Displaying items by tag: appetizers

This recipe is quick and easy to execute and makes 30 crostini bases, but you can make more if you're serving a hungry group. The slices will keep up to 10 days well sealed in a plastic bag but not refrigerated. If you absolutely do not want to turn on the oven, you can buy excellent crostini at the supermarket.

 

1 baguette

½ cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, cut in half

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut baguette into thin slices no more than ½-inch thick. Place bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden, turning over once if needed.

Remove from oven, brush lightly with olive oil and rub with cut side of garlic clove. Makes 30 or more crostini.

 

CRUSHED CHICKPEAS WITH JALAPENOS

This spicy pepper-laced dip has more kick than hummus.

 

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos or to taste

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Combine chickpeas in a bowl and crush with a fork or potato masher. Add chopped jalapenos, garlic, olive oil and parsley and mix together. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

 

BUFFALO MOZZARELLA WITH RED CHILIES

If you can find burrata, the creamy cheese from Puglia, it is fabulous in this recipe. If you have leftovers, it's great melted on toast for breakfast.

 

1 ball buffalo mozzarella

2 tablespoons to ¼ cup fire-roasted chilies (depending on heat)

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Tear mozzarella into pieces and toss with chilies and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

FRESH RICOTTA WITH HONEY

If you can find warm fresh ricotta, its homey flavour is unbeatable, although regular fresh ricotta is excellent too.

 

2 cups fresh ricotta

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon chopped lemon balm

 

Break ricotta into small pieces. Mix with honey, black pepper and salt. Garnish with lemon balm.

 

 

TOMATO, RED ONION AND AVOCADO

A cross between a guacamole and a salsa, this salad refreshes the tongue.

 

1½ cups chopped tomatoes

½ cup chopped red onion

1 avocado, diced

2 tablespoons chopped basil

1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Combine tomatoes, red onion, avocado and basil. Whisk together balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss together.

 

TUNA IN OLIVE OIL

Italian oil-packed tuna is ideal for this recipe. If you can't find it, substitute one regular can of drained solid white tuna and add in 2 extra tablespoons of olive oil.

 

2 80-gram cans light Italian tuna in oil

2 teaspoons capers

3 tablespoons chopped shallots

1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Mash tuna using a fork. Add capers, shallots, egg and sherry vinegar and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

TALEGGIO AND PEARS

This is one of my favourite toppings, a kind of bridge from crostini to dessert.

 

1 pear, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

4 ounces (125 grams) taleggio cheese, thinly sliced

8 basil leaves, torn

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Toss pear with lemon juice to keep it from discolouring. Serve atop crostini slices with sliced taleggio and basil leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

04.08.2010
Published in Recipes

Sliders - usually three little meatballs on three little buns - are a huge hit in New York. They are also the most popular dish at Little Owl, the West Village restaurant that serves tasty Mediterranean-influenced food at affordable prices. Since the restaurant has only 32 seats, it takes forever to get a table, but it's well worth the wait. While I was there, chef Joey Campanaro was kind enough to give me the recipe for his gravy meatball sliders. Buy jars of passata (tomato purée) for the puréed tomatoes.

 

Meatballs:

1/2 pound (250 grams) ground beef

1/2 pound (250 grams) ground pork

1/2 pound (250 grams) ground veal

1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves

11/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fennel seeds

1 796-ml (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, broken up

1 cup canned pureed tomatoes

To finish:

3 cups arugula leaves

18 small soft rolls split horizontally

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

 

Combine beef, pork, veal, panko, water, cheese, egg, egg yolk and parsley in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Fry a small piece of mixture to check seasoning. Form mixture into 18 2-inch balls.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry meatballs until brown all over and transfer to a plate. Pour off oil and any dark bits from skillet.

Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil to skillet. Add onion, garlic, basil and fennel seeds and sauté until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add all tomatoes and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. Transfer sauce to a food processor and process until smooth.

