Recipes Inspired By The Hit British Show

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.

1

Salad with Stilton, candied walnuts and fig wine dressing

 Downton Abbey dinner party menu

Serves about 4

Ingredients: 

For the salad

  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 4-1/2 ounces Stilton blue cheese
  • 6 dried figs, chopped
  • About 1 cup candied walnuts (use this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
For the dressing
  • 5 fresh figs, stems removed
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons port or red wine
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

Lemon butter roasted Cornish hens

 Downton Abbey dinner party menu

Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 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

Directions: 

  1. 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.
  2. Liberally sprinkle the hens with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme.
  3. Roast for about 42-45 minutes, or until golden brown and a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees F.
3

Lady Crawley cocktail

 Downton Abbey dinner party menu

Recipe inspired by People Magazine

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 6 ounces Captain Morgan spiced rum
  • 6 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 2 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Soda water
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 4 orange slices for glass garnish

Directions: 

  1. Fill a large drink mixer halfway with ice. Add the rum and juice, shake to combine. Pour the mixture over ice in 4 glasses. Top wit a splash of soda water, mint leaves and pomegranate arils.
4

Fluffy Yorkshire pudding

 Downton Abbey dinner party menu

Recipe slightly adapted from Simply Recipes

Serves about 6

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons roast beef or poultry drippings

Directions: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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