Do you know what guests go crazy over when I'm hosting a party — even when I serve oysters, caviar and foie gras? The kiddie comfort food, like macaroni and cheese. Especially when people are drinking — please! It's what they want.
Ultimately you want to put a smile on your guests' faces, and these recipes do it. They look so cute in their mini versions, and of course they're absolutely delicious!
Orzo Mac & Cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 shallots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 6 sage leaves, torn
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons truffle oil
- 1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1¼ cups freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 16-ounce box orzo, cooked
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1¼ cups fresh breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the sage and wine; cook for 2 minutes more. Increase heat to medium-high and add the cream, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low for about 5 minutes, still stirring. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the lemon juice, nutmeg, truffle oil, cheddar cheese and 1 cup of the Parmesan. Mix with orzo; season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the mixture into eight 5-ounce ramekins. Mix breadcrumbs with remaining Parmesan and sprinkle over each, then bake until bubbling and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mild hot sauce
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons green scallions, sliced
- 1 cup crushed Doritos
- Preheat oven to 425º Fahrenheit. In a bowl, mix beef, taco seasoning mix and ice water with hands. Press into bottoms and sides of a mini-muffin pan.
- In another bowl, mix all filling ingredients together. Place a spoonful of filling into each shell, mounding slightly. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until meat is cooked through (if using a regular muffin pan, bake for 15 minutes). Remove tartlets from pan with the tip of a knife. Serve warm, or let cool and freeze for later use.
- 1 pound ground lamb
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- Canola oil spray
- 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
- 15 mini brioche buns, halved and toasted
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- In a bowl, mix together the lamb, mint, garlic, cumin, Parmesan, red pepper flakes and lime juice. Using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon, form 30 sliders.
- Heat a grill pan to medium-high and spray it with canola oil. Grill sliders for 2 minutes per side, or until done.
- Brush cooked sliders with pomegranate molasses, place on brioche buns and garnish with feta and pomegranate seeds.
- Sourdough bread or French baguette
- Cashew butter
- Blackberry jam
- Fresh blackberries, sliced into rounds
- Slice bread 1/4 inch thick, toast and spread with cashew butter while hot.
- Drizzle with jam and garnish with blackberry rounds.
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This article originally appeared in the December/January 2017 issue of CQ.