Return sauce to skillet, add meatballs, turn heat to medium-low and simmer, covered with lid slightly ajar, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until meatballs are cooked through.

Place a few arugula leaves on the bottom half of each roll. Top each with 1 meatball, drizzle with some sauce and sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Cover with tops of rolls. Makes 18 sliders.

04.08.2010
Published in Recipes

This recipe comes from Michael Hartnell, the young executive chef at Le Caprice, the sister establishment of London's Le Caprice, possibly one of the most difficult restaurants to get into in that city. The menus and the rooms are much the same, although the New York location is much more relaxed. I've adapted this recipe with ingredient suggestions you can find more easily. If you can't get smoked haddock, use smoked trout or hot smoked salmon. If you can't find quail eggs, use small regular eggs or omit. Wilt the spinach for this recipe in a skillet.

 

Velouté sauce:

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Hollandaise sauce:

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Filling:

4 ounces (125 grams) smoked haddock or hot smoked salmon

4 cups packed baby spinach, wilted and squeezed of excess liquid

4 4-inch prebaked puff pastry tartlet shells

4 poached quail eggs

 

Combine butter and flour in a small pot over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Whisk in stock, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute or until thickened. Whisk in mustard and season with salt to taste.

Place egg yolks in a blender and whirl until combined. Combine butter and lemon juice in a small pot over medium heat and heat until melted and uniform. Turn on blender and pour hot liquid into egg yolks in a slow steady stream until fully incorporated. It will thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine velouté, 1/4 cup hollandaise, smoked haddock and spinach and place a thin layer of mixture inside each of the prebaked tartlet shells. Top with a poached egg, and then fill up tart shell with remaining haddock mixture to conceal egg. Pour 1 tablespoon hollandaise over top of each tartlet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until filling is hot and top starts to brown. Serve hot. Serves 4

To prebake tartlets, buy frozen butter puff pastry and cut out four 6-inch circles. Fit pastry circles into 4-inch tartlets shells or large muffin cups. Prick the base and the sides and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 F.

To poach eggs: Simmer eggs in a pan of water for 2 minutes if quail eggs, 3 minutes if regular - they should be runny as they will bake again.

04.08.2010
Published in Recipes

This is a great soup to serve at Jewish holiday feasts. You can add ¼ cup whipping cream into the soup at the end if it is not being used for the holiday dinner.

 

 

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

1 cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Pinch cayenne pepper

2 pounds (1 kilogram) chopped carrots (about 5 cups)

½ cup peeled and chopped potatoes

1 tablespoon grated ginger

6 cups chicken stock

2 teaspoons honey

½ cup packed fresh coriander

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

2 tablespoons chopped coriander

 

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add ground coriander and cayenne and cook for 1 minute longer or until fragrant. Add carrots, potatoes and ginger and cook for 2 minutes or until ginger is softened. Add stock and honey, bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add coriander and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted.

Transfer to a blender or use a hand blender and purée until smooth. Return to pot and adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with chopped coriander. Serves 6.

15.09.2010
Published in Recipes

Use a peppery lettuce mix for this salad to contrast the sweetness of the figs.

 

Figs:

4 large ripe Black Mission figs, quartered

2 tablespoons red wine

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Dressing:

2 tablespoons walnut or olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Salad:

8 cups mixed baby lettuce

3/4 cup gorgonzola cheese

1/2 cup slivered prosciutto

2 tablespoons chopped chives

 

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place figs in a small baking dish, cut side up, and sprinkle with red wine, balsamic vinegar and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes or until figs are soft and juicy. Remove figs from dish, reserving juices, and let cool.

Drain fig juices into a bowl and whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool.

Place salad greens in a large bowl. Add gorgonzola and prosciutto and toss together. Toss with dressing.

Place on 4 plates and garnish with the figs and chives. Serves 4.

