Appetizer Recipes

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Foie Gras Creme Brulee Recipe (+Giveaway) Recipe

I've mentioned it in the past; even though it might raise some eyebrows, foie gras, or duck/goose liver, is my guilty pleasure. Maman would always serve this French delicacy during our holiday dinner. If you've never tasted foie gras before, it's like eating a piece of intensely flavored, semi-softened butter.

I got a lovely whole duck foie gras from The Milk Pail Market in Mountain View, CA. Instead of serving it as a main course (I’ll publish a main course recipe soon), I added the foie gras to a savory custard and made crèmes brûlées. Obviously, this is not your ordinary vanilla flavored dessert crème brûlée. I made savory crème brulees in the past with ingredients like garlic, so this isn’t exactly new territory for me. The result was amazing; foie gras and sweet flavors pair perfectly together. I added specks of foie gras to the custard as well as a large piece in the center of each ramekin. I also topped them with a larger chunk on top of the sugar crust as a reminder of the flavoring inside. I served the fancy starter with toasted bread so the foie gras could be spread onto the toasts.

This weekend giveaway is for Bay Area readers or people who are able to redeem their prize on site. The Milk Pail Market, which happens to be my favorite local market, is generously donating five $25 gift certificates. You could put this to good use and create a marvelous Christmas dinner for your loved ones. At any rate, I love this market; you can find a wide variety of cheeses, (check out the fromage blanc), French products such as Mamie Nova yogurts and tons of other European products as well. And don't forget to try their famous croissants!  Be sure to stop by and discover these fabulous ingredients. The address is 2585 California Street, Mountain View, CA 94040. To participate to our giveaway, visit our 25 Days of Giveaways page and enter today. Good luck!

http://www.phamfatale.com/25-days-of-giveaways/

Make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page and the Milk Pail, or follow @Phamfatalecom and tweet about this giveaway. To make it easy, you can just copy and paste this tweet if you’d like: "Five $25 Gift Certificate #Giveaway from @Phamfatalecom and the Milk Pail: http://bit.ly/sp4V7y".


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Lamb and Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe (+Giveaway) Recipe

It makes me sad that lamb is so under-utilized and under-appreciated. I love lamb! Whenever I want to introduce lamb to someone who may have had a bad experience, I give it to them in appetizer form. Getting a large chunk of a meat you don't know or haven't enjoyed in the past can be intimidating. Bite size appetizers are much more inviting in that if after a bite you don't like it, you can stop right there without offending anyone.

I bought a lamb tenderloin to create appetizers with the tender meat. I would usually stack cold meat on toasted brioche, but I needed to add something studier to hold the little bites together. I used mini wafer crisps and topped them with hash-brown style sweet potatoes. I created many layers of flavors so the elements would complement each other. I made a mint goat milk yogurt sauce to pair with the lamb and finished the appetizer with two different kinds of Cypress Goat Cheese chevre to repeat the flavor.



Today our friend Jason from Cypress Grove Chevre is offering the Flashback Family Gift Pack (which I used for this recipe) as part of our 25 Days of Giveaways. The giveaway includes five amazing flavored goat cheeses. Each flavor has a groovy name: Ms.Natural (plain), Sgt.Pepper (exotic spices & pepper threads), Purple Haze (lavender), PsycheDillic (dill) and Herbs de Humboldt (Herbes de Provence). I like them all and I've told you Cypress Grove Chevre is really dear to my heart (find out why). As an added bonus, it also includes John Lennon-style tinted glasses to help your chevre lovers properly mellow out. That's 24 ounces of delicious chevre, a $75 value! Enter now.

Make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page and Cypress Grove Chevre, or follow @Phamfatalecom and tweet about this giveaway. To make it easy, you can just copy and paste this tweet if you’d like: "Flashback Goat Cheese Family Gift Pack $75 value #Giveaway from @Phamfatalecom and @CypressGrovers: http://bit.ly/sp4V7y".

Cypress Grove Chevre Recipe with Picture


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Mushroom Mozzarella Cheese Tart Recipe Recipe

My husband Lulu is addicted to anything with puff pastry dough. Because of the horrible windy weather, I decided to prepare my version of (vegetarian) chicken soup for the soul in the form of individual mushroom and mozzarella tartlets accompanied by a bowl of warm corn chowder. It’s the perfect prescription for this cold, gray day.

This savory tartlet consists of 4 layers. First, I baked the puff pastry shells separately in the oven. I cooked the first layer of soy chorizo along with tomato paste and tomato sauce (you could also add ground beef for extra flavor if you don’t need it to be vegetarian). The second is sautéed large button mushrooms in butter and the last one is thick mozzarella slices. The result is spectacular and is really enhanced pairing it with corn soup and garlic cheese bread. You won't be disappointed!


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Pasta Patty Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Pasta Patty Appetizer Recipe

10.11.11 by Jackie

Making pasta patties is my way of using left-over pasta. I made a very simple pasta dish mixing pre-cooked elbow macaroni, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and eggs. I wanted to create a nice contrast of texture, so I breaded the pasta patties using panko bread crumbs from Asian Food Grocer and gave them a quick pan fry.

I served the crunchy patties with tomato sauce and a light green salad. This is a great light meal for lunch, and can be put together very quickly if you have leftover cooked pasta on hand.


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Baby Bella Mushroom Tart Recipe Recipe

Baby Bella Mushroom Tart Recipe

09.16.11 by Jackie

Making savory tarts doesn't require a specific recipe. The basic dish consists of a puff pastry shell filled with your favorite mixture and topped with vegetables. I had Baby Bella mushrooms on hand, so I made a version using them along with an artichoke pesto.

The pesto is a combination of artichoke hearts, lemon, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. To soften the pesto, I added mascarpone cheese. I topped the tart with the Baby Bella mushrooms and roasted red bell peppers. Cheddar cheese was the finishing touch so the filling formed one piece.


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