Here are two simple and impressive appetizers you can do in a snap! Having guests? Try these!!!
Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Focaccia Toasts & Spitfire Shrimp
Grilled Be ef Tenderloin on Focaccia Toasts
Cook Time 1 hr 10 min
Enough for a crowd! 30 plus servings
2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads garlic
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon, juiced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups good quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons hot chili paste
1 whole beef tenderloin*, about 6 to 8 pounds
2 loaves focaccia bread , sliced and toasted
Baby arugula, for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the tomatoes into a roasting pan, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes have collapsed, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it in foil, and bake it until soft, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft garlic onto a cutting board. Strip the needles from the rosemary, add them to the garlic, and chop them together. Pour 1 cup olive oil into a small bowl; add the garlic and rosemary mixture and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside until ready to grill.
Char the outside of the pepper under the broiler or over a gas flame. Put it into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and chop and put it into a blender. Add the mayonnaise and chili paste; process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be made the day before.)
Heat the grill. Remove the meat from the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before you are going to grill it. Brush it with some of the flavored olive oil and season it generously with salt and pepper. Grill the tenderloin, turning frequently, until the meat is rare or medium rare, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes, brushing it with the flavored olive oil. Cut the beef into thin slices.
To serve, put some of the flavored mayonnaise onto a piece of focaccia toast. Top it with a thin slice of the beef and spoon on some of the roasted tomatoes. Garnish with some arugula leaves and serve.
*Cook’s note: Have your butcher clean the fat and silver skin from the tenderloin and tie it.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Serves: 6 to 8 servings for snacking
1 lime, juiced
2 ounces (1/4 cup) hot cayenne pepper sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon crab boil seasoning
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 pounds jumbo shrimp peeled and de-veined*
12 to 15 blades fresh chives, chopped, for garnish
*Ask for easy-peel raw deveined shrimp at seafood counter of market
Preheat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
Combine lime juice, hot sauce, cumin, red pepper flakes and seafood seasoning blend.
Quickly saute garlic and shallots in oil and butter for 1 minute, add shrimp and cook 3 minutes, tossing and turning frequently. Dump pink, firm, cooked shrimp from hot pan into hot seasoning blend and toss in seasoning mixture to coat shrimp evenly. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve warm or chilled.
I have been a fan of celebrity chef LuLu Powers ever since I read her book Food to Flowers. So when she sent me these easy appetizer recipes for the holiday season, I knew they’d be great — and they are! Below she shares her recipes for Apple Cheddar Rye Puffs and Parmesan Pea Dip, both recipes would make perfect holiday appetizers.
Before we get to the recipes, I wanted to share this simple tip from LuLu:
Cocktail Ornaments: Store cranberries in the freezer and use them to adorn cocktails. These frozen delights will give any gathering the holiday spirit.
And now for the recipes!
Apple Cheddar Rye Puffs
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 30 appetizers
1/2 Granny Smith apple (cored, peeled and finely chopped)
1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Double Cheddar shredded cheese
3 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 loaf of mini rye bread
Fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Cut rounds out of rye bread using a 1- 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.
3. Combine remaining ingredients. Spread on toast and bake for 10 minutes more. Serve warm.
Bake only one side of bread and then apply mixture on other side.
Parmesan Pea Dip
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: 2 cups
2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed, divided
1 cup frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed
1 cup mint
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Parmesan Shredded Cheese, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 teaspoon maple syrup or a dash of hot sauce
1. Put 2- 1/2 cup peas and all other ingredients except oil and ½ cup cheese in food processor and process until consistency is mostly smooth.
2. Add oil and then remaining 1/2 cup peas. Process until mixture is slightly chunky. (If you prefer the dip smoother, process longer.)
3. Spread on rice crackers and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
This pea dip can be served over pasta or on top of cooked fish or chicken. Sprinkle with additional cheese.
If you are throwing a sports themed party (like I did recently – here), you may be wondering how to incorporate all those salty, sporty snacks into your event. I decided to do a play on the oh-so popular sweet dessert tables. We swapped out most of the sweet goodies for sporty favorites like sunflower seeds and Cracker Jacks.
These “Halftime Snacks” were a huge hit. I often found guests scooping up their favorites into individual bags and even huddling (get it) around the table grabbing handfuls of these salty treats.
The “Halftime Snacks” sign was adapted from a free printable from Hostess with the Mostess. See the DIY originals here.
Classic sport favorites like Big League Chew and Slim Jims fit into this sports theme perfectly.
This savory (and a little sweet) dessert table included: Sunflower seeds, peanuts, pretzels, Corn Nuts, Slim Jims, Cracker Jacks, Big League Chew, Hot Tamales and Boston Baked Beans.
Overall, we think we hit a home run with this table. What do you think? Did we leave something out?
I love any excuse to gather some close friends and host a little shin-dig. Hence my current excitement for this year’s Superbowl. Since the results of playoffs are in, I am now able to brainstorm some Superbowl party ideas. Here is what I have so far:
Festive plates and cups to represent both teams. Set out equal amounts of Colts party supplies and Saints party supplies and let your guests choose who to root for. Use chalkboards throughout the party space. Use them to label your food table, identify drinks, point guests toward the restroom…get creative! This centerpiece from InStyle Parties will be a perfect addition, I plan to replicate this in some fashion for my party.
I have not yet finalized my Superbowl menu, but I know that these jalapeno-bacon thingies are making the cut! In fact, I can tell you several or PW’s recipes will be selected. A variety of beers will be supplies and perhaps even a beergarita or two for the ladies. Team colored Jones Soda will be a hit with the younger attendees as will these fun referee cupcakes. We will just have to make sure they play with those whistles outside :).
Did you know that today is National Sandwich Day? In the spirit of the beloved sandwich, I thought it would be a perfect time to suggest serving sandwiches at your next party. Sandwiches are the perfect party food: Easy to make, inexpensive, easy to serve and eat, and kids LOVE them!
What about serving sandwiches to compliment your party theme? Here are two adorable animal themed sandwiches: