Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cook Book Review: Small Plates

I love mezes, finger goods, snacking and picking.  I love appetizers at restaurants because they come in the right portions and it's nice to have a glass of wine and explore tapas.

I had the utmost pleasure sifting through this little cookbook of 64 pages of culinary delight.
It was thanks giving weekend so the thyme in the below recipe hit the spot and this will make it's seasonal appearance at Christmas time too.
My absolute favorite, favorite, favorite recipe was "Creamy Pancetta & Onion Tart".  It was so good!
Our friends and husband of course gobbled this up before I could take a picture.


1 tbsp of Olive Oil
170 g diced pancetta
3 onions, sliced
1 fat garlic, crushed
1 tsp of sugar
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
375 g all butter puff pastry dough
1 cup of creme fraiche
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F, Gas 6 and place one of the baking sheets on the middle shelf to heat up

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and the pancetta and cook until crisp.
Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.  Add the sliced onions and cook for about 10min.
Stirring occasionally until they start to colour. Add garlic, sugar and leaves from thyme, cook for another minutes as onions carmalize. Remove from heat and stir in the pancetta.

Roll out the puff pastry dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Keep rolling until it's big enough to trim into a rectangle, about 12 x 8 inches. Using the tip of a knife score a border from the edge without cutting all the way through the dough.
Carefully lift the dough onto the second baking sheet and slide into the preheated oven on top of the baking sheet. Cook for 7 minutes then remove from oven.

Season creme fraiche with salt and pepper and spread half of it over the tart base. Season the onion and pancetta mixture with salt and pepper also and spread over the creme fraiche. Dot the remaining creme fraiche over the filling and return to the oven for a further 20min.

Serve warm, cut into individual portions.

If you’ve ever been out to a restaurant with friends and ordered a few starters or a large platter to share, you’ll know how sociable and tempting it is to indulge in several dishes at once. This is a popular way of eating in many
parts of the world – the Spanish have tapas, the Chinese have dim sum and many regions of the Mediterranean and Middle East enjoy meze. In Small Plates, Annie Rigg serves up an irresistible selection of plates to share from all around the world. For global Meat dishes, look no further. From chorizo with red wine to honey and soy glazed baby ribs, you’ll find something utterly delicious in this chapter. There are so many tasty morsels to make with Seafood. Try crisp calamari – perfect for sharing – or elegant, individual prawn cocktails, which can easily be prepared in advance. Veggie fingerfood and bites are for everyone, not just vegetarians. Tuck into garlic and white bean dip, grilled halloumi skewers and herby falafel with red pepper houmous and pickled chillies. With these easy, mouth-watering recipes, you’ll soon
discover that grazing plates and small bowls of shareable food make entertaining fuss-free and fun." ~ Thomas Allen & Son website


  1. This looks delish, creme fraiche, pancetta, puff pastry!

  2. Starters are my fave!! You may have inspired me to create some new recipes!

    1. That is lovely! I am glad you came across my post on this, which reminds me I should get back to this site and post my recipes, LOL!


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