Are you trying to get a head start on holiday entertaining? I know that the calendar has not even turned to December yet but for those of us that love to have people over or always bring something when invited to a party, these recipes are for you! Everything in today’s post can be made ahead of time and either kept refrigerated or frozen until ready to use. They are easy, my original recipes and delicious! I will be at Yale Appliance and Lighting, 296 Freeport Street in Dorchester cooking from 11-3 and if you are in the neighborhood, please stop by, have a snack and visit the amazing showroom. Hope to see you!
Creamy Mushroom Marsala Bites
4 oz bacon, diced
¼ cup minced shallots
6 oz sliced crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
6 oz sliced button mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ cup Marsala wine
30 mini phyllo shells
4 oz sour cream or 3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped, plus more for garnish, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chopped bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.
With a slotted spoon, remove meat from skillet, allowing drippings to remain in pan and set bacon aside.
Add shallots and stir to combine. Cook until shallots are translucent about 5 minutes. Add all mushrooms to the pan, stir, and allow mixture to cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes or until mixture is nearly dry, stirring occasionally.
Add Marsala to mushroom mixture and stir again. Allow mixture to cook again over medium heat until pan is nearly dry again, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, place phyllo shells on a baking sheet and bake 5-7 minutes until crisp. Remove from oven set aside.
When the mushroom mixture is nearly dry, add sour cream slowly to the mushroom mixture and stir gently until a creamy sauce forms.
Add reserved cooked bacon and chives to mushroom mixture, stir and remove from heat.
Season mushroom filling with salt and pepper to taste.
Fill shells with a scant tablespoon of creamy mushroom filling.
Top each filled tart with a small piece of fresh chive for garnish and serve immediately.
Filling can me made up to a week in advance. Enjoy!
Smoky Cheddar Cocktail Crackers
½ cup roasted salted cashews
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-7 oz block smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
10 tablespoons salted butter, softened
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse cashews until finely chopped. Place chopped nuts on a baking sheet and spread to cover. Set aside.
In the same bowl. pulse flour, salt, cumin, paprika and pepper until combined. Add shredded smoked cheddar cheese and butter and process again until a crumbly dough forms, about 45 seconds. Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 12″ log. Roll each log in the chopped cashews to cover. Wrap each log tightly in parchment paper and place logs in freezer for at least an hour or double wrap with plastic wrap and store in freezer for up to a month.
When ready to bake, remove logs from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
Slice desired amount of crackers on the bias in a 1/4″ slice and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Slice parchment off baking sheet to cool crackers completely.
Serve alone, as part of a cheese tray or top with a roasted garlic salsa for an easy canape
Mini Party Crab Cakes
To make these delicious little treats ahead of time, simply follow the recipe all the way to the end, but stop before baking. Freeze cakes on the buttered parchment, slide parchment off of sheet pan and cut parchement pieces with the crab cakes attached to the size of your storage container.
1-1 pound can claw fresh crab meat, picked through for shells
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large egg
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss together crabmeat, breadcrumbs and lemon zest until well mixed.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, egg, cayenne, celery salt, hot pepper sauce, 1 tablespoon reserved lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
Gently combine wet ingredients with dry and form into 1 1/2” cakes. Place cakes on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle cakes with melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Serve with horseradish mustard sauce. Makes 22-24 cakes