Author: Machnak, Amy
Date published: December 1, 2011
3 MENUS THAT FEATURE A STAR BOOZE AND READY-IN-A-FLASH APPS TO MATCH BY AMY MACHKAK
Bine-nut salad spears and goat cheese with peppers and almonds
ATTHIS SWANK AFFAIR, PAIRTHE RIGHT SIPS WITH THE APPETIZERS
MENU FOR 8
1. START WITH
Pine-nut salad spears
Crush V3 cup toasted pine nuts into a paste using a mortar and pestle. Blend in V2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp. cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. minced shallot, 1 tsp. honey, V2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1A cup extra-virgin olive oil. Chill crisp romaine lettuce leaves until ready to serve, then put on a platter. Drizzle with dressing and top with 3 tbsp. finely shredded parmesan and 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts.
Pairing Unoaked Chardonnay.
2. SLICE AND SERVE
Goat cheese with peppers and almonds
Slice an 8 oz. log fresh goat cheese into rounds about V2 in. thick, dipping the knife into hot water between slices and wiping it clean. Sprinkle slices with 5 sliced Peppadew peppers* 20 Marcona almonds, and 1 tbsp. oregano leaves. Drizzle with 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and serve with crackers.
*Find in the olive bar at wellstocked grocery stores.
PairingSparkling rosé, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, or Pinot Noir.
3. MARINATE AND GRILL
Steak and "oyster" skewers
Soak about 20 short (2 to 3 in.) wooden skewers or toothpicks in water. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). Mix 12 oz. New York strip steak, cut into about 1-in. chunks; 12 oz. oyster mushrooms; 1 large shallot, thinly sliced; 1M cup reduced-sodium soy sauce; 3 tbsp. vegetable oil; and 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley in a bowl. Onto each skewer, thread a piece of steak, a shallot, and a mushroom. Grill skewers, turning often, until meat is medium rare, about 6 minutes.
PairingSyrah or Merlot.
4. SET OUT
California caviar tasting
Set 1 jar (1 oz.) California caviar* in a bowl of ice on a platter. In smaller, individual dishes, serve minced shallot, crème fraîche topped with chopped chives, shredded lemon zest, and melba toast or toasted baguette slices.
Pairing Blanc de blancs sparkling wine or Sauvignon Blanc.
5. LAST, QUICKLY MAKE
Heat 1 tbsp. each vegetable and toasted sesame oil in a large (not nonstick) frying pan over high heat. Add 1 lb. large dry-packed scallops* and cook, turning once, until starting to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Set each scallop on a spoon and drizzle with 1M tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, then sprinkle with sliced green onion and toasted sesame seeds.
*Wet-packed scallops are preserved with chemicals, ooze liquid, and don't cook well. Dry-packed are available in most supermarkets.
Pairing Brut sparkling wine, Riesling, or Pinot Noir.
Ask each guest to bring a different vaietal, then add a few yourself fo a wide ange of pairings.
THE LATEST CRAZE? PAIRING CRAFT BEER WITH FOOD. TRY OUR SUGGESTED STYLES
MENU FOR 8
1. SET OUT
Cured meats and soft pretzels
Arrange ¼ lb. each thinly sliced hot coppa, mortadella, prosciutto, and soppressata on a platter. Serve with Dijon mustard and soft pretzel rolls. Pairing A full-bodied pilsner, such as New Belgium Brewing's Blue Paddle, or golden ale.
2. THEN MAKE
Street-snack tacos verdes
Put about 2 tbsp. shredded rotisserie chicken into centers of each of 16 warmed mini com tortillas (3 in. diameter). Top each with 1 tbsp. guacamole and 1 tbsp. salsa verde, then 1 tsp. crumbled queso fresco and a cilantro sprig. Wrap tacos in parchment paper and arrange on a platter.
Pairing Lager, especially a Mexican one such as Negra Modelo.
Inside-out spiced brie
Preheat oven to 350° and put in a loaf of bread to warm. Cut a 12-oz. wedge of brie cheese in half horizontally. Put in a gratin dish cut sides up. Mix 1 tsp. each cumin seeds, red chile flakes, chopped fresh rosemary, and cracked pepper in a bowl and sprinkle over cheese. Bake until cheese is just melted, about 5 minutes. Cover cheese and bread with foil to keep warm until serving.
