Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Inspired Appetizer That is All Heart

I like to be known among my friends as a cooking diva who serves up interesting tasty treats when I have people over.  But as mom with 2 full-time jobs (the one I get paid for and my non-paid non-stop mom duties) I have to admit, that lately I have been as short on cooking inspiration.  To put it bluntly I have been in a cooking rut.
This past month I flipped through Saveur Magazine determined to try something new to break out of my ordinary food funk.   I was delighted to find some recipe inspiration that made my taste buds tingle with anticipation - Heart of Palm Fries.!
The heart of palms are dredged in a simple panko breading, deep fried then served with a side of Chipotle Mayo. What a truly unique appetizer to serve up at my next event!  And after cooking up this tasty treat this past weekend I am happy to say the recipe did not disappoint. 
I made the recipe almost exactly as it was written but with some minor tweaks.  The biggest changes I made were simplifying the egg mixture and swapping in a lemon for fresh lime juice (after all the limes in the fridge mysteriously made their way into the blender for pre-party margaritas).  One other tweak I made was to add a little garlic to the the chipotle mayo.  I recommend using pre-minced garlic rather than chopping your own so you aren't overwhelmed with raw garlic flavor.
I found this recipe very easy to make.   However to make it truly hostess friendly I would definitely make it all a day ahead of time.  The panko coating is perfect for this.  If you make the palm fires ahead of time, cool them completely and then store in a single layer in a sealed container in the fridge over night.  Take them out 30 minutes before you want to reheat them so that they come to room temperature.   Bake in a 400° over for 7-8 minutes or until you hear them start to sizzle a little.  Serve the palm fries hot with chipotle mayo on the side. Voila gourmet success! 

Heart of Palm Fries with Chipotle Mayo

Chipotle Mayo
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Palm Fries
  • Canola oil
  • 3 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 28-oz. cans of heart of palm, cut in quarters length-wise
  • salt to taste

Place all the ingredients for chipotle mayo in a mini food processor and blend until well blended.   Put chipotle mayo in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Pour canola oil into a large pot until 2 inches deep.  Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 375°.
While oil is heating place flour, eggs, and panko into three separate dishes.  Cut palm of fries into quarters length-wise.  Then work in batches to dip palm quarters into the flour.  Shake off excess flour and dip into beaten egg mixture.  Finally place palm quarters into panko crumbs and shake to evenly coat.
Fry for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes until the desired golden brown.  Place palm fries on paper towel to drain.  Serve warm with chipotle mayo.

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