5 Appetizers That Impress & Relieve Stress

DP.JC.722014.dec.holidays.jpg

Let’s face it, it’s not only during the holidays when we need easy appetizer ideas. Handy dandy, simple offerings are in demand throughout the year. These 5 appetizers can certainly be used anytime, but will surely be useful right about now.

Now when it comes to navigating entertaining, we can be the driver of our own roadmap. It’s up to us to take control. It can be as elaborate as a sit down plated meal with several courses. Or as simple as making a salad, a vegetable and protein. Or even simpler (and better!) a huge bowl of pasta. But it is up to each host/hostess to decide whether to make it complicated or easy. Admittedly, there are times when entertaining calls for a little more pizzazz. And I would venture to say that the holidays definitely require a little more brio. Believe it or not, adding an appetizer to any meal can elevate an evening. I always want my guests to feel special, whether it’s a weeknight meal, an weekend dinner or a big party celebration, and I’ve found that serving appetizers somehow ups the ante and makes any event feel special. But please, let’s not confuse special with hard and stressful.

How I plan out what appetizers I will serve depends on my mood, and it can swing full pendulum, from easy breezy all the way to ones that require a day of prep, cook time and time in plating. For me, it all comes down to how much experimenting I want to do, and how much time I have to play. But that’s just me. I like trying new things and being adventurous. But sometimes, I need speed and simplicity. Luckily, in my experimenting I have come up with a few apps that don’t take a ton of effort, and really please my guests.

Here are Apps that impress AND relieve stress.
(Disclaimer: In no means are these appetizers magical or medicinal in their ability to relieve stress. It’s soley their ease, and delicious impact that creates a stress free zone! Well, I might consider that magic.)

Shaved Parmigiano with Roasted Peppers & Hazelnuts

This is as easy as using a flick of the wrist. That is, one that is holding a vegetable peeler. Simply shave slices of Parmigiano Reggiano. Roll roasted pepper strips up into rosettes or twirls. (A good jarred kind is the way to go. Even I admit, roasting your own peppers is more work than it’s worth. This is definitely one time when homemade doesn’t make sense!) Arrange the platter as you like. I like all the peppers in the middle with the cheese acting like a moat. Then generously sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. It seriously could not be simpler.

Shaved-Parm-w_Red-Peppers.jpg

Platter of Crunch - Fennel Bites & Cucumber Carrot Roll Ups

I always like having a platter with a fresh offering. Not only does it help to refresh the palate but it’s a satisfying treat for the vegetarians. Create a platter full of fresh vegetables. You can use whatever you like but I love big chunks of fennel drizzled with olive oil, course sea salt and pepper. Ribbons of English cucumber plain or rolled up with carrot shreds. The carrots were marinated in a basil balsamic vinaigrette. Check out the recipe here.

My method for platter arrangement is color blocking. I think this looks inviting. Do what pleases your eye and your palate.

Fresh fennel, cucumber and carrots are refreshing and crunchy.

Fresh fennel, cucumber and carrots are refreshing and crunchy.

Fresh Ricotta with Herbs & Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Well, if you took my advice in late summer and roasted a bunch of tomatoes and stored them away, then this one is as easy as opening that container. (Now you understand why I suggest this because the tomatoes can be used in so many ways.) But if you don’t have any roasted tomatoes in your freezer, making a fresh batch is not difficult. Click for The Great Tomato Caper post. For the rest of the dish, simply buy fresh ricotta and spoon it into a bowl creating a nice mound. Generously sprinkle course sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, chopped basil and drizzle with good olive oil. Arrange the roasted tomatoes around and serve with crusty bread.

This combo of sweet tomatoes with fresh creamy ricotta is one that will keep your guests coming back for another smattering.

This combo of sweet tomatoes with fresh creamy ricotta is one that will keep your guests coming back for another smattering.

Sauteéd mushrooms & polenta chips

This one takes a bit more time, but you can actually do some of this ahead of time. I’ve served this appetizer several different ways. Click here for the recipe. In this version I made the polenta squares thinner so they act more like a cracker. Your guests can make their own little bite with as much or as little sauteéd mushrooms as they want. Heck, if you also serve the Ricotta dish, guests can top their polenta squares with mushrooms and a bit of ricotta!

Polenta.Mushroom.Bites.jpg

Dry Cured Meat & Arugula Platter

This seriously could not be simpler than buying and arranging. Pick up your favorite dry cured meat and serve it up with some spicy baby arugula. Guests can roll up the meat with some zest greens for a crisp, salty bite. I love keeping it simple and rustic by serving it right on a wooden board.
Some dry cured meats that I like to serve: Bresaola, Prosciutto or Serrano ham, Capacollo, Mortadella, Coppa.

Cured.Meat.Platter.jpg

I hope these few ideas help keep your stress levels down this holiday season. I really don’t like that I keep repeating that, but it is true that the holidays, and entertaining can be just that - intense. I’m here to help in any way I can, because for me, gathering together with the people you love, serving them food you all love is a glorious thing. And something for which we can all be grateful.

Stirred with love, these apps are just as easy as the ones we download on our phones!

 

5 Quick, No Bake Desserts - In a Pinch

static1.squarespace.jpg

I realize that this title will come as a shock to those of you who know how much I love to bake, but sometimes I need a dessert in a pinch.  If I've got 5, 6 or even more appetizers to make, plus the meal; well dessert just ends up getting the short end of the stick.  With these 5 fast and easy assemble desserts, you don't have to stress about making sure there is something sweet and appealing after your meal.  Plus a few of these can easily be brought as a dessert offering when you are the one asked to bring something sweet.

 

Fresh Ricotta with Figs, Peaches & Honey

There is nothing as simple as assembling items on a board or platter.  

 

This sweet and savory offering is just that kind of dish.  Arrange seasonal fruits, like figs & peaches for the summer, on a pretty plate or a wooden board. Fill a bowl with fresh ricotta & drizzle with honey.  It's just that simple. You can toss some nuts in if you like, but for the sheer simplicity of this dish, it's not necessary.  Let the purity of these vibrant flavors speak for themselves.  The creaminess of the ricotta against the nature sweetness of the fruit with that extra sweetness from the honey is soothing combination.

 

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

chocolate.dipped.fruit2.jpg

This one might take a tad more effort but not much more.  Use the fruit of your choice or the ones in season.  I had raspberries, blackberries and bananas on hand.  Dip each piece in melted dark chocolate and let cool on parchment paper.  You can roll them in crushed nuts or coconut to ratchet it up a notch.  Then arrange on a plate and watch these fly faster than they took to make.  Believe it or not, these little 'pop in your mouth' treats are so pretty that they will make an "ohh' statement on your dessert table.  So easy enough to make, you can get your kids to help.

 

Cheese Course

Cheeses with strawberries, grapes, mini  bread sticks  and  Tortas de Aceite  (Sweet Olive Oil Crackers).

Cheeses with strawberries, grapes, mini bread sticks and Tortas de Aceite (Sweet Olive Oil Crackers).

Blue cheese (such as  Cabrales ,  Valdeon,  Stilton or Gorgonzola). Add nuts, date loaf, figs in syrup, oranges.

Blue cheese (such as Cabrales, Valdeon, Stilton or Gorgonzola). Add nuts, date loaf, figs in syrup, oranges.

Ok, this is not my idea, of course, but more of a reminder in case this option was misplaced in the memory banks. Instead of serving cheese as part of your appetizers, save it for dessert and do it the French and Italian way. Enjoy it after the meal.

Fresh Fruit Lovingly bound by Chocolate

This colorful, flavorful option is similar to but slightly different to the above chocolate dipped fruit.  Instead of individual chocolate coated fruits, this version creates a bed of chocolate for the fresh fruit, nuts and sea salt to lie gently atop.  I made this on just such an occasion when I didn't have time but wanted to serve a dessert after lunch.  It was better than I thought and served the purpose beautifully.   I already had a chocolate ganache in the fridge. (Ganache is just chocolate with a tad of cream added to it.  This keeps it from getting completely hard and makes it pourable to glaze a cake or drizzle. I liked using the ganache for this version because once I refrigerated it, it became hard enough to hold the fruit together but still had a softness that added to the yumminess. A result I didn't quite realize would occur. 

Spread the ganache on parchment. Not too thin.

Spread the ganache on parchment. Not too thin.

Lovingly place the fruit in a visual manner that pleases your eye and your belly. Add nuts and sprinkle with course sea salt.

