Little nibbles. Tapa. Mezze. Pupus. Hors-d'oeuvre. Smorrebrod. Zakouski. Canapés. Appetizers. Amuse Bouche. SMALL PLATES. This is our theme this week over at IHCC. Small plates are great for socializing and sampling...as well as a big plus in the restaurant biz- using up the "little bits" and driving up profits. Many times you find yourself making perfectly delicious "trimmings" into an employee meal. Which is fine sometimes, but when you can actually get creative and make it into something artistic and fun that people actually ask for and want to try, that is a fabulous feeling. And really, you can apply the same principle at home. I decided this was the perfect opportunity for me to use up a couple of things left in the fridge from the holidays...try something that I may or may not have made otherwise. I had a pack of cocktail sausages that I thought maybe I'd put to use over the holidays. Didn't. I also had about half a jar of 2 types of olives. Yup, used 'em up. I improvised slightly and actually used up the ends of some pantry items, as well...honey, molasses, sesame oil and soy sauce...which will allow me to make a list and start fresh. Cocktail Sausages...or as I like to call them, Sticky Wienies! adapted from Nigella Express (I made a half batch ~40 sausages) ~1 1/2 lbs. cocktail sausages mini smokies 1/4 c. honey I used 1/4 c. honey AND 1/4 c. molasses...which I recommend doing...I've actually made these w/ just the honey before and the molasses adds a great, sticky richness 1 Tbs. sesame oil 1 Tbs. soy sauce Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange sausages in large, shallow roasting pan. Whisk together honey, molasses, oil and soy sauce and pour over the sausages. Toss the sausages with the sticky mess. Roast for 25-30 minutes, shaking the pan once about halfway through. Yum. Dare you to eat just one.Spicy Martini Olives inspired by the Martini Olives recipe from Nigella Express makes 1 c. olives 1 (8 oz.) jar pimiento stuffed green olives I used 4 oz. garlic stuffed olives & 4 oz. bleu cheese stuffed olives 1/4 - 1/2 c. Absolut Peppar Vodka (or other chili pepper infused vodka) couple dribbles olive oil couple pinches crushed red chile peppers Put drained olives into a bowl (or separate if you don't want to mix them). Toss with remaining ingredients. Let sit an hour or so to let them soak in the booze. There. Now you can eat your liquor ;). These rock.
Michiana-based food writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, dark beer, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.