My preliminary dissertation orals are quick-approaching and apparently one of the traditions is to serve one's committee members food during the presentation. I think it has to do something with keeping them happy and fed so that they enter a food coma and therefore can't ask too many questions or interrupt.
Given that my orals are in the late afternoon, I've gotten it in my head that I want to serve French-themed appetizers/small bite-type items - rather like small things you'd have at a tea. While I have the sweet side down (palmiers, cannelés, mendiants, perhaps madeleines as well) - I'm rather stymied by the savory side.
My requirements: able to be kept at room temperature for the entire day and can be served at room temperature (ie, no access to stove/oven day of orals), and preferably I can make it a couple of days before, or the day before my orals at the latest. Also - not something overly complicated? I do realize I should actually be spending the bulk of my time writing and preparing my presentation, rather than cooking (as much fun as the latter is).
(There is a fridge somewhere in our building at school, but I'm always leery of using it because it looks like it's never been cleaned out. So, if worse comes to worse, I can store things there for the day.)
I found a recipe for hazelnut and thyme "matchsticks" (rather like crackers, I think), on Chocolate and Zucchini (website down, can't link right now) that I might attempt. I did think about mini-quiches, but for whatever reason they seem too daunting to make from scratch at this point (although I make regular-sized quiches all the time). Salmon rillettes were an idea, but I fear that they might be a bit too fishy (also - one professor is pregnant).
Will gougeres keep overnight and the next day? Is there a tasty savory madeleine recipe? Other ideas? My professors know that I like to cook, so I have a bit of a reputation to maintain here.
Thanks in advance!
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