Lovingly place the fruit in a visual manner that pleases your eye and your belly. Add nuts and sprinkle with course sea salt.

 

Chocolate Bark

If you don't happen to have fresh fruit, then go the traditional chocolate bark route.  This version does not use ganache.  It is pure chocolate melted down.  I use a combo of dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. Spread the melted mixture onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.  Then top with whatever suits your fancy.  I like cashews, dried apricots & dried cherries plus a healthy sprinkling of course sea salt.  That really makes the chocolate sing. Refrigerate until solid, then cut or break into shards.  No brainer of sheer joy. 

 

I hope these ideas provide you a few quick, easy but delicious desserts to have in your back pocket when you are in a pinch.  I promise you, your guests will not miss the cake or pie or any other more labor intensive sweet.  

Fresh Ricotta Crostini featuring Summer Toppings

Ricotta crostini topped with the freshest, summer seasonal produce.

Ricotta crostini topped with the freshest, summer seasonal produce.

At the farmers' market this week, one of the new items to scoop up was fresh peas in their pods.  Oh, the excitement and sheer joy of bringing home new seasonal produce. Now, I know this may not be everyone's reaction, but it's fun playing with food.  As per usual though, I didn't have an inkling of what I would make but I knew I had to get me some peas.

Then off to our local organic market I wandered and found pea shoots.  Again, not sure what their destiny would be but had to get them, too. Especially since it felt in keeping with the peas.  I also found French Sourdough bread, which I grabbed in an effort to test how my wheat and yeast sensitivity would fair with this one.

Once I was home, I still didn't have a clue as to what I would do. But just when all hope seemed lost, I thought of ricotta. Whenever in doubt you can always count on cheese as your salvation. With that, I was off to the races with a plan in hand.  I decided that I would celebrate some of the jewels of the season and feature them on crostini.  

Now don't get too excited thinking I'm a genius.  This is not some super "oh my God, what a innovative idea" moment. It's a just a few good pairings that are easy to assemble and even easier to enjoy.  It's summer for Pete's sake.  We all want no brainer food ideas.  This one fits the bill.

Here are the stars of today's show.  
French Sourdough Bread, Fresh Ricotta, Fresh Peas, Pea Shoots, Nectarines, Mint, Tomatoes, Basil

Look at that bounty of summer jewels.

Look at that bounty of summer jewels.

I almost feel silly giving any kind of instructions as this couldn't be easier, and it's pretty self explanatory, but... 
First things first, toast the bread.

You can mix and match at will. One thing remains the same; dollop some the ricotta on each slice and then build each crostini using whichever of these flavor busting seasonal ingredients tickle your fancy to create your perfect crostini. 
Here's what I did.

Pea-Pea Shoot Crostini

  1. Shuck the peas and blanch them. You can also eat them raw. (Can't find fresh, use frozen ones and blanch.)

  2. Top the bread with ricotta.

  3. Add shoots & peas pressing them in.

  4. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and drizzle with olive oil.

Fresh Tomato-Basil Crostini

  1. While still warm, rub the toasted bread with fresh garlic.

  2. Top with ricotta, fresh slices of tomatoes, basil.

  3. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and olive oil.

It's as simple as rubbing it on

It's as simple as rubbing it on

Fresh bite of summer

Fresh bite of summer

Roasted Tomato Crostini

  1. Roast grape tomatoes with oil and whole garlic pieces.

  2. Mash the garlic with sea salt, pepper & oil.

  3. Spread the garlic mash on the toast.

  4. Add ricotta, roasted tomatoes, basil and drizzle with tomato juices.

Roasted garlic cloves, sea salt, pepper and olive oil

Roasted garlic cloves, sea salt, pepper and olive oil

Spread as much or as little, but spread this golden goodness.

Spread as much or as little, but spread this golden goodness.

I'm sure you will figure out what to do with all those candy jeweled roasted tomatoes. One idea: make more crostini!

I'm sure you will figure out what to do with all those candy jeweled roasted tomatoes. One idea: make more crostini!

Sweet and savory bite.

Sweet and savory bite.

