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December 26, 2003 - Image 79

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-12-26

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One Bite At A Time

An appetizer buffet is the right resolution
for New Year's Eve menu.

pasty rounds. Top the mixture with
the sliced tomatoes and small amounts
of smoked salmon. Sprinkle the "piz-
zas" with the Parmesan cheese and
bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes
until the pizzas are bubbly and rounds
are golden. Makes about 36 pizzas.


Special to the Jewish News

ew Year's Eve entertaining
need not be flamboyant or
complicated. In fact, the
less fussy we feel hosting
guests can be, the more likely we are
to partake in the effort.
Commensmate with this thinking,
the less complicated a menu or the
number of courses you serve, the better.
An appetizer buffet offers the perfect
solution for many reluctant party givers.
These days it's easier than ever to
simply pick up some frozen or pre-
made appetizers at any one of the
gourmet carryouts, markets or shops -
in the area. Even warehouse clubs now
offer impressive assortments of well-
made hors d'oeuvres, ranging from
spinach triangles to knishes to sides of
smoked salmon to the perennial
favorite mini hot dogs in pastry.
Here's the rub. With the ease that
comes with buying instant treats
comes the knowledge that many of
your guests will recognize the appetiz-
ers and be able to pinpoint exactly
which venue offered them up for sale.
Indeed, if you've ever been to the
more popular shopping spots in town,
chances are you've run into many of
your friends — and they're laying
down cash for the same foodstuffs
you're purchasing.
This doesn't mean you have to for-
get serving these admittedly great
time-savers. What it does indicate is
that you need to diversify. In other
words, make a few of your own appe-
tizers and add them to the menu. The
following appetizers are simple, deli-
cious and can't be found anywhere
else. They add texture and variety to
your table and don't require a lot of
fussing or last-minute preparation.
Open your doors. Pop a few corks.
Light a few candles. And feed your
friends ... one bite a time. They'll love
the combination of flavors and you'll
appreciate the ease. Don't forget to
serve something sweet at the end.
Remember, chocolate never hurts.

Use other types of nuts if you wish
as well.



3 pounds salted roasted cashews
3 egg whites
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. chili powder
2 T. dried parsley flakes
1 T. paprika
1 T. granulated garlic
1 t. ground cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a bak-
ing sheet with sides with nonstick
cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients in a large
bowl and use your hands to toss the
mixture well so that the cashews are
well coated. Spread the nuts evenly on
the baking sheet (if your baking sheet
is small, you may need to use 2 baking
Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes,
until the coating is dry and bubbly
looking. Remove from the oven and
allow to cool completely before using
a spatula or turner to pry the nuts
from the baking sheet and breaking
them up into small "clumps." Store in
an airtight container. Makes 3 pounds.

1 box (about 17 ounces) frozen puff
pastry, thawed
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese,
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 T. drained capers
1/2 cup fresh chopped dill
4-6 plum tomatoes, sliced into thin
1 pound thinly sliced smoked
salmon or lox
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two bak-
ing sheets with parchment or spray
well with nonstick cooking spray.
Unfold the puff pastry sheets onto a
clean surface and cut into 3-inch
rounds with a cookie cutter. Arrange
the rounds on the prepared baking
sheet, about 1/2-inch apart (you may
need 3 baking sheets). Prick the
rounds with a fork in several places.
Set aside.
Combine cream cheese, onions and
capers in a medium bowl and use a
spoon to mix well. Spread about a tea-
spoon of this mixture gently over the

1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup barbecue sauce, any kind
1 cup beer, any kind
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. minced garlic
2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 T. dried parsley flakes
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 eggs
Combine all sauce ingredients in a
large pot over medium-high heat and
bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low
and cook sauce, stirring occasionally,
while you make the meatballs.
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all
meatball ingredients in a large bowl
and use your hands to "mash" the
mixture as you mix it until all the
ingredients are incorporated. Shape
the mixture into 1-inch balls. Arrange
the meatballs on a baking sheet and
bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, turn-
ing once or twice. Remove the meat-
balls from the oven and carefully drop
them into the sauce and cook on low
for 1 hour. To serve, reheat the meat-
balls until hot and serve with tooth-
picks in the sauce or on a platter with
a small bowl of the sauce on the side.
Makes 50-60 meatballs.

1 French baguette, cut into 1/2-inch
1/4 cup olive oil for brushing on
2 T. minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups finely crumbed Feta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
(canned is fine)
1/2 cup chopped good quality
olives, any kind
2 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. dried parsley flakes
1 t. dried oregano
Preheat oven to 350F. Brush the
bread rounds with olive oil and
arrange them on 1 or 2 baking sheets
(no need to grease the pan).
Combine the remaining oil (if any)
and remaining ingredients in a large
bowl and stir well. Top the bread
rounds with the mixture, mounding it
slightly (be generous). Bake the crosti-
ni, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until
the topping is very hot and the breads
are lightly toasted around the edges.
Makes about 36 crostini.

1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
1 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
2 boneless leg of lamb meat, excess
fat trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch
30 mini kebab sticks or large tooth-
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley, garnish
Make pesto: Combine all ingredi-
ents in the bowl of a food processor
and process until smooth. Transfer the
mixture to a medium bowl and add
the lamb chunks and toss well to coat.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and
chill for several hours up to overnight.
Make and cook the kebabs: Preheat
oven to 400F. Thread 2 or 3 cubes of
lamb each skewer. Arrange the skewers
in single layer on a baking sheet with
sides. Cook kebabs just until cooked
through, but still pink in the center,
about 8-10 minutes. Makes about 30
mini kebabs.


3 roasted red bell peppers (jarred is
fine, drained)
• • or great northern
1 can canellmt
beans, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 T. drained capers
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in the bowl
of a food processor or pitcher of a
blender and blend until smooth. Serve
with pita chips or raw vegetables as a
dipping sauce. Makes about 2 cups of
dipping sauce. El

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