Some of you loyal readers may remember a Featured Reader post by my friend Jason VanBorssum . In that post I explained how he is one of the most talented home cooks I know, and so it came as no surprise that Jason and his cronies Jonathan Roberts and Nate Hicks (who it turns out are crazy-amazing chefs just like JVB) have started their own catering company Camden Drive. These guys did a tasting for me a few weeks ago that literally blew my mind it was so delicious! And so, I of course asked them if they’d contribute something to the blog. Below is their explanation of this magnificent Happy Hour pairing you see above.
Spring has sprung! And what better way to celebrate warmer weather than with an outdoor party? Nothing says goodbye to Old Man Winter like a backyard reception for friends, gathering to hoist festive cocktails and delicious nibblies amid warmer temperatures and the fragrant blossoms of Springtime. In this scene, courtesy of Jonathan Roberts, Nate Hicks & Jason VanBorssum, the “good life” visionaries behind Camden Drive, the Beverly Hills, CA-based purveyors of fine food and festivity, we’re inspired by a sumptuous bite of sweet-savory yumminess: Herbed Basmati Rice Cakes with Curried Crab “Haystacks” paired with a brand-new cocktail, the Bloody Delicious.
Classic, fresh and simple ingredients come together in both food and drink to create an explosion of flavor, delighting the taste buds. The satisfying texture of the rice, simply seasoned with a little butter, salt and fresh parsley forms a cookie cutter-sized platform for sweet, luxurious crab meat accented by the exotic suavity of curry. Its cocktail pairing, the Bloody Delicious, combines wildflower liqueur, fresh citrus and spirits; a zesty, sweet, lively and complex drink to awaken the senses and perfectly complement the salty/sweet richness of the food.
The Bloody Delicious:
2 – 3 Blood Oranges (in season now and available at most gourmet markets. If not readily available, they can be substituted with fresh Navel or Valencia Oranges. If substituting, please see color note, below*)
St. Germain liqueur (a delightfully herbal and sweet liqueur made from Elderflowers)
Zest/strip of orange peel, for garnish
*If Blood Oranges are not readily available, please substitute with fresh (not canned or bottled) orange juice. Before straining the cocktail in Martini glasses, pour 1 – 2 tbsp. of Grenadine into the bottom of the glass (for color).
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with very hard, very cold cracked ice. Add the juice of freshly squeezed blood oranges (2 oranges = one cocktail), a jigger of St. Germain, a jigger of Vodka, and a half-jigger of Cointreau. Shake gently (not vigorously, to minimize ice crystals) for 10 – 15 seconds, and strain into a cocktail (i.e., Martini) glass. The cocktail will have a bright red-orange color. Garnish with a strip of orange peel. It’s Bloody Delicious!