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Posts Tagged ‘the girls’

Grain-Free Crunchy Bagel-Style Almond Crackers

Posted on: April 12th, 2020 by Ellen Swandiak

A crunchy cracker you can make with pantry ingredients. Those who are trying to be gluten and grain free often get the craving for the crunch. That’s where these grain-free crackers, made with almond flour, come in to save the day.

Between the poppy and sesame seeds, my favorite bagel toppings, these grain-free crackers not only taste fab, but make for a spectacularly speckled  presentation. Not to mention the nutritional benefits of the seeds. 

MAKES ROUGHLY 40 PIECES

PREHEAT OVEN 325ºF… MAKE THE DOUGH

1 3/4 CUP almond flour
1 TB almond oil
1 egg, beaten

In a large bowl combine all ingredients, knead well, and shape into a ball. Place onto a sheet of parchment paper that fits a baking pan. Transform dough ball into a rectangle echoing the shape of the parchment. Top with second piece of parchment and roll out dough to between 1/16- and 1/8-inch thickness. I like keeping the edges ragged so the tips will get more brown. You may need to fill in some holes as the dough escapes the parchment, so just break off those parts and fill in as necessary.

PREPARE SEED MIX

1 TB sesame seeds
1 TB poppy seeds
1 TB golden flax seeds
1 TB sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a small bowl, mix thoroughly. Sprinkle evenly over rolled-out dough. Cover with clean parchment paper and roll over to set seeds into the dough.

BAKE THE GRAIN-FREE CRACKERS

Bake for roughly 23 min till edges are slightly browned. Move with parchment to a cooling rack and let sit for 10-15 min. Break apart by hand into irregular shapes. Store in an airtight container. Try not to eat them!

If you like this recipe, you might want to take a look at our Cumin -Spiced grain-free crackers too.

A Colorful and Festive Scallop Ceviche with Blood Orange Sauce

Posted on: February 12th, 2020 by Ellen Swandiak

A Valentine’s Day dish. Winter is the season for blood oranges, and the brightness of their juice makes for a festive scallop ceviche indeed. Add the sprinkling of jalapeño pepper bits and pomegranate for an extra happy touch.

I included this recipe in our Aphrodisiac party menu specifically to create a stir. The color red is purported to arouse passion. So I’ve included not only the blood orange juice, but a sprinkling of pomegranate arils—which also adds a nice crunch. Let’s get the night going! The goddess Aphrodite is credited with planting the first pomegranate tree which has since been associated with fertility.

If serving for a crowd, plate individually in clear plastic glasses, with diced ingredients as a topping.

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 4

PREPARE THE SCALLOPS

1/2 LB bay scallops
1/4 CUP lime juice, freshly squeezed (about 2 limes)
1/4 CUP pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed (about 1/2 grapefruit)

Cut scallops horizontally into 3 pieces. Toss ingredients together in a nonreactive bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

HOBNOBMAG scallops CEVICHE marinade

MAKE THE BLOOD ORANGE SAUCE

1/2 CUP blood orange juice (about 1-2 oranges)
juice from 1/2 lime
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 TB EV olive oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce
squirt of sriracha
s +p

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl or pitcher. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

1 pink grapefruit, cut into supremes
2 TB cucumber, diced
1/2 jalapeño, diced
garnish:
1 TB fresh mint, cut into thin strips
pomegranate arils
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced (optional)

Remove scallops from refrigerator, drain excess liquid. Set up your plating dishes. Arrange scallops, alternating citrus in between. Spoon the blood orange sauce over a little at a time, do not drown. Sprinkle cucumber and jalapeño. Garnish with mint, pomegranate, and radish.

Roasted Grapes Crostini

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

If you love raisins, you will especially love this softer, fresh version. These roasted grapes would also work well with on the side of main courses: think duck, or pork. I even put them on the party buffet by themselves, for sweet snacking near the cheese board.

I included the ribbons of shiso as garnish, which add a nice look and mint-basil zing. I already had a bunch to make another recipe for this party: Roasted Delicata Squash.  And it worked in this recipe too, especially since it had flowered adding a sweet suggestion. 

MAKES ABOUT 50 CROSTINI

PREHEAT OVEN 450ºF

1 LB seedless red grapes, removed from stem
1 TB olive oil
salt
sprigs of thyme

In a large bowl, toss together. Spread out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for about 22 min, on the top shelf, or until grapes just begin to burst.

MAKE THE CROSTINI

baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 containers (16 oz) fresh ricotta
garnish with red shiso leaves (optional)

With a small knife, spread about a 1 TB of ricotta over each slice, add 2 grapes, smashing them into the bread. Top with ribbons of red shiso if you are using.

See more recipes with secret, surprise ingredients in Hobnob’s party #22 Hidden Secrets at this link.

Unusual Flavored Cheeses For Cheese Board

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

As part of the menu for Hobnob’s Hidden Secrets party, I thought that a bevy of secret ingredients should be included. Truth be told, I discovered two of these cheeses at a neighbor’s gathering—it’s so nice to have foodie neighbors, we share meals on a regular basis, and there’s often a discovery in the mix.

Trader Joe’s cheddar with caramelized onions is a unique taste sensation, with extra tang and a creamy consistency. I got the Moliterno black truffle pecorino at Fairway, and it too adds a heady truffle punch, to a strong pecorino. Heaven. The onion and chive double gloucester fit right in with the crowd.

By the way, when putting cheese out, I like to slice half the slab to encourage guests to pick. I find if you don’t cut into it, people are reluctant to cut on their own. This makes it easier to partake.

