Saturday, April 4, 2009

hor d'oeurves

while working as a server for a catering company to supplement my non-existent acting income, i find myself serving hors d'oeurves on a regular basis (and sneaking bites on my way back to the kitchen.) in doing this, i sometimes think about the job of being a chef in this kind of situation, having to create these delicate and hopefully interesting bites of food in the most cost-efficient manner. the most common "cheap" hor d'oeurve i always pass is something along the lines of "artichoke and goat cheese crostini", meaning bite-sized baked bread with a spoonful of dip on top. very cost efficient and easy to make. taste-wise? eh, not so much. i usually skip the crostini on my way back to the kitchen. why am i thinking about this? i sometimes fantasize about what it would be like to run a small catering company. now, i don't think i'm qualified one little bit--in the grand scheme of things, i know very little about food, plus i have no formal or even informal culinary training. however, i am a pretty good and experienced host, and i like the idea of cooking for other people.

yada, yada, yada. anyways, if i did have a catering company, one of my specialty hor d'oeurves would be the following recipe that i came across in a massive, general cookbook. i brought a dish of these fig & cheese prosciutto rolls over to the apartment of my newlywed friends last night and they were a big hit. very easy to make!

1/2 lemons worth of fresh lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons of grated lemon peel
1/4 cup of olive oil
prosciutto slices - 12 slices makes 24 rolls, you do the math (*also, don't get paper-thin slices like the deli man usually does, get them a little thicker so they won't break easily)
softened goat cheese
about 16 dried black mission figs, quartered

first, mix the lemon juice, peel, and olive oil in a bowl until combined. second, lay out the prosciutto on a work surface and begin to layer the ingredients on top of each prosciutto slice. spread some goat cheese on a slice, then scatter a couple of fig pieces on top, and place a couple of arugula leaves over the figs. then, drizzle with the lemon-oil and top with freshly ground pepper. then, from the smaller end of a slice, start rolling the meat tightly, like a jelly roll. after, slice the roll in half on a diagonal. ta da!

p.s. can we talk about how difficult it is to spell hor d'oeurve? it took me three tries to get it. you try it.

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