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February 27, 2004 - Image 50

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-02-27

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Arts Life


Appetizer Party

Special to the Jewish News


his weekend, the 76th
annual Academy Awards
will have literally tens of
millions (I've heard esti-
mates of nearly 90 million in this
country and hundreds of millions
more around the world) of viewers
dressing up, coming together and
camping out in front of television sets
well into the night. They'll fill out bal-
lots, place bets, discuss clothes and
jewelry worn by the stars, and eat. And
that's only after watching hours of pre-
shows scrutinizing these very things
and spying the celebs as they walk the
red carpet before the main event.
Foodwise, appetizers make up the
majority of many Oscar parties. They're
easy to eat while balancing a plate on the
lap and are the perfect accompaniment
for the trendy drinks and champagne so
many serve at this type of party. The
recipes below will take less time to pre-
pare than a feature-length flick and offer
just the right amount of movie magic.
They're quick to prepare and "useevery-
day ingredients.
Supplement with raw
or grilled vegetables, an
imported cheese dis-
play, store-bought sushi
and your own favorite
Top off the evening
with some fabulous
desserts — order or
make something star
shaped, or try your hand
at sculpting a life-sized
Oscar made completely
out of rice-cereal marsh-
mallow treats. Fill a bowl
with ridiculously priced
fresh berries — you're
not spending on Harry
Winston after all — and
throw an Oscars party of
which Vanity Fair would
be jealous.
For extra fun, spread
a red carpet on the
floor (remnants are
good), and provide



inexpensive feather boas for the ladies
and snazzy yet cheap bow ties for the
gents (they'll look great even with t-
Arrange bowls (or tubs or boxes if
you can find them) of movie popcorn
and theatre candy — Milk Duds and
Snow Caps, anyone? — around the
TV room, and dim the lights for even
more effect.
And the winner is ... you, for your
magnificent performance as a party

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onions (such
as Vidalia)
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
2 packages phyllo cups (about 15
per package)
Preheat oven to 3500F.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet
over medium-high heat. Add the
onions and bell pepper and saute for 5
minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Cool for 5 minutes. Add the mayon-
naise and almonds and stir well.
Divide the mixture among the phyl-
lo cups and sprinkle with the black
pepper and Parmesan cheese. Arrange
the cups on a baking sheet and bake
for 15 minutes or until the filling is
very hot. Makes 30 appetizers.

2 pints grape tomatoes
24 smal-sized fresh mozzarella balls
(about the size of cherry tomatoes)
1/4 cup chopped red or Bermuda
onions (optional)
1/4 cup prepared pesto
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
Fresh basil leaves, garnish (optional)
Just before serving (or up to 4 hours
ahead), combine all ingredients except
basil, and toss well. Arrange in a serving
dish, and serve at room temperature.
Serve with toothpicks or small plates
and forks. Makes 12 appetizer servings.

2 cups frozen pitted sour cherries,
1 cup chopped onions
1 tsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 pounds boneless, skinless
turkey breast, cut diagonally
into 1/2-inch strips or chunks
24-36 6 to 8 inch bamboo
skewers, soaked in water for 1
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika to taste
Fresh chopped parsley, garnish
Combine all sauce ingredients
in a medium saucepan and bring
to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat and cook for 15
minutes. Remove from heat and
cool. Transfer the mixture to a
blender or bowl of a food proces-
sor and process until smooth.
Chill until ready to use.

Meanwhile, prepare the kebabs:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Thread the
turkey strips onto skewers using a
sewing method. Spray a baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray and place
the kebabs onto the sheet. Sprinkle
with salt, pepper and paprika. Bake
until the turkey is just cooked
through, about 10 minutes.
Arrange on platter or stick them
into a small cabbage head that's been
cut flat to sit squarely on the platter.
Sprinkle parsley over all and serve with
the cherry sauce in a bowl on the side.
Makes about 24 kebabs.

1 French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch
Olive oil to brush on bread
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions, any variety
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup oil-packed sundied toma-
toes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 3500E Brush the
bread slices with pesto or olive oil,
place on a cookie sheet and toast until
very lightly toasted, about 6-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large
skillet over high heat. Add onions,
reduce heat and cook, stirring fre-
quendy for 5 minutes until the onions
are translucent. Add the mushrooms
and continue cooking, stirring occa-
sionally for 10 minutes more,until the
onions are golden and most of the liq-
uid from the mushrooms is evaporat-
ed. Stir in the sundried tomatoes and
parsley. Let cool slightly and place a
small amount of this mixture on each
of the toasts.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, crum-
bled goat cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Just before serving, bake the crostini
until very hot, about 15 minutes.
Makes about 36 crostini.


The trick to this recipe is to cook the
lamb a bit first, and then finish the
cooking just before serving.
2 8-rib racks of lamb (about 3

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