Each of us, at least once in our life, happened that an unexpected bell at the door and the appearance of expensive, but unexpected guests made us feel uncomfortable with the fact that in the house, as they say, with a rolling ball.
Smiling and, at the same time, feverishly slamming the doors of kitchen cabinets in search of a decent treat, feeling the near failure of their impeccable reputation as a welcoming and housewife, can no longer concentrate on pleasant communication, find only a couple of cans of canned peas or corn, a pack of chips or crackers.
In the fridge, too, not a lot: a bunch of parsley, a slice of ham or cheese and a dozen eggs and cherry.
So what? It's time to show ingenuity and artistic taste.
You can recall several well-known still lifes, or, rejecting indecision, to engage in carving as if it were the only craft familiar from a nursery age, which, in general, is not far from the truth, because self-confidence is akin to childish immediacy. True, some devices, materials and basic knowledge of this art is still necessary. But it is worth it!
Snacks - the basic technological principles
We first clarify: appetizers, buffet, buffet - related concepts, exactly the same as a sandwich, canapés, crostini, pinchos or tapas. In a word, linguistic differences do not change the essence and main purpose.
In the Russian tradition, snacks are usually served “under vodka”, but they also exist in many national cuisines of the world, in cold and hot form. In those countries, or rather, in those cases when these dishes are not designed specifically for snacking after drinking strong alcoholic beverages or lighter alcoholic aperitifs that warm up the appetite, they play the role of a light snack or “distracting maneuver” when the final preparations for Banquet and on the table are exhibited main dishes. Anyway, the preparation of snack compositions is tied to one or another type of alcoholic beverages, which means you need to be not only a skilled cook, but also an experienced sommelier to skillfully offer, say, Greek lemon and cheese and olive cognac to skins, Russian vodka - Of course, herring, pickled cucumber or caviar, so that the alcohol and food would have a pleasant aftertaste, and not gastronomic nonsense.
Snack is also an intermediate link between the aperitif and the main course. It is especially important when you need to create a smooth transition from fine wine to a hot meat or fish dish, with which potatoes are served as a garnish. After all, it is strange to have a noble sherry with potatoes and fishcake. But if between them will be present cheese, fruits (figs or citrus), then this will not cause any dissonance. Depending on the type of sherry, it is, of course, served to meat and fish. Sometimes cigars are served as snacks for this wine. But, in any case, if the wine is cooled before serving, then a hot main course to it will be inappropriate: at least, dentists will surely be outraged by this fact, taking care of the strength of the tooth enamel, which a sudden change in food temperature will quickly destroy.
No one will be objected to the fact that a beautifully decorated dish causes appetite and creates a festive atmosphere at the table. Just a cucumber, of course, will retain more vitamins, lying on a plate as a whole, but it will remain there until the end of dinner, especially if you put a dish next to it, in which the same cucumbers will be cut into a spiral or leaf shape, or wrapped in a roll, inside which there will be a plate of salted salmon or salami.
Proceeding from this, it is desirable to have at least a few knives for curly cutting in your kitchen. You can sometimes use metal or plastic notches for cutting cookies. Tools should be selected depending on the density and consistency of products for the preparation of snacks. Cocktail skewers will be very useful. The logic of the feast is simple: if you strive to treat people who come into the house - these people are dear to the owners of the house, and from this it follows that you need to try. Do not panic, if there are no lobsters in the refrigerator - get ready and prepare a quick snack option easier, for example, shrimp in batter. Even a jar of sprats in oil can be a great sandwich decoration if you add a slice of lemon or cucumber with a small leaf of parsley. Effort will not go unnoticed by the guests in any way.
Now let's move to quick recipes for snacks that will help decorate the table for a soulful meeting and, perhaps, causing surprise and admiration of the guests, make them ask the hospitable hostess for a recipe, which will automatically mean recognition of her culinary talent, sophisticated taste and strengthening interpersonal relationships .
Recipe 1. Marinated Red Onions with Herring and Caviar Butter
Parsley (fresh leaves)
Herring fillet, salted
Salted herring roe
Take the peeled large heads of white, not sharp onions, wash (5-6 pieces, by the number of portions). Each bulb cut across, zigzag so that by dividing the halves into two parts. Carefully remove each half of one or two layers of scales, which should resemble the shape of a lily flower. Put the diced herring fillet inside each “flower”, sprinkle the herring and onion with lemon juice.
Blend the butter together, adding to it, peeled from the films, herring caviar to taste. Square slices of toaster bread cut diagonally and spread the obtained triangles with caviar butter. In the center of the sandwich, fasten with a skewer a made flower. From slices of fresh cucumber cut the "leaves of lily" and lay around the "flower". Also cut out figurines in the shape of flowers from the rings of boiled carrots using a plunger. Sprinkle with the center of the “lily” with the grated carrot. Put the snack on a dish covered with lettuce or other greens.
Recipe 2. Toasts with fried shrimps and caviar
Horseradish, fresh 50 g
Shrimp 200 g
French loaf 10 slices
Red caviar 100 g
Cut the loaves into slices and use the round cookie cutter to give them the correct shape. Fry the toast. Chop fresh horseradish root on a fine grater, mix it with mayonnaise and add chopped dill. Peel the shrimp salt and fry in oil. Place a teaspoonful of the sauce in the center of each toast. Put two shrimps in a circle of toast, and caviar in the sauce. Decorate the toasts with dill sprigs.
