Adult Monthly Cooking Class ~ Tapas and Appetizers

Menu

  • Oysters with champagne mignonette
  • Grougers with blue cheese and spiced persimmons
  • Orange and fennel breadsticks with prosciutto
  • Buckwheat blini with dill goats cheese, smoked trout
  • Fried olives with manchego cheese

 

Mignonette (made in advance)

1/2 cup minced shallots (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/8 teaspoon of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 teaspoon of finely crushed peppercorns (do not use pre-ground)

Grougers with persimmons

Grougers

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Large pinch of coarse salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
3 1/2 crumbled blue cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms; stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about 2 minutes.
Scrape the dough into a bowl; let cool for 1 minute. Beat the eggs into the dough, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Add the cheese and a pinch of pepper
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

Notes:
When making the choux pastry, it is important to be sure that each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Don't worry if the batter separates and looks curdled at first. Keep beating, and it will come together nicely.

Persimmons filling

3 plump persimmons, peeled and diced
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon clove

Add all ingredients to a small pot and cook gently until jam consistency

Gently cut a small hole into the side of each grouger stuff with a few pieces of rocket and pipe a small amount of persimmons jam into cavity.

 

Orange and fennel breadsticks

2 ¾ cups (380 g) bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon (195 ml) warm water
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1¼ teaspoons fine salt
2 teaspoons of orange zest
2 teaspoons fennel seeds

Using a mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix all ingredient on low speed until well combined, 2-3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium-low and mix for another 5 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide dough into 24 pieces, each weighing about 25g. Roll each piece into a log that is roughly 25cm long (or 30cm if you like them extra thin) and ½-1 cm wide, depending on how thick you want them. Keep in mind that they will expand during baking. Place on prepared baking sheets, allowing sufficient space between each stick. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and crisp.  Allow breadsticks to completely cool on a wire rack. They will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Wrap each stick with thinly sliced prosciutto and serve.

Buckwheat Blini

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup seltzer or club soda
Canola oil, for brushing

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the seltzer and canola oil and whisk until smooth. Scrape the batter into a large bowl and let stand for 15 minutes. Whisk 1/3 cup of the seltzer into the batter; it should have the consistency of pancake batter; add a bit more seltzer if the batter is too thick. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over moderate heat until very hot. Brush with oil. Spoon tablespoon-size mounds of batter into the hot skillet and cook until bubbles form on the surface and the blini are browned on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip the blini and cook for 30 seconds longer. Transfer the blini to a baking sheet. Brush the skillet with oil as needed and repeat with the remaining batter, layering the cooked blini on the baking sheet. Serve the blini warm or at room temperature.

Chop ½ the amount of dill and mix with goats cheese and a tablespoon of greek yogurt. Pipe a small amount of cheese on each blini and top with a piece of smoked trout and sprig of dill

 

Fried Olives

2 dozen, green pitted olives
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil for frying

Drain olives and pat dry. Put flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in 3 bowls. Dredge olives in flour, dip in egg, then dredge in breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until ready to fry. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, fry olives until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. Serve skewered on a toothpick with a small cube of manchego cheese

 

  
   
  
     
 
 
 
   
    
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