Rosie Sykes’ recipes for Christmas cocktails and canapes | Cocktails and canapes

Cocktails and canapes: Rosie Sykes cleverly pairs edible treats with a perfect festive pick-me-up

Some days demand a stiff drink and a bite to eat, whether it’s a cosy night on the sofa, or the bright lights of Christmas. In this extract from her new book, Rosie Sykes cleverly pairs each edible treat with a perfect festive pick-me-up …

Terrazzo…

Cooling like marble, almost flinty and savoury. Decorated with diced lime, lemon, orange and a zigzag of bay foliage to create a jazzy terrazzo impact, this fizzy aperitivo employs Cocchi Americano- a bitter Italian aperitif wine with citrus and herbal flavours- stimulating it the perfect start to any party.

Terrazzo Terrazzo with anchovy-stuffed eggs. Photograph: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
Crushed ice
Small segments of lime, lemon, orange
1 part gin
2 proportions Cocchi Americano
4 parts sparkling wine
Paper drinking straw
Bay leaf

1 Half fill a highball or other tall glass with ice, adding small segments of lime, lemon and orange as you go.

2 Pour in the gin, Cocchi Americano and sparkling wine and stir well.

3 Top up with ice and citrus segments. Add a newspaper straw. Finish with a bay foliage garnish, decoratively cut with a pair of scissors to a design of your choice- we ordinarily go for a zig-zag.

… with anchovy-stuffed eggs

A throwback dish of unassuming style, stuffed eggs give immense sums of pleasure. My dear friend Peter and I once met in a bar in Manhattan to drink martinis and share a couple of plates of their famous devilled eggs, bringing to mind this quote from Pulitzer-prizewinning journalist Herb Caen:” Martinis are like breasts: one isn’t enough and three is too many .” In my book, it’s a sentiment that applies equally to stuffed eggs. The most delicious stuffed eggs I have feed in recent memory- and the inspiration for this recipe- were at a supper cooked by the amazing chef James Ferguson.

Makes 1
2 eggs
2 tbsp tinned anchovies, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Finely grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
1/ 2 tsp dijon mustard
A generous pinch of smoked paprika
2 tbsp mayonnaise
A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
Cornichons or small pickled onions, to serve

1 Put the eggs into a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then lower the hot so the water is just simmer. Cook for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, set the anchovies in a bowl with the petroleum and mash to a paste, then add the lemon zest, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise and mixture until smooth. Stir in the parsley.

2 Lift out the eggs and cool entirely in cold water until totally cold- this will take a good few minutes. Then carefully peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthways. Scoop out the yolks and add them to the anchovy mixture, then mash softly together- I like a little bit of texture. Savor the stuffing concoction; season with lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

3 Depending on how many cocktails you are planning to have, it might be worth taking a tiny slice from the bottom of each egg-white “boat” so they sit steadily on the plate. Spoonful or, if you’re feeling super-fancy, tube the stuffing back into the egg-white boats, then serve at room temperature with a few cornichons or little pickled onions.

Light-emitting diode…

A variant of a whiskey sour that nearly incandescences in the dark that they are able to alleviate any excesses of dinner and have you jumping around in no time.

Light-emitting Light-emitting diode with a squash and truffle brandade. Photo: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
3 components rye whiskey or bourbon
1 part simple syrup, ideally infused with orange or grapefruit zest
1 part lemon juice
A dash of Pernod- or pastis or ouzo, if that’s all you can get your hands on
2 tsp egg white
Ice cubes
Frond of fennel or dill

1 Combine the whiskey, syrup, lemon juice, Pernod and egg white in a shaker, or a jar with a eyelid and add plenty of ice.

2 Shake vigorously until well chilled and the egg white is foaming.

3 Strain into a cocktail glass, ideally a stemmed one, using a mesh strainer or sieve – you may wish to spoon some of the egg-white foam from the shaker on to your drink if too much gets left behind.

4 Delicately garnish with a frond of fennel or dill- a little bit of green foliage sitting atop the frothy head of this drink is most appealing. Sip and perform a backwards somersault.

… with a squash and truffle brandade

Strictly speaking, brandade is a Provencal dish of salt cod pureed with garlic, olive oil and sometimes potato, but I have use ithere because the texture of the end result is similar. We’re so spoilt these days with the wide range of squash and pumpkins available to us. In their many guises, they make such aIf you’re feeling extra-decadent, you can grate over a little parmesan as well.

Makes 6
1 small squash- about 680 g
Salt and black pepper
A small grating of nutmeg
2 tsp olive oil
60g( 4 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 tbsp truffle oil
3 pitta breads or flatbreads
A few shavings of fresh truffle( optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ gas 4. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds of both halves with a spoonful. Season the flesh side liberally with salt and pepper, then grate over a little nutmeg.

