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New Year’s Appetizers- Part 4

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | December 28th, 2011 | Appetizers, Recipes
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We’re at the halfway point of the holiday week:  three days past Christmas and three days until New Year’s Eve.  If you are celebrating at home and haven’t planned the menu or the dish you’re bringing, it is time to do so!  The benefit of delaying until this point is that you now have four weeks of New Year’s appetizers from which you can choose.

This week we are finishing the series with a trio of recipes from Todd English.  These three appetizers offer a little bit of something for every nibbler:  fish, produce, cheese.  All of these dishes are simple to make but still will add a touch of sophistication to your evening.

Recipes courtesy of Todd English, author of Cooking in Everyday English: The ABCs of Great Flavor at Home

Catalan-Style Bruschetta


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Ingredients
  1. 6 slices country bread, 3⁄4-inch
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 2 cloves garlic, halved
  4. 1 medium tomato, halved
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees to 400 degrees (medium-high) heat.
  2. Brush both sides of bread with oil. Grill, covered with grill lid, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until toasted. Rub toast slices on 1 side with cut sides of garlic halves.
  3. Rub tomato halves over garlic on bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately. 6 servings
  5. Tuscan Style: Rub toast slices with fresh mint sprigs after rubbing with garlic. (You’ll need about 10 fresh mint sprigs.) Proceed as directed in recipe.
  6. Gorgonzola: Top each toast slice with about 1 Tbsp.
  7. Gorgonzola cheese after sprinkling with salt and pepper.
  8. Tuna and Green Olive: Gently stir together 1 (5-oz.) can chunk light tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked; 1 cup coarsely chopped pitted Spanish olives;
  9. 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise; and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice in a medium bowl. Rub tomato halves over garlic on bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Spoon 2 tablespoon tuna mixture onto each toast.
  11. Sprinkle tuna mixture with chopped fresh parsley.
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Red Snapper and Melon Ceviche


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Ingredients
  1. 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice
  2. 1⁄3 cup fresh orange juice
  3. 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice
  4. 2 Tb. red onion, finely diced
  5. 1 Tb. fresh cilantro, chopped
  6. 1 Tb. green onions, chopped
  7. 1 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
  8. 1 small  jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  9. 1 lb. American red snapper, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes
  10. 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  11. 1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  12. 1 cup cantaloupe, finely diced chilled
  13. 2 cups Avocado Crema (page 29)
  14. Garnish: lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Add snapper, and toss gently.
  3. Cover and chill 30 minutes or until fish appears thoroughly cooked.
  4. Stir in salt and pepper; add cantaloupe, and toss gently.
  5. Spoon about 1⁄2 cup ceviche into each of 6 martini glasses.
  6. Top each with 1⁄3 cup Avocado Crema.
  7. Garnish, if desired.
  8. Serve immediately. 6 servings
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Goat Cheese Fondue


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Ingredients
  1. 6 Tb. unsalted butter,
  2. 6 Tb. all-purpose flour
  3. 2 Tb. shallots, chopped
  4. 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  5. 2 tsp. olive oil
  6. 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
  7. 3 cups heavy cream
  8. 20 oz.  goat cheese, crumbled
  9. 3⁄8 tsp. kosher salt
  10. 1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  11. 1⁄4 cup fresh chives, thin diagonal slices
  12. Dippers: toasted bread cubes, dried fig slices, dried date slices, Fuji apple slices
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a small heavy skillet over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth.
  2. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until mixture is light brown and has a nutty fragrance. Remove from heat.
  3. Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat 3 minutes or until tender. (Do not brown.) Gradually add wine, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of pan.
  4. Gradually stir in cream and cheese.
  5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute or until cheese melts. Stir in flour mixture.
  6. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until smooth and thick. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer fondue to a fondue pot. Sprinkle with chives.
  8. Serve with bread cubes, figs, dates, and apple slices. 6 cups (about 12 servings)
Notes
  1. A creamy Gorgonzola or Cambozola makes a great alternative to goat cheese.
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