Your Wacky Appetizers

I’ve made some weird nibbly bits in my time.

One keeps coming back to haunt me. I considered it to be a complete tour de force in the finger food assembly department. It was a miniature take on the classic Danish smorgasbord serving of an egg and tomato sandwich. Imagine:


Tiny Toast square
Schmear of Mayonnaise
Slice of hard boiled egg
Slice of cherry tomato
Small dollop of Mayonnaise
Fresh cracked black pepper
Sprinkling of chopped chives

This might sound rather mundane until you consider the fact that my hard boiled eggs were all dimensionally congruent with their respective Tiny Toast slices. By this, I mean that I used an egg press. Yes, the eggs perfectly matched the square outline of the mini-toast pieces. It was a total triumph of food geometry. It was a masterpiece of presentation. The miniature tomatoes nestled upon the square egg slices in precisely retentive perfection. It was a Neopolitan extravaganza. I even included entire cooked square eggs with whole peppercorns pressed into each side so they resembled gambling dice on the platter in order that the square egg concept was well advertised. The outcome?

No-effing-body noticed.

What about your wacky appetizers?

One time, when I ordered Calamari, it jumped out of the box and turned into Cthulhu. Then it ate everybody in the restaraunt.

I was like “Oh tasty squid delight, you are such a kidder!”.

Then he danced a jig and ran away into the setting sun.



How about Prawn Cocktail?

I’ll get me coat.

Oh wow. I would have noticed. That sounds far too delightful.

I don’t run much to the appetizer line, my speciality is desserts. But, I have been presented with the most wonderful appetizer that I’d replicate if I thought I had a chance in hell of making it work. It was half-inch cubes of lasagna. The most amazingly fine sheets of hand-made pasta layered with really good smoked salmon, and topped with a drop of olive oil, and a grind of black pepper. I really don’t think I’ve got the kitchen skills to make pasta that thin, and I was puzzled as to how they managed to cook and assemble the entire thing, I’m guessing they cooked the pasta sheets, and then layered them with the salmon, chilled them and cut them into the tiny squares. Never had the guts to try it myself!

That egg press has bent my tiny little mind this morning. How does it work? It says peel the egg, put it in and “soon” you have a square egg. How soon? Does the egg just settle into the square shape of the mold? Why is the yolk square too? Is it a cube or a rectangle? I’m sorry to hijack your thread, but I love this idea and I want to know how it works! I want to surprise mr. singular with it - especially since we’re going to try and re-enter Atkinsland again Monday.

oh, and I would’ve definately noticed your lovely appetizers!

We don’t entertain much, but if we did, and we were looking for unusual appetizers, I’d try something from this site . There are some pretty bizarre things there!

I love experimenting with food. I never use a recipe, and I rarely make the same dish twice (except a few that I get requests for).

I did a party a couple years back that was largely appetizers: more dishes, smaller portions: more experiments for my guinea pigs.

[ul][li]Bacon wrapped around a chunk of monkfish and a sage leaf[/li][li]Round raviolis, one side beet pasta the other pumpkin pasta, stuffed with candied ginger, pears, and pistachios, deepfried and served with habanera yogurt for dipping[/li][li]Fried plantain slices coated in mole chocolate[/li][li]Roasted whole vegetables, all bite sized, like radishes, mushrooms, Thai eggplants, tiny potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, brussel sprouts, green figs, etc., served with Ancho chili whipped cream[/li][li]chicken-coconut meatballs wrapped in basil leaves with a lime garlic ginger sauce[/li][li]pureed roasted yellow pepper sauce for prawns cooked in tequila with cilantro[/li][li]cocoa dusted duck strips cooked in caramelized sugar[/ul][/li]
Dessert was boston-lettuce and strawberry salad with a pureed peach and rice vinegar dressing, and apricot baklava.

All got raves, but the ravioli was the favorite. That and the peach salad dressing, which I’ve made several times since then.

That there fancy stuff is alright for you effete types, but the rest of us folks get raves for the bachelor’s standard:

Pickapeppa Sauce poured over a block of Philly Cream Cheese.

Serve with Wheat-thins or Triskets.

THIS, people notice. :wink:

Actually, Zerbina (Zippy’s wife): oreo appetizers:
-1 (one) package of chocolate oreos
-one tube CREST toothpaste
arrange poreos on a platter…top with a healthy dollop of crest!
Serve to guests!

You merely cook and peel the egg as normal. Immediately after peeling the egg, insert it into the press and screw down the top. The still-cooling egg is squeezed into a perfect cube in about ten or fifteen minutes. The yolk does remain spherical but it’s still cute as all get-out. The “dice” format eggs (with peppercorns) are perfect for backgammon parties.

