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Private Chef H’ors d’Oeuvres Recipes Make Your Holiday Parties Shine

December 7th, 2010

Okay, the holidays are in full swing, you’ll have to host at least a few friends if not an entire party at your place, and you can’t bear the thought of reheating puff pastry appetizers that everyone knows came from a freezer.  Here are a few holiday h’ors d’oeuvres recipes from our private chefs that will make you the star of this season’s parties.

Warm and crispy fried olives are a great addition to any cheese platter!Crispy Fried Olives Stuffed with Maytag Blue Cheese

1 ounce Maytag blue cheese
24 Spanish olives, pitted and patted dry
Peanut oil (for frying)
Unbleached Organic Flour
1 large Cage-Free Egg, beaten to blend
1/2 cup Breadcrumb, fine dry

1. Roll small amount of cheese into log shape narrow enough to stuff into 1 pitted olive; stuff olive with cheese. Repeat with remaining olives and cheese. DO AHEAD. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

2. Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to measure depth of 1 inch. Heat oil to 350°F. Roll stuffed olives in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs to coat. Fry olives until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer olives to paper towels to drain. Serve hot.

Savory Dungeness Crab and Cheese Gougères Puffs

1 tablespoon Dill seeds
1 1/2 cups Gruyère, coarsely grated
Savory California Dungeness Crab , shredded crab meat

For pâte à chou (Cream-Puff pastry)
1 cup Water
1 stick Unsalted Organic Butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 cup Unbleached Organic Flour
4 to 5 Large Cage-Free Eggs

1. Make pâte à chou:
In a heavy saucepan bring water to a boil with butter and salt over high heat and reduce heat to moderate. Add flour all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from side of pan.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and with an electric mixer on high speed beat in 4 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Batter should be stiff enough to just hold soft peaks and fall softly from a spoon. If batter is too stiff, in a small bowl beat remaining egg lightly and add to batter, a little at a time, beating on high speed, until batter is desired consistency.

2. Make Gougères
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

In a small heavy skillet dry-roast seeds over moderate heat, shaking skillet, until fragrant and slightly darker, being careful not to burn them, 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer seeds to a small bowl and cool. With a mortar and pestle or in an electric coffee/spice grinder grind seeds coarse.

Stir Gruyère, crab meat, and 1 teaspoon ground seeds into pâte à chou and arrange level tablespoons about 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle tops of gougères with remaining ground seeds and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching positions of sheets halfway through baking, 30 minutes, or until puffed, golden and crisp. Gougères keep, chilled in sealable plastic bags, 2 days or frozen 1 week. Reheat gougères, uncovered, in a preheated 350°F. oven 10 minutes if chilled or 15 minutes if unthawed frozen. Serve gougères warm.

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