Appetizers and Snacks

Peach and Blue Cheese Toasts

 

The original version is a bit more complex, I have simplified this just a bit.  You can make it even easier by just washing and drying the peaches well to remove most of the fuzz, instead of peeling them

Peach and Blue Cheese Toasts

Serves 4

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2 ripe peaches

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey

8 crostini

1 Tablespoon olive oil

4 oz blue cheese

freshly ground pepper

Cut an ‘x’ in the bottom of each peach and drop into a large pot of boiling water just until skins begin to peel back, about 1 minute.  With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water; let cool for a minute.  Peel the peaches, then, holding the fruit over a  small bowl to catch the juices, cut into thin wedges.  Add lemon juice and honey to the sliced peaches and their juices and toss to combine. Set aside.

Brush crostini with olive oil and spread with cheese.  Top each piece of bread with 3 peach slices.  Drizzle some of the honey mixture over top of each toast and add a bit of freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

 

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Appetizers and Snacks

Habanero Pineapple Chutney

I had never heard of Longos , an Ontario grocery store, until I finally got around to reading magazine a friend from Canada brought me this past winter.  While I am always grateful for reading material brought down from “The Great White North,  I did not rush to read this particular item, mainly because I figured it would be like most other supermarket rags with lots of emphasis on pre-packaged, processed foods.   As a general rule, we have always avoided these types of foods and are not interested in starting to eat them any time soon.

Turns out, this magazine does advertise pre-made products, but it is also chock full of recipes and tips to make fresh food from scratch!    So much for judging a book by its cover.   Here is my version of their Habanero Pineapple Chutney.  Pretty much as they wrote it, but you can find the original recipe in their Summer 2016 edition.

camembert with pineapple chutney

Habanero-Pineapple Chutney

1 Tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pineapple, tough centre core removed and cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 2 cups)

1 small habanero, seeds and stems removed, minced

3 Tablespoons Amber Rum

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh raspberries, roughly chopped

Mint leaves for garnish

1  6 – 8 oz round of Camembert Cheese

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onion, ginger, cumin and salt and cook, stirring, until onions are tender.  About 5 minutes.  Stir in pineapple and habanero and cook , stirring, 3 minutes more.

Add rum and lime juice, bring to boil.  Boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Stir in sugar, return to boil.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Stir in cilantro and green onions.

Place Camembert on microwave safe plate or shallow bowl.  Microwave on Medium using 15 second blasts until cheese is hot and beginning to melt.

Spoon chutney over top, garnish with raspberries and mint leaves.  serve with crackers or crostini.

 

Appetizers and Snacks

Pumpkin-Spice Hummus

 

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You had to know this would show up eventually!   All that Pumpkin Puree I put in the freezer a while back, has had me looking for new and exciting ways to put it to good use.

This  was inspired by the cooking demo by Marv Leibel – Alberta Health Services Community Nutritionist, at the 10th Annual Women’s Conference, in the City of Wetaskiwin, which my Mom recently attended.  The original ingredients are  listed in the cooks notes below

I am not sure this will ever replace my regular hummus, but it is a nice change from the norm.

 

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Sneak peak at future posts…Peri-Peri Chicken and Fresh Naan Bread

We ate this as a spread on fresh Naan bread for our  Peri-Peri chicken wraps as part of a meal.

 

 

 

 

Of course,  it works equally well  as a snack or appetizer with crackers and some warm spiced apple juice to help brighten a gloomy fall day.

 

Pumpkin-Spice Hummus

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

3 Tablespoons  tahini

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend

1/4 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

Juice of 1 lime

3 Tablespoons water (plus more if necessary)

Put chickpeas, pumpkin puree, tahini, garlic, pumpkin spice, salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, and  3 Tablespoons water in food processor.  Let run on low speed until smooth, 1 – 2 minutes.

Scrape down sides of processor & pulse a few times .  If mixture appears too thick, add another tablespoon of water and pulse until water is incorporated.  Continue adding water, by  tablespoons, if needed, until you get the texture and creaminess you like.    Scrape into serving bowl, and drizzle with remaining olive oil.  Serve with crackers, crostini, or flatbread or your choice.

COOKS NOTES:  The recipe as given to me before my tweaks goes like this:  1 can chickpeas, 1  can pumpkin puree, 2 oz lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup tahini, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp all spice.