Whether you’re entertaining a crowd, or planning a quiet night in for New Year’s Eve, here are three appetizers that are fuss-free, elegant, and always popular.
Fuss-free appetizer #1: duck rillettes, cornichons, and french mustard
Serve with crostini. (To make crostini, slice a baguette into 1/4″ thick slices, place on baking sheet, and brush one side lightly with olive oil — bake at 350 degrees until dry and crispy). In a pinch, you can serve with sturdy crackers. This goes well with any kind of wine.
Fuss-free appetizer #2: caviar, crème fraiche, and mini pancakes
The caviar is a splurge, but Costco has it this time of year at a significant savings off the regular price. Traditionally, caviar is served with buckwheat pancakes (blini), but I couldn’t find them locally, wasn’t about to make them, and ordering them was prohibitive because they had to be shipped on ice. But then my boss introduced me to H-E-B mini pancakes, and they are just perfect. This goes well with champagne.
Fuss-free appetizer #3: cambozola and sweet crisps
Cambozola is a triple cream, brie-style blue cheese (think camembert and gorgonzola). Sweet Crisps are sold at Corner Bakery, and are thin slices of raisin pecan bread, brushed (I assume) with butter or oil, sprinkled with coarse sugar, and baked until crispy (there are loads of “copy-cat” recipes on the interwebs). Although cambozola is perfectly delicious on a plain ol’ cracker, it is divine on a sweet crisp. If you are lucky enough to have a friend who sends you her homemade sour cherry jam, by all means, dab a little on top of the cheese! This goes particularly well with red wine.