And the saga continues of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them in their lovely estate in the English countryside. Downton Abbey returns in a new movie sure to delight those of us who faithfully watched the British historical period drama television series.
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In anticipation, I am updating a post from 2014 with a meal reminiscent of what Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, his wife Cora, daughters Mary, Edith and Sybil and of course, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham might share over lively conversation.
Join in the festivities and invite a few friends over or share an intimate dinner with your stately gentleman for a charming evening. The menu is short and the recipes aren’t complicated. The lavish meals of this Edwardian era would consist of many courses, ranging from six to 22! This Downton Abbey dinner is better suited for four guests.
The Menu and the recipes
Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Rosemary
recipe source: allrecipes
- 4 Cornish game hens
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 24 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Rub hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over hens. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.
Transfer hens to a platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Pour any cavity juices into the roasting pan.
Pan juice reduction
Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.
Baked Asparagus with Balsamic and Butter
recipe source: Allrecipes
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
- cooking spray
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake asparagus 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender.
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Pour over the baked asparagus to serve.
Decadent Duchess Potatoes
slightly adapted from recipe source: Simply Recipes
- 2 pounds potatoes (Yukon Golds work best), peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- salt and pepper
- 3 egg yolks
Place potatoes in a medium to large pot and cover with a couple inches of cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes.
While the potatoes are boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside. You will use this butter to coat the potatoes right before they go in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander and put the potatoes back in the pot set over low heat for a minute or so, allowing them to dry and release steam.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter and mash the potatoes until the butter has been incorporated. Add the nutmeg, black pepper and heavy cream and continue mashing the potatoes. Once everything is incorporated, add salt and pepper to taste and the egg yolks. Continue to mash until the mixture is smooth. Do not over-mash or your potatoes will end up with a gluey consistency.
Using a piping bag with a large star point, pipe the potatoes onto a cookie sheet. Alternatively, you can just fill a casserole dish with the mashed potatoes, and use a fork to create lots of peaks on the surface. The swirled edges from the star-point piping bag forms or the peaks of mashed potatoes in a casserole dish will brown nicely in the oven. The browned parts taste great, so you want to maximize them.
Brush the melted butter over the piped potatoes (or over the top of the casserole). Bake in the 425°F oven until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.
- The Duchess Potatoes can be made ahead. Prepare the recipe and pipe the potatoes, then refrigerate. When ready to serve, place in a preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes until heated and nicely browned.
- If you do not have a piping bag and a large star tip, you can pipe the potatoes using a plastic freezer bag with a corner cut. Alternatively, you can just spread the potatoes into a pretty casserole dish creating peaks on the top using the back of a fork.
Don’t be intimidated at the thought of making Crème Brûlée at home. It is much easier than you think! I learned to make this very elegant dessert with the crackly caramelized topping at a cooking class in Paris and you can make it too. Click Bonjour Paris & Crème Brûlée! for step-by-step how-to.
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