11.21.2015

A Good Start to the Season

Our friend Marylou wrote to me with a suggestion for a post.

She asked for appetizer and hors d'œuvre recipes "that one might prepare and take to Christmas parties that won’t take two days to prepare nor cost like the cable bill."

Since it is the season for all variety of holiday parties, I think she is on to something!

I have done a number of really simple appetizers on Cocoa & Lavender but sometimes, especially for new readers, it's nice to offer a refresher. Thus, here are some links to some of my favorites. Just click on the recipe name and it will open a new window with that post featuring photographs and a recipe.

Caponata - a family favorite that serves a lot of people. Shown here as a first course, Caponata may also be served with bread or crackers as an appetizer.

Chorizo-stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon - a Southwest favorite.

Cicchetti al Tonno e Cacao - an unusual idea we picked up in Venice.

Tuscan Kale Chips - healthy and really tasty.

Tuna Pâté - a buttery take on tuna rillettes.

White Bean Purée - an herbed Italian dip or spread.

Finally, I leave you with two of my mother's holiday favorites. The first is her Salmon Pâté, which can be presented simply as shown or, for the ambitious with time on their hands, it can be molded into the shape of a fish and topped with thinly sliced cucumbers like fish scales. The second recipe is for her Marinated Mushrooms – delightful, and light!

Markipedia and I wish you a happy, safe, and love-filled holiday!

~ David

Salmon Pâté 

1 small onion or 1 large shallot
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 pound cooked, skinless salmon filet
8 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon (generous) horseradish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, or 1/2 teaspoon Pimentón (smoked paprika)
dash Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
cucumber slices for serving


Mince onion and cook in butter until clear. Put sautéed onion and remaining ingredients (except cucumber slices) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse several times to blend. Once the ingredients are evenly mixed, purée until smooth. That’s it!

This pâté may be served in a bowl, or mounded and decorated with thinly sliced cucumber slices.

Serves 10-12.



Marinated Mushrooms

1 pound small button mushrooms
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Clean mushrooms and pat dry. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over mushrooms in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and let marinate overnight.

Serves 6-8.





29 comments:

  1. Ooooh, gorgeous! And I adore that linen!! xx

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    1. Linen is a real weakness of mine, Liz. And I love to iron, which is a good thing!

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  2. The cocoa dusted tuns sounds intriguing. GREG

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    1. It is a really interesting way of using cocoa, Greg - as a spice rather than a sweet. It works!

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  3. Love those spoons too!! (And all of your appetisers of course)

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    1. Thanks, Paola! Sadly, those are just some of the collection! :)

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  4. Love the food, but also LOVE your collections of spoons, knives, and napkins. All, undoubtedly, lovingly collected from your travels. Beautiful!

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    1. Kirsten - it is fun to collect things when we travel, but many of those special items have been given to us by friends. Several of the spoons, though, were from travels to Kenya, France, Mexico, and Germany.

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  5. I vowed to make the tonno e cacao when you originally posted it, but I still haven't! I may give it a crack this coming weekend. Perhaps I can use the tin of salmon that's already in the pantry!

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    1. John - if you use the tin of salmon, let me know how it works!

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  6. All beautiful and enticing. I love all pates! I've also always loved your utensils, measuring cups, and so forth. Do you do a lot of antique shopping?

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    1. Thanks, Mimi - both pâtés are really quite good but very different! I do some antique shopping, but also when I travel, and in fun kitchen shops. I always keep my eyes open for little bows, spoons, knives, and linens - more for me than the blog, but these little things benefit both!

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  7. Beautiful appetizers David, you sure know how to make holidays special. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mark!

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, as well, Cheri! The weather is pretty perfect!

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  8. Dear David, nice line-up of all those wonderful recipes that I am sure were all picture perfect and utterly delicious-
    I would like to take this opportunity and wish you and Mark a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving 2015! I am very thankful for having had the chance ot meet you two lovely and wonderful guys and to be able to call you my friends! And I am sure that we will meet again soon! Whenever and wherever that will be, I am looking forward to it and to our continued friendship!
    Ganz liebe und herzliche Grüße von uns allen!
    Andrea & Co.

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    1. Thanks, Andrea - we are ever so thankful that we got to meet you and (almost all of) your family when we were there. Be well, and enjoy this lovely season! Liebe Grüße, David

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  9. Wow, terrific recipes! Thanks for putting this all together. I have a date with your recipe for caponata and that white bean puree very soon!

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    1. Thanks, Marcelle! I think you will love them! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  10. This is my first visit to your blog and I so enjoyed it. Lovely.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Amalia! Glad you stopped by! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks, Fiona - to you all, as well! Wondering if you are making a turkey... We aren't - we are having a porchetta roast! :)

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  12. This is perfect for the upcoming holidays! I'm always looking for new appetizers and your marinated mushrooms sound wonderful right now! Wish I had some ready!

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    1. The good news is that they are ready in a short time!:) Glad you like the appetizer ideas, Christina!

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  13. What a timely post! I am trying to decide if I should assign my brother dessert or an appetizer for Christmas Eve. He may just get dessert after this!

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    1. Glad I was able to be of service, Inger! :)

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  14. David - They all look so yummy! Ed would love the chorizo stuffed dates. I have a soft spot for marinated mushrooms - I used to bring a sandwich bag full for lunch in 4th grade. Ed loves that story!

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    1. Thanks, Nicole! We loved these mushrooms as kids, too, although the recipe didn't come to my mother till I was in Middle and Brad was in High School.

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Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really appreciate hearing from you and welcome any ideas you may have for future posts, too. Happy Cooking!

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