I’m not having a party this week. I’m still recovering from Thanksgiving. But, I do want to give you a couple recipes that are quick and easy for a dinner or cocktail party or even a festive after school snack. So this morning, I went to get my coffee at Formaggio Kitchen and I picked up a sliver of Vieux Berger Roquefort, six slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele, a cantaloupe, an endive, and a muffin for breakfast. In the fridge I have some goat cheese leftover from Thanksgiving and some Nêufchatel. On the counter I have a couple lemons and in the pantry I have some walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and a can of smoked mussels.
These hors d’oeuvres are inexpensive and a little great quality food goes a long way.
Endive Cru Three Ways
Wash the outer layer of the endive. I usually peel off and compost the first layer since it is usually a little limp. I made my endives long because we will probably just have on or two before dinner tonight while the kids have their dinner, but for a party I would cut the leaves in half to make more smaller bites.
If you have cream cheese instead of Nêufchatel that is a fine substitution. You could also use Fromage Blanc if you want a lighter appetizer.
Roquefort and Walnuts: Take one part of the Nêufchatel cheese and add the same amount of your Roquefort. Add a little cream or milk to make the mixture a bit smoother. If you want a milder mix or if you have a particularly strong cheese, add more Nêufchatel. Spread the cheese mixture on the endive leaf and sprinkle it with some chopped walnuts. If you have time or are inclined to, toast the walnuts a little to bring out their flavour. Allow them to cool and then top the cheese with them.
Smoked Mussels and Lemon: Open a can of smoked mussels (If you have smoked oysters I think they’d be even better.). Place a few on each endive leaf. Zest the lemon and sprinkle it over the mussels. Squeeze a little lemon juice over each leaf and it is ready to go.
Goat Cheese and Sun-dried tomatoes: In the Cuisinart, add two parts goat cheese to one part Nêufchatel. Season with some salt and pepper. If you are using sun-dried tomatoes in oil then drain them first. Add two sun-dried tomatoes to the mixer and blend. Taste and see if you want more tomatoes. If you are using dried tomatoes not in liquid, just plump them up in some warm water first. Once the seasonings are adjusted to your liking, spread the cheese mixture on the endive leaf. The children can help top each leaf with a sliver of sun-dried tomato if you give them a dish of pre-sliced slivers. Older children can use scissors and cut the slivers of tomato too.
As for what I did with the cantaloupe, that’s coming up next. Of course there’s not too much left to the imagination on that one.
Bon appetit. ttyl your BFF (Boston Family Foodie)
For more info: Formaggio Kitchen, Prosciutto di San Daniele, Saveur’s Roquefort Spread, Gourmet’s Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomato Spread, Domino’s Easy Smoked Mussels appetizer