SERVES 25 WITH ACCOMPANIMENTS

ASSEMBLE THE CHEESE BOARD

2 Trader Joe’s Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions

2 Cotswald Double Gloucester with Onion and Chives

2 Moliterno Black Truffle Pecorino

Set cheeses out on two separate boards, and fill with your choice of accompaniments:

-sprigs of grapes, cut into smaller clusters

-small bowl of olives (include a discard dish for pits nearby)

-small bowl of nuts

-fig jam

-crackers or slices of baguette

See more recipes with secret, surprise ingredients in Hobnob’s party #22 Hidden Secrets at this link.

Vegan Meat: Instant Plant-Based Party Bites

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

For The Hobnob Party launch (Hidden Secrets), we offered the collection of Fry Family Foods varieties, and got feedback from every guest. The secret: What people thought were burgers, chicken nuggets, mini schnitzels, breaded prawns, and falafel were not. It was a party hit, and most were surprised that these imposters were plant-based.

You must watch the heartwarming video, which tells the story of the brand. The Fry Family goal: to create high protein foods with great texture and consistency, and most importantly, to be enjoyable.

Vegan Meat Fry Family Foods at a party

Chickpea and Roasted Butternut Balls

Seasoned with fresh sage and cumin, and rolled in a light crumb, these golden bites could be served with your favorite dip. Ball-shaped bites are always welcome at a party. (see more ideas for serving various bites in Hobnob’s HAVE A BALL party menu)

Quinoa and Brown Rice Protein Burgers

Seasoned with rosemary, marjoram and sage, and rolled in a light gluten free crumb, just bake for 15 min, and serve. We got some potato buns, and cut the patties into four, to create the slider version of these, and topped with a True Made Foods Vegetable Ketchup.

Vegan Meat Fry Family Foods at a party

Soy and Flaxseed Schnitzels

Flavored with fresh cilantro, and lightly coated in a flax & sunflower seed crumb, we served these schnitzels on a dark-brown rye bread, on a swath of The Good Spoon Curry Vegan Mayo. (see other vegan mayo recipes here)

Rice Protein & Chia Nuggets

Resembling chicken nuggets, these little bites had a satisfying texture and taste.

Battered Prawn-Style Pieces

Somehow this item did not make it into Hobnob’s party photos (we were having too much fun!), but were passed around with a cocktail sauce dip, and did feel like a shrimp alternative. 

Every year, the Fry Family put up a chart on the website to show how many animal lives would be saved if someone had chosen a Fry’s Product instead of a meat product. Last year that number was 10,055 pigs, 647,737 chickens, 11,354 cows, and 3 million prawns. fryfamilyfood.com

See more recipes with secret, surprise ingredients in Hobnob’s party #22 Hidden Secrets at this link.

Cookies for Dessert

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

When throwing a party there are certain shortcuts that save time, yet still have maximum impact. When I plan a menu, aesthetics is one of the factors and portion size another. These cookies for dessert fit both requirements, and allow guests to have a little sampling of sweetness without over doing it. You can get better cookies even at a local deli if you know what to look for. Here are the cookie choices we made for this gathering: 

Hint-O-Mint Newman-O’s

Paul Newman’s founded company gives all its profits to charity, so that’s reason enough to support the brand, but the taste of these cookies shine, and are curiously addictive. So, Oreos move aside! There’s a new cookie in town. The hint of mint makes these guys way more sophisticated.  newmansown.com

Loacker Quadratini

These wafer cookies were a childhood favorite of mine, they literally melt in your mouth. What’s lovely about these is the mini portion, they come in 1-inch cubes. I chose my two go-to flavors for the  Hidden Secret party, whose menu includes secret ingredients in every bite—Hazelnut and Coconut—but the line also includes: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, Lemon, Capuccino, Tiramisu, Espresso, Raspberry Yogurt, Blueberry Yogurt, Cocoa and Milk, and Matcha.

Loacker makes its cookies where air and water are pure and fresh, and nature is still intact: in the heart of the Dolomites. Now in its third family generation, the best natural ingredients continue the tradition founder Alfons Loacker started in his little patisserie in Bozen in 1925. loacker.com

photo at the top of this post, right: For an easy party lighting trick, add a string of LED blue lights to a counter. I got these at my local lighting store (which are dotted around Manhattan) who carry the longer lengths. Lighting and Beyond, 35 W 14th St (betw 5/6)

See more recipes with secret, surprise ingredients in party #22, Hidden Secrets, at this link.

First Blush: Celebrating Rosé in a Summer Cocktail

Posted on: June 16th, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

This summer cocktail features an unusual mix of sweet, bitter, and fruity flavors that play with bouncing blueberries. See the cocktail recipe and the exceptional ingredients used in the mix.

A light sipper accompanies red and white bites on the buffet. Garnish with blue or white straws if you have them.