2 Put each half on to a large sheet of oiled foil, skin-side down, then splash over the rest of the olive oil and a good handful of water. Wrap up the squash halves to form two parcels and cook for 50-60 minutes or until wholly soft, but not brown. Scrape all the flesh out. If it seems waterlogged, tip into a sieve set over a saucepan and drainage for about half an hour, or until the squash seems dry. Then set the pan over a medium heat and let the liquid simmer and reduce until syrupy.

3 Meanwhile, mash the squash. When the liquid has reduced, add the squash to the pan to warm through. Now gradually beat in the butter, bit by bit, until you have a lovely rich and glossy mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in three-quarters of the truffle oil.

4 Put the pitta breads or flatbreads under a hot grill to warm through, then cut into bite-sized strips.

5 Scrape the squash brandade into a warm bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the truffle oil( now is the time for a few shavings of truffle, if you have one tucked away somewhere ), then surround with the strips of bread.

Trainwreck…

This will either cause an incident or resuscitate those at the scene. For this drinking, crushed ice is best, as it helps to cool the ingredients quickly and melts in such a way as to soften the harshness of the alcohol. But if you don’t have an ice-crusher or a powerful blender, ice cubes will do.

A A’ trainwreck’ is the perfect day for a croquette, tells Rosie. Photo: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
Crushed ice
2 components rye whiskey or bourbon
1 part Campari
1 part simple syrup, ideally infused with orange or grapefruit zest
2 proportions orange juice- or, if in season, blood orange juice
Orange slice, for decoration
Paper drinking straw

1 Half-fill a small metal Julep cup or short tumbler with ice. Pour in the rye whiskey or bourbon, the Campari, syrup and orange juice and stir well.

2 Top up with enough ice to give your drink a bountiful appearance. Garnish with half-moon-shaped slicings of orange and add a paper straw.

… with white bean croquettes with herby mayonnaise

A few stints of living in the south of Spain have induced me a croquette aficionado. I like this type for home cooking, because it doesn’t involve making a bechamel sauce, so it’s relatively simple and very tasty.

Makes 8
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 small sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
120g baby spinach leaves
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained
100g panko or other breadcrumbs
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
A generous pinch of chilli flakes
75g mayonnaise
1 egg
6 tbsp illuminated olive oil

1 Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and add the onion and rosemary. Cook very gently until soft and sweet, then add the garlic and stir about for a minute.

2 Add the spinach and mix well, stirring until it wilts. Add the beans and warm through.

3 Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and whizz to a smooth paste. Add 20 g of breadcrumbs. Pulse to combine. The mixture should be quite stiff- if it seems too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Scrape into a bowl and transfer to the fridge for an hour or so. Meanwhile, stir the mint, parsley and chilli snowflakes into the mayonnaise.

4 Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Set the remaining breadcrumbs into another. Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the croquette concoction, roll into balls and then flattened into pucks. Dip the croquettes in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Double-dip the croquettes to give them an extra-crisp shell, if you like.

5 Heat the light olive oil in a small frying pan and, when hot, fry the croquettes in batches of three to keep the petroleum hot. Keep turning them until the objective is golden all over, then drain on kitchen paper. Eat while hot, dipped in, or drizzled with, the herby mayo.

Rosie Sykes is a freelance chef and menu consultant. She is the author of The Sunday Night Book( Quadrille) and co-author of the Kitchen Revolution( Ebury) This is an extract from Rosie’s latest book, The Sunday Night Book- Short Recipes to Attain the Weekend Feel Longer( Quadrille, 10.99) out now

Rosie Sykes’ recipes for Christmas cocktails and canapes | Cocktails and canapes

Cocktails and canapes: Rosie Sykes cleverly pairs edible treats with a perfect festive pick-me-up

Some days demand a stiff drink and a bite to feed, whether it’s a cosy night on the sofa, or the bright lights of Christmas. In this extract from her new volume, Rosie Sykes cleverly pairs each edible treat with a perfect festive pick-me-up …

Terrazzo…

Cooling like marble, nearly flinty and savoury. Decorated with diced lime, lemon, orange and a zigzag of bay leaf to create a jazzy terrazzo consequence, this fizzy aperitivo employs Cocchi Americano- a bitter Italian aperitif wine with citrus and herbal flavours- inducing it the perfect are beginning to any party.

Terrazzo Terrazzo with anchovy-stuffed eggs. Photo: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
Crushed ice
Small segments of lime, lemon, orange
1 part gin
2 parts Cocchi Americano
4 portions sparkling wine
Paper drinking straw
Bay leaf

1 Half fill a highball or other tall glass with ice, adding small segments of lime, lemon and orange as you go.

2 Pour in the gin, Cocchi Americano and sparkling wine and stir well.

3 Top up with ice and citrus segments. Add a newspaper straw. Finish with a bay leaf garnish, decoratively cut with a pair of scissors to a design of your option- we usually go for a zig-zag.

