Tag Archives: entertaining

The Gentleman Caller’s Beanie Ween with Lardon Spoon Appetizer

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

It seems, according to the TV cooking shows and commercials, that people are thinking about the upcoming Super Bowl. Now, I think that’s fun and all, and the halftime is usually an event, but it ain’t exactly the Tony Awards. Feel free to laugh at that sentence.

If you follow me regularly here, you know I am always trying to breed low-brow to high-brow. I am still trying to deduce a Spam chateaubriand.

That’s a joke.

But someone who shall remain nameless dared me. Challenged me. Threw down a gauntlet via social media. My initial response was NEVER NO NEVER. But the more I ruminated, the more intriguing the idea became.

So today I offer you Beanie Ween (shoved full of spaghetti noodles) and Lardon (and french fried onions) Spoon Appetizer.

What you need:

  • 4 good quality hot dogs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/3 package of spaghetti noodles, broken into thirds
  • 1/2 of a large white onion, chopped
  • 11 ounce can of Pork and Beans
  • 1/3 cup lardon or coarsely chopped bacon chunks (www.Stantonmeats.com)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon hickory powder (www. kalustayans.com – see shopping guide)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon malabar (coarsely ground black pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon siracha**
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of beer (I give you permission to drink the rest)
  • 1 cup french fried onions

*Can substitute 1/2 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke.

**This is the barely spicy version. I would ideally go for 2-3 teaspoons.

This is the fun part. Take your 1 inch wieners and stick the spaghetti pieces through them. Use about 5-6 per wiener. If you have kids or non-cooks around who like to “help,” this is a great assignment.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring about a quart of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Boil the “noodle wieners” for 6-7 minutes, just until the noodles start to bend. Remove and set aside.

In a sauce pan, cook the lardon until quite crispy. Remove from the pan. Add the onion to the bacon grease in the pan and sauté till translucent. Add the “noodle wieners”. Allow the wiener part to caramelize a little in the bacon grease. Don’t go crazy, just a light caramelization will do.

Turn off the heat. Add the can of Pork and Beans. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, adding the lardon back in the last couple of stirs.

Spoon into a pie plate lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. I actually used an aluminum one because, well, I am lazy.

See the big chunks of delicious pork and the course ground pepper? Flavor!

Put into the pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes. Check it, see how loose it looks. This is probably when you want to add the french fried onions. Sprinkle them on top, bake 8-10 more minutes, just until the onions start changing color.

Remove from oven.

Pre-set tablespoons or appetizer spoons on your serving piece.

Quenelle* the mixture using teaspoons into a football shape and ease into the pre-set serving spoons.

Don’t be intimidated by fancy French words… you can quenelle as well.

*Yeah, I am fancy. Get two spoons and with one, take a scoop, while with the other you sort of roll them back and forth between spoons to achieve an oval kind of football shape.

Try to get a french fried onion on top and make sure you can see the lardon.

Dazzle your guests! They are going to think you are KLASSY. I think you are, too.

Printable PDF: THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S BEANIE WEEN WITH LARDON SPOON APPETIZER

More soon.

xo,

The Gentleman Caller

 

 

 

 

Rilly Dilly Devils

Heavenly deviled eggs with a dilly bite.

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Kiddos, it’s snowing. I don’t know about you but winter, once Christmas is over, can bite me. I am itching to get down to Texas and out of this New York City cold. Alas, work keeps me stuck here, at least for this week.

The snow makes me wish for barbecues, potato salad, cole slaw, homemade ice cream, gin and tonics, and deviled eggs. Everyone has a way to make a deviled egg, but it’s so versatile you should change up your recipes and expand your palates. You’d also be very surprised as to what a crowd pleaser deviled eggs are. I have never set out a plate at a party and seen any left behind.

Today I am offering you a deviled egg spiked with briny capers and lots of fresh dill. It’s pointy and aromatic and so, so good.

A few simple ingredients add a delicious point to this dish.

