Entries tagged with “appetizer”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Sat 10 Nov 2012
Posted by Dana under Savory
I wrote about making naan, and promised I would tell you all about the incredible delectable thing I did with it… and then I went and talked about other things and forgot all about that.
How about topping naan with caramelized onion, thinly sliced pears, a few leaves of thyme, and some glorious brie? Those are four of my favorite things!
And hopefully this awesome flatbread will be one of your favorite things too!
Caramelized Onion, Pear & Brie Flatbread
(Recipe adapted from Inspired magazine)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly (a perfect time to get out your mandolin if you have one!)
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
2 or 3 pieces of naan (depending on size)
salt and pepper
1 pear, cored and sliced into thin rounds (I chose Bosc for density, but feel free to mix it up)
100 grams brie, cut into slices
- Cook the onion slices in the olive oil over medium heat until gloriously caramelized.
- Spread the onions in a thin layer over your pieces of naan.
- Arrange the sliced pear over top of the onion, and then season gently with salt and pepper.
- Lay the brie on top, and then sprinkle with the thyme leaves.
- Bake in a 400° F oven until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the naan is browned and crisp (~10 minutes).
- Allow to cool slightly, and then slice into wedges.
This was so very ridiculously tasty. When I said devour I really did mean it! It was sweet and savory, unctuous and gooey and downright good. I may be slightly biased though, because it really does bring together a number of my favorite flavors. Both Mr and I found it a little greasy between the onions and the brie, which is why I cut down the oil in the recipe that is used to caramelize the onions, but the recipe may need a little more tinkering with in order to mitigate it further.
My next plan of action: replace the caramelized onions with caramelized onion marmalade. It might make the flatbread too sweet, though. Only experimentation will tell.
The flatbread would be a lovely addition to a party spread, and an easy addition too, because it assembles in a few pieces and then gets cut up to serve a crowd (or a few voracious people). This route is much less fussy than making a whole tray of individual sized nibbles.
This time last year: Mushroom Cranberry Pilaf
And the year before: Pear Upside Down Brownie
Mon 7 May 2012
Posted by Dana under Savory
Sixth grade English was the year of the notebook. The assignment was 20 minutes of writing a day. It didn’t matter what: you could treat it like a diary (hopefully keeping in mind that your your teacher would eventually be reading said notebook), write a story, a poem, ideas, the requirement was that you did it for 20 minutes.
Normally, such an open ended set of expectations would have sent me into a whirlwind of worry. How do you know if you’re doing it right if there isn’t a specification of what you are supposed to be doing? How do you ensure doing well at something if there aren’t really guidelines?
From my now doubled age (gasp!), I understand that the point was to write, improve our writing skills, and learn new things about it. But at the time it seemed like a somewhat crazy assignment; do this action for 20 minutes every day and you’ll eventually get scored on it.
The thing was, after the initial worry fest, I really grew to enjoy writing and the freedom of getting to do so on topics of my own choice. Getting notes in the margins about having a “strong voice” made a person feel pretty awesome, but the gentle reminders that proper paragraphs do serve their purpose, though somewhat frustrating , did improve my writing a lot.
Sometimes I wonder if falling in love with writing via sixth grade notebooks helped to lead me here, writing about food and life to you guys in the internet ether. Either way, Mrs. Bollegraf, for making me fall in love with writing (and many other reasons), you are one of the teachers I hold in highest esteem through my illustrious educational career. I’m sorry my penmanship was so terrible back then.
Sundried Tomato, Snap Pea and Gouda Skewers
(recipe from Flavours: The Cookbook)
8 oz gouda
A package of snap peas
- Cut the gouda into pieces approximately 1″x1″x1/2″ in dimension.
- Trim the ends off of the snap peas and cut them into halves.
- Place the sundried tomatoes in a strainer and run under cool water to drain off the oil.
- Using a bamboo skewer or a tooth pick, pierce a sundried tomato, then 2 snap pea pieces, and then a cube of cheese. The cheese will be a steady base for these tasty morsels.
- Arrange on a platter and serve.
