Saturday, August 10, 2013

10 Easy Elegant Foods to Serve at your next Party



10 Easy Elegant Foods to Serve at your next Party

When entertaining these are some elegant and delicious ways to serve guests

1. Antipasti artfully arranged on a platter (or even better – an old rustic cutting board): Fresh mozzarella, salami slices, paper-thin slices of prosciutto, marinated artichoke hearts, slices of peasant bread, grissini (thin bread sticks) and dried fruit, like plump Medjool dates.

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2. Salted almonds, honey roasted nuts, glazed nuts or a big bowl of roasted pistachios in their shell.


Spiced Nuts
1 2/3 cups peanuts -- dry-roasted

1/2 cup almonds -- unblanched

1/2 cup walnuts

1 egg white -- slightly beaten

Seasoning:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Place in large bowl and cover nuts with egg white.
Add seasoning to nuts. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
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3. Slices of good smoked salmon on buttered brown bread topped with a dollop of crème fraîche and snipped chives for garnish.

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4. Guacamole and some chopped tomatoes and serve with a colorful mix of tortilla chips.

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5. Alligator Eggs



36 large jalapeno chilies -- roasted and peeled 

18 strips of bacon, cooked but not too crisp(to wrap jalapenos)

2 teaspoons mayonnaise 

2 teaspoons prepared chili sauce 

2 teaspoons minced capers 

2 teaspoons minced green onions 

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley 

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard 

1/2 teaspoon horseradish 

salt & fresh ground pepper 

1/4 teaspoon paprika 

oil 

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour 

3/4 cup beer -- room temp 

2 eggs -- room temp 

3 tablespoons minced green onions 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

1 1/2 tablespoons catsup 

2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce 

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

Using small, sharp knife; cut 1 1/2 inch slit at stem end on side of 

each chili. Scrape out seeds; do not tear stems. Rinse out chilies. 

Drain on towels. Mix next 9 ingredients. Season filling with salt 

and pepper. Spoon about 1 t into each chili (do not over stuff; 

chili should close). Arrange chilies on baking sheet. Refrigerate.

Heat 3/4 inch peanut oil in heavy large skillet to 350 degrees. 

Blend in remaining ingredients in large bowl. Dredge each chili in 

mixture, coating completely. Wrap each in bacon then Add chilies to skillet (in batches; do not crowd) and fry until golden brown, turning once, about five 

minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve. 

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6. Make a delicious bruschetta: Brush thin slices of a baguette with some olive oil and toast under the broiler until lightly browned. Top with slices of jarred roasted red peppers and some Gorgonzola cheese; return to the oven for a minute or two to warm the cheese. Garnish with some minced fresh basil.


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7. Store-bought hummus or homemade, it's so easy, Place in a pretty bowl, drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with chickpeas. Serve with toasted pita triangles.


Ingredients:

1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans

1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas

3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth. 

Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.

Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).
Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate.
Variations

For a spicier hummus, add a sliced red chile or a dash of cayenne pepper.

Storing Hummus

Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.
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8. Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites

They are great as appetizers or as a fun food for kids. I love to make them with bread crumbs seasoned with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!"

Ingredients

9 ounces ground chicken

1/4 cup cooked, diced ham

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

8 ounces Swiss cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

canola oil for pan-frying

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

2.Combine the chicken, ham, and egg in a large bowl until well blended. Gradually add bread crumbs until the mixture loses its stickiness and can be easily formed into balls. 

3.Form the chicken mixture around the cheese cubes, forming 2 inch balls. Place on a plate. 

4.Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry the balls until the outsides are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and place in baking dish. 

5.Bake in preheated oven until cooked through and cheese is soft, about 20 minutes. Cool briefly before serving. 
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9. Warm Brie and Pear Tartlets: Fill purchased mini tart shells with a slice of Brie and finely diced ripe pear. Sprinkle over a little fresh thyme; drizzle with a little honey. Bake on a parchment-line baking sheet at 375 until the cheese is bubbling, about 7 minutes.


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10. Mediterranean Spiced Olives Select a mix of gourmet olives, add some minced garlic, a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs and slivers of citrus zest.





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