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Posts Tagged ‘hors d’oeuvres’

HAPPY ST PATRICK’s DAY. I have NOTHING green for you, other than this, hope you enjoy it.

I had my hair appointment this week. I book it as early as I can in the afternoon, without having to leave work early. I got 6pm. I had a couple of things done (I won’t divulge my secrets ;-)!) and although I do love my stylist, Jordan, he does have the gift of the gab. A simple cut can take over an hour. I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth, and then some. I wish they served wine, just saying. The appointment this week would be at least two hours long. Good old JT figured I’d be starving by then, so he whipped up an old favourite for cocktails (yes, we had cocktails before my appointment even though it was Thursday. We had time for cocktails but not for dinner. So, what of it?). This recipe is quite forgiving so the quantities are not exact. I urge you to try it to your taste. It is one yummy combo, that’s for sure!

We had this appetizer quite a few years ago, in a place that no longer exists; we up’d the anti, of course!

Sizzling Mushrooms

Serves 2-4

Careful, they are called sizzling for a reason

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced coarsely (we had white ones that needed to be used, but forest or wild would be incredible as well)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced onions
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled sheeps milk feta
  • 2 tbsp cognac
  • a few slices of French stick, or crackers

Delicious lightly buttery shrooms, sweet onion, tangy garlic and sheeps milk feta...oh wait, there is a splash of cognac in that too!

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a cast iron pan (cast is best as it holds the heat longer, after all, it is called SIZZLING!)
  2. Add the onions and sauté until slightly translucent, add the mushrooms and sauté until they have a bit of colour. Add the garlic and sauté just until you can smell its delicious aroma.
  3. Pour the cognac in all at once, you may flambé at this point or not.
  4. Sprinkle the feta into the mushrooms and give it a stir. You can add a bit of Thyme into it at this point, we didn’t, we forgot (having got into the martinis already ;)!)
  5. Serve immediately with Vodka Martinis (I don’t care if you shake or stir, just do it!).

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This past weekend we had our good friends Barb and Kevin over and we thought what better way to give them a taste of our Moroccan experience than to serve a variety of Moroccan delicacy’s that we learned how to make in our cooking classes. The hors d’œuvres for our Moroccan meal comes from our very first class in our Ryad Dar Les Cignones (The Storks – we had an old dilapidated palace across from the hotel where actual enormous storks made their nests!).

This is our lovely Chef at Dar Les Cignones

Our beautiful Chef (sadly, I cannot recall her name) at our Ryad showed us how to make these delicious pillows of Phyllo Pastry (which she actually made herself, although I won’t!) stuffed with a richly spiced shrimp mix. She did not give us a little printout like Maison MK did, so I had to go by memory and find a similar recipe on line and made some minor alterations. The photo below is the one taken with the iPhone4 with the flash at the Ryad. I tried to fix it a bit in Photoshop so it doesn’t look as cold and harsh. The funny story around the briouats is that the Chef specifically asked me if I wanted them deep fried or baked, and I opted for baked ‘pour la santé’ I said. And low and behold, we are served deep fried briouats! They were very tasty non-the-less!

Our baked Briouat with Dar Les Cignones Fried Briouat in the background

Baked Shrimp Briouats

Makes 26 5 cm (2 inch) triangles

Ingredients:

  • 300 g shrimp, peel on
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Large pinch of saffron threads, revived in a little water
  • 1/4 cup fresh panko (or bread crumbs, I had panko)
  • 5 sheets of phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Chop the shrimp into 1/2 cm bits, doesn’t have to be even or pretty.
  2. Heat a splash of oil in a pan and sauté the onions, add the shrimp and cook through.
  3. Add the garlic, tomato paste and spices and stir until you can smell the aroma.
  4. Remove from heat and add the panko, mix well.
  5. Allow to cool completely and add the fresh parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix well.
  6. Take 1 sheet of phyllo at a time, cut into 4-5cm strips. Drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Add about 1 tsp of the cooled filling to one end and fold tightly as shown in the diagram.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 350 ° F. Bake triangles for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately or allow to cool and freeze.

Folding takes practice, make sure you have lots of phyllo on hand!

Baked Shrimp Briouat

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Each day our tomato plants are simply overflowing with fruit! We were at the cottage this weekend so yesterday there were three days of tomatoes to be harvested. Our home grown garlic has finally cured and the basil was looking pretty sweet as well. What to do? Bruschetta, of course! Using the different coloured tomatoes makes me think of jewels!

1 cup cherry tomatoes in various colours cut into eighths.
4-6 basil leaves, chiffonad
1-2 tsp finely minced garlic (I use my micro-plainer for this)
3-4 tbsp EVOO
Salt
6, thinly sliced whole wheat French stick
3-4 tbsp EVOO

Lightly brush EVOO on each side of the French stick. Toast each side gently in your broiler.
Mix the cut tomatoes, garlic, basil and EVOO, salt to taste.
Gently spoon the tomato mix over each toast, drizzling with the extra juices.
Serve immediately.

20110802-064722.jpg

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