Amuse Gueule Recipes

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Beet Polenta Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Beet Polenta Appetizer Recipe

03.12.14 by Jackie

I love the flavor combination of beets and sage; I've used the same marriage of flavors in soups, pasta dishes and vinaigrettes on multiple occasions. This time, I made a variation of a polenta appetizer and flavored it with this particular pairing. 

The beets gave a regal color to the bite-size portions and I repeated the sage flavor in the cream topping. The corn nugget garnish was my "cherry on top" and was a reminder of the cornmeal used for the polenta. 

You’ve probably noticed over the years that our family hosts a large number of dinner parties. My favorite part is creating new appetizers because it really levels the playing field for me. First I come up with a flavor combination that I know works incredibly well as my basis, then turn it into a miniature, aesthetically pleasing, unique piece of art. You know the saying: you eat with your eyes first! 


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Mustard Deviled Quail Eggs with Smoked Salmon (Oeuf Mimosa Recipe) Recipe

Oeuf mimosa ("deviled egg" in English) is a first course (or appetizer) made of hard cooked eggs from which the egg yolks have been removed and mixed with mayonnaise and herbs and then filled back into the egg white.

Deviled eggs are a very common French bistro dish but instead of using large chicken eggs, I used quail eggs. There are simple rules on how to boil quail eggs. The freshness of the eggs is very important. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator 15 minutes prior to cooking to bring them back to room temperature, then cover them with cold salted water and add a hint of vinegar. Egg shells are porous and by salting the water, the eggs will already be seasoned; the vinegar helps the egg whites coagulate in case they break while boiling.

The eggs are usually dressed with anchovies rolled into a ring with a caper or olive on top. Today I wanted to glam them up though, so I served the deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill. Our guests love the mini appetizers and so will you if you give this recipe a try!


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Grilled Polenta with a Creamy Lemon Caper Goat Ricotta Cheese Sauce Recipe

Polenta is a fine-ground corn that is pretty easy to prepare. It can either be prepared soft and creamy, or dry and firm. Personally, I prefer the consistency of the firm version. The preparation is fairly simple; just constantly whisk the cornmeal in liquid until each grain swells up, refrigerate and cut into slices. Right before you're ready to serve, place the polenta on a grill pan to create some nice grill marks.

To create the perfect summer dish, I've paired grilled medallions of polenta with a creamy lemon caper goat ricotta cheese sauce. It's divine!


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Canapes au Camembert (Camembert Tartlet Shells) Recipe

Canapés au camembert are the perfect palate teasers. They have a flaky, buttery shell and are covered with a camembert sauce mornay, which is béchamel and some cheese. The key to a good homogenous spread is a ripe, gooey, aged cheese. The addition of mustard and a hint of red chili pepper make it slightly piquant.

You can serve them as appetizers, as a first course accompanied with a salad or bake in a large tart pan and serve it as a main course for a light lunch.

Making this dish took me back to my time in Paris just before I got married. I was working non-stop, and after work, my boss would often take me for dinner to a brasserie. We would always get some amuse-gueules to start our meal. Amuse, in French, means entertainment in a playful, casual way, and gueule is slang for mouth. Those wonderful appetizers were a perfect way to whet the appetite before a nice meaty main course. Amuse-bouches, like the canapés au camembert I made today, are just a more sophisticated name for the fare I had so often in those brasseries.


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