Christmas Hors-d’oeuvres

As we enter Christmas week a lot of people are trying to figure their grocery list to plan for the events they are hosting or need to bring some food to. Here are the most popular appetizers we have that are easy to make and delicious.

Giuseppe Cipriani’s started a world famous bar & restaurant, Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. He created not only the Bellini there but a few yers later he introduced the world to Beef Carpaccio.  “Carpaccio” has now become most types of beef, veal, lamb or fish that has been thinly sliced and served as an appetizer.  The flavor of the beef is enhanced by a lemony sauce of which there are many versions, here is our take on Cipriani’s classic dish.

People either truly love this or think, ummm, this is raw beef and no thank you.  It’s best to serve as a appetizer with others so people can pick and choose. Click here for the recipe.

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Feta with herbs

Feta is the heart of every Greek kitchen and can be grilled, baked, marinated, blended and the list goes on. Marinating feta in herbs and spices can really bring out the flavor. It can be served as an appetizer, tossed in a salad or about anything else you can think of. Click here for the recipe.

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Stuffed mushrooms are extremely easy to make and they have lasting powers to make it through a cocktail party.  It’s easy to make a big batch before the party, toss in the oven to reheat just before you serve them.  This is one of these dishes you can swap out what you don’t like and add what you do.  The breadcrumbs are essential to bind the stuffing together so don’t swap that out. Click here for recipe.

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The late night menu at Claridge’s Hotel in London is a spectacular celebration of late night food which is troublesome, especially with their puff pastry pizza option dangling out there at 2 AM or so.  It’s too delicious to pass up but do you really need a sheet of pastry dough drenched with cheese, sauce and meat that late?  Probably not but at that hour who should be expected to make a smart decision?

As everyone knows, we have perfected the larger version of the hotel’s  Flaky Puff Pastry Pizza and it is a staple appetizer at dinner parties.  However the slices in the middle would always be a bit gooey so we decided to cut the dough into squares and put the topping on each slice individually.  This is a really easy appetizer to make and people really enjoy nibble on a crisp and spicy snack before a meal. Click here for recipe.

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These old-school herbed crackers are great to have near the bar so people can snack as the make their drinks. Click here for recipe.

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Beirut.  We always try to land at the airport just before dinner so we can go directly to our favorite haunt in the old part of the city.  The food is fresh and amazing. The chef was kind enough to give us the secrets of some of his favorite dishes.  I simplified his hummus recipe so it is easy to make at home. (He uses lamb mead, ice cubes when processing the hummus and so on.)  By the way, when in Lebanon never ask if a dish has a Greek origin.  Opa! Click here for recipe.

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Cherry tomatoes can bring a little summer to the dead of winter. Check out how you can serve a fresh and tasty bruschetta at a Christmas party. Click here for recipe.

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