You can have a plate of these together for a party in about 8 minutes flat, which is great in and of itself. The thing that makes these really worth making, though, is that the flavors are sensational together. The creamy gouda and rich, deep tomato flavors from the sundried tomato are offset by the bright greenness and crunch of the snap peas.
Mr liked them better without the snap peas, so he took his apart and ate the peas on their own.
This time last year: Chicken Thighs with North African Spice Paste
And the year before: Cardamom Honey Chocolate Tart
Thu 7 Apr 2011
Posted by Dana under Savory
My daffodils and tulips are just starting to poke up through the dirt! The days are getting longer and warmer, the snow drifts are almost gone and I am so excited to get a green thumb on this summer. This is just the beginning.
In other news: there is a small river running through our back yard. It used to be a small lake, but thanks to Mister’s endeavors the lake has drained out into the lane and we are now left with the Great Backyard River. It’s complete with an (almost) oxbow, and even rapids.
Mister is pretty ambitious, what with the river building and all. People who build rivers in the afternoon build up mighty appetites. Potstickers were just the thing to fill up his empty tummy.
(adapted from the recipe at My Husband Cooks, I’m so sad they don’t post anymore)
6 green onion stalks
3 garlic cloves
2 inch thumb of ginger
16 oz canned water chestnuts
4 Tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds of ground beef, extra lean if possible
~1 1/2 packages of wonton wrappers
a small bowl of warm water
- Cut the tips off of the green onions, the roots and the ragged ends. Mince them up. Then do the same for the ginger and garlic, removing the skin or yucky tips and mincing away. Potstickers require a lot of mincing.
- Mince the water chestnuts as well. You could chop them up less finely, but I’m a fan of the crunch without the chunks in this case.
- Combine all of the above with the ground beef, pepper and the soya sauce. Work it together into an almost meatball like mixture; use your hands and it goes so much more quickly than with a spoon.
- Set out a wonton wrappers (keep the stack under a dish towel so they don’t dry out). Dip your fingers in the water and run them around the edges of the wrapper to moisten them. This is what makes the edges stick.
- Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper in half diagonally over the filling to form a triangle.
- Press out any of the air bubbles, sealing the wrapper shut along the edges.
- Pinch together small folds into the sealed edges of the wrapper. This will make the edges stay sealed, and will also make your potstickers look vaguely like stegosauruses. I do 5 folds per potsticker, you can choose on your own how many to do. The first ones you do will look kind of funny, but they get better looking as you get more experience pinching; remember that the funny looking ones taste just the same.
- Repeat repeat repeat until you run out of filling.
- Here is where you come to a crossroads: if you are going to freeze your potstickers for later use, place them on cookie sheets, not touching at all or they will stick together, and freeze. Once frozen, you can put the potstickers into a resealable bag or an air tight container with a lid. If you aren’t freezing your potstickers, proceed with the following steps: how to cook them.
- In a large pan over mid-high heat, add a tablespoon or two of vegetable or sesame oil. When the oil gets nice and hot lay down some of the potstickers, being sure not to crowd them.
- When the potstickers have browned on the bottom, pour in a 1/3 cup of water into the pan and quickly cover it with a lid.
- Decrease the heat to mid-low and allow the dumplings to steam for about 3 minutes, or until most of the water is gone.
- Remove the pan from heat and transfer the potstickers to your serving plate. Wipe the pan again and continue with additional batches until you have enough potstickers for your purpose. Store the cooked potstickers in a warm location as you cook other batches.
You can cook frozen potstickers with the same procedure given above, the steaming gets the filling cooked through just fine.
Potstickers are a great thing to have at a party or to bring to a potluck, they aren’t very messy to eat. They’ve also become a standby meal for when there are time constraints between work and evening activities because they take a matter of minutes to go from freezer to table. We’ve become a little bit addicted to these lovely little pockets of savory goodness, moving onto our second batch in a matter of weeks.
Mister the river-digger certainly enjoys them, saying: “They’re very tasty with just the right amount of crunchy.” This coming from a man who says he doesn’t like water chestnuts, ha ha.