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Posts Tagged ‘meat lover’

Spicy Baked Buffalo Wings

Posted on: February 1st, 2020 by Ellen Swandiak

Touchdown this SuperBowl Sunday with these Spicy Baked Buffalo Wings that even the fittest athletes can’t say no to. This recipe is courtesy of Gozney, a company that makes the coolest and most powerful mini pizza ovens for your backyard (see more on the ovens at this link). Instead of deep-frying the wings, try Gozney’s technique for creating crispy skin while keeping the meat to remain incredibly moist inside. You can learn the tricks to crispy skin and more in this educational and entertaining step by step video here.

SERVES 4

See more recipes for watching the game, like Sirloin Steak Toasts with Zesty Crumbs, at Hobnob’s Party #18 Classy Sports: An Upscale Menu for Watching the Big Game

PREPARE CHICKEN A DAY AHEAD

2-3 TB plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 TB salt

12-16 chicken wings, a mix of wingettes and drumettes

This step allows for the chicken skin to get crisp, by removing all the moisture: Toss first three ingredients together in a bowl. Separate the wings from drumettes by cutting through the knuckle if they are still attached. First remove excess moisture from the skins by placing chicken between two paper towels and pressing down, then dredge in the flour mixture, shake. Set on a cooling rack and refrigerate overnight, uncovered.

MAKE THE BLUE CHEESE DIP

1 CUP sour cream
1/2 CUP buttermilk
4 oz blue cheese (gorgonzola or other soft blue)

Mix thoroughly in a bowl. Season to taste, if needed. This can be made a day ahead, and would allow the flavors to really meld.

MAKE THE SAUCE

6 TB Unsalted Butter
8 TB Franks Hot Sauce

While the chicken is cooking, melt ingredients together and keep warm.

PREHEAT OVEN 400ºF…COOK THE WINGS

Lightly heat a cast iron grill pan in the oven, about 5 min. Add chicken and cook for about 30-35 mins, rotating and flipping a few times. When skin in nice and browned, remove from oven and use tongs to dip the wings in warm hot sauce, transfer to a plate. Serve with blue cheese dip in a bowl alongside the wings.

Skirt Steak Pinwheels: A Rare Steak Treat

Posted on: June 16th, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

Steak lovers, here is a rich recipe that adds much fanfare to just a grilled steak. Skirt steak pinwheels take butterflied skirt steak, pounded thin, then rolled up with cheese inside. It’s a way to wow dinner guests with something different and special.

The stuffed skirt steak pinwheels make a graphic statement of red and white, with the spiral of cheese, which is why I included this recipe a part of our 4th of July menu for a buffet, where all the food is red and white. Tip: Good skirt steak can be a little pricey, but pounding them thinly allows you to stretch your dollar. Make sure to start with it butterflied from the butcher, unless you have good knife skills.

Skirt steak has nice marbled fat, which is why I chose it over flank steak, for its extra richness of flavor. Two important tips: When rolling the steaks into logs, make sure the grain is parallel to the length of the roll. That way when you cut the spirals you will be cutting against the grain. Two: Do not overcook it—you want all those juices intact.

Another very important point, choose a cheese that does not melt easily, like a halloumi or paneer, or the Yanni Grilling Cheese with  jalapeño as I did here.  That way the cheese will stay inside the steak (not melt out and make a mess of your pan. I tried this recipe with three other cheeses until I got it right!). But it was fun eating the mistakes.

MAKES 16 SKEWERED BITES OR 32 HALF SLICES

PREPARE THE STEAK

1 1/2 LB skirt steak, butterflied
grapeseed oil
s + p
grilling cheese, cut into 1/8” slices

Cut steak into 6-inch lengths. Pound till about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Trim odd sections (throw in pan as a snack while cooking!) Spread oil on both sides of steak, sprinkle salt and pepper inside. Line cheese slices inside the fatty side of the meat, leaving a little free space at the top. Roll tightly. Tie at 2” intervals. Trim ragged ends.

HOBNOBMAG steps to make skirt steak pinwheels

SEAR THE STEAK

1/2 TB grape seed oil

In a large skillet heat oil on medium-high heat. Sear steak for one minute each on all 4 sides, until nice and brown. Remove from pan and let sit for a few minutes. (At this point you could put aside and cook when you are ready to serve.)

HOBNOBMAG steps to make skirt steak pinwheels

FINISH COOKING STEAK

seared steak rolls
thyme, broken into snippets
EV olive oil

When slightly cooled, insert 4 large bamboo skewers into each roll through the top fold, in order to secure. Cut in between each, so you end up with 4 spirals. Push skewer completely through.

Cook each piece with spiral facing up about 2 minutes on each side using the skewer to flip. Remove from pan, discard twine. Serve as is with skewer, or remove skewer and cut in half to reveal the cheese spiral design. Sprinkle thyme snippets, and drizzle EV olive oil to decorate the plate.

Chicken Tacos with Green Harissa

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

Go green! These chicken tacos are a welcome party mini-bite with personality. I developed this recipe to add to a buffet made up of the colors of the rainbow. Upon discovery of these adorable, green mini taco shells, I knew this had to be the dish that took the GREEN spot on the rainbow buffet. To add to the green effect, I mixed up a green harissa—parsley, cilantro, mint, and spices— to “dye” the shredded chicken. To complete the taco, I topped with slices of of avocado, sprigs of cilantro, and skinny jalapeño ribbons.

Shortcut: instead of cooking the chicken, purchase a rotisserie chicken from your local market and shred, then you just have to make the harissa.

Other green foods to consider: spinach wraps, pesto, avocado, pea and mint soup, green salad served in cups. See our picks on PINTEREST for more fantastic rainbow party ideas and recipes.

MAKES 28 TACOS

MAKE THE CHICKEN

1 1/4 LB chicken breasts
1 bay leaf
1 tsp pink peppercorns
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt

In a large saucepan, place chicken breasts and cover with water. Add herbs and spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer 10 – 12 min. Remove breasts to a bowl. When cool, shred completely.

GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR… MAKE THE GREEN HARISSA

1/2 CUP parsley
1/2 CUP cilantro (save some for garnish)
1/2 CUP mint
1/4 CUP lemon juice
3 jalapeños, seeded, sliced
1 TB ground cumin
1 TB ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 CUP EV olive oil
1 clove garlic

Process all ingredients till fully combined, but with some texture, about 1 min. Combine the shredded chicken with the green harissa.

ASSEMBLE THE CHICKEN TACOS

spinach mini taco shells
chicken mixture
avocado, cut into thin slices
2 jalapeños, cut into thin ribbons
cilantro, for garnish

Fills shells about halfway with chicken. Top with avocado slice, then garnish with jalapeños strips and cilantro.

