Category: Wine

The Pink Pornstar

Hello.  Hi.  Welcome to the post that will probably get the most search engine hits ever.  And also the highest number of people leaving bitterly disappointed. 

Just so we’re clear?  It’s a cocktail.  

If you’ve come here for ANYTHING except a martini? 

Then this is not for you. 

Don’t even stay around to comment on how upset you are.  Just form an orderly queue at the door and leave.  Quietly. 

And delete your search engine history. 

Pink Pornstar2

Okay, so now that all the perverts are gone lets talk about the Pornstar Martini.  Vanilla Vodka.  Passionfruit Liqueur.  Lime. Passionfruit.  With some sparkling wine on the side.

It’s the best!  Which is why I don’t understand how it took me so long to taste one!  I had my first Pornstar Martini  in London this year!  Which is kind of appropriate because that’s where they were invented back in 2002 by Douglas Ankrah at the Townhouse Bar in Knightsbridge which is again appropriate because that’s where I was staying. Knightsbridge not the bar!  Despite all this synchronicity I had my first Pornstar Martini at an All Bar One in the West End.  Thank you Monica for the introduction to what has become my favourite cocktail.

 

Pink Pornstar3

 

I knew right from the start that I wanted to blog this drink!  It is just soooo good!  Sweet from the vanilla vodka, tangy from the passionfruit and lime, with a crisp finish from the sparkling wine!  It’s also very festive so perfect for the season.  What am I  saying?  It’s good at anytime!

For a classic Pornstar Martini look no further than the ever reliable Difford’s Guide.  

For a RFFMT’s take?  Keep reading!  And don’t for one second think that this take only came about because…ahem…”someone”  forgot they had planned to make this and bought pink sparkling wine instead of Prosecco!   

The main change I made in creating the Pink Pornstar was that because sparkling rosé is sweeter than normal sparkling wine I had to counter that sweetness somehow. That was easy enough to do simply by omitting the simple syrup from the original recipe and adding a little bit of vanilla paste into the shaker!  Here’s the recipe:

The Pink Pornstar
Serves 1
A delicious and pretty cocktail!
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Ingredients
  1. 60 ml Vanilla Vodka
  2. 1 1/2 passionfruit
  3. 15 ml Passoa Passionfruit Liqueur
  4. 15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 60 ml Sparkling Rose
  7. Ice
Instructions
  1. Add a large handful of ice into your cocktail shaker.
  2. Add thee vanilla vodka, the seeds and pulp from 1 passionfruit, the Passoa, lime juice and vanilla extract.
  3. Shake, shake shake. You need to get this nice and cold!
  4. Strain and pour into your cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with the 1/2 passionfruit.
  6. Serve alongside a glass of sparkling rose.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you do not have vanilla vodka, Difford's tells you how to make it.
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, given that the Pink Pornstar is really a drink of three parts, how exactly are you supposed to drink it?

Anyway you like but here are some options:

The Pink Pornstar Purist

Keeps the elements separate.

  • First eats the passionfruit garnish.
  • Then drinks the sparkling.
  • Then the Martini.

The reverse purist does the same but swaps the order of the sparkling and the martini.

Pornstar Martini 5

The Mambo 5 Pink Pornstar Picker

Remember that Lou Bega song from back in the day?  It’s in my mind at the mo because we are doing it in my dance class.  Well the chorus of that song goes:

A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita is all I need
A little bit of Tina is what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun
A little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man

The Mambo #5 Pink Pornstar Picker similarly repeats this actions until the drink is gone:

A little bit of passionfruit at first

A little bit of sparkling for the thirst

A little bit of ‘tini for the burst….

 

The burst? That’s the worst!  Let’s move very swiftly away and pretend that never happened!  The final type?

The Pink Pornstar Punchster

Combines everything in the one glass so they can have a bit of everything all together.  This is my favorite way of drinking it but I would love to hear if you think differently!

Okay all that remains now is to say best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful festive season! 

