Archive for ‘Appetizers & Hors d’Oeuvres’
January 06, 2017
Gasparilla, Super Bowl, and Mardi Gras will soon be upon us. What better treat to serve than a New Orleans favorite Pecan Pralines or PRAWLINES depending on your twang? They are super simple to make, and what a crowd pleasure. You won’t believe how fast they will disappear.
- 2 cup toasted pecans (see toasting instructions below)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 stick salted butter
- 2 cups plus 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons bourbon
Step One – Toasting Pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread pecans on sheet pan and place in over for 5 minutes, toss the nuts, turn the pan and bake another 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool completely.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Fit a heavy bottom pan with a candy thermometer (groceries sell them). Over high heat, cook cream, butter, and brown sugar to 240 degrees (what they call Soft-Ball stage). If necessary stir once to dissolve sugar. Never more than one time or the sugar will not harden correctly. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 seconds.
Stir in vanilla, bourbon, and pecans. Vigorously stir with a spoon for 10 seconds, until the mixture looks creamy and slightly thickened. Drop by tablespoons full onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. Let cool completely. You can make them smaller by using a teaspoon.
October 13, 2016
Our mini beef tenderloin bites with mushroom duxelle are one of the most requested hors d’oeuvres on our catering menu. Simply put, they are spectacular. They are easy to make at home – but why not have Bailey’s make them for your guests at your next holiday party.
While we would love to work with you on your corporate, office, or personal holiday gathering, we realize that many of you will have a few friends over during the holidays, so why don’t you try these beefy gems…
Please visit our website www.BaileyCatering.com and take a look at our wide array of offerings – all homemade from scratch, and mouthwateringly delectable.
- 1 pound center cut beef tenderloin – cut into 1” square cubes
- 1 package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
- 1 pound chopped button mushrooms
- 4 ounces burgundy wine
- 1 ounce cognac
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- ¼ cup grated gruyere cheese
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 egg yolk, 2 tablespoons milk (egg wash)
Season the 1” square cubes of beef with salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon extra- virgin olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Put 6 to 10 chunks of beef in a pan to caramelized each side. You do not want to cook the beef – just sear for color and flavor – a few seconds on each side. Take out of skillet and set aside. Let cool completely.
Once all the meat is done, in the same skillet, add remaining butter and mushrooms, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Add garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, wine, and cognac and cook down until all liquid is completely evaporated. Place in Cuisinart and pulse until a slight paste (with texture) forms. Let cool completely and add grated gruyere cheese.
STEP THREE (Assembling)
Roll out one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is 1/8th” thick and the two creases are melded into the sheet. With a 2” biscuit cutter, cut disks and place on floured surface.
Place one heaping teaspoon cooled mushroom duxelle in the center of the puff pastry and top with beef chunk. Fold puff pastry over meat and place the flap side down into a lightly sprayed mini muffin tin. Brush smooth tops with egg wash. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees until puff pastry is golden brown – approximately 8 to 12 minutes.
August 25, 2016
This is probably one of the most requested items we have on our catering menu. Sweet potato biscuits are so good. Ours are soft, flaky, delicate, and are especially moist because of the way we cook our sweet potatoes. I always bake the sweet potatoes whenever I use them in baking (including my sweet potato pie) for it really intensifies the flavor of the potato – giving the end product a richness you won’t find if you boil or microwave them.
We stuff them with all kinds of great things, but my favorite this month is fresh baked Smithfield Ham topped with dressed micro-greens drizzled with orange balsamic glaze. Stuffing these delightful biscuits with our ham salad and boysenberry horseradish is freakin’ incredible as well.
If you have never made biscuits, don’t be daunted – it is really very simple. Just treat them gently.
1 pound cooked sweet potatoes (about 4 to 5 medium potatoes – weigh pound after baked)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 tablespoons COLD salted butter (1 stick)
¼ cup full fat buttermilk (Marburger Gourmet – you can buy at publix)
Preset oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Bake potatoes until completely done. Let cool. Remove skin and smash.
In a Cuisinart (food processor), add dry ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds. Add butter chunks, pulse approximately 10 times until the butter is pea size. Put in large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add smashed potato and buttermilk – mix together using a dinner fork. It is important not to over mix. Treat your biscuits like a baby’s bottom – very gently. If you over-mix or over-kneed your biscuits will be tough.
