Downton Dish: Shortbread with Raspberry Jam

The gang’s heading to Scotland (which made perfect sense in an episode that ran as a Christmas special in the UK)! I could direct you to a traditional haggis, neeps, and tatties, but I’m pretty sure I’d lose about half my viewership if I did. Instead, let’s go back to dessert—delicious, delicious shortbread, all crumbly and buttery. Want to take it up a notch? Add a bit of jam. Soooo good. My decision to run shortbread here will probably make sense outright; the jam, well, that’ll probably make a bit more sense towards the end of the episode. It’ll almost certainly make more sense if you read my recap of it. For now, let’s just say that these two things go really well together and leave it at that.

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Downton Dish: Turbot in Champagne Sauce

There’s a lot going on at Downton these days, but one of the more intriguing plotlines is the slow-motion trainwreck that is Thomas’s crush on Jimmy. I never thought I’d say this, but oh, Thomas, you poor man. O’Brien has you in her sights and she’s going to squash you like a bug. And honestly, did the whole Oscar Wilde trial (which would have all gone down within your lifetime) teach you nothing?

It’s impossible (for me, at least) to watch this without thinking of the great wit and writer, so this week’s recipe is inspired by him. Unsurprisingly, his favourite tipple was champagne—he drank it constantly, but I’ve already done champagne cocktail, so let’s go a different route, shall we? Champagne is more than just a delicious drink; the Edwardians loved using it in sauces, like this one. It’s also said to be an aphrodisiac, so it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day! Surprise your sweetie with this delicious, sophisticated dish.

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Downton Dish: Charlotte Russe

Apparently, in Isobel’s mind, the best way to distract a mother from the grief of losing a child is to have her over for lunch. And, oddly, she turns out to be right, but mostly because Robert shows up to make a scene and look like a intolerant jerk and a buffoon yet again. Though he’s enraged by the idea of his wife, daughters, and mother being served luncheon by a (gasp!) former prostitute, the ladies all take one look at the pudding and decide to stay. I’ve never had a Charlotte Rousse, but if the picture’s anything to go by, I don’t blame them one bit.

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Downton Dish: Brownies

Look, Sybil’s having her baby. It’s tense; you’re gonna want some chocolate, just trust me on this one. And these are possibly the greatest chocolate brownies I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. Rich, fudgy, so, so good. Bake up a plate and have it on hand. Best Damn Brownies Adapted from Martha Stewart Ingredients 1 stick (8T) butter 4 oz bittersweet chocolate 2 eggs … Continue reading Downton Dish: Brownies

Downton Dish: Welsh Rarebit

This recipe will probably make a bit more sense after you’ve seen the episode, but even beforehand, it’s delish, and perfect for snacking on during a cold day (which it certainly is here in Edinburgh!). Perfect for getting your strength back after you’ve been forced to flee your home and ideal for covering up the toast your newfangled electric toaster just burned. Rarebit, unsurprisingly, was … Continue reading Downton Dish: Welsh Rarebit

Downton Dish: Cocktails

Ahh, the 1920s. While America was mired in Prohibition, Europe was discovering that mixing various types of hard liquor together with a little juice was a really good way to (temporarily) forget the horrors of the Great War. Bright Young Things gathered in bars in Berlin, London, Paris, and Venice to sample Honey Bees, Pussyfoots, and, yes, martinis and Manhattans. Eventually, event smart houses like … Continue reading Downton Dish: Cocktails

Downton Dish: Wedding Fruitcake

I don’t think it’s too spoilery to say that there’s a wedding coming to Downton Abbey, and weddings in England apparently mean fruitcake. Now, fruitcake’s gotten a bad rap over the years, but the real stuff is pretty damn good. Unfortunately, it usually needs several days (even weeks) to cure, so I found a recipe that skips that step entirely by leaving out the alcohol. … Continue reading Downton Dish: Wedding Fruitcake

Downton Dish: Crème Brûlée

Ok, I was going to be all sensitive and PC and do something innocuous today, like scones. But since tonight’s episode revolves heavily around I guy with burns, I just couldn’t resist. I shrugged and said: “Eh, the hell with it. I’m doing crème brûlée.” What can I say? I have a rather morbid sense of humor sometimes. Besides, crème brûlée is delicious deliciousness, and … Continue reading Downton Dish: Crème Brûlée

Downton Dish: Crêpes Suzette

My dear readers, I can’t believe, with my love of cooking and Downton Abbey, that it didn’t occur to me until now to put the two together. As we all settle down for another episode, it’s nice to have something to snack on, and let’s face it—regular old popcorn simply won’t do (what would Violet say?!) Instead, perhaps we should turn to this classic, elegant … Continue reading Downton Dish: Crêpes Suzette