Pairing American pale ale, such as Full Sail or a blond bock such as Gordon Biersch.
4. THEN START
Heat about 6 cups vegetable oil in a wide pot over high heat until it reaches 350° on a deep-fry thermometer. Reduce heat to low. Whisk I1A cups cake flour, 1 cup light or amber beer, Vz tsp. kosher salt, and Vt tsp. each garlic powder and cayenne together in a medium bowl. Working in 2 batches and using tongs, drop 1 lb. precut stir-fry vegetables into batter and then into oil. Fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Mix V2 cup mayonnaise and 3 tbsp. whole-grain mustard and serve on the side.
Pairing Anderson Valley Brewing Company Boont Amber Ale, Kona Brewing Company Longboard Island Lager, or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
5. FINISH WITH
Melt 3 tbsp. butter in a large frying pan (not nonstick) over high heat. Add 1 lb. peeled, tail-on deveined large shrimp; cook on one side until bright pink. Turn shrimp over and add 2 tbsp. minced garlic. Let cook until completely pink, 3 to S minutes. Remove from heat and add juice of 1 lemon and 1Zz tsp. kosher salt. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with pan juices.
Pairing American pale ale, such as Sierra Nevada.
To get variety, buy a few big bottles as well as six-packs which take up more room in the fridge. Pour beer into tasting glasses.
RETRO PUNCH PARTY
THIS PARTY BRINGS BACK THE APPETIZERS OF THE '50S-ONLY BETTER
MENU FOR 10
Mix 8 oz. drained Cerignola or other green olives, 1 cup gin or vodka, and a splash of dry vermouth. Chill at least 30 minutes. Serve with toothpicks.
2. MEANWHILE, MAKE
Molten cheese log
Blend 4 oz. cream cheese; 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded; 4 oz. Monterey jack cheese, freshly shredded; 1 tbsp. flour; V2 tsp. cayenne; and 3U cup heavy cream in a food processor until smooth. Put in a small fondue pot or slow-cooker to let melt. Sprinkle with V2 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1 chopped green onion. Serve with Ritz crackers.
3. WHILE CHEESE LOG MELTS, PUT TOGETHER
Crab salad cucumber stacks
Mix together 8 oz. freshly cooked crab, 2 tbsp. minced red onion, 3 oz. cream cheese, 1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill, 1A tsp. pepper, and Ito 2 tsp. lemon zest. Set about 20 Asian-style rice crackers on a serving plate. Spoon about 1 tbsp. crab salad onto each cracker. Lay a thin slice of English cucumber on each salad and top with a dill sprig.
4. SET OUT
Endive "chips" with blue cheese dip and bacon dust
Chop 2 strips of bacon (2 oz.) and cook in a frying pan (not nonstick) over high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Pulse in a food processor to make fine crumbs; put in serving bowl. In another serving bowl, mix 1A cup Greek yogurt, 1U cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese, Vi tsp. chopped fresh rosemary, and 1U tsp. pepper. Sprinkle with an additional1/? tsp. chopped rosemary. Pile endive leaves in a wide bowl; serve with dip and bacon dust.
5. LAST, ASSEMBLE
Smoked oysters on the half "shell"
Lay about 25 large salted potato chips on a serving plate. Top each with a smoked oyster, cut in half if large, from 2 cans (3 oz. each); about 1A tsp. sour cream; and a sprinkle of chopped chives.
PAIR THE APPS WITH Pear punch sparkler
2 bottles (750 ml. each) sweet Riesling, such as Pacific Rim
2 cans (11.5 oz. each) pear nectar
½ cup triple sec
1 ½ cups pear vodka
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 each slightly underripe red and green pears, sliced thinly
1 bottle (750 ml.) California brut sparkling wine
Mix all ingrethents except sparkling wine in a pitcher. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day ahead. To serve, pour into a large punch bowl and add sparkling wine and icecubes.
If you want to offer more drink optiOnS beSideS punch mix up some Manhattans an martini5 for your guests
MORE FESTIVE FOOD: sunset.com/hoI/dayoarties