It’s a potluck, but I think it’s customary for the host to provide some munchies, usually the main course. I was thinking lasagna, I make a damn good lasagna, but I’m kinda tired of it. So I was thinking tapas. And since this is happening during a meteor shower, it seems fitting that all of the items I will serve look like little meteors (lumpy balls, tee hee).
Here is the menu… doncha wanna come and play?
Walnut and Blue Cheese-Coated Grapes / Dates
Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine and then altered a bit
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 ounces crumbled Cabrales (Spanish blue cheese), Roquefort or Gorgonzola may be substituted
6 ounces cream cheese
20 loose seedless red grapes (about 1/4 pound with stems)
½ lb dates
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. On a sheet pan spread out the walnuts and toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Melt butter and add sugar, when sugar has melted pour in the toasted walnuts and toss. remove and spread out again on the cool sheet pan.
In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the blue cheese and the cream cheese until smooth. Put one tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the palm of one hand and in it roll a grape, shaping the mixture around the grape to coat, repeat the process for the dates. Cover the grape and date balls and chill on a sheet pan for 15 minutes.
While the balls cool, chop the candied walnuts into smaller pieces, you can also use a rolling pin and break them into peices. Roll the cheese-coated balls in the walnut mixture to cover completely and chill for 30 minutes or until coating is firm.
Spanish Meatballs baked in tomato sauce (adapted from the Albondigas recipe)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 can of tomato sauce
1 bouillon cube and 1 cup water
1 zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, sliced
1/2 lb of string beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup of cooked white rice
1 raw egg
1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dried oregano, crumbled
1 tablespoon of brown gravy mix
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Prepare meatballs. Mix rice into meat, adding mint, gravy mix, salt and pepper. Add raw egg. Form beef into 1-inch meatballs. Return soup to gentle simmer. Add meatballs and remaining veggies to soup. Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour. Add a few pinches of oregano, cilantro and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place meatballs in a dish and prepare sauce.
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Sauté veggies until tender, add tomato sauce, onion and garlic mixture and broth. Pour mixture over meatballs and bake until meatballs are brown.
1 plantain, very ripe
1 can black refried beans
Mash Plantain, place some mashed plantain in hand and spread into palm. Drop a small amount of black bean into the middle and wrap plantain mixture around the beans. Drop balls into corn starch and then deep fry.
Serve with crema, crumbled cajota, diced onion and chopped cilantro.