Let’s Have Some Canapes, Part Two

Oh, hey, it’s been a while! How have you been, reader?

I’ve been . . . lazy! No, not really, just haven’t been cooking weird things, I guess. I will be making something later today that I shall post this week. In the meantime, here’s another appetizer I made back in June and never posted!

Hot Crabmeat Puffs

Whip 2 egg whites until stiff. Fold in 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup flaked crabmeat (7 oz. can). Season and pile on toast beds. Sprinkle with paprika. Broil 3 min. until puffy, lightly browned.

Supposedly, these were a “specialty” after football games, at the house of a Mrs. Harold Whittaker in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

7. Crabmeat Puff

I used the Bumblebee brand canned white crabmeat, which is not my favorite, but considering this was an experiment, I eschewed the more expensive (but also tastier) lump crabmeat.  The only bread I had on hand was whole wheat, which is not really the first choice for something like that, but what can ya do?

These were pretty tasty, and the can was a bit bigger than the recommended 7 ounces, so these made quite a few canapes. These were universally liked, except by my mother, because she said they tasty “fishy.” I don’t completely disagree, moreso because of the type of crab used. If it had been lump, I think these would have turned out better. They also have lump in a pouch now, which I would use over the can, to negate that slightly metallic taste one gets from canned seafood.

I would make these again! With lump crab, as I said, and perhaps a nice crusty Cuban or French loaf.

Let’s Have Some Canapes, Part One

Canapes are supposed to be “gracefully” eaten with the fingers. Now, these are all “appetizers,” but back then, everything was fancy, even if it came from a can!

There are quite a few savory bites listed here, of which I have made two so far. One was good, the other . . . well, what can I say?

First, the toast beds must be prepared. I used wheat bread, as that was all I had on hand at the time. I sliced off the crusts and trimmed the centers into little squares and rectangles. You could also use small cookie-cutters, if you have those (all of mine were too large for this purpose). Next, I put them in a small pan with non-stick spray, and browned one side. You could also use a toaster oven, if you wish.

1. Savory Mushroom Canapes

Chop mushrooms fine. Pan-fry in butter with a hint of onion. Season with garlic salt. Blend in 1 tbsp. flour and 1 tbsp. cream. Pile on toast beds. Heat 1 min. if desired. Garnish with minced parsley.

5. Savory Mushroom Canapes

[See my pretty square plate? I bought it just for this project! I also bought a new little square bowl, and a cute clear glass mug, for future endeavors. Serious business.]

I only had canned mushrooms, so I drained those well, and then minced them. I added a little butter to a small frying pan and sauteéd them, then mixed a small amount of milk with the flour in a small prep bowl (I didn’t have any cream; the milk worked just fine) before I poured it into the pan and quickly tossed it about. The mushroom mixture is a little bit difficult to pile neatly on the toast, but I got most of it on there. As you can see, I have mad bread-cutting skillz! These were really good, even the cold ones my Dad ended up with because he got home late from work on the night in question. Of course, if you don’t like mushrooms, these are not for you, but if you do, they only take a few minutes to make.

 

2. Smoked Oysters

Place a smoked oyster on each tiny round prepared toast bed. Heat, if desired.

I wasn’t even going to make this one, but then I found they sell tins of smoked oysters at the shop next door to the office for one measly dollar. So I bought them. They were even a name-brand, Chicken of the Sea, so I figured, how bad could they be?

Bad, reader. Very, very bad.

6. Smoked Oysters

Behold, the nastiness that hath sullied this plate! They look like . . . droppings, don’t they? I did try them, though. And so did my bro. Our verdict was the same. Disgusting. They tasted like dirt. How does anyone eat these? Although, I guess if you were drinking tomato with Worcestershire sauce . . . you probably don’t have much left with which to taste.

Don’t get me wrong; I love oysters raw, with cocktail sauce. I love fried oysters. But smoked oysters? No, thank you!!

And these – they stay with you. I could NOT get the awful taste out of my mouth for quite a bit.

I coulda had a V8 – Tomato Cocktails

If you’re a clever wife, you have an appetizing cocktail to serve your world-weary husband when he trudges home from the office. This is according to Betty Crocker, that is.

With cocktails like these, it’s a wonder more husbands didn’t strangle their wives!

Let’s have some tomato juice!!

Add a little salt, lemon juice, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and onion juice to tomato juice. Serve cold or hot.

