Category Archives: Party food

Deviled Eggs — Green Tomato, Smoked Salmon, Bacon et. al.

These are topped with leftover pulled pork & pickled green tomatoes.

These are topped with leftover pulled pork & pickled green tomatoes.

As a Southern woman of a certain age, it’s assumed that you can do a few things well. You can write a proper thank you note. You can drink good bourbon straight. And you can make a solid deviled egg.

I recently found out that one of my most quintessentially Southern lady friends doesn’t know how to do #3, so we remedied that last night.

The great thing about deviled eggs is you can make any flavor as long as you have a tasty base to start with. Mayo helps with that, but mustard goes a long way, as does pickle juice, the secret to All Good Things. Also important: axe the sweet relish most people use. That tip isn’t grandma-sanctioned, but it will give you a better “blank” slate to start with.

18 organic eggs
3 tbsp Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp pickle juice
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
paprika or cayenne

  1. Boil, cool and peel your eggs. (If you haven’t tried the hot-start method, see below. They’ll peel much easier.)
  2. Slice them in half and put all the yolks in one bowl. (And you don’t have to slice them vertically; Husk does them horizontally, and they are the devil masters.)
  3. Mash the eggs with a fork and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Taste and season.
  4. Separate yolk mix into 4 bowls (see below).
  5. For each ingredient, dice a 1/2 cup of your topping of choice and stir it into one bowl.
  6. Fill a Ziploc bag with the mix and cut a corner off. Pipe some filling into each egg.
  7. Top each egg with a 1-inch piece of the ingredient used in the filling. Chill until face-stuffing time.
The smoked trout variety at Husk. Can I get a swoon from all my fellow fatgirls.

The smoked trout variety at Husk. Can I get a swoon from all my fellow fatgirls.

Toppings:

With 18 eggs, you can make a bunch of kinds, but 4 different toppings works well for 18 eggs. Choose from any of the below, or use whatever you’ve got in the fridge — as long as the ingredient isn’t too sweet, anything is good stuff in an egg.

Witness:

  • Smoked salmon or trout
  • Pickled anything – green tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, etc.
  • Bacon
  • Ham (country or regular, shaved)
  • Prosciutto
  • Pulled pork
  • Olives
  • Raw tuna (topped with a dollop of wasabi)
  • Pimento cheese (what up, Marge)
  • Truffle oil

Hot-start boiling:

The fresher the egg, the harder it will be to peel when hard-boiled. This method makes them easier to de-shell without totally destroying them.

  1. Lower your eggs straight from the fridge into already-boiling water.
  2. Lower the heat to the barest simmer.
  3. Cook the eggs for 11 minutes.
  4. Shock them in ice water and let them chill for 15 minutes.
  5. Peel under cool running water.

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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Party food, Side dishes, Snacks, Southern food

Funeral Sandwiches ~ Ham & Cheese Sliders

ham and cheese sandwiches

Bib not included.

First things first: why are these called “funeral sandwiches?” In short, I don’t know, but I’d guess it’s because the only time you wouldn’t feel guilty about stuffing this many lip-smacking nitrates into your face would be after the death of a loved one. Luckily for you, I eat like I’m in mourning all the time, so let’s dig in.

These are somewhat similar to Ham Delights (though that link is not to the Dot-sanctioned recipe), but Morg voted that these are better, and I agree. The brown sugar and smoked salt really punch these up. Plus they’re just the right mix of sloppy and fancy, and that’s the way we do things here at Nummy.

1 pkg (12) Hawaiian buns
1 1/2 pkgs sliced ham
1 pkg sliced Swiss cheese
1 stick butter
3 tbsp Worcestershire
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp bourbon
1.5 tbsp minced onions
1 tsp smoked salt (you can use regular salt here if you need to)
white pepper

  1. Layer a few slices of ham and cheese on each bun and place them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Melt together the rest of the ingredients and ladle this mixture over the sandwiches.
  3. Put the sandwiches in the fridge for 24 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, pull the sandwiches out and cut them in half diagonally with a pizza cutter.
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes.

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Filed under Appetizers, Christmas, Comfort food, Party food

Brantley Milk Punch

Yes, Nummy neglects, I’ve decided the first post in more than a year deserves to be the first one with the married name. In no small coincidence, this recipe is seasonal and full of alcohol, just like our happy newlywed home.

Milk Punch is basically Egg Nog‘s thinner, livelier cousin, which means Egg Nog hates Milk Punch and is always throwing sideways glances at her at family gatherings.

Let it flow.

As the napkin says, let it flow.

But seriously, this drink is easy, delicious and it won’t force you to choose between a seasonal beverage and an extra serving of ham. NEVER force a lady to choose between booze and ham.

Bottom’s up.

2 cups of milk
2 cups of half & half
1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup amaretto liquor
3 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Whole nutmeg

  1. Pour all ingredients except powdered sugar and nutmeg into a pitcher and stir.
  2. Whisk in powdered sugar.
  3. Serve over ice and grate fresh nutmeg on top.

These should be served in seasonal glasses. If you don’ have seasonal glasses, exit this blog immediately and never return.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beverages, Christmas, Party food

Chilled Pea & Bacon Soup with Garlic Cream

© Quentin Bacon

It has been so long since I started writing up this recipe from my brother’s engagement party that he is now married. Inexcusable, no?

Well I’m not sorry! With the warm weather and the actual paying writing jobs, something had to give, and this was it. (I actually am sorry, though. This recipe nonsense is considerably easier and more fun to write about than FAA grants, and this audience is loyal as hell, so please forgive me.)

Anyway, we – and by “we” I mean “The Chef” – made a huge batch of this recipe for a St. Patrick’s Day engagement party and served it up in shot glasses. In my world, Soup + Shots + Bacon = Phenom. Seriously – peas are usually beyond lame, but the toppings on this make it delectable.