Gently roll or pat down on lightly floured board or surface to 1/2 inch high. Dip a biscuit cutter in flour each time you cut a biscuit. We cut our biscuits in small bite size pieces. Lay the cut biscuits one inch apart from one another on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake on middle rack for 8 to 12 minutes depending on your oven. They should be light in weight, and golden brown when properly baked.
May 05, 2016
In celebration of the Kentucky Derby this week, we are serving up Kentucky Hot Browns.
The Kentucky Hot Brown is an open faced sandwich created in 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky by Chef Fred Schmidt. It consists of toast, turkey, bacon, tomato and a Mornay sauce. It was created as an alternative to the traditional ham and eggs the hotel would serve its late night patrons who were hungry after dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
We will be serving it at numerous catering events this Saturday at Kentucky Derby parties around the bay, both as a passed hors d’oeuvre, and in casserole form. When we served them at Bailey’s Restaurant they were always a HUGE hit.
We make ours with fresh baked turkey, our own candied bacon, topped with heirloom tomatoes and yummy Mornay sauce made with rich gruyere cheese. It is a spectacular dish year round, but especially this weekend honoring the most famous race of them all.
- Pepperidge Farm bread or any hearty thick sliced white bread (toasted) – cut crust off
- Fresh baked turkey breast or a high quality sliced deli turkey
- Sliced heirloom tomatoes
- Candied bacon
- Mornay sauce
- Gruyere cheese for the sauce and extra to top
My preference for this sandwich is always fresh baked turkey. You can buy turkey breast and bake it off covered (butter, salt and pepper) in a 325 degree oven until done. Or Sam’s and Costco sell a fried turkey breast (or even pre-cooked sliced turkey breast) that is good as well. Last resort is deli turkey. It’s ok to use. I prefer the sliced turkey breast from either Wright’s Gourmet (yes they sell it sliced and it beats all others), or Boars Head from Publix.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
Melt butter in medium size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook whisking constantly until the flour roux is pale yellow…do not brown. Slowly whisk in milk and stir until the sauce thickens. Once the sauce thickens, add remaining ingredients on low heat. Cook for approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
- Thick sliced Applewood smoked bacon (or your favorite kind of thick sliced bacon)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar for each slice of bacon
- Light sprinkling of cayenne pepper
On a sheet pan with bacon side-by-side, press brown sugar into each slice. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Bake at 350 until crispy. I line my sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up, or use a baking rack that fits inside the sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. This is the best method for it helps eliminate greasy bacon.
Thick slice heirloom, beefsteak, or any other high quality tomato you prefer. Once sliced, place on a medium hot non-stick skillet brushed with butter for approximately 10 seconds on each side – just long enough to heat it up slightly.
Removed crust from bread and toast. Top with warm or room temperature sliced turkey, sliced tomato, hot Mornay sauce, 2 slices bacon crisscrossed, and grated Gruyere piled in the middle. Broil until browned. Serve hot.
For Passed Hors d’oeuvers: Slice crust-less Pepperidge Farm bread in quarters. Toast. Top with room temperature or warm turkey (deli is fine), a spoonful of hot Mornay sauce, a 1” square candied bacon, one half cherry or grape tomato. Sprinkle with grated Gruyere cheese and broil until melted. Serve hot.
Hot Browns For A Crowd: This is a real crowd pleasure. Butter a casserole dish. Line with toasted crust-less bread, top with turkey, tomato, candied bacon, Mornay sauce (to completely cover), and lots of grated Gruyere cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until it is bubbly golden brown. Serve hot.
March 03, 2016
Served on Homemade Plantain Chips.
One of the most requested menu items at Bailey Catering is our Tuna Tartare. We serve tartare every which way at dinner parties and cocktail receptions. As an hors d’oeuvre, my favorite way is on a fresh fried plantain chip topped with crème fraiche and a squeeze of fresh lime. To make your presentation pop – put them on a rectangle plate with uncooked green lentils. You’re guest will love the presentation – but enjoy the tartare even more.
