January 09 2015 – Robert Fiumara
If you’re a fan of the popular PBS series, Downton Abbey, you’ll be thrilled to learn that the fifth season premiered on January 4th. The popular show, which chronicles the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as they navigate the early twentieth century, is well-known for staying true to the time period, especially when it comes to dress, home furnishings, and food. The Crawley’s often host elaborate dinners and parties with food and drinks prepared by their chef, Mrs. Patmore. So, let’s put on that chef apron and look at some great recipes for your theme party!
Traditionally, a Downton Abbey meal would start with a seafood dish – either soup or a plate of oysters. For a simple but elaborate dish, try making Oysters with Champagne-Vinegar Mignonette. If you’re not a fan of oysters or think your guests will appreciate something that isn’t served raw, don your chef coat and prepare a traditional meal of Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce. Instead of serving a full dish of Beef Wellington, try delicious bite-sized Mini Beef Wellington Pot Pies for a simple twist on the traditional English main course.
Of course, no Downton Abbey theme party would be complete with tea, tea sandwiches, and biscuits. Enjoyed by the late Lady Sybil, Gingernut Biscuits are a great treat when paired with coffee or tea. If Lady Mary is more your style, you can cook up her favorite Earl Grey Cookies. For a traditional preparation, use a mortar and pestle to grind your tea leaves, like they would have done in the Downton Abbey kitchen. If you’re looking for something less sweet and more savory, try popular Cucumber Tea Sandwiches. This dish is easy to make and can be prepared quickly with just a few ingredients.
At the end of every big dinner, you’ll enjoy cocktails and dessert. Make sure your bar is stocked with plenty of liqueurs and mixers. For dessert, try the infamous Raspberry Meringue Pudding that Mrs. Patmore made… but remember to hold the salt! With a plan under your belt, donning your chef hat and whipping up some new takes on classic recipes will be easy. You’ll be well on your way to host a wonderful evening with friends and family.
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