Happy Hour: Blanketed Pigs and Cold Martinis

Some days the home happy hour is all about compromise.  My baby doll wasn’t feeling like anything fancy and inexplicably had a craving for pigs in a  blanket.  He opened a beer and I made a dirty martini. 

I know a dirty martini is always my fall back when I am not trying a new recipe.  While everyone has their own particular version my mix is:

One part Vermouth (Noily Pratt if possible, I have yet to find anything else that is a suitable replacement)

Two parts gin (my current preference is Plymouth Gin)

Dash of olive juice

A quick stir and add a large ice cube to chill it down. (I tend to keep my gin in the freezer)

Pour and serve with an olive.

It has the alcohol zing, the herbaceous notes from the gin, smoothed out by the vermouth, tempered with cold and perked up with the sharp brine of olive. What more could one ask for?

The glass I use is a small martini glass, circa 1950s I believe.  I use it one, because while I like my Friday Night cocktail I don’t need buckets of gin and two because of temperature.  I generally find that if I use one of the really large martini glasses the martini is warm by the time I get half way through it.  With the smaller glass I can not only have a second if it has been a rather long week without going over the top, but because it is a smaller glass I can have the perfect temperature of drink all the way from the first wipe to the last. 

While size often matters, sometimes bigger isn’t necessarily better and that can easily be seen in the martini.

I would love to get some new martini glasses with a bit of a more modern design as the etched fruit isn’t exactly my taste, but it is always the size that stops me. I just can’t find a modern martini glass that is the appropriate size.  I mentioned this to a friend and she suggested instead of going newer, I go older and try for a 1920s set.  The size would be right and I tend to favor the simple lines and geometrics.  Perhaps I will start looking into those.

Surprisingly the martini went well with the pigs in a blanket. The recipe is quite simple. 

1 sheet of Puff pastry

Grated cheddar cheese

Your favorite hot dogs or sausages

Your measurements will depend on how many little piggies you want. I have to say this is one of those times though that I again love my Hamilton Beach Food Processor.  It has a grating attachment so I stick the cheese in the freezer for about five minutes to firm it up and then send it through the grating attachment.  Voila! Grated cheese in an instant.

The assembly is just as simple as the listed ingredients.

Cut the puff pastry into a size that is the length of your hot dog and can wrap around it about one and a half times.

Lay out the squares of pastry and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.  Place the hot dog on the pastry and roll it up.

Flatten the seams so it doesn’t come undone.

Cut the pastry wrapped hot dog into inch long segments and transfer to a baking sheet.  I like to line my sheet with parchment paper so any cheese spillage is contained.

Bake at 350 until golden brown (10 to 15 minutes). Serve hot with dipping sauce if desired. 

We serve it with spicy mustard or barbeque sauce. Sometimes I’ll sprinkle mustard powder on the cheese for an extra tang and my baby doll likes adding in a bit of our home grown and roasted paprika.  Either way the fatty richness really compliments the sharpness of the martini as well as the hops notes in my baby doll’s beer.  It may sound like a strange combination, but it really does work.

So that is our happy hour this week.  It’s nice that allergies have been tamed and health wise all is well.  This week the world went a little wonky and it is nice to sit down with my baby doll, my feet clad in fuzzy socks sipping a martini and eating a few homemade delectable treats.  Tonight, we have the Vincent Price version of The Wax Museum for our viewing pleasure and maple glazed salmon, rice and asparagus for dinner following our happy hour relaxation.  I think it is going to be a pretty good night.

The Place Where Movies Never Get Old

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