Un Petit Amusé
Un Petit Amusé
Ok, I know we all live lives of infinite creativity and leisure in which to follow our wildest whims. We have maids and butlers tending to the mundane business of daily chores, so that we may pursue all manner of entertaining drivel.
I watch Downton Abbey, too. (I’ve enjoyed every episode, even if I think, for the most part, they live pathetically shallow lives. Oh, Gwyneth, what role do you imagine yourself? Edith? Mary? I think, maybe, Ethel.)
What you will learn today is worthy of anything Mrs. Patmore and Daisy could create in the Crawley kitchen or Mr. Carson could have Mr. Barrow serve Lady Violet.
What is this wonder?
Un petit amusé.
Say, what? You didn’t know I spoke French? Me, either.
We’ve had this exactly once. I know, we don’t get out much. But, my guy and I were eating out at the Oceanaire. Our waiter presented us with ‘un petit amusé, madam.’
Now, if you look up appetizer, you’ll find the French word: hors-d’oeuvre. That’s not at all what the guy said. He said, ‘amusé.’ Which I can only find to mean ‘to be amused.’
What he placed in front of me was a small shrimp hors-d’oeuvre. An appetizer. Something we have had, dozens of times. It was tasty. And, it should have been. At $17 for a single shrimp, we found that amusing.
Good tasting, unique appetizers can be hard to find. Today, you’ll learn how to make a unique appetizer that will make your friends envy your life of infinite creativity.
Edible spoons and bowls. I know, you’re thinking, I’ve had bread bowls for chowder, that’s not new.
This is new. And, way different. Well, new to me and a little bit different. Like I said– I don’t get out that much. I was amused.
When I first ran across a kit for making these several months ago, my first thought was, ‘Forty bucks?! –for that?’ Actually, it was $30 Euros, which is about $40 for us. I kept thinking, ‘I could do that cheaper.’ Finally, I got around to it. It’s been a bit busy around here lately.
Now you can, too.
Heavy duty aluminum foil
fresh sliced bread
a rolling pin, sharp knife, scissors, & cookie pan
a small round ball (I used a bottle stopper)
an Asian soup spoon
Set oven to 360o. Cut and fold the foil until you have 4 layers a little larger than your spoon. Mold the rectangle around the back of the spoon, squeezing tightly so the foil will fit snugly, leaving the edges sticking above the rim. Next, fold the larger edges back onto the foil– on the outside of the spoon, keeping the bowl of the spoon free of unnecessary wrinkles.
If you’re planning on actually serving these, now’s the time to make however many you’ll need for your soirée. That’s the other French word, I know. Of course, you may just be trying this out to see if it works or not. In that case, one will do.
Take a piece of bread, cut off the crust, and ‘iron’ as flat as possible with a rolling pin. The fresher and softer the bread, the better for this. Now, lay the ‘ironed’ bread sheet on the outside of the back of the spoon and press against it gently. Turn it over and cut away the excess bread with a sharp knife, like cutting away extra pie crust in a pie dish.
Again, if you’re just trying this out, one will do. If you’re going to use this for guests, gently lay the trimmed spoon out flat on a small sheet of foil and outline a pattern. Use scissors to cut the foil into your pattern. Cut off the crust of several slices of bread and iron them all at once. Then, lay your foil pattern on top of the stack and cut around the edge of the pattern for multiple spoons.
Follow the same procedure with the stopper. Anything round will work, I chose a bottle stopper because it was smooth, cheap, and the right size. Also, it was cute enough, I could use it for its original purpose. Fold the foil into a 4 layer square. Wrap it around the ball on the stopper, crimping tightly with your hands. Create a flange of the excess foil as shown in the picture.
Cut a circle of bread large enough to fold over the ball and down its sides for your cup. Be careful when you mold the bread around the ball or the spoon to not tear it. If torn, it won’t self-heal, so you’ll have to use another piece of bread.
In cutting this circle, a biscuit cutter works well, but check the size of your finished circle that it will fit the mold you’ve made from the bottle stopper. If it’s the right diameter, stack several layers of bread and cut all at once, to save time.
Check the width of your ironed bread slice and what you’ll need for the spoon. I could get two bread spoons from one slice, but only one bowl per slice.
The Asian soup spoon and the cork bottle stopper are only molds to make your foil patterns and bread shapes. Once you have your bread shaped, you must gently place it inside its foil mold to bake. The foil mold makes the bread keep its shape while baking.
Bake at 360o for 15 minutes. Check it after 10 minutes to be sure it doesn’t over brown. You want light golden brown. These are plain bread filled with shrimp salad and ham salad. The ham salad on the right is topped with Sriracha Pickles.
You could spray them with a little cooking oil & dust with herbs. Or sugar and fill with fruit pie filling. Or mascapone and fresh fruit. The possibilities are endless.
I thought these were cute, and I might do them for a small party, but they do take a bit of time. You can buy some here. At $72 for 100, though, that feels pricey.
With mine, you have only the cost of the bread and foil, if you have everything else. My spoon cost 72 cents and the stopper was $4.95. And, I keep them. But, you still have to count the time involved.
Enjoy & Love,
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