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Posts Tagged ‘hors d’oeuvres’

Caramelized Bacon

In Food on February 2, 2013 at 9:06 am

maple bacon


I’m torn about sharing this recipe, because it is so incredibly artery clogging. It comes, obviously, from the Barefoot Contessa who has built an empire on heart-stopping food. But, moral quandaries aside, the bacon is ridiculously good. And it’s Super Bowl weekend. And if you make this for dudes, they will swoon at your feet. (It’s a theory I tested recently at an all-boys dinner for my husband’s birthday.)

Caramelized Bacon

From Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

Makes 15 to 20 Hors D’Oeurvres

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup chopped or whole pecans
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 pound thick-sliced applewood-smoked bacon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil (for easy cleaning) and place a wire baking rack on top.

Combine the brown sugar and pecans in a food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and pulse to combine. Add the maple syrup and pulse again to moisten the crumbs.

Cut each bacon slice in half crosswise and line up the pieces on the baking rack without touching. With a small spoon, evenly spread the pecan mixture on top of each piece of bacon, using all of the mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is very browned but not burnt. If it’s underbaked, the bacon won’t crisp as it cools.

While it hot, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside to cool. Serve at room temperature.


Roasted Baby Peppers Stuffed with Tuna

In Food on October 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

A couple of weeks ago we had a dinner party that included a couple of serious Barolo fans and so we worked backwards from there. There was the wine, and glasses big enough to hold a LOT of it.

The main course was Bistecca Fiorentina, which we served with balsamic marinated radicchio, basil and fresh ricotta, and a warm wild mushroom salad with toasted hazelnuts. To start, my friend Laurie brought over a couple of bottles of Casa Coste Piane Valdobbiadene Prosecco. It is totally gorgeous—a light, dry bubbly with pear and white peach flavors.


But back to the food. We needed some nibbles for the bubbly, and I wanted to riff on the baby peppers stuffed with tuna that are served at Pizzeria Mozza. However I did not want to poach ahi in olive oil and make my own aioli. So…here is my highly modified version (think canned tuna and good old Best Mayo, or Hellmann’s depending on your zip code). My advice is to make more than you will need for the peppers so that you have enough left over to spread generously on onion bagels the next day.

Roasted Baby Peppers Stuffed with Tuna

Adapted from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton with Matt Molina and Carolynn Carreño

For the peppers:

  • 48 baby peppers (preferably assorted colors), stems attached
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

For the tuna stuffing:

  • 2 250-gram tins of Ortiz El Velero Bonito Tuna, drained
  • 3/4 cup Garlic Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 heaping tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For assembling the peppers:

  • Finishing-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Maldon sea salt or another flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel

For the Garlic Mayonnaise:

  • 1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

To make Garlic Mayonnaise, combine champagne vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and mayonnaise in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use (can be made a couple days in advance).

To prepare the peppers, adjust the oven racks so one is in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the peppers on a baking sheet, rub them all over with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and spread them out in a single layer. Roast the peppers for about 30 minutes, turning them occasionally, until their skins are wrinkled and slightly charred in places. Remove the peppers from the oven, leaving the oven on at the same temperature, and set aside to cool to room temperature.


Combine the Garlic Mayonnaise, parsley, capers, mustard, anchovy paste, vinegar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add tuna. Use a wire whisk as you would a potato masher to break up any large chunks but you do want the tuna to have texture. Fold the tuna and other ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.

To assemble, slice each pepper almost in half lengthwise, leaving them attached on one side. Carefully scrape out and discard the seeds, and spoon a scant tablespoon of stuffing into each pepper. Arrange the peppers on a platter. Drizzle with finishing-quality olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve.


Lemon-Rosemary White Bean Dip

In Food on April 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I keep a couple of cans of cannelini beans on hand at all times in case of impromptu cocktails with friends or neighbors. This simple no-cook recipe for Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip comes from Lidia Bastianich, and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. The secret is lemon zest.

Any leftover dip is fantastic the next day, thickly spread on good bread with roasted peppers or tuna.

Thanksgiving Hors d’Oeuvres

In Food, Media, Recipes on November 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

On Thursday, I’ll be cooking the lion’s share of the big meal, which means I need to serve an appetizer that is low maintenance but festive enough to be invited to the party. My go-to Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres are Smoked Salmon Chips with Crème Fraîche and Chives. Not only are these chic and easy to prepare, but they are superb with Champagne. You can check out my recipe for these little devils over on Herman Miller’s LIFEWORK blog.

Baked Brie with Apricot Rosemary Chutney

In Food, Recipes on February 24, 2010 at 9:57 am

I made a Baked Brie with Apricot and Rosemary Chutney several weeks ago on a similarly drizzly day when we decided last minute to have our friends Booth and Adam over for cocktails on their way home from work. It’s a riff off an old Bon Appétit recipe, but instead of using phyllo dough, I use puff pastry sheets—from the frozen section and instead of using one huge wheel of brie, I use two smaller ones. The recipe makes way more chutney than you’ll need, but I enjoy spooning it over burata on toast or serving with a grilled pork chop.

Baked Brie

Apricot & Rosemary Chutney, recipe follows

2 small wheels of Brie, chilled

17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets (2 sheets), thawed

1 egg white

Apricot and Rosemary Chutney

From Bon Appétit, January 1996

2 ounces dried apricots, chopped

1 large red onion, chopped

1 cup water

2/3 cup cider vinegar

2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

3 ounces dried tart cherries (3/4 cup)

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted

To make the chutney, combine all ingredients except almonds in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until most liquid has evaporated and chutney is thick, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Mix in almonds. Transfer chutney to bowl. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover, keep chilled.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll thawed pastry sheets and place on baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place a wheel in the center of each sheet of dough. Top generously with chutney.

Fold pastry over itself and pinch at center to close, trimming any excess dough. Garnish with rosemary leaves. Brush pastry with egg white.

Bake cheese until pastry is deep golden brown, covering loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 25 minutes. Keep one for yourself, give one to a neighbor. Enjoy!

PS…most recipes will have you cut off the rind. Go ahead and cut off the rind. Unless, like me, you like the rind in which case leave it on!