Tag Archives: hors d’oeuvres reception

Hors d’Oeurve Recipe: Clinton Kelly’s Tapenade Three Ways

The last errand my daughters and I ran on Friday while preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irene in DC was the library, where we stocked up on books in anticipation of the possible loss of electricity and a three-day reading holiday. As things worked out, we didn’t get much more than the equivalent of a strong summer rain storm, although folks to the east and west of us dealt with some nasty stuff.

Our reading holiday was cut short, but we did make it through a lot of books. Aside from all the curl-up-in-a-chair-and-read-alone books, there was one book, which one of my daughters had picked up, that we read together: Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else, by Clinton Kelly. For those of you who don’t fritter away a lot of hours watching The Learning Channel, Clinton Kelly is the male counterpart to Stacy London on TLC’s What Not to Wear.

My favorite section of the book was “Entertain”. I haven’t found so many simple, tasty, impressive looking hors d’oeuvre recipes together in one book in a long time. I’m going to share with you Clinton’s three recipes for tapenade: black olive, green olive, and sun-dried tomato. Because tapenade is parve, it makes a great opening bite in a meat-inclusive meal. Clinton recommends serving all three alongside each other on a slice of crostini, but you can use just one.

Clinton calls this collection “Tapenade Threeway”, but I’m calling it Tapenade Three Ways. Still fabulous. You can make them a couple of days ahead, which, for a home catered event, makes them freakin’ fabulous.

Ingredients for Black Olive Tapenade

½ pound good-quality black olives, pitted and drained
4 anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 Tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for Green Olive Tapenade

½ pound good-quality green olives, pitted and drained
2 Tablespoons papers, drained
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 Tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ teaspoon salt
6 leaves basil, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil

Instructions for Making the Tapenades

Follow these instructions for all three tapenades:

Put all of the ingredients, except olive oil, into a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine, then add the oil tablespoon by tablespoon until a slightly chunk consistency is achieved.

Make Ahead Options

The tapenades can be made a couple of days in advance. Store covered in the fridge.

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Want guests to have a great time at your wedding? Manage transitions.

Oxon Hill Manor garden gate

A wreath marks the entrance to the garden ceremony. Location: Oxon Hill Manor, Maryland. Wedding coordinator: Pavaune Pearson.

As you plan your wedding, keep in mind this idea: Your guests will enjoy themselves most if they always know where they are supposed to go and what they are supposed to do. It sounds obvious, but as the event organizer it can be easy to forget that the guests don’t know the venue and the program as well as you do. Put yourself in your guests’ place; feeling confused or being afraid of doing the wrong thing or going the wrong way is not fun. Help avoid confusion and make way for joy.

The big idea here: manage transitions.

You need to manage transitions in space — moving from room to room — and transitions in time — moving from one part of the program to another.

Managing Transitions in Space

  • Mark entrances clearly. Give guests an indication of where the entrance is from as far away as is reasonable, given the space. Even if you think that the entrance is obvious, a large or colorful gesture tells guests that they are headed in the right direction and sets the tone for the celebration. The gesture can be as simple as having someone standing near the door or some decorative element. For weddings, hanging a garland above the door or a wreath on a garden gate are great ways to say, “Wedding this way!”
  • Let people know they’ve arrived. Station someone at the entrance to each new space to say “Welcome” and hand guests a program, or offer a drink from a tray, invite guests to the hors d’oeuvres station on the far side of the room, point them in the direction of their dinner table, or just be available to answer questions.
  • When the event moves from one space to another, station people along the route to point the way. Even if people are only moving through a small vestibule between the chapel and the social hall, have someone standing in that space to gesture in the direction people should move. Some people will still be looking for direction and assurance. Seeing someone point the way will put their mind at ease let their thoughts return to enjoying themselves. Using staff from the venue or the caterer for this role can be expensive, so if your wedding coordinator doesn’t have enough staff to do this, consider asking an outgoing friend or family member to do it.
  • Signage, signage, signage. Good signage eliminates guests’ anxiety and helps the event run smoothly. One of my proudest event planning moments came when I lived in Kuwait and planned a large formal dinner attended by a large number of military personnel. As a protocol officer who was widely appreciated for his superlatively organized events arrived, he told me he liked my signage. I do pride myself on good signage.

    As you approach the final weeks of planning your wedding, think through how guests will move through the event space, what they will be looking for, and where they might get confused. Create signs, preferably in a style that fits the venue and your wedding, to show people where to go or give them information they will need:

    • “Bride’s reception in Dumont Room.—>”
    • “Additional ladies room in upstairs lobby.”
    • “Please have your coat check ticket ready.”
  • Give special consideration to people with mobility issues. If you know that some of your guests have difficulty walking or need an elevator, be sure to scope out the ramps, elevators, and other accommodations that the venue offers for people with mobility issues. If you can, provide details about the location of these features to guests who will need them before the wedding. Advise your staff and vendors to be on the lookout for these guests, and make sure the staff can point guests in the direction of these features and know how to get any additional help the guests need.