I find these egg presses in the thrift shops for about 50¢. No one ever knows what they are and consequently they are marked rather low. If you are really serious about doing a quantity of square eggs, you’ll need to own several of the presses. Otherwise, you are limited to cooking one egg at a time, seeing as how you cannot permit them to cool before pressing. For the party I mentioned, I rallied four of these presses over three batches of boiled eggs.

OK, serious answer. The other day I had people round for dinner, and I made up the following appetizer:

I sliced a yellow mango thinly and arranged four strips diagonally on each plate.

I tossed mixed leaves in a vinaigrette I’d made with Thai sweet chilli sauce with white wine vinegar and peanut oil. Arranged the leaves between the mango.

I made a satay sauce from scratch - fried trasi (Indonesian shrimp paste - try finding that in Dublin… took me 2 weeks), then mixing in a jar of crunchy peanut butter, toasted onion and garlic, shredded deseeded roasted-then-deep-fried chillis and a load of coconut oil.

Then I grilled medallions of beef on skewers, put one skewer on each salad and poured the satay over liberally.

It was bloody delicious, though I say it myself.

Unfortunately, the Thai green chicken curry that followed it was an unmitigated disaster. Luckily I overcatered on the beef, so nobody was that hungry by the time it came to the entrée.

lissener, would you be up for giving some advice on the plaintain front? I have tried and tried to make fried plantains, and they just don’t turn out the way they are when I get them at restaurants. Not by a long shot. Too tough, not as sweet. How do you make them? Is it in the plantain itself – as in, should I look for a certain color or firmness? (Most of the ones I find are rock-hard to begin with and anywhere from green to yellow.)

One of my favorite unusual apps to make is a mango-brie quesadilla. You grill up a tortilla topped with thinly-sliced brie cheese and ripe mango, and some finely chopped jalapenos and green onions. When the cheese begins to melt, throw another tortilla on top and flip the whole thing over and cook for another two minutes. Serve with a sauce of plain yogurt mixed with fresh lime juice and a little salt. Mmmmmm.

Couldn’t you cook all the eggs at once, but leave the eggs you aren’t ready to press sitting in warm water until you’re ready to peel and press them? I’ve been interested in getting an egg press, just for the looks of the end result.

I am extremely fond of a creamy yolk in my hard-boiled eggs. If the last millimeters of its very center is still liquid, all the better. Eggs left in their boiling water will continue to cook and become completely solidified, or worse, start turning that sulphurous green color.

I suppose you could just add just a small amount of cold water to halt the cooking process while allowing the eggs to remain in a relatively hot bath. However, I still don’t think I’d be able to get my creamy yolks and that’s where I draw the line.


The dizzying highs, the terrifying lows, … the creamy middles.


I don’t eat a lot of plantains but I’ve had them before. How green are the one’s you’re using? I’d suggest you may want to avoid cutting them too thin. A thicker slice will hold its moisture better and help prevent the “potato chip” effect. How high of a heat are you using? Slow cooking will tend to dry them out as well. I’d cook over the highest heat possible without scorching them. Allowing the plantain to ripen more to a yellow color should also help to increase the moisture content. Cavendish bananas start at 90% starch with 10% sugar and end up at 90% sugar with 10% starch. I know that plantains are much lower in sugar, even when ripe, so allowing them to age a bit might help.

One bowl/dish of the ripest, most flavorful cherry or grape tomatoes + one small bowl of gin + a small plate of seasoned salt. Spear a toothpick into a tomato, dip it in the gin, and then into the SS. Voila! Instant Bloody Mary. Newcomers are always fascinated with this. Cheers!

Sounds delicious, quiltguy, but…

How does gin make a bloody mary?

Since so little of the liquid remains on the tomato, I find using gin is good, because it has a modicum of flavor. You may substitute the alcohol that is celebrating its 500th anniversary-VODKA. The thread is elsewhere on the SDMB.

If we’re talking about the same stuff, you can make your own trasi:

Get some of those little dehydrated shrimp (any Asian grocery should have them) and soak a half-cup or so of them in cool water for a half-hour or so. Drain and put them in the blender until they’re chopped up pretty fine. Do not add water. Transfer from the blender to a bowl and set aside.

Now chop up an onion and put that in the blender, until it’s a paste. Do not let the “mist” above the paste get into your eyes. Seriously.

Fry the onion paste with some minced garlic in some oil, and after a few minutes throw in the minced shrimp as well; stir it all together and let it mix/stir-fry for a few minutes.

I don’t know how hard it would be to find the dehydrated shrimp in Dublin, but I can find them easily in Memphis, and (in my imagination, at least) Dublin is a far more cosmopolitan city.

Flipping briliant. I love it. An inverted Martini. Cheers! I’ll go with minature yellow “light bulb” tomatoes and a garlicked sea salt, but it matters not. What a great idea!