DETAILS ON THE INGREDIENTS:

[1] Hangar One Handcrafted Vodka

Since launching in an airplane hangar in 2002, HANGAR ONE’s handcrafted vodkas have won fans around the world, so rest assured you will be tasting an exemplary spirit here. The creators were not happy with the “straight” vodkas that were in the market, so they decided to take matters into their own hands and create something new. Known for distilling brandies, Ansley Coale and Jorg Rupf started with wheat from the midwest, then combined that with a California Viognier grape eau de vie. The Viognier grapes are distilled using the whole fruit—including the stem, leaves, skin and blossoms, thus capturing its full flavor profile. Then, by distilling the same day it’s picked, flavor is captured at its peak. The vodka is known for its smoothness. Besides “straight” there are three infusions to choose from: Mandarin, Citron, and Kaffir Lime, all lovingly created. Available online at reservebar.com (check your state’s shipping details). About $35. hangarone.com

hobobmag summer cocktail

[2] Lillet’s Rosé Wine

Can you think of anything more suitable for a hot summer night than a nice glass of rosé? The debut of Lillet’s Rosé wine is the first time in over 50 years that the renowned French company has launched a new product, and it was well worth the wait. Consisting of a blend Grand Cru Bordeaux used in Lillet’s Rouge and Blanc, plus light aromas of berries, orange blossom and grapefruit, its flavor is a delight. Lillet Rosé is best served chilled. About $18. lillet.com

[3] Mathilde Framboise Liqueur

This formula comes from an old French family recipe. Only the best raspberries are hand picked from various parts of Scotland and the Hautes Côtes de Bourgogne, to give the liqueur it’s delicacy and sweetness. Just a spoonful is all you need. Berry nice. About $14. liqueurmathilde.com

[4] DRY Rhubarb Soda

Forget about traditional tonic, or generic soda—instead, add sophisticated flavor with this soda. The tartness of rhubarb in a refreshing bubbly drink, what’s not to love? And at only 60 calories, it is a perfectly guilt free option. Great to offer those not consuming alcohol as a elegant sip. Try all their amazing flavors like blood orange, vanilla bean, apple, cherry, lavender, juniper berry, wild lime, pear and cucumber. Available online at store.drysoda.com. $32 for a 24-pack of 12 oz bottles.

[5] Blueberries for garnish

Line the bar with blueberries in white bowls so guests can nibble and play with them in their cocktails.

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.

Vegetarian Tea Sandwich: Beets & Apple & Curry

Posted on: August 31st, 2018 by Ellen Swandiak

Sweet, crunchy golden delicious apples pair with creamy beets in this stunning vegetarian tea sandwich. The special ingredient that makes this sandwich sensational is the Good Spoon Vegan mayo, which works so well with all the components, and has that super bold color. In lieu of this mayo, I would suggest adding curry spice to mayo to get a similar effect. I love that these look like cake, due to the black pumpernickel bread from Northside Bakery in Brooklyn. I found it in my local health food store. 

The quickest way to get these sandwiches done is to purchase already cooked beets which seem to be available a better stores. If you can’t find them precooked, then boil in salted water till tender, about 35 min. 

MAKES 16 TRIANGLES

MAKE THE BEET/ CREAM CHEESE MIX

2 med beets, precooked, diced
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 TB poppy seeds
pinch salt
pinch white pepper

With a fork, mash together the beets and cream cheese, until beets really meld into the cream cheese, then mix in the rest of the ingredients.

MAKE THE SANDWICHES

4 slices Northside Bakery Pumpernickel Pullman bread
beet/cream cheese mix
The Good Spoon Curry Vegan Mayo
3 golden delicous apples, cut in half, then sliced thinly

Place bread side by side. Spread cream cheese mix liberally on one slice. On the other slice, spread about a TB of the mayo. Layer rows of the apple slices on top of the mayo. Close sandwich, press to unite both halves, and trim the crusts off.

Cut on the diagonal into 2 triangles, then cut those in half so that you end of with 4 triangles. Cut those 4 triangles in half again, so that you end up with 8 total.

Mini Muffins: Savory Butternut Squash with Spicy Squash Spread

Posted on: March 31st, 2018 by Ellen Swandiak

I love the idea of creating a more savory slant to things that are usually sweet. These mini muffins incorporate squash, sunflower seeds, carrots and a little bit of farmer cheese in a little, healthy baked treat. 

Tip: An average (3 pound) butternut squash should produce 2.5 cups of puree, so I created a fresh spread with the extra to serve with the muffins, and add some zip and a freshness. Alternatively, butter or cream cheese would also go well. Think of offering all three if you are having a large crowd for brunch.

MAKES ABOUT 36 MINI MUFFINS

PREHEAT OVEN 375ºF… PREPARE THE SQUASH

1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed

Place squash halves cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 40-45 min till fork can easily pierce through the squash’s center. Let cool a little, then scoop out the squash and mash with a fork in a bowl.

WHILE SQUASH IS BAKING, MIX WET INGREDIENTS FOR THE MUFFIN MIX

1 CUP cashew milk
2/3 CUP almond oil
1 egg
2 TB scallions, green tops, cut into thin rings
3 TB carrot, grated
2/3 CUP farmer cheese, room temp

1 CUP roasted butternut squash puree, cooled

In a large bowl incorporate ingredients till thoroughly combined.

FINISH THE MUFFIN MIX

1 CUP spelt flour
1/2 CUP coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp salt

In a separate bowl sift flours, then mix in the rest of the dry ingredients. Transfer to the wet ingredients bowl and stir until just combined.

HOBNOBMAG butternut squash muffin recipe steps

RAISE OVEN TEMP TO 400°F… BAKE THE MUFFINS

spray oil
sunflower seeds

Grease 2 mini muffin tins with spray oil* and divide mixture into each cavity, allowing dough to come above the rim. Create a cone-like, irregular shape at the top, then sprinkle on a few sunflower seeds. Bake for 20-22 min, till edges brown. Let cool 5 min in pan, then transfer muffins to a cooling rack.

WHILE MUFFINS BAKE, MAKE THE SPREAD

1 CUP butternut squash puree
1/4 CUP Greek yogurt
1 TB sriracha
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a small bowl and set on the side of muffins with a small spoon for spreading.

*If you don’t already own a spray oil dispenser, get one. That way you can use the quality oil of your choice for each project. This is a HOBNOB cupboard staple.