And beware the creepy Santas.

 

Moules Marinieres

Today we are heading back into The A-Z of Cooking to the chapter called Wine For a Change.  And on the menu is the classic French dish of Moules Marinieres.  This is one of my favourite dishes.  I probably make this around once a month – it ticks all my boxes – it’s healthy, it’s quick and it’s cheap and so, so, tasty!  Over the years my recipe has evolved so now I have my favourite version of Moules Marinieres which I will list below alongside a more pared back version from The A-Z.  
Moules Marinieres
Before we get into the Moules lets talk about this chapter.  Wine for a Change.  Not around here it isn’t. Around here it’s a basic food group.  So there goes that title.  There are some good recipes in this section.  The Moules, Coq au vin, Peaches in Wine….oh and veal kidneys with Marsala. 

You can’t win ’em all. (Sigh)

If the thought of veal kidneys with anything isn’t off-putting enough on its own, the picture is truly unsettling (It’s also at the very bottom of this post if you are brave enough). 

Moules Marinieres loosely translates as Sailor’s Mussels.  Be careful of your spelling if googling this.  You could end up with this: 

Hot damn! Ladies (and possibly gentlemen), don’t ever say I don’t give you anything.  Merry Christmas.  Happy Birthday and Goodnight Irene!

Where were we?  I seem to have lost my entire train of thought.  

Oh yeah, mussels.  The thing that takes the longest with the Moules Marinieres is all your prep work.  First you have to debeard and scrub all of your mussels.

Then cut up your veggies for your mirepoix  I use carrot, celery, fennel and onion in mine.  And for seasoning salt (I used the Port infused salt I bought in Portugal) peppercorns, a pinch of chilli flakes and a smashed garlic clove.

Mirepoix2

 

Cook these down then add some white wine and a splash of Pernod (optional but goes really well with the fennel and the mussels).  Cook these down a bit – the longer the better! Then add wine, Pernod if using and stock and bring to the boil.  Add the mussels.  Add a lid.  Shake the pan occasionally and in all of about 5 minutes you will have a piping hot bowl of mussels with a deliciously tasty broth.  

Moules Marinieres are great with bread to soak up all that broth.  And if that bread happens to be a tasty warm loaf of crusty garlic bread?  Heaven…I”m in heaven….

This time though I made mussels other best friend…frites.  With aioli.  Hard to tell from the pictures but there were three types of frites – potato, sweet potato and parsnip. 

Frites

 

The great thing about this recipe is that it is amenable to all sorts of changes.  Don’t like cream?  Don’t add it.  I quite often will throw in a can of tinned tomatoes.  Also, (and this is where i am sure I will have the purists tutting at me) if you can’t be arsed debearding and scrubbing the mussels, most supermarkets now sell frozen mussel meat.  I  always have a pack of this in my freezer so can whip this up at any time.  One codicil on that though.  The shells on fresh mussels do seem to add some extra flavour.  If using mussel meat alone be sure to use a really good fish stock in your broth!

Here is the original recipe from The A-Z of Cooking and the original picture.  I cannot tell you how much I  love and covet that terracotta mussel pot.  Straight to the top of my list of kitchen must haves!!!  

Moules Recipe

Moules A-Z

And here is my slightly fancier version:

Moules Marinieres (With Frites)
A classic French seafood dish
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For The Mussels
  1. 4 dozen mussels
  2. 125 ml dry white wine (I used a semillon sauvignon blanc)
  3. 250ml fish or vegetable stock
  4. 1 bouquet garni
  5. 1 carrot finely diced
  6. 1/2 fennel finey diced
  7. 2 stalks celery finety diced
  8. 1 snall red onion finely diced
  9. 1 garlic clove, crushe
  10. 6 black peppercorns
  11. 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  12. salt
  13. 3 tbsp cream
  14. 1 tbsp chopped parsley
For the Frites
  1. 2 potatoes julienned
  2. 1 large sweet potato, julienned
  3. 3 parsnips, julienned
  4. Olive oil
  5. Salt
For the Aioli
  1. 3 cloves of garlic, roasted with the frites for 15 minutes
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  4. 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  5. 1/2 cup olive oil or a blend of olive and vegetable oil
  6. Salt and Pepper
For The Frites
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  2. Toss the julienned veggies and 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic (for the aioli) into a bowl with a glug of olive oil, and some salt.
  3. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 15 – 30 minutes (depending on size of the fries) or until golden brown, flipping halfway through. At the half way mark, remove the garlic cloves and make the aioli.
For The Aioli
  1. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins and add to a foo processor with the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard until combined and smooth.
  2. With the food processor running add the oil in a thin stream until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
For the Mussels
  1. Scrub and debeard the mussels, discarding any that are open or have holes in them. Run cold water over them and drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, fennel, onion and celery, salt, pepper and chilli if using and stir occasionally until softened (around 5 minutes).
  3. Add the wine, stock pernod and boquet garni. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mussels to the pan. Close the lid and cook for around 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan every now and again.
  5. Remove the mussels from the pan and keep warm.
  6. Turn up the heat on the liquid left in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about a third.
  7. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
  8. Swirl in the cream.
  9. Pour the sauce over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the frites and aioli.
  10. Bon Appetit!
Notes
  1. This dish originates from the Normandy region of France. Another variation that is true to the region is to sub out the white wine and pernod and to use cider instead!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, there is only ONE Chapter left in The A-Z!  Will I be able to get it out before Christmas? 

Absolutely not because one of the key ingredients will be a Christmas leftover.  And yes, I will be slapping people’s hands away from the plate if there is even the remotest chance of there not being enough leftovers to make it!

Will there be another post of any sort before the big day?

Almost definitely! 

See you in a couple of days!  

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
  Oh and for the bravest o the brave?   Here are those veal kidneys:

Thirsty Thursday – Airmail Cocktail

Gentlemen, don your fedoras and your double-breasted suits.  Ladies, it’s time to channel classic Chanel or Greta Garbo or Joan Crawford.  Because today we are stepping back into the glamour days of the 1930’s.  More specifically Cuba in the 1930’s so you might also want to put your mambo shoes on….because by the end of this post and after a few Airmails –  you might be doing your own little dance of joy. I certainly was.

I have added to the glamour by using a glass pilfered from her Maj herself!  Or bought at the Buckingham Palace gift shop…you can decide which of those

a) makes a better story

b) is actually the truth

and believe accordingly.

But first…let’s take some rum, of course, we’re in Cuba after all.  Then add a little honey for sweetness, lime for a sour note and to add that touch of glamour…what else but some bubbles….and voila…you have an Airmail.  The Airmail was created in Cuba to celebrate the height of technological sophistication (and social correctness) that was airmail.  You know, we may snigger these days but no one’s celebrating What’s App or FB Messenger with a cocktail.  Are they?  (Quickly googles…to ensure veracity of last statement).  No they are not!  Nor is anyone touting their social correctness either. 

But let’s set the scene..this is Cuba…around the time of the birth of the Airmail and a few more happy snaps of the objêt itself. 

Airmail3 Airmail4 Fun times!

For your own fun time, here’s the recipe!

Airmail recipeAnd for a semi related link, here is some brilliant dancing, much of it from the era of the Airmail, mixed to Bruno Mars.  This is my favourite youtube at the moment – I must have watched it about 100 times…and that’s just this week.  We do this song in my dance class and I only wish we were busting some of the moves featured here…

Why not pour yourself an Airmail and watch.  Hell, have two and join in!

Finally – if you love the thought of the rum, honey and lime but hate sparkling wine? 

Leave it out. 

Instead of an Airmail you now have a Honeysuckle. 

