Best Appetizers for Awards Season
Lights, Camera, Snack-tion! Awards Season is now in full swing and we’ve collected our chefs’ tried-and-true bites to make hosting your watch parties a breeze. So grab a glass, pop the bubbly and get started on these quick and easy appetizers that will fuel your Awards Season.
It’s a classic for a reason. The Kale and Artichoke Fondue from Wildfire is the perfect bowl of melty cheese for your guests to gather around.
KALE & ARTICHOKE FONDUE
Serves 8-10 people
1 lb Lacinato kale leaves, stem free, washed, cut into 1” slices
3 qts water
1 tablespoon kosher salt (to salt the water for boiling the kale)
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup flour
2 ¼ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 cups asiago cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups canned artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 cup asiago cheese, shredded (for step 11)
Chips or veggies of your choice for dipping
1. In a large sauce pot, bring water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add kale and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain in colander and drop kale in ice water to cool completely for 3-4 minutes.
2. Drain kale again in a colander and squeeze excess water out of kale and rough chop. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepot, melt butter; add onion and garlic and sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.
4. Turn down the heat on pot slightly and add salt, then flour and constantly stir for 3-4 minutes more.
5. Whisk in milk and cook for another 3-4 minutes until thickened.
6. Then add all remaining ingredients (except 1 cup asiago cheese) and cook for another 2 minutes.
7. Remove from heat, transfer to a small serving bowl, and cool down mixture as quickly as possible.
8. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
9. Transfer fondue mixture into a 2-quart ovenproof casserole dish.
10. Place in hot oven and bake for 15 minutes.
11. Take out and top with Asiago cheese and return to oven for 5-7 more minutes, or until bubbling.
12. Serve with chips or veggies of your choice for dipping and enjoy!
Every party needs a little crunch. In walks the Coco’s Coconut Shrimp from Three Dots and a Dash. Dip in Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce for an optimal flavor boost.
COCO’S COCONUT SHRIMP
Makes 6 shrimp
For the shrimp
- Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce (see recipe below)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup ice water
- ½ cup dry shredded coconut, unsweetened
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 6 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
For the orange sweet & sour sauce
- ½ cup orange marmalade
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon horseradish
- ½ tablespoon passion fruit puree
- In a large shallow pot, pour in enough oil to reach a depth of 2-3 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 375°F.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce; reserve.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Whisk in the beaten egg and ice water until a batter forms (it should be the consistency of heavy whipping cream).
- In another small bowl, combine the shredded coconut and panko breadcrumbs.
- Dip each shrimp into the batter, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Carefully toss each shrimp in the coconut-panko mixture until evenly coated.
- Carefully place each shrimp into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels; sprinkle with fine sea salt.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce.
Anything that fits on a skewer is the perfect snack for guests that are too busy gabbing to grab a plate. Wildfire‘s Moroccan Chicken Skewers are great dipped in your favorite aioli.
MOROCCAN CHICKEN SKEWERS
Makes 24 skewers
2 lbs. chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons Moroccan spice rub
2 teaspoons garlic, pureed into paste
24 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 15 minutes before using
1. In a large bowl, add chicken cubes, olive oil, Moroccan spice rub, and garlic paste and mix together well. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours to marinate.
2. Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for 5 – 10 minutes. Skewer 4 cubes of chicken on each skewer and set aside.
3. Heat a grill or grill pan on high heat and grill chicken for 8-10 minutes, rotating throughout.
Because goat cheese is always a good idea, our friends at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba have created the Cana de Cabra Pintxo. This simple crostini is the perfect bite to enjoy with a glass of Cava or any of your favorite sparkling wines.
CANA DE CABRA CROSTINI PINTXO
Makes 32 Pieces
2 cups red onion marmalade (see recipe below)
Membrillo honey (see recipe below)
1 log cana de cabra (Spanish soft goat cheese)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Slice baguette into thin pieces (32 total).
3. Brush bread with olive oil and toast on a sheet pan for about five minutes until crisp; remove from oven.
4. Spread 1 tablespoon of red onion marmalade on each slice.
5. Slice cana de cabra log into rounds, about ¼ inch thick.
6. Heat a non-stick pan and sear cheese until it starts to caramelize and melt.
7. Remove cheese from the pan and flip over to cool so the caramelized side is facing up.
8. Cut each round in half and place one-half round on each crostini.
9. Drizzle with membrillo honey and serve.
Red Onion Marmalade
2 pounds red onions, julienne
1 ¼ cups red wine
1 ounce sugar
1 ounce butter
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
1. First create a red onion relish. Melt butter in a saucepan, and add onions. Sauté until translucent.
2. Add sugar and caramelize the onions.
3. Add red wine and let simmer over low heat for 1½ – 2 hours, then let cool.
4. Optional: season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Measure out 2 cups of onion relish mixture and finely chop.
6. Combine relish with ¼ red wine vinegar and ½ cup sugar in a pot and reduce over low heat. Let cool and reserve.
1 cup honey
2 cups water
1 pound membrillo
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and heat to melt honey and break down membrillo.
2. Reduce by half.
3. Purée all ingredients and strain through a chinois.
4. Let cool and reserve.
Careful you don’t eat all of these bacon-wrapped Medjool dates before your guests arrive! The irresistible N’ duja Stuffed Dates from Osteria Via Stato make the perfect sweet and savory bite.
N’DUJA STUFFED DATES
Makes 24 pieces
12 medjool dates
6 ounces n’duja sausage
1 lb. Black pepper bacon
1. If not already pitted, make a slit at the top of the date and remove the pit.
2. Open date – leave attached at base.
3. Fill the date with ½ ounce n’duja sausage.
4. Wrap the filled date with ½ a slice of bacon. Can secure with a toothpick, if desired
5. Cook dates for approximately 10 minutes at 400°F or until bacon is uniformly crisp.
Sometimes the best appetizer is the one that is the simplest to whip together. Inspired by Bub City, these Trucker Snacks – with pimento cheese, hot links and saltines – are up for the “Easiest to Make” award.
8 saltine crackers
1/2 cup Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread (see recipe below)
8 slices Mt. Olive bread & butter pickles
1 Texas hot link sausage, sliced into 1/2” rounds
1. Spread each cracker with 1 tablespoon pimento cheese.
2. Top each with a pickle slice then a hot link round.
3. Place onto a large plate or platter and enjoy!
Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread
1 cup full-fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Ortega hot diced jalapeno peppers, drained
2 tablespoons diced pimentos, drained
1 tablespoon chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoon scallions, thinly sliced
1. In a food processor, whip the cream cheese and mayonnaise until just combined.
2. Mix in the shredded cheddar, jalapenos, pimentos and chipotle chile in adobo sauce until incorporated
3. Fold in scallions. Chill until ready to serve.