STYLE

Recipes to get you in the mood for a fresh season of ad executive antics

03/07/2012 01:48 EST | Updated 05/07/2012 05:12 EDT
Does Don Draper do finger food? Judging by the first four seasons of TV's popular "Mad Men" show it doesn't seem likely unless we're talking about a belt of bourbon with a couple of smoking hot Lucky Strikes on the side.

But since that hardly sounds appetizing, we've come up with something a little tastier to greet the return of "Mad Men" on AMC on March 25.

First up are the drinks, which include a classic martini — made with gin, easy on the vermouth — and a rummy Hawaiian punch. The latter is a particularly appropriate choice since Hawaiian Punch, the juice product initially created in the '30s as a syrup ice-cream topping, was the focus for a classic ad campaign in the 1960s that introduced the character "Punchy" and the tagline "How about a nice Hawaiian punch?" That's an in-your-face approach that might have come straight out of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency.

And don't forget the old-fashioned, ad exec Draper's drink of choice. This one's made with rye, the way Don did in Season 3's "My Old Kentucky Home," episode. We didn't vault over the bar counter to fix it, though.

For food, we went retro, starting with a plate of devilled eggs, all the better if you can serve them on one of those dimpled trays made especially for this purpose. These have chopped ham and a dash of hot sauce for the "devilry" part. Serve with a smirk and your best impression of the piquant wit of Roger Sterling.

Stuffed celery is a grown-up twist on the old "ants on a log" children's snack; this is something you can easily imagine the regal Joan Harris whipping up in her small kitchen.

We've also come up with an avocado and crab mini sandwich. Avocado — both as a food and colour — was a big hit in the 1960s kitchen; this combo brings in a hint of California, the "Tomorrowland" state where Draper goes to overcome his past.

And, finally, how about a cheese ball platter, the nutty classic that everyone cracks jokes about, right up until the plate's scraped clean of its creamy, cheesy goodness. It's just the thing for the season premiere, a two-hour special written by series creator Matt Weiner.

What will happen this season? Who knows? The show creators are known for being stingy with spoilers. But it seems a safe bet these recipes will make for a perfectly swell party.

Hawaiian Punch

Start to finish: 10 minutes

375 ml (12 oz) light rum

175 ml (6 oz) dark rum

125 ml (4 oz) orange curacao liqueur

125 ml (4 oz) lime juice

1 can (1.3 l/46 oz) pineapple juice

1 jar (475 ml/16 oz) maraschino cherries (with juice)

1 can (540 ml/19 oz) pineapple rings (drained)

1 orange, cut into wedges

In a large punch bowl, combine light rum, dark rum, curacao, lime juice, pineapple juice and juice from the jar of maraschino cherries. Stir together. Garnish with maraschino cherries, pineapple rings and orange wedges. Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 260 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 per cent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 0 g fibre; 5 mg sodium.

———

Classic Martini

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Ice

75 ml (2 1/2 oz) gin

15 ml (1/2 oz) dry vermouth

2 green olives

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin and vermouth. Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with olives.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 200 calories; 10 calories from fat (6 per cent of total calories); 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 0 g fibre; 160 mg sodium.

———

Old-Fashioned

Start to finish: 10 minutes

1 cube (or 5 ml/1 tsp) sugar

2 maraschino cherries

2 slices orange

2 dashes bitters

Splash of soda water

30 ml (2 oz) rye whisky

Ice

In an old-fashioned glass, combine sugar, 1 cherry, 1 orange slice, bitters and soda water. Muddle ingredients together in glass until sugar is completely dissolved. Add rye and a couple ice cubes. Garnish with remaining cherry and orange slice.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 190 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 per cent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 1 g fibre; 0 mg sodium.

———

Devilled Ham Eggs

Start to finish: 45 minutes

12 eggs

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped smoked ham

125 ml (1/2 cup) mayonnaise

30 ml (2 tbsp) yellow or Dijon mustard

15 ml (1 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce

2 ml (1/2 tsp) onion powder

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped pickle

2 ml (1/2 tsp) hot sauce

Salt and ground black pepper

Paprika, to garnish

Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Place eggs in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover them by 2.5 cm (1 inch). Bring water to a boil, then cover pan and remove it from heat. Let pan sit for 12 minutes, then drain eggs and run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel eggs.

Cut each egg in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks, collecting them in a food processor. Set whites aside on a serving platter.

To yolks, add ham, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, pickle and hot sauce. Pulse mixture until mostly smooth, then season with salt and pepper.

Spoon yolk mixture into a zip-close plastic bag. Use scissors to snip off one of the bottom corners about 1 cm (1/2 inch) up. Pipe filling into each egg white. Garnish with a pinch of paprika and chopped parsley.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 120 calories; 70 calories from fat (59 per cent of total calories); 7 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 185 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 0 g fibre; 240 mg sodium.

———

Stuffed Celery

Start to finish: 15 minutes

125 g (4 oz) cream cheese

50 ml (1/4 cup) french dressing

15 ml (1 tbsp) grated onion

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped pickle

45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped stuffed green olives

Twelve 10-cm (4-inch) lengths celery

Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Celery leaves, to garnish

In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, french dressing, onion, pickle and olives. Spoon mixture into each of the celery ribs, then arrange them on a serving platter. Garnish with parsley and celery leaves.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 60 calories; 50 calories from fat (80 per cent of total calories); 6 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 1 g fibre; 150 mg sodium.

———

Avocado and Crab Canapes

Start to finish: 15 minutes

12 slices (cut 1 cm/1/2 inch thick) baguette

30 ml (2 tbsp) butter, melted

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice

5 ml (1 tsp) Dijon mustard

2 ml (1/2 tsp) hot sauce

15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped pimento

1 avocado, pitted and cubed

125 ml (1/2 cup) lump crab meat

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Brush each slice of baguette on both sides with some of the melted butter. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes or until toasted and lightly golden.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, Dijon mustard, hot sauce and olive oil. Gently stir in chopped pimento, avocado cubes and crab meat.

Arrange baguette slices on a serving platter. Top each with some of the avocado and crab salad.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 90 calories; 50 calories from fat (53 per cent of total calories); 6 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 1 g fibre; 110 mg sodium.

———

Cheese Ball Platter

Start to finish: 15 minutes

250 g (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

15 ml (1 tbsp) grated shallot

50 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped green bell pepper

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped green olives

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped black olives

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped pimento

2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground black pepper

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley

15 ml (1 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce

5 ml (1 tsp) dry mustard

5 ml (1 tsp) onion powder

5 ml (1 tsp) paprika

75 ml (1/3 cup) sliced almonds, toasted

1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced

Butter crackers, to serve

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, shallot, green pepper, green and black olives, pimento, black pepper, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, onion powder and paprika. Roughly form mixture into a lump in the bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.

Using your hands, form mixture into a ball. Roll ball in the sliced almonds. Serve on a platter with vegetables and crackers.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number, does not include cucumber or crackers): 90 calories; 80 calories from fat (80 per cent of total calories); 8 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 1 g fibre; 115 mg sodium.

MORE:cpStyle