15.09.2010
Published in Recipes

If you prefer the anchovies in the dressing, just cut them up and add them as indicated in the recipe, but I like about six strewn over the salad. The croutons have a different look than the little squares; they are much more interesting as all different shapes. Tear out the inside of a ciabatta loaf or sourdough. Leftover croutons keep well in a plastic bag in a cupboard. Do not refrigerate. The poached eggs can be made ahead of time and served cold or rewarmed in hot water for a minute.

Garlic croutons

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic cloves

4 cups torn bread

Dressing:

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons yogurt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 chopped anchovies

¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Salad:

4 eggs, poached for 3 minutes

1 small head romaine lettuce, torn

½ sweet onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove garlic from oil and set aside.

Toss bread with oil in skillet until well coated. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turning pieces once, or until crisp and golden. Let cool.

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, Worcestershire, anchovies, lemon rind and juice in a bowl and whisk until uniform. Drizzle in olive oil, a little at a time, and whisk until fully incorporated. Stir in parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss romaine with dressing until lightly coated. Divide between 4 bowls and sprinkle with croutons, fried garlic, onion and shaved parmesan. Top each salad with a poached egg. Serves 4.

14.10.2010
Published in Recipes

Combining potato and celeriac with ginger gives a depth to these vegetables, but it is the pickled ginger that really makes it shine.

 

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

2 cups chopped Yukon Gold potatoes

2 cups diced celeriac

1 tablespoon grated ginger

4 cups chicken stock

¼ cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

2 tablespoons slivered pickled ginger

 

Heat butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add potatoes, celeriac and ginger and sauté for 2 more minutes, or until vegetables are coated with butter. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.

Purée with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes to combine flavours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with pickled ginger. Serves 4.

27.10.2010
Published in Recipes

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These cheese biscuits can be made up to three days in advance. Store them in a cookie tin until needed, and then serve as is or reheat in oven at 300 F (150 C) for 5 minutes. You can change the shapes and make sticks or squares with the dough.

 

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ready time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 24 biscuits

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2-1/2 cups old cheddar, grated

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

8 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into thirds

 

METHOD

Cream the butter until soft and fluffy in a food processor or by hand. Add the cheese and mustard, and process until well combined.

Mix together the flour, cayenne and salt in a large bowl. Add to the cheese mixture and combine until the mixture just holds together. Do not overmix. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Divide the dough into 1 tablespoon balls. Press down to form small disks.

Place on a baking sheet and place a piece of date onto each biscuit. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until pale gold. Serve warm or cold.

 

SUGGESTED WINE PAIRING

One big smorgasbord of appetizers could be suitably accompanied by a festive, dry sparkling wine. By all means keep it affordable, as in Italian Prosecco or Spanish cava. For an especially festive twist, turn that wine into a champagne cocktail by first dropping a sugar cube into the flute, soaking it with two or three dashes of cocktail bitters such as Angostura and adding a half-ounce of brandy. Then top up with sparkling wine. If serving just the cheese biscuits, bubbly would be nice, but you could alternatively try a strong Belgian beer such as Chimay. - Beppi Crosariol

03.12.2013
Published in Recipes

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Grating some fresh horseradish over the pâté bumps up the taste even more.

 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ready time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1 3/4 cup

 

INGREDIENTS

250 grams (8 ounces) smoked white fish or trout

2 tablespoons horseradish with juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

 

METHOD

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth, but not puréed. Serve with crackers or crostini.

 

SUGGESTED WINE PAIRING

One big smorgasbord of appetizers could be suitably accompanied by a festive, dry sparkling wine. By all means keep it affordable, as in Italian Prosecco or Spanish cava. For an especially festive twist, turn that wine into a champagne cocktail by first dropping a sugar cube into the flute, soaking it with two or three dashes of cocktail bitters such as Angostura and adding a half-ounce of brandy. Then top up with sparkling wine. If serving just the smoked fish pâté, try riesling, either dry or off-dry. - Beppi Crosariol

03.12.2013
Published in Recipes