… with anchovy-stuffed eggs

A throwback dish of unassuming style, stuffed eggs give immense amounts of pleasure. My dear friend Peter and I once met in a bar in Manhattan to drink martinis and share a couple of plates of their famous devilled eggs, bringing to mind this quote from Pulitzer-prizewinning journalist Herb Caen:” Martinis are like breasts: one isn’t enough and three is too many .” In my volume, it’s a sentiment that applies equally to stuffed eggs. The most delicious stuffed eggs I have eaten in recent memory- and the inspiration for this recipe- were at a supper cooked by the amazing chef James Ferguson.

Makes 1
2 eggs
2 tbsp tinned anchovies, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Finely grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
1/ 2 tsp dijon mustard
A generous pinch of smoked paprika
2 tbsp mayonnaise
A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
Cornichons or small pickled onions, to serve

1 Set the eggs into a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the simmer, then lower the hot so the water is just simmer. Cook for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, set the anchovies in a bowl with the oil and mash to a paste, then add the lemon zest, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise and mixture until smooth. Stir in the parsley.

2 Lift out the eggs and cool completely in cold water until altogether cold- this will take a good few minutes. Then carefully peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthways. Scoop out the yolks and add them to the anchovy mixture, then mash gently together- I like a little bit of texture. Savor the stuffing mixture; season with lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

3 Depending on how many cocktails you are planning to have, it might be worth taking a tiny slice from the bottom of each egg-white “boat” so they sit steadily on the plate. Spoonful or, if you’re feeling super-fancy, tube the stuffing back into the egg-white barges, then serve at room temperature with a few cornichons or little pickled onions.

Light-emitting diode…

A variant of a whiskey sour that almost incandescences in the dark that they are able to relieve any excesses of dinner and have you jumping around in no time.

Light-emitting Light-emitting diode with a squash and truffle brandade. Photograph: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
3 proportions rye whiskey or bourbon
1 part simple syrup, ideally infused with orange or grapefruit zest
1 part lemon juice
A dash of Pernod- or pastis or ouzo, if that’s all you can get your hands on
2 tsp egg white
Ice cubes
Frond of fennel or dill

1 Combine the whiskey, syrup, lemon juice, Pernod and egg white in a shaker, or a jar with a eyelid and add plenty of ice.

2 Shake vigorously until well chilled and the egg white is foaming.

3 Strain into a cocktail glass, ideally a stemmed one, use a mesh strainer or sieve – you may want to spoon some of the egg-white foam from the shaker on to your drinking if too much get left behind.

4 Delicately garnish with a frond of fennel or dill- a little bit of green foliage sitting atop the frothy head of this drink is most appealing. Sip and perform a backwards somersault.

… with a squash and truffle brandade

Strictly speaking, brandade is a Provencal dish of salt cod pureed with garlic, olive oil and sometimes potato, but I have utilized ithere because the texture of the end result is similar. We’re so spoilt these days with the broad range of squash and pumpkins available to us. In their many guises, they make such aIf you’re feeling extra-decadent, you can grate over a little parmesan as well.

Makes 6
1 small squash- about 680 g
Salt and black pepper
A small grating of nutmeg
2 tsp olive oil
60g( 4 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 tbsp truffle oil
3 pitta breads or flatbreads
A few shavings of fresh truffle( optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ gas 4. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds of both halves with a spoonful. Season the flesh side liberally with salt and pepper, then grate over a little nutmeg.

2 Put each half on to a large sheet of oiled foil, skin-side down, then splashing over the rest of the olive oil and a good smattering of water. Wrap up the squash halves to form two parcels and cook for 50-60 minutes or until entirely soft, but not brown. Scrape all the flesh out. If it seems waterlogged, tip-off into a sieve define over a saucepan and drain for about half an hour, or until the squash seems dry. Then put the pan over a medium heat and let the liquid simmer and reduce until syrupy.

3 Meanwhile, mash the squash. When the liquid has reduced, add the squash to the pan to warm through. Now gradually beat in the butter, bit by bit, until you have a lovely rich and glossy concoction. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in three-quarters of the truffle oil.

4 Put the pitta breads or flatbreads under a hot grill to warm through, then cut into bite-sized strips.

5 Scrape the squash brandade into a warm bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the truffle petroleum( now is the time for a few shavings of truffle, if you have one tucked away somewhere ), then surround with the strips of bread.

Trainwreck…

This will either cause an incident or resurrect those at the scene. For this beverage, crushed ice is best, as it helps to cool the ingredients quickly and melts in such a way as to soften the harshness of the alcohol. But if you don’t have an ice-crusher or a powerful blender, ice cubes will do.

