Break out the champagne, and gather your favorite friends and family — it’s a cocktail party! And, no holiday bash would be complete without fabulous finger foods. We’ve picked out some of our favorite no-fuss hors d’oeuvres recipes to share with you (we even opted for some take-out apps!), making sure to please all of your party people.
by Abby DiBenedetto | Photographs by Cayla Zahoran
Don’t have time to prepare hors d’oeuvres for your holiday party? Don’t sweat it! Order your favorite take-out appetizers from local restaurants and let the chefs do the work. We picked up these Endive Lettuce Boats (1) made with finely chopped carrots, celery, water chestnuts, and shrimp from Plum Pan Asian Kitchen and assembled them at home. If you’re feeding a vegetarian crowd, Plum offers a tofu version, too.
For another quick appetizer fix, we stopped at Whole Foods Market to pick up some spicy guacamole (2) and sweet bruschetta (4). Just pick out your favorite crackers, baugette, and fresh toppings. Plate a few yourself, and allow guests to top the crackers and bread with as much or as little as they like.
The Lamb Mini’s (5) from Osteria 100 are topped with a delicious Balsamic Onion Marmalade (recipe below). Try it yourself to top these different sliders selections: turkey burger with roasted poblanos and sharp cheddar, Barbecue Pork Burgers, or beef sliders with mushrooms and swiss.
Get creative with Habitat’s Beet Tartar with Whipped Goat Cheese (3) (recipe below).
Balsamic Onion Marmalade
by Chef Matt McClellano, Osteria 100
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
Caramelize onion in a skillet over medium low heat with one cup of balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar, stirring until onions become translucent, sugar dissolves, and most liquid is evaporated from the pan.
by Sous Chef Agustin Oliva, Habitat Restaurant
3 yellow beets
3 red beets
1⁄2 cup mirin
1⁄2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fleur de sel
Watercress for garnish
Cracked coriander for garnish Local goat cheese, whipped
Roast beets in oven until tender. Once cool, peel and toss the beets in a container with the mirin and rice wine vinegar. Keep the beets in the container for a few hours. Remove beets from the liquid and process them in a Robot Coupe (or blender) with sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Remove from blender and add the fleur de sel. Form the mix into quenelles (football-shaped bites) using two spoons and place in a spoon for serving. Garnish with watercress, cracked coriander, and whipped goat cheese.
Plum Pan Asian Kitchen, 5996 Penn Circle South, Shadyside. 412.363.7586. plumpanasiankitchen.com.
Whole Foods Market, 5880 Center Ave., East Liberty. 412.441.7960. 10567 Perry Hwy., Wexford. 724.940.6100. wholefoodsmarket.com.
Osteria 100, 100 Wood St., Downtown. 412.586.7743. osteria100pittsburgh.com.
Habitat Restaurant, 510 Market St., Downtown. 412.773.8848. habitatrestaurant.com.
This article is featured in the December 2012 issue of WHIRL Magazine.
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