Make This Surprisingly Fancy Party Snack With Bugles
That's right, the same kind that you buy from the gas station on road trips.
Famous, fancy chef Thomas Keller once filled a savory tuile cornet with red onion crème fraiche and topped it with the most perfect sphere of cured salmon, and the world went nuts. Caterers everywhere have been making fancy little cones and filling them with fancy ingredients for fancy parties. Restaurant supply houses sell serving pieces with holes in them specifically designed for the serving of these cones, those one-bite magical combinations of crispy and salty and creamy. They are luxurious and fun all at once.
But of course you and I, we're not Thomas Keller. I love a party snack as much as the next person, but I have a limit. Tiny custom cornets are hard to make, break easily, and more importantly, who has the time to make them when you can pick up a perfectly servicable cornet sold in bulk at the grocery store? Oh yes. I'm talking about Bugles corn chips.
It sounds improbable, but if you take a Bugle and stuff it with cream cheese or goat cheese, what you have on your hands is a party snack that looks very fancy but is in fact very easy and cheap to assemble. Firstly, you are going to want to find a way to hold the cones upright for serving. A grid is good—something like a cooling rack or a flower frog, glass or metal grids that help with flower arranging, work for this.
Stuffing your cones can be as simple as a flavored cream cheese or soft goat cheese, or a cheese spread. You will want to whip in enough milk or cream to make the cheese of your choice soft enough to be able to be piped out with a piping bag. Use a small pastry tip, like you would for writing on a cake, to fill the Bugles with your choice of flavored cheese or cheese spread. If you want to emulate Thomas Keller, fill the cones with crème fraiche or sour cream, chop up smoked salmon finely and make a little ball on top of the cone, and garnish with chives. Want to do sweet ones? Get the caramel Bugles and fill them with almond butter or Nutella or stick a mini marshmallow in the top and dip in melted chocolate.
If you want to avoid cheese, you can also fill them with hummus, olive tapenade, pesto, or sun dried tomato spread. While the Bugles will stay crispy for a while, they are best consumed the day they are made. Bugles just made your day that much easier.