- ½ to 1 pound very fresh tuna steaks
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon teriyaki
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 finely chopped scallion (green onion)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon wasabi powder
- ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno
- Salt to taste
With a sharp knife – thinly slice the tuna in quarter in slices, and dice those slices into small chunks. You do not want to mince the tuna – you want nice small chunks of tuna. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Except for the diced tuna, combine all the ingredients and whisk. Add a tablespoon at a time to the tuna to secure the proper balance for your desired taste – add Kosher salt if desired. However, you should have enough salt with the soy and teriyaki sauces, so be careful.
Chill for at least 2 hours.
Place on top of a fresh fried plantain chip or a homemade crispy wonton. Top with a small dollop of crème fraiche or a small slice of avocado…add a light squeeze of fresh lime juice and a spinkle of sesame seeds.
February 04, 2016
Super Bowl is upon us and if you are looking for a really good, easy munchie to complement your wings – try a Bailey’s southern favorite, Fried Green Tomatoes.
They are a hit every time we serve them for catering – especially paired with our homemade Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dipping sauce…which also doubles as a salad dressing or even a perfect spread for burgers, BLT’s, and is great on grilled chicken sandwiches. And by the way, a fried green tomato is also good in salads and on burgers, BLT’s, and grilled chicken sandwiches.
Many restaurants use yellow cornmeal or a thick batter as the breading. I do neither for I want the true essence of the pungent tart green tomato to shine through…so I just use buttermilk and flour. It’s that simple.
Make sure you use a fully green tomato with absolutely no red…for this is the southern tradition. A green tomato is just an un-ripe tomato. If you leave them on your counter for a few days – it will turn red on its own.
- Green Tomatoes from your grocery store
- 2 cups Marburger Gourmet Buttermilk
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Vegetable or Canola Oil
- Extra Kosher salt for as soon they come from fryer
Cut green tomatoes in ¼” thick slices, put in Marburger buttermilk. These can marinate in buttermilk for up to 2 to 3 hours.
Season flour with salt and pepper.
Heat oil to 365 degrees
Drain a hand full of tomatoes and toss in seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and serve with our Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dipping Sauce.
HERBED BUTTERMILK RANCH
½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
½ cup Breakstone’s sour cream
1 cup Marburger Gourmet buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch green onion (scallions) – use all but 2” of the green
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch Italian parsley
Put all the ingredients in a Cuisinart or food processor and blend until smooth.
August 13, 2015
The first time I ever had Picadillo was at the tender age of 7 (how sad I remember that) – when I was invited for dinner by my Most Holy Name (Ybor City) classmate Michael Torta – I was hooked after the very first bite.
Michael’s mom was as round as I was tall, with a big smile and a bright red apron. She let us watch her every step – and even let me peel the ripe black plantains she fried to accompany our picadillo. When I saw her put the green olives and raisins in the pot, well, I wanted to bolt – but I stayed, much to my ultimate delight. It was a memorable meal.
Over the years, I have honed the recipe to one people seem to enjoy very much. I wanted the meat to have maximum flavor so I let it soak in the Sherry for a couple of hours prior to cooking – then start layering the wonderful flavors as they cook in the pot.
AUTHENTIC SPANISH PICADILLO
- 2 pounds ground beef (80% – 20%)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup dry Sherry
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion – coarsely chopped
- 1 large green pepper – coarsely chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 1/3 cup capers (drained)
- 1/3 cup green olives with pimentos – sliced in rings
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 small can tomato paste
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup Dry Sherry (in addition to the Sherry above)
Mix ground beef with salt, red pepper flakes, and dry Sherry. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Heat the olive oil in large skillet. Add onion, green pepper and sauté until soft. Add the garlic, capers, olives, and beef mixture, stirring until the meat is completely cooked. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the ½ cup of Sherry). Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Skim off excess fat, and add ½ cup dry Sherry. Serve with white rice (sprinkle with parsley), fried plantains, mixed field green salad, Sangria, or and ice cold beer. Then go to Eddie V’s and order their Bananas Foster Cake and Ice Cream at the bar.
This same mixture can be used to make delightful empanadas – or even open faced empanada tarts…perfect as an app for any cocktail party.