North Wild Kitchen Features Traditional and Newfangled Dishes in this Norwegian Cookbook

Posted on: October 1st, 2018 by Ellen Swandiak

After years globetrotting, author Nevada Berg settled in Norway with her Norwegian husband and son. With a farm, and with the eyes of a newcomer, Berg learns the local traditions as she assimilates into the mountain-top lifestyle and creates her award-winning blog, North Wild Kitchen.

The cookbook breaks down those activities that are common to Norwegians: foraging, fishing, farming, hunting, harvesting, camping, baking, grilling, and frying. Each chapter begins with an explanation of Nordic culture, so you get a little lesson in the way things are done. For example, in the Foraging chapter Berg mentions “allemannsretten” a concept that everyone has the right to take from nature, whether or not they own the land. (how unlike American culture!) The idea is that you can take what you need, but make sure to leave something for others to enjoy.

HOBNOBMAG Norwegian Cookbook

Photography throughout the book showcases the simple, rustic recipes and scenes from the surrounding areas. You almost feel as if you were on a journey far away. Recipes follow the four seasons using local ingredients. Traditional foods like Meatballs with Creamed Cabbage alludes to a super-popular dish in Norway, as well as Milk Cakes, which get served up with jams, spreadable cheeses, sour cream, and butter. Hearty soups and stews using meats like venison, moose, reindeer, and hare are sure to entice.

HOBNOBMAG Norwegian Cookbook

There are plenty of recipes for bakers too. Breads, pancakes, and lots of buns and cakes will have you wanting to curl up by a fireplace, and settle in. Sour Cream Wafers and Soft Potato Flatbread Veiled work in on the sides of many meals. For sweeter pursuits, Peasant Girls is an old-fashioned dessert that combines stewed apples, with sweetened breadcrumbs and whipped cream. Plums, a Norwegian staple for 300 years, are abundant, and the excess gets made into jam for use on Custard Buns or Aniseed Wafers.

I tend to like my desserts mixed with a little savory, and thought this recipe from the book would make a nice accompaniment on a cheese board, or as a atypical dessert.

recipe

Pan-Fried Pears Wrapped in Cured Pork with Honey and Pink Peppercorns

PÆRE MED SPEKESKINKE

Salty, rich cured meat and fresh sweet fruit are a natural and balanced pairing. When pan-fried together, the crispy texture of the meat against the warm, softened flesh of the fruit brings this pairing to a whole new level. I enjoy serving these special bundles, because they’re flavorful, fresh, and quick to pull together. If you prefer, you can substitute another cured meat, such as lamb (fenalår).

serves 4 to 6

4 large pears
8 to 16 pieces thinly sliced cured pork
2 tablespoons lightly salted butter, for frying
Flaky salt
Crushed pink peppercorns
Runny honey

Cut the pears lengthwise in half. Carefully remove the cores and seeds, but leave the stems. Wrap each pear half with 1 to 2 slices of the cured pork and press the fat of the meat together to keep from it from falling off the pear.

In a large, heavy frying pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the pears, flesh-side down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the pork is golden brown and crisp. Flip the pears and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes or until the other side is golden brown and crisp and the fruit is slightly soft.

Arrange the pears on a platter, sprinkle with flaky salt and crushed peppercorns, drizzle with honey, and serve immediately while still warm.

Reprinted with permission from Prestel Publishing.

North Wild Kitchen: Home Cooking from the Heart of Norway by Nevada Berg

Sirloin Steak Toasts with Zesty Crumbs

Posted on: February 4th, 2018 by Ellen Swandiak

Generally speaking, men love sports just as much as they love steak, which is why these sirloin steak toasts had to be incorporated into this party theme of recipes to watch the game with (see more recipes here). This recipe provides a simple way to get steak into your guest’s hands, sans utensils. Just broil or grill the steak, set out on sliced bread and sprinkle the lemon and parsley crumb mixture, which gives the dish a dotted effect and an extra zip of flavor. (See this recipe made with sardines, to offer along with the steak for fish lovers, A Canape with Pizazz.)

MAKES 14 TOASTS

MAKE THE ZESTY CRUMBS

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.

SEAR THE STEAK

1 LB sirloin steak
s + p

Right before cooking, season steak with s + p. Grill the steak or broil in the oven. Let rest. Slice thinly.

MAKE THE SIRLOIN STEAK TOASTS

semolina bread, cut loaf into 1/2-inch rounds
olive oil
orange or cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly (horizontal slices)
seared steak
zesty crumbs
2 TB capers
1 small onion, cut into very thin rings

On each slice of bread, drizzle a little olive oil. Line with slices of tomato, top with steak. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the steak, add a couple of capers, and a ring or two of the onion.

Turkey Patties Topped with Cucumber Basil Pesto

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

For those following a paleo diet, there are lots of options for party fare. These turkey patties have a nice crunchiness via onion and jalapeño bits, which adds a bit of texture and flavor to the meat. Tip: When cooking the patties, take note. They are a little fragile, so make sure oil covers the bottom of the pan to ensure they don’t stick. Patties should be white halfway up the side before flipping. Run a spatula or fork under the patties while cooking for extra insurance.

As for the pesto, prepare the cucumbers ahead of time, but don’t make the pesto till ready to serve. I made mine the night before and it did not keep its pretty green color, though it still tasted mighty fine.

These turkey patties are just one of the recipes from my paleo party theme. Click the link to see more veg and meat dishes. 

MAKES 24 BITES

MAKE THE TURKEY PATTIES

1 LB ground turkey breast
1 egg
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 TB parsley, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 TB nutritional yeast

almond oil

With a fork combine all ingredients, except oil, in a large bowl. With wet hands (the mix may be kind of sticky) take a small amount that fits in the palm of your hand, make a ball, then flatten. Size should be roughly 2 inches x 1/2-inch thick (two bites). Get a big skillet hot, add 1/8-inch oil to the pan, then add patties. Cook for 2 1/2 min, till nice and brown, then flip and brown other side. Let drain on a paper towel.

hobnobmag recipe Turkey Patties Topped with Cucumber Basil Pesto

GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR… PREPARE THE CUCUMBER

2 cucumbers, peeled
1 tsp salt

Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon. Cut these in half and grate in the food processor. Move to a platter, sprinkle with salt and let it sit for about one hour. Transfer to a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible, then place in a bowl. (If doing this part ahead of time, place cucumbers in an airtight container in the fridge till ready to use)

MAKE THE PESTO

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 CUPS basil leaves
3/4 CUP mint leaves
1/2 CUP pine nuts, toasted on a hot skillet
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 CUP EV olive oil

cucumbers

Pulse together in a food processor. Add to the cucumbers and mix thoroughly.

Duck Breast Hors d’oeuvre with Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce on Endive

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

I love a rich and savory duck breast, nothing compares to its luscious, game-y decadence. That’s why I wanted to include this duck breast hors d’oeuvre in a party menu. Set on endive and topped with a semi-sweet sauce, you have the makings of something special to offer at your next gathering.