Next post: Managing transitions in time…

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Recipe: Traditional Spiced Almond Hors d’Oeuvre (Pareve)

In Hebrew, the numerical value of the word for nuts, egoz, is 17, the same as the value of the word tov, good. Which means that the two things are related to each other. Hence the prevalence of nuts, particularly almonds, in traditional Jewish wedding celebrations.

Spiced almonds also fit into very modern celebrations as a tasty hors d’oeuvre for a cocktail hour or hors d’oeuvre reception. They can be made a week before serving, which makes them self-catered-wedding-friendly.

This version comes from Gil Marks’ cookbook, The World of Jewish Entertaining: Menus and Recipes for the Sabbath, Holidays, and Other Family Celebrations. It’s a great go-to cookbook for celebrations large and small. Marks also includes in his book a more savory version with rosemary and cayenne pepper.

Gil Marks World of Jewish EntertainingOne of the great things about a cookbook collection is remembering how each book came to be on your kitchen bookshelf. I received this book as a gift after teaching for a few terms at the New North London Synagogue. I miss London! And as Shavuout approaches, I really miss the cheesecake at Paradise Bakery on Golders Green Road. Best cheesecake in the world, you used to be only a short walk from home. Sigh. Let’s see… does Mr. Marks include a cheesecake in his cookbook? He has two! I’m feeling better already.

Ingredients for Spiced Almonds
Makes 4 cups

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 4 cups (20 ounces) almonds
  • Optional: Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Combine the oil, honey, and spices. Add the almonds and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Roast, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead Option

Store the almonds in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

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Recipe: Wild Mushroom Phyllo Triangle Canapes (Parve, Vegan)

This is the eighth hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

It doesn’t look like The Queen’s canape reception menu include anything for the vegans on the guest list, but we will. We are reinterpreting the wild mushroom chausson, which incorporates a butter-based pastry, and offering these wild mushroom in triangle-shaped packets of phyllo dough. The recipe comes from meign via VegTalk.org.

Ingredients for Wild Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 cups spinach, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp kosher red wine vinegar
  • ½ package phyllo pastry
  • Olive oil

Instructions

Heat a large pan to medium-high and saute the garlic in 1 tsp of the olive oil. Add the other tsp when you add the mushrooms, and stir them around to coat them in the oil. Leave them on the heat, stirring occasionally, long enough to allow the mushrooms to release and then reabsorb their juice. This will take about 15 minutes.

Once the mushrooms have fully cooked, add the thyme and salt & pepper to taste, then the spinach. Allow the spinach to just wilt and then add the red wine vinegar and scrape up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. Remove the filling from the heat.

Lay one sheet of phyllo pastry flat on a cutting board and brush lightly with olive oil or coconut oil. Using a pizza cutter or knife, slice the pastry along the long side into 5 strips. Place a small spoonful of the mixture at one end of each strip. Fold the phyllo up in a triangle shape, keeping the filling in the middle of the pocket. Continue until all the filling mixture is used.

Bake the triangles at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until the phyllo starts to brown.

The next royal wedding canape: Chocolate Truffles

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Recipe: Roast Duck and Fruit Chutney Canape

This is the seventh hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

The canape reception that The Queen threw for Will and Kate included an hors d’oeuvre called Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney. A traditional duck terrine falls firmly in the unkosher category. Duck itself is kosher, though, and one of those extravagances that can elevate a special occasion menu. So I developed this hors d’oeuvre of roast duck and spiced fruit chutney on a slice of rich fruit nut bread. Its a hearty, fillling, and tasty addition to a cocktail or hors d’oeuvre reception.

The instructions for cooking the duck come from The Complete American Jewish Cookbook by Anne London and Bertha Kahn Bishov. It’s a wonderful, 1 ½-inch thick cookbook that includes instructions for cooking pretty much anything kosher you can put your hands on. My copy came as a gift many years ago. It’s out of print now and a cookbook that I’m grateful to have on the shelf. Thank you, Anne, Bertha, and Mrs. Goldrich.

Roast Duck and Fruit Chutney Canape

Instructions for Roasting the Duck

Wash carefully inside and out. Dry. Truss, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place duck on a rack in roasting pan. Roast uncovered, baste occasionally with pan drippings. If breast becomes too brown, turn breast side down. Roast 20 to 25 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F.

Assembling the Canape

Cut the fruit bread into slices about 3/8″ thick and cut each slice in half. Spread fruit chutney on a piece of bread, and top it off with a piece of duck. Try to keep the whole canape small enough to eat with one or two bites.

