 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely sliced 1 small sprig rose­mary, leaves stripped and finely chopped

2 gar­lic cloves, crushed

120g baby spinach leaves

400g tin of can­nellini beans, drained 100g panko or other bread­crumbs 1 tbsp mint, finely chopped 1 tbsp pars­ley, finely chopped A gen­er­ous pinch of chilli flakes 75g may­on­naise

1 egg

6 tbsp light olive oil

1 Heat the ex­tra vir­gin olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and add the onion and rose­mary. Cook very gen­tly un­til soft and sweet, then add the gar­lic and stir about for a minute.

2 Add the spinach and mix well, stir­ring un­til it wilts. Add the beans and warm through.

3 Trans­fer the con­tents of the pan to a food pro­ces­sor and whizz to a smooth paste. Add 20g of bread­crumbs. Pulse to com­bine. The mix­ture should be quite stiff – if it seems too wet, add more bread­crumbs. Scrape into a bowl and trans­fer to the fridge for an hour or so. Mean­while, stir the mint, pars­ley and chilli flakes into the may­on­naise.

4 Lightly beat the egg in a shal­low bowl. Put the re­main­ing bread­crumbs into an­other. Scoop out ta­ble­spoon­fuls of the cro­quette mix­ture, roll into balls and then flat­ten into pucks. Dip the cro­quettes in beaten egg and then bread­crumbs, shak­ing off any ex­cess. Dou­ble-dip the cro­quettes to give them an ex­tra-crisp shell, if you like.

5 Heat the light olive oil in a small fry­ing pan and, when hot, fry the cro­quettes in batches of three to keep the oil hot. Keep turn­ing them un­til they are golden all over, then drain on kitchen pa­per. Eat while hot, dipped in, or driz­zled with, the herby mayo.

▲ This is an ex­tract from Rosie’s lat­est book, The Sun­day Night Book – Short Recipes to Make the Week­end Feel Longer (Quadrille, 10.99) out now

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.