Nectarine-Mint Crostini

  1. Make a mint simple syrup by heating up equal parts sugar and water with mint leaves until sugar dissolves.

  2. Drizzle the simple syrup on top of the bread.

  3. Top with ricotta, nectarine, minced mint and drizzle some more.

It seriously doesn't get easier than this. These make a wonderful little afternoon snack.  How about a luxurious breakfast treat.  An elegant brunch item. Naturally these are ideal as a party appetizer.
So simple. So fresh.  So seasonal.

These are but a few of the endless variations for crostini. But ones the truly celebrate the summer's seasonal offerings.  Make one. Make them all.  
A few other topping ideas:

  • Sautéed spinach with garlic, oil and red pepper flakes

  • Sautéed broccoli rabe with garlic, oil and shaved Parmesano Reggiano

  • Fresh figs drizzled with honey (you can also add chopped prosciutto)

  • Strawberries, fresh thyme sprinkled with raw sugar

Seriously, it's bread with cheese, top it with whatever floats your boat, and then happy sailing.

Pizza Rustica - An Italian Easter Tradition

"Tradition!  Tradition! "  As Zero Mostel so famously belted out in Fiddler on the Roof, it is what grounds us to our own history.  I love family traditions. They fill me with memories and smiles, good times and laughter of being together as a family.   And for me, a big part of that was being in the kitchen with any one of the 3 incredible women who inspired my love of cooking and baking.  My Italian grandmothers and mother: Powerhouses in the Kitchen. As a little girl I would watch them and help whenever and wherever I could.  I studied, learned and committed most of what they did to memory. Thankfully, some recipes, like this one, Pizza Rustica were written down, so I can keep the tradition going.  Today's recipe is brought to you by these two amazing woman, my grandmothers.  

Trofimena Carmela Annunziata aka - Mildred Majewski, mom's mom Photo Credit: Paul Majewski

Trofimena Carmela Annunziata
aka - Mildred Majewski, mom's mom
Photo Credit: Paul Majewski

Carmela Marie Giovanna aka - Mildred Perri, dad's mom

Carmela Marie Giovanna
aka - Mildred Perri, dad's mom

The 3 Powerhouses of the Kitchen - Literally making Pizza Rustica.  That's my gorgeous Mom. I can't believe I found this photo!!!  A treasure.

The 3 Powerhouses of the Kitchen - Literally making Pizza Rustica.  That's my gorgeous Mom. I can't believe I found this photo!!!  A treasure.

For the past few years, I have been making Pizza Rustica for Easter.  What is that, you ask? Well, pizza, in Italian, simply means pie.  Rustica means rustic. Duh! So this is a rustic pie packed with cheeses and meats served typically at Easter to break Lent.  For those who might not know, Lent is that period of time prior to Easter when Catholics are supposed to abstain from eating meat (which I do daily anyway, so no sacrifice for me, hehe). Thus, this 'more torte than' pie celebrates the return to eating meat. It was a definite tradition in our home growing up and one I'm trying to keep afloat. 

It is rich. It is dense. It is a delicious and decadent pie. One that my parents, in particular my dad, absolutely love.  Nothing brings me more joy than making traditional recipes for them and seeing their happiness.  I relive the moments of my childhood. This recipe is not difficult to make, just a little time consuming.  You may see versions where the filling combines all the ingredients together. That is the easy way out.  But my grandmas patiently and lovingly created layers. So that’s what I do.  Plus, I think it looks beautiful that way.  (Funny thing is my mom and I were in heated debate about this methodology.  She swears her mom used the layering method, of which I have no doubt.  But claims my dad's mom mixed it all together.  I remember them both layering it, so that's that. Take the time to layer it and do it the pretty way.) 

I like to think of this as a three part recipe.  1- Make the dough.  2- Make the filling. 3- Then layer the meats and cheeses.    Here we go.

Ingredients

Dough
2 lb. Flour (approx. 6 cups)
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 c. milk
1 c. oil
5 eggs
dash of salt & pepper

Combine all the above ingredients in a big bowl. I add the eggs last. Once all the dough comes together, knead on a board until dough is smooth.  Divide dough into two sections (2/3 and 1/3).  Roll out the 2/3 portion and place the dough into a 9" x 3.25" liter spring pan. (Because the pie is so dense and heavy, I suggest using a spring pan so you can remove it.  If you don't have one or don't mind serving it from the baking pan, then just us the largest pan you have. My grandmothers like making this in a deep pan, but you can make it in a long rectangle. You will just have less layers.)