Purchase round empanada shells in the frozen section at the grocery. Fill, fold over, and crimp them with a fork. Fry in 350 degree oil until golden brown. They can even be baked (on a parchment lined cookie sheet) in a 375 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes.
You can also line mini muffin tins with the dough, fill and bake to make an open faced empanada – bake as above until golden brown and top with a slice of green olive.
July 29, 2015
OMG, loaded with pork tenderloin, Monterey jack, caramelized onions & sweet peppers, mushrooms, and jalapeno are perfect for dinner or any party.
- 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of any silver skin
- Dry rub (Bailey’s or your favorite)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Flour tortillas (whatever size you prefer)
- 1 pound mushrooms
- 1 large sweet onion (cut in quarters and julienne)
- 1 large sweet pepper (cut in strips)
- 3 jalapeno peppers (sliced very thin include the seeds)
- 1 pound hand shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Sour cream (add ¼ teaspoon salt to every half cup)
- 1 Haas avocado
- 1 mango (diced)
- Fresh limes
- Fresh cilantro
Rub the pork tenderloin with extra virgin olive oil and dry rub. You can find Bailey’s dry rub recipe below. Place on sheet pan and bake in a pre-heated at 450 degree oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. You want it medium with a bit of pink remaining.
Saving all the juices let the pork rest in the pan for 15 minutes. On a cutting board, slice the tenderloin in ¼” thick slices, then dice into medium size ¼” chunks. Squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice over the pork, and a sprinkle of salt – toss with the pan juices.
Saute onions in a saute pan with one tablespoon butter and one teaspoon sugar until caramelized (lightly brown and very soft). Remove from the pan.
In same pan on medium high heat, melt butter, add mushrooms and cook until soft and all the liquid is gone. Remove from the pan and saute the red peppers until soft to the bite.
STEP THREE (toppings)
Dice the avocado and toss in a bit of lime juice to keep them from browning. Dice the mango and cilantro. Thinly slice the jalapeno. Salt the sour cream. Cut limes in wedges.
ASSEMBLING & COOKING
On top of one flour tortilla layer with Monterey jack cheese, then even layers of diced pork, onions, peppers, more cheese, and jalapeno peppers (plenty of everything), and top with another flour tortilla and press. Note: these can be made a day or two ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge.
In a saute pan over medium heat, add a teaspoon or so of butter. Place the tortilla in the pan and cook until nicely browned, then flip and repeat.
Remove from pan, slice and top with ingredients – a sprig of cilantro, and serve with a wedge of fresh lime. Can be saved in an oven heated to 175 degrees for up to an hour. Best served right out of the pan.
BITE-SIE HORS D’OEUVRES
You can pre-cut the tortillas into small rounds, layer the same way, and make individual bite-size quesadillas. They can even be cooked off a day ahead – and warm in a 450 degree oven on a sheet pan for a minute or so…until hot…top each one with whatever topping you prefer – serve hot or warm.
July 16, 2015
My friend Peggy Giunta requested our Bailey’s mac and cheese recipe for her birthday present. Her husband Frank is my dentist, so I figure unless I wanted my tongue drilled, I best give it up.
Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Ours is simple and really cheesy. We make it most often with American cheese (which is my favorite) but sometimes we get crazy gourmet adding all kinds of cheeses. Below are some neat and tasty variations to kick it up a notch, and I have even included our famous fried jalapeno bacon mac and cheese balls.
It’s funny, we are often asked to provide a kids table with mac and cheese and buttermilk fried chicken bites – but no matter what we served the adults, they always, (that’s ALWAYS) wander over to the kids table for that mac and cheese.
Happy birthday Peggy Giunta!!!
- 1 pound elbow macaroni (or any type pasta you prefer – shells or penne are always good)
- 4 quarts water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 stick salted butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ pounds Boars Head American cheese (buy block piece from the grocery deli and grate on box grater)
- Extra grated American cheese for the top
Boil 4 quarts water in large sauce pan. Add salt once it comes to a boil. Add macaroni stir to separate and boil for approximately 10 minutes…until al dente. Drain – do not rinse. NOTE: Pasta should always be boiled in heavily salted water. You want your pasta water to taste like the sea.
