Tasty Starters

Have your guests clamoring around the snack table at your party with these tasty starters.

Peruvian Beef Anticuchos

1 pound flatiron or blade steak, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons bottled aji pepper paste

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced onion

1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano

Directions:

  1. Soak 12 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Toss steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.
  2. Mince garlic with a pinch of salt, then combine with remaining ingredients and toss well with beef. Marinate, chill, at least 1 hour.
  3. Thread steak onto skewers, leaving a small space between each piece and transferring to a tray. Discard marinade.
  4. Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Grease grill. Place a sheet of foil on one side of grill. Place skewers on grill so that the beef is directly on the grill and the wooden skewers are on the foil. Grill, 2 to 3 minutes per side or until medium rare.

Warm Spiced Olives

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds

6 strips lemon zest

4 dried bay leaves

1 1/2 pounds mixed unpitted olives (such as Cerignola and Kalamata)

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red chili flakes

Directions:

  1. Toast fennel seeds in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add lemon zest, bay leaves, olives, oil, and Aleppo pepper and cook, stirring, until just warmed through, about 3 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm.