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Appetizers & Snacks

Appetizers & Snacks

Wine-Poached Pears

December 9, 2016

As far back as the 15th century, English cooks discovered that wine-poaching hard pears made them both tender and palatable. One Syon Abbey recipe had cooks: “pare wardens (hard cooking pears) clean, seethe them in red wine till they be tender, then take them up and put them in a pot; put thereto wine of Crete or Vernage (Verona)…powder of sugar and powder of ginger and let them boil awhile and then serve forth.” Continue Reading…

Appetizers & Snacks

Chicken Liver & Bacon Pate

October 11, 2016

After my brother got mononucleosis as a kindergartner (how does that happen to a five-year-old?) Mom launched a relentless iron-rich dinner campaign: pots of lentils, schooners of spinach, endless platters of liver and onions. Every. Single. Week. I can still see the big black cast-iron skillet and enormous lobes of calves liver, cooked to boot-bottom toughness.  Thank god there were days when she made chicken livers and bacon instead–delicious and so much more forgiving to her pan fry. This easy, potted pate puts the best of those flavors together, and has gone a long way in eradicating the less-lovely liver memories. It’s a nice snack with crusty bread or crackers–add onion slivers, and a little chopped egg, capers or parsley. Continue Reading…

Appetizers & Snacks

Scotch Eggs

September 30, 2016

So a little history…Go to the website for British gourmet food retailer Fortnum & Mason and you’ll find the claim that the classic Scotch egg was invented by Fortnum’s in 1738.  Others say origins go back to farther to a Moghul, egg-stuffed, kofta-ball  snack, but the basic gist is the same: Take a boiled egg, wrap it in seasoned sausage and breadcrumbs, fry it ’til crisped, and you’ve got a hearty, portable lunch. There are plenty of variations on the theme, from a black pudding version, to scrumpy (with apples, onion and sage) to Fortnum’s hammy, pinkish version. Continue Reading…

Appetizers & Snacks

Green Goddess Dip

July 16, 2016

Anchovies, chives, parsley, wine vinegar, sour cream…the original Green Goddess dressing was created by Chef Phillip Roemer of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel in 1923 for a banquet in honor of actor George Arliss who was starring in William Archer’s play, “The Green Goddess.” Add some minced garlic and zowie-wowie! It becomes a potent dip like this one we found in a 1940s “Let’s Eat Red Dot Potato Chips” company flyer. Continue Reading…

Appetizers & Snacks

Pimiento Cheese Cherry Bombs

July 11, 2016

My mom loved pimiento cheese. She had an old box grater and used to make me shred mounds of cheddar to prepare the spread from scratch, keeping it in the fridge next to jars of pickled peppers so hot even the brine made my eyes water. Hers was the simple cheese-mayo-pimiento blend.  But remembering those jars of jalapenos, I thought, why not add a little more kick? Continue Reading…