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December 08, 1995 - Image 95

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-12-08

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Party Perfect

Tasteful cocktail fare doesn't dribble, flake, squirt
or get in the way ofa good conversation.



n elegant cocktail party calls for hors d'oeuvres your guests can pick up,

into thin rounds. Don't cut diagonally or the slices will be large and difficult to eat.

pop in their mouths and swallow. Daintily. No sticky chicken wings that

Consider other toppings, such as thinly sliced meats, cheeses, vegetables, pesto and

stain the mouth and fingers. No cherry tomatoes to bite into and squirt

fresh herbs.

juice down the chin. No shrimp with shells on the tail that need to be dis-

Another practical alternative: Endive Leaves with Gorgonzola look pretty when

posed of when no one is looking.
Appropriate cocktaiiWirty hors d'oeuvres should never detract from your guests'

arranged spoke-style on a platter.

Blini Cups with Caviar are a luxurious version of Russian pancakes. Instead

conversation, or their ability to hold a drink or shake a hand. Cocktail fare should

of cooked on a griddle, the batter is baked in miniature muffin cups, then swirled with

be petite, delicate and easy to maneuver— no oozing, dripping or flaking allowed. The

sour cream and caviar.

following selection not only fills the bill, it offers plenty of variety to guarantee suc-

The simplest recipe, Flaky Parmesan Pesto Pinwheels, is made by stirring
packaged pesto with cream cheese and Parmesan, spreading it on frozen puff pastry,

cess at your next party.
Bread rounds spread with a topping, such as Crostini with Goat Cheese and
Red and Yellow Tomatoes, are always a safe bet. The Italian crostini refers to thin-

rolling up, slicing and baking. One recipe makes 100 appetizers, which can be frozen

ahead and reheated, and are as easy to eat as to make.

ly sliced toasts, or "little crusts." Look for the narrowest baguette available and slice


• 3 heads endive
• 6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, at room
• 4 tablespoons regular or low-fat
• Paprika and/or alfalfa sprouts for

• 114 cup pesto sauce (store-bought or
• 1 package (1 pound) frozen puff pastry,
thawed until cold enough to roll, but still
very cold

at 400 degrees for three to five minutes
or until heated through.) Makes 100 pin-

Fresh basil leaves and chopped red and
yellow tomatoes perched atop goat cheese
make an especially colorful appetizer. If
you can't find yellow tomatoes, substitute
half a yellow bell pepper.

To make filling: In a food processor fitted Blini
• No-stick cooking spray
with the metal blade, process cream cheese • 1 pint small-curd cottage cheese,
and Parmesan until blended. Add green
regular or low-fat
Cut off the stem ends of endive. Separate onions and pulse until finely chopped. Add • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
leaves, cut off any brown edges and place pesto and process until thoroughly incor- • 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 long, thin baguette (about 10 to 12
• 1 whole egg
ounces), about 15-by-2 1/2-inches
the leaves on a platter. In a food proces- porated.
• 3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice bread
sor fitted with the metal blade, blend the
To make pinwheels: On a lightly floured • 1/2 cup buttermilk biscuit mix
into Y,inch slices. Place on baking sheets
Gorgonzola and mayonnaise until creamy; board, roll half (1 sheet) of the puff pastry Topping
and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, turning
it will be slightly lumpy.
into a 10-by-16-inch rectangle. Spread half • 1 cup sour cream, regular or low-fat
Using a knife or small spoon, scoop ap- the cheese mixture over pastry, covering • 4 to 6 ounces black, red or golden caviar once, until dry and lightly browned. Makes
60 slices.
proximately 1 teaspoonful of the cheese it completely. Roll lengthwise like a jelly • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, optional
mixture onto the widest end of each leaf. roll, starting at a long side, to make a log To make blini cups: Preheat oven to 350 Topping
Garnish with paprika and/or alfalfa approximately 1 / 1 4 inches in diameter. degrees. In a food processor fitted with • 1 medium red tomato, seeded
sprouts. Cover the filled leaves and Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with the metal blade, or mixing bowl with • 1 medium yellow tomato, seeded
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
refrigerate until chilled. Serve chilled or remaining pastry and cheese mixture. electric mixer, process or mix cottage • • 3 ounces mild goat cheese (about 1/3
at room temperature. (May be refriger- Freeze logs until solid. (Logs may be frozen cheese, sugar, olive oil, whole egg and
whites until blended. Add biscuit mix • Freshly ground black pepper
ated, covered, up to 4 hours.) Makes 30 for several months.)
to 40.
To bake: Remove logs from freezer and pulse or mix until blended. Spray 1Y- • Fresh basil leaves (1 to 2 small ones per
about 15 minutes before baking. Place inch miniature muffin cups with no-stick
oven racks in upper-third of oven and pre- cooking spray. Pour batter into cups, Chop seeded tomatoes by hand into YI-inch
heat to 375 degrees. Slice logs into'.-inch filling full. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes dice. Place a boWl and toss with vinegar.
• 12 ounces cream cheese, at room
rounds. Place on ungreased baking sheets or until tops are golden. Remove from Let sit at least 5 minutes or refrigerate for
the cushioned variety) about oven, go around edges with the tip of a several hours. Before using, drain off ex-
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1Z-inches apart. Bake for 10 to 13 min- sharp knife and remove from pans. (Bli- cess juices.
• 2 green onions with tops, cut into 1-inch
As close to serving as possible, spread
utes or until lightly browned. If baking ni may be refrigerated up to 2 days or
crostini with goat cheese and sprinkle with
Marlene Sorosky is the author of six cook- two sheets in one oven, reverse their po- frozen.)
Before serving: Preheat oven to 350 de- pepper. Place 1 or 2 small basil leaves on
books, including Entertaining on the Run sitions halfway through the baking time.
(William Morrow, 1994), which. was re- Serve warm. (Baked pinwheels may be grees. Place blini cups on baking sheets cheese, allowing the tips to extend over
cently honored with the James Beard stored in an airtight container at room and bake for 10 minutes or until hot. Top the crust. Place a small spoonful of toma-
award for best cookbook in. the entertain- temperature for several days, or frozen. with a dollop of sour cream, caviar, and toes in center. (The toasts may be refrig-
erated up to 1 hour). Makes 48. El
Defrost at room temperature and reheat onion, if using. Makes about 36.
ing category.

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