Champagne Favours

I love champagne -what girl doesn't, right? It is always the right drink to have when in good company, even if there is nothing specific to celebrate.
In my opinion, extra brut champagne (or cava, for that matter) calls for some off the beaten track food paring, besides the obvious, cliched (and not very accessable) caviar.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. More to come.

French Fines de Claires Oysters

Open and serve  on a plate of crushed ice, lemon slices on the side. Have North American guests? Keep Tabasco® handy! Most of the time, they will enjoy a splash.
Many of you might get turned off by the thought of having to open oysters, but it is not that difficult, really. Just give it a try! This video will teach you how. Although you will need the oyster knife (usually not that expensive and quite easy to find), you can skip the purchase of a pricey (usually metal and not very comfortable) oyster glove. Instead, use any heavy-duty kind that will protect your hand.
First prepare your platter with crushed ice. Then start opening the oysters one by one, carefully placing them on the serving platter, making sure you first loosen them up from the shell.

Dates Wrapped in Organic Bacon

I bet you just had an 'aha' moment! How easy can it be, right?
You wrap a small piece of bacon (half a slice) around a date and hold it in place with a tooth pick.
It will take about 10-15 min in 410°F/210°C oven for the bacon to loose the fat and the dates to get warm. Never tried it before and the combination sounds weird? Believe you me, you are going to love it!
Make sure to buy pitted dates (far less jaw breaking and safer for everybody) and wet the tooth picks before use. That way they will not burn in the oven!

Iberic Figs Au Naturel

Why Portuguese or Spanish? The more common ones are Turkish. Delicious as they might be for certain occasions, they are huge and extremely sweet.
The Iberian kind have the perfect mouth size and are far more delicate (less sweet) taste. They will compliment your bubbly just perfect!
Serve them plane, just like that! Anything you do to them to pimp them up, will just ruin them.

Tropical Physalis in Tuxedo

Putting these guys into a tuxedo takes a bit of genious...and patience. But as you go along, you get better and faster at it. This trick will work just as well with small strawberries.
•wash your fruit and let it dry on a cloth
•part and melt some +70% organic chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave (600W for aprox. 4 min)
•open the physalis, gently push the leaves backwards and dip the orange ball in the chocolate
•let the chocolate harden in the freezer (it will take about 2 min.)
I used approx. 25 g of chocolate to cover 16 physalis. I put one chocolate covered physalis in the freezer, then proceeded to prepare and dip the following one. By the time I placed no. 2 in the freezer, no. 1 was ready to come out.