Post # 183 It’s Hors D’oeuvre Night . . . Again

October 25, 2013 at 4:17 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 183 It’s Hors D’oeuvre Night . . . Again

Last weekend, there was a wine festival south-east from here.  We weren’t able to go.  I know!  But a close friend got us a couple of bottles, one of which we share last night while partner/spouse and sister went out on their own.  While were talking about various things, somehow plans evolved so that we’re hosting an hors d’oeuvre night.  We’re not supplying the wine; they are.  Turns out one of the bottles that close friend got for himself is supposed to be very good.  He actually got himself four bottles.  So tonight is an excuse to uncork one.  We’re all intrigued since he’s the only person who’s had this wine.

So, as I was working last night, I was wondering what appetizers I was going to make.  With the recent outdoor concerts and plays, my snack reputation shot through the roof so I have to come up with really good stuff for tonight.  So, I thought, well, devilled eggs are always good.  Oh, and we have some corn tortillas so I can make homemade corn chips which we already have some of the best salsa ever made for dipping.  Oh!  Since everyone like the meatballs, I have some hamburger I can use to make up a couple dozen of those.  Still seems thin.  Then I thought about something else.  We have some mini flour tortillas, too.  Quesadillas are fun.  But what if I made them differently?  What if I rolled the cheese inside and baked them?  They’d get crunchy and cheesy, rather than soft and cheesy.  As I was watering the plants this morning, I saw that I had three poblano peppers.  I looked at them and thought, if I chop them fine and put them inside the rolled quesadillas I’d have sort of a deconstructed-reconstructed pepper popper.

Partner/spouse is stopping on the way home to pick up a few things, like grape tomatoes, cheese and crackers, etc.  So things are going to be pretty well rounded.

So, it’s now 1:30.  I’ve already got the eggs done.  I need to shell them, etc. and make the devilled eggs.  That’s about the only thing I can do in advance.  I’m going to shape the meatballs at 3, then start on the corn chips.  I’ll put the meatballs on at about 6.  At the same time, I’ll make the rolled quesadillas.  I’m going to cut them in half before I cook them so they’re more easily managed.

Devilled eggs are easy.  Boil the eggs.  Julia says if you start the boiling process gently, you won’t get the dark ring around the yolk.  Another tip is if you put the eggs immediately in an ice bath after they’re done, the dark ring doesn’t develop.  Some people say, the fresher the egg, the less likely you’ll get the ring.  I use the gently boil and ice bath and haven’t had dark rings in a long time.  Not that it matters with devilled eggs, come to think of it.  Once the eggs are shelled, cut them in half lengthways.  Scoop the yolk out into a small bowl.  Once all the eggs are cut, mash the yolks with a fork.  I add about a half-tablespoon of prepared mustard, one-quarter to one-half cup mayo (depending on how many eggs I’m making), a half cup of grated cheddar cheese, a small sprinkle of either sesame seeds or sunflower seeds, and a heaping spoonful of dill pickle relish (not sweet.)  Mix it all together, adding more mayo if needed.  Scoop all this into either a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag.  Snip the corner of the plastic sandwich bag or use the pastry bag tip and squeeze the mixture into the center of the eggs.  Sprinkle with paprika, or dill, or whatever else you like.  I leave mine plain.  Chill for several hours and serve.  Don’t plan on leftovers.

I won’t go into the meatballs since I’ve already told you about those in previous posts.  This time, I’m just adding finely chopped onion and garlic.  Oh!  and maybe some sesame seed.

Homemade corn chips is easy.  Take your corn tortillas and cut them into eight wedges.  Heat oil to 350 to 375.  Carefully put the wedges into the oil and cook until they are floating on the top, usually just a couple of minutes.  Take them out with a basket scoop, shaking gently to shake off excess oil.  Here’s the important part:  Don’t put them in a bowl.  Put them on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and spread them out.  This will help absorb a bunch of oil, keeping them crispy.  While the oil is reheating, shuffle the cooked chips a little, lightly season however you like, then transfer to a bowl.  If you put them in a bowl first, the excess oil pools in the bottom whether there’s paper towels to collect it or not, and the chips at the bottom remain oily and get soggy.  Continue cooking in batches until done.  Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.

Rolled Quesadillas is an original creation.  I think.  It’s inspired by flautas, rolled flour tortillas filled with meat and cheese, or beans and cheese, and fried.  If you use corn tortillas, they’re called tacquitos, or rolled tacos.  I didn’t want to fry them since I would be frying the corn chips, but I wanted another crunch factor.  I’m going to spread them with a small bit of cream cheese, sprinkle some cheddar cheese over them, and put a just a few small pieces of poblano peppers in them.  I’ll roll them up tightly, skewer them with toothpicks, cut ’em in half, and bake them until they get brown and crispy.  I’ll serve them warm, with salsa for dipping.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

So there’s the party, except for the crudités that partner/spouse is picking up.  Now, I’ve got start cleaning and straightening, then putting appetizers together.  I’m beginning to think a bunch of frozen stuff might have better.  Certainly easier.  A good time will be had by all!!

Take care and Enjoy!!


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