Recipes for fall entertaining

With seasons changing and football season in full effect this is my favorite time of year to entertain.  My traveling usually slows down a bit and I focus on spending time with family and friends at home.  Now, don’t worry, while I may slow down it does not mean I will become a homebody…I have trips planned to the North Georgia Mountains, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC and possibly Athens GA over the next few months.

This past weekend RG and I hosted a small football get-together to watch a disappointing Tennessee loss.  The night itself was great, we drank, ate, watched football and played games (Catch Phrase anyone?).  As I started planning for the night I struggled with what I should make.  We didn’t want to make it fancy or serve an entire meal.  Instead I opted for small plates and appetizers that could sit out and be eaten over time.  We haven’t really hosted anything since we moved into our new place this past spring so I had to dust off of my recipe book and get to business.  I decided on a cheese dip, hummus, deviled eggs, cheese and crackers, and bruschetta.  Overall I think it was a great spread and was the perfect amount of food for our gathering.

I thought I would share with you a few recipes that received the most compliments in case you are hosting a fall cocktail party or football game day soon.  Enjoy and please feel free to share your favorite recipes with me, I am always looking to try new things!

Deviled Eggs 

*If you have ever been to JCT Kitchen in Atlanta, they have the best deviled eggs I have ever had…this is my rendition of theirs.

10 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise *I use the olive oil blend
5-6 Wickles Pickles, minced *Cornichons could be substituted for these
2 tablespoons creamy goat cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons snipped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 20 pieces

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil for five minutes, remove from the heat, cover the pan and let eggs stand in the hot water for 10 minutes. Transfer the eggs to an ice water bath until chilled, about 5 minutes. *I just found this trick through Pinterist and can’t wait to try it next time.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, pickles, goat cheese, mustard, shallot and 1/2 of the chives. Peel the eggs and half them lengthwise. Add the yolks to the bowl, mix until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Using a hand mixer can help smooth the mixture.
  3. Set the egg whites on a serving platter. Scrape the egg yolk mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe the filling into the whites. Top each egg with a piece of prosciutto, sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of chives and serve.  If you do not have a pastry bag you can always use a one gallon zip-lock bag and cut one corn to use as a tip.  Alternatively you can just spoon the mixture in also, this is what I did to save some time and clean up.
  4. Refrigerate and serve once cooled.
Hot Corn Dip

Hot Corn Dip

This recipe is courtesy of Gina Marie’s Kitchen blog. I came across this in June and have been holding on to it for the perfect occasion. Everyone loved it and it will definitely become a Fall staple in my household. Next time I am going to try adding a little more corn, maybe 1/2 of another can.  I did use two tomatoes instead of one, and could have used a little more even – I love the fresh aspect of this dip! 

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 tbs chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced small
1 small can (4oz) diced green chilies, undrained
1/2 cup Mayo *I used the olive oil blend
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 11oz can of corn, drained
1 small tomato *I used two tomatoes
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
2 tbs green onions, sliced thin

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the cheeses, chiptole and green peppers, mayo, garlic powder and corn together. Pour into an oven safe dish.
  3. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly *My oven cooks low so I baked this for 30 minutes, use your own judgement
  4. Top with diced tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
Pesto hummus

Pesto Hummus

This is truly my own recipe.  Each time I make it I tweak it a little. This last version, the one below, is the best so far…but as it evolves I will update you if I think there is a better version. Begin with making the pesto first and setting aside until ready for it again.

Pesto Recipe
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, process until fully incorporated and smooth.
  3. Add the Parmesan Cheese and pulse slightly to make smoother.  You do not need to pulse this until completely smooth, sometimes I like a little texture in this!
  4. At this point, pour the pesto into a separate bowl and clean your food processor.  Now we start on the hummus portion!

Hummus

1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans

1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons lemon juice *About 1 1/2 lemons squeezed
2 tablespoons Tahini
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
pesto (see recipe above)
2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Bring garbanzo beans with liquid to a rolling boil on stove top.  Do not cook these through, just boil for about 5 minutes.  This will help the texture of your hummus.
  2. In a food processor, chop the garlic.
  3. Add garbanzo beans to food processor, include about half of the liquid with this – this helps make the hummus smoother, you can add more later if needed.  Add lemon juice, tahini, and salt and blend. Blend until creamy and well mixed.
  4. Add about half of the pesto previously made to processor and blend until mixed.  Taste and if desired add more pesto.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl, cook in refrigerator. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with fresh basil if desired and serve.

*Remaining pesto will keep in freezer for up to three months. 

Hope you enjoy!!

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