Big Flavor, Small Bites

Big Flavor, Small Bites

Prosciutto Palmiers

Brie and Pear Quesadillas

Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Creole Dipping Sauce

Chicken Satay’s with Dijon Sauce


Prosciutto Palmiers

Makes about 30

1 package Puff pastry sheets
Spicy brown mustard
12 Slices Prosciutto
¾ Cup  Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll one sheet of pastry gently on a lightly floured surface to press out creases. Spread generously with mustard, sprinkle with half of the cheese and cover surface completely with prosciutto slices. Starting on one long side, roll tightly to the center in jelly-roll fashion. Roll the other long side to the center as well. Slice into 12 to 15 pieces, each 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, with a serrated knife and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with second sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot!

Make-Ahead Tip: These can be formed into rolls, sliced, let as a “log”, tightly wrapped, and frozen. Remove from the freezer, place on a baking sheet, and bake from the frozen state, adding a few extra minutes to cooking time. They can also be made a day in advance, sliced and placed on a baking sheet, covered and refrigerated, and baked as needed for serving.

Brie and Pear Quesadillas

Serves 8
4 Flour tortillas
¼ Medium Red onion, thinly sliced or minced
2 Pears, peel intact, sliced into thin lengthwise pieces
1 (6-inch) Brie cheese round, sliced in thin slices (I leave rind on)
2 Fresh Serrano chilies, minced (or to taste)
Kosher salt
Fresh cilantro, minced
4 Tbsp Cranberry chutney, or red jalapeno jelly or jam
Preheat the oven to 450°. Place tortillas directly on your oven rack or on a perforated or solid baking sheet. Bake tortillas in oven for 3 to 5 minutes. As they cook they may puff slightly. Place another baking sheet on top of them to weight them down, and continue to cook until crisp (it is important that the tortillas be crisp before topping; otherwise, they will be soggy after the cheese melts).

Divide all of the ingredients among the crisped tortillas, evenly spacing each item, starting with the red onion, then the pear slices, brie slices, and peppers, finishing with a sprinkle of salt. Place in the hot oven on a perforated baking sheet (if you have one) or a regular cookie sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and let rest for a couple of minutes, then cut each into 4 wedges so that a pear slice is on each wedge.  Top with cilantro and a dollop of cranberry chutney.  Serve hot.
Variation: This is also great with peaches or nectarines in place of pears, and blue cheese in place of brie.
Make-Ahead Tip: Crisp tortillas a day in advance and store in an airtight container. A few hours before serving, slice pears and submerge in lemon-lime soda to prevent browning. About an hour before serving, drain pears, and assemble the quesadillas. Refrigerate until time to bake and serve.

Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Creole Dipping Sauce

Makes 48
48 Large
Raw Texas shrimp, peeled with tail on, deveined

Batter Mixture:
2 Eggs, beaten
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1½ Cups Flour
1 Cup Dark, full-bodied beer (such as Shiner Bock)
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme or Lemon Thyme
6 Baking powder

Flour Mixture:
½ Cup Flour
2 tsp Cajun seasoning

Coconut for Coating:
3½ Cups  Sweetened flaked coconut
2 tsp Cajun seasoning

Creole Sauce:
1 Cup Orange Marmalade
1 Cup Apricot preserves
¼ Cup Spicy brown mustard
2 Tbsp Prepared horseradish (not horseradish sauce or cream)

Canola oil for frying
To prepare beer batter: In another bowl, combine eggs, seasoning, flour, beer and baking powder.  To prepare flour mixture: Combine flour and seasoning mix in a shallow bowl or zip-top bag.

To prepare coconut for coating:Place coconut in a large shallow bowl. To assemble:Rinse shrimp and toss them in the flour mixture to coat.  Dip in batter, roll in coconut, and set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate. To fry: In a deep saucepan or fryer, heat oil to 350°.  Fry a few shrimp at a time until golden brown (they need to get dark brown to insure the batter is fully cooked – test a couple to gauge cooking time). Drain on a cake-cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven until serving time.

To prepare dipping sauce: Stir together all sauce ingredients; refrigerate until serving time. Serve with warm shrimp.

Make Ahead Tip: Coat the shrimp early in the day and refrigerate on a sheet pan. Fry the shrimp then drain them on a cooling rack over a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Let cool, then refrigerate. Reheat on the rack at 350° for about 5-7 minutes before serving. Sauce can be made two or three days in advance and refrigerated.

Chicken Satay’s with Dijon Sauce

Makes 12 to 15
Satay’s:
1lb Boneless, skinless chicken breast
½ Cup Soy sauce
½ Cup Dry sherry
2 tsp Finely minced rosemary
4 Green onion, sliced
2 cloves
Crushed red pepper

Dijon Sauce:
¾ Cup Mayonnaise
¼ Cup Whole grain Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Clove Garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp Very finely minced flat leaf Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the Satay’s: Slice chicken in thin strips across the grain and place in a non-reactive container, or zip-top bag. Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over chicken, marinating  several hours or overnight.

Soak wooden skewers and place weave one or two strips of chicken on each skewer.  Broil or grill until cooked through, basting with marinade (boil before using) if needed. Serve with Dijon Sauce.
To prepare the Dijon Sauce: Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate several hours to allow flavors to blend.