Beverage-and-food pairings have been done up the wazoo. That’s why we love charming new local blog Turntable Kitchen, where husband-and-wife authors Kasey and Matthew Hickey marry recipes with tunes that set the mood.
Just in time for your New Year’s party, here’s a duo of simple appetizers from Kasey (visit the site to find Matt’s We Are Trees accompaniment). The combo will make your guests sit up and listen.
Caramelized Canape Duo
Makes about 30 canapes
For the caramelized apples:
4 apples, peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. whiskey (optional)
½ cup brown sugar
For the caramelized onions:
3 large onions
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the shells and toppings:
3 sheets store-bought puff pastry
5 oz. crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
Creme fraiche for topping (optional)
Make the caramelized apple topping:
1. Swirl butter in large nonstick pan and heat over medium until fragrant and beginning to brown.
2. Add brown sugar, then diced apples. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for a few minutes.
4. Add cinnamon, vanilla extract, and whiskey. Cook, continuing to stir, for a few more minutes.
5. Raise heat to medium high and cook for about 5 minutes, until sauce bubbles and begins to thicken (and apples have softened). Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the caramelized onion topping:
1. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
2. Stir in onion, coating it well with butter. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and continue stirring for about 10 minutes.
3. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 30-35 minutes, until onions have evenly browned.
4. Raise heat to high and add sugar. Stir and cook for another couple of minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
Make the shells and assemble the canapes:
1. Defrost sheet of store-bought puff pastry on a large cutting board.
2. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. Cut puff pastry into small circles using a 2-inch cookie or biscuit cutter and place circles on a lined baking sheet. Bake puff pastries for about 15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Repeat with 2 more sheets of dough.
4. Let puff pastries cool. Press gently to flatten their surface if uneven.
5. Top half of the circles with about 2 teaspoons of crumbled blue cheese (or goat cheese) and 1 tablespoon of caramelized onions.
6. Top the other half with about 1 tablespoon of caramelized apples and drizzle with a bit of creme fraiche.
Turntable Kitchen, online at turntablekitchen.com.
Photo: Courtesy of Turntable Kitchen