Haute Hot Food

Only for the adventurous in eating that want to tantalize their taste-buds and make food dance on their palate.

For I am not afraid of letting the food
overtake my desires, nor am I afraid of letting my desires be my food. Food is my expression, not just my livelihood. Cooking is my art, not out of responsibility, but purely out of passion.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let me entertain you...

Halloween candy has been devoured, (or at least put in a baggie to be used for the Christmas gingerbread house) the Turkey and stuffing has been reinvented so many times that you are sure to go into a Thanksgiving coma, and now your mind turns to another eventful holiday season. Red and green glow from every direction, and the sounds and smells are just as mesmerising to you as they were when you were a child. Nights consist of sitting around the tree sipping eggnog and cider all while the fire crackles through the carols playing in the background. Yes, I adore this time of year. It's as if a book from time past has opened up and I am walking in the storybook for a moment.
With the anticipation of that glorious Christmas morn, always brings forth parties and gatherings to celebrate and remember. I have a passion to entertain. Not just in a casual, slap-some-crackers-on -a-plate kind of way, but with elegance and grace. I light the candles, turn on the carols, pull out the shined silver, and wear my Christmas party clothes. Many times I am asked "why go to all the trouble", or if I even "live in reality", or "how do I do it", but my answer is always simple and to the point. Love and Service.
Yes, it is some work and extra effort on my part, yes, it usually results in the breaking a few glasses or dishes, but at the end of the day, all of that is no longer in my mind. The glow of a guests eyes when they see the holiday spread and the pure pleasure of the somewhat nostalgic experience is why I do what I do. For many that live in the day to day and mundane world, I want to offer a sense of old world that is so long forgotten yet everyone longs for.
So, during this Christmas season, make a point to love the season, go a little extra, and bring back the art of entertaining.

Two wonderful entertaining recipes you can make ahead and have on hand:

Caramel Coconut Creams with Toasted Walnuts

1c. Salted butter
1 ¼ c. Packed Brown Sugar
2c. Toasted walnut halves, chopped (reserving ¼ c. for topping)
1c. Toasted coconut
1 ½ TBLS Vanilla
1PKG. (10oz )Marshmallows

Melt butter with brown sugar over med heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Bring to full boil and cook 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and add marshmallows. Stir over low heat until melted. Take off heat and add vanilla, nuts, and coconut. Mixing thoroughly until combined. Spread into buttered. 8 x 11 foil lined pan. Top with reserved walnuts. Refrigerate until firm. About 1 hr Cut into small squares and place in a large zip lock baggie with 1c. Powdered sugar. Shake to coat. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Miniature Goat Cheese Balls with Pistachios

11oz Goat Cheese
8oz Cream Cheese
1tsp Dill
1/2 tsp Salt
1Tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Dried Basil
1TBL Chopped fresh Rosemary
1c. shelled pistachios, finely chopped

In food processor, finely chop nuts and set aside. In large bowl, combine cheeses,herbs, and seasonings until well blended. Spread out 2 sheets of plastic wrap on counter. To make 2 lrg cheese balls: Pour about 1/4 c. nuts on the center of each sheet. Separate the cheese mixture in half and place over pistachios. Top with 1/4 c. more nuts and work into forming a loaf shape. Pack nuts on all exposed areas. Wrap tightly and refrigerate up to a week or freeze for up tp a month.
To make minis: Roll cheese into golf ball sized balls. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove and roll each ball in ground pistachios.

Only for those......