I know I'm late. I was going to create many more retro canapés and cocktails for Stephanie's Blog Party, but only got as far as Stage 1. Stage 2 might materialize for tomorrow's post (after all, what am I supposed to do with the cream cheese and avocados and shrimp and smoked oysters and...?).
I also realize Stephanie has previously chosen "Tiki" as a Blog Party theme. But let me explain. "Retro," for me, means something not from my past, but my parents' past. And when my parents were major cocktail partiers, we lived (among fellow Navy personnel and their families) in Hawaii. So cocktail parties were not only retro (in my eyes), they were also tiki. Pupus. Flaming things. Fruity drinks.
"Retro," for me, does not necessarily mean "kitsch." A retro cocktail can be a thoroughly sophisticated gin martini (do not omit the vermouth). A retro canapé can be an elegant dab of pâté on a puff-pastry round.
But the retro of my childhood memories is just a little kitschy. How lucky for me!
The Chichi Cocktail
1 ½ oz. vodka
4 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. cream of coconut
Blend with a cup of ice; garnish kitschily.
Note: Cream of coconut is a commercially blended, sweetened product. It is not the same as canned coconut milk. That's a mistake I'm, um, owning up to here. (Yeargh, way too much fat and not enough sweet.)
These cocktails — with room for improvement, and boy, what a project! — are divine with:
(makes 16 lunkers)
1 small can whole water chestnuts, drained
8 chicken livers, cut in half
8 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise (or, for more wrapping fun, lengthwise)
Teriyaki sauce (a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, ginger and a splash of sherry; recipes abound on the Internet; or just buy a pre-made bottle)
Marinate the chicken livers in the teriyaki sauce for an hour or longer.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay bacon strips on a baking sheet and precook for 10 minutes (but do not allow them to become crisp; alternatively you could cook them half-way in a skillet).
Take a piece of chicken liver and one water chestnut, and wrap with a half strip of bacon; secure with a toothpick. Do all the rest until you run out of bacon... The livers might go a lot farther than you'd suspect. (What are they feeding chickens nowadays, Jack Daniels? These livers were huge; cutting them in thirds or quarters would have worked just fine.)
Lay the wrapped tidbits on a wire rack over a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the bacon browns. (Keep an eye on them; no burning allowed.)
These are gargantuan. I ate four of them for lunch, and didn't want dinner. They are also insanely delicious; shelve any preconceptions you may have about liver and bacon.