Combining into a ball.

Combining into a ball.

Kneading until smooth

Kneading until smooth

Roll it out to size.  If the dough breaks, just patch it.

Roll it out to size.  If the dough breaks, just patch it.

Now onto the filling.

Filling
½ - ¾  lb. Prosciutto, sliced thin
½  lb. Genoa salami (sliced thin)
½  lb. Soppressata (sliced thin)
1 whole Basket cheese (farm fresh cow's milk cheese made & left in the basket)
3 lbs. Ricotta cheese (whole milk)
6 eggs
fresh parsley, chopped (optional, another debate. sometimes it was added, sometimes not)
Salt

Cheesy deliciousness

Cheesy deliciousness

In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, basket cheese and parsley with the eggs and season with salt.  

You have to crack some eggs in this recipe

You have to crack some eggs in this recipe

Get all the meats items ready for assembly.  Begin the layering by first adding a layer of the cheese mixture, spreading evenly to cover the bottom. You want about 1/2" of the cheese mixture. Then add a layer of the prosciutto, followed by another layer of the cheese mixture. Next layer the salami, repeat the cheese layer. Then a layer of soppressata, and repeat the process until you fill up the pan.

First layer of goodness going down.

First layer of goodness going down.

Layering up and up, overlap the meat so there is a good amount.

Layering up and up, overlap the meat so there is a good amount.

I use an offset spatula to spread the mixture around.  It makes it a lot easier.

I use an offset spatula to spread the mixture around.  It makes it a lot easier.

Roll out the remainder of the dough a little larger than the top of the pan.  Place over the top of the pan. Trim the excess but leave enough to seal. Then using two fingers, pinch to crimp and seal the top.

Since the dough is quite pliable, it's much easier if you roll it onto the rolling pin and they roll it onto the top.

Since the dough is quite pliable, it's much easier if you roll it onto the rolling pin and they roll it onto the top.

Trim the excess

Trim the excess

Using two index fingers, pinch the dough together to create a seal AND a pretty border.

Using two index fingers, pinch the dough together to create a seal AND a pretty border.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown.  Let rest and cool before lifting it up through the springform pan.

This monster of a "pie" feeds an army, so we usually serve it as an appetizer with very few, or light apps to accompany it.  Like olives, or fennel with olive oil and course salt.

Our line up of apps one year.  Roasted red peppers, burrata with fresh tomatoes/basil, fennel with coarse salt/pepper/oil and the of course, the towering Pizza Rustica.

Our line up of apps one year.  Roasted red peppers, burrata with fresh tomatoes/basil, fennel with coarse salt/pepper/oil and the of course, the towering Pizza Rustica.

Layers of rich deliciousness.

Layers of rich deliciousness.

Serve up a slice. Yes, an Italian Easter Family Tradition... but delicious anytime.

Recipe Print Friendly Version

Food photos in this post credited to: www.asithappens.me

Luscious Butternut Cream Crostini with Roasted Walnuts & Honey

Let's state the obvious. We throw a lot of parties.  Entertaining fools;  we love to do it. (Alright maybe me a tad more than JC).  Whether the scale is big or an intimate gathering, you always need good nibbles. And the small bites you offer should be tasty and as exciting to you as they are to your guests. Which is why I'm constantly toying around with ideas in the ongoing quest for a tasty appetizer. 

I'm like everyone else, I have some fan favorites,  and will admit that I recycle them for certain events.  Heck, why not?  If something works then play that tune again and again. But I have flavor curiosity syndrome. so I am forever surfing my brain, and my palate for new bites.  Throw in the fact that I just like to experiment and thus the parade of apps.  (By the way, I am trying to get that syndrome classified as an official disorder. I think there might be some benefits to that.)

Usually when I come up with an idea, I don't pre-test.  I just take the plunge and serve it up to our guests before ever trying it myself.  Bold and brazen, that would be me. Yet on the occasions when I have an idea but don't have a planned party I become impatient and make a batch to test on friends and family.  So the irony didn't escape me when this particular recipe idea popped into my head at the exact same time that we had 5 weeks of revolving door guests in our home. That's right, captive prisoners, yet our sightseeing schedules left us with no time for food experimentation.  Much like a lyric from Alanis Morisette's song Ironic, "It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife".  A perfectly good crop of guinea pigs gone to waste. So, I cooked up a different plan for testing this recipe.  

