The housesitting “vacation” ends this week, and tonight is my last night of taking advantage of having a fully-equipped kitchen all to myself. So I decided on an experimental farewell dinner for one. I made lamb chops with creamy mustard sauce and brown rice (was supposed to make a light jicama and citrus salad, too, but got lazy), and for dessert, chocolate chili bites.
Most people say red meat should be paired with red wine, but I’m of the school that thinks whatever wine you enjoy most would likely make a good pairing. So for dinner, I opted for a decent Gewurztraminer, which neutralized some of the bitter taste in the lamb and mustard (though I do like it pretty bitter), and assume it would have slightly enhanced the fruitiness in the salad.
Anyhoo, the farewell dinner idea stemmed from thinking about dessert. I made chocolate chili bites (from a recipe by Chocolate & Zucchini) because I really wanted to pair something with the Lady Macbeth cocktail.
One of my favorite “chick drinks”. Kind of a Kir Royale, but not. I generally don’t prefer sweet cocktails, but this is a good one to share with the ladies. Super easy to make, and easily modified for the sweet-tooths or bitter hags like me.
This is by no means an original Mynx recipe. If you google “Lady Macbeth cocktail”, you’ll see several different versions involving different types of booze. I got this one from some old cocktail book, just can’t remember which. Here’s my version:
Champagne or sparkling wine (I like using extra dry)
Ruby port (Sandeman or better)
Lemon or orange peel spiral
No real measurements here, it’s all up to you. Pour champagne into glass to almost full. Pour port into the glass (a splash or more, depending on your taste). Garnish with peel spiral. Note: If you decide to float the peel in the drink, it’ll get extra fizzy, so beware of possible spillage.
I kinda botched the execution of the chocolate chili bites– ended up being almost-brownies (or “air brownies”, as my friend J called them)… Not pretty, but they were still melt-in-your-mouth yummy. Srsly. So. Here’s the recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini.
Chocolate Chili Bites
– 200g butter
– 200g good-quality dark chocolate
– 250g sugar
– 5 eggs
– a rounded Tbsp of flour
– 1-1/2 tsp ground chili (I use piment d’Espelette — adjust to your taste and to the strength of your chili)
(Yields 72 mini bites.)
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
Melt the butter with the chocolate in a small saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave. If melting in the microwave, be sure to do it slowly, blending with a spoon between each pass.
Transfer into a mixing bowl, add in the sugar, mix with a wooden spoon and let cool a little. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well with the spoon after each addition. Add a rounded tablespoon of flour and the chili and mix well.
Pour the dough in the petit four molds, and put into the oven to bake for ten to twelve minutes. The top should look set, but the inside should still be on the soft side.
Let the the mini bites cool down enough to unmold them, then turn them out on a rack to cool completely while you cook the other batches. Store in a plastic container, refrigerate, and take out about an hour prior to serving the next day.