HOBNOBMAG Pinterest squash recipes

Want more party recipes for winter squash? Head to HOBNOB’s Pinterest page to see what we gathered from the spectrum. Party Recipes: Winter Squash We’ve done all the weeding for you, so you only see the most beautiful, healthful, and inventive recipes—the ones that are sure to impress guests. Here’s what we included:

Caprese Bites with Honey-Balsamic

Maple Glazed Acorn Squash with Apple, Parsnip and Sage

Cranberry, Butternut and Brussels Sprout Brie Skillet Nachos

Mini Bacon Butternut Squash Cups

Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash With Za’atar and Tahini

Feta and Roasted Acorn Squash Salad

Mushroom Risotto and Broccoli Stuffed Acorn Squash

Butternut Squash Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Smoky Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus

Garlic & Lemon Butternut Squash Noodles

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Rösti Cakes

Butternut Squash Hummus

Roasted Winter Squash with Vanilla Butter

Wild Rice Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Butternut Squash, Coconut & Turmeric Soup + Crispy Sage

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tartines

Weekend Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Feta

Zucchini Falafel Balls with Yellow Tomato Dipping Sauce

Posted on: November 29th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

Zucchini falafel balls are a little lighter than what you might expect in a falafel. These mini bites are baked, and look great in tones of yellow, especially with the yellow cherry tomato dipping sauce which adds its fresh twist.

Making these from fresh chickpeas takes a little extra time, but the end result is worth it. I suggest starting the chickpeas the night before. Then the next steps are pretty straightforward. If you want to used canned chickpeas, you will need 4 cups. Note: if you freeze the balls, they will fall apart, so these are best cooked the day of the party. See more “ball” recipes in our party menu, Have a Ball, made with meat, fish, and more.

MAKES 62 BALLS (ABOUT 1 INCH)

DO AHEAD: SOAK THE CHICKPEAS

2 CUPS dried chickpeas

Pick through chickpeas to remove any debris. Rinse in a colander. Place in a large pot, topped with 4 inches of water. Cover. Soak overnight. OR bring the chickpeas to a boil for 5 min, then let them soak in the water for 1 hr.

COOK THE CHICKPEAS

soaked chickpeas, rinsed well
bay leaf
black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

Add all ingredients, except salt, to a large pot with 4 qts of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1.5 – 2 hrs. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough water in the pot. When chickpeas are nice and soft, turn off the heat, add salt, and allow them to sit in the water and cool, and soak up the salt. Drain, and mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor.

REMOVE MOISTURE FROM THE ZUCCHINI

2 CUPS zucchini, grated

Spread zucchini on a large plate or shallow bowl, sprinkle with salt and let it sit for an hour. Drain the liquid that has oozed out, move to a strainer, and press out any more remaining liquid.

PREHEAT OVEN 400ºF…GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR… MAKE THE zucchini falafel BALLS

chickpeas
zucchini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 CUP parsley, minced

1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In batches, pulse chickpeas, zucchini, garlic, parsley. Transfer to a large bowl, add the spices and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 45 min.

HOBNOBMAG Recipe Zucchini Falafel Balls

MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE

10.5 oz container yellow cherry tomatoes
1/4 CUP EV olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sriracha sauce
s + p

Place all ingredients in a Blendtec blender, on soup mode, which heats and spins ingredients together. OR, place in a normal blender, then move to a small pot and heat gently for 5 min.

Party Potatoes: Roasted with Carrots and Cumin Coconut Yogurt Dip

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

We love these party potatoes as much for their color, as for their cuteness and pop-ability. An all-natural treat, they are accompanied by a dip whose base is coconut yogurt, and is spiced up with cumin. Vegans and paleoists will salute your hosting finesse. This recipe is part of a paleo party planning theme.  Click on the link to see more recipes.

MAKES 60-70 BITES

PREHEAT OVEN 425ºF…ROAST THE POTATOES AND CARROTS

1 LB mixed color baby potatoes, cut in half (keep small ones whole for variety)
5 large carrot bottoms, cut into 1-inch chunks (match potato size)
5 mini peppers (yellow, red, orange), cut and use bottoms
1 TB olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

In a bowl, toss ingredients in oil to coat sprinkle with s + p. Move to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 30 min, till tender and browned.

HOBNOBMAG baby potatoes tricolor

MAKE THE CUMIN COCONUT YOGURT DIP

1/2 CUP coconut yogurt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

Place all ingredients into a blender, and emulsify.

TO SERVE

Put roasted mix in a nice bowl with a side of dip, add some toothpicks.

Crispy Artichoke Hearts with Lemon-Horseradish Sauce

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

With the mix of the lemon and horseradish, and slight creaminess from the coconut yogurt, the flavors mesh perfectly with the crispy artichoke hearts, which have been roasted in the oven. These make a light, zingy paleo snack. Using quartered artichoke hearts, allows for a dainty bite for party goers, for something a little more substantial, buy a can of whole artichokes and halve them. I created this recipe to serve all Paleo party food, you can see the other recipes here

MAKES ABOUT 40 BITES

PREHEAT OVEN TO 425º F… CRISP THE ARTICHOKE HEARTS

2 cans artichoke hearts (14 oz), quartered
2 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon

Place artichoke hearts on a paper towel leafy side down to get rid of excess moisture. Then move a bowl, toss together all ingredients. Space artichokes evenly across a parchment-lined baking sheet, leafy side up. Roast 30 -35 min, till tips turn brown.

hobnobmag recipe artichoke hearts and lemon horseradish dip

MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE

1/4 CUP white wine vinegar
1 TB horseradish
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, squeezed in a garlic press
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp lemon zest
2 TB coconut milk yogurt

1/4 CUP olive oil

garnish: 1 TB parsley, minced

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except oil, then add in a little at a time. Drizzle over warm artichoke hearts, sprinkle parsley.

