One more holiday weekend….
Eat, Drink and be Merry, for tomorrow we may diet!
You might find one or all of these small bites I made useful for a New Year's party.
Our neighbor hosted a small Christmas dinner party, for those of us, who, like themselves, were having a quiet Christmas.
She made the main course, another guest made the Christmas Pudding (brought to the table flaming with lots and lots of Brandy Butter) and I made the starter.
I debated what to make….
I wanted something festive for Christmas.
I wanted something that I could prepare completely so our hostess didn't need to do anything – no reheating or last minute baking.
I wanted something that would be easy for me to make and easy for us to transport.
I wanted it to be, at least a tiny bit, impressive.
Smoked salmon is very traditional for Christmas, normally served simply with a bit of bread and lemon, as a first course.
I decided to elaborate.
I didn't get a picture of the completed plates…. I put everything on a tray to carry down and didn't really want to handle it again for a photo…. Or disrupt dinner with my camera.
But this is what I did:
I used a small pastry tin, with a scalloped edge to cut out rounds of puff pastry. I spread one tbs of mascarpone to within a 1/4 inch of the edges, sprinkled it with capers and baked it for 12 minutes, 400F (200C). Serving: 1 per person
I cut strips of smoked salmon, rolled them and put on top.
The Rectangle Things:
Take one sheet of phyllo dough and brush with olive oil. Cut in half the short way. Place a double layer of smoked salmon in the middle, about 2 inches by 1 inch. Spread two tsp of soft goat cheese on top. Fold in the long sides of the dough, then fold the parcel over and over until done. Brush with olive oil and bake 10 minutes, 400F (200C). Serving: 1 parcel per person.
Cut peeled, hard boiled eggs in half. Remove the yolks and mash together with a bit of mayonnaise, some hot mustard and horseradish. Spoon the filling into the white halves and sprinkle with paprika. Serving: 1 half egg per person.
I have a proper photo of these because I was 'practicing' before Christmas…
1/4 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
Heat the stock. When boiling, add polenta and stir until thick, about 5 minutes. Should be very thick…
Stir in Parmesan and olives. Lay cling film on a flat surface. Pour the polenta on the cling film and smooth to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Allow to cool.
When cool cut into desired shape using small cookie cutters.
Mix horseradish and mascarpone to taste and as much as you need (like those instructions?). My horseradish is quite mild so I used equal parts: 6 tbs mascarpone and 6 tba horseradish. I cut out 6 Christmas trees and put 2 tbs of the mascarpone on each tree. I topped it with long strips of smoked salmon, rolled into a cylinder. Serving: 1 Christmas tree per person.
For our first course, we had one of each, on a plate to eat with knife and fork.
All but the Polenta Cut-Outs could be passed around as finger-food, and are about 2 – 3 bites each.
As to the rest of our Christmas dinner: Roast Turkey with Sage and Onion Stuffing, Gravy, Steamed Brussel Sprouts, Roast Carrots and Parsnips, Red Cabbage, Roast Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce and finished with that Flaming, Steamed Christmas Pudding and Brandy Butter.
Yeah, tomorrow we may diet……