Because no parties were in the sight, the next soonest taste tester opportunity was our plans to meet up with family at a restaurant in the Bronx.  My plot: bring little samples in tupperware and hand them out prior to entering the restaurant. This is my interpretation of an amuse bouche.  Appetizer BEFORE the appetizer.  (The real meaning of amuse bouche is a bit of food served before the meal to stimulate the appetite.  To amuse your mouth. I think mine did just that.)

First off, Juan Carlos thought I was nuts, (as he often does), and I thought my idea would be met with surprised faces and thoughts of, “who brings appetizers to a restaurant and requests that they be gobbled up like contraband in a dark alley?”  However, as I passed out my little samples, they were happy to oblige. I just love these people!  Once they popped these fluffy bites into their mouths, they didn’t care where they were eating them. 

Tom, one of my biggest fans, ready for his part.

Tom, one of my biggest fans, ready for his part.

Therese testing the pear, gluten free version. Thanks!

Therese testing the pear, gluten free version. Thanks!

Aunt Rosie, being a good sport

Aunt Rosie, being a good sport

Although this experiment went well, I have enhanced the original idea.  Plus I highly recommend serving them at home on a proper platter to your guests.  (Clandestinely handing them out from a plastic container on a Bronx street corner should be your last resort.)
 

Ingredients

1.5 c butternut squash, roasted
1/2 cup ricotta
1/3 c walnuts, roasted
1/3 c pumpkin seeds, roasted
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 good pinches red pepper flakes
1.5 t salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Parmesan shards
honey, to drizzle
French baguette, sliced
Pear (I used a Red Anjou)
 

Instructions

Place the two halves of butternut squash on a roasting pan and season with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Roast at 375 degrees until fork tender (about 45 min).  Let cool.

Then scoop out the soft squash and put into a food processor.  Add the salt, pepper, red pepper, nutmeg and blend until smooth.  Add the ricotta cheese and blend until combined.

Roasted and ready for becoming a rich creamy delight.

Roasted and ready for becoming a rich creamy delight.

Walnuts
Pumpkin seeds

In a saucepan on the stovetop or in a baking sheet the oven, lightly toast the walnuts and the pumpkin seeds to release their oils and fragrance.  Roughly chop them, keeping them separate.

Place the bread slices on a sheet pan and lightly toast one side, then turn and place the parmesan shards on the other side and toast until slightly melted.

Meanwhile, stir the pumpkin seeds into the butternut/ricotta mixture.  Once the crostini are ready, spoon on the butternut cream mixture, sprinkle the chopped walnuts and drizzle with honey. Serve on your prettiest plate.

If you recall, I don't eat bread.  Neither does my cousin, Therese, who was among the original taste testers. So I needed to come up with delivery vehicle that we both could consume and not feel cheated.  I hate feeling cheated.  Enter the pear for a gluten free version of this app.

Use a nice, thick slice.  We both loved the crisp, freshness of the pear against the creamy, sweetness of the butternut squash, ricotta and honey.  Not only did we not feel cheated, but we felt we had the better version. Shh!

I was really happy with how this ultimately turned out. The folks who had the crostini version liked the crunch of the bread against the creaminess of the butternut squash/ricotta mixture.  Therese and I loved how the pear worked with these flavors.   True confessions, and in authentic something from nothing style, I don't always know all the ingredients up front that will end up in a recipe.  Case in point here, as there was no red pepper in the set up photo. The addition of red pepper flakes came upon tasting it and realizing that the squash and ricotta are quite mild and were desperately calling out for a punch.  AND when I needed to bring an appetizer to a dinner party this past week I decided to make this.  In recreating it I added the pumpkin seeds for addition texture and parmesan for additional saltiness. Neither of which was in the original version. See how it works, my friends. You keep creating, improving and stirring it with more love each time.  

As I suggested earlier, instead of serving this in a back alley, bringing it to a friend's dinner party and serving it on a proper platter, well... It goes without saying that this was an infinitely much better locale!

As I suggested earlier, instead of serving this in a back alley, bringing it to a friend's dinner party and serving it on a proper platter, well... It goes without saying that this was an infinitely much better locale!