Polenta Triangles with Caramelized Onions and Honeyed Goat Cheese

 

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I’ve been doing a lot of catering lately which has been an amazing opportunity to test out and perfect new recipes for party bites. Everyone has their go-to three or four hors d’oeuvres, but after whipping them out at party after party it’s important to mix it up. This bite is light enough to serve any time of year but hearty enough to make even the hungriest guest happy.

Polenta Triangles with Caramelized Onions and Honeyed Goat Cheese (makes 40-50) 

  • 2 rolls of cooked polenta
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • olive oil
  1. Cut onions into long slices and caramelize at low heat for one (1) hour of until golden brown.
  2. Combine goats cheese and honey in a small bowl. Alternatively, you can buy the honey goat cheese at Trader Joe’s which is delicious!
  3. Cut polenta into 3/4″ slices. Divide each slice into six (6) equally sized  triangles.
  4. Brown Polenta in a heavy skillet over med/high heat (about 2 minutes per side).
  5. Top each triangle with a little bit of caramelized onion and goats cheese.
  6. Serve warm.

Inspired by:

Shaved Fennel and Grapefruit Salad

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A few weeks ago I catered a three-course plated dinner for 10 at my office. Now, I love a good dinner party, but I’d never actually done a plated dinner. My normal routine, cooking yummy food then making people serve themselves, wasn’t going to fly. Commence googling of food pics. About three hours later, I found this epic shaved fennel salad with fresh citrus that doesn’t just look pretty…it is an explosion of awesomeness in the mouth. That is not an exaggeration. With a few easy tweaks it was the perfect starter to a great meal!

Shaved Fennel and Grapefruit Salad (Serves 10 as an appetizer) 

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, leaves and stems trimmed off
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large ruby grapefruits
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and cut into paper-thin slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • salt and pepper
  1. Toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Let cool. Roll the hazelnuts around in a dishcloth to loosen skins. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  2. Slice fennel very thinly with a sharp knife or on a mandolin. Toss in a bowl with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  3. Supreme grapefruits, holding over a small bowl to collect juice. Add grapefruit segments and 1/2 of juice to the bowl of fennel.
  4. Add shallots, olive oil, and lime zest. Toss lightly and portion onto plates. Sprinkle nuts around the edge of the plate and serve.

Watermelon with Grilled Halloumi and Mint

Halloumi cheese is magic. It’s cheese…you can grill. Yes, grill, on heat. Serve it on top of chilled fresh watermelon with a sprig of mint for a light, fresh, and healthy hors d’oeuvre that no one will be able to turn down.

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Watermelon with Grilled Halloumi and Mint (Serves 8) 

  • 1 medium watermelon, chilled
  • 1 container halloumi cheese
  • 16 mint leaves
  • olive oil
  1. Slice watermelon into 1″-1.5″ cubes.
  2. Slice halloumi thinly (about 1/4″). Cut each slice into squares that fit on top of the watermelon cubes, trying to be as uniform as possible.
  3. Grease your hot grill or grill plate with olive oil. Place slices of halloumi on the grill, flip after 2 minutes or when they have grill marks. Grill on both sides and transfer to a plate.
  4. Top watermelon cubes with grilled halloumi. Garnish with a mint leaf.