Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Creamy Tomato Basil Cucumber Bites


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Little treats to enjoy while socializing or as a prelude to a feast have been around for centuries, but in the United States the actual word “appetizer” began to appear during the 1860s, most likely as an English alternative to the French word “hors d’oeuvre” for a description of a first course or snack plate.

After the repeal of prohibition in 1933 cocktail parties became popular and countless appetizer recipes for snacks to enjoy with drinks began to appear. Around the same time, the modern model for the three course meal of appetizer, main course and desert emerged in restaurants.

For this recipe, tomato, basil and cucumber star in a garden fresh appetizer. The basil and tomato are the signature flavors and are bound together with cream cheese and sour cream. The mixture is placed on a slice of fresh cucumber and can be served before a hardy meal or as part of a slew of snacks to be enjoyed while sipping on cool beverages at gathering with friends and family.

BEHIND THIS BITE
Creamy tomato basil cucumber bites

This is the first of several appetizer bites I made recently for a gathering of friends. Here I use a cucumber as the mode of delivery and tomato and basil as the star flavors of this garden-fresh treat. When I decided to make these appetizers this was the first one I thought of.

As I was shopping for the ingredients I realized it would be easy to create a number of snacks by swapping out ingredients and changing the delivery method for each bite. The cream cheese and sour cream are the constants that all the snacks have in common. I was able to provide three different, but similar hor’s douvres in this manor. It’s an easy way to create a variety of tasty treats for getting a party started. Look for the Jalapeño-bacon version of this for my next post.

Eat well, cook often ...

THE RECIPE
Creamy tomato basil cucumber bites

Makes 32 snacks, 20 minutes (30 minutes inactive)
1 pkg Cream cheese (8 oz)
1 C Sour cream
2 Tbs Fresh basil, minced
1 C Tomato, seeded, diced
32 slices Cucumber
Extra Basil for garnish

Make spread
In a large bowl mix together cream cheese, sour cream, basil and tomato until well incorporated. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and let flavors meld for at least 30 minutes.

Build appetizer

On a slice of cucumber place a dollop of the spread and garnish with extra minced basil.

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