On my best days, I don’t like tomato juice all that much. But I love tomato soup (preferably with a grilled cheese sandwich). Go figure. Anyway, instead of making a whole glass of this, I pulled out some shot glasses and made tomato shooters.

3. Tomato Cocktails

The devil one is rather appropriate in this instance . . .

Anyway, I put all of the above as directed into a shot glass, with the exception of onion juice, as I didn’t have any onions on hand, and – down the hatch!

Um, put some steak sauce in your mouth, and then place a slice of tomato next to it, and chew it up together. That’s what this was. With lemon. It was WEIRD. I cannot imagine drinking an entire glass of this.

Here’s another one:

Combine equal parts tomato juice and bouillon (dilute canned bouillon or use cubes with boiling water). Serve hot.

I only had chicken bouillon in the pantry, so I let a cube dissolve in a cup of hot water, and then poured half a shot full of bouillon, then topped it with tomato juice. The juice was room temperature, so this was even stranger. And salty as hell. Granted, I’ve had a cup of chicken or beef bouillon when I’ve been ill and not very hungry, but I would never add tomato to it.

It’s not a taste sensation. At all.

Broiled Grapefruit

We’re off to a good start! So says Betty Crocker. Let’s move on to Cocktails, or “popular curtain-raisers to the dinner.”

I’ve omitted some of the more simple “recipes,” such as a Fresh Strawberry Plate, which consists of putting strawberries on a plate with confectioners’ sugar. Our next endeavor is Broiled Grapefruit.

2. Broiled Grapefruit

Why, yes, it DOES look like boobs!

Remove seeds from grapefruit halves. Cut around sections, remove center. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar (brown or maple). Broil slowly until heated (15 to 20 min). Add a little maraschino cherry juice or sherry flavoring. Serve hot.

Wonder of wonders, I found some grapefruit in the refrigerator. I am not a huge fan of grapefruit, as I find that it is too bitter, even the ruby-red variety. In addition, I have a medical issue that limits the amount of citric acid I should have, but I made an exception for this. I patted the brown sugar liberally over the grapefruit halves, and put the broiler on low for about seven minutes. The sugar burned a little bit, as you can see on the left-side of the photo. I did not have any sherry on hand, so I poured over the cherry juice and as a garnish, added a cherry to each half.

I thought this was pretty tasty. The brown sugar caramelizes and adds sweetness to the tart fruit. The side that was a bit browner had a sugar crust akin to a creme brulee. My mom thought it was pretty good, but only had a bite. My brother thought that it was “nasty,” but yet kept eating it, so go figure!

Interestingly enough, this is supposed to be an appetizer, and I was going to make it as a dessert instead. The night in question, our dinner was delayed so it WAS an appetizer. I still think that’s an odd choice, as citrus is usually reserved for the end of a meal, as a palate-cleanser.

I might try this again with a ruby-red, to see if there’s a taste difference.

Wheaties Ting-a-Lings

As I stated in my last post, even before our appetizers in the Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, we have a page entitled “Confections,” and it’s all sugary treats.

I picked something relatively easy as I was pressed for time this week. Therefore, I present Wheaties Ting-a-Lings.

1. Wheaties Ting-a-Lings

Melt over hot water 2 7-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate pieces (or 1/2 lb. sweet chocolate with 2 oz. unsweetened). Cool at room temperature. Gently stir in until well-coated 4 cups WHEATIES. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Place in refrigerator until chocolate is set, dry, and hard (about 2hr).

Wheaties is a very bland cereal, so blending it with chocolate is an excellent idea. As you can see, they’re hard to really photograph, because they’re not very sexy-looking. In retrospect, I probably could have used an ice-cream scoop to make more perfect mounds. I did not use the double-boiler method; instead, I sprayed a microwave-safe bowl with non-stick cooking spray and melted the chocolate that way. After the sweets hardened, they have a nice, crunchy consistency. Everyone liked these! I would definitely make these again. You probably could make these with corn flakes, too.

There are some other confections on these pages, but we’ll bookmark them for later. Onward to appetizers!

Project Betty

My first project for the new blog will be cooking my way through Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.

image

This cookbook dates back to 1950, and was published by General Mills. One can see pictures of the Betty Crocker test kitchens, which even sported an Early American-style dining room.

The Picture Cook Book was obviously meant to be a handy tool for new housewives, as the list of terms used in cooking are in the front of the book, as well as a list of essential tools one should have in every kitchen.

My first recipe for Project Betty is not an appetizer. It’s a page called “Confections,” and has several recipes using General Mills products. Pictures and recipe coming soon. Watch this space!