The contestants having a bit of fun before we commenced to cookin’! Pictured from left to right with the name of their appetizer:
- Christina Schurr Crispy Corn Fritters with Tomato Jam, Whipped Herb Goat Cheese, & Crispy Pancetta
- Jerry Edwards Lobster and Brie Dogs
- Brett Youmans Pasta Nests with Roasted Tomato Pesto and Poached Quail
- Josee Lanzi Apricot Brie Pecan & Ham Puff-Pastry Pops
- Becky Ellis Gloriafied Crab Appetizer
- Ronna Farley Bacon-Topped Loaded Squash Crackers
As we waited for the challenge to begin the guests noshed on yummy appetizers…mini crab cakes served in appetizer spoons and sliders.
Tia Butts, President, Tia Butts PR, was the MC for the evening and she announced that each contestant would have 15 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to assemble their appetizer. After the event some contestants said it was the shortest 30 minutes of their life and some said the longest 30 minutes of their life. I fell in the longgggggest category. I was so glad that my wonderful husband was there with me…he was a great support, making sure I had everything I needed during the challenge and then a cold flute of bubbly waiting for me as soon as I finished the challenge!
As I was preparing my appetizer I kept smelling the wonderful cooking aromas coming from the station behind me where Jerry Edwards (the winner!) was preparing his Lobster and Brie Dogs. Yummy! They were the perfect glorious bite to pair with Gloria Ferrer Brut Sparkling Wine.
I thought Brett Youmans Pasta Nests with Roasted Tomato Pesto and Poached Quail eggs were so perfectly presented…the quail eggs came from his neighbor’s quail and he used his own chicken’s eggs for the pasta!
Ronna Farley Bacon-Topped Loaded Squash Crackers. Ronna’s husband joined her at the event. They were celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary that weekend!
- Josee Lanzi Apricot Brie Pecan & Ham Puff-Pastry Pops. Deliciously fabulous flavors in this appetizer. Love the little specs of gold on the plate!
Christina Schurr Crispy Corn Fritters with Tomato Jam, Whipped Herb Goat Cheese, & Crispy Pancetta
Christina was leaving the next day to participate as a finalist in the 2nd Annual Ultimate OCEAN Cocktail Contest in Hawaii! Sponsored by Ocean Vodka.
As soon as the 30 minutes started I got right to work…here I am squeezing lemon…looks like I am dancing with it. I quickly realized that I did not have a sharp knife (we requested our cooking equipment ahead of time and brought a lot of items from home…I was sure that I brought a knife with me, but alas I did not) so I used the sharp kitchen shears that I brought with me to cut my avocado and mince my garlic…worked surprisingly well.
I put my champagne coupes and appetizer spoons in the walk-in freezer before we started cooking so they would be icy cold for service. When I got ready to plate my champagne coupes were still there, but my appetizer spoons were gone! In the busyness of the event who knows what happened to them. So I had to serve my appetizer with regular tablespoons and I asked the judges to “pretend they were the cutest little chilled appetizer spoons ever”…they smiled when I said that!
I am happy to share my recipe with you:
Gloriafied Crabmeat Appetizer
What is “Gloriafied”? “Glorified” is something represented in such a way as to appear more elevated or special. “Gloriafied” is something represented with Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine to appear SUPER SPECIAL!!!! I love Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine and it has been my “house bubbly” for years ~ we always have a cold bottle in the fridge…and I present to you a fabulous appetizer worthy of gloriafication!
Place coupe champagne glasses and appetizer forks in the freezer to chill for service.
For bottom layer of appetizer:
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 tablespoon tequila
Mash avocado with fork, add whipping cream and tequila and continue mashing until smooth consistency.
Lump crab meat
1 slice Fried prosciutto, crumbled. To fry prosciutto place some vegetable oil in frying pan and heat. Fry prosciutto in vegetable oil just like bacon until crispy. Drain fried prosciutto on paper towels.
Finely chopped roasted red bell pepper. (to roast red bell pepper, core pepper and clean out seeds. Broil pepper on baking sheet until brown and blistered all over. Remove pepper from oven and place in a brown paper bag. Allow to cool. Remove pepper from bag and with a sharp knife peel away the skin of the pepper. Rinse to remove any seeds.
Top the appetizer with Thai Chili Oil Remoulade Sauce and fried tortilla strips.
Thai Chili Oil Remoulade Sauce:
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon Thai Chili Oil
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
3 tablespoons Grey Poupon Harvest Course Ground Mustard
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
3 tablespoons ketchup
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth. Chill until service.
Fried tortilla garnish:
Cut burrito size flour tortillas into 1 inch strips. Place 2 inches vegetable oil in frying pan and heat until sizzling. Roll tortilla strips into spirals and hold spirals in the hot oil (very carefully!) to allow the strips to start cooking and holding their shape before letting go of the strips.
To serve, place avocado mixture in the bottom of the champagne glass, top with lump crab meat, then prosciutto, topped with roasted red pepper and Spicy Romoulade Sauce and fried tortilla spiral. Cheers! Enjoy!
In my next post I will share our “After Party In D.C.” which was very enjoyable!
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