Christmas Celebration & Hors D’oeuvres

DSCF0037 (2)I just recently went to a fantastic Christmas party put together by my wife Richelle’s long time friend Hania.

Hania also happens to be the ridiculously talented artist that created my website logo. She was kind enough to do it as an exchange. So this year she had me assist in the hors d’oeuvres. I was honored and thrilled to help out. I do love a good party!  I immediately began scheming on what to make. I tried to keep things festive using lots of holiday colors like red, white and green. Not all in the same dish of course. I mean I am Italian but but we don’t need to go nuts.

The first appetizer that came to mind was a variation of an hors d’oeuvre I have done before with sliced zucchini rounds and goat cheese. This time however after spying the cover of a food magazine in the grocery store I went with another format. First I sliced the zucchini then grilled it. You may need to play with the slices to see which thickness suits you. I used a mandolin but you can do this by hand as well. It should be thick enough to not roll yet. Once grilled it will roll well. To thin and the grill will eat your zucchini.

Once grilled and cooled pipe a little goat cheese whipped with a bit of cream on one end and a small drop on the other. It will act as glue to hold this together, so you don’t need a toothpick. Only pipe a little bit, because once you have rolled it up, you will fill and top it with more whipped cream cheese. Garnished with a red pepper sliver.

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Hor d’oeuvre number two was something I wanted to try from pinterest. Caprese pods. I have done the skewers before and gave this a shot. It was definitely challenging and I don’t think I will do this again. In pod form i mean. Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice fresh and delicious hors d’oeuvre it was too time consuming however when trying to find the right size basil leaf. Too big and it taste too much of basil. Too small and not enough. I had to buy like 6 large bags of basil to make 200 pods. I think ill stick to skewers. If you want to try it though, this is what you do.

Take the pearl size mozzarella balls and grape tomatoes. wrap one of each with a basil leaf and skewer it. Kind of like the mozz and tomato in a little hammock.

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App number three was my favorite. Pear slice with Nuefchatel cream cheese whipped with honey with pistachio and cranberry. The cream cheese with honey tasted like cheese cake making this slightly dessert like. It was also very colorful.Evidently the Italian in me is screaming out because all my hors d’oeuvres are red white and green!This version below is an hors d’oeuvre I did for another event with no pistachios which is replaced by mint.

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Number four is pulled pork sliders. Easily the best I have made to date. I used pork shoulder. Two with the bone and two without. About 25 lbs all together. I slow cooked as you normally would with a nice rub. I like to add about one inch of pineapple juice to the bottom of the pan before I cover it and put it in the oven. It really adds nice flavor and keeps the bottom from burning to the pan.

I topped this slider with a slaw. Since I had already used pineapple I thought I would make a pineapple gastrique and whip it into the mayo (when cooled of course). I then added lemon, zest and salt and pepper and mixed it with shredded purple & green cabbage, carrots and cilantro. Yeah it was wicked tasty!

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If you live in the area and want any of these made for you just contact me at:


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