Summer Grilling Sensation: Lemony Oregano Fish Skewers

Posted on: July 17th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

One of the joys of the hot season is summer grilling. There’s nothing like being outside with a hot grill, a drink in your hand, and all your favorite friends gathered around. Once you have marinated and skewered the fish, you can just sit these on the grill for 2-3 minutes, and serve something healthy and sensational.

The yellowy-orange tomatoes and lemon wedges give skewers a uniform look. Tip: When developing this recipe, the first thought was to get swordfish for the dish, but it was not available, so I substituted paiche fillets, which had the same firm consistency, and took on the marinade flavors very well. See more recipes for Summer Entertaining.

MAKES ABOUT 39 PIECES OF FISH, 13 SKEWERS

Fish Kebabs

MAKE THE MARINADE

3/4 CUP olive oil
zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 TB mint, cut into ribbons
1 TB thyme, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
2 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed in a spice grinder
2 scallion tops, cut into thin rings
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a bowl

MARINATE THE FISH

2 1/2 LB paiche fillet, 1-inch thick

Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Place fish and marinade in a zip lock bag. Let marinate for an hour in the refrigerator.

GRILL THE FISH

5 lemons, cut into 8 wedges
yellow cherry tomatoes

Onto wooden skewers thread a lemon wedge, 2 to 3 pieces of fish, and end with tomato. Grease and preheat grill. Cook fish for 2 –3 min on both sides.

Tequila Spiked Guacamole: Best of Both Worlds

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

Tequila spiked guacamole combines the best of two Mexican culinary masterpieces: the Margarita, and the homage to the avocado: guacamole. Lime enhances the flavors, and cream cheese makes it thick and rich. Make sure to use a better tequila, if you are looking for some better brands, see our other posts Exotic Tequila Tasting, and one brand created by a father and son team.

Be sure to serve with a side of better chips. Que Pasa organic and gluten-free tortilla chips are made with organic whole kernel corn, organic canola and sunflower oil, sea salt, and hydrated lime. They are available in various colors throughout the year (yellow, blue, red, and white) so you can create some pretty combinations, depending on the season.

See more booze-infused recipes in our party theme Alcohol Infusion, which includes a nut mix, baby back ribs, and filet mignon sliders.

MAKES ONE LARGE BOWL

MAKE THE GUACAMOLE

4 large avocados, mashed with a potato masher
1/4 CUP cilantro, chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded, diced
zest and juice of 1 lime
6 oz cream cheese, softened
big pinch of salt
3 TB tequila (blanco)

Maldon sea salt

In a large bowl, add the cilantro and jalapeños to the mashed avocados. Zest lime, then cut in half and squeeze all the juice into the bowl. Add cream cheese, salt, and mash thoroughly. Add tequila, mash some more.

Transfer to small serving bowl that you can fill to the very top. Using a spoon, even and flatten the top. Sprinkle sea salt all over.

Serve with tortilla or plantain chips. Replenish the guacamole bowl as the night goes on, sprinkling the salt on top each time. Keep the surplus covered in the fridge with avocado pit inside to keep it from turning brown.

Quick Dessert: 10-Minute Cherry Chocolate Mousse

Posted on: February 1st, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

Sometimes you are just looking for a simple, quick dessert, that still wows in delivering a sweet jolt. This mousse can be served on its own, or as an accompaniment with cookies or fresh fruit, as we have done here. Cherries and currants top this 10 minute work of art.

We included this recipe as part of the menu of aphrodisiacs. Chocolate has THE reputation for promoting amorous feelings. Casanova is known to have indulged in cups of chocolate to help sustain his lustful wanderings. The passion-inducing results come from phenethylamine, a chemical released in the brain when people fall in love, and tryptophan which produces serotonin, leading to elevated moods and sexual arousal.

In searching for a sensational, and easy, mousse recipe I came across this recipe for Bill’s Food Processor Chocolate Mousse. It turned out to be a cinch to make. Below, you will see that I doctored his recipe with a spoon of Kirschwasser, a cherry liqueur, for extra lusciousness, and garnished with red berries: fresh currants, and sugar-coated cherries.

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 6 (YOU WILL WANT EXTRA)

GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR…

7 oz semisweet chocolate (62% cacao or less), broken into pieces

Process the chocolate until finely ground.

PROCESS THE CHOCOLATE…

ground chocolate

2 TB grape seed oil
1 TB Kirschwasser liqueur
1 TB pure vanilla extract

1/3 CUP milk
2 TB sugar

You will be adding these ingredients into the food processor to start the mousse. Combine oil, liqueur, and vanilla in a measuring cup. Separately, in a small saucepan, simmer milk and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Turn on the processor, and with it running, pour the warmed-up milk in, and process for 15 to 20 sec, until the chocolate is melted. Add the oil mixture and process additional 5 to 10 sec, till thoroughly blended. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, let cool in the fridge for 5 min (so chocolate is not warm for the next step).

WHILE CHOCOLATE COOLS PREPARE THE CREAM

1 CUP heavy cream
Pinch salt
cooled chocolate mix

GARNISH:
currants on the stem
fresh cherries, brushed with egg white and rolled in sugar, cooled in the fridge (optional)

With a hand mixer, beat the cream and salt until it holds a soft shape, but not stiff. Remove cooled chocolate from the fridge and fold 1/3 of the cream into it, then the rest. Stop folding the moment the cream is incorporated, and scoop into glasses. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Garnish with currants and sugared cherries.

