hors d'oeuvres - HOBNOB Magazine

Posts Tagged ‘hors d’oeuvres’

Mini Arepas with Black Beans & Creamy Corn, A Vegan Delight

Posted on: September 1st, 2014 by Ellen Swandiak

An ancient recipe, arepas have been around South American since pre-Columbian times. They make a hearty base for whatever you want to top them with. In this recipe, we mixed beans and corn and nutritional yeast to add up to a wonderfully-filling vegan canape. If you have never tried nutritional yeast, you should give it a shot. It has a complex flavor reminiscent of a wheaty-cheese, and a powdery texture. You will get raves from this dish from all your friends, but your vegan friends will really thank you.

Arepas use a special flour called masarepa, found in most Latin markets. Do not confuse it with masa harina, which is for making tortillas. Make sure to buy the right one.

Dotting your serving platter with orchids gives it an exotic bent. Get stems of orchids, and break off the individual flowers right before plating. They will last the night just sitting on the platter.

I created a bunch of recipes for hosting a Latin canape party. See the other recipes at this link to create an entire menu.



1 CUP black beans (dry)

1 tsp salt

1 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Cover beans with at least 3 inches of cool water, soak overnight. Choose a bowl that will accommodate expansion. When ready to cook, drain and rinse. Place in a big pot with lots of water and gently boil for 1.5 to 2 hrs. Add salt after 1 hr. (Make sure there is enough water in the pot, if you need to add water use boiling or very hot.) When beans are soft, drain. Mash beans with olive oil and garlic. Refrigerate.


4 ears of corn

1 small white onion, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 TB vegenaise
1 tsp salt

Boil ears of corn for 15 to 20 min. Drain water, let cool. Remove kernels from cob with a sharp knife. Place in bowl and toss with other ingredients. Refrigerate till ready to create the arepas.


2 CUPS masarepa flour
3 CUPS warm water (plus more if necessary)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne, optional

vegetable oil

In large bowl, combine flour, water, and salt—and cayenne, if you want them to be spicy. (If the mixture seems dry add a little water.) Let mixture sit for 10 min to allow the dough to absorb all the water.

Heat a skillet over medium heat, add oil. Using a large wooden spoon, add a half spoonful of dough to the pan, spread out, flatten. Each arepa should be about 2 – 3 inches. Cook 2 to 3 min on each side, until crispy and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, or sheet of aluminum foil.


mini arepas
black bean mash
creamy corn
nutritional yeast
cilantro, cut into thin ribbons

Spread a thin coating of black bean paste over the tops of arepas. Top with corn mixture. Sprinkle yeast. Garnish with ribbons of cilantro.

Creative Quinoa Veggie Stuffed Poblanos

Posted on: September 1st, 2014 by Ellen Swandiak

Quinoa is that healthy side dish people are always talking about. Make this one party-like to use as a stuffing in poblano peppers, or just as is in this creative quinoa dish. There will be quite a bit of extra quinoa stuffing after you have filled the peppers, which you can set out in a bowl on the buffet with a stack of little cups and spoons on the side—it’s great eating just as is. The quinoa itself is not spicy, just a blend of black quinoa, cotija cheese, corn, pine nuts, and cilantro.

Serve peppers whole for a small crowd, or cut into bite-size pieces to maximize amounts. If the spiciness of the poblanos seems too adventuresome, use the mix to stuff colorful bell peppers instead.

Interested in more Latin recipes for throwing a party? Check our my Latin Fiesta party theme for more ideas.



1 CUP black quinoa
2 CUPS water
1 tsp salt

Rinse quinoa, put in pot with water. Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 min. Move to a medium-size bowl.


3 ears of corn, cooked and kernels removed
1/2 TB olive oil
1 small white onion, minced
1/4 CUP pine nuts, toasted
2 TB fresh cilantro, minced
1 TB salt
1 1/2 CUPS queso cotija
freshly ground black pepper

Toss all ingredients with quinoa.


6 poblanos

On a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil, place whole peppers under the broiler. Broil 5 min each side, till skins are completely black. Remove from oven, create tent out of the foil with peppers inside. Let steam for 10 to 15 min, then remove the blackened skins.


Let peppers cool. Carefully cut a vertical slit into the top of each chile. Cut out the seed pod with kitchen scissors, rinse under water to get rid of any seeds. Stuff the pepper with quinoa mix. Close pepper. Place in a baking dish, slit side up. Cover dish with aluminum foil, bake 20 min.

