On an episode of "Restaurant Impossible," Robert Irvine made an easy fast appetizer: in a cake pan (that's what it looked like) layer shreadded cheese of your choice, seasoned ground meat, lettuce and tomato, and top with crisp potato chips. Put another cake pan on top and invert; broil and serve hot. The combination that would come to most people's minds is cheddar and taco seasoning for the meat (at least in Texas), but I think perhaps a good Gruyere and some basil and thyme for the meat, plus salt and pepper of course. Plan to try it sometime. On the other hand, using pimiento cheese might be good (see below).
This weekend I tried some recipes that had caught my eye in recent magazines. One was a different pimiento cheese--not much mayonnaise but Worcestershire, dry mustard, vinegar, celery seeds,salt and pepper, hot sauce, pimientos and shredded cheddar of course. Full bodied and good. Find it in the February issue of Southern Living. My neighbors came for a drink and to try it last night, and Susan said, "Pimiento cheese is your lateest crush, isn't it?"
Finaly I made a curry/mango chicken salad with mayonnaise, yogurt, apple chutney, water chestnuts (I left them out) green onions and chicken. Find it also in the new Southern Living. The recipe calls for serving the salad in fluted cups made by molding prepared pie crusts over brioche molds--you have a lot of those on hand, don't you? I don't, and I didn't do it. The chicken was good but so different from the chicken salad I usually eat that I'm not sure I'll do it again.
I'm always a bit unsure what to do with chutney, but here's an appetizer I really like:
Soften six ounces of cream cheese (I use low fat)
add 1 cup grated cheddar
1 Tbsp. dry sherry
1/2 t. curry
2 green onions
Chill thoroughly. When ready to serve, spread 8 oz. chutney on top and offer crackers. Really good.