Last fall I hosted a simple appetizer party for my friend's birthday at my home that I thought I would share the recipes. With a vegetarian guest I kept my menu selections vegetarian with autumnal ingredients.
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
This is a go-to recipe for me when I am entertaining. Simply coat a wheel of brie with apricot preserves and wrap in puff pastry, tucking the ends under the brie. With the scraps of leftover pastry I cut out some vines and leaves and attached them to decorate the top with a bit of water. I brushed the puff pastry with an egg wash (an egg white whisked with 1 Tbsp water) to make it glisten and baked it at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. To serve it I topped the brie with some pomegranate seeds to add a little color.
Frozen Puff Pastry Tips: Make sure that the pastry is fully thawed and at room temperature before you roll it out. Also, to prevent needing to use flour to keep it from sticking when rolling it out, try rolling it on parchment paper.
Fig and Gruyere Palmiers
This is another simple recipe using puff pastry. I rolled out a sheet of puff pastry into a large rectangle and sprinkled it with a cup of shredded gruyere cheese. I rolled up each of the sides toward the middle and then cut the resulting roll into 1/4" slices, placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet. I melted 1/2 cup of fig preserves and then brushed it on top of the palmiers. I baked them for 12 minutes at 400 degrees and served them warm from the oven.
Endive with Caramelized Pears and Blue Cheese
I used this recipe (originally in December 2006 Cooking Light) to make this endive appetizer. In the past I have also substituted pecans for the walnuts which has worked quite well. I really like the recipe and love the sweet and savory aspects that it combines.
Butternut Squash Spread
This spread was slightly adapted from this recipe (originally in September 2007 Cooking Light) with me omitting the pumpkin seeds (just didn't have any) and halving the amount of garlic. I served the spread in a small bowl with a few sage leaves for garnish. This spread has a little kick to it which I really quite enjoy.
To set my table I put out an orange table runner that I have from Ikea and topped it with some red leaf felt placemats that I picked up from HomeGoods. I placed my appetizers on the table along with a bowl of baguette slices to go with the brie and squash spread. For drinks I served hot apple cider with sticks of cinnamon.
It was a fun little celebration and everyone loved the food. These simple recipes meant that I spent minimal time in the kitchen but still had a beautiful spread for my guests to enjoy.
Do you have a favorite fall entertaining recipe? What do you like to serve?