Archive for the Category Hors d’oeuvres
Melt 2 tbsp butter in saucepan. stir in 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tsp piment d’espelette (dried Basque chili peppers, available online). Pour mixture over 5-6 cups fresh peanuts and stir well to coat. Roast peanuts in a 350F oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
Wine pairing: a Basque Txakoli would be an excellent compliment to the Piment d’Espelette. An Albarino would be lovely as well. Cheers!
I make some variation of these every holiday season with the peanuts we buy from the Virginia Tech Agronomy Club in November. These fresh peanuts are incomparable.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter with 1-2 Tbsp light olive or other neutral oil over medium heat.
Add 2 tsp of sea salt, 1 heaping tsp of cayenne pepper, and 1 Tbsp of crumbled dried rosemary. Stir to combine. Turn off the heat.
Add 5 cups of raw peanuts, preferably with the skins. Toss to evenly coat the peanuts.
Roast in the 350F oven for 25-30 minutes, watching closely at the end so that they don’t burn!
Let cool at room temperature and enjoy!
Delicious as a tapas dish:
Mix 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko (finely ground) breadcrumbs, 2-3 tsp of Dijon mustard, 1-2 tsp of prepared curry powder* to taste, a dash of cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt, and freshly cracked black pepper into 1 lb of ground lamb.
*You can mix your own curry powder using cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon (listed in decreasing quantity of addition). Maybe a dash of paprika.
Form 16 lamb meatballs.
Sautee on the stovetop over medium-high heat until all sides are browned and the center done to your liking. These would also be great prepared on the grill.
Serve with yogurt-cumin dipping sauce.
Wine pairing: Lamb happily pairs with most any red wine. The cumin in curry gives an earthy sweet-spicy flavor; so I would compliment that with an earthy wine. A Spanish red such as Rioja or Ribera del Duero would be a lovely pairing and nod to the tapas tradition. Hermitage (Syrah), Irouleguy (Tannat blended withÃ‚ Cabernet Franc or Sauvignon), Greek reds, or reds from other Mediterranean regions would all pair beautifully. Cheers!
I love this recipe for “Ramequins au Fromage” from Jacques Pepin’s memoir, The Apprentice. Rather than an overly-heavy, thick, cheesy soup (which certainly also has its place!), his version is as much about the wine. In the final preparation, a layer of wine floats on top of the cheese; so your bread gets soaked in wine as you swirl it around the bottom layer of cheese. I cut the recipe in half for two servings, and follow the fondue with a green salade as Jacques suggests.
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a heavy saucepan.
Add 1 tsp finely chopped garlic and let cook for 10 seconds over high heat.
Add 1.5 cups fruity white wine, about 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste), and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.
Bring to a boil to evaporate the alcohol. (This shouldn’t take too long, just wait until the steam starts to smell more interesting and less pungent).
Add 3 cups (about 12 oz) packed Swiss cheese – preferably Gruyere and/or Emmenthaler, and stir until dissolved.
Taste and correct seasoning if necessary.
Carefully transfer the mixture to your fondue pot (if necessary). Bring to the table and set over a burner to keep hot.
Serve with crusty French bread (about 36 2-inch cubes), and sliced apples and pears.
The technique: impale bread with fork through the soft side. Stir gently in the fondue until coated with cheese, with a twist of the wrist, lift bread from cheese and set on a plate for a few seconds to cool.
When about 1 cup of the fondue is left at the bottom of the pan, add a dozen or so pieces of bread to the pot add stir to coat with cheese and absorb the remainder of the wine. The best part? Any crusty cheese at the bottom of the fondue pot.
Wine pairing: Vouvray (Chenin blanc – be sure to pick a dry one!) and Sauvignon blanc work well in the fondue. Viognier would be an intesting choice to consider. Most medium-bodied reds would pair well with the finished fondue. Since we tend to indulge in fondue on occassions, we can vouch that Champagne is fabulous with this fondue as well! Cheers!
Method 1 – Blanch and saute:
Blanch in boiling, salted water for 2-7 mintures, depending on thickness of stem and desired crunchiness (usually 4-5 min works for 1-cm thickness).
Immediately move to ice water. Once cool, drain thoroughly.
Heat 2-3 tsp butter and/or olive oil in saute pan over medium heat, add a finely minced shallot and saute for 2-3 min until soft and fragrant.
Add asparagus and toss with shallots until hot.
Season with sea salt and freshly-cracked pepper.
Variation to method 1:
After asparagus is blanched and cooled, wrap with proscuitto and either serve cold or place on grill until proscuitto is cripsy. Season with sea salt and grated orange peel (this variation is thanks to my friend Pam!). If grilling, be sure to only briefly blanch to bring out the green color but not lose the structure of the stem for grilling.
Method 2 – oven-roast:
Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper in roasting pan.
Place in 450F oven for about 10 min (watch carefully!), occassionally stirring them to prevent sticking and encourage even browning.
Let cool slightly, drizzle with balsalmic vinegar and serve with a few curls of Peccorino-Romano.
You can also pan-roast them on the stove-top over med-high heat to achieve similar results.
Wine pairing: I like Sauvignon blanc with asparagus – either an old world or new world style. A Vouvray (Chenin blanc) would also be nice. Viognier woul be a lovely pairing with the cold prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, and consider a Pinot grigio with the grilled version. Cheers!