This is actually Daniel Boulud‘s super schmancy pea soup recipe, but it has been classed-down by Food & Wine for an easier preparation. It’s served cold so it’s a cinch for a party. Make a bunch and sip all summer.

8 slices of bacon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock
2 rosemary sprigs
salt & freshly ground white pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
2 10-oz boxes frozen baby peas
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced

  1. In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate; reserve the fat in a bowl in case you need to add it at the end for more bacon flavor.
  2. In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock, 4 slices of the cooked bacon, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Discard the bacon and rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snaps and cook for 3 minutes. Add the frozen baby peas and the parsley and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute; drain.
  6. Add the sugar snaps, baby peas and parsley to the blender and puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of the broth to loosen the mixture.
  7. Transfer the soup and the remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool.
  8. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, garlic and remaining rosemary sprig to a boil. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic cream into a bowl and let cool.
  9. Ladle the chilled pea soup into bowls and drizzle with the garlic cream. (Use a squirt bottle to make pretty designs out of the cream. It’s absurdly cheffy, but so freaking fun.) Crumble the remaining 4 slices of bacon into each bowl and serve.

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Filed under Appetizers, Party food, Soups

Classic Egg Nog ~ Christmas 2K11

We’re officially halfway through December, and we’d be remiss not to deliver some Nog directives right about now.

Some people wait until Christmas to serve up the quality stuff, but I say boo to that. On Christmas, you’re already off work, all the presents have been bought, and you’re pretty much required to eat yourself sick. Why do you need another special treat then?

No, I say we start the nogging now. Because now is the time Christmas is most likely making you her whipping boy with the travel planning, present buying and general insanity of the masses. Sidebar: Have you been to the kids’ toy section at Target lately? Yesterday I got simultaneously boxed out by a redneck looking for LEGOs and almost got run over by a lady in a Hoverround. Merry Freaking Christmas, shoppers!

Anywho, this recipe is from Joy of Cooking, the most classic of all classic cookbooks. It’s simple and delicious. And no, it will not give you salmonella so stop being such a pansy and drink up.

12 eggs (separated)
1 lb confectioner’s sugar
4-8 cups dark rum, brandy, bourbon or rye*
2 quarts whipping cream

  1. Separate eggs and beat yolks until light in color.
  2. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar.
  3. Add very slowly 2 cups rum (or other liquor).
  4. Let stand one hour to dispel the “eggy” taste and destroy possibility of salmonella.
  5. Add, beating constantly, 2-4 cups more of liquor and 2 qts whipping cream.
  6. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  7. Beat 8-12 egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into mixture.
  8. Serve sprinkled with freshly grated nutmeg.

*The Chef suggests half rum/half brandy. 2 boozes=twice the fun!

**12/20/2011 Update: I actually went to the trouble to make this last week, and it got rave – I mean RAVE – reviews. I used all three liquors, and I think that was well worth its minimal trouble. Make twice as much as you think you need.

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Filed under Beverages, Party food, Special Occasion

Holiday Peppermint Bark

I love this stuff.  It is so easy to make, and wrapped up all pretty it makes a great gift.  It is much easier and cheaper to make then buy from Harry and David, Williams-Sonoma, etc.  I prefer dark chocolate but feel free to use any kind you like; some people use only white chocolate.  Also adding a drop of peppermint extract or oil gives it a nice kick. – ts

chocolate- any kind you like; can be a bar or chips
white chocolate- any kind you like; can be a bar or chips
24 mini candy canes, crushed by hand

  1. Line the bottom of a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add chocolate to microwave safe bowl and microwave in increments of 30 seconds stirring the chips each time until chocolate has completed melted and mixture is smooth or melt chocolate using double bowl method.
  3. Spread melted chocolate  as evenly as possibly into lined pan, make sure that it is not too thick.
  4. Place pan into freezer for 20 minutes.  Repeat the same melting process with the white chips.   While chocolate is still smooth, stir in half of the crushed candy cane mixture.  Allow the white chocolate to slightly cool for a minute.
  5. Remove pan from freezer and spread white chocolate/crushed candy canes mixture on top of the chocolate layer.  Spread white chocolate as quickly as possible. Top off with remaining crushed candy cane and gently pat down with the back of a spatula.  Return pan to freezer for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from freezer and gently lift the whole mixture from the pan with a butter knife.  Remove parchment paper and break into pieces. Stores nicely in freezer or up to one week in refrigerator.

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Filed under Christmas, Dessert, Party food, Special Occasion, Sweets

Vegetable Garlic Herb Lentils

With the colder weather finally creeping in down here, I have really been into hearty warming meals.  Lentils are my latest thing.  I have cooked them a lot of different ways, but this one is definitely the best.  It needs a bit more attention then just simmering in liquid because this recipe cooks it risotto style.  The outcome is amazing, and you won’t even notice that it is extremely heathy too!  I served these along a rack of lamb (cooked with same herbs), and it was the perfect combination.  Sorry the picture shows the lamb more then the lentils. – ts

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup Beluga lentils (or French green lentils)
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper
1 full sprig fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic, sliced

  1. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and sauté the vegetables until they are softened, 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, sliced garlic, rosemary and bay leaf and sauté for 3-5 minutes more, coating all the lentils. Increase the heat and add the red wine. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring, until the mixture becomes dry.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm. Add the warm chicken stock to the lentils (like cooking a risotto) 1/2 a cup at a time, letting the lentils absorb the liquid with each addition. Repeat, stirring the mixture constantly. After 30 minutes or so the lentils should be slightly chewy and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Filed under Beans, Comfort food, Main Course, Party food, Side dishes, Veggies