What you need:

  • 6 large eggs, boiled (see The Gentleman’s Foolproof Boiling Method)
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 2 teaspoons grated dill pickle
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (or 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon dry dill)
  • 1 teaspoon pickle brine (jar juice)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (good mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip)
  • whisper of salt
  • whisper of white pepper
  • dill sprigs for garnish

Peel eggs, halve eggs. Remove yolks and place in a mixing bowl.

Add all ingredients to the egg yolks. Mash until smooth. I used smallish capers and didn’t chop them. If your capers are big, you might want to run the knife through them.

When the mixture is smooth, spoon into a corner of a zip top bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe the mixture into the albumin halves.

Garnish with a sprig of dill. Arrange on a plate, chill for a bit if you want.

Now, they are RILLY DILLY. That’s the point. They have a briny, bright deliciousness that cuts through the yolk fat. When I did my test of this recipe, I ate an embarrassing amount. Be warned.

I have to go back out into this snow. Wish me luck.

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

Here’s the printable PDF: RILLY DILLY DEVILS

Robust dill sprigs top a perfect deviled egg.
Smooth and delicious deviled eggs.

Miller Lite Shrimp Cocktail – the perfect starter or passed hors d’oeuvres

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

It’s but a few days till we all begin our 2017 crash diets, but before that starts let’s keep the fatty food fiesta going! Here is one in a series of apps and starters that I am presenting moving toward New Year’s celebrations. Today’s is The Gentleman’s Miller Lite Shrimp Cocktail.

This dish is actually not fatty or gross, just a bit indulgent. It’s a luxurious starter and also can function as a passed hors d’oeuvre on little spoons with a dollop of sauce.

Ceramic asian soup spoons work well for individual servings of appetizers. They make them in recyclable plastic, too.

Dad and Poppa pretty much always drank Miller Lite when I was growing up, and they both loved a shrimp boil. So this is a bit of an homage to my dad and his dad.

What you need:

  • 1 12 ounce can of Miller Lite (or your favorite beer)
  • 6 ounces water
  • 1 pound shrimp, peels on**
  • peels of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons crab boil***
  • 2 teaspoons salt

**Shrimp are classified numerically by how many pieces you get per pound. 21/25 shrimp = you will get between 21 and 25 shrimp per pound. U15 means you will get Under 15 shrimp per pound. I like about 16 shrimp per pound. Indulgent, sizable, but not giant. Also, try to get E-Z Peel shrimp. That means they’ve been deveined and you won’t have to deal with removing the intestinal track. Gross.

***My preferred brand is Kalustayan’s House Blend http://kalustyans.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=8638&search=crab+boil – but Zatarain’s and Tony Cachere’s are fine, too. Just less complex. Be sure that salt is not an ingredient in your crab boil.

In a saucepan, combine liquids, lemon peels, crab boil and salt. Bring to boil.

Add shrimp. Boil for exactly four minutes and not a moment longer. Remove from sauce pan, put in a bowl with ice and lemon slices.

When they are a temp you can work with, peel them. Allow the shrimp to get very cold before serving.

MILLER LITE SHRIMP COCKTAIL – THE PERFECT STARTER OR PASSED HORS D’OEUVRES

I like to serve them with this basic, easy cocktail sauce.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated horseradish
  • dash of fresh black pepper
  • siracha, Frank’s Red Hot, or Texas Pete to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of smashed capers (optional)

Combine all ingredients. Allow to sit before serving, allowing the flavors to merge.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a shrimp. This is certain to please your guests, or maybe just you!

Happy New Year.

xo – The Gentleman Caller

The Gentleman Caller’s Cocktail Sauce

The Gentleman Caller’s Linzer Cookie

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Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Welcome back, you crazy carolers!

Alright, I am outing myself here. I am a cookie monster. I have been known to take a cookie to bed with me, and that’s not a euphemism. I could eat a cookie every day. During Trip of Love, given it’s proximity to Schmackary’s, NYC’s most renowned cookie purveyor, I DID eat a cookie almost every day.

