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Gruyere Thyme Crackers

Tue, 03/04/2008 - 8:30AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Gruyere Thyme Crackers
From Martha Stewart

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup finely grated (2 1/2 ounces) Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

  1. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and thyme in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine.
  2. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese; pulse until combined. With machine running, add the milk; process until dough comes together and is well combined.
  3. Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape dough into a 2-inch-wide log. Wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Slice chilled log into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  5. Transfer slices to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dip a sprig of thyme into egg white, and place in center of a cracker slice; repeat with remaining thyme and crackers.
  6. Bake immediately, rotating sheet once, until crackers are golden brown and firm in the center, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  7. Crackers may be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 20 crackers.


Roast Beef Grissini

Tue, 03/04/2008 - 8:30AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Roast Beef Grissini
From Food and Wine magazine

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound thinly sliced rare roast beef, cut into twenty-four 6-by-1 1/2 -inch strips
Salt and freshly ground pepper
24 arugula leaves, stemmed
8 to 10 grissini (about 1/2 inch thick) or breadsticks, broken into 4-inch lengths
Remoulade Sauce, recipe below

  1. In a small saucepan, cook the garlic in the oil over moderate heat until golden. Using a slotted spoon, discard the garlic slices; let the garlic oil cool completely.
  2. Spread the roast beef strips on a work surface and lightly brush them with the garlic oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover each beef strip with an arugula leaf slightly larger than the strip.
  3. Roll 1 beef strip tightly around 1 end of each breadstick.
  4. Arrange on a platter and serve with the remoulade sauce.

Makes 2 dozen.

Make ahead: the assembled grissini can be refrigerated for up to 1 hour.

Remoulade Sauce
From Food and Wine magazine

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 hard-cooked egg, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced gherkins
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon drained finely chopped capers
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and refrigerate until chilled or for up to 1 day.

Makes enough for 2 dozen grissini.


Prosciutto Pinwheels

Wed, 02/27/2008 - 4:15PM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Prosciutto Pinwheels
Modified from Bon Appetit magazine

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)

  1. Place pastry sheet on work surface. Arrange half of prosciutto on one rectangle, leaving 1/2-inch border along one side. Sprinkle prosciutto with half of basil, then top with half of cheese.
  2. Starting at one side, roll up pastry jelly-roll style, pressing gently to seal long edges. Wrap in plastic.
  3. Repeat with remaining pastry, prosciutto, basil, and cheese to form second log. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
  4. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Cut logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Arrange rounds on prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake 1 sheet at a time until pastries are golden brown, about 16 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer pastries to racks and cool slightly. Serve warm.

Makes about 30 appetizers.


Expert Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Tue, 02/26/2008 - 11:00AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Expert Chicken Lettuce Wraps
From Dallas News

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon light soy sauce (divided use)
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dry sherry (divided use)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (divided use)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into ¼ -inch cubes
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided use)
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped
6 to 8 large leaves Boston leaf or iceberg lettuce

  1. For cooking sauce: blend together hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, water, 1 tablespoon sherry, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  2. For chicken and vegetables: combine chicken, 2 teaspoons sherry, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cornstarch and pepper in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Be sure the rest of the ingredients are chopped and measured.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until fully cooked. Remove chicken from skillet, drain and set aside.
  5. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and add chopped water chestnuts, celery and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  6. Return chicken to skillet. Stir in ginger and garlic. Stir cooking sauce ingredients again, then pour over chicken and vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and chicken and vegetables are evenly coated. Remove from heat. Stir in green onion.
  7. Divide mixture among lettuce leaves and roll each like a burrito.

Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings.


Chocolate and Brie Panini

Tue, 02/26/2008 - 8:30AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Chocolate and Brie Panini
From Giada De Laurentiis

12 slices sourdough bread
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

  1. Preheat the panini grill.
  2. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread slices until they begin to turn golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the panini grill and place 2 ounces of cheese on 1 slice of bread (the bottom half), top the cheese with 1/3 cup chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of basil. Top with another slice of bread. Continue with the remaining sandwiches.
  4. Return the sandwiches to the panini grill until the chocolate begins to melt, about another 2 minutes.
  5. Cut the sandwiches into 2-inch wide rectangles or small triangles and transfer to a serving platter.

