Category: Chartreuse

Tanis Inspired Cocktails 2 – Eld Fen Martini

There are wondrous things….

I conjured up the Eld Fen Martini based on a Twitter suggestion by the Tanis Podcast.  And here it is:

Eld Fen MartiniBut first….

What Is Eld Fen?

 Eld Fen also known as Old Fen or King Wurm is a….presence.  And it’s seriously fucking creepy.  Eld Fen sleeps in the darkest part  of the deepest forest. But it’s waking up.  And it’s coming…..

Ever walk alone in the woods and all of a sudden the hairs on the back of your neck prick up and you know something else is there?  You can’t see it or hear it….yet…but it’s there?  Just waiting? Now imagine doing that in the dark.  And you walk into  a circle of birch trees and the crisp smells of the forest fade into something that is sweet and swampy and rotten all at the same time. 

You thought you would be safe in the circle but you’ve turned around a few times trying to find the thing that is out there and now you have no idea which direction is home.  Which is scary because you’re out there in the dark all alone. 

Now multiply that fear by a thousand.  Because the truly frightening thing is that you’re not alone.  Because you’ve woken it up. And it’s coming. 

And when it does?  There will be blood. And madness.  And unspeakable horror. 

That’s Eld Fen.

There are magical things….

Sweet hopscotching Jesus!  I was trying to give you all the Tanis-y creepy chill and managed to scare myself!.  Good thing I’ve got a lovely martini to calm me down!

Eld Fen Martini5

What Is The Eld Fen Martini?

It’s an Eld(erflower) and Fen(nel) Martini with a splash of Chartreuse. So it’s sweet from the Elderflowers, anisey (Tanis – y?) from the fennel and herby from the Chartreuse. Delicious.  The perfect pick me up after a hard day’s work searching for a place that may or may not exist.  And may make people crazy when they find it. 

The hardest thing about making the Eld Fen Martini was trying to walk the line between making something that conveyed the swampy, sickly  aspects of Eld Fen without making it so disgusting that no one would ever want to drink it.  I felt my first attempt, which did not have the Chartreuse, was too pretty, this did not at all convey swampy, hint of pus look I wanted. 

Eld Fen Martini2Hmm….

I bet you never read that last sentence in a food blog before. And now you know why I chose Eld Fen over Hint Of Pus Martini. 

What do you mean you don’t want to have a drink with me?  It’s not real pus.  It’s Chartreuse. Made by Monks.  And not those spooky Order of Cenophus Monks from The Black Tapes.  These are proper French Monks who are far too busy tending their garden of 130 herbs so they can make lovely, delicious Chartreuse to:

  1. Kidnap an itinerant
  2. Rip someone else’s face off. 
  3. Sew said face onto itinerant
  4. Push itinerant off a monastery tower.

Oh FFS, as if I hadn’t already scared myself enough with Eld Fen.  Now I’m freaking out about murderous monks!

There are dangerous things….

Eld Fen Martini 7I wanted the garnish on the Eld Fen to maintain the dark edge.  My favorite maraschino cherry was just a little bit too perky for this.  So I went with a blueberry /blackberry garnish.  And OMG, if you give these a teeny squish?  They start to release little lines of juice which look like veins or splashes of blood! Perfect!

Eld FEn Martini 8

You Get What You Deserve

Here’s the recipe.

Eld Fen Martini
Serves 1
A delicious and refreshing cocktail inspired by the Tanis Podcast
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For The Fennel Syrup
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  4. 1 medium bulb fresh fennel, roughly chopped
For The Eld Fen Martini
  1. 30ml Fennel Syrup
  2. 30ml Vodka
  3. 30ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  4. Juice of 1/2 a lime
  5. Splash of Chartreuse
  6. Ice
For The Garnish
  1. 2 blueberries
  2. 1 blackberry
For The Fennel Simple Syrup
  1. Give the fennel seeds a few good whacks with a pestle or heavy rolling pin.
  2. Place the water, sugar, fennel seeds and chopped fennel in a small pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Strain to remove the fennel and fennel seeds.
  6. Place in fridge until required.
For The Cocktail
  1. Chill your martini glass.
  2. Pour the vodka, St Germain, fennel simple syrup, lime juice and Chartreuse into a shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake, baby, shake.
  4. Pour into your martini glass.
  5. Garnish with blueberries and blackberry that have been slightly bruised to release some juice.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You will have enough Fennel Simple Syrup to make plenty of these!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Eld Fen Martini9

To find Eld Fen, you need a Navigator. 

Why you would want to find Eld Fen is utterly beyond me.  Is your tv broken?  Play some Words With Friends, read a book, write a blog, take up yoga…there are so many things you could do with your life that do not entail pushing you to the brink of sanity and life itself.  But if you must find Eld Fen…you’ll need a navigator.  And that’s where we’ll go next time….

In the meantime, keep looking.

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Giddy-Up, It’s a Melbourne Cup Pineapple Double

Those of you who don’t live in Australia may be unaware that the Melbourne Cup is run on the first Tuesday in November.  The Melbourne Cup is our version of the Kentucky Derby  or Ascot or  the <<insert the biggest horse race from your country here>>.

Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer
Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer

They call it the race that stops a nation because, come tomorrow  at around 3:00pm, just about everyone in the country will stop what they are doing to watch, or listen to, the running of the Cup.  If you happen to live in Melbourne, you get to stop for a hell of a lot more than that.  We get the WHOLE day off work.  Seriously.  We don’t go to work all day because for about 5 minutes in the afternoon some horses run around a track.  It’s awesome, the most mad and random holiday ever!!! 

