You may not believe me, but this week’s Insta-Party was born out of desperate necessity. Everything ingredient was either a leftover that needed using up or a staple I always keep on hand. Yes, my fridge is the kind of place where you might come across ‘leftover’ caviar. I discovered the tiny jar shoved in the back of the condiment shelf while looking for something else. (Yes, I have a whole shelf devoted to condiments in my fridge, too.)
Me: Oh, no, we still have half a jar of that caviar left. How long is caviar good for? We need to use it up before it spoils.
The Husband: Damn these first world problems.
Our liquor supply was also shamefully low, but a quick internet search turned up a recipe for something called a Duke of Marlborough. We always have a bottle of reasonably good dry sherry on hand for cooking and the Husband likes to keep bottles of every variety of vermouth on hand ‘just in case.’ I’m not sure in case of what, maybe the zombie apocalypse? In case Don Draper stops by and needs a perfect martini? ANYWAY, turns out sherry and sweet vermouth combined with a bit of bitters was all the rage back in the day. Dudes, this is an old recipe, we got our 16th century drinking on with this one! Even better, those old dukes were apparently on to something. It was tasty! I drank it straight up, but if soda water had been invented in 1582, they surely would have added a splash or two.
Duke of Marlborough, makes 1 drink
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce dry sherry (and for God’s sake, do NOT use cooking sherry if you value your tastebuds at all)
1 dash bitters
1 strip orange peel
Combine vermouth, sherry, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, but not freezing cold. This drink doesn’t need the 100 shake treatment. Strain into a cocktail glass. Twist the orange to release some of the oils and drop into the drink. If you want to add some soda, now is the time to do it and stir gently to combine.
Now, don’t these little potatoes look fancy schmancy? They’re embarrassingly easy to make, so keep them in mind the next time you want to impress and/or seduce someone you’re feeding. These little potatoes can be found under a few different names: Dutch creamers, small new potatoes, and sometimes (mistakenly) fingerlings. My favorite though is Trader Joe’s straightforward title of ‘Teeny Tiny Potatoes.’ If you can’t find them, just boil some regular sized thin-skinned new potatoes and half or quarter them.
Caviar Topped Teeny Tiny Potatoes, makes 1 dozen
1 dozen very small potatoes, boiled and chilled
2 Tablespoons cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon whitefish caviar (look in the seafood department’s refrigerated case)
fresh parsley for garnish
Top each potato with a bit of sour cream and a bit of caviar. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.