Las Damas of Fairbanks today hosted a holiday cooking demonstration at the home of Jenn Phillips, Gourmet Chef and Caterer. Jenn provided us with a few great holiday hors d’oeuvre recipes that are simple and lovely as we try to balance demands of time and need for perfection for holiday entertaining. She created a beautiful Charcuterie Table, which provided a great place for people to gather and sample the special cured meats, which she also surrounded with cheeses, veggies, tapenades and assorted breads and crackers. This is a simple appetizer offering, because there is not much prep involved, but the beauty of the table is what made this so special. She used assorted fall flowers, vases of lavender, alstroemeria and pumpkins to create a lovely table upon which to feature the appetizer.
Another interesting appetizer for those who try to escape the many carbs that are usually offered before the meal was the Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps.
Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps
1 lb. ground chicken
3 tablespoons Asian fish oil
3 small shallots
3 garlic cloves
1 stalk lemon grass, tender white inner bulb only
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 tablespoon mint, plus 1/3 cup for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 head Boston or red leaf lettuce, separated
1 small seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Soy Chili Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon red chili sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon hot mustard
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Position a rack in top third of oven.
Put chicken in medium bowl. Add fish sauce, salt, pepper and cornstarch. In food processor, pulse shallots, garlic, lemon grass, cilantro and mint until finely chopped. Add to chicken mixture. Combine thoroughly. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. With moist hands, roll chicken mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll meatballs in sugar evenly coating them and place onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned and cooked through. Let cook for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile arrange the lettuce, cucumber, cilantro and mint on a platter. Transfer the meatballs to the platter and serve with the soy chili sauce.