Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crab Cakes with Spicy Mayo

Last night we catered an unbelievable bar mitzvah. The biggest hit was the crab cake bar. We had chefs pan frying them to order and then offered a dozen condiments to compliment them. Try making them for your family today. Not difficult to make and I'm sure they will love them. You can serve them on bread with lettuce and a great spicy mayo or on their own. Im sure most of you do not ordinarily make crab cakes at home. Let me inspire you to do so. Below is a great recipe.



2 eggs
2 tablespoons Hellmans Mayo
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound cooked crab meat ( shredded)
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs ( may need a bit more)
Panko breads crumbs for dredging
Half butter and vegetable oil for frying

Beat the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Add the parsley, mustard, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper; mix well to combine. Gently fold in the crab meat and bread crumbs until well combined. (The mixture will be very moist. If it is wet, add a few more fresh breadcrumbs.) Divide the mixture into 6 to 8 portions; flatten gently into thick patties. (Packing the mixture into 1/3-cup measure for each cake will ensure even portions and yield seven cakes. For more or less cakes, use a slightly smaller or larger cup.) Lightly coat the top and bottom of each patty with panko crumbs. If possible, refrigerate for 30 minutes before sautéeing to help the cakes hold together. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough butter and oil to generously cover the bottom. Add the crab cakes, in batches if necessary, and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and drain on a baking rack set on a baking sheet. Serve immediately or keep in oven on warm....

Spicy Mayo

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet pickles
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon
few drops Worcestershire sauce
pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend flavors and chill.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bread Bowls

Its a cold day in New York. As a matter of fact it's a great day to make a hearty vegetable soup or your favorite stew for dinner. Jazz it up and serve it to your family in crusty bread bowls. I guarantee you they will say WOW!!! You can buy the rolls at the bakery or supermarket. Its best if they sit out a day or two so they become dry and stale. You could use sourdough, rye, pumpernickel, or kaiser.It's best to fill them with a thick soup or stew. Below is a recipe for Hearty Corn Chowder. However, Vegetable Stew, Pea Soup, Beef Stew, or any other thick soup or stew will work just fine.

Hearty Corn Chowder
1/2 cubed ham
1 onion chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
2 pounds peeled and cubed potatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
4 cups of corn
3 cups milk ( skim is ok)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper salt and pepper
6 teaspoons cornstarch

Put onion, ham, celery, chicken broth, water, and chicken (un cut) in a large pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
Add corn, potatoes, milk, thyme, and salt and pepper to pot.Simmer, uncovered until potatoes are soft.
Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces and return to pot.
Thicken soup with cornstarch , adding in 2 tablespoons at a time and stirring. Once soup has reached desired thickness simmer for another 5-7 minutes.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hummus Beautified

Hummus is a delicious snack. This mediterranean treat is typically served with grilled pitas and makes a great appetizer for a gathering. We recently catered a small ladies luncheon at a clients home and created a fabulous little hors d'oeuvre using this healthy spread

1 clove garlic
1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, ( keep 1/2 can of the liquid on the side)
4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt black pepper
2 tablespoons of good olive oil

DirectionsPlace the beans into a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic and salt. Blend until creamy and well mixed.
Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil on top. If you are making the hors d'oeuvre above, place hummus in a piping bag and insert into mini cones made of zucchini peels

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homemade Potato Chip Dip with Caramelized Onions

Superbowl is around the corner. Potato Chips and Onion dip are a delicious staple. One of our most popular requests for this type of gathering is our home made Chips and dip. People go wild over them. Let me inspire you to Venture away from using a package of liptons onions soup mix. Live a little and make it from scratch. Your friends and family will be in heaven!!!!!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions (chopped)
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
3 teaspoons dehydrated onion powder/granulates (salt-free, natural)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Saute onions in the olive oil along with a few dashes of salt.Cook until the onions are golden brown and caramelized..Once cooked transfer to a bowl and let them sit.
Mix together (by hand )the sour cream, yogurt, onion powder, and salt. Add a little more onion powder if necessary until it tastes right. Stir in 2/3 of the caramelized onions, scoop into a serving bowl, and top with the remaining onions

Remember Ice Box Cake?

Remember Ice Box Cake? Cherry is may favorite. My mom use to make it all the time. We offer an ice box Viennese at our parties with 8 choices and people love it. But you can easily make it at home. It takes 10 minutes to whip it up..