The next royal wedding canape: Wild Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

parve dessert hors d'ouevresTRY THESE, TOO:

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Recipe: Gateau Opera Dessert Canape (Parve)

This is the third hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

Gateau opera

Photo: cookingathighaltitude.blogspot.com

Traditional gateau opera (opera cake) is made with butter and cream, which is a kosher clash with the meat hors d’oeuvres in our overall menu. So I developed this parve version with some creative substitutions. The biggest substitution is taking out the coffee-flavored buttercream and the ganache and instead using a parve chocolate mousse flavored with coffee and coffee-flavored liqueur. The mousse comes from Evelyn Rose’s The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook. Traditionalists might say that this version isn’t really gateau opera. They might be right, but as someone who attends weddings, I’m not going to feel bad about upping the chocolate quotient in a reception menu.

Ingredients for Parve Gateau Opera Canapes

Makes approx. 70 1″-square canapes

Almond Sponge Cake

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray for pan
  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 large eggs, plus 6 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons margarine, melted

Coffee Syrup

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Chocolate Mousse

  • 8 oz. parve semi-sweet chocolate
  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 4 teaspoons coffee dissolved in 2 Tablespoons hot water
  • 3 Tablespoons Tia Maria of other coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 Tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar

Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 tablespoons margarine
  • 7 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened, preferably 70 to 71% cacao), coarsely chopped

Instructions for Parve Gateau Opera Canapes

Make Almond Sponge Cake

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. Line with parchment; spray again.
  2. Sift together almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a mixer bowl. Add whole eggs; beat on medium until light, about 3 minutes. Mix in flour until just incorporated. Transfer batter to a separate bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg whites on medium-high in a clean mixer bowl. Gradually add granulated sugar, whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. Fold meringue, then butter, into batter with a rubber spatula just until combined. Divide between pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely, then remove from pans and peel off parchment. Store, tightly wrapped, up to overnight.

Make Coffee Syrup

  1. Bring sugar and the water to a boil in a small pan over medium heat, stirring until dissolved.
  2. Stir in espresso powder.
  3. Let cool. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Make Chocolate Mousse

  1. If you haven’t already separated the eggs, do that now.
  2. Break up the chocolate and stand in a basin over hot (not boiling) water. Heat gently until melted, then remove from heat (Alternatively, melt uncovered for 1½ on 100 percent power in the microwave).
  3. Immediately drop in the egg yolks and beat vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Stir in the coffee and liqueur. Allow to go quite cold.
  5. Beat the whites until they just hold soft peaks, then beat in the caster sugar.
  6. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl containing the egg whites and blend together. Chill.

Make Chocolate Glaze

  1. Melt margarine and all but 2 tablespoons chopped chocolate in a double boiler or in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
  2. Remove top of double boiler and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate until smooth, then cool glaze until room temperature but still liquid.

Assemble the Cake

  1. To assemble, cut cakes exactly in half crosswise into two equal pieces, ending up with four (set one half aside for another use). Place one cake layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a cake board. Gently brush 1/3 of coffee syrup over cake; spread. Using an offset spatula, Spread 1 cup mousse over top. Place another layer on top, brush on 1/3 of the syrup, and spread 1 cup of mousse over top. Add third layer, brush on remaining syrup, and smoothly spread 1 cup mousse over top. Cake can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days.
  2. At least 2 hours before serving, pour glaze over cake; gently spread to completely cover top (don’t worry about sides). Refrigerate until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
  3. Trim edges, and cut cake into 1-inch squares using a warm serrated knife (dip in hot water after each cut, and quickly wipe dry, to make sure slices are very clean).

Make Ahead Options

  • Make mousse up to 4 days ahead.
  • Make coffee syrup up to 3 days ahead.

The next canape: Poached Asparagus with Lemon Sauce

parve dessert hors d'ouevresTRY THESE, TOO:

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Recipe: Quail Eggs with Celery Salt Canape (Parve/Vegetarian)

This is the second hors d’oeuvre recipe in our kosher-fied royal wedding canape reception menu. The total menu serves a 40-person reception.

quail eggs and celery salt

Source: tradenote.net, a European quail egg supplier

Quail is kosher, and so are quail eggs. In fact, the Torah tells us that when the Israelites wandering in the desert cried out to God for meat, God sent them quail to eat.

Quail eggs with celery salt are often served as part of an English breakfast. They also make a filling, earthy canape. For breakfast they are usually served in the shell or with the shell half peeled off, but when serving them as reception finger food remove the shells entirely before you serve them.

Ingredients for Quail Eggs with Celery Salt

Makes 60 eggs.

  • 5 dozen quail eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons celery seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons kosher salt (sea salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Garnish: Enough leafy herbs to generously line the serving basket or platter.

