Luscious dollops of sunshine seeped through the dark rain clouds Monday night, delighting my heart as I drove to CEC for a delectable evening of dear friends and delicious food.
We had a jolly crowd this week, everyone relaxed and happy to be together, sipping French wine and Belgian beer from Jonathon as we discussed camping, work foibles, dreamed of travel destinations, and our favorite toys as kids. Lego seemed to be the dominant favorite, followed closely by Lincoln Logs and other hands on things that once gave free reign to our youthful flights of fancy.
With only appetizers to prepare, we were soon loading our plates and heading out to the deck where we ate under the glow of mason jars filled with tea lights.
Darren shared cheese finds procured at the Seattle Cheese Festival last month: smoky cheddar and soft cheeses flavored with garlic and herbs.
I made Bosnian Cevapi (beef and pork sausages) with a Hot Pepper Jelly Sauce.
Selwyn stirred a bubbling pot of Cranberry Chili Smokies.
Jon and Janelle brought even more lovely cheeses: chevre blue, sharp cheddar, drunken goat and a few others I can’t remember the names of, all paired with a chewy loaf of rosemary bread.
Don and Jen served beautifully herbed salmon.
Deb made savory and sweet Pineapple Chicken Tenders that, alas, I wasn’t able to photograph because they were snatched up before I had a chance.
Toby finished things off with crispy Zucchini and Feta patties. I just love that bright green color!
What is your favorite appetizer? 🙂
Toby’s Zucchini Patties with Feta
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup (or more) all purpose flour
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup (about) olive oil
1/2 cup (about) corn oil
- Toss zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Transfer to sieve. Press out excess liquid; place zucchini in dry bowl.
- Mix in egg, yolk, 1/2 cup flour, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Mix in parsley, onions, and dill. If batter is very wet, add more flour by spoonfuls.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons corn oil in large skillet over medium heat.
- Working in batches, drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into skillet. Fry patties until golden, 5 minutes per side, adding more olive oil and corn oil as needed. Transfer to paper towels. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead.
- Place on baking sheet, cover, and chill.
- Rewarm uncovered in 350°F oven 12 minutes. Serve with plain Greek yogurt.
Deborah’s Pineapple Chicken Tenders
(From All Recipes)
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light soy sauce
2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins or strips
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Remove from heat just before the mixture comes to a boil.
- Place chicken tenders in a medium bowl. Cover with the pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers.
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. They cook quickly, so watch them closely.
Selwyn’s Cranberry Chili Smokies
1 bottle chili sauce
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 packages smokies
- Brown smokies in frying pan or oven.
- While smokies brown, combine chili sauce and cranberry sauce in saucepan.
- When smokies are browned, add to sauce and simmer 10-15 minutes until ready to serve.
Krista’s Bosnian Cevapi with Hot Pepper Jelly Sauce
1 recipe Bosnian Cevapi
1 jar hot pepper jelly
2-3 Tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place cevapi side by side in baking dish.
- In saucepan combine hot pepper jelly and water over medium heat, stir until mixture begins to simmer. Add more water if necessary.
- Pour sauce over cevapi.
- Cover baking dish with foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through.