From Relais & Châteaux’s new book, The Art of Entertaining, we bring you a few recipes for your own celebrations, as enjoyed at a glamorous festivity held at Blantyre in the United States.
Special celebrations mean different things to each of us.
For some, a wedding anniversary, a birthday party or New Year’s Eve is a chance for ecstatic merrymaking – with eight hundred tutti-frutti balloons and a swing band playing, “I’ve Got the World on a String”. For others, it is a poignant affair, layered with deep contemplation. For instance, at the New Year’s Eve parties of the Blantyre, a Gilded Age castle-cum-cottage in Lenox, Massachusetts, revelry is definitely the focus. Here, the night is measured out not in T. S. Eliot’s coffee spoons, but buckwheat blinis, caviar and a ﬂurry of mocktails. A seven-course tasting menu with Katama Bay oysters and Rohan duck breasts is taken before the stroke of midnight, when the pop of a magnum of Cristal Rosé 2006 marks the arrival of the first day of the new year. Capture the spirit of this special event as celebrated at Blantyre with these recipes below and make your own dream cocktail party.
Virgin Grapefruit Mojito : Fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour the grapefruit juice into a shaker and add the honey. Shake and pour into the ice-ﬁlled glass. Finish with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and fresh mint, if available.
Ginger Lime Martini : Pour the juice and ginger ale into a frozen martini glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
Orange Creamsicle : Fill a glass with ice cubes. Mix together the orange juice and vanilla. Pour into the glass and ﬁnish with club soda. Garnish with a slice of orange.
Buckwheat Blini with Caviar and Sour Cream
Blantyre’s yeast-based pancakes are the perfect bed for caviar resting on a pillow of sour cream. Another decadent way to enjoy blini: with thin slices of silky smoked salmon.
In a small bowl, mix the milk and cream together. In a good-size bowl, mix together the buckwheat ﬂour and bread ﬂour, and add the yeast. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the milk mixture, the 3 egg yolks, and sugar. Whisk gently to make a lump-free batter. Stir in the salt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rise for 2 hours in a warm place (at least room temperature).
In another bowl, whip the 3 egg whites to soft peaks, then fold into the batter.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a ﬁlm of canola oil. When the oil is hot, ladle in portions of about 2 tablespoons batter to make small pancakes. Cook until bubbles begin to form on the top and the edges start to turn golden. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. Repeat with additional oil and the remaining batter. The blini can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator, covered.
To serve: Arrange the blini in one layer on baking sheets and reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through. Top each blini with a dollop of sour cream and caviar, then garnish with chives.