Sardine Canape with Lemon-Herb Crumbs

Posted on: July 1st, 2014 by Ellen Swandiak

Here’s a dish that can be made with items from your pantry. Sardines are the star of this canape, and we found a brand with exceptional taste. Matiz Gallego’s sardines are the perfect way to give sardines a chance, as they have a very subtle and uncommon flavor. Plus, the addition of the breadcrumbs enhanced with lemon zest and parsley balances with the fish, and gives the dish a cool, dotted effect. Sprinkle away!

I included this sardine canape as part of a complete party theme with recipes focused on Super Foods. These little fish can do wonders for your body as they promote heart and bone health. They contain one of the highest concentrations of omega-3s, as well as high quantities of vitamin b12, vitamin D, and calcium. It’s a win-win situation!



zest and juice 1 lemon
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 CUP breadcrumbs
3 TB olive oil

Mix together in a bowl. Crumbs should be kind of sticky.


pumpernickel bread, toast and cut each piece into 3 long strips
orange or cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly (horizontal slices)
3 sardines, split in half lengthwise, remove bones
Zesty Crumbs
2 TB capers
1 small onion, cut into very thin rings
1 lemon, cut into wedges

On each strip, place slices of tomato, top with half of one sardine. Sprinkle zesty crumb mixture over the sardines, add a couple of capers, a ring or two of the onion, and a squeeze of lemon. (The strips of sardines match up perfectly with the pumpernickel bread when cut into three sections.)

Healthy Crab Salad Canapes on Yuca Chips

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by Ellen Swandiak

This could be the ultimate summer offering. For a super-refreshing small-bite, start with peekytoe crab, then uplift it. I mixed this stellar ingredient with freshly grated Daikon radish, gypsy pepper, and cucumber to add a special freshness. Topping with lemon peel curls makes these extra festive, party-ready crab salad canapes.

Instead of crackers, I chose to serve the crab salad on baked yuca chips, which lend a chewy texture and much more to offer in the realm of nutrition. If you’ve never had yuca, this is your place to start. It’s similar to potatoes, but has a much lighter feel to it. Frying the yuca slices would create more of a chip—choose whichever method suits your crowd and time frame.

Ingredient source: Peekytoe Crab, a crustacean delight, is available pre-cooked, and ready for dolling-up at The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market, NYC. This is one of my go-to spots in NYC whenever I’m looking for seafood for serving to guests. Their selection and quality is a-one.

I’ve created a bunch of recipes to host a stunning White Party, featuring a menu of, you guessed it, all white foods. I like doing this around the holidays instead of a typical red-and-green theme. This crab salad canape looks even more spectacular when it’s part of this minimalist tablescape.

makes topping for about 30-40 slices of yuca


1/2 english cucumber, peeled
2 to 3-inch piece of daikon
1 small gypsy pepper

Cut cucumber, radish, and pepper into large chunks that can fit in a food processor chute. Grate, transfer to bowl.


1/2 CUP sour cream
1 1/4 CUPS peekytoe crab salad (about 1/2 LB)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne
1-inch slice from 8 oz brick of cream cheese
lemon salt (optional)

To the grated stuff, add sour cream, crab, lemon, salt and cayenne and mix well. Drain excess liquid, pushing down on it to get most of it out. Mix in the cream cheese with a fork, so mixture is stiff and will not ooze. Add a pinch of lemon salt, if you wish.


1 yuca, peeled with a sharp knife, cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 sprigs of thyme, chopped finely
1 tsp salt

Place yuca on parchment in single layer, sprinkle on thyme and salt. Bake for 20 min, middle shelf of oven. Let cool on the pan.


crab salad
yuca chips
lemon curls, for garnish

With a fork, pile the crab salad onto each yuca chip, place on working plate. Pinch the tops of each pile of crab salad to form a pyramid shape. Garnish with one lemon curl apiece. Arrange on serving dish.

Turkey Wraps with Swiss Cheese & Cole Slaw

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by Ellen Swandiak

Serving wraps at a party is one of my go-to tricks. They offer up a substantial bite, and when sliced and served with a toothpick, create an artsy statement that looks grander than the time you spent pulling it together.  These turkey wraps hosts a classic flavor combo: turkey, swiss cheese and cole slaw. These ingredients were chosen for their whiteness, that is, we are creating a menu for an all-white buffet. It really makes an impression when you see it all together. The addition of cream cheese works as a glue to hold it all together.

