Yes, I’m using apples again. I want to share a simple recipe for a warm after dinner drink, which I’ll be serving at a dinner party tomorrow.
I knew this would be a busy week, so I chose the menu accordingly. The themes are Fall and French Bistro. I am making a Salmon Mousse appetizer, Blanquette de Veau (Veal Stew with White Sauce), Pomme Anne (a potato tart made with layered thin potato slices), Fennel Arugula Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, and two cheese plates. I chose a peppery blue cheese and a nice Camembert that I will heat and serve with apricot jam.
We’ll be ending the meal with Chocolate Mousse with Candied Almonds, and my Warm Apple Rum Drink.
That may sound like a lot, but honestly- the potato dish is the only one that requires a the most active time and energy. Veal stews by itself for hours, the salad and cheese plates are easy and quick to assemble, and chocolate mousse is one of the fastest desserts to prepare.
Here’s how I spread things out:
Thursday- grocery shopping, made salmon mousse (can be refrigerated up to 2 days)
Friday- chocolate mousse, candied almonds, apple drink (without rum)
Saturday- Morning: Veal-let stew all day, assemble salad without dressing, assemble cheese plates/ A few hours before party, make potato tart
Right before serving, I add dressing, add honey and other garnishes to cheese plate, and reheat the veal and potato. And a few friends always end up assisting with things here and there in the kitchen.
To serve the mousse, I pipe it onto plates and garnish with the candied almonds. Before serving the Warm Apple Drink, I add the rum, reheat slightly, and pour into glasses with a cinnamon stick and slice of apple (the apple that’s been used to flavor the drink).
I enjoy all the little distractions from work during the week. It’s nice to use my hands and satisfy my senses while escaping from the flat computer screen!
On Sunday I will post all the details, recipes and pictures from the dinner party. For now, here is one part of the menu that is super easy, for which you certainly don’t need a special occasion. Any cozy, cool fall night is the right setting for this drink:
WARM APPLE RUM DRINK (8 servings)
- -1 quart apple juice
- -1 quart apple cider
- -1 apple, studded with cloves (got that idea from Emeril)
- -1 tbs grated orange peel
- -2/3 cup brown sugar-(use just 1/3 if the apple juice youre using is sweetened).
- a dash cinnamon
- a grating of nutmeg
- (i love clove, so i add more sprinklings of clove)
- 1 cup dark rum (i like to add 2 cups, but keep in mind people may be driving soon after this after-dinner drink).
- -3 tbs grand marnier (optional)
- Stud the apple with cloves
- -Mix first 7 ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Once it starts simmering, let it continue to simmer for 12 minutes.
- -Take off of heat, remove apple, and strain.
(you can do all of this 1 day before serving)
Before serving- add rum and reheat until just warm. Do not heat for too long, and do NOT boil. This will reduce the flavor of the rum.
Pour into glasses, and garnish with a slice of the cloved boiled apple, and a cinnamon stick.
If you wish, add a small drop of grand marnier to each glass.