So. I’ve heard there’s some big to-do going on a few hours South of here this weekend.
Don’t really know much about it – we don’t follow teh golf – but it seems to me that a big to-do is as good a time as any to haul out a bunch of tasty little bites and have some friends over; so here’s a sampling of what I would be offering a crowd on the big day, ermmm, if I did follow teh golf, and if teh puppeh wasn’t quite so busy napping in front of the big TeeVee down in the family room.
PINEAPPLE BARBECUE MEATBALLS
Wicked simple, and a change from the expected jelly-and-horseradish option; pineapple slices combined with barbecue sauce and a bit of ginger, poured over tasty buttermilk meatballs and simmered on top of the stove to heat through and reduce the sauce just a bit, then kept warm in a crock pot. Since the original recipe is from the nice folk at Kraft, I would be remiss if I didn’t note that you could, of course, use their barbecue sauce and a bag of frozen meatballs.
HAWAIIAN VEGGIE ‘ZA
Pineapple (again), mango, water chestnuts, sweet onion, macadamia nuts, a bit of teriyaki, and a KILLER Hoisin Sauce make for one, might-y-fine vegetarian offering. Store bought pizza crust makes this a cinch to put together and bake – or, if you want a real treat – pop it all on the grill for a bit of smoked sweetness.
This one recipe from my Aunt Buzz is the reason I keep my old electric frying pan. Good hot dogs (go for all beef – the corn and turkey dogs will plump up something awful) simmered in a sauce of bourbon, brown sugar, and ketchup until they are glazed, gorgeous, and simply great. The electric skillet is also helpful in keeping them warm for the short amount of time they will sit out before being totally snarfed up. If you’d like to spice it up a bit, try making them with Spicy Ketchup!
My hommage to the carrots offered when you sat at your table in the old Brasserie Jo in Chicago. Simply toss the carrots in the dressing the night before and pop in the fridge. Toss with the fresh parsley just before serving, and enjoy the surprised expression on your guests’ faces when they bite into a new kind of carrot.
You could use bottled dressing, but trust me, make your own and savor the difference – all you need is a blender and mebbe 5 minutes.
WICKED GOOD CLAM DIP
What’s a party without a dip? Seek out really good dehydrated onions – I use these from The Spice House in Milwaukee – and make it a day ahead for the best flavor.
I have also become addicted to dehydrated garlic and shallots from The Spice House – which I use to make the companion munchie: WICKED GOOD ONION DIP, among other things.
Every gathering needs a showstopper – and this not-so-little beauty is it!
Most certainly not dessert – this is a spicy cheesecake topped with a sour cream glaze just as it comes out of the oven, then with the contessa’s incredible guacamole just before serving.
Surrounded by chips as a dip, or offered in individual slices – folk will love it either way.
Want more? Check out Appetizers in the Table o’ Contents, or drop me a line, I’ll see what I can come up with for you.
Oh. And happy big to-do.