Since Hanukkah happens early this year, why not kick start your holiday season by hosting a quick and easy cocktail party on Friday or Saturday evening? Offer classic and delicious bites in the form of homemade and store bought appetizers. Crispy zucchini and potato latkes are a must; the recipe featured here is ideal for entertaining because you make one giant latke and cut it into pieces for serving.
A day in advance, puree a big batch of mushroom soup. Reheat before the soiree and fill small bowls or shot glasses with it. For the final homemade component, set out platters of crunchy toasts slathered in rich onion spread. Supplement these dishes with smoked salmon, an assortment of your favorite cheeses, and nuts or olives from a local market. To look at my recipe recommendations keep reading.
Vegetable cooking spray Makes 32 latkes. 3/4 cup dried Polish or porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 ounce) Serves 12. 2 medium sweet onions, such as Spanish Sweet or Vidalia Makes about 1/2 cup.
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and grated
2 medium zucchini, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus leaves, for garnish
1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium leeks (about 1 pound), white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped and rinsed well
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup medium sherry, such as amontillado
5 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, such as cremini and white
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/8 teaspoon salt
Vegetable cooking spray
Makes 32 latkes.
3/4 cup dried Polish or porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 ounce)
2 medium sweet onions, such as Spanish Sweet or Vidalia
Makes about 1/2 cup.