This recipe was developed to work with our paleo party theme, which focuses on meats and vegetables. As for the paleo part, there’s a tiny bit of cheating here, in reference to the pomegranate molasses in the sauce, which does contain sugar, but oh-so-worth the combo with the duck. Substitute a high-end balsamic vinegar if you don’t want the sugar.

Let the duck breast sit out at room temp for 20 min to 1 hour before cooking. I was inspired by the recipe from Honest Food for cooking the duck breast, read up if this is your first time cooking it. It’s really quite simple.

MAKES 30 BITES

SEAR THE DUCK BREAST

1 1/2 TB almond oil
duck breast

To a cold skillet, add oil, then place duck breast fat side down, cook for 7 min. Flip over and cook another 4 min. Remove from pan and let sit for 5 min. Slice into thin strips, then cut those in thirds to fit on the endive.

MAKE THE CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE SAUCE

1/4 CUP pine nuts
1/4 CUP dried cranberries, soaked for 15 min to soften, then chopped
1/4 CUP pomegranate arils
1 TB red onion, finely chopped
2 TB mint, chopped
1 TB orange zest
1 1/2 TB pomegranate molasses
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

In a bowl combine all ingredients.

 

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

2-3 heads endive
sliced duck
cranberry pomegranate sauce

garnish: mint, finely chopped

Cut the stem of the endive and pull off leaves in sections. Place one slice of duck on each leaf, top with sauce, then sprinkle chopped mint.

Taco Bar: Grilled Mole-Marinated Pork with Salsa and Pickled Jalapeño

Posted on: June 10th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

When you are cooking for a crowd, shortcuts are very welcome. That’s why we always have an eye peeled for helpers that are chemical-free, and are made with love. The magic behind the pork lies in the marinade. Hernán Mole Poblano paste comes in a concentrated form which can be used to create a rich, authentic mole sauce, or be used as a marinade. And if you’ve ever tried making mole, you know that it is a labor of love that takes several days to accomplish. So, having pre-made mole flavors is a fantastic time-saver. This jar can offer up those intense flavors because they put the time into it.

The joy of the make-your-own-taco buffet are the toppings. Suggested taco bar pairing: Grilled Mole-Marinated Pork with White Peach Salsa, pickled jalapeño, cilantro, and dijon mayo. Find more recipes for the Taco Bar here  that cover all culinary leanings: beef, fish, and vegetarian recipes included.

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 8 TACOS

MARINATE THE PORK

4 TB Hernan Mole Poblano paste
2 LB pork loin, cut into 1-inch chops
1 tsp salt

Scoop paste and spread evenly over the pork with your hands, or a spoon. Marinate covered or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

GRILL THE PORK

On a heated bbq or grill pan, cook the pork about 5 min on each side.

You can cook this ahead of time and keep the chops intact. If you do, when you are ready to serve the tacos reheat the pork on the top shelf of your bbq or in a microwave. Cut into thin slices and place in a serving bowl on your taco buffet. Suggested taco bar pairing: Grilled Mole-Marinated Pork with White Peach Salsa, pickled jalapeño, dijon mayo, cilantro.

HOBNOBMAG Recipe Taco Bar Grilled Pork

Cooking Elk Medallion Sliders: Like Steak but Better

Posted on: May 4th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

Here is an ingredient you may not have come across: elk. I chose to use it in developing a party menu of WILD ingredients, and though unfamiliar, it turned to be somewhat familiar. Cooking elk is quite simple. Elk tenderloin medallions can be treated just like filet mignon. Do not overcook it! This recipe calls for a quick grill then a slicing of the meat for sliders—with accoutrement: bacon, a gouda-style cheese from Ireland, and bitter radicchio and topped with Creamy Old-Style Mustard Dip (also seen in our exotic sausage recipe). To preserve all the wonderful juices, be sure to flip the tenderloins with tongs, instead of a fork.

You can order elk, and other exotic meats from Fossil Farms, where we purchased the sausages as well. See more at this link.   And if you are intrigued at the idea of using wild and foraged ingredients, see our entire party menu, Exotic & Foraged.

MAKES 24 SLIDERS

MAKE THE CREAMY OLD-STYLE MUSTARD DIP

1/2 CUP sour cream
1/2 CUP Maille Dijon Old-Style mustard
4 TB Maille Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Breitsamer Honig Forest Honey

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

COOK THE BACON

8 slices bacon

In the microwave, place 4 slices of bacon between paper towels. Cook for about 1 min per slice (start with 3 min to see if crispy). Cut (or snap!)  each slice into 3 parts.

cooking elk tenderloins

GRILL THE ELK

4 elk medallions
s + p

Let meat come to room temperature before cooking elk. Generously season with s + p. Grill 1 1/2 min on each side. Let meat rest before cutting into 1/4-inch slices.

cooking elk sliders with bacon, cheese, and radicchio

ASSEMBLE THE elk medallion SLIDERS

24 Martin’s Party Size Potato Rolls
Kerrygold Blarney Castle gouda-style cheese


mustard cream sauce
sliced elk
radicchio castillo franco, trimmed to fit on the rolls

Slice rolls in half and add a slice of cheese to the bottom. Place under broiler for 1 min (or less, watch!) to melt the cheese.

Slather mustard onto top of the roll. On top of the cheese, add bacon, two slices of elk, and 3 radicchio leaves. Close roll, and push together.

Gourmet Bites for Watching the Game: Pâté, Chili Mix, Nuts, and Hi-Protein Gelato

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 by Ellen Swandiak

Shortcuts and stellar ingredients can turn a ho-hum gathering into something special. Here are eight gourmet bites that your sports-loving friends will really appreciate.

Hosting a gathering from watching the big game? We’ve discovered some crowd-pleasing, fantastic gourmet bites that also provide some nifty shortcuts. First, meaty delights unveil in pâté and a lovingly cured lamb charcuterie that you can just put out with slices of a fresh-baked baguette and fancy mustards on the side. If game time means chili time, cut to the chase with high quality chili in a box. Some other pantry musts: a line of BBQ sauces, healthy nut mixes, and ketchup with a kick of sriracha. For dessert? A high protein gelato, in individual servings, save the day. This is a small part of the entire 5-star plan for hosting a group to watch the big game. See details below.

[1] Trois Petit Cochons

[photo above] Take your party spread to the next level with Trois Petit Cochons’ award-winning, all natural, pâté and charcuterie. Trois Petit Cochons began their small charcuterie business in 1975 in Greenwich Village, NYC, and has since become a leader in the industry while still retaining their signature small batch, artisanal touch.

