Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer's Easiest Hors d'oeuvre

Summer's backyard BBQ's and picnics have their hosts scrambling for menu ideas that coincide with the casual environment while still being dressed to impress.
One of my favorite summer treats meets all of these criteria with hardly any effort at all; a do-it-yourself platter of crispy radish slices around an array of compound butters and some nice salt.
A suped up butter is the perfect thing to cut through that unique residual heat that radishes have, topped off with a pinch of coarse sea salt to accent the experience.

Plain butter works just fine, but I like some variations. You can make the butters up to a few days in advance, just be sure to set them out so they soften up a little for easy spreading. Here are a few ideas; in each instance bring 1 stick of butter to room temp and mix well in a food processor with the listed ingredients.

Anchovy - 1 tbsp anchovy paste+1 tbsp shallot minced
Lemon Caper - Juice & Zest of 1 lemon+1 tsp capers+1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
Mint - 1 cup mint leaves, chopped
Blue Cheese - 1/4 Cup of Strong blue cheese (Gorgonzola, Stilton, Maytag, Cabrales, etc.)
Coriander & Fresh Turmeric- 1/2 tsp coriander (freshly toasted and ground if you can) + 2 inches fresh turmeric grated.

A little too much anchovy butter, some coarse sea salt and a
little sage leaf make for a perfect bite.
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