The Hubs and I were in charge of wine and pre feast snacks for Thanksgiving, so part deux of my kitchen based marathon was on Wednesday. I had five items to produce for the menu I planned. All pretty easy to execute. I also had to pack each item for travel, and didn’t want to have to mess around with bringing containers home unless critically necessary, so disposable was way to go.
The Old Standby
Blue, chèvre, Brie, Manchego, cheddar served with baguette slices, candied lemon, grapes and blackberries, sliced apple and red pears. I always like my cheese tray to look full and casual, not laid out like a terraced garden. Another bonus on Thursday came in the form of an hour plus commute, that allowed the cheese to come up to perfect temp for eating.
The Fail Safe
A Caprese salad is always a safe choice for diner satisfaction, and transferring the ingredients to a skewer is a fun way to convert a salad into an appetizer that’s portable and kid friendly too.
It’s also fun to include dressing and garnish in one by filling teeny tiny food grade syringes with balsamic syrup and evoo!
You can purchase on Amazon, just search for flavor injectors.
The Classic with a Twist
You can miniaturize (is that a real verb?) almost any set of ingredients and salad is no exception. Caeser salad is really good because there are limited ingredients. I simply shredded some Romaine, and put it in a zip top bag with a damp paper towel. On arrival you can just pour the dressing, transported in any old jar, into the bag, reseal and shake. “But it’s missing the cheese and the crouton” you say. That’s the other way to have fun here. You can make Parmesan crisps very easily!
Just toss a little flour with shredded Parmesan and place on a non stick pan, medium heat with a little pan spray on it. As the cheese melts you can move it into shape as desired. Cook till brown and then flip, about 45 seconds. The crisps keep really well between two paper plates, wrapped in plastic wrap.
The Savory and Satisfying
For the first hot appetizer, I turned to corn, “we call it maize”, but it’s actually polenta!
Follow the directions on the box and add cheese or other ingredients as you see fit. I topped the polenta with savory mushrooms cooked with a little Italian sausage, garlic, butter and some sage, and then stirred in a tablespoon of mascarpone.Totally creamy and yummy.
I garnished with some green onions, but chives would work also. The polenta and the mushrooms can just be put in reveal able containers and nuked in the microwave when needed. And lastly…
The Wild Card
Of which there are no pictures extant! How did that happen?
Well, I’ll just have to tell you all about it!
My brothers favorite option from any Chinese restaurant is always Crab Rangoon. So I decided I could do a deconstructed rangoon. I mixed canned crabmeat with a little mayo and Tabasco and 8 oz of non fat cream cheese and baked along with the turkey. Wednesday nite, I heated about a cup of vegetable oil in a deep skillet and then cut refrigerated egg roll wrappers into triangles. Drop the triangles into the oil for about 20 seconds and flip…like magic, wontons! So instead of pockets of crab and cream cheese, you have wonton chips and dip.
So that’s how I used about eight different types of cheese from the cheese centric trip to Trader Joes last week!