Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Michele Kayal / Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Associated Press food editor J.M. Hirsch suggests spring pea guacamole served on crackers with a Christmas sangria.
Photos by The Associated Press
Feta cheese and honey go nicely with baguette slices.
SEAMUS MULLEN (chef and owner of New York's Tertulia and author of "Hero Food")
• White Beans and sardines
Puree canned cannellini beans with roasted garlic, canned artichokes, olive oil and lemon juice for a white bean spread to serve with smoked sardines on toast.
• Tuna and avocado toasts
Fork mash avocado with olive oil and lemon juice. Grill some flatbread, spread with the avocado mash, and top with grapefruit segments, good canned tuna and coarse sea salt.
• Shrimp and squash skewers
Skewer some small shrimp with lightly blanched winter squash and grill. Serve with a simple salsa verde of minced herbs, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.
DAVID BURKE (chef of several New York restaurants, including David Burke Townhouse)
• Parmesan pops
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place wooden skewers about 4 inches apart on the paper. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese in a circle on top of one end of the skewer, creating a cheese lollipop. Bake at 350 F for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, spray lightly with oil and sprinkle fine herbs.
• Goat cheese lollies
Roll goat cheese into balls the size of a golf ball. Puree pistachios and roll the goat cheese balls through the nuts to encrust the cheese. Put a lollipop stick in the balls.
• Black olive toasts
Puree black olives. Toast baguette slices and spread with ricotta cheese. Top with a dollop of olive puree.
WALTER ABRAMS (chef at Philadelphia's Le Bec Fin)
• Cucumber and Boursin tea sandwiches
Cut the crusts off good quality white sandwich bread. Make a sandwich using Boursin garlic and herb cheese and thinly sliced cucumber. Cut into attractive diamonds. Finish with a sprig of fresh chervil.
• Caviar and quick chive cakes
Grab a box of pancake mix, add chopped chives and prepare according to the box instructions (omitting sugar, if called for). Griddle the cakes and top with a dollop of sour cream and your favorite caviar.
• Bacony popcorn
Pop a bag of your favorite popcorn. While it's popping, saute chopped bacon and sprinkle the top with brown sugar. And a dash of red wine vinegar. Add toasted cashews and the popcorn and serve hot.
BART PICKENS (chef at The Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Tenn.)
• Easy smoked fish dip
Blend 2 parts smoked white fish, smoked oysters or smoked mussels with 1 part mayonnaise and 1 part cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper and use as a spread on French bread toast points, fresh vegetables or gourmet crackers.
• Balsamic raisins
An excellent accompaniment for a cheese platter. Plump jumbo raisins in balsamic vinegar by simmering over low heat for 10 minutes.
• Cheese crisps
Blend 1 cup each of flour and grated cheddar cheese in a food processor with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 egg and ½ stick of butter. On a piece of waxed or parchment paper, roll out into a ¼-inch-thick disc. Cut into crackers (use holiday cookie cutters for more fun). Place the crackers on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
• Cream cheese and pepper jelly
A true Southern favorite, just two simple ingredients make for one delicious combination. Unwrap the cream cheese and place in the center of a platter before topping with a jar of hot pepper jelly.
CHRIS PAINTER (chef at Philadelphia's Il Pittore)
• Fancy Italian subs
Brush slices of hearty country bread with extra-virgin olive oil, then grill. When toasted, top with thinly sliced prosciutto, serrano chili peppers and grated Parmesan. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
(Continued on page 3)