To Whet, Not to Sate

November 10, 2014

Appetizers. A savory little something to the whet the appetite…a prelude of what’s to come. On Thanksgiving there is always plenty, so the idea of keeping these little bites simple makes sense. With a cocktail or a glass of sparkling wine there could be no better paring than Frico…a baked Parmesan crisp. If these were any easier in fact, they’d make themselves. And, only one ingredient…parmesan cheese. Pre-heat your oven to 375 and drop tablespoons of shaved Parmesan cheese onto a parchment lined baking tray. Spread the mounds to a uniform thickness approx 3″ in diameter. Bake the trays one at a time for about 8-10 minutes, watching closely, until golden. Remove trays from the oven and cool slightly before moving the Frico to a rack to cool completely. These can be made a few days ahead and stored in an airtight container getting one task out-of-the-way earlier in that busy week. Why not check the fridge, turn on the oven and knock out a batch now?  Think of it as a little taste test for the holidays ahead.

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Small plates…

December 14, 2012

Appetizers…Bocas…or simply snacks, a  single  hor d’oeuvre or an assortment can be a prelude to dinner or actually be dinner. Grazing for me has always been preferable to the large meal. “Befores and afters” make for simple uncomplicated entertaining during the holidays.  Small plates , when given a little thought before hand, can be gathered or prepared ahead in many cases leaving you free to enjoy hosting a smart soiree without a pocket full of Xanax. The relaxing task of preparing one item, quince paste for example, can be done a few days in advance and the accompanying bread, Manchego cheese, olives and Marcona almonds can be gathered in one quick stop at the market. Some wine and perhaps something of chocolate  and you are ready to entertain a handful of friends on the fly any night of the week.

I used the recipe for the Quince Paste ( Menbrillo) here:http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/membrillo_quince_paste/