Peach and Goat Cheese Tartine
For me, this is summer on a slice of bread. August is national goat cheese month (no, I don't know who decides these things), and what better way to enjoy chevre than by topping it with sweet, ripe, impossibly juicy peach slices? Mix in a little thyme and black pepper to keep things interesting, and you're looking at a very special treat.
Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)
Light, airy, cheese puffs are a versatile addition to a meal or appetizer plate. Tiny, they're like soup nuts. Larger, they pair well with beer or wine. Even bigger, they can be split and filled with ham, chicken, tuna salad, or even more cheese! These are easier to make than the recipe sounds, yet the result looks impressive enough that you can tell your friends you slaved over them.
How to Make Coquilles Saint-Jacques
For something fancy, this is pretty easy to make. It's one of the world's most delicious dishes. It's rich and decadent, and yet still light.
If you are looking for a quick, easy, delicious appetizer, this is for you. I've served them many times and my friends always gobble them up. Even cheese haters love this. You can find the phyllo cups in the freezer section.
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
This wonderful, light puff pastry is filled with melted Brie cheese. Serve with crackers on the side.
Tuna Mousse Terrine with Olives
Tasty and beautiful, this mousse-like textured terrine is impressively studded with pimento-stuffed olives. It's great for entertaining and looks far more difficult than it really is. Serve it on greens along with crackers or slices of Melba toast.
Puff Pastry Shells
These are fairly simple to make, and once baked the real fun begins, as they can hold so many amazing fillings, both sweet and savory. The key is making sure your puff pastry dough is very firm, and very cold, preferably still partially frozen, before you start cutting it. You want nice clean cuts, because if you mash the layers of pastry together, your shells will not rise as high, and they can also bake into some strange shapes.
This French delicacy is extremely versatile, as it can be filled with virtually anything -- fruits, pudding, mousse for desserts as well as vegetables and meats for dinner. No need to add more oil each time unless the pan begins to stick. Freeze extra crepes for later use.
Sauteed Mushrooms (Quick and Simple)
Delicious as a side, appetizer, part of a salad, or even just a snack! How French of you!
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Tarte Flambee (Alsatian Bacon & Onion Tart)
While this is a pizza almost everywhere else, in certain places on the German/French border, it goes by the totally dessert-sounding name of tarte flambée. Here we're using bacon, onions, and a creamy cheese mixture as toppings.