20-30 whole or broken graham crackers
2 cups whole milk
1 package (6-serving) of Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 3/4 cups thawed Cool Whip
2 cans cherry pie filling


Line rectangular pyrex dish with the graham crackers, breaking crackers, if necessary. Pour cold milk into bowl. Adding pudding mix. With electric mixer at low speed, beat until well blended well. Mix in whipped topping. Spread half of the pudding mixture over crackers. Add another layer of crackers. Top with remaining pudding mixture and remaing crackers. Spread cherry pie filling over crackers. Chill about 3 hours.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Kielbasa.... I love it... It has a great smoky flavor, Its inexpensive and easy to make. If you are watching your weight turkey kielbasa is a great alternative. Try preparing Grilled Keibasa with spicy mustard and warm parsley scented potatoes


2 pounds small new potatoes ( cut in half)
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 pound smoked kielbasa
Spicy Mustard ( Deli or Dijon)


Place Potatoes into a pt or pan with water and add some salt. Boil the potatoes until soft ( not mush)....then drain them with a pasta drainer.

Whisk together onion, oil, vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a large bowl.
Add hot potatoes and parsley to vinaigrette and toss.
Heat up grill (use a grill pan if you are inside).
Cut kielbasa crosswise into 4 sections, then halve each section lengthwise.
Spray Pam on the grill to avoid sticking, then grill kielbasa, until sizzling and grill marks appear, about 3-5 minutes total.
Combine the two items and voila you have an awesome meal.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Potatoes Peppers and Eggs

Potatoes Peppers and Eggs. My fellow Italian Americans are sure to remember this nastalgic dish. My Grandmother served it up on crusty Italian bread for breakfast and sometimes Dinner...Ah the good ol days. Ive taken that tasty treat and transformed it into a bit size hors d'oeuvre..

Potato Pepper and Egg Frittata


4 diced and peeled new potatoes
6 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 red pepper diced


Preheat oven to 300F. Steam or boil potatoes until tender. Remove from water and run potatoes under cold running water. Drain and pat dry. Combine and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion and peppers about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and saute another 3-4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Transfer cooled potatoes to a glass pie plate. Pour egg mixture over potatoes, covering evenly. Bake about 15 minutes or until frittata is set. Do not overcook. Cut into desired shapes.

Friday, January 22, 2010

NBC Superbowl Segement

Today I was on the 5:00 news on WNBC. I spoke about football fare. I gave fabulous menu ideas combined with festive presentation. Let's Go Jets!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Grilled Cheese Minis

I love grilled cheese!!!!! Who doesnt? We bake our own mini breads to jazz them up but you can easily cut off the ends and go to town with a small cookie cutter. Try Grilled Asiago cheese with Ham and sliced Pickle or traditional American with Tomato and Bacon or how about Mozzarella with Proscuitto and Basil.........OMG YUM

Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Pears


White Bread
Bacon ( cooked)
Sliced pear
Sharp cheddar
Butter (soft)


Heat a frying pan.Spread butter over the top of the sandwich. Place the sandwich top side down (butter side down) on the hot pan. Butter the exposed side of the sandwich. Turn over and apply pressure by pressing the sandwich down with a spatula. Let cook until golden brown and cheese is melted. Let cool slightly, then cut out shapes with a mini cookie cutter.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Strawberry Parfaits

People just dont eat alot of dessert anymore. We see it all the time at our parties. This past year we started serving mini parfaits in shot glasses with demitasse spoons. Everyone loved them. They were small enough so one could avoid feeling sinful, yet delicious enough to satisfy the sweet tooth.

4 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup amaretti cookie crumbs ( like stella doro breakfast treats)
1/2 cup whipped topping ( you should make, but can buy)

Place strawberry slices and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth.

Combine ricotta, cream cheese, powdered sugar, water, and vanilla in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk.
Spoon 2 tablespoons cookie crumbs into each of the parfait glasses. Top each portion with 2 tablespoons strawberry puree, , and 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture; repeat the layers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Healthy Risotto?

QUINOA RISOTTO???? Is delicious and a nutricious powerhouse. Quinoa is a grain but not really. It is Gluten and Wheat Free and is a fabulous risotto, rice, or orzo substitute. And...its packed with great is that?? We recently put it on our "Going Green" catering menu and the crowds have gone wild...Try wil.... mushroom truffle and parmesan scented....yummy....

Wild Mushroom, Truffle, and Parmesan Quinoa Risotto

1 tablespoon EVOO
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup quinoa
2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups chopped arugula
1 carrot peeled and finely shredded
1/2 cup thinly shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon truffle oil


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and quinoa and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Don't let the garlic brown.Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the quinoa is almost tender to the bite but slightly hard in the center, about 12 minutes. The mixture will be brothy. Stir in the arugula, carrot and mushrooms and simmer until the quinoa grains have turned from white to translucent, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the cheese and truffle oil and season with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sicilian Rice Balls

Arancini or Sicilian Rice Balls make an excellent antipasti at parties. Make them in small batches with different fillings. I like Truffle and Marscapone, Chianti and Smoked Mozzarella, Peas and Prosciutto...Be creative...Put your signature on it..You can do it!!!