 And because we’re not working, if people aren’t actually going to the races, they have parties and bbq’s or set up parties in the car park at the track, kind of like tail gating but classier.  Every one dresses up and the weather is generally good – it’s party time here!!!    Apart from the hay fever.  That’s still sucking. 

Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer
Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer

And what better way to celebrate your Cup Day holiday, than this adorable vintage salad from Rosemary Mayne-Wilson’s Salads for All Seasons and the accompanying MC Cocktail which I made up to go along with it?

The unifying element between the two is pineapple.  And can I just say.  Forget Chanel #5.  Forget even this gorgeous Sohum Mint Tea perfume which is my current favourite perfume (Notice how even my perfume is named after food?)

Sohum Mint Tea

Pineapple has got to be the best smell in the world.  When I opened that can?  I  just wanted to take a big swim in that glorious scent.  Soooo good. And yes, I used pineapple from a can.  Fresh pineapple is great.  If you happen to live in Cambodia…OMG, the best, sweetest most heaven scented pineapple ever…or you have a couple of spare hours to pfaff about with peeling and coring and taking the eyes out and blah blah blah.  As far as I am concerned, canned pineapple is the way to go.

Melbourne Cup Appetiser 3
Melbourne Cup Appetiser 3

What was not so good was the tinned crab.  It was….fairly bland is a nice way of putting it.  Completely tasteless would be another.  Despite that, the pineapple was sweet and the dressing was surprisingly good.  I think that if you used fresh crab meat this would become super good.

RMW recommends decorating this with crab legs.  Even if I had made this using fresh crab I would find that a bit creepy.  I used some chopped up chives and mint (both can I add, fresh from my garden)!

Alternatively you could forgo piling the crab into and onto the pineapple rings and mix them together and serve in these amazing bits of crabby kitsch!

Crab Salad Bowls
Crab Salad Bowls

 I would still use the watercress to line the crab bowls.  That peppery goodness added a real bit of zing to this dish.

But I will tell you something totally weird.  As I was making it, I believed I had spotted a huge flaw in the logic of this salad.  Cos that’s the kind of thing I think about,  The logic of food.  As I may have said a couple of times before, it’s nice to see that Philosophy major isn’t going to waste!

So, here was my concern.  You pile your crab meat onto and into the hole of your pineapple ring.  However, the law of gravity would suggest that when you picked up your pineapple ring that the crab meat in the hole would not, should not lift with the ring….

Weird thing is?  It totally does.  Well nearly totally does.  A smidgeon of crab may remain on the plate but it will lift.  You need to pack it in fairly tight though.

I would definitely make this again.  But I would definitely use fresh crab meat. 

MC - Midori and Chartreuse Cocktail
MC – Midori and Chartreuse Cocktail

So, what do you do with the leftover juice from the can of pineapple?  Well, if life gives you pineapple juice, I say make a super refreshing and tasty as hell cocktail.  I also happened to have a bottle of Midori hanging about.  It was given to me as a housewarming present when I moved into my old apartment.  How on earth it managed to survive 13 years I have no idea.  Anyway on that bottle was a tag and on that tag was a recipe for a cocktail called a 24/7 which was Midori, Chartreuse, lime cordial and pineapple juice.  I made this and it was ok.  Then I made a second one where I subbed in some fresh lemon juice for the lime cordial and it was much better.  Then I made a third…(see what I mean about being surprised that bottle hadn’t been drained long ago?)  where I added a splash of ginger beer.  And ladies and gentlemen, we had a winner!

The MC Cocktail
The MC Cocktail

I’m calling my version the MC – Midori and Chartreuse, Melbourne Cup…

 Oh, and the left over salad dressing?  Was really good on some oysters the following day! It had that Bloody Mary Shot vibe about it.  Kind of retro in it’s own way!

Oysters with Tomato - Horseradish Dressing
Oysters with Tomato – Horseradish Dressing

 I will be spending Cup Day cooking up a Joan Crawford inspired Romantic dinner for two courtesy of Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers…stay tuned, I think it’s going to be awesome!  Whatever you do, I hope it’s fabulous!

Melbourne Cup Crab & Pineapple Appetizer and MC Cocktail

Melbourne Cup Crab & Pineapple Appetizer and MC Cocktail

Ingredients

    For the Appetizer
  • 6 pineapple rings
  • 400grams (14oz) crab meat (preferably fresh)
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • Mint and Chopped Chives to serve (optional)
  • For The Tomato Horseradish Dressing
  • 1 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • For the MC Cocktail
  • 30ml (1 oz) Midori
  • 15 ml (1/2 oz) green chartreuse
  • 15 ml (1/2 oz) lemon juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Ginger Beer
  • Ice

Instructions

    For the Tomato - Horseradish dressing (can be made in advance)
  • Mix all the ingredients together and chill
  • For the Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer
  • Arrange the watercress on a large plate or six small plates.
  • Place the pineapple on top of the watercress.
  • Mix 1-2 tsp of the dressing through the crab -just enough to help it stick together. Pile the crab onto the pineapple rings
  • Spoon a little bit of the sauce over the crab (a little goes a long way, so go easy) or serve the dressing on the side. Sprinkle with the chives and mint.
  • For the MC Cocktail
  • Fill a long glass with ice. Add the Midori, Green Chartreuse and Lemon Juice. Add pineapple juice to about 2 cm below the rim of the glass.
  • Top with ginger beer.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2014/11/03/giddy-melbourne-cup/

 

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