My family has a long tradition of making several varieties of holiday cookie, some more notorious than others. There’s this one particular variety that are green butter cookie Christmas trees that – well, let’s just say there is a lot of green food dye in them and you might have a surprise the next morning.

While we’ve always made cookies, we didn’t do the Linzer traditionally. However, I have always thought them pretty and elegant. And perfectly seasonal. So I did a little development and here I present The Gentleman’s Linzer cookie.

What you need:

  • 2 sticks of butter – 16 tablespoons, softened OR 1 stick – 16 tablespoons of butter flavor Crisco + 6 tablespoons water**
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • strawberry (or your favorite red colored) jam (http://thegentlemancaller.net/the-gentlemans-momma-end-of-summer-strawberry-jam-video/)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

**I know I sound like a Crisco salesman, and yes, it is not good for you, but it makes a flakier cookie.

Preheat oven to 375.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter and sugar to cream, about 4 minutes. While creaming, sift flour and salt together. To the mixer add the egg and vanilla. Turn the mixer off. Spoon in the flour and salt mixture and stir to combine. This dough is stiff. If it’s especially dry in your house from radiant heat, or you live in Las Vegas or something, you might need a tablespoon of water. Humidity makes a difference in a stiff cookie.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Take about a 2 cup ball of dough and roll it out on the parchment to 1/8 of an inch. Thin is your friend. Use a biscuit cutter to stamp out circles. Remove excess dough and reuse in the next batch you roll out. Use a smaller cookie cutter (or soda bottle cap or something else like that) to stamp out a relief in the middle. Reuse that dough as well. Not everyone has all these shapes and cutters. Be resourceful, you just need two shapes, one bigger than the other.

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Bake for 7 minutes. Check them. They should not get brown, only barely gold-ish. Watch them fastidiously.

Keep baking in batches. Allow them to cool.

Spread the tops (the ones with the hole in the middle) on wax paper. Put the powdered sugar in your sifter and dust the tops gently.

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Spread the jam on the bottom halves. Squish the two together.

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OPTIONS:

  • Cut the vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and use cherry jam instead of strawberry jam. Delicious.
  • To the dry ingredients, add 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom. Use orange marmalade instead of strawberry jam. Spicy.

These are very impressive on the plate and will impress people if you gift them. But good luck not eating them all yourself, says the self proclaimed cookie monster.

That’s all for now.

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S LINZER COOKIE

The Donkey in the Manger, aka The Gentleman’s Holiday Mule

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Hello, holiday revelers!

I’m about to knock your stockings off with a donkey kick to the palate with my Holiday Mule.

Do you know what a pomander is? It’s when you take an orange and shove cloves in its skin in a decorative way. We used to make them when I was a kid. Very aromatic. This was my inspiration for this beverage.

hgtv-mcaughey-pomander1

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Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole cloves
  • oranges
  • vodka
  • ginger beer**
  • club soda
  • orange bitters

Combine water, sugar, and cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. While that’s cooking, use a vegetable peeler to take the outer skin off the orange.

At the end of the 20 minutes, add the orange peel to the saucepan and remove from heat. Allow to steep and cool. Reserve a peel or two for garnish. Strain the solids out of the syrup once cool.

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Fill your mule glass with ice. A traditional mule is copper with a handle. I found this ridiculously cute one at Pier One Imports.

To the ice add:

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce cooled clove-orange syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice (if not using fresh, reduce to 1/2 ounce)
  • 2 ounces ginger beer**
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • dash of orange bitters

**ginger beer has no alcohol. Make this kid and Designated Driver friendly by simply eliminating the vodka.

Swirl with a spoon to get everything happily married. Toss a reserved orange peel on top and chug-a-lug from that sweet copper mug!

I’m certain this will become one of your holiday staples.

Enjoy in moderation.

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

THE DONKEY IN THE MANGER, AKA THE GENTLEMAN’S HOLIDAY MULE

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