Friday, November 21, 2014

Small Bites

Every holiday soiree needs an easy and elegant appetizer to keep guests satisfied until the main event. This recipe from is just the thing: simple, pretty and delicious, with caramelized onions, apples and grated Gruyère cheese atop store-bought puff pastry.
Cook's notes: Pears can be substituted for apples and chopped walnuts added. Serve this appetizer at room temperature.

  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 3 cups sweet yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 4 tart apples peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick or 4-6 pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 TB. minced fresh chives
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 1 package (1 lb.) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 TB. water
  • optional 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and the 1 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let the filling cool to room temperature.
  • Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and sugar, stir to coat the apples or pears. Cook, stirring, until the apples are just starting to caramelize and have softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions, stir in the cheese, chives, thyme and the 1/8 tsp. pepper.
  • Cut the puff pastry into 2-inch squares and place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing the squares about 1 inch apart. Brush the pastry squares with the egg mixture and place a heaping 1 TB. filling in the center of each square. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the pastry is crisp underneath and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the tarts cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature. Makes 32 tarts.
Marinated Olive Bites
Cook's notes: Many grocery stores now have a section in the deli devoted to all types of marinated olives. Be creative trying different olives, bocconcini (marinated mozzarella balls) and sausages. 

You will not be able to stop with just one of these addictive Parmesan Tortellini Bites. 
recipe from
  • 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated three cheese tortellini not dry tortellini
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup Herb Panko crumbs 
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce 
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook tortellini according to package instructions; drain well. 
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. 
  • In a large bowl, combine Panko crumbs and Parmesan; set aside. 
  • Working in batches, dredge tortellini in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing to coat. 
  • Add tortellini to the skillet, 8 or 10 at a time, and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately with marinara sauce, garnished with additional Parmesan, if desired.
that this site 
has some clever uses for favorite old things? Here are two of 50 featured ideas in the Hall of Fame.  
Create a mirror tray using an old picture frame.  
Use a clean toothbrush to remove silky strands from corn.

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