Serves 6.


Savory Chocolate Napoleon

Tue, 02/26/2008 - 8:30AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Savory Chocolate Napoleon
From Jacques Torres

Bittersweet chocolate, tempered
For the filling:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper

  1. Use an offset spatula to spread a 1/8-inch-thick layer of tempered chocolate over a sheet of acetate. When the chocolate begins to set but is not yet hard, use a sharp paring knife or rolling cutter to cut 1-inch squares. When the chocolate is set, peel off the acetate and break apart the chocolate squares.
  2. Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the chives, paprika, salt and pepper and turn the mixer on medium speed. Mix just until combined.
  3. Place the cream cheese mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
  4. Pipe a dollop of the cream cheese onto a chocolate square. Top with a square of chocolate. Pipe another dollop of cream cheese and cover with another square of chocolate. Voila!

Makes 40 napoleons.


Firecracker Prawns

Fri, 02/22/2008 - 11:00AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Firecracker Prawns
From Jane Hammond Events

1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1 serrano chile, seeded and finely diced
1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems chopped, plus 1-2 tablespoons chopped for garnish
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs prawns, peeled and deveined (tail on)

  1. Mix the hoisin sauce, orange juice, chile, cilantro, onion, and oil in a large 8x8x2 inch baking dish. Add the prawns and toss to coat.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. If the shrimp are frozen, refrigerate overnight to thaw shrimp.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove shrimp from dish, place on a baking sheet, and discard marinade. Bake for 11 minutes until shrimp is cooked through. Alternately cook the shrimp in a large skillet over medium high heat until pink and plump, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Trasfer to a serving platter and garnish with more cilantro and green onion, if desired.

Serves 8.

Make ahead: Cool the cooked shrimp and cover. Reheat in a 350°F oven for five minutes and serve.


Expert Cheese Straws

Tue, 02/19/2008 - 11:11AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Expert Cheese Straws
From Gourmet magazine

1/4 lb. coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 tsp. salt
Rounded 1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 1/2 tbsp. milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
  2. Pulse cheese, flour, butter, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and pulse until dough forms a ball.
  3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12- by 10-inch rectangle (1/8 inch thick).
  4. Cut dough with a lightly floured pizza wheel or lightly floured sharp knife into 1/3-inch-wide strips. Carefully transfer to 2 ungreased baking sheets, arranging strips 1/4 inch apart. (If strips tear, pinch back together.)
  5. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen.

Make ahead: cheese straws can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.


Beginner Cheese Straws

Tue, 02/19/2008 - 11:00AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Beginner Cheese Straws
From Giada De Laurentiis

1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup grated Gruyére
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 (11-oz.) container refrigerated breadstick dough (recommended: Pillsbury)
Finely ground sea salt, optional

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, chop the Parmesan, Gruyere, and rosemary together until coarsely chopped. Set the cheese mixture aside.
  3. Separate the dough strips. Using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife, cut each dough strip in half lengthwise to form thin strips.
  4. Working with dough strip one at a time, coat each strip with the cheese mixture, pressing very gently.
  5. Twist each cheese-covered dough strip and place onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with the salt, if you wish.
  6. Bake until the breadsticks are golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the warm breadsticks to a basket and serve.

Makes 2 dozen.


Gingery Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Tue, 02/19/2008 - 8:30AM by partysugar 0 Comments -

Gingery Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
From Food and Wine magazine

4 large shallots
4 large garlic cloves
2 stalks of lemongrass, bottom 6 inches only, outer leaves peeled, inner stalk cut into 1-inch pieces
2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise 1 inch thick
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  1. Light a grill.
  2. In a mini food processor, combine the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chiles, ginger, soy sauce, coriander and ground pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and process to a fine paste. Transfer half of the seasoning paste to a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  3. Thread the chicken strips onto skewers. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and let stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining seasoning paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, stirring. Whisk in the peanut butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon each of brown sugar and fish sauce and bring to a simmer. Transfer the sauce to a blender, add the lime juice and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
  6. Grill the chicken skewers over a hot fire until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter or bowl and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with the peanut sauce.

Serves 6.