Friday, June 8, 2012

Let's Party

Thought I would share some great party finger foods, amuse-bouche (one bite appetizer), appetizers, antipasto, tapas, smorgasbord, or hors d’oeuvre for your next party.  No matter what you call it, I’m sharing bite-sized morsels of love for your guests and keeping it simple and fresh.


Bruschetta is a crusty bread that has been grilled or toasted and rubbed with garlic and topped with a tomato topping.  For looks and taste, it is a great time to use your different colored heirloom tomatoes.

2 cups chopped assorted heirloom tomatoes
1/2 small chopped red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for drizzling on the bread
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled, halved

Preheat your broiler.  Slice your bread and place on a large cookie sheet.  Drizzle the pieces of bread with olive oil.  Toast the bread under the broiler until golden brown.  Leave the door open and do not leave it.  It browns almost immediately.  When you take it out immediately take a piece of garlic and rub it on each piece of the crusty bread. 

Chop your tomatoes and salt slightly and let drain on paper towel.  Chop your onion into fine pieces and put in a mess strainer to run cold water over and rinse well.  This takes the bite out of the onion. 

Combine your tomatoes, finely chopped onion, 3 tablespoons olive oil, chopped fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar.   Season the tomato mixture with salt and pepper.  

Set the bowl out along side the toasted bread and let your guests spoon on their own topping. 

Shrimp and Bacon Brochettes Tapas

Thinly sliced bacon
Peeled and deveined shrimp  
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lemons

Roast bacon in the oven until very lightly browned.  Do not let it get crispy because you will finish cooking it on the shrimp.  Cut the pieces in half to wrap around the shrimp. Place the wrapped shrimp down flat on a board and skewer them through the fattest part and the tail. Season generously and drizzle with the oil.

On a high heat griddle or the grill, grill shrimp and bacon brochettes for 2-3 minutes on each side. Or you can roast them in a hot oven (425ºF) on an oiled baking tray for 8-10 minutes or until the shrimp is pink.  Do not over cook the shrimp or they will be tough.  Squeeze over the juice of the lemon wedges and serve warm. 

 Sliced Apples with Brie and Honey

This is a delightful blend of creamy, citrus, salty crunch and sweet flavors. 

Granny Smith apple
Brie cheese
Salted Pistachios

Slice your apple and coat with lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.  Top with Brie cheese and drizzle with a little honey.  Top with crushed pistachios. 

Now for the something sweet.  This pleases everyone.

Chocolate Covered Stuffed Strawberries

8 oz. whipped creamed cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbs strawberry jelly
Pecans (optional)
Fresh Strawberries
12 oz. simi-sweet chocolate chips

Clean strawberries and let dry well.  Slice strawberries (keeping stem on to hold) into quarters but do not cut all the way through.  You will want to open it up just enough to stuff them.  Mix the creamed cheese, powdered sugar, strawberry jelly and vanilla well with hand mixer.  Pour into a small baggy and seal.  Cut a small hole in the corner of your baggie so you can pipe the cheese mixture into the strawberries.  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (30 seconds and stir and then another 30 seconds).  Put the melted chocolate in a cup for dipping.  While chocolate is still creamy, dip your stuffed strawberries into the chocolate and then roll in chopped pecans. 

Finish off your buffet with different olives, a veggie tray and dip, cheeses and crackers.  Have a non-alcoholic punch and your favorite wine available to wash it down. You can now walk away and let your guests help themselves and you visit and enjoy their company. 

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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