Our neighbors (with babies** – yay!) invited everyone down for a last minute “just because” appetizer and dessert party. I took stock of what was in the fridge and took my cookbook collection to tell me what to make.
Can’t go wrong with Ina Garten at the Barefoot Contessa. You can assume that because as you can see on the right, I have 6 of her books. But they have literally never failed me. (P.S I’m lying about this collection – there is another set of shelves full of cookbooks. And two binders worth of ripped out magazine recipes. OK..four binders. OK.. four binders sorted by meal course and color coded. Sigh.)
I went with her Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. However, I took the suggestion of “Robert Y” in the comments on the same recipe at the Food Network site and brined the shrimp, tossed in olive oil and Old Bay seasoning and preheated the pans so the undersides cooked without having to flip a bunch of shrimp – genius!. Turned out great. In fact, I’d urge you to make this sauce instead of picking up a jar the next time you need a seafood sauce. It is easy-peasy and the taste if soooooo much better than jarred.
But I had cherries and nothing in my bajillion books was inspiring me. To the internet!! I decided on a sweet/savory Cherry Crostini two ways. I adapted it from Bon Appetit’s Savory Cherry Crostini recipe and Heather Christo’s Roasted Cherry Crostini.
WHAT YOU NEED
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
3 cups pitted, halved cherries (I used Yellow Rainer)
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
log of goat cheese
best ricotta you can find
balsamic glaze (I used this one from Trader Joe’s)
extra thyme leaves
skinny baguette, sliced and toasted
WHAT YOU DO
Heat the olive oil in a saute or frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the cherries, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper. Saute until soft and just beginning to brown (3-5 minutes) but not completely mush, you want them to look like cherries. Remove from heat and cool. I actually put it in the refrigerator for use later.
When ready to go to, spread some of either the goat cheese or the ricotta on the toasted baguette slices. Top the goat cheese one with a spoonful of cherry mixture, a sprinkle of additional thyme leaves and pinch of sea salt. Top the ricotta one with the cherry mixture and drizzle just the tiniest bit of balsamic glaze over top.
**By the way, to me babies = anyone still talking in a tiny voice. So thanks for the party, guys!
Have a lovely week everyone.