Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cocktails and Canapes for Women's World Cup 2015: 3rd/4th place play off

Much to my disappointment England did not make it to the finals and therefore tonight they are in the third & fourth place play offs where they meet Germany. The game is scheduled early enough that those of us on European time can watch it without having to lose all of our sleep. The World Cup final between USA and Japan is tomorrow, and it is scheduled way too late for me, so this is the last game I shall watch live, but it has been a great few weeks.
I'm breaking with the pattern today and making a cocktail for one country and a canape for the other. The theme is what does one country joke about to the other. I rarely go on beach/resort holidays so reserving a sun lounger is not something I have any experience of but the Germans have a huge reputation for parking their beach towels on the sun loungers well before anyone else gets up to beat them to it. So my cocktail is for Germany, and it is the 'Beach Towel'.
Now you might ask why none of us from England can beat them to the towel on lounger game but if common belief is right we are in a bit of a mess in the morning from sitting in the boiling hot sun all day and boozing all night. Now I really wanted to do a lobster canape for this theme as lobster red is the colour so many of us will apparently be after one day on holiday but I thought of this all too late to buy a decent lobster. Perhaps being lousy at planning might be another suitable theme! So the canape I have gone with for England is a boozy prawn cocktail. The booze in the dressing is a dash of vodka, and otherwise this is the classic prawns in pink mayo dressing and that pink mayo includes tomato ketchup. This is traditional, I'm not pretending it is the best way to serve prawns.

The Cocktail recipe is from Saveur Magazine website. It is made up of two layers, the lower strawberry layer is frozen. I did not like the idea of freezing the glass with the strawberry layer in it so I froze this mixture separately like a sorbet and placed it in a chilled glass at the last minute. The top banana layer was then carefully poured in trying not to mix the two together.

Here is the recipe with method as published:

For 2 Beach Towel Cocktails

4 oz. white rum
3 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. fresh lime juice
10 strawberries
1⁄2 oz. double cream
1 small banana, sliced

For the Frozen Strawberry Layer:
Puree half the rum, syrup, juice, berries, and 1 1⁄2 cups ice in a blender. Pour into 2 glasses; freeze.

For the Creamy Banana Layer
Puree remaining rum, syrup, juice, cream, bananas, and 1 1⁄2 cups ice. 

Pour the banana layer over the frozen strawberry layer. Decorate the glass as you wish. Spoons, straws may be useful.

Serve straight away as the layers bleed into each other as it starts to melt. This was the first time I had tried making a frozen cocktail; think of it as an adult slush puppy!
There is a really detailed discussion of how to make a perfect prawn cocktail on the Guardian website  and although I am not following the winning  recipe it is really not far from what I think of as classic prawn cocktail and I have made the dressing in the same way except for using vodka instead of brandy.
You will need:
Large prawns
Crisp green salad leaves
Marie Rose Dressing
4 parts mayonnaise
one half part tomato ketchup
one quarter part Worcestershire sauce
one quarter part lemon juice
one quarter part vodka
tabasco to taste

Mix the prepared prawns into the dressing and serve with crisp lettuce/sweet salad leaves.

You do not want too much sauce and you need to make sure the prawns are quite well drained/dry if they have been frozen. Otherwise if still thawing prawns are added to the sauce water melting off from the frozen prawns will dilute the sauce into something too watery and unattractive.

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