Category Archives: finger food

Deli rolls and appetizer philosophy

Deli rolls

These deli rolls — spread a thin layer of cream cheese on a slice of deli meat and then roll dill pickles in it — are a reliable hit at parties. People are consistently surprised by the combination. I really enjoy them, and the presentation is somewhat festive, too.

This time I made them with ham and turkey. They’re also tasty made with roast beef. For ease of creation, work with whipped cream cheese (it spreads much better). For presentation, slice rolls in even sizes — I usually cut each small pickle in half; if there’s a larger one, maybe it’ll get cut in thirds.

I landed on this to take to a recent gathering after a bit of a struggle. It seems finger foods are always difficult for me to come up with. I want them to be:
• simple and relatively fuss-free in preparation,
• use normal, high-quality ingredients, and
• still be at least somewhat healthy.

This is a difficult set of criteria in appetizer land, it seems. I lean toward the safe and easy cheese & crackers or the straightforward chips & salsa. The appetizers I like, I don’t have recipes for because they’re generally so simple. But then when I need an appetizer for something, I have no way to look through the cards in my recipe box, since most likely there isn’t a recipe recorded for what I most like.

Maple scones and clotted cream

I’ve loved scones for years now, but when I found this recipe my appreciation for scones went to the next level. The texture of Maple Tea Scones is amazing. They’re easy to make, too.

Maple Tea Scones
Ignore the part of this recipe about the Devonshire Cream, though. The one below is much better. I much prefer cream cheese over sour cream.

I nabbed the Mock Clotted Cream recipe from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette a year-plus ago; the clipping states that the recipe is from Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table, Minnesota Public Radio’s national food show.

Mock Clotted Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until thick and smooth. Will keep, refrigerated, about 4 days. Makes about 1-1/5 cups.
Nutrition information: Each tablespoon contains 46 calories (92 percent from fat), 5 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 17 milligrams cholesterol and 13 milligrams sodium.

Clotted cream is also sometimes called Devonshire or Devon cream; it is a thick cream traditionally made by slowly heating cream until it thickens. It is used as a spread for bread or as a dessert topping. According to Wikipedia, Mongolia, India and the Middle East also have versions of clotted cream with different uses.