Best cost and time efficient appetizers
I am wondering if anyone has some new ideas without breaking the bank to make some new appetizers in a reasonable amount of time. This is a busy time of year for entertaining for me and time is of the essence. I like to get the most for my money within reason. Any suggestions ??
Saw this one in a restaurant: endive leaf, mandarin orange, toasted slivered almonds. I add goat cheese crumbles and a drizzle of olive oil over the top. To make it easier, I imagine placing a whole almond would be just as good. Fairly easy, elegant, and keeps well at room temperature.
You'd be amazed at how many "servings" of appetizers you can make with a quarter pound of jamon serrano, a nice hunk of manchego, some whole grain mustard, and quality crackers. We're talking about 10 bucks for ham, 8 bucks for cheese, and 6 for crackers and mustard, so for $24 it's a pretty cheap appetizer if you're having a lot of guests. Serving them jamon serrano, and telling them the story about the little pig who could (eat acorns and cure for 18 months, that is..) is a good way to make sure they come back, too...
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That sounds good, and I agree completely about the jamon serrano. But I'd skip the Manchego unless you just can't get another Spanish cheese. Mahon or Idiazabal would be better choices, IMO. If you wanted to add a blue cheese to the mix, Cabrales or Valdeon would be my picks.
A few good Spanish olives would make the plates even more attractive and delicious.
Depending on what's near you, you can get these at Whole Foods or Wegman's, or a local cheese shop.
You don't say how many you're making for or what circumstances they will be served under, which kind of makes a difference. But here's one that I love:
1 jar piquillo peppers
8 oz. goat cheese
1 clove finely crushed garlic
Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet.
Stuff peppers with goat cheese and arrange on sheet.
Drizzle a little more olive oil over peppers, and give a couple twists from your salt and pepper mills over the whole thing. Sprinkle with crushed garlic.
Broil 8-12 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6 people (depending on the size of the peppers in the jar).