Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hurray for (make-ahead) Holiday Hors D'Oeuvre!

This is a great little hors d'oeuvre to keep handy. I developed it for a swanky birthday party I catered for a vegeratian. Although she and two of the guests were vegetarian, the other 60 guests were card-carrying meat eaters, so this had to satisfy both hungry groups. This is simple and an easy one to do ahead, keeping the hors d'oeuvre stashed in the freezer for when you have friends around over the holidays. 

Cherry tomatoes, washed and left whole
Drizzle of olive oil
Store bought, refrigerated puff pastry
Tapenade (I made mine without anchovies so it would remain a vegetarian recipe), homemeade or store bought
Shredded or small cubes of Italian cheese, Parmesan, Fontina, Tellagio-- you could even use Brie

1) Toss the tomatoes in olive oil (you need one for each hors d'oeuvre). Roast in a 400F (200C) oven until just limp and losing some juice. Set aside.
2) Unroll the pastry. Use a 2'' round cookie cutter to cut out as many hors d'oeuvre as you want.
3) Spoon the tapenade into a small plastic sandwich bag, and squeeze it into one corner. Cut off the tip of the corner, leave the top unsealed-- this is now your pastry bag. Squeeze a bit of tapenade into the center of each pastry round, then top with a bit of cheese.
At this point, all these little beauties can be easily frozen, ready to pop into the oven on a moments notice-- otherwise, carry on with the recipe.
4) Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Place the pastry rounds onto a baking tray and bake until just golden and bubbly-- roughly 15 minutes. Top with a roasted cherry tomato and serve hot.

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