We were invited to spend new Year's Eve with some dear friends, and I volunteered to bring appetizers. I made mushroom turnovers; crostini with caramelized shallots, walnuts and blue cheese; and mini peppers stuffed with goat cheese.
Crostini with Caramelized Shallots, Walnuts and Blue Cheese
(adapted from Pedaling in Burgundy, Sarah Chase)
10 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tbs. walnut oil
1-2 spoonfuls cassis (blackberry cordial)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
crumbled blue cheese
Saute shallots in the walnut oil in a skillet until very soft. (About 20 minutes on low medium flame). Add cassis, and cook a few minutes more to slightly caramelize the shallots. Add salt and pepper to taste. Crush walnuts, add to pan and mix.
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 for 5 minutes until just beginning to color. Spoon shallots onto baguette slices, then sprinkle with cheese. Return crostini to oven, bake until cheese bubbles, around 5-7 minutes. Serve with a kir.
2 sheets TJ's frozen puff pastry
1 lb mushrooms--I used baby bellas from Costco
2 Tbs. butter
2 shallots, minced (or 1/2 small onion)
1-2 tsps. cognac to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
herbs to taste--I like fresh dill in this, or thyme
In the food procesor, chop the mushrooms small. You'll need to do this in batches. Saute the mushrooms and shallots in a large skillet with the butter. They'll give off a lot of water. Keep cooking until all water evaporates, and mushrooms begin to brown. Remove from heat, add cognac, salt and pepper, and herbs as desired. Mix in sour cream.
Roll out pastry sheets, and use a glass to cut circles. Place a bit of mushroom filling in each, fold over and seal to make little crescents. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet.
Bake in 400 oven 10 minutes, or until browned. Let cool a minute before serving.
Mini Stuffed Peppers
I recently saw large packages of mini sweet peppers at Costco and other stores. I grabbed one, and am very glad I did. The peppers are sweet, and cute as can be. They're easy to split or halve, and have very few seeds. You can stuff them in all kinds of ways. I had some goat cheese on hand; but I could also see stuffing them with refried black beans, cilantro and jack cheese; or just jack cheese and mashed chipotle peppers, or....
I warmed them after stuffing, but they're also great raw.
Bonus photo of the lemon tart I made for dessert. It was a pain in the butt to make, but was delicious. Recipe is also from Pedaling in Burgundy.
In other news, I drank too much champagne last night. Feeling slightly delicate.