By Anna Dantoni –
The next time you’re hosting a holiday cocktail party or attending one where you’re asked to bring an appetizer, you’ll want to be able to refer to Savory Bites, a soft-cover book that is all about easy and sophisticated hors d’oeuvres for stand-up parties, buffets, or family snacking. Most of the presentations within the pages of this useful book are one or two-bite morsels and all of them look appealing thanks to full-color photos. The author, Kim Hendrickson, calls these canapes “tastefully small.”
As the title suggests, there aren’t dessert recipes here. What you get are seafood, meat and vegetarian little mouthfuls that are salty, spicy, and delicious but not sweet. Most are meant to pare with a mixed drink, wine or beer. All of them look tempting. Here are a few you’ll want to try.
Turkey-Cranberry Relish Scoops
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
½ cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned, drained
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
½ apple, unpeeled, cored and cut into ½-inch chunks
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
½ orange, peel, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoons honey
12 endive leaves
Thyme sprigs, as garnish
Toss turkey and thyme in a small bowl. Pulse remaining ingredients except endive in a food processor until pureed. Spoon onto the base of each endive lear, top with diced turkey and garnish with a little more relish and a thyme sprig.
Deviled Guacamole Cups
4 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
¼ cup whole shelled pumpkin seeds, coarsely ground
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
3 tablespoons minded scallions
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
Whole shelled pumpkin seeds, as garnish
Peel eggs and cut just enough of the narrow end of each egg to remove the yolk without damaging the remaining white. Reserve three yokes and all egg-white trimmings. Cut just enough off the wide end of each egg so it can stand upright. Trim cup edges decoratively if desired. Place bacon, egg yolks and trimmings, avocado, scallions, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Using a potato masher, roughly mash the filling so that it is in small chunks. Stir in corn. Spoon filing into egg cups and garish with whole pumpkin seeds. Cups can be assembled and refrigerated for up to a day before serving.
2/3 cup toasted walnuts (see below)
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
½ cup grated Asiago cheese (2 ounces), plus extra for garnish
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor, puree all ingredients except zucchini until smooth. Using a vegetable peeler, slice ?-inch-thick strips from the zucchini, discarding the first strip (with the most skin). Arrange slices on a work surface a spread a heaping teaspoon of pesto onto each strip. Roll up strips and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle with cheese and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Toasting walnuts: Place nuts on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350-degree oven. Stir the nuts occasionally. The toasting process will take about 10 minutes. You can usually tell when they are done from the nutty aroma. Be careful, nuts can burn easily.
(Savory Bites by Kim Hendrickson, Salvia Press, $18.95)