What's not to love about Downton Abbey? Compelling characters, a fascinating storyline set in the early 1920s, love triangles and plenty of tragedy topped off with sexy British accents. Like the rest of the U.S., I'm counting down the days until the season 4 premiere. Until then, I'll be enjoying these Downton Abbey recipes while I watch all of season 3.
I'm not only going to live-tweet and record the season premiere on Jan. 5, I'm going to host my own 1900's Downton Abbey-themed dinner party, complete with these British-inspired recipes, like a Stilton-topped salad and cocktail fit for Lady Crawley. Now all that's missing is the Dowager Countess of Grantham's sassy remarks.
Salad with Stilton, candied walnuts and fig wine dressing
To make the dressing, put the figs, balsamic vinegar, port wine, honey and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until mixture is pureed. While the blender is still on, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
To make the salad, mix the mixed greens, chopped figs and candied walnuts together. Top the salad with pomegranate arils and drizzle with fig dressing.
2 large Cornish game hens (1-1/2 to 2 pounds each)
2 large lemons, cut in half
5-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Fresh thyme and rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rinse off the Cornish hens and remove the giblets from inside. Squeeze 1 lemon over each of the Cornish hens. Carefully pull the skin from the hens and rub about 3 tablespoons of butter over the breasts. Fill each of the cavities of the hens with remaining butter, second lemon cut in half and 2 cloves of garlic each.
Liberally sprinkle the hens with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme.
Roast for about 42-45 minutes, or until golden brown and a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees F.
Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the cream, milk and melted butter. Stir in the eggs and mix the whole batter until combined. Let the mixture sit for about an hour. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Meanwhile, pour the drippings in a large casserole dish. Heat the pan in the oven for about 8 minutes. Pour the mixture into the hot pan and bake for about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and cook another 15 minutes or until puffy and soft.