Saturday, April 1, 2023

Holiday Nibbles

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Tortellini skewers, Beef and caramelized onion canapes, Artichoke stuffed mushrooms, Baked stuffed brie with cranberries and walnuts.Here are some holiday nibbles for you.

Tortellini skewers

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons jarred pesto
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 packages spinach tortellini, cooked and cooled
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Holiday nibbles
  1. Mix together the olive oil, pesto and vinegar in a bowl.
  2. On small skewers, thread 1 tortellini, 1 cherry tomato and 1 mozzarella cube per skewer. Lay the skewers on a platter and lightly drizzle the dressing over them with a spoon.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Sprinkle on the minced parsley just before serving.

Beef and caramelized onion canapes

  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • ½ pound thinly sliced deli roast beef
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spread baguette slices on a baking sheet.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook and stir red onion until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely soft, about 10 minutes. Uncover and pour in red wine; increase heat and stir constantly until wine evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Bake baguette slices in the preheated oven until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix mayonnaise and horseradish together in a bowl.
  5. Spread mayonnaise-horseradish mixture over baguette slices; cover with onion and roast beef.

Artichoke stuffed mushrooms

  • 24 large (2 1/2 to 3 inches wide) white mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cans sliced or quartered artichoke hearts
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • Handful grated Parmesan
  • Handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tub shredded Asiago cheese, 8 ounces
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place mushrooms in a large plastic food storage bag. Drizzle in just enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat ¿ about 1/4 cup should do it. Shake the mushrooms to coat and scatter out onto a cookie sheet. Roast 10 minutes, round-side-up. Season with salt and pepper and flip over. Toss drained quartered artichokes with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, nutmeg, thyme, grated cheese, and parsley. Generously fill the mushroom caps, mounding the filling up. Top the artichokes with shredded Asiago cheese and return to the oven. Cook mushrooms 5 minutes more to melt cheese and set filling. Serve warm.

Baked stuffed brie with cranberries and walnuts

  • 1 small wheel of brie (about 6 to 8 inches), chilled
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed, plus extra for (optional) design
  • 1 egg, beaten with
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. Score the side of a wheel of brie all the way around with a sharp paring knife. Cut directly on the “equator” through the rind. Using a long piece of string or dental floss, wrap the string around the brie on the newly made cut. Loop one end of the string over the other (a half knot). Then pulling the ends of the string in opposite directions, cut the brie in half.
  2. Press the dried cranberries on one cut side of the brie, and the walnuts on the other. Quickly put the 2 sides back together with the cranberries on top of the walnuts. Press together and stuff back in any cranberries or walnuts that fell out.
  3. Roll out a thawed sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. Place brie in the center of pastry. Gently pull up edges to ensure you have enough dough to entirely wrap the brie. You can trim off the corners if there is too much dough. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Fold one edge of the dough over the brie and then the opposite side. Fold over the remaining edges and complexly encase the brie. You can trim off excess pieces of dough, if necessary. Flip the brie over so the seam is at the bottom; gently press in the sides to snug the dough against the brie. Brush the top and sides of the wrapped brie with egg wash.
  4. If you choose to decorate the brie with cut-out shapes of additional puff pastry, use very cold (almost still frozen) dough to ensure sharp lines. Lightly brush the decorative pieces with egg wash. Place the brie in the freezer for one hour (this is a crucial step; see note below).
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Place the brie on the prepared baking sheet. Bake on the center rack in a preheated oven until it is browned and leaking cheese, about 20 minutes. (Only rarely does the brie not leak through, but 20 to 25 minutes is about how long it takes to melt the cheese and brown the pastry.)

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