Forget the chips and salsa and create an incredible charcuterie board with Trois Petit Cochons’ luxurious pâtés and cured meats made with hearty, wild game like venison and wild boar and Autumnal delights like apples, chestnuts, cranberries, and wild mushrooms. We especially love their Pâté de Canard à l’Orange—made with duck, pork, pistachio, and a touch of Grand Marnier. It’s earthy, rustic, and rich, and perfect for cool, crisp game days—served with a side of cornichons and a loaf of crusty bread. 3pigs.com

[2] Cooksimple Chili

Montana-based Cooksimple proves that convenience doesn’t have to mean low-quality, processed ingredients. Created with nutrition and weeknight-ready ease in mind, Cooksimple’s meal starters give boxed kits of yore a healthy 21st century makeover. This isn’t your mom’s Hamburger Helper—think nutritious ingredients like quinoa, sorghum, and brown rice, and protein-packed, high fiber legumes. All you need to add is water or occasionally a kitchen staple like milk or canned tomatoes.

Two of our favorites for a game day event are the crowd-pleasing classic tomato-based Cowboy Chili and the lively Santa Fe White Bean Chili. The Cowboy Chili is seasoned with cinnamon and chili peppers and chock full of good-for-you ingredients like quinoa, black beans, zucchini, and spinach. The Santa Fe White Bean Chili features three beans (white, pinto, and navy) and chia seeds, and can be bumped up to the next level with shredded rotisserie chicken, corn, lime, juice, and multi-grain chips.

All of Cooksimple’s kits have lots of great suggestions for add-ins and variations to suit your family or party guests’ tastes, so you can think of these boxes as a healthy jumping off point for a variety of meals. cooksimplemeals.com

hobnobmag Gourmet Bites for Watching the Big Game

[3] Traina Sriracha Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

Traina has taken its award-winning sun dried tomato ketchup and given it a spicy Asian kick. With the equivalent of four pounds of fresh tomatoes in each ketchup bottle, the sun dried tomatoes (dried the traditional way in the sun) used in the ketchup creates an intense, deep tomato flavor, while the Sriracha flavors gives us that spicy tang we all love. Slathered all over burgers, hot dogs, and more, your tailgate won’t survive without it. traina.com

[4] Edwards Lamb Charcuterie

Virginia-based Edwards Smokehouse has been in the ham business for four generations, making the best country ham in the U.S. With specialties like Buttery Peanut-Fed Ham, made from pigs fed only a traditional diet of (you guessed it) peanuts, and their classic award-winning Surryano ham, that’s aged for more than 400 days, Edwards uses traditional smoking and curing methods and only free-range, humanely raised pigs to get the best, most flavorful product.

Now, Edwards is venturing into what may seem like new territory with their newly launched line of lamb charcuterie (or “lamb ham”), but in fact, the sweet, buttery, slightly smoky delicacy was a prized mainstay in colonial times and enjoyed by quite a few of our Founding Fathers. Partnering with Virginia’s Border Springs farm, Edwards will transform succulent, rich grass-fed lamb with a six month traditional curing process using salt and hickory smoke. The incredible result will be a product even George Washington would have loved. edwardsvaham.com

hobnobmag Gourmet Bites for Watching the Big Game

[5] Green Mountain Mustard

[SADLY, THIS COMPANY HAS GONE OUT OF BUSINESS] Give your yellow squeeze bottle of mustard a huge upgrade with Green Mountain’s line of mustards spiked with big, bold, in-your-face flavors.

With cheeky names and a fun, creative spin, Green Mountain brings you rich, creamy mustards with flavors like Ragin’ Rooster made with Sriracha, Deli Dirt filled with everything bagel topping, and Clove Encounter made with garlic and oregano. Sweet, spicy, or savory, there’s something for everyone. Green Mountain Mustard is a family affair, and began when its founder, Michael Adams, and his father created their original flavor, Sweet Hot Mustard, and started selling it at their local farmers’ market. Now, Green Mountain (named after its home base in Vermont) is available in stores across the country and boasts 15 mustard flavors that belong on more than just your hot dogs and sandwiches. buymustard.com

hobnobmag Gourmet Bites for Watching the Big Game

[6] Lillie’s Q BBQ Sauce 

Taste what it means to have three generations of Southern style barbecue mastery with Lillie’s Q’s incredible 6-bottle gift set of their renowned small-batch, regional barbecue sauces.

Housed in a handsome wooden box, these beautifully designed bottles, each featuring a hand-dipped wax seal, come from Lillie’s Q, an award-winning restaurant recognized by Food & Wine Magazine as “The Best New BBQ Restaurant in the Country.” Opened by Chef Charlie McKenna, originally of Greenville, South Carolina, Lillie’s Q is named after McKenna’s beloved grandmother Lillie who taught him the art of true Southern cooking, including a secret or two to knock-your-socks-off barbecue sauces.

Not content on creating just one amazing in-house sauce, Lillie’s Q has six types in their line-up, each based on traditions of unique barbecue regions (which also makes this collection a great conversation starter for those serious about barbecue). There’s not just one tangy Carolina-style sauce, but three: Carolina, a tomato-vinegar-based Western Carolina-style; the spicy, three-pepper-infused E.N.C. (Eastern North Carolina); and the marigold-hued Carolina Gold with a mustard base that recalls the area’s German heritage. Sweet-and-smoky Memphis-style sauces of a deep mahogany hue come in two varieties, Smoky and its fiery friend, Hot Smoky.

The most striking of the bunch, and probably the most intriguing to Yankees who have never heard of the style before, is Ivory, a tangy, creamy white barbecue sauce popular in northern Alabama. Try all six—we dare you to pick a favorite. lilliesq.com

[7] Forte High Protein Gelato

Living a healthy, active lifestyle doesn’t have to be one of only deprivation, especially when at a party with friends where you just want to forget the diet and indulge. Treat yourself and guests to Forte’s rich, satisfying, creamy gelato that just happens to also be packed with protein and calcium.

Made with rBST-free dairy (meaning no artificial hormones), cage-free eggs, and organic agave nectar (instead of corn syrup), each serving contains just 160 calories, 45% of the recommended daily value for calcium, and a whopping 15 grams of protein.

Flavors include bold Espresso made with real brewed espresso (a shot in each serving), pure and simple Vanilla made with Fair Trade organic Madagascar vanilla, Chocolate made with deep rich cocoa from Holland, and spicy-sweet Ginger made with refreshing organic candied ginger. tasteforte.com

hobnobmag Gourmet Bites for Watching the Big Game

[8] Navitas Naturals Superfood Nut Mixes

Reach for Navitas Naturals Superfood+ line of snack mixes when you want to turn your mindless snacking into mindful indulgence. Navitas combines superfood ingredients with great-for-you nuts—perfect for whether you love salty or sweet or a little bit of both.

Their products are organic and all-natural, with partners that follow only the strictest growing standards. Fantastic as party snacks or as an on-the-go plant-powered protein boost, the line has something for every taste: chocolate-y Cacao Almonds, rosemary-infused Chia Pepitas, lightly sweet Coconut Pepitas, tart Goji Cashews accented with Italian herbs, savory Turmeric Almonds, ginger-spiked Goldenberry Almonds, and praline-inpsired Maca Cashews. navitasnaturals.com

Easy Bang Bang Chicken from Sasha Wilkins Author of Friends, Food, Family

Posted on: November 28th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

A cookbook that makes entertaining easy, fun, relaxed. See the recipe for Bang Bang Chicken, a buffet-style dinner that allows guests to fill their own rice pancakes as they please.

