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Wow your guests with mini appetizers

The world’s shrinking at a frenzied pace. Chefs too are showing their love for all things miniature. Tiny morsels, intricately put together and small enough to be consumed in one or two bites, have become fashionable now.

india Updated: Nov 08, 2013 19:29 IST
Shara Ashraf

The world’s shrinking at a frenzied pace. Chefs too are showing their love for all things miniature. Tiny morsels, intricately put together and small enough to be consumed in one or two bites, have become fashionable now.

The trend has been big this year, with global food reports indicating that guests increasingly want snacks that can be eaten in one go. “Earlier, most of the mini-food used to be desserts. Now, we do a large number of bite-sized savoury items. Guests find it appealing, as they get to savour wonderfully varied flavours in tiny bites,” says Nishant Chowbey, executive sous chef, Dusit Devarana.

Smaller pieces of food are also more rewarding — they make you feel fuller as compared to one large piece of food with equal energy value, says news study. Health buffs too give the trend a thumbs-up. “Often used as a portion control measure, bite-sized food is very popular with fitness freaks,” says chef Rajiv Sinha, executive sous chef, The Claridges.

We have put together for you some stylish food recipes that you can prepare without much fuss.

Bacon Devilled Eggs

6 Eggs
2 slices Bacon
1 tsp Melted butter
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Chopped scallions
Chives, for garnishing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place eggs in a large saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water, Let it cool and then peel. Halve it length-wise and remove yolks. Coarsely chop bacon. Cook in a medium skillet over medium heat until they are brown and crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels. Strain drippings through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Add 1tbsp of melted butter. Finely mash reserved yolks, bacon fat (and/or butter), mayonnaise, mustard, and chopped scallions in a medium bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a large piping bag. Pipe into whites. Garnish with chives and reserved bacon.

By executive chef Ramit Wason , Crown Plaza Today, Okhla

Bacon Wrapped Dates

80 gm Dates
45 gm Bacon
15 gm Mango jam
5 gm Caviar
2 gm Carrot
2 gm Sea salt

Marinate the dates with sea salt. Wrap with bacon and keep aside for 30 minutes. Thinly slice the carrot and put them in ice water to curl them. Using brush, paint the mango jam on the rim of the plate. Sear the bacon wrapped dates on a non-stick pan, till crisp and golden brown. Serve with caviar (if available) and pea sprouts.

By Nishant Choubey, executive sous chef, Dusit Devarana

Wasabi Mushrooms

100gm Button mushrooms
40gm Corn starch
5gm Wasabi powder
5ml Lemon juice
20gm Refined flour
80gm Watermelon
10gm Fresh red chilli
50gm Mango alphanso
20ml Mayonnaise
5gm Honey
2gm Sesame seed
2gm Baking powder
300ml Refined oil

Cut mushrooms into chunks. Keep aside. Mix corn starch, rice flour, and baking powder with water and make a batter. Add
oil to it. Cut the watermelon in small roundels. Ensure that there are no seeds. For the wasabi mayonnaise, take wasabi powder, mayonnaise and lemon juice and mix together.For the mango salsa, cut the mangoes in small brunoise and mix with fine chopped onions and fine chopped fresh red chilli. Mix honey, lemon juice and salt.Take the mushrooms, dust them in tempura flour and coat it in batter and deep fry until light golden in colour and crisp from outside. Toss the mushrooms in wasabi mayonnaise and arrange them over the watermelon. Top it with mango salsa and garnish with sesame seeds.

By chef Nishant Choubey

Vietnamese RicePaper Roll

2 (450 gm) Alfonso mangoes
3 Thai birds eye chillies
1 Shallot (finely chopped)
Bunch of chopped coriander
Fresh squeezed lime juice
Grated wasabi
3 pieces Dried rice paper
1 cup Cooked sushi rice
Japanese rice vinegar
Salt to taste

Dice the Alfonso mangoes, add chopped shallots, cilantro, salt, lime juice, chopped birds eye chillies and keep them aside.
Cut the rice paper roll into three narrow strips. Dip the rice paper strips into water and soften them. Cover with a wet towel and leave them aside. Also, keep the warm sushi rice aside to cool. Spike it up with Japanese rice vinegar. Wet your hands, scoop two
tablespoons of the sushi rice and shape it into a small block.
Dab a little wasabi on top and wrap a strip of softened rice paper around the rice block like a belt. Repeat until all the sushi rice is used up. Top the empty half of each rice block with a tablespoon of the mango mixture and serve at room temperature.

By chef Soumya Goswami, executive chef, The Oberoi, New Delhi

Baked Chicken Balls

500gm Chicken mince
2slices White bread, torn into small bits
1/2 cup Milk
1 Small onion, finely chopped
6-8 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Egg
3 tbsp Finely chopped
flat-leaf parsley
Salt to taste
Pinch of crushed black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until it is softened for about four minutes. Sauté onion and garlic in one tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat until the onion is softened for about 3-4 minutes. Let it cool slightly. Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, and then discard the milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, and combine with chicken, onion and garlic, bread, and parsley. Form small meatballs and arrange them evenly in a greased roasting dish. Brush remaining oil over meatballs, and bake in oven until meatballs are cooked for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with tangy tomato salsa or hot barbecue sauce.

By chef Ramit Wason

Classic Lamb Albondigas

450gm Lamb minced
2 Egg yolk
40gm Unsalted butter
5gm Chopped garlic
Salt to taste
Refined oil for frying
5gm Thyme chopped
100gm Onion chopped
100ml Olive oil
5gm Chilly flakes
25gm Cheery tomatoes halves
3gm Black pepper
300ml Tomato puree
300ml Basil
few leaves Parsley
10ml Extra virgin olive oil

In a bowl mix together lamb mince, chopped onion, butter, chopped thyme, egg yolk, salt and crushed black pepper. Keep it inside the refrigerator for one hour. Take it out from the refrigerator and scoop out little mixture into your wet hands and roll it out into small balls, deep fry these lamb balls in medium hot oil till its gets golden brown in colour and is cooked from inside. Drain it into a kitchen paper towel. On the side, heat the olive oil into a sauce pan, add chopped garlic, chopped onions and sauté till translucent. Now add chilli flakes, halves of cheery tomatoes and tomato puree. Cook the mixture for two minutes, add a little water and season it with salt and crushed black pepper. Throw in some torn basil leaves and add your cooked meat balls, simmer for one minute. Serve hot garnished with chopped parsley and some extra virgin olive oil

By executive sous chef Rajiv Sinha, The Claridges, New Delhi