Adorably Mini: Where to Find Micro Veggies, Chocolates, and Customizable Candy

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016 by Ellen Swandiak

Make party bites even more tempting with micro-minded ingredients: baby veggies, mini-printed bon-bons, and candy you can customize.

[1] Elevated Crudite Supermarket plastic trays of cut-up cauliflower, baby carrots, and celery sticks, anchored by a tub of ranch dressing, no more. Upgrade your tired crudité platters of yore with mini versions of your favorite spring veggies, small, tender, and crisp. These tiny varieties of produce, perfect for a healthy, raw party bite, can come either as “baby” vegetables picked before growing to their full-size or miniature varietals cultivated to petite proportions. Think mini heads of spiky bright green romesco cauliflower, micro cucumbers that look like tiny watermelons, and real baby carrots with their tops on, not the whiddled, dried out versions from a bag. Not only do they look very cute, these veggies tend to be milder and sweeter than their adult counterparts to boot. Dunk in your favorite hummus or whip up a quick Green Goddess-inspired dip by zapping Greek yogurt, your favorite fresh, leafy herbs, a bit of garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor.

[2] Mini Produce Sources Look for mini produce in local specialty food shops and farmers’ markets in spring and summer or special order through an online source. Marx Foods sells a “Tiny Crudite Mix” that includes a seasonal variety of veggies with their slender stalks still attached, making it the perfect cocktail food, no toothpicks necessary. Specialty Produce carries a huge variety of unique produce varietals, including mini sweet bell peppers and cucumbers with colorful yellow flowers attached. Go to The Chef’s Garden for their beautiful tender microgreens of all types and their sweet, crisp baby turnips, radishes, and carrots.

HOBNOBMAG micro veggies, chocolate, candy

[3] Tumbador Chocolate The mini patterns on these fine chocolates will get your gang cooing. Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Bonnet (formerly of restaurant Daniel) works with only the finest ingredients in the world—exotic fruits, spices, fresh herbs and regional flavors. You can also order custom designed chocolates, attuned to your palate. tumbadorchocolate.com

[4] Papabubble New York Take a look at these tiny bits of fun. Papabubble is an artisan candy making academy, where aspiring candy artists get trained in the intricacies of working in the medium of molten sugar. Picture these cuties atop a cupcake, or set around the party in tiny dishes. The flavors are bright, fresh and fruity. Check the website for their other styles, like the #1 Dad mix, the Mazel Tov mix, the Thank You mix—or have a custom candy made just for you. papabubbleny.com

Instant Success: Dinner Party Shortcuts

Posted on: December 21st, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

With weekend guests, you need to have stuff on hand. HOBNOB suggests stocking your pantry and freezer with these sophisticated flavors and dinner party shortcuts—so you come off as a hosting pro.

As part of the plan for hosting weekend guests, we found some fab ingredient to have on hand: a sensational American caviar in two price ranges, a collection of intense sophisticated sauces to accent your cooking, a line of instant cheesecakes and for the purists, the taste of just picked herbs from the freezer.

[1] Kelley’s Katch Kaviar This company produces caviar that rivals its Russian counterparts. Kelley’s Katch, a small producer based out of Savannah, Tennessee, harvests roe from wild fish from throughout the American South. The Kelleys, a husband and wife team, have been in the caviar business for over twenty years, and they own their own boats and processing and packing facilities, cutting out the middleman and passing savings along to their customers. Choose from their most popular paddlefish roe ($30 for 2 oz tin) or an even more luxurious option, American sturgeon ($99 for 2 oz tin) , seen in the photo. kelleyskatch.com

[2] La Maison Signature Sauces Whipping up dinner for weekend guests without sacrificing flavor and quality is easy with these sauces. La Maison’s line is made with fresh, flavorful ingredients, that can be used as a sauce on pan-seared steaks and chops; a glaze for roasts or vegetables; or as a creamy base for casseroles and pastas. Choose from a range of flavors, including red-wine based Burgundy Peppercorn, smoky Chipotle cream, spicy Thai Coconut Curry, herbaceous Pesto Cream, and rich Sherried Mushroom. $8 for 9 oz jars. vermontsigsauces.appspot.com

HOBNOBMAG Dinner Party Shortcuts

[3] Just in Time Gourmet: Key Lime Cheesecake Just in Time Gourmet’s dessert mixes are perfect for busy weekenders with a sweet tooth. So easy to put together that guests can get in on the cooking action too, their mixes only require a few additional ingredients like cream cheese and a graham cracker crust. Luscious and not too sweet, their cheesecake line, which includes Lemonade, Key Lime Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie, and Caramel Apple flavors, is our favorite for family gatherings. About $9. phoenixfoodco.com Get it online at amazon.com

[4] Daregal Frozen Fresh Herbs Daregal’s frozen fresh herbs are the next best thing to picking herbs straight from your garden. Their herbs are harvested, washed, chopped (only the tender leaves are used), and frozen within three hours, maximizing freshness and flavor. Stored conveniently in your freezer for use all year, they can be used straight from the container, no thawing necessary. With more flavor than dried herbs, and more convenience than fresh herbs (no spoilage, no prep), stock your kitchen with chopped basil, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, chives, and more (organic varieties also available). About $3. Darengal

Rafael Reyes on How to Serve Cocktails at Home Like a Mixologist

Posted on: December 12th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

If anyone can show you how to serve cocktails at home like a mixologist, it’s this guy. I’ve never seen a more well-stocked bar, between tools, spirits,  fresh herbs and concocted syrups. Learn the tricks.

