Posts Tagged ‘hors d’oeuvre’

What better way to kick off a festive holiday celebration than with a lovely cocktail and some fabulous hors d’oeuvres? Whether you’re doing the entertaining or you’ve been assigned an hors d’oeuvres to bring somewhere, I’ve got a few ideas beyond the obvious crudite or cheese platter.

1. First up is classic Stuffed Mushrooms. Inspired by Giada DiLaurentiis’ recipe, this is just nice, big mushroom caps filled with an herbed bread crumb stuffing. It’s a cinch to whip up, and you can get em all stuffed in advance and just pop the pan in the oven for 25 minutes before serving. Sometimes the oldies but goodies are still the best!

2. My next idea is even easier:…

Shrimp in Spiced Phyllo with Tomato Chutney

I’m a sucker for glamorous hors d’oeuvres. Pour me a lovely glass of wine or champagne, pass a silver tray with scrumptious bites, and I’m at my favorite kind of party. (Good company and good music go without saying!) And this shrimp in spiced phyllo with tomato chutney is right at the top of the list of luxurious hors d’oeuvres.

Basically, if you treat phyllo lovingly and bathe every layer in butter like you’re supposed to, you could wrap up shoelaces in it and I would swoon. There’s something about the delicate, shattering crunchiness of phyllo that seems grown-up and decadent. It’s not an ingredient you use in everyday cooking, so it’s elevated, sophisticated even. And…

Every once in a while, I have a stuffed mushroom craving. There’s something so “cocktail culture” about them, and besides being flavorful and a satisfying mix of textures, they’re a snap to make.

While I’ve seen mushrooms stuffed with things like crabmeat and sausage, nothing fancy for me, thankyouverymuch. Just a simple savory breadcrumb stuffing, enhanced with some salty romano cheese, a zippy touch of garlic, and a couple of herbs. It’s the perfect bite every time!

Stuffed Mushrooms Adapted from a recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis


    • 1/2 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 28…

This is one of the very first recipes in the very first book, and a long-time personal favorite.

You see, for at least a decade before ever hearing of the Barefoot Contessa, I got to enjoy this healthy and flavorful spread, thanks to one of my most beloved kitchen heros, Auntie Sondie. I don’t know where she got the recipe, and I think her version was called Eggplant Caviar, but it was one of my top four favorite treats to come out of her kitchen (the other three being kugel, mohn cookies and brownies, of course ““ no offense to her legendary liver and onions!). I still love it best atop Pepperidge Farms Hearty Wheat Crackers, Sondie’s traditional…

Radishes with Butter and Salt

Less a recipe than a blueprint, this is a simple, colorful, do-it-yourself snack to pick at with cocktails.

It’s a bit of a misnomer ““ you’re not putting butter on the radishes, you’re putting it on the baguette toasts. The crunchy, bright radishes are resting comfortably on a bed of sea salt, a few flakes of which stick to the cute, two-bite veggies as you pop ’em in your mouth. Temper the pungency with a yummy buttered baguette slice, and you’ve got a light, satisfying, pretty accompaniment to a nice glass of chardonnay.

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Parmesan & Thyme Crackers

Talk about high reward for no work!

These are simply savory shortbread cookies, and the six ingredients pack a really flavorful punch. My only issue was that the dough was a bit too crumbly to be able to roll into a log—twice. I’m always hesitant to add water to shortbread dough and sacrifice some of the crumbliness, but I had to scoop the bits back into the mixer twice and I ended up adding close to a tablespoon of ice-cold H2O to get the dough to even remotely stick together. Once I managed to get it into a log, though, all I had to do was refrigerate, slice and bake. Doesn’t get much easier

With their rich, cheesy, herbacious…