March 26, 2009

Almond Pâté Crostini and A Memorable Weekend

The Almond Pâté Crostini has nothing to do with the memorable weekend, but I will talk about the latter first. If you like some humour served along with your soup, then you should visit When My Soup Came Alive. This is where Sra, a good friend of mine, blogs. I met her, as I have quite a few good friends, after I started my food blog.

Last week, she was in Goa on a work related trip and had some to time to spare. So she came down and we had what my husband jokingly refers to as a "YWCA" weekend. My husband was away on work so it was just the three of us ladies. Akshaya definitely qualifies for "young".
And considering that the average age of our ruling class of politicians is about 70 years, and that many of the leaders of the "youth wings" of our political parties average 50 years of age, Sra and I are very young!

That aside, we spent an enjoyable time taking it easy and talking about a variety of things, food included. My bookshelf (cookbook section) also has one more book, from her, called Cakes And Slices. So keep an eye on this space for some lovely cakes I shall be baking from it.

Now to the matter of the Crostini.
This month's featured blog at Tried and Tasted is Suganya's Tasty Palettes. Her blog is one of the first few food blogs I discovered and enjoy following regularly. Though I did want to "try and taste" something from her collection of recipes and post about it, I almost didn't make it this time. Life keeps happening (add some bouts of inertia or laziness, call it what you will) and this very nearly didn't happen.

So I decided I would look for something on Suganya's blog which was unusual, yet would take up very little of my time and effort. That's when I found her Almond Pâté.

Pâté is a paste of seasoned finely chopped or ground meat. It can be served in many ways, including as a spread on toasted bread.
Crostini means "little toasts" in Italian and is made with small pieces of toasted bread dressed with an assortment of toppings. So almond pâté crostini makes for a very unusual, tasty and vegetarian appetizer or snack.

Suganya's version of pâté is vegetarian and made from almonds. I followed her recipe except in three instances. The first thing that I did a bit different was to lightly toast the coarse almond meal.
The next thing was that I didn't have fresh herbs (other than coriander and mint, which I couldn't use here), so I used dried parsley and rosemary.
And last, I didn't have any mayonnaise. So I substituted with a mixture of 2 tbsp thick yogurt + 2 tbsp light cream + 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp sugar.

I made my crostini by toasting circles of brown bread, spreading it with the almond pâté and topping this with a slice of green tomato, a thin square of paneer (an Indian soft cheese) and some chopped green bell pepper (capsicum). And they were absolutely delicious.

I have discovered a new spread I really like and am going to make frequently. I used this pâté to make sandwiches for my daughter's snack box for school and she came back asking "What did you put in my sandwiches today? I loved it!" I guess that says it all.

This my submission to this month's Tried and Tasted hosted by Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf.

On another note, BloggerAid is a growing group of international food bloggers determined to make a difference in aid of world famine. The love of food and community that brings them together drives the compassion of its members to reach out to the world to help those less fortunate. Banded by a mission of helping to make a change in a world where starvation affects such a profound number of people, they will raise money and awareness for the hungry in communities both at home and abroad.
Here are some ways in which you could contribute. One of the ways of contributing at BloggerAid is to contribute an original recipe towards the Cookbook project. BloggerAid plans to publish a Cookbook with selected contributed recipes, to be on sale on Amazon by December 2009. The last date for this is the 31st March, 2009.

100% of the profit from the sales of the cookbook will be directed to School Meals, a program that targets children and education through The World Food Programme (WFP), which is the United Nations frontline agency.

My contribution to the Cookbook project are these partially soft, partially crunchy Savoury Cashewnut Masala Cookies. As required by BloggerAid, for recipes submitted to them, I am not posting the recipe but only a picture of them. If they do get chosen for publishing, you may find them in the book. If they don't make it, I promise I shall post the recipe here.


Asha said...

I read that sra was visited you, so wonderful! Great food you served she said but forgot to take photos? Blasphemy!!:D

I will visit you too, that will be about 95yrs collectively or more! HeHe!!One day may be!!