Mixologist Rafael Reyes and his wife love throwing parties in their lovely Brooklyn apartment. HOBNOB stopped in to investigate the scene and got some great tips on hosting guests and making creative cocktails.

HOBNOBMAG Serve Cocktails at Home Like a Mixologist

How did you get started in the spirit biz?

My journey started in the early days of the cocktailing about ten years ago, when I worked in Northern NJ with the former bar manager of Patria. It was the first time I saw someone create cocktails with fresh juices daily—pressing fresh cane and even coconuts. Soon after that experience, I ended up working at a cocktail lounge in Nolita. After my shift I would visit Remy and Tim Cooper at Gold Bar and was amazed at how great a team they were. There was something about the style of Gold Bar that I really identified with—it was fast paced, with great cocktails, badass bartenders and that rush of having massive amounts of people in front of you and wanting more. I was determined to get to this level.

I had the chance to work on the opening of Yerbabuena Perry and was able to push my craft further with the help of Cervantes (PDT, Little Branch, The Ship) and Artemio (Pegu Club), who had deep roots in the classics. After that I started venturing off by myself, doing brief stints with renowned chefs where I was exposed to a variety of culinary toys and ingredients. It made me realize that my cocktail style was definitely kitchen-inspired. With this focus, I continued to develop my style at 1534, ECC, and with Chefs Jesus Nuñez, Andres Grundy and Didie—and most recently at Betony, where the level of skill and discipline was mind blowing. I will forever be grateful to Chef Bryce Shuman and Eamon Rockey for welcoming me into in their  kitchen and allowing me to stage and put my free time to learn from their chefs.

What are your 5 statement bar essentials?

[1] Herbs I’m the biggest sucker for herbs—I cannot create a menu or live without them in my apartment. When delicate herbs like lemon verbena are in season, it makes me happy! Basil blossoms, lemon balm, flaming shiso, anise hysop, lemon thyme, coriander flowers… the list goes on and on.

I buy herbs from websites like Fresh Origins and the Chefs Garden. They are a bit pricey, but the key is to always have more than one use for them. To save money, my wife and I grow them at home and make sure to grow a diverse selection during the warm months, so we can use them for parties all year round.

[2] Spices I’m a big believer that you should always try to introduce people to new flavors, and the options with spices are unlimited, and the level of complexity that you can add to your drinks is amazing. As opposed to herbs, most spices are not too expensive and last for a long time.

My style has never been classic, the more obscure an ingredient, the more I want to use it. My rule of thumb: For every weird ingredient, balance it with a familiar one. Examples: cherry tomatoes and champagne, or Orujo liqueur & grapefruit with IPA. Some of my favorite spots for buying spices are Lhasa Karnak and Mountain Rose Herbs. If you prefer using extracts, Terra Spice has pretty good ones, just be careful with amounts, as they are not quite like bitters, and need to be used sparingly.

HOBNOBMAG Serve Cocktails at Home Like a Mixologist

[3] European Hawthorne Strainers & Multilevel Bell Jigger Some people dislike Hawthorne strainers, but I feel it’s the only one you need at your bar for making stirred, rolled and shaken drinks, plus, it allows you to drop pours really high, with a perfect flow. Multilevel bell jiggers are also my favorite. It takes practice getting the measurements correct, but once mastered, it becomes a pretty stylish and functional tool. I like how it allows for flair and stylish moves behind the bar.

[4] Sous vide & Dehydrator I love the Sous vide machine. If you love to create amazing syrups and infusions you should own one of these. Controlled temperatures can help you in so many ways. There is no evaporation, stronger flavors, better infusions. It is also pretty handy during cold months, for making hot drinks.

The dehydrator allows you to create edible garnishes and preserve delicate herbs, especially, when they are hard to find and you want to to keep them in your repertoire.

[5] Kitchen & Home Bar Throughout my career, every cocktail program I have created has had deep roots in the kitchen. I love to cook and I believe the more you do it, the more you develop your palate, thus giving you a point of reference for future creations. At home I have an open kitchen which allows me to view my all my spices and liquor bottles while I’m cooking, making for inspired choice in drinks, food or desserts.

My wife eats super healthy. She is Paleo and also owns a paleo, gluten-free dessert company. So there are always some healthy factors that play into the dishes that I cook for her (Yes, I do the cooking!). No flours, no sugars, no dairy, etc. always creates an exciting challenge. (Me on the other hand, I eat whatever I want to eat! haha.)

HOBNOBMAG Serve Cocktails at Home Like a Mixologist

Give us some of your party throwing tips.

You might say my wife and I are party-friendly people. We love to fill the room with great friends, cocktails, charcuterie and cheese platters, and plenty of foodie-food for everyone. We even sneak in the healthy desserts.

Every Christmas, we throw a big party. Last year, there were about 20 of us up on the roof, where we sent paper lanterns into the sky and made wishes for the next year. It was a very unique moment with special people—what I think the holidays are all about.

In our kitchen, we have a self serve wine unit that is meant to store 3 bottles at selected temperatures that lets you press a button and fill your glass. We use it at parties for bottled Negronis, Rum Manhattans or any kind of a stirred drink, creating a kind of a self serve, easy access bar.

On the bar there are about 300 bottles to choose from—so anything’s possible. We also set up a cooler on the counter, full of sherry and other vino options. Usually, someone will start making drinks for everyone and when they start shaking, everyone starts cheering them on. There is no fakeness in the room. You get a sense of community and friendship, which reminds me a bit of the holidays back home in Colombia—lots of smiles and laughing. It is an affirmation of what I stand for. No matter what, its always, always, ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE.

