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Author Notes: If you love entertaining as much as I do, then you understand how important appetizers are! They are a subtle introduction to a meal, a way for guests to mingle and wet their appetite while not getting too full! The following appetizers would be great accents to a Latin or Caribbean style meal. Each dish is simple to prepare, look fabulous and most importantly taste amazing.
My inspiration came from:
a. My friend Luciana posted a FB photo of smoked salmon wrapped heart of palms, they looked amazingly divine!
b. I have never been, but my dear friend Amorena tells me that I must try Tango Sur in Chicago. They offer an appetizer of Prosciutto wrapped Hearts of Palm (served up by swanky Argentinian servers yielding sticks of carne!)
c. My love of tostones!
Hearts of Palm are very delicate and tender. If you buy the canned, which is more typical than fresh (especially here in Michigan), I would describe them to be similar to artichoke hearts. I enjoy a good interesting fact so here you have it: harvesting wild palm plants actually kills the plant because they only have one stem. In order for us to enjoy the tender heart of palm the inner core of the palm stalk is extracted, which kills the plant. But DON’T WORRY, fortunately, for the wild palm and consumers of palm hearts, palms have been domesticated and bred to produce multiple stalks. This allows the farmer to extract the heart of palm while the plant sustains. Hooray! A guilt free and plant friendly heart of palm. —Michelle Swift
Prosciutto Wrapped Hearts of Palm (Jamón Crudo con Palmitos)
- 1/4 pound Parma Prosciutto
- 14 ounces Hearts of Palm
- Big splashes Red Wine Vinegar
- Big splashes Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Good Quality)
- 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme (to taste)
- Big dashes Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Big dashes Parmigiano Reggiano
- Whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Crush the sprigs of thyme and add to the olive oil and red wine vinegar mixture to taste. Set aside and prepare the heart of palm.
- Open and drain the can of the heart of palm. If the palms are rather large, go ahead and cut them in half. Lay one heart of palm on an end of an outstretched piece of prosciutto and roll, then cut in half. Repeat with the remaining heart of palm and prosciutto.
- Lay the pieces of prosciutto wrapped palms in a glass or plastic dish and pour over the olive oil and vinegar mixture. Allow this to marinate at least 4 hours or up to one day. Serve on a nice dish and grate plenty of fresh ground pepper and Parmesan atop.
Tostones with Salsa Golf
- 2 Large Green Plantains, peeled and cut into 2-inch slices
- 2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 Lemon, only the juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 tablespoons Ketchup (or to taste)
- For the Tostones: Peel the plantain and cut into slices about 2 inches wide.
- Fill a large skillet a third full with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the plantain slices for approximately 3 minutes, turning once, just long enough to make them soft.
- Remove the plantains and drain on paper towels. Use a plantain press or a tin can to smash the plantains to a lesser thickness.
- Let the oil come back to a higher temperature. Fry the plantain slices once again, turning occasionally, until golden brown on both sides.
- Remove and use paper towels to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
- For the Salsa Golf: Separate the yolks from the egg whites. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl and save the egg whites for another use. Using a hand-mixer, beat the yolks on medium speed. Add the oil in a very thin steady, stream, beating continuously until the yolks and oil have emulsified.
- Add in the lemon juice and salt. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the mustard and ketchup until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Most Impressive Dinner Party Side