A A’ trainwreck’ is the perfect period for a croquette, tells Rosie. Photograph: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
Crushed ice
2 portions rye whiskey or bourbon
1 part Campari
1 part simple syrup, ideally infused with orange or grapefruit zest
2 portions orange juice- or, if in season, blood orange juice
Orange slicings, for decoration
Paper drinking straw

1 Half-fill a small metal Julep cup or short tumbler with ice. Pour in the rye whiskey or bourbon, the Campari, syrup and orange juice and stir well.

2 Top up with enough ice to give your drink a bountiful appearance. Garnish with half-moon-shaped slicings of orange and add a newspaper straw.

… with white bean croquettes with herby mayonnaise

A few stints of living in the south of Spain have made me a croquette aficionado. I like this type for home cooking, because it doesn’t involve making a bechamel sauce, so it’s relatively simple and very tasty.

Makes 8
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 small sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
120g baby spinach leaves
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained
100g panko or other breadcrumbs
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
A generous pinch of chilli flakes
75g mayonnaise
1 egg
6 tbsp light olive oil

1 Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and add the onion and rosemary. Cook very gently until soft and sweet, then add the garlic and stir about for a minute.

2 Add the spinach and mix well, stirring until it wilts. Add the beans and warm through.

3 Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and whizz to a smooth paste. Add 20 g of breadcrumbs. Pulse to combine. The concoction should be quite stiff- if it seems too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Scrape into a bowl and transfer to the fridge for an hour or so. Meanwhile, stir the mint, parsley and chilli flakes into the mayonnaise.

4 Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Put the remaining breadcrumbs into another. Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the croquette concoction, roll into balls and then flattened into pucks. Dip the croquettes in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Double-dip the croquettes to give them an extra-crisp shell, if you like.

5 Heat the light olive oil in a small frying pan and, when hot, fry the croquettes in batches of three to keep the oil hot. Keep turning them until the objective is golden all over, then drain on kitchen paper. Eat while hot, dipped in, or drizzled with, the herby mayo.

Rosie Sykes is a freelance cook and menu consultant. She is the author of The Sunday Night Book( Quadrille) and co-author of the Kitchen Revolution( Ebury) This is an extract from Rosie’s latest volume, The Sunday Night Book- Short Recipes to Build the Weekend Feel Longer( Quadrille, 10.99) out now

Rosie Sykes’ recipes for Christmas cocktails and canapes | Cocktails and canapes

Cocktails and canapes: Rosie Sykes cleverly pairs edible treats with a perfect festive pick-me-up

Some days demand a stiff drink and a bite to eat, whether it’s a cosy night on the sofa, or the bright lights of Christmas. In this extract from her new book, Rosie Sykes cleverly pairs each edible treat with a perfect festive pick-me-up …

Terrazzo…

Cooling like marble, nearly flinty and savoury. Decorated with diced lime, lemon, orange and a zigzag of bay leaf to create a jazzy terrazzo consequence, this fizzy aperitivo employs Cocchi Americano- a bitter Italian aperitif wine with citrus and herbal flavours- stimulating it the perfect start to any party.

Terrazzo Terrazzo with anchovy-stuffed eggs. Photo: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
Crushed ice
Small segments of lime, lemon, orange
1 part gin
2 parts Cocchi Americano
4 components sparkling wine
Paper drinking straw
Bay leaf

1 Half fill a highball or other tall glass with ice, adding small segments of lime, lemon and orange as you go.

2 Pour in the gin, Cocchi Americano and sparkling wine and stir well.

3 Top up with ice and citrus segments. Add a newspaper straw. Finish with a bay leaf garnish, decoratively cut with a pair of scissors to a design of your choice- we usually go for a zig-zag.

… with anchovy-stuffed eggs

A throwback dish of unassuming style, stuffed eggs give immense quantities of pleasure. My dear friend Peter and I once met in a bar in Manhattan to drink martinis and share a couple of plates of their famous devilled eggs, bringing to mind this quote from Pulitzer-prizewinning journalist Herb Caen:” Martinis are like breasts: one isn’t enough and three is too many .” In my book, it’s a sentiment that applies equally to stuffed eggs. The most delicious stuffed eggs I have eaten in recent memory- and the inspiration for this recipe- were at a supper cooked by the amazing cook James Ferguson.

Makes 1
2 eggs
2 tbsp tinned anchovies, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Finely grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
1/ 2 tsp dijon mustard
A generous pinch of smoked paprika
2 tbsp mayonnaise
A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
Cornichons or small pickled onions, to serve

1 Set the eggs into a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat so the water is just simmer. Cook for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, set the anchovies in a bowl with the petroleum and mash to a paste, then add the lemon zest, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise and mixture until smooth. Stir in the parsley.

