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Holiday Party Hors d’oeuvres II

 


Mark R. Vogel - Epicure1@optonline.net - Archive of other articles by Mark Vogel

The holidays are here again and that means cocktail parties and formal dinners.  Either way that means appetizers.  Welcome to the second edition of Holiday Party Hors d’oeuvres.  I wish to thank my fellow chefs Lynne, Jude and Sheilah for contributing recipes. Happy Holidays everyone!
 

BRAUNSCHEIGER DIP RECIPE

One of the most famous liverwursts, Braunschweiger is a smoked liver sausage enriched with eggs and milk.  You can find it in the packaged meat section of your supermarket. This recipe comes from Jude Sutton, a Texas chef whose website is www.theculinarycompanion.com

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 -8 oz. tube Braunschweiger
    • 3 oz. softened cream cheese
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons dill pickle relish
    • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
     

DIRECTIONS

    Combine all of the ingredients, pat into a bowl lined with plastic wrap, then fold over the excess wrap to cover and chill.

    Invert onto a serving plate and turn out.
    Remove the plastic wrap.
    Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

    Serve with crackers, bread and/or vegetable sticks.
     

GARLIC DIP RECIPE

This recipe comes from Sheilah Kaufman’s book: “Simply Irresistible:  Easy, Elegant, Fearless, Fussless Cooking.”

INGREDIENTS

    • 4 large garlic cloves peeled
    • Bunch of fresh parsley
    • 6 oz. can smoked almonds
    • 2 scant cups mayonnaise
     

DIRECTIONS

    Put garlic, parsley, and almonds in a food processor, and process until the nuts have reduced to tiny pieces but can still be seen. Do not completely puree.

    Place the mixture in a bowl and fold in mayonnaise.

    Stir before serving.

    Serve with crackers, bread and/or vegetable sticks.
     

SPINACH & FONTINA CHEESE TARTLETS RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

    • 6 oz. baby spinach
    • Olive oil as needed
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 oz. heavy cream
    • 4 oz. shredded Fontina cheese
    • Salt and pepper to taste
     

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°.
Begin sautéing the spinach in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the shallot. When almost done add the garlic.  Remove from heat and set aside.

With a 2 ½ inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out 24 discs from the pie crusts.  Lightly grease a 24 cup mini-muffin pan. Line each muffin cup with one of the pieces of dough. Evenly distribute the spinach into the dough-lined muffin cups, tamping it down as you do so.

Mix the eggs and cream with some salt and pepper and beat. Pour about a teaspoon of the egg mixture into each cup.  Do not overfill. You will probably have some egg mixture left over.  Top each one with a little cheese and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.
 

CARAMEL, DATE, & PECAN TOPPED BRIE RECIPE

This recipe comes from Lynne Kaplan, a chef who owns the Victoria House Bed & Breakfast in Spring Lake, NJ. For a gourmet B&B check them out at www.victoriahouse.net.

INGREDIENTS

    • One handful pecans
    • Half cup dates, chopped
    • One wedge of Brie cheese
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
     

DIRECTIONS

    Toast the pecans on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for eight to ten minutes.  Sprinkle the pecans and dates on top of the brie.

    Cook sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently.  As the sugar heats it will melt and start to turn a caramel color.  When the sugar has completely melted and attained a rich caramel color immediately remove it from the stove and stir in the butter. Once the butter is completely incorporated pour it over the pecan and date topped brie. It will harden quickly.

    Serve with assorted crackers or toasted French bread.
     

CLAMS IN PANCETTA BROTH RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

    • 6 oz pancetta, cut into a small dice
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • One batch of scallions, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 24 littleneck clams
    • One cup white wine
    • One cup vegetable broth
    • Fresh parsley, chopped
    • Salt and pepper to taste
     

DIRECTIONS

    - Sauté the pancetta and scallions in a large pot in the olive oil until the pancetta is browned and the scallions are soft. 
    - Add the garlic and sauté one minute more. 
    - Add the wine and bring to a boil as you scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
    - Reduce the wine by about half.
    - Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer.
    - Reduce the broth by about a third.
    - Taste and season with salt and pepper.
    - Add the clams.
    - Cover and cook on medium heat until the clams open. 

    Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.
     

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