Friday, December 23, 2011

A New Appetizer

I saw this new appetizer on Pinterest. Since it was so pretty, and I am a sucker for pretty colors on a plate, I wanted to try it. I had also seen another appetizer pin that was sweet potato cubes with a Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli. I tried that, but we didn't love the combination though we did like the aioli. When I saw this one, and it was just a photo with no recipe,I thought I could use the dipping sauce with fresh veggies. This is the inspiration photo from Martha Stewart.

Here's how I did it: I bought a long, skinny French baguette. Around here, we can only get white, plain ones, but it would be pretty to have different kinds of bread. So, I began by cutting an end off the loaf; then I made a diagonal cut about 1" on the short end and about 2" on the long sides. Then, the next cut would be straight across, which would result in another 1"-2" piece. I think you can see what I am talking about in the picture. Every other cut would be diagonal. I then set each piece on the flat end with the short side facing me. I gently pinched out some of the interior bread of each piece. You want to leave the very bottom intact, but you want enough room to stick in the veggies and to hold the dip. On a couple of pieces, I accidentally went all the way through. No problem,I just put a very thin slice of butter in the "bread cup" to cover the hole. That worked great. Then, I put about 4 sticks of veggies--red, yellow, orange, green peppers, and celery down in the bread cup and added the dip, which helped to hold up the veggie sticks.

Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (we really like the Trader’s Joe brand)
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded (if you like it less spicy) and chopped
Juice of one lime, plus more to taste
Salt, to taste

This is really good. However, with reduced fat mayo, it is a littly runny. Next time, I might add a tablespoon or two of cream cheese to give it a little more body so it will stay in the cup. Isn't it pretty!