Here are some tips for creating a solid presentation. Make sure the cole slaw does not have excess liquid in it—squeeze out all the moisture in a sieve/coldander before spreading on the wraps, and do not overfill. The addition of Maille Dijon Originale into the cole slaw vinaigrette gives it a little more zip, be sure to add it. Alternatively, you could salt the grated cabbage and drain the liquid out before preparing, up to you.

If you’d like to see more all-white recipes for creating a striking buffet see them at this link.

makes 8 wraps, 64 pieces


1/8 CUP olive oil
1/4 CUP white vinegar
1 TB turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp Maille Dijon Originale mustard

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl.


1/2 head of cabbage

Cut into chunks that fit into food processor chute. Grate. Toss with dressing in a bowl. Drain excess moisture. Let flavors meld in the fridge, if you have time.

turkey wraps: steps for rolling


8-inch flour tortillas
8 oz cream cheese
1 LB turkey, sliced thin
1 LB Jalsberg swiss cheese slices
cole slaw

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese all over one side of tortilla. Top with 1 or 2 slices of turkey leaving about 2 inches uncovered at one end. Cover turkey with swiss cheese. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese over the swiss. Spoon a thin layer of cole slaw, keeping more to the center, not edges. Roll tightly. The cream cheese works to seal the end of the wrap. Trim ends, slice the rest into 8 pieces.

Stuffed Portobellos with Cheese & Herbed Breadcrumbs

Posted on: March 1st, 2014 by Ellen Swandiak

This stuffed portobello’s flavors are not subtle. The smoked provolone cheese really adds a salty, powerful  mouthful. Cutting it into bite-sizes pieces gives it a nicer look, almost like cake, and makes it easy to serve at a party.  It’s best to use a cheese with a high-melting point, like the provolone in this dish, or else you will get a melty mess. I included this recipe in our theme for a Smoky Party plan, so head to this link to see more recipes featuring a smoky bent.



4 portobello mushrooms

To clean mushrooms, wipe with dry paper towel. Remove stems, (reserve for other use, freeze if not using soon), place caps on baking sheet.


smoked provolone, cut into thin slices

1 1/2 CUPS breadcrumbs
herbs, minced
s + p

Cover entire surface of mushroom cavity with cheese slices. Toss together breadcrumbs, herbs, s + p. Liberally top cheese with mix. Bake for 35 to 40 min, till crumbs are golden and cheese is melted. Slice into 6 triangles.

RECIPE for STUFFED PORTOBELLOS with a smoky provolone cheese and topped with breadcrumbs

Quick Canape: Tortellini Bites with Smoky Paprika Oil

Posted on: March 1st, 2014 by Ellen Swandiak

An almost instant party bite—think of thIs quick canape as an adorable addition to your party display. It’s a combination of tortellini with the addition of a smoked kielbasa, and just a hint of smoky paprika oil. If you like things on the spicy side, consider adding a little cayenne pepper to the oil to give it a fiery kick. If you are making these around the holidays, the green from the arugula gives it Christmas flair.

Other uses for the Smoky Paprika Oil: We included in our  recipe for Creamy Mushroom Soup.adding it as a spiral accent. Think about also drizzling over grilled fish or chicken tenders, or mixed into salsa.

Ingredient tip: The very best place in NYC to get kielbasa is the East Village Meat Market & Deli, on 139 Second Avenue near 9th St. It’s a holdout from the times when the neighborhood was strictly Eastern European, and has that old-school charm. In case you don’t live in New York, they also ship during the colder months of the year. In this recipe, we chose the double-smoked ring. Speaking of smoky things—you can see more recipes in the Smoky Party theme on this site, and get more party ideas to make you look like a rock-star host.



1 bag tortellini

Cook according to directions. Drain.



While tortellini is boiling, cut kielbasa into 1-inch rounds. Slice the round into 4 triangles. Cook in hot skillet till edges are brown.


1/4 CUP olive oil
1 tsp Hungarian smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
cayenne pepper, to taste, if desired

Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. (To keep: Store in small jar or squirt bottle, use up to 2 weeks.)


cooked tortellini
fried kielbasa triangles
smoky paprika oil

With a toothpick, spear one arugula leaf, one tortellini into kielbasa triangle. Using a squirt bottle, or teaspoon, dot paprika oil around dish and onto tortellini.

how to create a quick canape with frozen tortellini