I have been busy, very busy, but good busy. Those of you on my Facebook page would already know that Chaiparty has pretty much taken over our lives. Read all about it here. Its a lot of work, but absolutely rewarding at the same time. We are also doing themed lunches in the next coming months and cant wait to get started on the next big chaiparty in September. We also just got back from a holiday in Spain, which was eventful to say the least and I have also been busy attending a lot of fun food events around London, not to mention thoroughly enjoying summer, or what’s left of it.
A couple of weeks back I was invited to the Putting on the Ritz event where we were treated to some gorgeous cocktails and dips, all paired with the new Ritz thins. Ritz teamed up with supper club expert Alice Levine and the very popular mixologist Richard Woods (of Duck & Waffle) to come up with a series of tips, recipes and ideas to Ritz-Up socialising this summer. It was held at a stunning penthouse apartment in East London with amazing views over the city.
The 4 new flavours of oven-baked potato crisps from Ritz- Cream Cheese & Onion, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sweet Red Chilli and Sea Salt & Black Pepper- are delicious. They were paired with equally delicious dips, with the pea, mint and feta and the smoked paprika topping my list. Of course, the glamour side was intact with 4 very unique cocktails that were paired with the crisps. The weather was great, the company was good and we all had a nice time ‘Putting on the Ritz.’
I had to make the pea, mint and feta dip at home, especially after bragging about it to the husband. It turned out great and was wiped clean in a matter of hours while watching a movie. Of the cocktails that were served on the day, the Mates Martini, a (very) complicated version of the Bloody Mary was my favourite. Trust the cocktail expert Richard Woods to make things easy ;). Since i like complicated i decided to make it at home. It took me 2 days and a lot of patience to make the drink, but it was totally worth it. Yes, I do go out of my way for that perfect cocktail. I am however trying to figure out an easy way to do this mix, because you know, the urge to have a bloody Mary doesn’t quite last for 2 days.
Pea, mint and feta dip (Recipe adapted from Alice Levine who prepared this dip at Ritz event)
Frozen peas- 250 gms, thawed
Feta- 50 gms, crumbled
Fresh mint- 3 tbsp, roughly chopped
Garlic- 1 clove, chopped
Green chilli- 1/2 of a small one, chopped (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil- 2tbsp
Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Pepper- to taste
Blend together all the ingredients in a food processor and season to taste.
Add a splash of water if you would prefer it a bit loose.
Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle some olive oil on top, garnish with some mint leaves and serve as a dip with the Ritz Sea Salt and Vinegar.
Bloody Martini (Makes a little more than 2 drinks. Recipe adapted from Richard Woods who prepared the drink at the Ritz event)
Bloody Marry Consommé- 100ml (recipe below)
Ice cubes- 4
Bloody Marry Consommé
Ground black pepper- 2 gms
Sea salt- 1.5 gms
celery salt- 1 gm
Tabasco original- 5 dashes
Tabasco green- 8 dashes
Lemon juice- 1/2 tbsp
Worcestershire sauce- 8 dashes
Tomato juice- 300ml
Infuse the vodka with the basil leaves for about 24hrs. Make sure you don’t infuse it longer or else it would turn bitter.
Strain and use as required.
The consommé also needs to be made a day before.
Into a freezer safe container with lid, pour in the tomato juice and all the other ingredients and stir well.
Leave to infuse for about an hour and then put on the lid and place in the freezer.
The following morning, remove the frozen tomato mix from freezer and do a drip thaw, which essentially means you create a filter through which the block thaws naturally.
I used a muslin cloth and my sieve to do this.
This takes an entire day so patience is much advised.
You can make this in bulk, and it will keep for 7 days in the fridge.
To make the Martini, chill the martini glasses prior to serving.
Stir together the vodka and consommé along with the ice cubes until well chilled.
Strain into chilled glass, garnish with a floating basil leaf and serve.
With thanks to Ritz UK for inviting me to the event and for all the delicious crisps.