Retro Party menu with bubbly
(retro = from my college years)
I honestly have to tell you: I have THE BEST “Friday lunch/early dinner”-menu here. It is light, served with bubbly sparkling wine, absolutely delicious, and super easy to make. This is a perfect late lunch that you can serve home and then head to town for cocktails. Or the caviar filled avocados and tagliatelle al salmone make even a light dinner before going to see a play, musical or concert with your friends. The champagne sorbet floats are the perfect not too sweet ending to the meal and the bubbly-filled menu gives you a warm and buzzy fuzzy feeling.
I’m telling you, the perfection.
To me this is a very retro menu from the mid-90’s from my college years. This would be something you’d make with minimal cooking skills to impress friends and their boyfriends. I ate and served several versions of this through out college. It’s a few simple ingredients, and you only need to serve one type of beverage, and the same is used for cooking. I made this for a Friday lunch with friends, and I’m glad I did, now these memory lane recipes are back in style in our house!
This menu is a great alternative when you want to serve real champagne and caviar, but want to do a significantly lower budget soiree. This basically is Champagne & Caviar menu, but with less expensive substitutes. Just don’t save money on other ingredients; get the shallots instead of onions, get good Italian tagliatelle, and good avocados. Pick the premium sorbet and absolutely do not forget the fresh dill.
This menu is AMAZING with substitute champagne and caviar.
Instead of champagne I served Freixenet (said “fresh-eh-net”) method champenoise sparkling wine. In fact, I made the entire menu to compliment the Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut sparkling wine, it is a world leader in Spanish Cava (and super cheap for $12 per bottle). Freixenet continues to be family owned by the Ferrer family since 1861. Champagne is made in champagne area in France, where as Freixenet’s winery is just outside Barcelona in Spain.
Instead of caviar, I served lumpfish roe (still fish eggs, just from different fish than what caviar is from). You can get the “same” thing, but much cheaper when you buy salmon, trout, lumpfish or other types of roe. Frankly, many prefer some of the “non-caviars” better for the milder taste.
This entire menu takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and cook for 4-6 persons, especially if you do two simple preparations before hand, and you have your table set. In fact, you don’t want to serve the tagliatelle overcooked, and you don’t want the avocados to get black, so don’t even start cooking before your guests have arrived, just have everything ready to go.
Caviar filled avocados
NOTE: If caviar isn’t your thing, or it’s not in your budget, or if you can’t find any roe in your local grocery store, substitute the caviar with a few cooked shrimps. Just don’t buy the frozen ones, get some already cooked ones from the fish section of your store. I had two different varieties of roe in my example picture above, and I was also a little more generous than what the recipe below says.
Caviar filled Avocados
marinated chopped red onions (see below)
4 tablespoons of Crème fraîche (or sour cream)
8 teaspoons of roe / caviar
fresh dill to garnish
Marinated Red Onions (MAKE AHEAD)
1 red onion
1 lime’s juice
2 table spoons of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut
1. Chop the onion and squeeze the lime. Place the chopped onions and lime juice in a small bowl and add the sparkling wine. Let the onion marinate in the lime juice and Freixenet mix for at least an hour, it will “cook” and milder the taste of the onion and make all the different in your dish. Can be prepared several hours before, just cover it well and keep it in the fridge.
2. Cut the avocados in half, and remove the seed. Place the avocado halves in the serving plate(s). Fill the avocados with tablespoon of Crème fraîche, a few teaspoons of fish roe/caviar and garnish with marinated red onions and fresh dill. Serve immediately.
Tagliatelle al Salmone
10-12oz tagliatelle pasta
tablespoon of butter
7 oz cream
6-10 oz cold smoked salmon (or gravlax)
1/3 cup sparkling wine
1. Add water to boil for the tagliatelle. While the water boils and the tagliatelle cooks, prepare the sauce.
2. Melt the butter and shop the shallots (or small onion). Cook the shallot and let it sweat a little, but don’t brown it (if you do by accident, start over). When the shallot has cooked a little bit, add the 1/3 cup sparkling wine and put the stove on medium heat. Keep it on medium or low heat.
3. Cut the cold smoked salmon easily with scissors into strips and add to the pan. Add the cream and cook the sauce until it has reduced a little. You can make this sauce in less than 10 minutes.
4. Drain and rinse the tagliatelle and add to a serving dish or individual plates, top with the salmon sauce and garnish with fresh dill and lemon pepper. Serve immediately.
You can cut the shallots a little smaller than what I did (you can see the chunks in my picture). Also on another time I had leftover marinated red onions from the appetizers and I just added that as a garnish to the salmon pasta as well, and it was really good.
Don’t forget the dessert!!!
Bubbly Raspberry Sorbet Floats
I’ve been seeing champagne raspberry sorbet floats in many places at least here in Sweden, and this retro recipe is still very much alive and popular, but the classic lemon sorbet is just replaced with raspberry. But you can try any sorbet you like and test different varieties.
Raspberry sorbet (SCOOP THE BALLS AHEAD OF TIME)
Freixenet Sweet Cuvee or other sparking wine/champagne
Place a sorbet ball into a serving glass and add sparkling wine. Ready to serve. This is the simplest dessert ever.
TIPS: I like the Freixenet Sweet Cuvee for this dessert as it is a little bit sweeter than the Cordon Nergo Brut, but that works as well. I recommend making the sorbet balls ahead of the time, just put them on a plate in the freezer and it will be so much faster to put this dessert together for individual serving glasses, especially if you are serving more than 4.
Quick Party Decorating Tips for Black Bottle Bubbly Party
Black and metallics are super trendy right now for party decorating. Bring out your old black retro dishes from the 80’s and 90’s and set the table with black dishes. Use empty Freixenet bottles as candle holders to create an impressive candle light. I turned our Halloween party decorations into Christmas decorations, and used the same wine bottle candle holders that I had spray-pained black and added old music sheets as a table runner. Old handmade Christmas dove ornaments found their way on the walls. Nobody in the party had to know it took me less than an hour to decorate and even less to make the magic in the kitchen.
Who says the holidays are the only time for bubbles? Make it your resolution to sparkle 365 days of the year with Freixenet cavas. Our sparkling wines come in a variety of different styles to suit any moment or mood. Cordon Negro Brut, our classic Black Bottle Bubbly, is great as an aperitif before a night out on the town or at home with takeout pizza. Our brand new Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvee is the perfect match for brunch favorites like pancakes and eggs benedict. Visit FreixenetUSA.com for more information about where to buy Freixenet sparkling wines and learn how you could win a 2-year lease on a new 2013 MINI Cooper.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Freixenet. The opinions and text are all mine.