Impress Your Guests: 3 Gourmet Cocktail Appetisers
Whether you’re planning a simple get-together of your nearest and dearest or throwing an extravagant free-for-all party, these three gourmet cocktail appetisers will no doubt serve to impress your guests…
The olive: a staple of the Mediterranean diet, and a well-loved salty snack. Quick and easy to prepare, why not elevate this timeless appetiser, by adding a little garlic, citrus, rosemary, and a splash of gin?
Add all of the ingredients in a saucepan on low heat for a few minutes, and allow the flavours to intermingle.
Serve warm or cooled. Either way, your guests will thank you for it!
Candied Rosemary Hazelnuts:
Another stalwart classic, metamorphosing the simple hazelnut into a delectable affair need not be difficult.
With a handful of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, a few generous sprinkles of smoked paprika, a good pinch of salt and pepper, 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and half a cup of sugar, you’ll be well on your way to creating an unforgettable cocktail appetiser.
Preheat the oven to 176 degrees Celsius, spread 340g of whole hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for approximately 15 minutes until golden. Wrap the nuts in a kitchen towel whilst still warm, and rub vigorously to remove the skins.
Next, set the stage for the remaining steps: transfer the nuts to a bowl, line the baking tray with parchment, and combine the rosemary, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Back to the stove, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water, stirring continuously until the mixture turns golden. This may take a good 10 minutes (if not more!) so be patient!
Add the nuts to the freshly caramelised syrup, and stir for 2 to 3 minutes (you should notice the syrup turning a deep golden brown). Working quickly, remove the pan from the heat, and add the rosemary-paprika mix, ensuring that the condiments are evenly spread amongst the hazelnuts.
Taking care, spread the hot nuts on the lined baking tray, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Then, break the layer apart, and allow to cool completely.
If stored correctly in an air-tight container, this gourmet appetiser can be made up to a week in advance.
Baked Vegetable Chips:
Baked vegetable chips and easy to make, and are temptingly tasty: colour and flavour combine to create a healthy departure from the norm.
Collect together a variety of all your favourite root vegetables, from carrots and parsnips to sweet potatoes, beetroot, taro, and more.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius, and begin peeling the vegetables.
Slice each item into thin rounds, spread out on kitchen towels, and salt adequately. It takes approximately 15 minutes for the salt to draw out the vegetable slices’ liquid, after which simply blot with fresh paper towels.
Spread out on a baking tray lined with parchment in a single layer, and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch more salt. If you’d really like to hit home your culinary flair, add finely chopped herbs, such as thyme or rosemary.
Once in the oven, keep a close eye: the goal is to get your slices crispy, but not burnt.
To achieve this, the baking time is roughly 20 minutes, but do feel free to remove any slices that are browning earlier than the rest to preserve them!