December 2014

Pick Up a Copy!

SlideshowSlideshow Loading
previous next
  • SPM

    Michael C. Hernandez -
  • SPM

    Michael C. Hernandez -
  • SPM

    Michael C. Hernandez -
  • SPM

    Michael C. Hernandez -
  • SPM

    Michael C. Hernandez -

Cocktail Party Collection

Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

Share Share

Before you get the soiree started this season, you’ll want to plan a menu that’s set to impress. We found five local spots serving up appetizers sure to set your party apart. From bite-sized snacks to delicacies designed for elegant evenings, these top chefs share their recipes for a successful celebration.

Block & Grinder’s Goat Cheese Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs (hardboiled, chilled, and peeled)
4 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
Pinch of cracked black pepper
Pinch of kosher salt
Truffle oil to taste
2 ounces of prosciutto torn into small pieces
Chopped chives

Cut eggs in half and separate yolks and whites. Set whites aside, place all yolks in a mixing bowl with remaining ingredients. Whip yolk mixture with a wire whisk until smooth and creamy. Pipe mixture into egg white halves. Place a piece of prosciutto on each egg. Place one drop of truffle oil on each egg. Sprinkle chives over each egg.

Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar’s Chicken Meatball Al Forno

1.5 pounds of ground chicken
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs
4 teaspoons garlic, minced
4 tablespoons shallots, minced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, whole
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
½ teaspoon chili flakes
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
To taste Kosher salt and black pepper
3 cups tomato sauce
4 ounces chicken stock
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Combine all ingredients from Step 1 together and mix well. Adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Form meatballs into 2 ¼ ounce balls. Sear the meatballs in cooking oil over medium high heat until slightly charred on all sides. Place the meatballs into a oven proof baking pan, then add stock and tomato sauce to the meatballs. Cover with foil and cook at 300 degrees until the meatballs reach 160 degrees. Remove from the oven and cool.

Fran’s Filling Station’s Pastrami Spiced Crispy Chicken Wings

1 ¼ cups of white vinegar
3 tablespoons of white sugar
6 teaspoons of Kosher salt
7 ½ pounds of chicken wings, preferably free range
6 tablespoons of coarse ground black pepper
6 teaspoons of flour
4 ½ tablespoons of ground coriander
3 tablespoons of smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons of dry mustard

Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt and add wings in bowl or pan and refrigerate for one hour to brine. Combine remaining ingredients to create a dry rub. Fry or bake wings until cooked through and crispy. (If frying, use canola or your favorite oil at 350 degrees for about six minutes or until they float. If baking, bake at 425 degrees, turning wings at intervals for about 35 to 40 minutes or until they read 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.) Immediately after removing from oil/oven, toss to coat thoroughly with the spice rub. Serve with Russian dressing.

Gallery Restaurant’s Yellow Tail Crudo with Roasted Beets, Cashew Yogurt, and Sage

1 pound sushi grade yellowtail
1 red beet
2 tablespoons of roasted lime yogurt (16 ounces of Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1 roasted lime, mixed)
2 ounces of roasted cashews (1/2 teaspoon of Gochugaru (crushed Korean chili), ½ teaspoon of crushed pink peppercorn, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 roasted lime, 1/2 teaspoon of raw sugar, kosher salt and black pepper to taste, mixed)
Fleur de sel, Masago Rice crackers, and sage for garnish

Roast beets in oven, covered with plastic and foil until tender; allow to cool. Roast limes in oven for 10 minutes; allow to cool then squeeze juice and pulp. Roast cashews in oven on a small cookie sheet then transfer to small frying pan. Place pan on stove with low heat and apply the sugar and half of lime pulp. Once the sugar has dissolved add the other cashew ingredients; set aside. Rough chop the cashews once they have cooled. Prepare the yogurt by adding the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking; add cashews. Check flavor of yogurt and use the remaining salt and honey to balance. Peel beets and slice as thinly as possible. Slice yellowtail as thinly as possible. Fry sage leaves.
For assembly: Swipe yogurt onto plate with a large spoon. Arrange Hamachi over yogurt allowing it to bend and fold for character. Lay the beets over the yellowtail and roll a few slices for character. Garnish with masago, fried sage, fleur de sel.

e2 emeril’s eatery’s Baked Gulf Oysters and Shrimp with Garlic, Lemon Butter, and Crabmeat

1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced parsley, plus more for garnishing
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 pint shucked raw oysters, drained well and patted dry on paper towels
½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ pound crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

In a small bowl combine the butter with the garlic, shallots, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and the Essence. Stir to blend thoroughly, then transfer to the refrigerator while you prepare the oysters. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and set the oven to the broil setting. Position the top oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Divide the oysters and shrimp evenly between 8 individual gratin dishes just large enough to hold the oysters in one layer. Sprinkle the crabmeat evenly over the oysters and shrimp in the ramekins. Using a small spoon, place dabs of the compound butter over the tops of the dishes, dividing the entire amount of butter evenly among the ramekins. Transfer the gratin dishes to a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until the butter is melted and the oysters and shrimp are just beginning to firm up slightly.
While the ramekins are in the oven, in a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese, and the olive oil. Stir until thoroughly combined. Remove the ramekins from the oven and sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the crabmeat, dividing the crumbs evenly among the dishes. Return to the oven and bake until the crumbs are golden brown and the oysters and shrimp are just cooked through and curled around the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove the ramekins from the oven, garnish with the remaining parmesan cheese, and serve immediately, with lemon wedges for guests to use according to taste.

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more