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 Sunday, March 25.
First up are the drinks, which include a classic martini — made with gin, easy on the vermouth. 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 three's "My Old Kentucky Home," episode. We didn't vault over the bar counter to fix it, though.
For food, we came come up with an avocado and crab mini sandwich. Avocado — both as a food and color — 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.
2½ ozs. gin
½ oz. dry vermouth
2 green olives
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin and vermouth. Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the olives. Makes 1 serving.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 200 calories; 10 calories from fat (6 percent of total calories); 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 160 mg sodium.
1 cube (or 1 t.) sugar
2 maraschino cherries
2 slices orange
2 dashes bitters
Splash of soda water
2 ozs. rye whiskey
In an old fashioned glass, combine the sugar, 1 cherry, 1 orange slice, the bitters and the soda water. Muddle the ingredients together in the glass until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the rye and a couple ice cubes. Garnish with the 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 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 0 mg sodium.
Avocado And Crab Canapes
Twelve ½-inch-thick slices baguette
2 T. butter, melted
Salt and ground black pepper
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. Dijon mustard
½ t. hot sauce
1 T. olive oil
2 T. chopped pimento
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
½ c. lump crab meat
Heat the oven to 400°.
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 the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, hot sauce and olive oil. Gently stir in the chopped pimento, avocado cubes and crab meat.
Arrange the 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 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber; 110 mg sodium.
Cheese Ball Platter
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 T. grated shallot
¼ c. finely chopped green bell pepper
¼ c. chopped green olives
¼ c. chopped black olives
¼ c. chopped pimento
½ t. ground black pepper
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. onion powder
1 t. paprika
⅓ c. sliced almonds, toasted
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
Butter crackers, to serve
In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, shallot, green pepper, green olives, black olives, pimento, black pepper, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, onion powder and paprika. Roughly form the mixture into a lump in the bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.
Using your hands, form the mixture into a ball. Roll the 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 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 115 mg sodium.