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Simple and attractive > finger food for summer July 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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It may not be August yet but summer is not over so make the most of it and party on with some easy to make nibbles.

For feta lovers there is nothing like Saganagi with a sprinkle of oregano on bread cases. Ground Cayenne pepper gives a kick to the avocado and make sure that you choose a ripe, unblemished one. All three of these recipes can be made well in advance. Bake and store bread cases in an airtight container a week in advance; make the two dips and form the rice croquettes into rounds the day before but keep refrigerated until needed.

STAR AVOCADO TARTS
Makes 30

1 large, ripe avocado
225g/1 cup cottage cheese
2 small spring onions
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of one lemon
Pinch of salt
10 wholemeal bread slices
10 white bread slices

Place all ingredients, except bread slices, in a blender and whiz until creamy. Refrigerate until needed.
Set the oven to 160°C (325°F/Gas mark 3). Roll out sliced bread thinly and stamp out star shapes. Line a 12-hole cup cake tray with the bread, pressing down to shape and bake for 10 minutes or until golden in colour. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Use a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle to fill the cases with the avocado filling. Decorate with a cherry tomato and some chopped spring onion leaves.

SAGANAGI FLOWER TARTS
Makes 24

For the filling
250g/1.75 cup feta cheese
Grated flesh of 3 big red tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
2 drops of Tabasco (optional)
8 to 10 black olives

For the bread cases
10 slices of wholemeal bread
8 slices of white bread

Chop finely or grate the tomatoes. Put some olive oil in a saucepan and pour the tomatoes in. Let it simmer until nice and thick – about 15 minutes. Add the sliced feta cheese, Tabasco (if using) and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Cool and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

For the bread cases, follow the instructions in the star avocado tarts. Stamp out flower shapes instead of stars.
Spoon one teaspoon of filling into each bread case and sprinkle some dry oregano over it. Add a slice of black olive. Serve straight away as bread cases can go soggy quickly.

THREE CHEESE RICE CROQUETTES
Makes 36

25g butter
1clove of garlic
2 small tomatoes – finely chopped
250g/1.5 cup flat or Arborio rice
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
250g kefalotyri, feta and stilton cheese
100g/1 cup breadcrumbs
Oil for frying

Melt butter in a saucepan, add crushed garlic. Leave for 20 seconds and then stir in the rice. Pour in two cups of water, the tomatoes and simmer until cooked. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer rice to a bowl, add the parsley, beaten eggs and seasoning and mix well. Chop cheese into small cubes. Set the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4). Using small quantities of rice mixture, in your palm fill centre with cheese and form the shape of a round croquette.

Cover the croquettes in breadcrumbs and place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden in colour. Serve immediately. Alternatively you can deep fry in oil until golden and crispy. With a slotted spoon take out of pan and dry on kitchen roll before serving warm.

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