Thursday, 25 October 2012
As you know from time to time I get sent new cookbooks to try out. I am a great cookery book aficionado, so this is something which I don't mind doing at all. The Toddster may moan and groan when one comes through the door . . . but I rub my hands together with glee because I know, in most cases, we are in for a real treat.
And so it was with this book which I received several weeks ago. Tiny Food Party, bite sized recipes for miniature meals, by Teri Lyn Fisher & Jenny Park. Just in time for the Holidays, and American Football season. A lot of us will be entertaining over the next few months, and one can never have too many recipes for bite sized treats for those party occasions. The grocery shops make a fortune in selling bite sized party foods . . . but really they are so easy to make, why throw away all that extra money when you can save it for something else, like new shoes or a new dress??? (Also must have's for the party season!)
This book will be on sale here in the UK from the 25th October and I have to say from the outset, it is a right cracker!!! I fell in love with it as soon as it fell through my letter box. It's an amazing book and filled to overflowing with oodles of fabulously easy and quick recipes for making bite sized goodies.
This book is separated into four delicious sections:
Adorable Appetizers (all your favourite snacks made mini, including Tiny Taquitos, Bite Size Caprese Skewers, Little Sweet Potato Latkes, and Mini Crab Cakes to name a few.)
Itty-Bitty Entrees (these recipes feature classic tiny foods, from super-small Deep-Dish Pizzas to Snack Size Empanadas and Tiny Fried Tacos.)
Pint Size Desserts (for a little something sweet, try Petite Eclairs, Tiny Birthday Cakes, Dainty Chocolate Raspberry Tarts)
Teeny Tiny Cocktails (Enjoy a round of refreshing tiny cocktails such as bacon rimmed, Little Lemon-Lime Fizzes , Itty Bitty Bloody Marys, or rich little Coffeecake Cocktails.)
There are little menus included to help you choose things which will go with each other, just in case you are stuck for ideas . . . including menus for Vegetarians. There are also recipes included for homemade condiments and a variety of tasty looking dipping sauces. There are tasty recipes to take you right through from breakfast in the morning to cocktails in the evening and everything in between, and delicious looking photographs and helpful hints to go with each. You really are spoilt for choice.
As you know I always like to try out recipes in each book I receive. I believe the proof of the pudding is in the tasting and I want to know that these recipes work. If they do I will tell you, and if they don't I will tell you as well.
I picked a savory one and a sweet one to test.
The savory one I picked was a recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Sticks. They looked quite tasty and we do like cornbread in our house. The instructions were easy to follow and there was even a suggestion of what pan to use if you don't have a corn stick pan, which was very thoughtful. (Not everyone has a corn stick pan, let alone a mini one and they are most certainly scarce if not downright impossible to find over here in the UK!)
The instructions were well laid out, leaving nothing to question and they came together lickety split. I used my Pampered Chef Mini Muffin tin and they came out beautifully as you can see.
We both really liked these and enjoyed them along with a nice hot bowl of soup for our lunch today. They were not overly sweet as some corn breads can be . . . and they packed a real punch! In short, they were real winners!
*Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Sticks*
These little babies pack a punch! Can be baked in mini corn stick pans or mini muffin pans.
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal (113g coarse polenta)
1/4 cup all purpose flour (25g plain)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large free range egg, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk (125ml)
1/4 cup plus 1 TBS liquid honey, plus extra for drizzling (60ml plus 1 TBS)
2 TBS unsalted butter, melted
2 large jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/2 cup grated mild cheddar cheese (60g)
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 4. Coat the insides of a mini corn stick pan, or a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the egg, milk, honey and butter in a beaker. Add all at once to the dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined and smooth, with no lumps remaining. Gently fold in the jalapenos and cheese. Spoon into the prepared pan (s) filling about 2/3 full.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes for mini corn sticks, or 20 to 25 minutes for mini muffins. (Mine only took about 18) They should be nicely risen and golden brown. Remove from the pans and drizzle with extra honey. Serve warm.
For the other recipe this Fudge Puppy one had caught my eye ever since day one. I love waffles . . . and these looked fabulous. They're also touted to be traditional Fair Food! Who doesn't love Fair Food. Only problem is . . . mini waffles are downright impossible to find over here. Not a problem. If you can't get mini waffles (or tortillas etc.) they tell you exactly what to do.
I used my 2 inch round cutter and cut them out into 2 inch rounds. I got 4 from each waffle. And as for the scraps . . . do you remember that Cranberry and White Chocolate Waffle Pudding I made the other week?? Perfect for that, so nothing went to waste. I heated them in the oven until they were crisp and then I was ready to start except . . . no dark or semi sweet chocolate chips in the larder, or banana chips What to do . . . what to do . . .
Well, as they say . . . necessity is the mother of invention, and so I took what I did have and created something completely different and yet somehow the same, and TOTALLY Delicious. I used the white chocolate chips I did have and then . . . I decided to sprinkle them with crushed Speculaas Cookies.
Oh man . . . these were some good. I apologize to the cookbook authors for running with the ball . . . but many thanks for the tasty inspiration!
I did run out of white chocolate before I had used up all the waffles so I did what any self-respecting glutton would do . . . I sandwiched them together with Speculoos Spread.
Oh man . . . I think I created a monster!! Seriously wicked! (Don't hate me if you don't have any Speculoos Spread . . . I am sure Nutella would be good too. ☺)
Apparently traditional fair food. Toasty waffles dipped into melted chocolate and topped with whipped cream, crushed nuts or other toppings. These ones are bite sized
1 1/2 cups sweet banana chips
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
24 mini waffles toasted
About 1 cup sweet whipped cream or store bought whipped cream
Place the banana chips into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. (alternately you can place them into a plastic zip top bag and smash with a rolling pin.) Pour the crushed chips into a small shallow bowl.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water, on medium heat, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl, or any water to get into the bowl, or your chocolate will seize up and become unusable.
Dip each waffle partially into the melted chocolate and gently shake off any excess. Dredge in the crushed banana chips and place onto the prepared sheet to set. This will take about 30 minutes. Serve fudge puppies with fresh sweet whipped cream on top of on the side.
Note: You can make your own mini waffles by using a sharp two inch round cutter and cutting out circles. You will get about 4 from each waffle, depending on the size of your waffles. Toast in a 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4 oven for about 10 minutes until crisp.
Many thanks to Mat from PGUK Publishers Group for sending me a review copy.
Tiny Food Party, bite size recipes for miniature meals
by Teri Lyn Fisher & Jenny Park
Published by Quirk Books
US $18.95/$19.95 CAN
You can buy a copy here in the UK, through Amazon UK for £7.92