Hors d’Oeuvres

Black Pepper Almonds
Hors d’Oeuvres

Black Pepper Almonds

These spicy almonds are perfect at cocktail parties and are very addicting. The brown sugar gives a hint of sweetness, just enough to offset the heat from the black pepper. Whole nuts of any kind can be substituted for the almonds, whether you use one type of nut or a selection of various whole nuts. I often make these spicy almonds just before the holidays, package them up in cellophane bags and give them away as Christmas presents.

Spicy Beef Toast
Hors d’Oeuvres

Spicy Beef Toast

The Cajun-spiced beef on these Hors d’Oeuvres pairs well with the rich and smoky-tomato confit. Cajun spice mixes can be purchased at most supermarkets, I have included a recipe here if you would like to make your own. The term “Confit” refers to an item cooked in it’s own “fat”, slowly for a long period. In this case, the tomatoes are cooked slowly in their own juice. The confit is great on many things from fish to chicken. I also make a compound butter with it and keep it in the freezer for a last minute sauce.

Plantains
Hors d’Oeuvres

Plantains – Chips and Tostones

The two preparations I give here result in two very different final products. The plantain chips are crispy like potato chips and the Tostones (as they are known in Puerto Rico) or Batakons (in Colombia) are crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.