Instructions for Quail Eggs with Celery Salt

  1. Boil half of the eggs at a time. Bring a large pot of water to boil over moderately high heat. Boil the eggs for 5 minutes. Rinse immediately under cold water.
  2. Peel and dry the eggs.
  3. Grind or crush the celery seeds, salt, and pepper together. Keep the celery salt covered and dry until ready to use.
  4. For an attractive presentation on the buffet, put the peeled eggs in a basket or on a plate generously lined with leafy herbs. Put the celery salt in a bowl alongside the eggs.

Make-ahead Option

Boil the eggs a day ahead. Store in the refrigerator. Peel before serving.

The next canape: Parve Gateau Opera Dessert Canape

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Your Own Royal Canape Reception: Kosher-fied Menu and Recipes

We’re tickled pink to see that The Queen’s canape reception for Will and Kate took a cue from Backyard Huppah’s own hors d’oeuvres reception menu by including miniature Yorkshire puddings with roast beef. Your welcome, Your Majesty.

The full menu from The Queen’s reception is below. It includes some mighty tasty looking tidbits.

For your own royal wedding, and for the sheer fun of it, we’re going to create a kosher version of the menu and give you the recipes over the course of a dozen or so posts. The final menu will be meat (fleishig) with parve options. Some of The Queen’s canapès will have to go because they’re just not kosher, like the crab and the pork belly, and some will be cut as we edit the menu down to a selection that is doable for a self-catered reception (although you’ll need to get some help in the kitchen).

To start you off, we’re going to link you back to the hors d’oeuvre that started it all: Individual Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef, then we’ll move on to Quail Eggs with Celery Salt. See the full menu below.

Royal Wedding Canapè Reception Menu
Not all of the foods listed in the menu below are kosher. You can find the edited, kosher version of the menu at Kosher-fied Royal Wedding Hors d’Oeurve Reception Menu with Recipes.


Cornish Crab Salad on Lemon Blini
Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney
Roulade of Goats Cheese with Caramelised Walnuts
Assortment of Palmiers and Cheese Straws
Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini
Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tart
Poached Asparagus Spears with Hollandaise Sauce for Dipping
Quails Eggs with Celery Salt
Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise Pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling
Wild Mushroom and Celeriac Chausson
Bubble and Squeak with Confit Shoulder of Lamb
Grain Mustard and Honey-Glazed Chipolatas
Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole
Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horseradish Mousse
Gateau Opera
Blood Orange Patè de Fruit
Raspberry Financier
Rhubarb Crème Brulee Tartlet
Passion Fruit Praline
White Chocolate Ganache Truffle
Milk Chocolate Praline with Nuts
Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle

Related posts:
Update: The Complete Kosher-fied Royal Wedding Hors d’Oeurve Reception Menu with Recipes
Tips for Hors d’Oeuvre Receptions
Backyard Wedding Menu Fit for Royalty (You!)
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Special Wedding Details: Catoctin Cocktail with Kosher, Organic, Rye Whisky

roundstone-rye-whisky catoctin creek

Source: catoctincreekdistilling.com

Every once in a while I get really excited about bringing you a new find.
This is one of them: Catoctin Creek distilled spirits from Catoctin Creek distillery.

The distillery, located in Virginia, is only two years old. All their whiskys, brandies, and other distilled spirits are certified kosher, certified organic, and — based on all the awards they’ve won — certified delicious.

I’m all for choosing one or two wedding details that will surprise and delight your guests, and I’m all for serving one amazing featured drink in lieu of springing for a full bar. A featured cocktail using a Catoctin Creek spirit fits the bill. The Catoctin Coctail recipe and description below are from Catoctin Creek’s website, catoctincreekdistilling.com.

Show off the cool looking bottles at the bar so everyone knows they’re getting something new.

Catoctin Cocktail

Catoctin Cocktail

Source: catoctincreekdistilling.com

This is a variant on the classic “Canadian Cocktail” but is so much better when made with a 100% rye whisky. Mmmmm….. delicious, eh!
.
2 oz Catoctin Creek Organic Rye Whisky
1/2 oz Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 dash bitters (Peychauds is a good one)
.
In a shaker half filled with ice cubes, combine all the ingredients. Shake well, strain and pour into a cocktail glass.

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Reception Before the Ceremony – How to Word the Invitation?

This question just came across on Twitter:

“I have a bride with “cocktail hour” before the ceremony (limited drinks/apps) due to time constraints. How would you word the invitation?”

I responded with these two options, which I thought I’d share here:

“Join us for an hors d’oeuvres reception before the ceremony at (insert time)”

“Hors d’oeuvres reception precedes ceremony at ______(insert time)”

More Hors d’oeuvres reception ideas and tips

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