Talk about class, fashion, tradition, and proper southern hospitality–the Kentucky Derby is the epitome! It would be a mistake for us to not showcase the Derby–a party in and of itself. From wide brimmed hats, to red roses, to divine cocktail dresses, speeding horses and delicious libations, the Kentucky Derby is a fantastic representation of a well planned, well executed, and entertaining event. If you’re watching the Kentucky Derby today, you may be hosting your own themed party. So we thought we’d post two of our favorite recipes to kick-start your day.
Start with Bobby Flay’s modern twist on the traditional Derby drink…the Mint Julep. We think his “Blackberry Bourbon Julep” is a party must-have. Here’s what you need: 1 pint fresh blackberries (washed and drained), 8 tablespoons super fine sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 big bunch of mint leaves, crushed ice, 1 cup bourbon, and cold club soda. Mash together the blackberries, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and let macerate at room temperature until juicy, about 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve, into a bowl, pressing against the solids with a spatula, and discard the seeds. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the blackberry mixture into a mint julep glass, add 8 mint leaves and muddle together. Fill with crushed ice and 1/4 cup of bourbon and a splash of club soda. Garnish with sprigs of mint and repeat this process to make 4 drinks. Sip and savor!
If you drink your way through these events, you might be in need of some food. Our favorite Southern bite is a tea sandwich. We love Martha Stewart’s fancy and unique twist on this traditional treat. What you need: 3 one-pound loaves of white sandwich bread (unsliced, if possible), wasabi/lemon and salmon cream cheeses, tea poached chicken, 1 large seedless cucumber sliced thinly, 1/2 pound sliced smoked salmon, 2 1/2 ounces fresh salmon roe, 1 ounce black caviar (optional), 3 to 4 ounces of baby leaf lettuce (shiso or other), 1 bunch fresh dill, 1 bunch fresh chives, 2 to 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds, 2 to 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds. Trim crusts and slice into 1/2 inch think pieces. Spread each slice with cream cheese. Arrange ingredients on the bread in a decorative pattern. Use the small greens to tuck in between layers. Sandwiches look best with salmon, chicken and cucumber on the outer edges of the bread, overlapping slightly. Get artistic with your creations…and then savor and enjoy!
For more fun Derby party finds, go to www.kentuckyderbyparty.com. Enjoy this year’s “Run For The Roses.”