BECHAMEL: In a heavy bottom sauce pot, melt butter on medium heat. Add flour and whisk until a roux develops and the flour taste has cooked out (do not brown). Whisk in milk and heavy cream until it is thickened. Add grated American cheese.
Taste to determine if you want to add salt and pepper. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. More often than not, I do not need to add salt. If you salted the water well enough, you shouldn’t need to add more salt for the American cheese is plenty salty.
Add the pasta to the béchamel – it will look very creamy. Place in lightly buttered casserole pan and top with extra grated American cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until the top is crusty and golden brown.
VARIOUS CHEESE BLENDS are always tasty. And of course you can add any type of cheese you desire – gruyere, cheddar, fontina, parmesan, mozzarella, always using 1 ½ pounds to the above recipe of whatever blend of cheeses you prefer.
You can also substitute ½ cup sour cream (or crème fraiche or marscapone) instead of the heavy cream.
LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE is all the rage. I wouldn’t use American cheese if you are putting lobster in it – go with a blend of gruyere, extra sharp white cheddar, and fontina – with a dollop of crème fraiche.
TRUFFLE OIL is very strong, so if you want to add, drizzle sparingly on top – but never on the American cheese version. Better yet, break the bank and add some shaved black truffles to the top of your mac and cheese…black truffles are only $2000 a pound. If you are doing this however, I must be invited.
BACON goes great with any cheese version you so desire from American to gourmet. Also cook the bacon until crispy and mix before baking.
FRIED JALAPENO & BACON MAC & CHEESE BALLS
Our Jalapeno Bacon Mac and cheese balls are perfect hors d’oeuvre for any party…for big kids or little. Add thinly sliced jalapenos (with the seeds) and crumbled crispy bacon – as much as you desire. I like a good bit. Chill the mac and cheese.
Scoop out with a small 1 ounce ice cream scoop or spoon and roll into a ball. Roll in all-purpose flour and shake off the excess flour. Put in egg wash of 4 eggs and 3 tablespoons whole milk, then roll in panko bread crumbs.
These balls can be frozen for up to 2 months. Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown. I like to serve them with a dipping sauce made with cheese wiz combined with jalapenos – warmed in the microwave until bubbly hot.
June 04, 2015
If you’ve ever been to a Chinese, Thai, or just about any Asian restaurant, I bet you have tasted Crab Rangoon. It’s one of my favorite appetizers, especially with our orange drizzle. We’ve made thousands of them at Bailey’s and we served over 400 of them just last night at a law firm reception.
These gems are so easy to make, and perfect for any party… you’ll wonder why you haven’t made them before. You can make them in any shape you desire.
INGREDIENTS FOR CRAB RANGOONS
- 12 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat (really good grab meat is essential)
- 4 scallions
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (or whichever brand of hot sauce you like)
- 1 package of wonton wrappers
Put all the ingredients (except for the wonton wrappers) in a Cuisinart or food processor (you can do this by hand if you don’t have a food processor). Pulse until ingredients are well blended.
Have a bowl of water with a pastry brush (you may also use your fingers) ready. Lay out about 10 wonton wrappers on a flat surface – and put about one teaspoon of the crab Rangoon mixture in the middle…brush lightly with water on all sides. Form the Rangoon the way you would like them – I like mind like the initial picture we have given – all four corners pulled together like a little present. Make sure all the sides seal or they will explode in the fryer.
Place on a baking sheet with the bottom sprinkled with a bit of flour or corn starch. Put the filled baking sheet in the freezer until the Rangoon’s are frozen…store in zip lock bag. They will keep for approximately 3 months.
They are best if fried directly from the freezer. Fry in 350 degree vegetable oil until golden brown. Serve with our orange drizzle.
INGREDIENTS FOR ORANGE DRIZZLE
- 1 large jar Smucker’s Orange Marmalade
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons honey (whatever kind you desire – I like Orange Blossom)
STEP ONE (The Orange Drizzle)
Place all the ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium high heat. Stir until completely melted. Strain through a fine mesh strainer stirring and scraping until all the moisture is out of the orange pulp. Discard orange pulp. Drizzle each fried Rangoon with the Orange drizzle or serve with a ramekin for dipping.