Wednesday, June 25, 2014

THE GOLDFINCH: Art Gallery Hors D'ouvres

For our book club this month we have been reading the Pulitzer Prize winning book, THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt. There have been several mentions of foods of all varieties and of every culture and class. We've been reading of foods and appetizers so fancy that I can't even pronounce them and on the flip side we hear of foods leftover from a Vegas nightclub like chicken wings and Chinese take out. Tartt is a master at making the food her characters eat say something about who they are, and that talent has never been clearer than in The Goldfinch.

figjam

"We ate asparagus flan with shallot vinaigrette; smoked salmon; smoked sable carpaccio; perciatelli with cardoons and black truffles; crispy black bass with saffron and fava beans; bbq'd skirt steak; braised short ribs; and panna cotta, pumpkin cake and fig ice cream for dessert." 

This passage from Goldfinch is where we found the flavor inspiration for these hors d'ouvres. Even if you don't like to cook, these will be fun for you to make, it is more about assembling a few easy ingredients. Either way, you'll be sure to wow your guests. Below you will find instruction on how to make Smoked Salmon Crostini with Egg MImosa and Chives, Finch eggs, and Fig and Chevre Crostini. 

chevre

Smoked Salmon Crostini with Egg Mimosa and Chives

INGREDIENTS:
-1 baguette 
-olive oil
-cold smoked salmon
-creme fraiche
-2 hard boiled eggs, peeled
-fresh chives

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Slice the baguette in thin (1/4") slices on a slight diagonal. Place on a cookie sheet and brush lightly with olive oil followed by a little salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes, till the outside edges are crispy, but the center of the bread is just barely toasted. Cool and set aside half of the rounds for the Fig and Chevre Crostini. While the crostini are baking, prep the egg mimosa. Slice the eggs in half and separate the whites and the yolks. Then using a metal mesh strainer push the yolks through the strainer.
hors d'ouvres

This will create a very light fluffy texture. Do the same with the whites, but keep them separate. Next create 10-12 chive batons by cutting them in 1 in long slices with a sharp angle at each end. 

To assemble, place a piece of smoked salmon on the crostini, put a small dollop of creme' fraiche on top of the salmon then a teaspoon of the egg mimosa and a chive baton. Voila!

eggs mimosa

"Finch" Eggs

INGREDIENTS:
-Blue cheese at room temperature
-Seedless Grapes, washed and dryed
-1/2 c. toasted pistachios, finely chopped 

DIRECTIONS: Take a small chunk of blue cheese and mold it around the outside of each individual grape, covering the whole grape. you can even roll it around to smooth it out, like you would a ball of cookie dough. (Your fingers will get messy on this.) I found it goes most smoothly if you coat all of them in the cheese first, and then roll them in the finely chopped pistachios after. Chill before serving. 

Fig and Chevre Crostini

INGREDIENTS:
-Fig jam
-Chevre (this is a soft goat cheese)
-Crostini, that you previously set aside

DIRECTIONS: This one is so simple that it feels silly to write out:) Spread a smear of goat cheese on the crostini followed by a dollop of the fig jam. When figs are in season, this also works with fresh figs. Another nice variation is to use Humboldt Fog Chevre, which is an aged goat cheese, one of my very favorite cheeses. Serve at room temperature.

Cheers to delicious food!

Elizabeth




2 comments :

Karen said...

These look fabulous!

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