Tag Archives: easy party recipes

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Dip (Barefoot Contessa Lightened Up Just a Bit!)

24 Jan

Recently my editors at Edible Long Island asked what we contributors were doing to eat local in the middle of winter.

Hmmm. Embarrassingly, I am not doing enough. Except drinking Long Island wine and using up the home-grown tomatoes, and CSA peppers, garlic scapes, and berries I froze this past summer when the getting was good. I must do better next year!

This will make an impact at your next party

This will make an impact at your next party

But, I am reading about cooking local…my godson, Sean, who understands me better than most, got me Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook with a forward by Martha Stewart for Christmas. For those who don’t know, The Barefoot Contessa is a specialty food store in East Hampton, Long Island, owned by Ina Garten, a former White House nuclear policy analyst and now Emmy-winning Food Network host. She is very charming, very Hamptons, and that makes her very local to me! Bonus, Martha Stewart also has a home in East Hampton, which makes her local too, at least part of the year.

Anyhoo, I do like Ina Garten and her relaxed style. She’s forever cooking up special treats for her beloved husband, Jeffrey, who seems to enjoy it very much. And since Super Bowl is coming up and that means a lot of entertaining, I adapted one of her signature recipes from the book to what I had in my fridge to see what happened.

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Three Easy and Elegant Tapas for Your Holiday Table

15 Dec

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Party Snacks: Tapenade (Black Olive Spread)

16 Sep

This is one spread that makes no excuses. It has full-on, big-ass, unapologetic, salty flavor: black olives, capers, anchovies…This is for your friends who really enjoy robust and lusty food and who will slather spreads generously and lavishly. It is not subtle, so don’t waste these party snacks on the tea and crumpet crowd.

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Party Snacks: Endives, Smoked Salmon, and Capers (Endivias con Salmón)

22 Nov

My parents usher in every holiday season with a Tapas & Tertulia evening for some of their closest, most worldly-wise, food-loving friends from a number of Spanish-speaking countries. Tapas are the little dishes that the Spanish nosh on while drinking small glasses of beer or wine. A tertulia is a convivial gathering – of intellect or music or literature or other sociable human tricks.This evening is one I always look forward to; the conversation is wide-ranging and stimulating, the laughter hearty and the appreciation of food is foremost.

I helped my folks by making some of the mainstays of the tapas/buffet table – tortilla española, tortilla Torcal (with chorizo and ham), yuca en escabeche.

While searching for something new for the cold course, I found this in Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain, by Penelope Casas, a hero of Spanish cuisine in America and a longtime inspiration around here. The endive makes a handy tray for the salmon, while salmon is made mild by the lemon dressing. One of my adaptations was to add capers, a natural for this combination, both as flavor and visual punctuation. Very pretty, very fresh, very handy, very, very fast and easy!

Please look at the photo and know that endive can mean any of several members of the Compositae family of chicories: escarole, chicory itself and radicchio, for example. Belgian endive (Chicorium intybus) is the one you want here. It looks like a tightly closed tulip; you cut off the bottom and take off the scoop-shaped petals, one by one.

Smoked Salmon and Endive Scoops (Endívias con salmón)

4 oz smoked salmon, sliced into strips

12 Belgian endive leaves, clean and unblemished

3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1.5-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice


Freshly ground pepper (white, if you’ve got)

Approximately 50 small capers, drained

Lay a piece of salmon on each of the endive leaves. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over the filled endive leaves. Scatter capers over each scoop (3-4 per scoop). Serve immediately or keep chilled (for no more than an hour as they can start to dry out).

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