2 Lift out the eggs and cool completely in cold water until entirely cold- this will take a good few minutes. Then carefully peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthways. Scoop out the yolks and add them to the anchovy concoction, then mash gently together- I like a little bit of texture. Savor the stuffing concoction; season with lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

3 Depending on how many cocktails you are planning to have, it might be worth taking a tiny slice from the bottom of each egg-white “boat” so they sit steadily on the plate. Spoon or, if you’re feeling super-fancy, tube the stuffing back into the egg-white boats, then serve at room temperature with a few cornichons or little pickled onions.

Light-emitting diode…

A variant of a whiskey sour that nearly incandescences in the dark that they are able to relieve any excess of dinner and have you jumping around in no time.

Light-emitting Light-emitting diode with a squash and truffle brandade. Photograph: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
3 proportions rye whiskey or bourbon
1 part simple syrup, ideally infused with orange or grapefruit zest
1 part lemon juice
A dash of Pernod- or pastis or ouzo, if that’s all you can get your hands on
2 tsp egg white
Ice cubes
Frond of fennel or dill

1 Combine the whiskey, syrup, lemon juice, Pernod and egg white in a shaker, or a jar with a lid and add plenty of ice.

2 Shake vigorously until well chilled and the egg white is foaming.

3 Strain into a cocktail glass, ideally a stemmed one, using a mesh sieve or sieve – you may wish to spoon some of the egg-white foam from the shaker on to your drinking if too much gets left behind.

4 Delicately garnish with a frond of fennel or dill- a little bit of green foliage sitting atop the frothy head of this drink is most appealing. Sip and perform a backwards somersault.

… with a squash and truffle brandade

Strictly speaking, brandade is a Provencal dish of salt cod pureed with garlic, olive oil and sometimes potato, but I have employed ithere because the texture of the end outcome is similar. We’re so spoilt these days with the wide range of squash and pumpkins available to us. In their many guises, they make such aIf you’re feeling extra-decadent, you can grate over a little parmesan as well.

Makes 6
1 small squash- about 680 g
Salt and black pepper
A small grating of nutmeg
2 tsp olive oil
60g( 4 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 tbsp truffle oil
3 pitta bread or flatbreads
A few shavings of fresh truffle( optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ gas 4. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds of both halves with a spoonful. Season the flesh side liberally with salt and pepper, then grate over a little nutmeg.

2 Put each half on to a large sheet of oiled foil, skin-side down, then splashing over the rest of the olive oil and a good smattering of water. Wrap up the squash halves to form two parcels and cook for 50-60 minutes or until wholly soft, but not brown. Scrape all the flesh out. If it seems waterlogged, tip into a sieve situate over a saucepan and drain for about half an hour, or until the squash looks dry. Then set the pan over a medium heat and let the liquid simmer and reduce until syrupy.

3 Meanwhile, mash the squash. When the liquid has reduced, add the squash to the pan to warm through. Now gradually beat in the butter, bit by bit, until you have a lovely rich and glossy concoction. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in three-quarters of the truffle oil.

4 Put the pitta breads or flatbreads under a hot grill to warm through, then cut into bite-sized strips.

5 Scrape the squash brandade into a warm bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the truffle oil( now is the time for a few shavings of truffle, if you have one tucked away somewhere ), then surround with the strips of bread.

Trainwreck…

This will either cause an incident or resuscitate those at the scene. For this beverage, crushed ice is best, as it helps to cool the ingredients quickly and melts in such a way as to soften the harshness of the alcohol. But if you don’t have an ice-crusher or a powerful blender, ice cubes will do.

A A’ trainwreck’ is the perfect period for a croquette, says Rosie. Photograph: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
Crushed ice
2 portions rye whiskey or bourbon
1 part Campari
1 part simple syrup, ideally infused with orange or grapefruit zest
2 parts orange juice- or, if in season, blood orange juice
Orange slicings, for decoration
Paper drinking straw

1 Half-fill a small metal Julep cup or short tumbler with ice. Pour in the rye whiskey or bourbon, the Campari, syrup and orange juice and stir well.

2 Top up with enough ice to give your drink a bountiful appearance. Garnish with half-moon-shaped slices of orange and add a newspaper straw.

… with white bean croquettes with herby mayonnaise

A few stints of living in the south of Spain have induced me a croquette aficionado. I like this type for home cooking, because it doesn’t involve making a bechamel sauce, so it’s relatively simple and very tasty.

Makes 8
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 small sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
120g baby spinach leaves
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained
100g panko or other breadcrumbs
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
A generous pinch of chilli flakes
75g mayonnaise
1 egg
6 tbsp light olive oil

1 Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and add the onion and rosemary. Cook very gently until soft and sweet, then add the garlic and stir about for a minute.

