Mission Possible

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These bites will impress your guests

By Chef Rob

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Entertaining is a big part of the holiday season. If you choose or are chosen for this mission, it’s easy to get stressed out about it, but have no fear. I get a lot of “what should I make” phone calls from my friends, so I know exactly what some of you may be going through. The first rule is always prep ahead, you never know what may come your way the day of; and besides, you don’t want to be in the kitchen the whole time your guests are enjoying themselves. Here are a couple of my Go-To recipes… they’ll take a bit of effort, but I’ll show you an easy way to impress your guests.

Parmesan Baskets with Goat Cheese Mousse and Hot Pepper Jelly

Parmesan Baskets
8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded

Goat Cheese Mousse
6 oz Goat cheese (softened)
¼ C Whipping cream
¼ C Hot pepper jelly (can be purchased at major grocery stores)
2T Chopped chives

Make Parmesan Baskets: Preheat oven to 325° degrees F.

Place a mounded tablespoon of grated cheese onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper; pat gently into a 2-inch circle, allowing 2 inches between circles. Bake one sheet at a time for 4 to 5 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden.

Cool about 1 minute. Remove with a spatula and gently drape over inverted small muffin tins or press each one into the hollow of a clean empty egg carton.

Goat Cheese Mousse:

Blend all cream and goat cheese together until smooth.

To serve, carefully spoon the mousse into the parmesan baskets or use a pastry bag to pipe it into the baskets, top with a ½ t of red pepper jelly and top with chives.

Steak & Tomato Bites with Balsamic Glaze

2 Steaks cut into 12 cubes (use Rib eye or Striploin)
12 Cherry tomatoes
1T Olive oil
1T Steak spice
12 2-4” skewers or unwrapped toothpicks
1 bottle Balsamic glaze

Toss beef with ½ T of oil and steak spice. In a separate bowl toss tomatoes with ½ T of oil and a pinch of salt.

Skewer a tomato followed by a beef cube, and stand it up on a sheet pan so the steak is on the bottom and the tomato is on the top. Roast in the oven @ 375 F for 10 min.

While steak and tomatoes are in the oven, mix the guacamole and hot water.

To present, spread guacamole in a straight line, place steak and tomato bite standing up.

Chef Rob is a well-travelled, Private Chef for hire, with close to 20 years of experience in the Culinary Arts. His culinary and global experiences connect people, culture, and ultimately the world. His cuisine is considered a mixture of modern and traditional, with many international flavours, blending together to create flavourful, fresh and inspiring dishes.

www.chefrob.ca I facebook.com/Chef.Rob.Thomas I twitter.com/Chef_Rob I instagram.com/chef_rob204