…..Where 'La Gourmandise' is not a sin!

Hors d’Oeuvre

Hors d’oeuvre recipes

The Padrino asked me a few days ago for a recipe to make some onion dip. I guess that at their very elegant retreat on top of a mountain overlooking Vienna, they spend their indolent evenings on the terrace overlooking the city nibbling on crudités and sipping Champagne, and they got bored of their plain botanitas and needed something to stimulate their bored palates. Here is a simple recipe for a tasty onion dip, and if you want a little bit of variety we recently proposed a pair of other dips here and here.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup thick plain yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely diced sweet onions
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbs brandy
juice of 1 lime
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Preparation

1. Add olive oil to a sauté pan over medium-heat.
2. When hot add the onions, garlic, sugar, and 1/4 tsp of salt.
3. Sauté the onions until caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.
4. Add 1 tbs of the brandy, and when it boils light it up to flambé.
5. When the flames die down, cool down the onion mixture and refrigerate for about an hour.
6. In a bowl mix the sour cream, the yogurt, the rest of the brandy, the lime juice, the rest of the salt, the pepper, and the onion mixture until well incorporated.
7. Refrigerate at least another hour until serving.

Lucito

Here is the spicier brother of the other dip I prepared for this afternoon’s event. It can be made as spicy or mild as you want and it makes a nice contrast with the other dip.

Ingredients

2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbs curry powder
1 tbs sweet and sour paprika
1 tbs marinated sushi ginger very finely chopped
1 tsp Sambal Oelek (fresh ground chili paste)
1 tsp Spiracha (spicy oriental salsa)
1 tsp salt
3/ tsp black pepper

Preparation

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon.

Lucito

We are invited to a meal at Normita’s boss’ place later this afternoon and Normita was asked to bring some veggies and dips. I just finished cleaning and preparing the veggies, and I prepared two different dips to go with them. We are bringing some baby carrots, celery, cucumber sticks, and some jicama. I made one of the dip fairly pungent but mild tasting and the other one a bit spicier. We bought a container of plain yogurt and of sour cream last night and I did the dips with what I had at hand this morning. The first recipe is for the nice garlicky dip that I made with some great elephant garlic I have lying around in the fridge. It could be made with some regular garlic, but the flavor would be a tad sharper.

Ingredients

2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 clove elephant garlic or 2-3 cloves regular garlic very finely chopped
3 tbs fresh parsley very finely chopped
1 tbs dried herbes de Provence
1 tbs dried ciboulette
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preparation

1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon.

Lucito

Normally I prefer to make a nice pâté during the cold season, but the weather has been cool and rainy all day and I suddenly had a craving for some nice pâté and I thought about a recipe I invented years ago for our usual family Christmas party. It is fairly simple to make and improves in flavor for the first few days and keeps up to a week well wrapped in the refrigerator. For a party I normally like to present it on the buffet table molded in some interestingly shaped mold. You can also prepare it in small glass or ceramic dishes and serve it in individual portions as an interesting first course or appetizer with some nice fresh bread or crackers. It is very versatile and I normally prepare large quantities of it as everybody wants to bring some back home with them after the event. You can easily plan ahead by molding some nice smaller portions for your guests to bring back home, or dividing the leftovers for them at the end of the evening, but be careful not to start too many fights between your guests trying to score the biggest portion.

Ingredients

2 French shallots or 4 green onions finely chopped
1 large garlic clove finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbs butter
1 1/2 pounds of fresh chicken livers with all the fat removed and rinsed with water and lime juice
15-20 slices of dried mushroom or 4-5 chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Tsp freshly ground white pepper
A grating of nutmeg
A pinch of ground dry ginger
A pinch of ground cinnamon
4 Oz of finely chopped pistachios
4 Oz of coarsely chopped pistachios
4 Tbs of heavy cream
3 Tbs of Brandy
3 Tbs of dark Rum
2 Tbs of Port wine

Preparation

1. Prepare a mold for the pâté by putting a layer of aluminum foil in it and greasing it with spray oil, margarine, or butter.
2. In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium-high fire.
3. Add the shallots and garlic an sauté for 1 minute.
4. Add the liver and mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute.
5. Add the spices and the salt.
6. Sauté the livers until they loose their pink color in the center.
7. Add the finely chopped pistachios.
8. Pour the brandy and rum in a glass and poor the glass in the pan.
9. When the liquid boil light it to flambé the livers.
10. When the flames have died off add the Porto and reduce the liquid by half.
11. Remove from the heat and let cool.
12. Put the contents of the pan in a blender or food processor and mix until it is of a creamy consistency.
13. Add the cream and mix until you have a thick liquid without any lumps.
14. Pour the liquid in a bowl and add the coarsely chopped pistachios and mix with a spoon until you have a homogenous mixture.
15. Pour in your prepared mold and cover with some plastic wrap.
16. Refrigerate at least 24 hours for the pâté to set and the flavors to mix well.
17. Unmold and put on a presentation dish.

Lucito

While we were in Canada we attended a wide variety of holiday-related meals and as usual one of the most appreciated hors d’oeuvre was my Aunt Michèle’s ‘Croutes Bernard’. They are delicious hot canapés that the entire family adores and if you are not careful you could eat the equivalent of a whole meal of them alone. For us the holidays would not be the same without enjoying them at least at one party. Try them and let us know how you like them.

Ingredients

1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped finely
3 slices of bacon cut in small pieces with scissors
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup gruyère cheese, grated
1 cup medium cheddar, grated
1 egg
1 tsp butter
Slices of bread

Preparation

1. Sauté in the butter the mushrooms, bacon, and onion.
2. When the bacon is cooked add the wine.
3. Simmer until the liquid evaporates.
4. Cool the mixture and add the cheeses and the egg and mix to a sticky paste.
5. Roll the sticky paste in sheets of waxed paper and tie the ends.
6. Freeze the rolls. It should yield two 7" rolls.
7. To serve, cut circles from the slices of bread with a glass and place on a cookie sheet.
8. Cut thin slices of the frozen mixture and place on the bread circles.
9. Put in the oven under the broiler until the mixture is bubbly and golden.
10. Watch them disappear quickly when you serve them.

Lucito

This time I am going to share with you a nice recipe, this one is very popular at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico, somebody passed it to me but do not tell this to the creator of the recipe:

Ingredients
1/2 cup of cold water
1 1/2 envelope of gelatin
1 cup of chicken stock (can be made with powder)
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 pound of cream cheese
1 cup of chopped cilantro (coriander)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 of a large onion
1 1/2 chili jalapeños
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
1. Dissolve the gelatin in the cup of cold water.
2. Blend the rest of the ingredients in an electric blender or food processor.
3. Heat the gelatin and mix with the blended ingredients.
4. Pour In an antiadherent mold and let cool for one hour.
5. Refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight.
6. Serve with crackers. 

Normita.