2 Add the spinach and mix well, stirring until it wilts. Add the beans and warm through.

3 Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and whizz to a smooth paste. Add 20 g of breadcrumbs. Pulse to combine. The concoction should be quite stiff- if it seems too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Scrape into a bowl and transfer to the fridge for an hour or so. Meanwhile, stir the mint, parsley and chilli flakes into the mayonnaise.

4 Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Put the remaining breadcrumbs into another. Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the croquette mixture, roll into balls and then flattened into pucks. Dip the croquettes in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Double-dip the croquettes to give them an extra-crisp shell, if you like.

5 Heat the light olive oil in a small frying pan and, when hot, fry the croquettes in batches of three to keep the oil hot. Keep turning them until they are golden all over, then drain on kitchen newspaper. Eat while hot, dipped in, or drizzled with, the herby mayo.

Rosie Sykes is a freelance chef and menu consultant. She is the author of The Sunday Night Book( Quadrille) and co-author of the Kitchen Revolution( Ebury) This is an extract from Rosie’s latest volume, The Sunday Night Book- Short Recipes to Attain the Weekend Feel Longer( Quadrille, 10.99) out now

Rosie Sykes’ recipes for Christmas cocktails and canapes | Cocktails and canapes

Cocktails and canapes: Rosie Sykes cleverly pairs edible treats with a perfect festive pick-me-up

Some days demand a stiff drink and a bite to eat, whether it’s a cosy night on the sofa, or the bright lights of Christmas. In this extract from her new volume, Rosie Sykes cleverly pairs each edible treat with a perfect festive pick-me-up …

Terrazzo…

Cooling like marble, nearly flinty and savoury. Decorated with diced lime, lemon, orange and a zigzag of bay leaf to create a jazzy terrazzo effect, this fizzy aperitivo utilizes Cocchi Americano- a bitter Italian aperitif wine with citrus and herbal flavours- constructing it the perfect start to any party.

Terrazzo Terrazzo with anchovy-stuffed eggs. Photograph: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
Crushed ice
Small segments of lime, lemon, orange
1 part gin
2 portions Cocchi Americano
4 components sparkling wine
Paper drinking straw
Bay leaf

1 Half fill a highball or other tall glass with ice, adding small segments of lime, lemon and orange as you go.

2 Pour in the gin, Cocchi Americano and sparkling wine and stir well.

3 Top up with ice and citrus segments. Add a newspaper straw. Finish with a bay foliage garnish, decoratively cut with a pair of scissors to a design of your selection- we usually go for a zig-zag.

… with anchovy-stuffed eggs

A throwback dish of unassuming style, stuffed eggs give immense amounts of pleasure. My dear friend Peter and I once met in a bar in Manhattan to drink martinis and share a couple of plates of their famous devilled eggs, bringing to mind this quote from Pulitzer-prizewinning journalist Herb Caen:” Martinis are like breasts: one isn’t enough and three is too many .” In my book, it’s a sentiment that applies equally to stuffed eggs. The most delicious stuffed eggs I have feed in recent memory- and the inspiration for this recipe- were at a supper cooked by the amazing chef James Ferguson.

Makes 1
2 eggs
2 tbsp tinned anchovies, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Finely grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
1/ 2 tsp dijon mustard
A generous pinch of smoked paprika
2 tbsp mayonnaise
A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
Cornichons or small pickled onions, to serve

1 Put the eggs into a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat so the water is only simmering. Cook for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, put the anchovies in a bowl with the oil and mash to a paste, then add the lemon zest, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise and mix until smooth. Stir in the parsley.

2 Lift out the eggs and cool entirely in cold water until totally cold- this will take a good few minutes. Then carefully peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthways. Scoop out the yolks and add them to the anchovy mixture, then mash softly together- I like a little bit of texture. Savor the stuffing concoction; season with lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

3 Depending on how many cocktails you are planning to have, it might be worth taking a tiny slice from the bottom of each egg-white “boat” so they sit steadily on the plate. Spoon or, if you’re feeling super-fancy, tube the stuffing back into the egg-white boats, then serve at room temperature with a few cornichons or little pickled onions.

Light-emitting diode…

A variant of a whiskey sour that almost incandescences in the dark that will alleviate any excesses of dinner and have you jumping around in no time.

Light-emitting Light-emitting diode with a squash and truffle brandade. Photo: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
3 portions rye whiskey or bourbon
1 part simple syrup, ideally infused with orange or grapefruit zest
1 part lemon juice
A dash of Pernod- or pastis or ouzo, if that’s all you can get your hands on
2 tsp egg white
Ice cubes
Frond of fennel or dill

1 Combine the whiskey, syrup, lemon juice, Pernod and egg white in a shaker, or a jar with a eyelid and add plenty of ice.

