Friday, April 30, 2010


Even if you won't be in Kentucky tomorrow for the Derby, an impromptu cocktail party celebrating the races is always fun. Crack open a good bottle of Bourbon and mix up a batch of traditional Mint Juleps.  Serve alongside a southern sandwich staple, pimento cheese, which has been deliciously transformed into elegant hot Pimento Cheese Canapes. Put on a classic Etta James CD,  invite your best friends over and enjoy the races!

These canapes are absolutely delicious and take about 3 minutes to make.

 Pimento Cheese Canapes
6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
 3/8 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup finely diced bottled roasted red pepper (rinse and pat dry first)
1/2  baguette
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Stir together all ingredients, except baguette, plus 1/8 teaspoon pepper and salt to taste.
  3. Slice baguette crosswise 1/3 inch thick and spread bread thickly with cheese mixture.
  4. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until cheese is bubbling and browned, about 2 minutes.
Makes about 24 hors d'oeuvres.
The spread can be made three days ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

 A mint julep requires the perfect balance of mint, sweetness and good old Kentucky bourbon. Serve in a traditional julep cup or old fashioned glass and enjoy!

Classic Mint Julep
1 scant ounce of minted simple syrup
2 cups of crushed ice
2 ounces of bourbon
fresh mint for garnish

 To a highball glass or silver Julep cup, add mined simply syrup, then 1 cup of crushed ice, bourbon and splash of water.  Add enough of remaining ice to almost fill the glass. Stir well and garnish with mint sprig.

Mint Simple Syrup
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 bunch of mint
In heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Increase heat slightly, then simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take pan off heat, add mint leaves, and steep 15 minutes. Strain, then refrigerate syrup until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
recipe from Epicurious


Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

Wish I could go! Maybe one day ... in the meantime, I love using those mint julep cups for small flower arrangements. Have a great weekend!


OK, 3 minutes, I can do that! Do you have a fave horse?

red ticking said...

i will be right over... have a wonderful weekend! xx

shari @ little blue deer said...

Ooooh, yes! Love this post, I love the Derby. Had other plans this year, but next year am definitely going to plan a party!

Mary Ann said...

delicious recipe from a great hostess..thanks for sharing. have a great week! verbena cottage