Friday, February 5, 2010

Superbowl Party Hors d'Oeuvres

I'm not sure whether it's even socially acceptable to use the phrase "hors d'oeuvres" when speaking of the holiday when "Americans eat more chips, popcorn, pretzels and snack nuts than on any other day  of the year," according to Penn State researchers in Encyclopedia of American Holidays and National Days.

I'm willing to bet that my Superbowl hors d'oeuvres are fancier than most football game spreads. One year, I toiled over the stove poaching quail eggs to top individual portions of Israeli shakshuka served in porcelain Chinese soup spoons. Never again.

I've also made angel hair pasta with mini meatballs, also individually portioned in those porcelain spoons, with parmesan crisp decorations from The French Laundry Cookbook. This one is easy for anyone to assemble and can be cooked in bulk unlike the poached quail eggs.

One of my favorite standbys has become the curried deviled egg. My sister shared this recipe with me after a successful party debut and I have found it to be successful as well. I follow the Epicurious recipe but I omit the olives, increase the curry, use green onions/chives, splash in some tabasco and mustard, and top it with a mango chutney from Sukhi's.

Last year, I was inspired by the "Hearts of Palm with Purée of Marrow Beans" recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook, which takes forever (3-4 hrs) to make for only a few people. I reconfigured the reccipe to take about an hour for 40 people. I created palm hearts filled and topped with a tuscan-herbed bean & cream cheese spread. These were a hit and I plan to make them again this year with mascarpone instead of vegan cream cheese and boost the flavors a bit (perhaps with some fried bacon). Here's how I made them last year: I took Trader Joe's tuscan white bean spread and mixed it with a vegan cream cheese to thicken it (just keep additing it until the mixture is thick enough to stand on its own like cake frosting). After adding herbs and spices to taste, including white pepper, I piped the filling into the center of the palm hearts as well as on top (just like cupcake frosting). I experimented by sprinkling the "frosting" with bits of crispy fried onion, which tasted fine but not special. I refrigerated them so that the filling remained thick and did not drip out.

This year, I'm planning to make very thin corn muffins (like thick blini) using Ridgecut Girstmills' stone ground cornbread mix (wonderful texture and sweet corn taste), topped with a bit of crème fraîche and salsa. I also hope to find a use for the amazing paneer that Cowgirls Creamery makes...any ideas?

We'll see what else I conjure up this year!

Encyclopedia of American Holidays and National Days

No comments:

Post a Comment


Food and Wine Mavens Design by Insight © 2009