2 Shake vigorously until well chilled and the egg white is foaming.

3 Strain into a cocktail glass, ideally a stemmed one, use a mesh strainer or sieve – you may want to spoon some of the egg-white foam from the shaker on to your drink if too much get left behind.

4 Delicately garnish with a frond of fennel or dill- a little bit of green foliage sitting atop the frothy head of this drink is most appeal. Sip and perform a backwards somersault.

… with a squash and truffle brandade

Strictly speaking, brandade is a Provencal dish of salt cod pureed with garlic, olive oil and sometimes potato, but I have employed ithere because the texture of the end result is similar. We’re so spoilt these days with the wide range of squash and pumpkins available to us. In their many guises, they make such aIf you’re feeling extra-decadent, you can grate over a little parmesan as well.

Makes 6
1 small squash- about 680 g
Salt and black pepper
A small grating of nutmeg
2 tsp olive oil
60g( 4 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 tbsp truffle oil
3 pitta breads or flatbreads
A few shavings of fresh truffle( optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ gas 4. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds of both halves with a spoon. Season the flesh side liberally with salt and pepper, then grate over a little nutmeg.

2 Put each half on to a large sheet of oiled foil, skin-side down, then splash over the rest of the olive oil and a good handful of water. Wrap up the squash halves to form two parcels and bake for 50-60 minutes or until entirely soft, but not brown. Scrape all the flesh out. If it seems waterlogged, tip into a sieve decide over a saucepan and drain for about half an hour, or until the squash lookings dry. Then set the pan over a medium heat and let the liquid simmer and reduce until syrupy.

3 Meanwhile, mash the squash. When the liquid has reduced, add the squash to the pan to warm through. Now gradually beat in the butter, bit by bit, until you have a lovely rich and glossy concoction. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in three-quarters of the truffle oil.

4 Set the pitta breads or flatbreads under a hot grill to warm through, then cut into bite-sized strips.

5 Scrape the squash brandade into a warm bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the truffle oil( now is the time for a few shavings of truffle, if you have one tucked away somewhere ), then surround with the strips of bread.

Trainwreck…

This will either cause an incident or resurrect those at the scene. For this drinking, crushed ice is best, as it helps to cool the ingredients quickly and melts in such a way as to soften the harshness of the alcohol. But if you don’t have an ice-crusher or a powerful blender, ice cubes will do.

A A’ trainwreck’ is the perfect time for a croquette, says Rosie. Photograph: Patricia_Niven/ Patricia Niven/ Quadrille

Makes 1
Crushed ice
2 components rye whiskey or bourbon
1 part Campari
1 part simple syrup, ideally infused with orange or grapefruit zest
2 components orange juice- or, if in season, blood orange juice
Orange slicings, for decoration
Paper drinking straw

1 Half-fill a small metal Julep cup or short tumbler with ice. Pour in the rye whiskey or bourbon, the Campari, syrup and orange juice and stir well.

2 Top up with enough ice to give your drink a bountiful appearance. Garnish with half-moon-shaped slice of orange and add a newspaper straw.

… with white bean croquettes with herby mayonnaise

A few stints of living in the south of Spain have stimulated me a croquette aficionado. I like this type for home cooking, because it doesn’t involve making a bechamel sauce, so it’s relatively simple and very tasty.

Makes 8
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 small sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
120g baby spinach leaves
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained
100g panko or other breadcrumbs
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
A generous pinch of chilli flakes
75g mayonnaise
1 egg
6 tbsp illuminated olive oil

1 Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and add the onion and rosemary. Cook very gently until soft and sweet, then add the garlic and stir about for a minute.

2 Add the spinach and mix well, stirring until it wilts. Add the beans and warm through.

3 Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and whizz to a smooth paste. Add 20 g of breadcrumbs. Pulse to combine. The mixture should be quite stiff- if it seems too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Scrape into a bowl and transfer to the fridge for an hour or so. Meanwhile, stir the mint, parsley and chilli snowflakes into the mayonnaise.

4 Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Put the remaining breadcrumbs into another. Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the croquette concoction, roll into balls and then flattened into pucks. Dip the croquettes in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Double-dip the croquettes to give them an extra-crisp shell, if you like.

5 Heat the light olive oil in a small frying pan and, when hot, fry the croquettes in batches of three to keep the petroleum hot. Keep turning them until they are golden all over, then drain on kitchen paper. Eat while hot, dipped in, or drizzled with, the herby mayo.