I hope you all enjoyed this post.  Ha…you didn’t honestly think I was going to let that golden opportunity for a pun pass with out comment did you?.  I just hope it got your stamp of approval.  I thought it was first class but if you feel that  failed to address the issue, or that my delivery lacked some punch feel free to express your opinion in the comments below.  Dont be a-freight….

Aaaaaaand, I’m done. 

Consider this post signed, sealed and delivered.

Have a wonderful week!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

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Cheery Cherry Sangria

This post’s name came from the fact that I totally read the name of this recipe incorrectly.  More than once.  I swear, the first four times looked at it I  thought it was called Cheery Sangria.  I even wrote it that way on my “meal” planner.  Cheery Sangria.  It was only when I was writing the ingredients on my shopping list that I paused.  “Oh.  It has cherries in it.  That’s cute, they made a pun.”  Well, it turns out, they didn’t.  But I did.  And we all know how much I love that!  So, technically what we’re drinking today is CHERRY sangria.  But you know what?  It brought a touch of the sun and warmth of Portugal into a totally cold, wet and grey Melbourne winter day so I think Cheery Sangria works just as well!!

Yes, I’m back from holiday.  And determined to make Sangria my drink of choice for this summer. It’s just so good!!! Wine and fruit and a little bit o the hard stuff….it really doesn’t get much better.  Mind you, summer has to come first.  And at the moment, it seems a long time away. 

The best Sangria I had overseas was in Portugal – a teeny cafe in Faro.  Here I am drinking one….

SangriaThe Portuguese,they are a people after my own heart. They have a cherry liqueur called Ginja which is commonly drunk for breakfast.  Speaking of which…when the breakfast buffet contains both Portuguese egg tarts and sparkling wine, I know I have found my people!

Sangria 5

Cheery times!  And cheersy times!!!  But now onto some cherry times.

The cherry sangria I made is pretty hearty.  It has loads of strong, spicy flavours which made it suitable for a cold winter’s day.  I also totally forgot to add the cinnamon stick but that would have only made it even better!  The gorgeous deep red colour is also so pretty and warming.  I also used cherries and sparkling wine to remind me of the Portuguese breakfast drinks of Ginja and cava!

But let’s start with some fruit.  Limes, blood oranges and, of course cherries make for a tasty and colourful combination!

Cherry Sangria2Then add some tequila for a kick, grenadine for sweetness and a teeny taste of Tabasco for spice and muddle the fruit to get some juicy, fruity flavours.  (Pre-muddle is also when the cinnamon should have been added).

Sangria3Top with orange juice and some sparkling red wine…and voila…cherry sangria!

Sangria4Salud!

 

Cherry Sangria
A hearty sangria, perfect for bringing the warmth of Portugal into the coldest winter's day.
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Ingredients
  1. 500ml chilled sparkling shiraz (you can also use non-sparkling shiraz)
  2. 500ml chilled orange juice
  3. 2 tbsp tequila
  4. 2 tbsp grenadine
  5. splash of Tabasco sauce
  6. 1 cinnamon stick
  7. 500g cherries
  8. 2 limes, cut into eigths
  9. 2 blood oranges, sliced
  10. Mint leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Place the lime wedges and the slices from one of the oranges into your jug. Add half the cherries. Halve the remaning cherries and add them to the rest of the fruit.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, grenadine, tequila and tabasco
  3. Muddle the fruit to express some of the juices.
  4. Add the orange juice and sparkling shiraz and stir well.
  5. Place a slice of orange and a few mint leaves in each glass and pour the sangria over.
  6. Serve immediately.
  7. Olé!
Adapted from Australian Table Magazine, December 2001 edition
Adapted from Australian Table Magazine, December 2001 edition
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Sangria6

 

Have a great week! 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

Potted Cheese – Delicious Food, Impossible Ingredients

Hey there people of the internet! 

Take a look at this super delicious snack plate.  Good at any time – but my favourite? A snack plate, a sunny Sunday afternoon,sitting on my balcony with  a good book and a cheeky glass of wine =  heaven!

