French-style Starter with Escartgots

Ingredients

6 dozen canned snails
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp green Chartreuse (a French liqueur)
2 cups whipping cream
lemon juice
grated lemon zest
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Drain the snails.
  2. Sweat the finely chopped shallots and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until tender, then add the hazelnuts, followed by the snails.
  3. Add the butter and continue to cook gently for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Pour in the Chartreuse, turn up the heat, and boil until the pan is almost dry.
  5. Add the cream and simmer until the mixture has the consistency of a sauce.
  6. Season well and finish with a few drops of lemon juice and a little finely grated zest. Serve in little pots with a sprinkling of parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen

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Meat Ball Appetizer with Quinoa

Ingredients

1 cup cooked quinoa, chilled
4 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 pound reduced-fat pork sausage
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Shape mixture into 40 (1-1/2-inch) balls.
  3. Place balls on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375ºF for 18 minutes or until lightly browned and done.

Makes 20 servings.

Source: Everyday Whole Grains

Appetizer with Shrimp, Avocado and Mango Salad

Ingredients

2 large avocados
Lemon juice
1 large mango, peeled and cubed
1 lb large shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 cup peeled, diced English cucumber
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
2/3 cup chopped green onion
cilantro, for garnish

Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Halve the avocados. Remove the pit and cut the flesh into cubes. Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. In a bowl, gently toss the avocado cubes, mango, shrimp, and vegetables. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently.
  4. To serve, spoon the salad into small cups. Garnish with cilantro.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

14-16 oz beef tenderloin
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red chili, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely crushed
with a pinch of sea salt
sea salt and black pepper
mixed herbs or small salad leaves to garnish

Peanut Sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large shallots, peeled and finely diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1 red chili, seeded and minced
4 tsp light soy sauce
generous 1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp superfine sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

Method

  1. Trim off most of the fat and the sinew from the beef.
  2. Mix the vegetable oil, chopped chile, garlic, and seasoning in a small bowl and brush this over the beef. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.
  3. To make the peanut sauce, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then stir in the garlic, ginger, and chili and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce and let it bubble until almost totally reduced. Pour in the coconut milk and add the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until well blended. If you prefer the sauce thinner, stir in a little boiling water.
  5. Take the beef out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking. Heat a griddle pan until it is very hot (you should be able to feel the heat rising). Griddle the beef for about 2 minutes on each side to cook it medium rare (or cook to your liking).
  6. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 3/4 to 1-1/4-inch thick strips. Thread each strip onto a short wooden skewer and brush over a little of the peanut sauce.
  7. Divide the satay between warm serving plates and top with a scattering of mixed herbs. Serve immediately, with individual bowls of peanut sauce for dipping.

Makes 4 servings of appetizer.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze

Toasts with a Taste of Provence, Italy

Ingredients

4 small red or Yellow Finn potatoes, unpeeled, cut into scant 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
1 ahi tuna steak, 10-12 oz
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 anchovy fillets
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, plus small sprigs for garnish
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Nicoise or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and quartered
8 large, thick slices coarse country bread

Method

  1. Put the potatoes in a steamer basket over simmering water, cover, and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Preheat a broiler (grill).
  3. Brush both sides of the tuna steak with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a broiler pan and place under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil (grill), turning once, until just opaque throughout, about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  4. Soak the anchovy fillets in warm water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and mince.
  5. In a large saute pan over medium-low heat, warm the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, stir to coat with oil, and cover the pan. Cook gently, stirring infrequently, until very soft, about 20 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, anchovies, tomatoes, bay leaves, and chopped oregano. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the tomato paste, capers, vinegar, olives, and potatoes and cook, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more.
  8. Preheat the broiler again if needed.
  9. Cut the tuna into generous 1/4-inch chunks and stir into the tomato mixture. Remove from the heat and let stand while you toast the bread.
  10. Cut the bread slices into quarters and lightly brush both sides of each piece with olive oil. Arrange on a broiler pan and place about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat source. Toast, turning once, until golden, 4-5 minutes on each side.
    Arrange the toast quarters on a large platter. Remove the bay leaves from the tuna mixture and top each toast quarter with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Garnish with the oregano sprigs and serve at once.

Makes 32 canapes.

Source: Hors Doeuvre