Friday, 11 December 2009
One of the things I like most about the holidays, is the opportunity I have to pull out all the stops, and to create tasty little nibbles for the people we often have come around to the cottage to visit, or for the various parties we get invited out to.
I am really lucky because I work as a chef in a manor house, and so I have lots of practice making these tasty little tidbits throughout the year. I always create at least 3 or 4 different ones for each dinner party I cook for.
I like for each of them to be a work of art, and incredibly tasty.
A delicious little tidbit, that will whet everyone's appetites, and have them really racing in anticipation for the great dinner event to come.
These are one of my more popular little bites. You can fill them with sweet chili sauce as I have done here, or you can fill them with hot pepper jelly.
Or a mixture of both, as I have done here. That tasty combination of sweet, savoury and heat is really quite delicious to say the least!
Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Kinda pretty to look at as well . . . and very cheery with the green and the red colours I have used here. Especially festive, don't you think?
First to disappear off of the nibble trays.
*Sweet Chili Cheese Puffs*
Makes about 3 dozen
Short and savoury with a bit of a bite. These will be really popular on your nibble tray!
8 ounces extra strong cheddar cheese, grated
3 to 4 TBS of softened unsalted butter
145g plain flour
sweet hot chili sauce, or hot pepper jelly
Place the cheese, butter and flour in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Once this happens, allow the motor to run for 25 to 30 seconds until the dough forms a ball around the blade. Try not to overwork the dough. Remove from the bowl and chill for about 30 minutes, wrapped in cling film.
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F.
Pinch off walnut sized balls of the chilled dough and shape into balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Place on a large parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly coloured, but NOT browned. Remove from the oven and immediately shape a small depression in the centre of each using the end of the handle of a large wooden spoon. Fill each depression with some chili sauce or hot pepper jelly, if using. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 to 7 mionutes, until golden browned on the bottoms. Cool slightly before serving.
Hot jelly and sauce can really burn, so be careful.
Stand back and await the applause.