HOBNOBMAG Serve Cocktails at Home Like a Mixologist

We love the new bottle for Santa Teresa Rum, the spirit featured in this issue’s bar—it’s so elegant. What other mixers do you recommend with this spirit?

The new bottle was designed to portray the rum’s premium level, while still showing that nothing inside has changed. Santa Teresa 1796 has always been perfect to drink on its own, like any good whiskey or cognac. It’s blended with spirits aged from 4 to 35 years, and has hints of dry fruits and American and French Oak. It finishes dry, which makes it perfect for cocktails like an Old Fashioned. It also tastes delicious in long time classics like a Right Hand or a Presidente. Perhaps you can make an amazing daiquiri or a tasty Hemingway. I personally invite you to get out of your comfort zone and let this rum express itself in a stirred drink, like a Manhattan or a Negroni. Keep it simple, though, in this case less is more!

Massimiliano Eandi of Mulino a Vino’s Pasta Stuffed Tomato

Posted on: November 29th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

A most unusual and special stuffed tomato recipe comes from a up-and-coming Italian chef. His choice of stuffing: spaghetti.

Chef Eandi brings his Michelin-trained talent to this sweet, cozy Italian hideaway near Meatpacking in NYC (SORRY, THIS RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED, BUT YOU CAN ENJOY CHEF EANDI’S FANTASTIC RECIPE BELOW). The menu at this place is so wine-driven that guests are first asked to choose from the 100-bottle wine list before selecting their food, so that a perfect match can be made. For our holiday issue, Eandi shares a recipe for a traditional pasta served in an untraditional way. He confits a tomato, then stuffs it with spaghetti, and sets it atop a parmesan crisp. HOBNOB suggests this recipe would make a wonderful first course for a glamorous sit-down dinner. (see our plan for hosting weekend guests for the holidays here)

HOBNOBMAG Stuffed Tomato

Chef Eandi’s enthusiasm for cooking pushed him to start his career early, at the age of 14, and by the age of 16 was already working at a Michelin-status kitchen in Combal.Zero, in Rivoli, Italy, under the tutelage of Davide Scabin. He then went on to London to work at ARBUTUS, before joining 3-Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsey. Just before his move to the New York, he returned to Combal.Zero as Chef de Partie when it was awarded 28th place out of the top 50 restaurants in the world. “…my mind was opened to new ways of seeing food through constant experimentation…and really grasped what rules needed to be respected and where freedom could come into play.”

HOBNOBMAG Stuffed Tomato

The wine list has been carefully curated by wine aficionado and owner Paolo Meregalli, who has assembled selections of both esoteric and more-known Italian wines. All wines are available by the glass, thanks to the Coravin system, and are poured at the table. Offerings range from $13 up to $500, for some very hard to come by vintages from their special collection. Meregalli has traveled extensively—London, Paris, Bejing, Geneva, Dubai, and chose NYC as the spot to open this intimate venue. “It was my move to the States that truly invigorated me… I found the energy, open-mindedness and diversity amongst the people living here inspiring.” Wines are categorized by their flavor profiles ‘Bright & Lively’ or ‘Clean & Earthy’ to help with the decision making, and dishes can be ordered in small, medium, and large portions to match appetites.

HOBNOBMAG Stuffed Tomato

The cozy space, is designed by SGS Architetti Associati, and lends an industrial feel with soft lighting throughout. There is a private dining room in the back which houses a wine cellar, plus an adjacent lounge outfitted with comfortable leather chairs, for those interested in having events. mulinoavino.com

recipe

PASTA+POMODORO 2

Here’s how you can make Mulino a Vino’s PASTA+POMODORO 2 at home.

hobnobmag pasta stuffed tomato

SERVES 4

FOR THE TOMATO CONFIT

4 nice heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup EV olive oil
1 oz granulated salt
1 oz granulated sugar
1 sprig rosemary
1 clove garlic

Preheat oven to 280ºF. Cut off the top of the tomato, and scoop out the pulp with a spoon, taking care not to break the skin of tomato. Set the pulp aside for the sauce.

Season tomato shells and tops with oil, salt, and sugar. Break up the rosemary sprig and clove and sprinkle across a baking sheet. Place tomato shell and tops on the baking tray, leaving about 2-3 inches between each tomato. Place in the oven and bake for 20 min.

FOR THE SAUCE

pulp of 4 tomatoes (from above), blended
1 oz soy sauce
2 oz concentrated tomato paste
1/2 cup EV olive oil
1 pinch sugar
20 basil leaves
4 oz tomato puree (canned or fresh)

Blend all ingredients together in a blender, and then pour sauce into a big pot. Cook for 20 minutes on medium fire.

FOR THE PASTA

7 oz spaghetti
3 oz parmesan, grated
1 oz butter
salt, to preference

Bring an abundant amount of salt water to a boil. (I recommend about 2 teaspoons of salt for every quart of water.) Cook spaghetti for 8-10 min until it is al dente. When the pasta is done, remove from water with tongs, put in the pot with tomato sauce and stir.

Continue to cook tomato sauce and pasta on medium heat for two min. After 2 min, add parmesan cheese and butter. Stir for 1 min. With tongs, place the pasta and sauce inside the confit tomato and close with the tomato top.

FOR THE PARMESAN CHIP

To make parmesan chips: grate parmesan cheese on a sheet of baking paper the size of plate. Microwave on high for about two min. Place tomato on top.