Friday, January 1, 2010

Recipes to Rival: Appetizers 2010

This months Recipes to Rival was hosted by yours truly. I chose appetizers because that's what is on a lot of people's mind come New Year's. I had a few that I was just wanting to try. I made them late in November to get ready for the challenge. But I am seriously thinking of doing the olive one again. They are absolutely delicious and wonderful for snacking on during a cocktail party.

I have two puff pastry recipes in progress as I write this post. You know after you make your own puff pastry you will never want the store bought one again. I used the store bought one for the olive recipe below because it was near Thanksgiving and with so much on my plate, pun totally intended, I thought I'd go the easy route. Ah, like, so not worth it. And c'mon don't give me that song and dance that puff pastry scares you. Honestly, if you really want puff, you can make it. It's as easy as, well, it's easier than cleaning your house. You mix up a dough, roll it, insert squared butter, fold over the butter, roll and chill. Take out roll, fold, chill. Then five more times. It's pretty time consuming but between all those rolling times there are plenty of moments to do the other things you want to do. Making those layered jello desserts is way more time consuming and messy. Wow, am I rambling?

So here are my choice appetizers.

Turkey Croquettes

(Thought for Food adapted this recipe From the Joy of Cooking: All About Chicken’s recipe for Chicken Croquettes)
This is my adaptation.
(Yield: 16 croquettes)

1/2 T butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 c shredded skinless, cooked turkey (I like to use a mix of dark and white meat for this)
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh or dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
Salt to taste
1 1/2 c Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
Canola oil, for shallow frying
Lemon wedges, for serving
Salad greens, for serving

The Roux:
1 1/4 c chicken stock, warmed
1 1/2 TB butter
1 1/2 TB all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Roux: In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Turn down to low heat and cook (stirring constantly) until the roux is just slightly darkened and fragrant (about 6 minutes). Slowly whisk in the warm stock and simmer the sauce (stirring occasionally) until it’s thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small pan, heat ½ TB butter over medium-low heat; add the onion and sauté for about 7 minutes, until the onion is starting to soften and change color. In a bowl, combine the roux, cooked onions, shredded turkey, minced parsley, pepper, thyme, celery seed, breadcrumbs and salt to taste. Cover mixture and refrigerate until very cold and firm (at least 2 hours).

Put your flour and breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls, and beat your eggs in a separate shallow bowl. Gather mixture into tiny balls or patties about the size of a large olive. Roll in flour first, then egg, then panko crumbs to coat.

In a large skillet, add enough oil to generously cover the bottom; preheat the oil on medium-high heat. Fry the croquettes over medium to medium-high heat until golden and crispy on both sides, then drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Mini Pigs in a Blanket

I saw this recipe for biscuits and have been wanting to make these cute little wrapped dogs for ages. Kids usually love them. One of my children loved them (the one that doesnt like hot dogs- ha! and the other one not so much, she prefers a plain old hot dog.

Bride's Biscuits
adapted from Southern Sideboard, by the Junior League of Jackson Mississippi, 1978
*note- this is a large recipe purposely so you can use it as needed. If you are not big on biscuits or anything made with biscuits you can reduce the amounts.

5 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup shortening
2 cups buttermilk
1 package dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
5 tablespoons warm water
mini hot dogs, aka cocktail weiners

Sift dry ingredients, then cut in shortening. Add buttermilk. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to mixture. Knead lightly. Cut squares and wrap hot dog at a diagnol.

Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 450F about 10 to 12 minutes. Store dough in refrigerator, pinching off as much as needed each time. It can also be frozen.

Olive Straws
I saw Michel Roux on Martha Stewart and knew I needed to make these. They are so cute!

The demonstration to make these can be found here.

All-purpose flour, for work surface
13 ounces Puff Pastry
15 large green pimento stuffed olives, about 1 1/4 inches long
1 medium egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry to a 12 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Using a large sharp knife, cut the rectangle into a 5 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle and a 7-by-6-inch rectangle. Place both rectangles on a baking sheet and transfer to refrigerator; let chill 20 minutes.
2. Place the 5 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle on a baking sheet. Place 5 olives, end-to-end, in a straight line along the short side of the rectangle, leaving about a 5/8-inch border. Repeat process two more times to make three lines of olives.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and milk. Brush egg mixture on all exposed spaces between olives. Cover with the 7-by-6-inch rectangle of puff pastry, pressing the whole surface of the dough between the olives firmly with your fingertips. Transfer to refrigerator ( I think in the demonstration they said freezer); let chill 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a very sharp knife, trim edges of dough; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide straws. Lay flat-side down on a baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until pastry is golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer straws to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

To make your own rough puff pastry:
recipe from Martha Stewart- click here.

Makes 2 pounds, 10 ounces.

1 pound 2 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 pound 2 ounces very cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup ice-cold water

  1. Mound flour in center of a large work surface, and make a well in the middle; place butter and salt in well.
  2. Using your fingertips, mix ingredients together in the well. Using the fingertips of your other hand, slowly incorporate flour, beginning with inner rim of well. When cubes of butter have become small pieces and dough is grainy, gradually add ice water until fully incorporated, taking care not to overwork the dough. Roll dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle. Fold the short ends over the middle (like a letter) to make three layers. This is called the first turn.
  4. Give the dough a quarter turn and roll away from you into another 16-by-8-inch rectangle. Fold again into 3 layers; this is called the second turn. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Repeat process in steps 3 and 4 to create the third and fourth turns. Wrap dough in plastic; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 days, before using. Dough may also be kept, frozen, for up to 4 months.


Katy ~ said...

I love croquettes and haven't had good luck making them. I'm going to have to try these, because they look soooo good!!!

And those straws! Yep, just pass them my way.

Pgs in blankets are fun, aren't they? Had them for dinner a while back after not having them for YEARS. Good fun food.

Grace said...

it's not that puff pastry scares's that i'm just too darn lazy to try to make it myself. perhaps a new year's resolution is in order? :)
great appetizers, lori. it's always hard to resist a blanket-wrapped piggy. :)

Ingrid said...

I had a silly grin on my face from reading how puff pastry's so easy to make. Said from fearless baker. :)

Happy 2010!

Claudia said...

I think this was the first time using puff pastry, and it was fun and easy. The only mistakes came from not reading the directions closely on putting the olive straws together. Thanks for a great selection of appetizers.

natalia said...

Ciao Lori ! I made the olive straws (I was busy too for puff pastry but you are right!), but I want to try the others too !! Yours look wonderful ! Thanks for hosting !! Happy new year !

kat said...

I so meant to do the olive straws but the holidays just got away with me this year

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

lORI thanx a ton again for the fantastic croquettes recipes ...loved learning about the roux something had never heard of or made before this...
I m so sorry that i didn know where to link back and jus followed from Natalia's post....
and yeah have to update the recipe too soon...coz i made the roux in the micro wave with olive oil instead of butter and grilled a few w/o coating 'em in egg but ur filling recipe rocked anyway so a bi hi5 to ya....

Renata said...

Love the olive straws! Guess I'll have to try them too ;o)