These recipes were chosen to pair with wines offered at a tasting hosted by one of our clients. By accident they displayed nicely and the flavors all blended well and our client was thrilled when one of her guests (a prestigious local Judge, asked to meet the caterer!
Prosciutto Wrapped Pears
- Bosc Pears
- Mascarpone Cheese (4 T/pear)
- Prosciutto (depends on how many pears)
- Balsamic Glaze (or 2 cups Balsamic Vinegar if you want to reduce it yourself)
Peel the pears and cut into fourths lengthwise. Pit the seeds of the pears by using a small melon baller. Smear about 1 tablespoon of mascarpone cheese on each pear. Wrap each pear/mascarpone piece with a thin slice of prosciutto. Set on a nice serving dish and drizzle balsamic glaze over the appetizers before serving. Balsamic Glace: Pour vinegar into a small non-reactive saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low reduce the vinegar for about 30-40 minutes or until the vinegar has become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You should end up with just more than 1/2 a cup. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour into an airtight container and store at room temperature.
Mini Crab Bites
- 1/2 Cup Corn (use frozen corn and cook briefly in the microwave, drain well)
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
- 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (low-fat works fine)
- 1 Tablespoon Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or more, to taste)
- 4 Teaspoons Fresh Tarragon, Chopped
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 8oz Fresh or Canned Crab
- 2 to 3 Enive Heads, Leaves Separated, ends Trimmed (see TIPS)
Mix all crab mix ingredients except the crab. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the crab. (Stop here if making in advance, as much as 24 hours before serving.) Place a small spoonful of crab in the ‘bowl’ of each endive leaf. Arrange on platter and serve immediately. TIPS: An endive’s inside leaves are much smaller than the outer leaves. If same-size leaves are important, you will need more heads.
Herbed Feta Cheesecake
- 1/4 Cup Butter, Melted
- 8 Sheets (14×9-inch rectangles) Frozen Phyllo Dough, Thawed
- 1/2 6oz Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts
- 3 8oz Packages Cream Cheese, Softened
- 1 1/4 Cups Crumbed Feta Cheese, 5oz
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano, Crushed
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 3 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup Sliced Green Onion
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan with some of the melted butter. For crust, unroll phyllo dough; cover with plastic wrap. Remove one sheet of phyllo and lightly brush with melted butter. Place a second sheet of phyllo on top, placing it at an angle to the first sheet; brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets one at a time, placing each at an angle to the previous sheet to form a circle and brushing each with butter. Using a wide spatula, transfer the phyllo stack to the prepared pan, carefully easing it into the pan and allowing some of the phyllo to hang about 1/2 inch over the edge of the pan. Make two slits in the center of the phyllo stack for steam to escape. Bake in preheated oven about 8 minutes or until phyllo is light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Meanwhile, drain and chop artichokes, reserving 2 tablespoons of the marinade. Set artichokes aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth. Add feta cheese, dried oregano, and garlic powder; beat well. Add eggs; beat just until combined (do not overbeat). Stir in artichoke hearts, the reserved 2 tablespoons marinade, and the green onion. Pour mixture into crust-lined pan. Bake cheesecake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is soft-set and edge stays firm when gently shaken. If necessary, loosely cover the edge with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Remove cheesecake from pan. If desired, let cheesecake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to bring out its fullest flavor. If desired, garnish with fresh oregano. Cut cheesecake into wedges. Makes 14 servings. This savory cheesecake can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Perfect for entertaining, just cut into thin wedges and let guests serve themselves.
Smoked Gouda Cheese Macaroni
- 6 Cups Water
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/8 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil
- 1lb Ditalini or Small Elbow Macaroni
- 2 Tablespoons Plus 1/2 Teaspoon Unsalted Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Bleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 1/2 Cups Milk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground White Pepper
- 1/4 Pound Smoked Gouda Cheese, Grated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. In a small, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the white pepper and continue whisking until the sauce is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. Remove the white sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese melts. Lightly grease a 6 1/2 by 10-inch casserole dish with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon butter. Combine the cheese sauce and macaroni in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Pour into the prepared casserole and bake until lightly golden on top, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Crock Pot Stuffed Mushrooms
- 15 to 20 Large Mushrooms (baby bellas) Cleaned, Remove Stems, Finely Chop Stems
- 1/2 Medium Red Onion, Very Finely Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1/2lb. Sausage Patty
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley
- 4oz. Gruyere Cheese, Shredded
In a skillet, over medium heat, add the oil, onion, garlic and mushroom stems. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until onion begins to soften. Add the sausage and brown. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and cook until lightly browned through. Transfer the sausage to a heavy mixing bowl, add parsley and cheese. Stir to combine. Stuff 1 tablespoon into each mushroom cap. Place into crock pot, cover and cook on High for 2 hours. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.