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Verses from my Kitchen: Quick Bites: The Finger Food Variety

September 26, 2010

Quick Bites: The Finger Food Variety

When you have people over for a mid-afternoon visit, whether that be stopping in to say hi or dropping by for a sporting event on television, the small stuff that can be transported, handled and eaten without much fuss is the perfect solution. The food isn't the highlight here, it's the perfect companion.

We had the good fortune of spending some time with friends at their house recently and they put out the perfect spread for four people talking and nibbling all at once. Glasses of wine and a platter with prosciutto, cheeses, artichokes, baguette slices, roasted red peppers and two kinds of oils: garlic infused and hot pepper  infused. We sat and talked and occasionally filled up our plate with the goodies to nosh on. The conversation was the focal point and the food was there to fuel us.

I love making food and by now most people are well aware of that. It can be fussed over and complicated or simple, fresh and quick. Each one works depending on your time and the situation at hand. One isn't better than the other and one isn't more rewarding than the other.

These are some of my favourite goodies to lay out on a platter when we have people coming for a visit. They are simple and fresh and the perfect response to a small gathering during the day.

I love Smooth Garlicky Hummus, Smoked Salmon Crostini, Chipotle Chicken Wings w/ Cool Yoghurt & Cilantro Dip, and too many other small bites to name. Here are two of those recipes:

Smooth Garlic Hummus

Yields: 3 cups

The Goods:
2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp. tahini paste (sesame seed puree)
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp. sea salt and cracked pepper
3 cloves garlic, smashed (optional-roasted)
1/4 cup Extra-Virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin

Creamy Garlic Hummus

Chipotle Chicken Wings with Creamy Yoghurt and Cilantro Dip

Yields: 4-6

The Goods:
2 pounds chicken wings (15-20)
Extra-Virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 chipotles, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Kosher salt and Cracked pepper

The Prep:
1. Preheat grill to med-high heat and, using paper towels with some oil, wipe down the grates to ensure a non-stick grilling surface.
2. Toss wings in oil and season with salt and cracked pepper. Lay out flat on grill and cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine chopped chipotles with butter and vinegar and baste the wings on the grill while they continue to cook. Continue cooking for 20 or so minutes.
3. Before the chicken is finished cooking, prepare the dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly until they are fully mixed together. Season to taste.
4. Serve wings with yoghurt and cilantro dressing on the side.

Creamy Yoghurt Dressing
Chipotle Grilled Wings

And this is my Smoked Salmon Crostini:

Fresh Herbed Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon and Chives


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