Anne Burrell is one Food Channel Chef who makes me laugh while teaching me new techniques and flavor blends. So when I was planning the menu for over thirty guests for a party at my house, I checked out Anne’s new cookbook Cook like a Rock Star, from the library. I experimented with a couple of recipes of her “piccolini,” snacks or pre-appetizer-appetizers, knew I had found just what I needed, and ordered the cookbook from Amazon.com.
These yummy sounding, easy recipes provided several dishes which would place the burden for serving on the eaters, and not so much on me—a winning quality to be sure. Fussy appetizers have never been my forté and even Anne’s fussiest ones could easily be adapted to bulk, where the eaters could put on the finishing touches, such as spreading the goat cheese and pepperonata on the crisped bruschetta.
A total of five recipes did me well when planning, and some of them could be partly prepared in the days leading up to the party, then assembled on the final afternoon. Here’s what we made: Said goat cheese spread on a large bowl, with a good sized batch of sautéed peppers, onions, herbs and spices mounded in the middle, and French bread toasts around the edges; olives, first marinated in olive oil,, spices and herbs then heated to the bubbling HOT stage and served with warnings; mortadella processed into a paté
and again surrounded with toasts; a corn-bacon-and chili mixture cooked up quickly and laid in a bowl with heated tortilla halves and bread chunks, and, the one that did require some individual attention, devilled eggs, seasoned with a bit of truffle oil, mayo and half of a chopped (canned) black truffle. (The local favorite.)
There were a few other treats at my party but Anne Burrell’s creations were easy to cook up while still drawing plenty of ooh’s and aah’s. This adventure from Cook like a Rock Star reminded me that: a cook is only as good as her favorite recipes—and Anne’s are uncategorically among mine now, for sure.
If you’re a cookbook lover with a partiality for Italian food, try this book and its delights, and treat your family and friends!
Next week: Another “fork” presentation, about how to eat in Italy!