Dec 9, 201110:58 AMOne More Bite
Recipe: Brie Crostini
Planning the perfect Christmas or New Year party does not have to be stressful.
First, determine what type of party you would like to host. Will it be a more formal set down dinner or a casual cocktail party with drinks and hors de hors? Keep it realistic.The host should enjoy the festivities as much as the guests. And, keep it simple! Serve delicious easy dishes with ony one or two "show pieces". Minimizing your time in the kitchen will maximize your time with guests. Hiring a personal chef or party planner can also alleviate anxieties. Remember, relax and enjoy yourself!
After deciding on the type of party you will host the next obvious item on your planning list is the meal or food items. What will you prepare? How much will you need? To keep your work load under control have one hearty dish that is a belly filler, is easy to prepare and doesn't require much assembly. Party bites, while individually prepared, can be made in advance and finished off in just a few minutes in the oven. Be sure to also include a variety of selections, textures and colors. A successful party will be one where all the senses have played a part. Reviews from guests going away should sound something like: "Not only was the food good but it was pretty too!"
To get you started, I am providing a personal appetizer recipe that has been a real crowd pleaser at parties we have hosted. This go-to app offers several variations, making Brie Crostini a wise selection for any gathering. (They also pair well with wine.) Brie Crostini is more than just cheese on toast! Topped with dates, walnuts and a splash or two of pomegranate balsamic vinegar, these little nibblers set the mood for things to come.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT - Rich in antioxidants, walnuts are the number one nut choice for heart health.
Ingredients: 1 medium baguette - sliced into 1/2 inch rounds, 2 T. EVOO, 1/2 C. walnuts - chopped, 1/2 C. Medjool dates - pitted and chopped, 1 T. honey, 1 T. pomegranate balsamic vinegar, 6 oz. Brie - rind trimmed and softened, 2 T. fresh chives - fine minced.
Directions: (1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place baguette slices on a large baking sheet and dab with EVOO. Bake until bread is brown and crisp. Remove and add a small amount of Brie to each piece of toast. (2) While oven is in use, prepare topping by first roasting walnuts. Place them in a small saute pan and lightly toast until a light golden color. DO NOT OVER ROAST. Gently toss them every few seconds as to not burn them. (3) In a medium mixing bowl combine walnuts and all other ingredients except fresh chives. (4) Spoon a small amount of mixture on each piece of toast and top with a few fresh chives. Best when served warm.
Recipe, Food styling and Photography by David Plowman, personal chef / owner Catering By Grace. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org