Fashion editor and founder of LibertyLondonGirl.com, Sasha Wilkins knows a thing or two about being a modern hostess. Wilkins has traveled the world, feeding friends and family everywhere she goes. To her, being a modern hostess means nixing the fuss without sacrificing style and quality. Her tips and recipes allow you to spend more time talking to your friends and family, and less time sweating over the stove. This is why we chose to include this cookbook as part of Hobnob’s plan for hosting weekend guests.

The ideas in FRIENDS FOOD FAMILY apply to all sorts of gatherings, from impromptu guests to perfect picnics and long weekend brunches. Including influences from her treks around the globe, Wilkins’s hope is help readers “rustle up a meal anywhere from a beach house in Cornwall to a youth hostel kitchen somewhere idyllic via the tiniest of Manhattan apartments, whether using food from the back of the fridge or from a fancy food market.”

hobnobmag Bang Bang Chicken

In thinking about your weekend guests, recipes like Bang Bang Chicken, a dish of DIY chicken wraps with tons of fresh vegetables and a spicy peanut sauce, or her puff pastry-topped Giant Chicken Pie will be sure crowd pleasers. Breakfast is a breeze with tips for poaching eggs for a crowd and no-brainer dishes like a granola parfait, a layering of fruit, yogurt, and granola, topped with eye- and mouth-popping pomegranate seeds in pretty water glasses. You can make them ahead of time and chill overnight. Wilkins also embraces the great outdoors with hot, comforting dishes you can make ahead and reheat, perfect for ravenous guests coming in from the ski slopes, or perfectly packaged sandwiches and salads-in-jars to take with you on hikes. Whether you’re feeding friends at an afternoon tea, a traditional Sunday lunch, or a warm weather picnic, Wilkins has your group covered.

recipe

BANG BANG CHICKEN

I don’t just love this dish because of its name (which is irresistibly good and comes from the noise made when cooks would tenderize the chicken by banging it with a mallet) but because it is as finger-lickin’ good as it is easy. It’s so simple that it would be a great recipe to make with children, although there is nothing childish about it. It originates from Sichuan, where the inclusion of Sichuan peppercorns makes it a much fierier dish than we eat in the West. (Feel free to add 1 or 2 tsp if you crave the burn.)

hobnobmag bang bang chicken

Bang bang chicken is usually served with its sauce over noodles—either rice or mung bean—but I like to serve mine as a DIY version with all the ingredients separated, so the eaters can choose their favorite combination to roll up in a pancake. I first made this for a Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) supper party, which I didn’t want to feel like a one-note meal, so I used a different kind of pancake for each course. The ones I use to wrap the chicken in are the thin, rice versions that you can find in any Asian supermarket, often in the freezer section. They are inexpensive and are packaged so that you can just remove what you need, and put the others back in the freezer. (I find them very useful for last-minute suppers.)

SERVES 6

FOR THE CHICKEN & NOODLES

6 chicken breasts (on the bone)
7 oz rice noodles
sesame oil

Rinse the chicken breasts under a running faucet. Put them in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and poach gently for 15 minutes. Check the inside of a breast, and if there is any hint of pinkness, simmer for another 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

When the chicken is cooked, remove from the water, take off the skin, and discard. Reserve the poaching liquid. Pull the meat from the bone and shred neatly—you can use a fork or your fingers.

Plunge the rice noodles into a pan of boiling water. They should cook almost immediately, but do check package instructions. Drain, then add a drop of sesame oil to stop them sticking together.

FOR THE SAUCE

8 TB peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
6 TB sweet chili sauce
2 tsp lime juice
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB rice vinegar
2 TB sesame oil

Dump the sauce ingredients in another pan with 1 cup of the reserved poaching liquid. Mix thoroughly and heat over gentle heat to warm through. (Do not to let it burn—burnt peanuts smell revolting.)

FOR THE TABLE

30 rice pancakes (4 per head, plus a few extra)
3 TB sesame seeds
2 cups bean sprouts
2 carrots (optional)
2 romaine lettuces
Bunch scallions
1 to 2 cucumbers
1/2 bunch cilantro

If you have a steamer, place it over a pan of simmering water, and add the pancakes to the basket to warm through. Otherwise, they can be wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven.

Heat a frying pan and pour in the sesame seeds to toast for 30 seconds. (This is optional, but they taste better toasted.)

For the table, rinse the bean sprouts, grate the carrots, if using, separate the lettuce leaves, shred the onions, and cut the cucumber into matchsticks.

TO SERVE

Arrange the chicken, noodles, pancakes, vegetables, and cilantro on a series of plates. Pour the sauce into 2 bowls. Put the sesame seeds in a little bowl. Let everyone assemble their own pancakes at the table. Don’t forget lots of napkins, as the sauce drips down chins and fingers.

(If you are making this on a hot summer day, don’t heat the sauce and allow the chicken and the noodles to cool to room temperature.)

Excerpted from Friends, Food, Family: Essential Recipes, Tips and Secrets for the Modern Hostess, from Liberty London Girl by Sasha Wilkins by arrangement with Quadrille Publishing, distributed by Chronicle Books, Copyright © 2015 by Sasha Wilkins.

Segedin Goulash Served Over Steamed Slovak Dumplings

Posted on: November 13th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

The first time I tasted Segedin Goulash I fell in love with its unusual flavors and rich, creamy sauce. If you like pork, think about it served in a spiced paprika pool, and finished in butter and sour cream. It’s a rich dish, that will be especially appreciated in cold weather to warm the soul. Traditionally, the goulash is served over dumplings, or if you are not so inclined, boil some basmati rice to use as a base.

We created this recipe as part of a menu for hosting guests over the weekend. The plan is full of ideas for filling up guests, but not spending too much time in the kitchen. So, if you are following our plan for Hosting Weekend Guests, you will be making extra so it can be transformed into Mini Pot Pies the following day for lunch. This dish will last, and only gets better with after a day or two.

SERVES 4 WITH EXTRA FOR MINI POT PIES

PREPARE THE GOULASH

2 medium onions, chopped
4 TB butter

3 LB pork shoulder, cut into cubes
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp caraway seeds

2 LB sauerkraut
water

2 TB butter
5 TB flour
2 CUP sour cream

In a large, deep saucepan, saute onions in butter, until they are a nice brown, about 5 min. Add cubed pork, along with spices. Saute about 15 min till pork is cooked through. Add sauerkraut, plus enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hr till thick and reduced.

In a separate pan, melt butter and add flour. Add this mix into the stew to thicken it. Stir in sour cream, and let cook gently for 2 min.

