We have been entertaining machines lately — I think partly because it’s June (so many things to celebrate), but mostly because we bought some new furniture for the patio, and we are looking for any excuse to sit outside with one of these in hand, and hang with friends. Dinners have been your typical DALS summer standbys (grilled fish, baby back ribs, yogurt-marinated everything) but lately, we’ve gotten kind of creative with the starters. I thought I’d share a few with you.
Deviled Eggs with The Works (above) This one is ripped right from the pages of Canal House Cooks Everyday, a book that should be front and center on your cookbook shelf. (Unless you have something against simple, elegant food.) They’re deviled eggs, topped with various trimmings: roasted red peppers, smoked salmon, pickled onions, snipped chives, and bacon. (Leave a few unadorned for the kids.) You can make them ahead of time and chill in the fridge. Always key.
Potato Chips with Caviar and Creme Fraiche Now, just to be clear, caviar is not something that happens every day in our house. (We had some very special guests and the mandate going in was “We Are Leaving it All On The Field.”) But every time we eat this little starter, I start figuring out ways to justify the expense. We picked up American Caviar at Whole Foods (about $18 for a small tin — I know, ridiculous, but when you think about a hunk of Parm costing upwards of $15…well you see what I mean re: Justifying) and served them on top of plain old Kettle Chips for some high-brow/low-brow action.
Meat Lovers Delight Can’t go wrong with serrano ham, sliced pepperoni, olives, hunks of Parm, and (not shown) crispy baguette slices. If your kids are like mine, try to keep this display somewhere they can’t reach it, or else risk running out of food before the guests arrive.
Burrata with Vegetables This one is so easy. Basically you take whatever is fresh at the market, slice it all up raw, then plate them with a big mound of soft, gooey burrata. Above we used super sweet sugar snap peas & radishes, and bathed our burrata in good Spanish olive oil then sprinkled it with sea salt. The essence of summer. (Please forgive the crazy colors. I took this photo using the “chrome” filter which is why it looks so freaky.)