For the same DeGustibus Cooking School by Miele at Macy’s Herald Square I featured pans and knives from ScanpanUSA and Global Knives, two of my most favorite culinary aids. Scanpan makes superb nonstick cookware that I couldn’t live without. To make one of the tidbits to be served with the sparkling wine, we used the Scanpan blini pan to make the following shallot cakes. In the photo you see Amaral and I, cheering on my biggest supporter, Sarah Afana, as she makes the cakes. You can see how perfectly found they are going to be.
For the class, we also made the tapenade, but you could easily substitute a fine quality commercial tapenade. Each guest just had one cake, but you could do 3 slightly overlapping on an appetizer plate.
Shallot Cakes with Green Olive Tapenade
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 large shallots, peeled and chopped
1 large egg, at room temperature
⅓ cup milk
¾ cup self rising flour
Green Olive Tapenade (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Herb sprigs or toasted almonds for garnish, optional
Place the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When melted, add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Combine the egg and milk in a small bowl, whisking to blend. Place the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisking constantly, add the egg mixture along with the cooled shallots.
Place either a blini pan or a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the blini indentations or into the frying pan. You want pancakes no larger than 3-inches. Cook , turning once, for about 2 minutes or until the golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the tapenade and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute or just until heated through.
Top each warm pancake with a small spoonful of the warm tapenade. Garnish with an herb sprig or toasted slivered almonds, if desired.
Green Olive Tapenade
Makes about 1½ cups
8 toasted almonds
3 cloves garlic, peeled
7 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) chopped pitted green olives, such as Cerignola
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon well-drained capers
2 tablespoons white balsamic or moscato vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Combine the almonds, garlic, olives, parsley, thyme, and capers in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process just until coarsely chopped. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the vinegar and lemon zest. Season with pepper.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.