Recipe 3. Snack rolls made from lightly salted cucumber and salmon with curd and chopped greens
Fillet of salmon or trout, salted (slices)
Cheese “Ricotta” or “Philadelphia”
Cut very thin and long plates of fresh cucumber. Smear one side of each plate with cream cheese, put a thin slice of fish on the layer of cheese, and on it - a pitted olive. Roll the cones into cucumber slices. Place all the cones on the dish like a fan, decorate with fresh green sprigs of your choice.
Recipe 4. Multicolored balls - appetizer-assorted
Simple and well-known to all salads can be arranged in the form of an original snack. Salads of this type, meat pies can also be served not in potato chips, but, for example, in baskets or rolled in pita bread, in the form of rolls.
Eggs 12 pcs.
Hard cheese 600 g
Boiled carrots 350 g
Walnuts (kernels) 200 g
Coconut Chips 120 g
Beet, boiled 150 g
Onions, white 100 g
Lemon juice 50 ml
Smoked mackerel fillet 300 g
Peel the boiled eggs. All prepared products separately chop into a paste with a blender, finely rub the cheese. Finely chop the onion and soak it in lemon juice, squeeze to remove excess moisture. Mix half of cheese, 6 boiled eggs, 25 g of minced garlic and 150 g of mayonnaise in a bowl, mix, divide into 50-70 g portions and roll the balls, dipping them in coconut chips;
In the next container, mix the nut chips, the rest of the garlic, 150 g of mayonnaise and carrots in the same way; make orange balls;
Chopped onions, chopped mackerel, eggs, cheese, beets and mayonnaise combine in a third bowl, to get red balls;
Spread all balls on potato chips, decorate with greens and serve in a wide flat dish.
Recipe 5. Eggs Stuffed with Mackerel in Butter or Fried Liver
Another group of quick appetizers is stuffed eggs. In addition to the proposed options for making quick cold snacks from eggs, there are many other types of fillings. Mushrooms, cucumbers, rice and other products are perfectly combined with eggs. To make such a snack, too, can be different: in the form of a basket, boats, mushrooms, mice or pigs.
Boiled eggs 10-12 pcs.
Fresh parsley leaves (for registration)
Mackerel blanched in oil 200 g
Onions, pickled onion 100 g
Black pepper, ground
Beef or chicken liver, fried 250 g
Onions, fried 120 g
Mustard to taste
Boiled eggs cut along in half. Remove the yolks from them and add them in half to each filling.
For the first filling, finely chop the onion and soak in a lemon juice marinade, sugar and salt, then combine with the prepared yolks. Add to the onions and yolks the flesh of mackerel along with the juice in which it was stewed in a jar. Season the mass with pepper and mayonnaise. Stuffing for eggs can be carefully kneaded with a fork or smashed into a paste with a blender.
Ingredients for the second filling also combine and chop.
Stuff the halves of egg whites with cooked pastes so that you can create the shape of a whole egg. Garnish with mayonnaise and parsley leaves.
Recipe 6. Sealed vegetables in an eggshell
Very bright appetizer with an interesting design, but for its preparation you will need preliminary preparation: you need a washed eggshell. To do this, collect it on the eve of cooking snacks. Using raw eggs for cooking other dishes, wash them thoroughly and make a small hole to empty the contents. Then wash the shells from the inside and dry them. Place blanks in egg trays, cover with cling film and use as needed.
Meat broth 400 ml
Chicken breast, boiled 350 g
Frozen peas and corn 150 g
Gelatin 25 g
Boiled carrots 70g
Red, lettuce pepper 100 g (net)
Bring the finished meat broth to the desired taste, strain, heat to dissolve the gelatin. Prepared products cut into cubes of 0.5 x 0.5 cm, spread them evenly into the shell of eggs, cover with gelled broth. Cool until the broth sets; freeze the snack from the shell. Cut out slices of bread round stands for “eggs” and secure them with a skewer between each other.
Recipe 7. A quick snack - stuffed figs
Cream cheese 200 g
Large figs 10 pcs.
Roasted almonds (crumb) 100 g
Orange zest, fresh 50 g
Mix almond crumb with delicate cream cheese. Cut the washed fruits of ripe figs crosswise, from inflorescence to the middle of the fruit, to make 8 petals. Choose the pulp with a spoon and combine it with the cheese mass. Stir and spread the filling into the fruit. “Petals” open. Cheese stuffing inside the “flowers” sprinkle with bright orange peel. The number of “petals” can be increased, if desired, by cutting each of them with kitchen scissors in half.
A quick snack - tricks and tips
Let us return to what the fast-paced snack topic began:
In order not to be caught unawares by an unexpected visit of guests, adopt one rule - always keep in your house a supply of non-perishable products from which you can quickly make an original snack. Nuts, chips, crackers (white and rye) are ideal for such cases: they do not take up much space, have a rather long shelf life, which eliminates the need to frequently update the stock and reduce costs, are suitable as an ingredient to many products from which make snacks. The next group of “on duty products” for emergency is canned goods. One bank of different types will be quite enough. Take care only about the correct storage conditions and do not forget to follow the date of their implementation. It is better to rehearse the creation of a quick snack from the “on-duty” products in advance, bringing every move in the kitchen to automatism. Choose some recipes for the snacks you like and practice cooking them. Of course, these snacks should always be kept in place with the necessary “arsenal” in the bar so that guests do not feel embarrassed because of their own sudden appearance and because the owners were not ready for their arrival, and that will undoubtedly secure your reputation as hospitable and hospitable people .
The simplest option for a quickie snack is the usual cutting: the so-called “cheese” or “meat plate”, fruit or vegetable platter. These products are fairly nice to cut and put on a platter. Before you begin cutting do not forget to take care of the kitchen tools, which must have sharp blades. For cheese slicing, use a special knife.