The second installment of Eric Ripert’s Dinner Social event was a holiday cocktail party theme. We were having trouble finding a slot on our calendars and wound up doing a cocktail brunch. What better way to start a day than with some festive cocktails and hors d’ouevres?
photo by Alison
Alison of The Humble Gourmand hosted this time, and prepared the cranberry champagne cocktails, pita and spreads, and lettuce-wrapped beef rolls.
Tiffany of The Garden Apartment made the wonderfully crisp and flavorful cheese straws with cayenne and pistachios, and shrimp and chorizo skewers.
April of The Food Scribe made creamy smoked salmon deviled eggs — with creme fraiche in lieu of mayonnaise — and spiked apple cider.
And I made the portobella mushroom fries with truffled aioli and the ginger-infused bourbon smash. The fries were simple, seasoned with good pecorino and dried thyme, and were definitely addictive. The toddler even enjoyed the leftovers, asking for more when they ran out. I will definitely be making them again soon!
The cocktail called for muddling fresh ginger, lemon slices, and sugar cubes. Instead I made a ginger simple syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 2-inch peeled piece of fresh ginger, sliced; bring to boil, cover and reduce to low simmer for 10 minutes), then muddled lemons and a little more fresh ginger. I don’t usually like bourbon but I really enjoyed the blend of the smoky liquor with ginger and lemons.
It was a shame we were rushed to get on with our other obligations for the day, but it was a fun time enjoying great food (and photography practice) with friends. If you have a cocktail party on your agenda, check out Chef Ripert’s recipes for some tasty inspiration.