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Unique holiday appetizers

November 10, 2009 3:39:42 PM PST
Learn how to make unique appetizers for the holidays by combining some surprising ingredients!

Honey Mustard and Prosciutto Palmiers

  • 1 Sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 Tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tsp honey
  • 2 ½ Ounces sliced Prosciutto
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 Egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.

  2. Roll pastry to a 6 x 14-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges with a sharp knife.

  3. Combine mustard and honey together in a small bowl. Brush evenly over the pastry. Cover with Prosciutto and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.

  4. Tightly roll the long side of the pastry half way to the middle, turn and roll the other long side to meet up in the middle of the pastry. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

  5. Brush the pastry with the egg wash on all sides. Cut cross-wise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place slices on a greased baking sheet.

  6. Bake until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes.

  7. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle remaining Parmesan over the palmiers.

  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 20

Can be made up to 3 days in advance; store in an airtight container at room temperature. Crisp in a preheated 400° oven for 3 minutes. Alternatively, freeze unbaked and bake from frozen in a preheated 400° oven for 15 minutes.

Polenta Crostini with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Onions

  • 3 2/3 Cups water
  • 1 ¼ Cups instant polenta
  • 2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Cup crumbled blue cheese
Preparation:
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.

  2. Stir in the polenta and salt.

  3. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick, 5-10 minutes.

  4. Add parmesan, thyme and pepper.

  5. Pour hot polenta into a greased 2 cup loaf pan. Cool completely.

  6. Once cool, unmold from the pan and slice into 10 slices, cut each slice diagonally into 2 triangles.

  7. Place triangles onto oiled baking sheets.

  8. Brush with oil and toast under a preheated broiler until lightly golden and crisp for about 3 minutes.

  9. Cool to room temperature before topping.

  10. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onions and salt.

  11. Cook, stirring, occasionally, until soft and tender, about 10 minutes.

  12. Add vinegar and cook until evaporated, 3 minutes. Add pepper to taste.

  13. Divide onions evenly among polenta crostini, then top each one with 1 teaspoon crumbled cheese. Serve at room temperature.
Yield: 20

Polenta can be made up to 3 days in advance, leaving it in the pan. Cover and refrigerate. Cut and broil polenta up to 2 hours in advance. Store at room temperature.

About Nikki Boyles-Frias:

Chef Boyles-Frias joined Sur La Table in September of 2006 and is responsible for managing the cooking class program, creating recipes, setting curriculum and teaching classes in Sur La Table's Los Gatos (23 University Avenue), California store.

Boyles-Frias is the third-generation in her family to be called to the culinary arts and practically grew up in both commercial and home kitchens. Her parents have been operating DNL Catering since 1989 and at a very young age she began learning about the "front and back of the house." From accounting and advertising to event planning and cooking, Boyles-Frias was immersed in her family's business.

She attended culinary school at Diablo Valley College, Baking and Pastry Arts and became the Executive Chef at DNL Catering and Wedding Cake Designer for 13 years and was a caterer for CoolEatz Cafe for Jesse Cool.

Sur la Table:
23 University Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Phone: 408.395.6946
website: www.surlatable.com


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