Appetizer Recipes

When it comes to matching food and wine the possibilities are endless.  This particularly applies to the range of appetizers you might serve.  If you are serving one thing then go with the basic rule “light food: light wine, heavier food: heavier wine”.  For a cocktail party or range of appetizers, choose a versatile Sauvignon Blanc or crisp Chardonnay, or a Merlot or Pinot Noir. Bubbly is always a perfect start to any evening.

Appetizer Recipes

Champagne Fondue

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Champagne
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 lb Swiss Cheese
  • 3 tbs Flour
  • 1 tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbs Kirsch (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Nutmeg to taste

To Dip: Italian Bread cut into bite-sized cubes Vegetables - Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peppers Strips, Mushrooms, Potatoes, etc. Pita or Flat Breads.

Preparation

  • Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic clove - add clove to pot or discard.
  • Heat up the Champagne & Lemon Juice on medium low heat - should be hot but do not boil
  • Mix Flour and Cheese in a bowl
  • Slowly add cheese mixture while stirring
  • Add Kirsch and remainder of ingredients while stirring
  • If fondue is too loose add more cheese
  • If fondue is too stiff add more wine

Jeff's Apple-Fennel Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts

Ingredients

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fennel (fronds reserved for garnish)
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup heavy cream
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs thyme
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs sage
  • 3 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 small baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 5 figs, chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, sweat the apples, fennel, shallots, and garlic, reserving a few tablespoons of the apples.

When the vegetables are softened, add the wine and cook to reduce by half.
Add the chicken stock, reduce heat to low, and cook to reduce the liquid by half.
Add the cream and herbs and simmer until bubbles form on the surface.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Meanwhile, place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread each toast with a bit of blue cheese and top with a few slices of fig. To serve, fill each soup bowl three-fourths full. Float several toasts in the soup and sprinkle with the reserved chopped apple and a few chopped fennel fronds.

Smoked Salmon Wrapped Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. smoked (thin sliced) salmon
  • 1 English (hot house cucumber), peeled, seeded and cut in 2 julienne slices
  • 1/2 c. honey mustard

Preparation

Trim salmon to 40 strips, 2 x 3 inches. Spread layer of honey mustard and lay a bundle of cucumber slices at one end and roll up securely. Arrange on tray seam side down. Refrigerate until ready to serve.