French Onion Toasts

We enjoyed a version of this at a waterfront cafe in Le Havre in early fall.  This is our adaptation utilizing parmesan as a substitute for a hard-to-find local cheese.  Be sure and slice your loaves of French bread thinly.

  • Two and a half cups of yellow onions, minced
  • One quarter cup of fresh flat parsley leaves, minced
  • One level teaspoon of granulated beef bouillon
  • One cup of parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • One teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • One half cup of mayonnaise
  • Thirty two slices of French bread

Combine the first six ingredients and spread one teaspoon of the mixture on each slice of bread.  Put on a baking sheet and place under a broiler for approximately four minutes or until the toasts are puffed and golden brown.

Advertisements

Chesapeake Cheddar Clam Toasts

I think you will enjoy this dish from an earlier era spent with a rowdy crowd of young naval officers at Virginia Beach.  We usually used canned clams but freshly shucked, sauteed in butter, and chopped is always better.  Must be served with very cold beer!

  • 1 pound of white cheddar, grated
  • 1 six ounce can of baby clams, drained
  • 1 quarter cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of chives, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, well-beaten
  • Black pepper to taste, freshly ground
  • Red pepper sauce to taste
  • 8 slices of dark bread like pumpernickel, crust removed

Combine all ingredients and spread generously on bread slices.  Place on a cookie sheet and put under a hot broiler until puffed, brown and bubbly…about 6 minutes.  Cut each toast into four squares and serve.

 

Crunchy DIY Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

We’ve all had those soggy cheese sticks at franchise fern bars and vowed never to touch them again…but the concept is great and if you will give this recipe a chance, you will have your faith restored, at least in HOMEMADE Mozzarella Cheese Sticks.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 3 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 dozen cheese sticks, four inches by 1/2 inch
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Beat eggs with water in a small bowl.  Put next four ingredients in a large zip-lock bag…Roll cheese sticks in flour, dip in egg wash, then in bread crumb mixture.  Repeat with egg wash and bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet to chill for at least four hours.  When ready to cook, bake in a 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Any Italian red sauce will be a delicious dip for the cheese sticks.

Caraway Puffs

We have made these with Stilton, Gorgonzola, Cougar Gold, and Blue Cheese.  Any one of these that you may have on hand is delicious.  What an easy and impressive hors d’oeuvre this is when the cupboard is almost bare and you’re challenged to come up with something fast.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Open a ten ounce cylinder of large buttermilk biscuits and cut them into fourths, then roll into balls and coat with caraway seeds.  Put in a baking dish. Melt 1/2 cup of  butter with four ounces of the chosen cheese in a saucepan.  Pour over the balls and bake for 15 minutes, turning once.  When puffed and browned, serve proudly.

Goat Cheese and Asparagus Toasts

aparg (3)

We were invited to a pot-luck cocktail party last month and with little time to spare, surveyed the fridge and put together this wonderful hors d’oeuvres that drew compliments from all gathered there.

Begin with what I call “light bread” that some call a sandwich loaf.  You’ll find you have about 24 slices to decrust and roll flat with a rolling pin or a tall bottle.  A pound of asparagus is all you will need and you may have enough leftover for a salad at lunch.  Blanch 24 of the fattest spears (covered in plastic wrap) in a microwave for three minutes.  Spread your favorite goat cheese on each flattened bread slice, place an asparagus spear at one end, grind some fresh black pepper over all, and roll up.  Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Place under the broiler, watching closely until the bread is toasted to a golden hue.  We stacked the toasted asparagus in alternating layers like Lincoln logs for serving.   You will hope there are leftovers!

Kalamata and Feta Roll-Ups

This one is a keeper.  If you have never used flour tortillas for roll-ups, you are missing out on a quick, convenient, and much-appreciated snack or appetizer.  Simply lay out a burrito-sized tortilla, mix together 8 ounces of cream cheese, 6 ounces of Feta, 6 ounces of chopped Kalamata olives, sprinkle in some Greek seasoning and garlic powder, and spread generously.  Roll up into a tube, slice into 1 and 1/2 inch pieces and plate.  This freezes well if you would like to make some in advance.  Simply wrap the whole roll in plastic wrap, and about 15 minutes before you are ready to serve, unwrap and slice.

 

Country Sausage and Collard Cups

These rich mini-muffins bring soulful memories to a tailgate or TV football party.  We prefer Conecuh sausage but any smoked pork sausage will work well.  Freeze the extras and reheat for your next party.

  • 1 pound of sausage, cooked and thinly-sliced into quarter inch thick discs
  • 1 ten ounce package of frozen collard greens, cooked, drained, and minced
  • 2 cups of cottage cheese, well-drained
  • 1 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup of green onion tops, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of Vidalia onions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • Sea salt to taste

Put a sausage disc in each greased mini-muffin cup. Combine the rest of the ingredients thoroughly and spoon into the muffin cups.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until brown.  Cool, remove carefully, and serve.  This recipe should produce over three and a half dozen muffins.