Friday, June 18, 2010

Recipe : Asaparagus food

Smoked duck & pear appetizer spoons
Have you ever tried appetizer spoons? It’s the solution to turn any dish you like into finger-food! Possibilities are endless, all you need is Chinese soup spoons and a little imagination…Mix textures and flavors, have fun! You can make sweet ones, warm ones…They’re just great when you need to feed many people but don’t have space enough to have them all around a dinner table. Parisian appartments are expensive and small, it explains I’m a huge fan of appetizer spoons These ones are made with smoked duck and pear slices, but what gives it a special flavor is its spice and honey vinaigrette. Four spices blend is a widely used mixture in France, made with cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg. if you can’t find it already made, mix 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon with 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground clove and 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. you can also add it 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper if you like. In that case, don’t add pepper to the below recipe.
Preparation time: 10 mn
Ingredients (for 10 spoons)
10 smoked duck slices
3/4 pear
2 tablespoons of walnut oil
1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of four spices mix
Salt & pepper
1/ In a bowl, blend oil, vinegar, honey and spices (including salt & pepper).
2/ Peel and slice pear.
3/ Fill spoons with a piece of pear, topped with a smoked duck slice and another pear piece.
4/ Add a little vinaigrette to your spoons.
Goat cheese & dried figs appetizer spoons
Here is another appetizer spoon recipe I made last week when having friends over. I really like this one because I’m sure it has plenty of great variations. I only had dried fig and raisin; next time I’ll try with dried apricot. The goat cheese I used is called ‘Crottin de Chavignol‘. Its a perfect cheese for this recipe because of its soft texture. The goat cheese you’ll choose for these appetizer spoons shouldn’t be too creamy so it doesn’t make a cheese paste when you dice it. Other than that I’m sure any other medium strengh goat cheese will do the job.
Preparation time: 10 mn
Ingredients (for 10 spoons)
3 1/2 oz (100 g) of goat cheese
2 dried figs
30 raisins
1 tablespoon of small chive
2 tablespoons of walnut oil
Salt & pepper
1/ Scrape cheese and dice it.
2/ Rinse and chop small chives.
3/ In a bowl blend cheese, small chives, walnut oil, salt and pepper. Cover and set aside for at least 30 mn.
4/ Cut the fig’s hard part on top and slice it.
5/ Fill spoons with cheese and top with raisins and dried fig slices.
Green apple & salmon appetizer spoons
One only appetizer spoons recipe won’t serve you much so we’ll keep on going for several posts I told you possibilities were endless! You can use salmon chopped ’scraps’, they’re much cheaper and they do fine. All you have to do is mix apple with salmon and Greek yogurt. I don’t know if Greek yogurt is known (or available) in many countries but I found this little explanation on what it is. There is even a recipe if you’re ready to make your own. Granny Smith apples are perfect with salmon and give these appetizer spoons a very pleasant refreshing taste. They’ll be perfect with white wine.
Preparation time: 10 mn
Ingredients (for 10 spoons)
4 smoked salmon slices (or the equivalent in chopped ’scraps’)
1 Greek yogurt
1/2 Granny Smith apple
1/4 cup of lump-fish roe
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/ Peel, take center out and chop apple.
2/ Cut salmon into small pieces. Set some aside for decoration when spoons are filled.
3/ In a bowl, blend yogurt, salmon, apple dices, oil, salt & pepper.
4/ Fill spoons with the mixture and top with salmon and lump-fish roe.
See…It takes no time and I bet your guests will be impressed
Prosciutto & blue cheese appetizer spoons
I’ll finish this ‘appetizer spoons week’ by one recipe I discovered not long ago but I already know I’ll be making it quite often. Unlike the other recipes I posted along the week, you’ll need some cooking for that one. I caramelized shallots but you can also use onions as long as you slice them into thin pieces. They help sweeten blue cheese’s strong taste. The three flavors go just perfect together… I used raspberry vinegar when caramelizing shallots, it adds a delicious fruity taste; but you can replace it by red wine if you like.
Preparation time: 35 mn
Ingredients (for 10 spoons)
3 prosciutto slices
6 shallots (or 2 onions)
2 oz (55 g) of blue cheese
2 tablespoons of raspberry vinegar (or red wine)
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
Salt & pepper
1/ Peel and chop shallots.
2/ Melt butter in a frying pan over low heat. (Be careful it doesn’t get brown, it’s very bad for health.)
3/ When butter has melt, add chopped shallots. Leave covered, stirring frequently, for about 10 mn or until translucent.
4/ Add sugar and stir. Let shallots caramelize for a couple of minutes, then add raspberry vinegar. At that time, you should probably go for medium heat. It’s important when adding alcohol to get it to a (smooth ) boil so the strong taste evaporates. When the strong smell is gone, you’re done. Take pan off heat.
5/ Cut prosciutto into small pieces.
6/ Dice blue cheese.
7/ Fill the bottom of your Chinese soup spoons with caramelized shallots. Add a dice of blue cheese and top with prosciutto pieces.
8/ Serve right away.
Green asparagus and vinaigrette
Asparagus season has come I love that time of the year when in season fruits and vegetables’ list starts growing. Here is a simple recipe to enjoy green asparagus with little cooking to make. You can serve them as a starter but it will also make a perfect side dish for fish. We had them with salmon, it came out great.
Preparation time: 20 mn
Ingredients (for 3 to 4 servings)
2.2 lbs (1 kg) of fresh green asparagus
6 or 7 basil leaves
1 non-treated lemon
1 teaspoon of capers
6 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of balsamiq vinegar
Salt & pepper
1/ Take water to a boil in a large pan.
2/ Clean asparagus. Peel the last third on the opposite side of the head and cut the hard end off.
3/ When water is boiling, add asparagus and leave for 8 to 10 minutes.
4/ Clean lemon and grate zest.
5/ Rinse and chop basil.
6/ Prepare vinaigrette in a bowl by mixing oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir energetically.
7/ When asparagus are tender, take them off water and lay them next to each other in a plate.
8/ Top asparagus with capers, chopped basil, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
9/ Serve right away.

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