Potted Cheese 7

The star of this particular snack plate is some potted cheese.  .  

Which sadly relies on two ingredients that may as well be unicorn’s tears and dragon’s blood for the times they have ever been available in this kitchen.  Just one of them is nigh on a miracle and as for both, you had better go outside and look up because that moon out there will be bluer than Tobias Funke! 

So what are these two magical, nigh on mythical substances?

  • Leftover cheese
  • Leftover wine

Whoever has them?  No one I want as a friend!

My cheeses were the remnants….actually it even pains me to say that.  The cheeses were items from a cheese platter (probably the previous weeks snacking plate) that I had  just not got around to eating yet. And I cheated and opened a bottle of wine to make this.

Potted CheeseI used a goat’s cheese, a blue cheese, a pecorino pepato and some cheddar.  You can use any cheese you have. 

First up, place all your bits of cheese into a food processor and whiz it up!  Then add in your flavourings – I added port, a splash of red wine, Worchestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and then, because it was a little dry after the first whiz through, a little more port and a bit of cream.  My recipe is based on a classic one by Jane Grigson but you can play with the flavourings to suit your palate and your mix of cheese.

Potted Cheese2

Once you have whizzed it all up , pop it into a pot:

Potted Cheese3

The next step is optional but traditionally the pot was then sealed with a layer of clarified butter:

Potted Cheese 4Why Potted Cheese?

The idea behind potted cheese is simple.  Back in the day when refrigeration was not as it is today, cheese was far more perishable than now. Potting your ends of cheese prolonged it’s life – I’m guessing the booze helped to preserve it whilst the clarified butter seal stopped bacteria getting in. 

Nowadays, it is done more because it tastes delicious than for the preserving factor.

Potted Cheese 8

What Can You Do With Potted Cheese?

OMG, so much.  Have it on crackers with a glass of wine! Quick, easy, delicious.  

Potted Cheese 9

Replace regular cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich!  Here is my salami, potted cheese, red onion and tomato version. With a pickle to add some sharpness. 

So much oozy goodness!

Potted Cheese 5I haven’t made these next lot but I think potted cheese would be delicious used in the following ways:

  • Replace sour cream in a baked potato.  Or add it to chips and gravy for a take on a poutine. 
  • Saute some bacon or steam some broccoli (or do both), cook up some pasta, top with potted cheese and stir through the bacon or broccoli
  • Fill celery sticks, add a topping of chopped walnuts
  • Replace crackers on a snack plate with slices of apple or pear
  • Heat up a dollop, add some more cream if necesary and use as a mornay  or gratin sauce over anything you want to mornay or gratin
  • Spread it on bread, make up a savory custard and you have a super strata to go!

Potted Cheese
A delicious way to use up leftover cheese and wine! I
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Ingredients
  1. 250g cheese - whatever you have.
  2. 90g softened butter
  3. 2 generous Tablespoons Verdelho Madeira, tawny Port or Amontillado Sherry or wine
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or Tabasco)
  5. ¼ teaspoon mace, (optional)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard
  7. A splash of Worcestershire
  8. Melted clarified butter (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whiz all the ingredients except the clarified butter in a food processor until it forms a thick paste.
  2. Place into small pots.
  3. Top with the clarified butter and place in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop
Notes
  1. I added a splash of cream because my mix was quite dry and I thought adding more wine or port would make it too boozy. (Yes, there is such a thing!).
Adapted from Jane Grigson
Adapted from Jane Grigson
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, it’s Sunday and whilst not balcony sitting weather at all, I’ve got the fire going and Hollow City, the second book of  Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children good to go, so excuse me, I have a potted cheese snack plate to prepare!  Dammit! Speaking of YA literature just made me realise  I should have saved this for when The Cursed Child, the new Harry Potter comes out.  I could have filled it with Harry Potter of cheese gags!  Stay tuned for the re-post!

Have a fab week! 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

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