White Cheddar and Pear Palmiers with Cumin
Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Toasts
French Radishes with Butter and Sea Salt
New England Cheeses
Panelists–Joy Howard, Caitlin Leffel, Ted Lee, Betty Rosbottom, and Jenny Rosenstrach
Last weekend I invited four food professionals for wine and appetizers at our house. It was family weekend at Amherst College and I was to be a moderator for a session called “Rewarding Careers in the Food World.” Ted Lee, part of that celebrated duo, The Lee Brothers of Southern cooking fame, Jenny Rosenstrach author of the just released How To Celebrate Everything, Joy Howard, a talented food stylist, and Caitlin Leffel, my terrific food editor at Rizzoli for Soup Nights were the panelists.
So what to serve them? I wanted the nibbles to be simple, seasonal, and reflect our local food scene. Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Toasts, French radishes (from my farmers’ market) served with sweet butter and sea salt, and a platter of New England cheeses including two Grafton cheddars from Vermont and an artisanal blue, were on the menu. The most popular appetizers of the evening, though, were the savory palmiers with white cheddar, pears, and cumin. Continue reading
After much movie-going in 2012, I’m betting that these will be Oscar winners (in the top five categories) on Sunday night!
Best Actor—Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Best Actress—Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Supporting Actor—Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Supporting Actress—Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
I’d love to hear about your favorites! You can find a ballot here.
Regardless of whom you’re rooting for, everyone loves to nibble while watching this mother of all awards shows. Decadently good cheese tartines served with a balsamic dipping sauce would be perfect to put on the menu for the big night.
These miniature grilled cheese sandwiches are the creation of Deborah Snow, the talented chef of Blue Heron Restaurant and Catering in Sunderland, Massachusetts. Deb willingly shared the recipe, explaining that these addictive little morsels were one of her catering firm’s most requested dishes.
Prepared with grated Gruyère and Grafton cheddar (a white cheddar from Vermont) that is mounded between slices of good white bread, these sandwiches are coated with melted butter, quickly sautéed, then placed in the oven for several minutes. Deb cuts the sandwiches into squares or triangles, and serves them with a simple balsamic sauce and some pear puree. I followed her directions, but used only the balsamic sauce as a garnish. Continue reading