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There’s an APPetizer for that!

Posted on: November 29th, 2011

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Thanksgiving is over and it’s officially Holiday Party Season!  Whether you’re hosting a couple of friends for cocktails, or the entire office for a grande affair – turn on the holiday cheer with some GREAT food!  A few great appetizers can leave a lasting impression of good taste!

Homemade Mini Tamale Appetizers from our catering division – Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering.
Note the bamboo serving ‘plates’, choosing fun service pieces adds style – be imaginative!

Choosing Appetizers

One of Tony’s Seafood Croquettes

When serving cocktails and no supper, think ‘heavy appetizers.’  A basic guideline is to have about a pound of appetizers for every 3 people; that 5-6 oz can make all the difference when they get back behind the wheel.  For a dinner party, allow about 4-5 people to a pound in appetizers. Keep it interesting and vary the food choices as much as possible so there is something for everybody.  Here are some thoughts…

  • Mix it up – Offering cold and room temperature foods accompanied by a passed appetizer every 15 minutes or so.
  • Small Foods and Small Plates – Keep things small and manageable, all foods should be edible in 1-2 bites.
  • Classics – Cheese and charcuterie such as pate, mousse, duck confit, salami or lunch meats.  Hot appetizers in puff or fill pastry.  Dips with crackers, breads and veggie sticks.  Shellfish is a must!  And don’t forget something sweet and coffee!
  • Comfort Foods – Things like meatballs, wings, pasta, mac and cheese, chili and even a pot of soup or stew can be very welcome!
  • Salads – Tossed vegetable, pasta and fruit salads offer palate fresheners, and something for those watching their diet.
  • Room Temp Snacks: Nuts, chips, crackers, pretzels, etc.
Tony’s Gyoza, potsticker style

Purchased Appetizers
Of course you can buy appetizers – we have a great selection of excellent oven-ready appetizers at Tony’s.  I suggest choosing those that you are not comfortable making – such as Crab Puffs, Gyoza (AKA dumplings or pot-stickers, our best seller) and cheese or meat stuffed pastries and tartlets.

Bruschetta

Basically a toasted baguette slice brushed with garlic and olive oil and finished with a topping – they’re simple to make, and absolutely phenomenal when topped with good ingredients.

 

Sliders
Easy to make with so many simple fillings.  I suggest starting with our Knott or Brioche Dinner Rolls – they’re  light and chewy and toast beautifully.  Split, toast cut side up under the broiler and top with something tasty – such as one of our fully cooked BBQ meats, a half of a Tony’s Meatball and provolone, sliced tenderloin and horseradish sauce or lingonberries, sliced turkey, ham or even pastrami and Swiss with 1000 Island dressing.

Tony’s Fresh Shrimp Ceviche – from our seafood department.
Recipes
Over 100 Appetizer Recipes at our Website
Surf and Turf Kobe Sliders

Surf and Turf Kobe Sliders
Open face Kobe beef sliders on toasted mascarpone baguette slices, topped with shrimp remoulade, herbs and lemon zest.

1 pound ground Kobe or beef
– for a leaner burger, choose ground sirloin or bison
Tony’s Steak and Roast Seasoning blend* – or salt, pepper and herbs
12 slices sourdough baguette or pretzel roll, ½ inch thick on a bias
8 oz raw wild American shrimp; large, peeled and split horizontally
1 TBS butter
2-3 TBS Tony’s Remoulade Sauce
2-3 TBS mascarpone, crème fraîche or cream cheese
fresh dill or tarragon sprigs
lemon zest strips

Preheat a medium high grill and a medium sauté pan.

Roll beef into a log and cut into 12 equal portions. Carefully shape into tight patties ¼ inch or less in thickness. Season lightly with pinches of your favorite Tony’s seasoning blend. Grill to brown and cook through. Toast baguette slices lightly on grill.

Meanwhile, sauté shrimp with butter until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and toss with remoulade, to taste.

Spread ½ – 1 tsp cream cheese on one side of toast, top with patties and then shrimp halves, garnish with dill or tarragon sprigs and strips of lemon zest. – Chef Mick (Michaelangelo) Rosacci, www.TonysMarket.com — www.TonyRosacciCatering.com

*Also great seasoned with: Chef Mick’s Euro-Crust seasoning, Tony’s Porterhouse Seasoning, Tony’s Cajun Seasoning, Sassy Cilantro or Tony’s Red Baron Seasoning.

Chèvre Stuffed Mushrooms Balsamico

Chèvre Stuffed Mushrooms Balsamico

6-8 large white mushrooms
1-2 tsp minced shallot (optional)
pinch of fine sea salt
1-2 tsp olive oil and/or butter
Tony’s Balsamic Vinaigrette, as needed
3 TBS Chèvre, plain or flavored (prefer Haystack herb or pepper)
Tony’s Italian or Parma Panko breadcrumbs, or your favorite
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (optional)

For service: mixed spring greens – also great with Tony’s Marinara or Vodka Sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wipe mushrooms clean with a wet towel, remove steps and chop. Combine stems with shallots and a pinch of salt, and then sauté with a scant drizzle of olive oil (or butter) until very soft.

Dip or brush mushroom caps with balsamic vinaigrette. Divide sautéed mushrooms between mushroom caps – do not overfill!

Stuff / top each mushroom with chèvre cheese (the amount you use really depends on the size of the mushrooms). Combine 2 TBS breadcrumbs with 1 TBS finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (if using) and sprinkle over each mushroom. Place on a sheet pan or jellyroll pan and drizzle or mist lightly with olive oil.

Roast on top rack of a preheated 425-degree oven for 5-8 minutes or until sizzling and cheese starts to melt. Broil if additional browning is desired. Serve over greens tossed with Balsamic dressing or with warm sauce. Serves 2-4   – Chef Mick Rosacci, www.TonysMarket.com – www.TonyRosacciCatering.com

Pancetta Truffle Bruschetta

Pancetta Truffle Bruschetta

1 Baguette, sliced (day old is ok)
1 large clove garlic, bashed slightly (optional)
4 oz pancetta, sliced thinly
1 jar Urbani Truffle Sauce (any variety, or pesto sauce)
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1 large tomato, fine chop

Slice baguette into about 1/2 inch slices and rub with garlic (optional).  Place on a sheet pan and toast lightly on one side under broiler.  Meanwhile, sauté the pancetta to crisp lightly.

Spread 1/2 tsp (or so) of truffle sauce on baguettes, top with pancetta and a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano.

When ready to serve, heat to sizzling hot under broiler, remove from pan to serving platter and top with chopped tomato.  Serve – also great with marinara sauce, or alongside a plate of sauced pasta.

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