I think the easiest thing for me to make (and eat) is any kind of dip or spread. Homemade nibbles are such a unique thing to serve at a party, and you can tailor them to the season or meal so easily. People always remember a good homemade appetizer — it’s like a magic trick.
When I’ve been invited to a last minute barbecue or I invited people over to my house, the first thing I do (besides deciding what to wear) is make a little snack for everyone to dig into right away.
A snack and a cold drink will get any party started and take stress off the host. It’s a delicious way to buy a little time!
So here’s something even easier then an actual dip. A flavored butter. This can be made days or even weeks ahead. You could even store blocks of the stuff, already flavored up different ways, in your freezer — ready!
All you need is some good butter. rBST free, please! And a small orange. We need the zest and the juice. Then we add some coriander, which is a really fabulously bright and citrusy-scented spice. Lastly, drizzle in some honey to lightly sweeten. It’s HEAVEN on crackers, bread or corn bread. Corn muffins would take it over the top.
I think it’s the orange + coriander combo, it makes it addictive.
But wait! There’s more! Here’s some other ideas for what to do with this delightful butter:
- Rub it on chicken, in between the skin and the meat and roast in the oven.
- Melt it and mix it up with freshly popped popcorn (OMG. From experience I can tell you that this is dangerous.)
- Swirl a dab into a tomato or asparagus soup as a little garnish
- Melt a teaspoon or so over cooked shrimp, cod or halibut. Seafood + orange = yum.
So there you have it! This butter is good and for more then just smearing on bread.
Although I’m perfectly happy with eating it just like that.
- 2 cups butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seed
- 2 tablespoons honey (local, raw and an herbal variety if possible, such as clover)
- 1/2 teaspoon zest of orange (you can also use lemon, Janet says, or 1 teaspoon herb like lemon balm, lemon verbena or lemon geranium)
- 2 teaspoons juice of orange or lemon
- Grind the coriander in a spice grinder or old coffee grinder specifically for spices. You can also use a mortar and pestle. Grind until fine.
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer. Blend in the ground coriander seed, zest and slowly add the honey and citrus juice.
- Let the flavors meld in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Serve soft or at room temperature.
- Makes 2 cups.
- You can make this up to a week ahead of time, or 3 months ahead of time and freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight and serve at room temperature.
- > Rub it on chicken, in between the skin and the meat and roast in the oven.
- > Melt it and mix it up with freshly popped popcorn (OMG. From experience I can tell you that this is dangerous.)
- > Swirl a dab into a tomato or asparagus soup as a little garnish
- > Melt a teaspoon or so over cooked shrimp, cod or halibut. Seafood + orange = yum.