Arancini with Prosciutto Peas and Parmesan

5 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 1/4 cups arborio rice (approx 1 pound)
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 ounces diced prosciutto
1 cup baby peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup flour
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups plain dry bread crumbs ( or panko)
1 quart oil, for deep-frying

1.In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock until just boiling; keep warm. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 3 minutes.
2.Add 1/2 cup of the hot chicken stock to the rice and stir constantly over moderate heat until the liquid is completely absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed before adding more. When half of the stock has been added, stir in the prosciutto, peas, rosemary and thyme and continue cooking. The rice is done when it's tender but still slightly firm to the bite. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Spread the risotto on a baking sheet and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
3.Roll the risotto into hors'doeuvre size balls. Roll each ball in the flour, then dip in the beaten eggs and coat with the bread crumbs.
4. Heat 4 inches of vegetable oil to 360°. Working in small batches , fry the risotto balls until golden, about 45 seconds; (fry for about 4-5 minutes). Transfer to paper towels to drain. While hot, roll the risotto balls in the remaining 2 cups Parmesan to lightly coat them. Transfer to platters and serve immediately.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

BLTs Transformed

Who doesnt love a BLT? Warm crispy Hickory smoked Bacon, ripe red tomatoes, fresh lettuce, and thats right..good ol Helman"s mayonaise. Try transforming this classic into a bite size hors d'oeuvre. Yummy!!!!!!Ingredients

Bread Cup Recipe

4 slices white or whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.Trim the crusts from the bread and roll out the bread with a rolling pin until it is flattened to about 1/16-inch thick. Cut into 4 squares, brush on both sides with butter, and fit into 16 mini-muffin pan cups.
3.Bake until the toast cups are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stuffed Peppers have made a Come Back!!

Stuffed Peppers are making a come back. Lets face it, they are appealing to your eye, as well as, your palate. Try stuffing them his weekend for your football gathering with a low-fat turkey chili. We serve these all the time at our house parties and they always are big crowd pleasers...

Turkey Chilli stuffed Holland Peppers

4 med. bell peppers
1/2 lb. ground turkey, cooked & drained
1 c. cooked rice
1/4 c. chopped onion (about 1 sm.)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
1 jar (2 oz.) diced pimentos, drained
1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2 oz.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray rectangular baking dish with Pam or with nonstick cooking spray. Hollow and Clean Peppers. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse well.
Mix remaining ingredients (except cheese)_; loosely stuff each pepper. Arrange stuffed peppers in baking dish. Cover and bake about 30-40 minutes or until rice mixture is hot. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered about 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 4 servings.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dumplings my Favorite

Another Big Football weekend is approaching which means parties and gatherings. Try serving steamed dumplings or potstickers to your guests. Its a healthier alternative to the usual fatty football fare....yet still delicious...Buy a bamboo steamer at your local restaurant supply store and steam away......Try serving them with this simple sauce.....4 tablespoons soy sauce ,
1 teaspoon sesame oil ,
1 tablespoon Chinese red rice vinegar (note: not red wine vinegar) ,
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, or chopped green onion

Monday, January 11, 2010

Beet Salad..delicious and nutritious

We made a fabulous beet salad over the weekend for one of our events. The recipe was so simple yet so delicious. Beets are packed with vitamin B and they are a powerful antioxident. Combine Red Beets with Red Onion crumbled Blue Cheese, and crushed Smoky almonds..then drizzle with Sherry Vinegar and EVOO....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Burger and Shake

Big Weekend for Football Fans!!!How about serving sliders. We have been serving them for years. I'm kinda done with them, but just like the pig in the blanket, you cant deny the fact that no matter what PEOPLE LOVE THEM..... You could change it up slightly by busting out the blender and some shot glasses and serving up... mini strawberry milkshakes to accompany the yummy little buggers ...i mean burgers (lol)Se

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tomato and Mozzarella....a classic

Tomato and Mozzarella. Definately a party classic. So many of my clients request that it appears on their menu. However, I decided the kick the presentation up a notch and present it as a bite size hors d'oeuvre. So simple to make. If you need instructions let me know

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Where Do I put the fork?

The Diagram to the left shows you how to properly set a basic place setting.

Rules of Thumb
1) Forks on the left
2) Bread Plate on the left over the forks
3) Knives on the right ( blades facing in)
4) Glasses on the right ( above the knives)
5) Spoon to the right of the knives
6) Napkin on the left

Sunday Football Hors D'oeuvre

If you are entertaining at home, try making these delicious mini TRUFFLE PARMESAN MAC AND CHEESE MUFFINS....Yummy!!!! so easy to make...let me know if you want the recipe. It honestly takes about 5 minutes to prepare.....


