Appetizer for 12 to a wine party
I need to take an appetizer for 12 to a wine party that will probably have 100 people. It has to be "ready to serve" so nothing that needs to be warmed. Nothing to get soggy. Nothing to assemble as the kitchen won't be available for that. I don't want to take anything usual like cheese or hummus or boiled shrimp....Ideas?
What about making a country-style pate? You can slice it and arrange it on a platter at home and bring a basket of crusty bread and you are good to go (I normally serve with cornichons too but probably not at a wine party). If you are interested, I'd be glad to post my recipe.
GS Country-Style Pâté
o 1 medium onion, chopped in FP
o big splash brandy or cognac (no need to use the good stuff)
o 2/3 lb EACH ground veal, ground pork and ground dark meat turkey
o 1/3 chicken livers, cleaned and chopped in FP after onions
o 2 cloves garlic, minced
o 1 egg, beaten
o generous 1/2 tsp allspice
o 1 generous tsp EACH salt and pepper (really)
o cheap fatty non-smoky, non-maple bacon (store brand is usually just right)
o bay leaf or two
o about 1/4 to 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
o about 1/4 to 1/3 cup dried currants
o about 1/4 to 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
o 1/4 inch strips of baked ham -- enough to go end to end in the pan in one or two rows
o Note on optional additions: only use one or two, not more
o use ground venison instead of ground turkey and add 2 or 3 finely-minced juniper berries
Preheat oven to 350.
Sauté onion in butter until translucent, add brandy and cook until almost evaporated. Cool.
Add cooled onion to remaining ingredients (including any optional ingredients except ham strips) and mix very well.
Line a 1.5 quart loaf pan with bacon, allowing the ends to hang over so you can fold them over the top when filled.
Pack the pâté mix in firmly so there are no air holes, adding the ham strips (if using) down the middle when half-filled then topping so that when the pâté is sliced they will make an attractive pattern in the middle in cross-section. Top with one or two bay leaves, then fold bacon over, covering completely.
Tightly cover with a triple layer of aluminum foil.
Place in a baking pan and pour water halfway up the side of the loaf pan.
Bake to 140 internal temp, about 1 hour (it will continue to cook a bit on the counter).
Remove from water bath onto a cookie sheet or similar, leave covered, and weight down with bricks until cool (juices will gush out, hence the cookie sheet).
Once cool, refrigerate, weighted, at least 2 days before eating (aging 2 days gives you a MUCH better pâté than aging 1 day; you can age for several days longer and it only improves).
Remove bacon and bay leaf before serving.
Serve with cornichons and crusty bread.
roasted asparagus wrapped in proscuitto or blanched with boursin cheese spread on the inside of the proscuitto before wrapping.
Crostini with thinly sliced cold tenderloin, topped with onion jam and micro greens (if available, or baby arugula), sometimes I serve this with a slice of cheese of your choice on top of the crostini, or a parm shaving on top. This can also work with a cured meat like a Speck, but much better if you cook the tenderloin (pop it in the freezer after cooking to make it easier to cut thin)
blini with herbed cream cheese, smoked salmon and caviar (or dill, or arugula). I sometimes do a true blini, or a mini cottage cheese pancake works well too.
I also had the most amazing caponata (eggplant, tomato relish/compote) while I was in Italy, it went so well with bread, crackers, aged cheeses (like pecorino or parm) and Italian reds. Unfortunately I don't have a recipe as I have yet to try to recreate it, but here is the thread I started to try and find one: