Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wedding Hors d'oeuvres!

I have my first catering gig next weekend (non-paid, of course) for my good friend, Isabel. She's getting married on February 4th and because she and her fiancee have been so busy with their wedding plans, they forgot to order hors d'oeuvres for their reception! So they asked for my help and, since I'm a Virgo, I work best under pressure.

This will be a small wedding of 65 to 70 guests and it will be outdoors. Since I will not have any access to an oven to warm up food, I'm creating a menu of room-temperature hors d'oeuvres that will not go bad if they are not refrigerated for a few hours.

My top four choices are Caprese Sticks, which is a delighful combination of bite-sized tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil skewered through a toothpick. Drizzling some basil-garlic-olive oil over it makes it even better! My other picks are celery boats with a grueyere pesto; the all-time favorite melon wrapped in proscuitto; and I have a new one that I have not tried yet: they are spinach quiche squares. I'll let you know how they turn out!

CAPRESE STICKS (makes about 25)

  • Round wooden toothpicks
  • One pint grape tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh picked basil leaves
  • One pound bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls)
  • EVOO, extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste
On each toothpick, place one tomato, two folded basil leaves, and one bocconcini. Place on a patter and drizzle very lightly with the oil, and then very lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.


  • 1 bunch of celery, separated into ribs, washed well, trimmed, and strings discarded
  • 1/2 pound Gruyere
  • 2 roasted garlic cloves (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  1. With a small knife trim a strip down the length of the rounded side of each celery rib to form a flat bottom and cut the ribs on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch boats. Put the celery boats in a bowl of ice and cold water and chill them, covered, until ready to assemble the hors d'oeuvres.
  2. Grate all of the Gruyere cheese.
  3. In a food processor combine the grated Gruyere and the pine nuts and blend the mixture until it is minced fine. Add the basil, roasted garlic cloves and the vinegar and blend the mixture until it is a paste. With the motor running add the oil in a stream and blend the pesto until it is emulsified.
  4. In a bowl toss the pesto and taste. Season with a little salt, if needed.
  5. Drain and pat dry the celerty and fill the celery boats with the mixture. The hors d'oeuvres may be made up to 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Serve the hors d'oeuvres at room temperature.
PROSCUITTO e MELONE (makes about 40)
  • 1/2 cantaloupe
  • 1/2 honeydew melon
  • 24 very thin slices Prosciutto di Parma (you can also use Serrano ham)
  • 48 toothpicks
Scoop out seeds from each melon half. Cut each half into 6 wedges. Remove melon skins. Wrap 1 or 2 slices of prosciutto around each wedge. Secure prosciutto with 4 toothpicks. Cut each wedge into 4 bite-sized pieces. Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

(Can be made 2 to 3 hours ahead of time and chilled. Make sure melon wedges are well wrapped so that they do not dry out.)


  • 2 Tbsps. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 Tbsp. Onions, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place butter or margarine in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place dish in the oven, and remove when the butter has melted.
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Mix in flour, milk and baking powder. When the ingredients are well combined, mix in cheese, spinach, onion and nutmet. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, let cool 45 minutes, and then cut into bite-size squares.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Love your recipes