Yield 12 servings

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp-1tsp truffle oil...

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F . Grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, olive oil and salt.
Cook the elbows for about 8 minutes, they should still be a little bit firm. Remove from the heat, drain and place in a pan; stir in the butter and egg until pasta is evenly coated. Reserve 1/2 cup of sharp Cheddar cheese and stir the remaining Cheddar cheese, parmesan, milk and mozzarella cheese and truffle oil into the pasta. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the reserved cheese and the bread crumb mixture over the tops.
Bake for 30 minutes

Shrimp Cocktail with a Twist

Here is another entertaining tip. Check out the photo. Its simply Shrimp Cocktail!!!!! Try making individuals instead of presenting them in the ordinary way... You friends and family will love it......

Moms Sunday Sauce

Remember Sundays when you were a kid....Godzilla, Mothra, abbott and costello, and football... But the Best was the smell of the sauce or (gravy lol) mom was cooking on the stove all day. Its still early enough ...go out buy the ingredients and make the best pot of sauce ever... And if you want my recipe im happy to share.xoxoxo


3 TBS olive oil
8 italian sausage links
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 whole onion ( skin off)
1/2 cup red wine
2 cans ( 28 oz)whole peeled tomatoes
1 TBS dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
2 TBS sugar
pinch of crushed red pepper
salt to taste
fresh ricotta
grated parmesan cheese


Pan fry or bake sausage in a pyrex dish until cooked. In a large pot, heat olive oil and add garlic to pan. Cook for a few minutes or until garlic is slightly golden. Add wine to deglaze pan. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, sugar , pepper, and whole onion. Place sausage in the pot and cover. Simmer on low for 3 to 4 hours. Add salt to taste, remove whole onion and serve over pasta. Serve fresh ricotta, and parmesan on the side

Pot Pie as an Hors d'oeuvre

Wow, Is it cold outside. This time of the year makes you crave hearty comfort food. Why not make a traditional chicken or turkey pot pie. I promise you it is easy to make and your family will enjoy it. We serve a mini bite size version at our parties and the guess love them.

An easy recipe for pot pie filling is listed below. You could buy the mini tart shells in the supermarket.Be sure to buy savory not sweet shells.

5 chicken breasts cut up in small pieces
1/4 cup margarine
1 10oz can of cream soup
2 cup frozen veg
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste


Cook chicken and set aside.
Melt 1/4 cup of margarine in pot; add flour until it becomes a thick paste.
Add milk until it becomes a thick sauce stirring constantly.
Add 1 can of cream soup and 1/2 a can of milk.
Make sure sauce is slightly thick.
Put in frozen veggies, chicken and seasonings.
Cook on low heat for about an hour.
Spoon out into tart shells and serve

Andrea Correale's Elegant Affairs

Transformed Piggy in a Blanket

New Years is now over. Many of us in the catering world now switch our attentions to the next big celebration.."SUPERBOWL"...i love hanging with friends on Sunday eating comfort food and watching the games. This weekend I'll being serving a traditional favorite with a twist on presentation...YES you guessed it the pig in the blanket...

Recipe Yeild 24


3 jumbo hot dogs
1 sheet puff pastry
1 tsp.dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1 whole egg


Place the puff pastry out on your counter. Spinkle cheddar cheese on the right side . Fold the left side over the right side so the pastry is folded in half and gently roll it out.
Combine egg and dijon by whipping them together. Brush the combonation onto the pastry. Roll each hot dog with the dough leaving the ends exposed.
Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 6 minutes. Turn them over and continue to bake for approximately another 2-4 minutes. Allow them to cool. Cut them into 1/4-1/2 inch diameter disc shapes . Skewer them and serve.

Edamame..A healthy party snack

Dont you just love Edamame? If you are entertaining this weekend and want to put out a healthy snack. Try serving up individual vessels packed with these nutritrious little suckers...I will post a recipe on how to season them.....yum

So sick of Mesclun

Baby Arugula is the Bomb. If i see mesclun greens with walnuts and goat cheese again im going to shoot myself!! . Ok ready.......Combine baby arugula with proscuitto, either figs, grilled pears, or grapes, and shaved manchego cheese. Then drizzle with Truffle oil and Sherry Vinegar....OMG...( truffle oil is key)

Tacos presented beautifully

Lets Go Jets!!!!! I encourage all of you to celebrate and invite some friends or family over this Sunday. Treat them to warm cozy day of fun. If you dont feel like cooking you can always call my favorite caterer elegant affairs (lol) and order from their Sunday football foods to go menu. I heard they deliver right to ...your home. Or simply let me inspire you to get out that crock pot and whip up your best chili con carne.xoxoxox