I can’t think of a prawn dish I don’t enjoy, but the rate with which I inhale a prawn cocktail is alarming. There are only two components to the dish — prawn and sauce — so making a good prawn cocktail is all about maximizing the flavour in each. To do this, you’ll need to do a bit of roasting (and brining).
Tagged With appetizers
The saddest meal of the year is always the one you eat right after visiting family for the holidays. Mine is usually more of a free-range fridge scrounge than an actual meal, and I always have a lot of questions: Are those leftovers too old to eat, or am I just a coward? Who ate all my cheese? Why didn’t I stuff my suitcase with fruit cake?
Cheese plates are a mainstay of holiday party appetizers, but finding new ways to zhuzh up the usual suspects can be a challenge. Allow me to introduce you to your new best friend: baked cheese.
In the case of the hard-boiled egg, the yolk provides all of the flavour. Though it is a reliable and easily accessible source of protein, the white is aggressively bland, and no fun at all without seasoning. Salt (obviously) works well, but if you wish to outright infuse the white of an egg with tons of nutty umami, you should reach for the miso.
Cheeseballs really live up to their name. Not only are they a literal ball of cheese, but there's something kind of charmingly corny about them. Like a tacky Christmas sweater, they're more class clown than class act - lovable, goofy and charmingly unpretentious. They're also infinitely adaptable, and insanely easy to make.
When it comes to non-meats, pineapple is my absolute favourite thing to grill in this entire world. The caramelised, almost bruléed sugars and smoky flavours are magnificent in a cocktail, and the charred fruit makes a superlative burger or pizza topping. (That's right, pineapple on pizza is good; haters to the left.)
Given the festive nature of the holiday season, cooking can veer towards the elaborate, so it helps to have some quick and easy dishes that impress without a ton of effort. As such, I recommend that everyone keep a stock of puff pastry in their freezer, and use it liberally to whip up appetizers, snacks, and desserts.