Sunday, December 19, 2010
Cream Cheese Chutney Dip & Blue Cheese Crackers with Martha’s Berry Little Cocktails
‘Tis the season and this festive vodka / champagne concoction is the ticket to getting your party off to a good start! And if too many people are caught under the mistletoe, the shortbread crackers and dip are savory and rich enough to bring you back down to earth after throwing back a few merry berries.
Both of these recipes came from my mom. I always enjoy them during holidays at my parents house but haven’t broken out of my comfort zone to give them a go until now. I’m really excited about this virtual recipe club. When all of us girls get together, most often we have a huge spread of appetizers and cocktails for dinner. I look forward to trying lots of new recipes and getting innovative ideas for breakfasts, dinners, desserts and especially appetizers and cocktails!
Martha’s Berry Little Cocktail
½ cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 oz. ruby red grapefruit vodka
1 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. cassis syrup*
2 oz. champagne, chilled
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat dissolve sugar into 1 ½ cups water. Turn down heat, add cranberries and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain, discarding the liquid and place cranberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Transfer baking sheet to freezer and chill at least 2 hours.
Do ahead: Make the base by mixing together 1 oz of the vodka, cranberry juice and syrup per person. Refrigerate in a pitcher so when your guests arrive all you have to do is open a bottle of champagne!
Fill each glass about 1/3 full of the base, add champagne and garnish with frozen cranberries.
*Cassis syrup can be found in specialty food stores or you can substitute with black currant juice, blackberry puree or Torani raspberry syrup (which is what I did because I didn’t want to make a special trip – and since this is so sweet I only used about 1/3 oz. per person).
Cream Cheese Chutney Roulade with Blue Cheese Shortbread
3 ½ oz. crumbled blue cheese (about ½ cup)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 cup raw walnuts, finely chopped
Blend cheese and butter in processor until creamy. Add flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. All walnuts and process just until moist clumps form. Gather dough in a ball. Flatten into a disk. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough between sheets of plastic wrap to 1/8 to ¼ inch thickness. Remove top sheet.
Slice into square crackers or use a cookie cutter to cut shapes (I did leaves and stars). Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool. Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or make ahead and freeze.
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon and 1 tsp. dry sherry
½ tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup mango chutney (can be found in the condiment section of most grocery stores)
¾ cup green onions, thinly sliced
Mix cheeses, sherry, curry powder and salt. Spread cream cheese mixture into a 10 x 8 inch rectangle (or thereabout) on a piece of plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden. Spread ½ cup chutney and about half of the green onions on cream cheese mixture. Roll from the long side jelly roll style into a log. Gentry press remaining green onions onto roulade (or make ahead and sprinkle the green onions on just before serving). Wrap the roulade tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to two days.
To serve: Place roulade on platter. Surround with shortbread crackers. Top roulade with remaining chutney. This is great with curried pecans too!