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Archive for the tag “appetizer”

Pretzel Crisps Make Fun Appetizers

Check out new Pretzel Crisps by the makers of New York Style Bagel Chips and Pita chips!

They’re perfect for fun appetizers.  Above left is smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill atop an “Everything”-flavored pretzel crisp.  Above left is jalapeno cheddar and salami atop an Original flavor.  More pairing ideas on the website.

I’m not a huge pretzel person, but I preferred this shape (and ease of adding other flavors) compared to regular pretzels.  I served them with a cheesy sage dip at a recent dinner party and people seemed to enjoy them.  Thanks to Shaina for sending some samples my way.

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Recipe: Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese Balls

Gourmet Thanksgiving in Advance (described here) Recipe #3

Gorgeous, easy to make, and ridiculously delicious. Be sure to make these! Bet you can’t eat just six.

Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese Balls

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine‘s Pecan and Goat-Cheese Marbles

1 cup pecans (1/4 lb)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (11-oz) log soft goat cheese
2 teaspoons minced rosemary (I used dried)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed with side of a large knife, then chopped
About 50 to 60 large flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in upper third. Toss pecans with butter, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then toast in a 4-sided sheet pan until fragrant and a shade darker, 8 to 10 minutes. (Watch them very closely. If some happen to get a little burnt/dark, don’t worry- I thought it added a “smokey” taste and we still gobbled them up.) Transfer to a plate and cool completely.

2. Chop pecans rather finely, then transfer to a wide shallow bowl.

3. Stir together goat cheese, rosemary, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until combined well. Form teaspoons of cheese mixture into marbles between your palms, then roll in pecans to coat and roll between your palms again briefly. Transfer to a plate.

4. Put a parsley leaf over each cheese marble and spear together with a wooden pick.

Recipe: Green pea thyme dip

There are two types of people: those who follow recipes exactly and those who don’t.

I don’t think I have ever followed a recipe exactly. Ever. Inevitably I change an ingredient or two or five, I swap the spices, I change the cooking method, or I change the final presentation. I view recipes as a jumping off point.

This style of cooking is intimidating to many people. I think it becomes easier the more you cook as you get comfortable.

This pea thyme dip was, typically, an adaptation. It is delicious and pretty, too.

Green Pea Thyme Dip

Adapted from Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

2 cups peas: fresh, thawed frozen, or canned

1/2 square vegetable bullion (I love Rapunzel’s vegan version), dissolved in 1 Tbsp hot water

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Tbsp dried thyme

2 Tbsp finely grated Pecorino Romano (sheep’s milk cheese)

Salt and pepper to taste

If using fresh peas, steam in a saucepan with a bit of water for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Put peas in medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Blend with immersion blender. Alternatively, use a food processor or traditional blender. Serve as a dip with fresh vegetables, crackers and baguette rounds.

Recipe: Portobella Pizza Appetizers

There are two types of people: those who like mushrooms and those who don’t.

I have always loved them. As a child I would beg my mom for raw mushrooms to snack on whenever she was cooking them with dinner. Thankfully, mushrooms are one of the few “exotic” foods about which I did not have to proselytize my fiance; he has always realized their amazingness.

Portobella Pizzas

Recipe by Hilary

8 portobella mushroom caps

1/3 cup tomato paste (I like Bionaturae)

1/3 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 Tbsp roasted garlic (I like the prepackaged kind)

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, chopped

1/3 cup salsa

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Saute onion with oil or water until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix with salsa and oregano. Mix roasted garlic, salt and pepper with ricotta cheese. Wash mushroom caps and arrange on cookie sheet or baking dish face up. Spread tomato paste evenly on each cap. Then spread cheese mixture evenly on each cap. Top with onion/salsa mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft but not wilted.

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