TO SERVE SEGEDIN GOULASH

Steamed Dumplings, recipe follows, sliced (or rice)

Put 2 or 3 dumplings onto a plate and pour the goulash over it.

SUNDAY LUNCH: MINI POT PIES

leftover goulash
puff pastry, thawed at room temp for 40 min

heirloom tomatoes, sliced
EV olive oil
salt

Fill ramekins just shy of the top with goulash. Cut pastry sheets to size of the ramekins, and fit around the top using your fingers to seal. Bake in preheated 400ºF oven for 20-25 min till puff pastry is cooked through and golden brown. Serve with sliced heirlooms on the side, drizzled with olive oil and salt.

recipe

STEAMED DUMPLINGS

Slovak-style dumplings are not your usual noodle-type fare. They are huge, sponge-y bread-sized morsels that do their job of soaking up the sauces and juices of many dishes. These go hand in hand with the Segedin Goulash, and make it that much better. Make these ahead if you don’t want to spend the time while guests are in attendance, or alternatively, involve guests in the prep if they love to cook.

MAKES 22 SLICES

PREPARE THE YEAST

1 CUP milk
1 teaspoon of sugar
packet of yeast

Heat milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds so it’s lukewarm. Then put 3 TB of the milk into a small bowl. Vigorously whisk in sugar and yeast and let sit for about 10 min, to allow the yeast to rise.

MAKE THE DOUGH

2 CUPS all-purpose flour
1 egg
salt
yeast mixture
remaining milk

slice of stale bread (optional), cubed

In a large bowl, combine ingredients well. Then knead for about 10 min with a mixer. Dough should be smooth and unsticky, add flour if necessary.

LET THE DOUGH RISE

Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit 2 hrs.

Dust a wooden cutting board with flour and divide the mixture into 2 parts. Dumplings will increase in size when you steam them, so start with a size that will accommodate the pot you have. Cover these with a towel, and let sit another 20 min.

MAKE THE DUMPLINGS

Set up a double boiler, and get water to boil. Place dough inside pot and cover. Steam for 20 min without opening the lid. Remove from pot, and poke the dumplings to let any steam out.

Allow to cool slightly. Slice into dumplings about a half-inch thick. Set 2 on a plate and cover with goulash to serve.

Lamb Ribs Elevated: Classic Recipes for Modern People by Max and Eli Sussman

Posted on: September 15th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

This cookbook’s food is fun and creative, with recipes extremely crowd-pleasing and party friendly. Enjoy this recipe from the book for lamb ribs with touches of honey and lavender.

When a cookbook’s introduction tells you to “crank up the Stairway to Heaven, pop on some Ray-Bans, strip down to your underwear and socks, and slide into the kitchen,” you know you’re in for some fun.

Back with their fourth cookbook, Classic Recipes for Modern People, Brooklyn-based chefs (and brothers) Max and Eli Sussman take on beloved classic dishes, re-imagining them with a modern twist while bringing the same irresistible high energy and humor that imbued their previous titles. They tell us that recipes “should be ever expanding and evolving. We believe that a dish—no matter how classic and iconic—has the ability to morph into something new and fantastic.”

All the flavors you crave and remember are still there, but just heightened, bolder, bigger. The results are recipes that are adventurous yet doable, fresh and modern yet shaded with comforting nostalgia. With dishes “reinvented, re-jiggered, reordered, and re-created,” this means a classic TV dinner of ketchup-topped meat loaf and mash becomes Lamb Meat Loaf with Curried Potatoes, tuna casserole turns into Linguine Tonnato, and their Franks ‘N’ Beans becomes creamy white beans, sweet caramelized onions, spicy chorizo, and even kale, with no chopped-up hot dogs in sight.

hobnobmag review-Classic-Recipes1

CHILDHOOD INFLUENCES

Mining from their own childhood growing up outside of Detroit with their “vegetable-loving, always-cooking-from scratch,” junk-food-free parents, also means contemporized classics that are more veggie-forward and Jewish-influenced, including Crispy Artichokes with Miso Aioli, Salmon with Chermoula & Sautéed Vegetables, and dishes like a crispy layered Brisket & Potato Kugel and a “Gefilte” Fish Terrine that seems just as much at home at a French bistro as it would on a Passover table.

Crowdsourcing from friends and their diverse childhood food memories yields dishes like an Italian Sunday Pasta any nonna would be proud of and Arroz Con Pollo re-imagined into breaded, deep-fried balls, arancini-style.

CLASSICS IN THE MAKING

The Sussmans even delve into “Future Classics,” as in “spankin’-new Sussman bros dishes that one day will be classics,” where we get a collision of bold, brash flavors in recipes like sticky-hot-sweet Lamb Ribs with Hot Honey & Lavender (recipe follows) and the ingenious Corn Bread & Brisket Patty Melt. If we learn anything from the Sussman brothers’ raucous headnotes, it’s that they sure know how to have fun—and eat fantastically as well.

We’ve included a recipe from the book that’s ideal for serving while watching the game, as part of a party theme for hosting an 5-star menu for sports fans.

recipe

Lamb Ribs with Hot Honey and Lavender

Serves 4-6

2 large shallots, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
2-inch (5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 TB extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup (6 oz/185 g) honey
2 1/2 TB kosher salt
1 TB freshly ground white pepper
1–2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending how hot you like the ribs)
1/2 tsp dried lavender

2 racks lamb ribs, about 2 lb (1 kg) total weight
Fresh mint for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
In a bowl, toss together the shallots, garlic, ginger, and olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until browned, 15—20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F (120°C).

Let the shallot mixture cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor, add the honey, salt, white pepper, cayenne, and lavender, and purée until smooth.

Rub the honey mixture evenly on the lamb racks. Place the racks, meaty side up, on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, 3—4 hours. Remove from the oven, cut the ribs apart, and eat immediately. Or let the racks cool, scrape off the excess rub, and rewarm the racks under the broiler or over a hot grill until the outside is crispy and the inside is warm, then cut apart just before serving. Garnish with the mint and serve right away.

Classic Recipes for Modern People by Max and Eli Sussman (March 2015; Publisher: Olive Press; Photographer: Erin Kunkel

Richard Caruso of Javelina Shares his Recipe for Habanero-Glazed Spicy Chicken Wings

Posted on: September 15th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Looking for a more upscale, tongue-tingling recipe for spicy chicken wings? Try this Tex Mex combination from a NYC chef know for his bbq creds.

Those looking for a taste of Tex-Mex in NYC have been gathering at Javelina, which is known for its boisterous vibe and melty, goo-ey fare. Perhaps it’s their selections of tequila that gets the place all riled up (see our post) but we like the bar bites too.

For this month’s party theme for hosting an upscale party event,  Chef Richard Caruso shares his recipe for creating the most juicy and spicy chicken wings on the planet. A plate of these at your next sports viewing party might have you hosting your own fan club.