Rosie Sykes is a freelance chef and menu consultant. She is the author of The Sunday Night Book( Quadrille) and co-author of the Kitchen Revolution( Ebury) This is an extract from Rosie’s latest volume, The Sunday Night Book- Short Recipes to Build the Weekend Feel Longer( Quadrille, 10.99) out now

Claire Ptak’s bourbon banana cream tartlet recipe | Baking the seasons

Baking the seasons: We can depend on bananas to brighten up our bakes whatever the time of year. Here they lend their sweetness to an indulgent American-style bourbon, chocolate and cream tartlet and an exceptionally easy ice-cream

I saw on Instagram the other day that some people have started growing bananas in California another reason to be homesick in London in February. While we cant boast a local banana crop here in the UK, we do have access to good bananas all year-round, since they do not have a specific growing season. At Violet, we are known for our banana bread, but more can be done with the fruit of this giant herb which, I was surprised to learn, is not a tree. There are many banana varieties, but we tend to use the cavendish, which is the type grown for export, picked green, and left to ripen gradually from the banana boat to the shop shelf.

There is a fleeting sweet spot with banana ripeness, so you have to be vigilant with your fruit bowl. At that moment, the green fades to yellow. No longer astringent with starchiness, the sugars develop and the fruit softens ever so slightly. The perfume is perfect and no brown spots have formed yet. This is the moment to use your bananas in this weeks recipes.

Bourbon banana cream tartlets (pictured above)

Banana cream pie, or this tartlet version, is the American dream dessert. The forgotten banana that is so readily mashed into our favourite cakey bread is elevated here to dizzying new heights, suspended in clouds of boozy cream and custard, becoming rich and luxurious.

Makes 6
180g plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp ice water
100g dark chocolate
3 medium bananas (ripe, but not covered in brown spots)

For the custard
2 egg yolks
340ml whole milk
50g golden caster sugar
25g cornflour
tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cream
300ml double cream
2 tsp bourbon
tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
Cocoa powder, to serve

1 For the pastry, add the flour, sugar and salt to a blender and blitz briefly to combine. Add the cold butter and blitz until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Combine the yolks and water, then add all at once. Mix until it just comes together (about 30 seconds or less). Wrap well in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes, but soften slightly before rolling.

2 Butter the insides of 6 individual pastry rings or individual tart shells. On a surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the pastry until about 3mm thick. Cut circles about 6cm larger in diameter than your tart shells or rings. Press the pastry circles down into the rings and trim off any excess. Freeze or chill them for 15 minutes.

3 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Line the chilled pastries with pieces of baking paper. Fill with baking beans so that you can blind bake them. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and baking beans, then return to the oven to bake a further 5-10 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool.

4 On a very low heat, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Do not let the water boil rapidly, as this can cause it to burn. Stir the chocolate and pour it into the bottom of the baked pastries. Rotate the shells as you go, so that the chocolate coats the inside in a nice, thin even layer. Put in the fridge to chill. This can be done the day before.

5 Arrange a fine sieve over a medium-size bowl. Whisk together all of the custard ingredients thoroughly in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put over a very low heat and whisk constantly for about 10-15 minutes, or until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. When the custard is ready, pour through the sieve and into the bowl. Give the custard a stir to release some steam, then press a piece of clingfilm on to the top of the custard so it does not form a skin. Chill for at least an hour. This can also be done the day before.

Banana
The sweet spot with bananas is fleeting, when the perfume is perfect and no brown spots have formed. This is the moment for these recipes Photograph: Kristin Perers for the Guardian

6 To make the cream, put all the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk to soft, voluminous peaks. Chill if you are not assembling right away. Just before using, stir the cream once or twice to check it has not separated.

7 To assemble, remove your chocolate-lined pastry shells from the fridge. Slice the bananas thinly on an angle. Line the bottom of the pastries with half the banana slices and then pour the chilled custard on top. Add the remaining banana slices.

8 Use a large metal spoon and take scoops of the whipped cream and blob them across the top of the tarts. Chill until ready to serve or for at least 1 hour. Dust the tops with cocoa powder before serving.

Banana ice-cream

The foil to these tartlets is banana ice-cream made only with frozen blitzed bananas and a little honey and salt. Finished with the best olive oil you can afford, the simple banana becomes something else entirely. Hallelujah.

Serves 2-4
3 medium bananas
A pinch of fine sea salt
2 tbsp honey
Extra virgin olive oil, to finish
Flaky sea salt, to finish

1 Slice the bananas and freeze them in a container for at least 1 hour. Remove them from the freezer and immediately blitz them in a food processor until smooth. Add the salt and honey, and blitz to mix. Decant the mixture into an airtight container and freeze again for at least two hours.

2 Serve with a drizzle of your best olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

  • Claire Ptak is an author and food stylist and owns Violet Bakery in London. She is the author of the Violet Bakery Cookbook (Square Peg); @violetcakeslondon

Read more: www.theguardian.com