Pate and cookies look yum. Did you say savory cookies? LOVE IT!

sra said...

That's a very generous mention and nice things to say, Aparna, thank you. Even before I came here, I was looking at the pictures. I must send them to you before I forget.

The pate is so creative and the pix look lovely. Next time I come to Goa ... did you taste the sweets?

Cham said...

I came to know yest, Sra was in Goa and visited , had a delectable food.
Pate is good choice and the savory cookie, I want some in parcel!

Rachel said...

Love the pate and the cookies and envy the time you ladies had together!

Madhumathi said...

Pate looks very nice..Love the pics :)
Nice contribution for the blogger aid..Looking forward to the recipe!

Happy cook said...

I think it is always nice to meet a food blogger especially if they are as nice as sra ( well i think she is after meeting her virtually )
I do love that cashew cookie, i am really looking forward to the book comming out with all the variety of recipes.

Usha said...

Sounds like you had a good time over the weekend, must have been nice to meet a fellow blogger. The savory cashew cookie looks really good, will keep an eye out for the recipe when the book comes out !

Superchef said...

Its always nice to meet a blogger in person after always exchanging comments and emails! sounds like you had a great time!

the crostini is so gorgeous with all those toppings. Will wait for the recipe of the savoury cookie in the book!

Curry Leaf said...

Hearty Thanks for the wonderful entry Aparna.It looks too delicious.Also read about the visit from Sra.Wish I were there too.
The masala cookies are very inviting.Looking forward to the book.

A_and_N said...

I was going to ask you! What all did you guys eat :)

Super idea, Aparna!

Aparna said...

Don't blame Sra, Asha. I don't know about my cooking but she was definitely hungry enough not to be bothered with the camera! :)
Do visit, but please don't wait for that long!

Just telling it as it was, Sra. I'll send you the pics, too.
And yes, the sweets were great. I've forgotten the names, though.
I'm only praying I haven't put on any weight because we both know how tough it is to take it off!! :D

Glad to send you some, Cham but unfortunately, it would spoil.

Rachel, plan another trip down.

HC, I think she is like her virtual self. :)

Sweatha, it was fun.

N, that's a true foodie question! I think Sra has a listed it out on her blog so you can read it there. :)

sra said...

You know, I forgot to mention the arisi appam with drumstick leaves we had for breakfast. Was that what it was called?

sra said...

And yes, Asha, I had virtually starved the previous two days of the trip so all wolfing down and no camera. :-(

Srivalli said...

Thats so lovely that you girls met...looking fwd to our next meet...sra is a lively company..and the food you made sounds yummy! Asha said its blasphemy that you guys didnt click atleast to share with us..heheheh...lovely contribution for the cookbook!

Aparna said...

Sra, that was murungai elai adai (adai with drumstick leaves).

We must definitely meet up either if you come down here, or if I come over there.:)

Priya said...

Thats so fabulous that you both have met to meet some blogger friends, but unfortunately missing all these..

Sure CL will be very happy to see ur both T&T dishes..thats an amazing contribution for the cook book Aparna..

Bellini Valli said...

Thank you very much for this delicious recipe to the BloggerAid cookbook and for raising awareness.

Raji said...

What an amazing experience that must have been - narrowly missed meeting Raaga last week because of transport issues! But definitely hope to meet her soon.

The pate spread looks delicious and no wonder your daughter liked it!

Aparna said...

Thanks Priya.

My pleasure, entirely Val.

I shall meet Raaga, too whenever I go over to Delhi.:)

zlamushka said...

fantastic entry :-) love the patee.
thanks for participating T&T in March. I hope I ll see you around this month as well.

Suganya said...

Murunga ilai adai? That does sound like a feast. I think the forgot-to-take-pictures was deliberate. Asha is right, thats blasphemy :).

Thanks for the mention about Almond pate, Aparna.