Only for the consummate host, these are not your Tabasco-infused, finger-staining wings, but a lively mix of hot and sweet proportion, with fantastic side dips. Caruso comes to Javelina from the BBQ world, so really knows how to keep meat flavorful and perfectly cooked. javelinatexmex.com

recipe

Habanero Glazed Chicken Wings

FOR THE SPICE MIX:

(for 12-18 wings)
2 TB chili powder
2 TB salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 TB paprika

Mix together in a bowl.

FOR THE JALAPENO-RANCH DRESSING:

1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TB chopped cilantro
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chopped jalapeño chili
1 TB cider vinegar

Mix together in a bowl and refrigerate (will last 1-2 weeks).

FOR THE HABANERO-LIME GLAZE:

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
2 habanero chilies (finely diced with seeds)
1/4 cup honey
1 TB corn starch
2 TB water

In a pot, bring all the ingredients except the corn starch and water, to a boil, then lower to simmer.
In a small bowl, mix the corn starch and water together. Slowly whisk in the mixture into the glaze until there are no lumps and the glaze becomes thicker. Set aside and cool. Note: you can set aside some of the glaze for a spicy dipping sauce.

TO MAKE THE WINGS:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

In a large bowl toss the wings with the vegetable oil, then add the spice mix and toss until evenly coated.
Place the wings on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 min.

Remove from oven, move wings to a clean bowl and coat with the habanero glaze. Bake for an additional 5 min, remove from the oven and let stand.

Place wings on a platter, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with celery and carrots and jalapeño-ranch dressing.

hobnobmag recipe spicy chicken wings

See more tips for hosting a five-star sports viewing in the UP YOUR GAME issue.

Stuffed Pork Loin with Caramelized Plantains for a Party

Posted on: September 6th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Make this party-perfect pork for serving during game breaks. It will be a welcome slice of hearty meat-and-side-dish in-one. This stuffed pork loin looks great, with its swirling pattern, and definitely tops serving chili or hot dogs.

One of the recipes that’s part of our upscale game plan for game watching—keepin’ it classy. Make sure to select plantains that are yellow, just starting to turn black, which are sweet but not overly so.

As for butterflying the loin, you could ask a butcher, or give it a shot yourself. You will need a very sharp, long knife. Watch this video by Chef John on the FOOD WISHES channel, on YouTube and you may become hypnotized by the chef’s very pleasant, amusing and informative voice as he explains the steps.

MAKES ABOUT 12-15 SLICES

PREPARE THE STUFFING

1/2 TB vegetable oil
4 yellow plantains, peeled, cut into ½ inch slices
salt, to taste

1 1/2 tsp powdered sugar

Heat oil over medium heat. Add the plantains. Sprinkle salt. Brown both sides, about 3 min each. Move to dish. Sprinkle with sugar and a little more salt.

HOBNOBMAG Recipe Caramelized Plantains

PREHEAT OVEN 375ºF … STUFF THE PORK

5 LB pork loin, butterflied
salt
pepper
chili powder

cooked plantains
1 small red onion, cut into thin rings
fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp honey

Season the meat with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Line the plantains in rows, leaving about an inch on the left, bottom and top. Leave about 2 inches clear on the right so when you roll the pork it will seal at that end. Toss onion rings, parsley, and honey over the stuffing. Roll pork. Tie with string every 1 1/2 inches or so.

HOBNOBMAG Recipe Stuffed Pork Loin

ROAST THE PORK

1 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick rings
stuffed pork
Sweet Hot Sauce
parsley leaves for garnish

Place intact onion rings at the bottom of a roasting pan with some water. Place stuffed pork on top. Move to oven, middle rack. Cook for about 1 hr (internal temperature should be 135ºF).

Move roast to a cutting board, top with an aluminum foil tent. After 15 min, cut strings with scissors, slice into 3/4-inch slices. Line slices on a plate, drizzle pan drippings, top with Sweet Hot Sauce, garnish with parsley leaves. Serve with a small bowl of Sweet Hot Sauce and another bowl with the onions from the bottom of the pan.

HOBNOBMAG Recipe Stuffed Pork Loin2

Chicken a Whole New Way—Dressed in a Smoked Cumin Mayo

Posted on: September 6th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Make chicken a whole new way. We accomplished this with The Smoking Gun by PolyScience, which adds smoke flavor without adding heat. Guys, and gals, will love using this gadget. The Smoking Gun is perfect for smoking just about anything—mayo, butter, juices, you-name-it. You’ll be really surprised at how much flavor can be added in a minute amount of time, the mayo only needed about two minutes.

We love this recipe as part of the classy menu we created for serving while watching the big game. Sports fans can graze on these bites all through the game. Alternate serving idea: Mix the smoked mayo with chicken bites to create a chicken salad and serve atop crackers or make mini sandwiches.

MAKES ABOUT 80 BITES

GRILL THE CHICKEN BREASTS

1 LB chicken breasts
smoked salt

Get a grill pan nice and hot. Cut breasts into uniform thickness, if necessary, separate the tenderloin. Sprinkle with smoked salt. Grill.

MAKE THE CUMIN MAYO

2 TB mayo
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked salt

herbs, for garnish (optional)

Mix ingredients together in deep bowl. Spread mayo around the sides to create a lot of surface. Cover bowl in plastic wrap, with the tube from The Smoking Gun inserted. Place wood chips in gun, light it as you would a pipe. Turn on the gun, and allow smoke to fill bowl, about 20 secs. Shut off gun. Allow smoke to remain for 2 to 3 min, (the longer you leave it, the more intense the result will be). Remove plastic. You will get a waft of smoke here, so avoid area with smoke detector. You might want to open a window for a minute to allow smoke to dissipate.

MAKE THE BITES

With a sharp knife, cut breasts into bite-size pieces. Put a dollop of the mayo on the bites using a small spoon. Spear with toothpick. If you have any oregano, parsley or chives around, chop and sprinkle over the bites to decorate.

Beef & Veal Meatballs & Port Reduction: Rich and Decadent

Posted on: September 6th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

If you are hosting the gang to come over and watch the game, these beef and veal meatballs will show off your culinary style. Super easy to throw together, just mix the ingredients and bake in the oven for 25 min. Though they can be eaten at room temperature, but if you put them in a half hour before half time, you can enjoy them hot out of the oven. The port reduction adds another upscale element. See our entire menu featuring high-end nibbles to serve while watching sports  at this link.

As an alternate serving  idea, make sliders out of these, and add sauteed onions as a topping. Guests will love them.

MAKES 62 BALLS (ABOUT 1 INCH)

PREHEAT OVEN 375ºF… MAKE THE MEATBALLS

1 LB ground beef
1 LB ground veal
2 oz prosciutto, minced and cooked till crispy
1 1/2 CUPS parsley, minced
1/2 CUP pignoli nuts, toasted, crushed
s + p
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 CUP panko bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients together, and roll into 1-inch balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 25 min, turning once for even cooking.

