Archive | February, 2013

Hooray for Hollywood

22 Feb

wolfgang puck 1
Oh, but we do love an Oscars couch party. Such an indulgence — the red carpet fashion, the bubbly, the little bites, and of course, the movies. Here’s some other Puck pie recipes, courtesy our 1980s Seventeen magazine.

This Sunday, it will be a soirée à deux, so we’re keeping it simple.

This could be the year for gourmet mini hotdogs, a la “let’s all gCalgary-20130224-00561[1]o to the lobby.”

And perhaps a nod to Wolfgang Puck’s famous smoked salmon with dill creme and caviar pies…

How about using a star-shaped cookie cutter to make toasts or crispy tortillas to top with smoked salmon cream cheese, sprinkled with freshly snipped dill?

SMOKED SALMON MOUSSE
WOLFGANG PUCK
Makes 2 cups

A good spread or dip is a welcome addition to any party. And this light, creamy, flavorful, and beautiful mousse fills that role deliciously. Better still, it takes just a few minutes to make. Serve it with thinly sliced white or brioche toast or pumpernickel bread for spreading, or pass with a selection of good-quality crackers.

1/2 pound good-quality smoked salmon, well chilled, coarsely chopped
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade, put the salmon, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, chives, dill, and a little salt and pepper. Pulse the machine on and off for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Then, continue pulsing until the mousse is smooth, about 2 minutes longer. Taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning by p
ulsing in a little more salt and pepper.

Carefully remove the blade from the processor. With the spatula, scrape the mousse into a serving container; or put it in a storage container, cover, and refrigerate until serving time.

Dinner on a Cracker

15 Feb

There’s much to be said for spreading something heavenly on melba toast and calling it dinner. Keeping a little pate de foie gras in the pantry never hurts.

Lazy, to be sure, but seeing as though there would never be spray cheese in our larder, these luscious spreads make elegant and delicious bites. Washed down with something cold and lovely, of course.

As we continue parsing out our prep favourites, consider this a precursor to a future chapter on that WASPY favourite, snack cracker cookery.

4 STREET ROSE CHICKEN LIVER PATE
l litre boiling water
2 stalks celery
4 sprigs parsley
12 whole peppercorns
15 ml salt
900 grams chicken livers

450 g solid butter
120 g minced white onion
50 ml Calvados
50 ml orange juice concentrate
5 ml Tabasco
5 ml nutmeg
5 ml powdered cloves
1 clove of garlic, minced
5 ml dry mustard
5 ml salt

To boiling water add the salt, celery, parsley and peppercorns and simmer 5 minutes. Add livers and poach 10 minutes. Drain and discard celery, parsley and peppercorns. Place livers in a food processor and blend with remaining ingredients for three to four minutes until very smooth. Line a terrine or loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour in liver mixture. Cover and refrigerate until firm (overnight) before slicing.

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We have our favourite tuna mousse, but here’s an airier version.

FRENCH TUNA MOUSSE

Whip ½ cup 35% cream until stiff peaks form.

Drain one 170 g can white chunk tuna then flake with your fingers in to a small bowl.

Add:
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp zest
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
1 tsp Dijon
2 tsp chopped capers
salt and pepper to taste.

Fold the tuna mixture into the whipped cream until combined.
Chill for at least an hour.
Serve with baguette or bagel slices, crackers or crisps.