So you were just asked to be maid of honor at your best friend's wedding and are horrified at the thought of planning her bachelorette party. Well have no fear all this week I'll guide you through the steps of creating a memorable and wonderful send off for your bff. Start by picking a date and sending the invitations. Next decide on the activities (I chose a stripping class and lingerie shower) and plan a menu of delicious appetizers. Earlier today I wrote about the vegetarian friendly finger foods and right now I'll reveal the recipes for the meat-lovers' hors d'oeurves. All of the appetizers are healthy, but a little heavier in order to soak up the large quantities of alcohol that will be consumed during the course of the night. So please
Crab & Pork Spring Rolls
are the perfectly chic snack for your girlfriends. A French
Alsatian Potato and Bacon Tart
will round out the menu of savory finger foods.
1/2 oz dried wood ear mushrooms (about 2)
6 oz ground fatty pork (from shoulder)
1/4 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
1 whole large egg, lightly beaten, plus 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten separately
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
30 Vietnamese rice-paper wedges*
About 6 cups peanut or vegetable oil
Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
Accompaniment: nuoc cham dipping sauce, recipe below
- Cover mushrooms with hot water by 1 inch in a bowl and soak 20 minutes (mushrooms will expand). Drain in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly, then drain again. Trim off and discard any hard parts from mushrooms, then finely chop. (You should have about 3 tablespoons.)
- Stir together mushrooms, pork, crabmeat, beaten whole egg, cilantro, ginger, scallion, garlic, and salt in a bowl until combined well.
- Line a tray with wax paper. Put a double thickness of paper towels on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water.
- Discard any rice-paper wedges with holes. Soak 1 wedge in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then carefully transfer to paper towels, arranging it with curved side of wedge nearest you.
- Put 1 tablespoon filling in middle of curved side about 1/2 inch from edge and shape filling horizontally into a 2 3/4-inch log. Fold left and right corners of wedge over filling, overlapping slightly and aligning bottom edges. (Wedge will resemble an open envelope.)
- Dab top corner with some yolk, then tightly roll up wedge away from you, making sure ends stay tucked inside. (Be sure to roll up wedges tightly or air pockets will prevent rolls from browning evenly when fried.) Put roll, seam side down, on tray and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Make more rolls in same manner, transferring to tray and arranging 1/2 inch apart. Keep loosely covered until ready to fry.
- Heat about 1 inch of oil in a 5- to 6-quart pot over moderately high heat until it registers 365°F on thermometer.
- Fry rolls in batches of 5 or 6, keeping rolls apart during first minute of frying to prevent sticking and stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.
- ransfer as fried with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 365°F between batches.)
Make ahead: Rolls can be assembled (but not fried) 1 month ahead and frozen on a tray in 1 layer, 1/2 inch apart, about 2 hours, then transferred to an airtight container or sealed plastic bag and kept frozen. Thaw in refrigerator, uncovered, in 1 layer, 1/2 inch apart, then pat dry before frying.
Makes 10 hors d'oeuvre servings.
*Found in Asian markets and at Adriana's Caravan
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce, preferably nuoc mam
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh Thai chile (2 to 3 inches; preferably red) including seeds, thinly sliced crosswise
- Stir together sugar and water in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients and chill, covered, at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop.
- Bring to room temperature before serving (this will take about 1 hour).
Makes about 1 cup.
Make ahead: Sauce can be chilled up to 3 days.
6 ounces meaty slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium baking potato, peeled and coarsely shredded
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons snipped chives
1 teaspoon chopped sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound prepared pizza or bread dough, thawed if frozen
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 500°.
- In a large, heavy skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until lightly browned around the edges, about 3 minutes; drain.
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add the potato and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes; add a little water to the pan if the potato begins to stick. Stir in the vinegar, chives and sage and season with salt and pepper; remove from the heat.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 10-by-13-inch rectangle.
- Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet, stretching it back into the rectangle.
- Stir the crème fraîche and nutmeg into the potato mixture and spread it over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Scatter the bacon on top. Bake the tart for 12 minutes, or until the edges are browned. Cut into squares and serve hot.
Make ahead: The tart can be baked earlier in the day; reheat before serving.
Makes about 24 squares.
Wondering what sweet treat I'll be serving alongside all these savory appetizers? Come back this afternoon to see my serving suggestion.