MAKE THE PORT REDUCTION

1/2 CUP prunes, pitted, chopped
1/2 orange, chopped
1 TB orange zest
3 CUPS port wine

In a small saucepan, bring ingredients to a boil, then simmer about 40 min till reduced and syrupy. Push through a fine mesh strainer, and discard the prunes.

TO SERVE

parsley, broken into individual leaves or finely chopped

Put a pick into each ball, drizzle with sauce, and garnish with parsley. Set a bowl of the sauce for dipping alongside.

Halloumi Appetizer with Honey-Lime Syrup: Grilled Cheese Greek Style

Posted on: August 3rd, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Cheese is always welcome in a party setting. I’ve put a little more thought, though, in creating this halloumi appetizer. Paired with a crisped salty ham and a drizzle of honey-lime syrup, you combine creamy, salty, and sweet in one bite. This recipe was inspired by Greek foods, which seem extra delicious in the summer heat.

In keeping with the Greek theme for this party menu, I searched NYC shops for pastourma (aka pastirma), a type of Greek charcuterie, but could not find any in time for recipe testing. What I did have on hand was Surryano, a dry cured ham from Virginia that was featured on pizza in our Lazy Pizza Party. The saltiness and perfect fry-ability of the ham worked perfectly with the halloumi grilling cheese.

To give it a slightly sweet and citrus-y bent, I then matched it with Greek honey infused with lime and lemon verbena. These are great just off the skillet, and may get a little chewy when cooled, but the flavors are absolutely perfect together.

MAKES ABOUT 25 BITES

MAKE THE HONEY-LIME SYRUP

1/4 CUP Ariston Greek Wildflower Honey
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp lemon verbena, minced

Pour honey into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for about 15 secs, till honey is warmed through and thinner in consistency. Whisk in lime juice and lemon verbena. Remove lemon verbena leaves. Funnel into a plastic squeeze bottle. Refrigerate if not using right away.

GRILL THE HALLOUMI

11 oz halloumi cheese
10 slices Surryano Dry Cured Ham
bamboo picks

Cut brick of halloumi through the center lengthwise, then each half into 1/4-inch thick slices, then cut those into 3/4-inch slices. You should end up with slices approx 3/4-inch wide by 1.5-inches long by 1/4-inch thick. Next, cut the ham into 1/2-inch strips to wrap around the halloumi. (It should slightly overlap, ideally) Spear the halloumi onto bamboo picks carefully, driving the stick directly through the center. Heat a skillet. Brown about 1 to 2 min each side. Fan out on a plate.

TO SERVE

halloumi-ham bites
10 lemon verbena leaves, cut into thin ribbons
honey lime syrup

Sprinkle lemon verbena ribbons over the bites and drizzle syrup liberally.

Summer Grill Delight: Skirt Steak Teriyaki Roll-Ups

Posted on: August 2nd, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Warm weather beckons to prepare your summer grill for all the festivities to come. And steaks on the grill are a special treat. I’ve come up with a different way of serving skirt steak to guests: in little bites at a time with fresh vegetable accompaniment. Tip: Choosing skirt steak, as opposed to flank steak, adds more fat, thus more flavor.

Here’s the basic idea: pound steaks into ultra thinness. Sear both sides. Cut into long strips to create the rolls—make sure to roll so the grain of the meat runs parallel to the roll. We cooked the steak on a skillet, but a grill pan or bbq would work just as well. See more recipes in our Summer Grill party for entertaining in the great outdoors.

MAKES ABOUT 50 ROLLS

MAKE THE TERIYAKI SAUCE

1/2 CUP San-J Organic Shoyu
1/4 CUP water
5 TB sweet rice wine
1 TB honey
1/4 CUP raw turbinado sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

Heat ingredients in a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 min, to reduce.

HOBNOBMAG Recipe Cut Carrot Strips with Peeler

PREPARE THE VEGGIES

3 TB safflower oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into thin strips
2 carrots, cut into thin strips, matching the length of the peppers
1 TB thyme, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oil and add all ingredients to a large skillet or wok. Stir fry for 5 min.

PREPARE THE STEAK

1 3/4 LB skirt steak
safflower oil
s + p
—-
Pound steaks till about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Brush oil on one side of steak, season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a little safflower oil in a large skillet. Place sections of steak into pan seasoned side down. Sear for 2 min. Flip, and season other side, sear for additional 2 min. Set aside to rest.

HOBNOBMAG Recipe How to Steak Roll Ups

ASSEMBLE THE ROLLS

steak
veggies
5 scallions tops, cut into 4-inch strips
teriyaki sauce

Cut each steak into half lengthwise, so that you have long, skinny pieces. On steak, lay 2 strips each of pepper, carrot, scallion. Roll tightly. Secure the ends with 2 toothpicks, stabbing straight down. Cut the roll in half in between the 2 toothpicks, so that you have 2 pieces that sit flat with veggies sticking out of the top. Set on a serving dish and spoon teriyaki sauce over.

Pork with Mango Nectarine Salsa: Meat Meet Sweet

Posted on: June 1st, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

We added a little twist to this one bite pork with mango nectarine salsa dish: Serving it on edible spoons. This is one of the best party tricks I’ve seen. Order the edible spoons from FoodieSpoon.com and they can be kept frozen for parties all summer long.

The original inspiration for this recipe comes as part of our party plan for doing a buffet in rainbow colors. You might choose to do this to celebrate Gay Pride, or just for fun. This dish fits into the ORANGE category, of the six colors of the rainbow. To give it extra orange hue, we added Bijol, a coloring and condiment from Latin America, that does not add any extra flavor.

Rainbow Party Shortcut for the color ORANGE: Get an order of Orange Chicken from your local Chinese restaurant, set out bites on ceramic spoons.

Other orange foods to consider: butternut squash, salmon, oranges, cheddar cheese, sweet & sour sauce, vodka cream sauce, pizza. See our picks on PINTEREST for more fantastic rainbow party ideas and recipes.

MAKES 28 SPOONS

MAKE THE MANGO NECTARINE SALSA

2 mangoes, diced
2 nectarines, diced
1 orange tomato, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 CUP cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to merge.

PREHEAT OVEN 425ºF… COOK THE PORK

1 1/2 LB boneless pork chops, 1-inch thick
s + p

bijol

Season pork chops on both sides with s + p. In a heated ovenproof skillet, sear pork 4 min each side. Finish in the oven, 10–12 min. Remove from oven, let rest 5 min. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Move to a bowl and sprinkle bijol to coat.

ASSEMBLE THE BITES

edible spoon (chili pepper & lime)
pork cubes
mango nectarine salsa
sriracha

Place one pork cube on each spoon, top with salsa. Dot sriracha for extra color burst and heat.

To see the rest of the rainbow recipes, go to this link: Rainbow of Food party menu